Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WILLIAM G. DUNCAN, farmer, merchant
and postmaster at Egypt, Washington, is a native of Western Ontario, Canada,
born August 26, 1857, and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Journeying to
the United States in the spring of 1884, he came direct to Spokane, thoroughly
inspected the country, and sent for his family, which consisted of a wife
and three children. He located his present homestead July 4, 1884,
and has continued to make that place his home since. He came here
with limited funds, and was compelled for a time to work at day labor for
the necessary money with which to care for his family and improve his homestead.
He has now 320 acres, divided equally between agricultural and timber land,
good buildings, all modern improvements and conveniences, and all necessary
stock and farm implements to successfully carry on his business of farming.
The panic of 1893 was especially severe with Mr. Duncan, so much so that
he lost about all he had accumulated, and for a time he was compelled to
haul cord wood to Davenport to trade for provisions and clothing for his
family. What he has now he has made since 1897. In the spring
of 1899 he purchased the general merchandise store of Moore Brothers, at
Egypt, which is about a quarter of a mile distant from his home.
He started in the business with a small stock which he has enlarged until
he now carries a complete line of goods usually found in the general store,
and has built up a good trade among the settlers round about. He
has been the postmaster here since buying the store.
William G. Duncan was the son of John and
Elizabeth (McKensie) Duncan, the former a native of North Ireland, reared
in Glasgow, Scotland, and born eighty-three years ago, and the latter of
Canada, and of Scotch descent. The mother is now deceased.
Mr. Duncan has one sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Yingst, living in Spokane.
On February 19, 1878, occurred the marriage
of William G. Duncan and Mary Hemphill, also a native of Ontario.
Her father, James Hemphill, is dead; and her mother, Margaret (Watson)
Hemphill, is still living in Ontario in her eighty-fourth year. In
November, 1901, Mr. Duncan was enabled to send Mrs. Duncan and her youngest
daughter on an enjoyable visit to her aged mother in Ontario.
To this union eight children have been born:
James N., who has taken a course in a Spokane business college; Lena M.,
wife of Joseph Lennon, of Egypt; Ethel M., a student in the Spokane Conservatory
of Music, and also a teacher of instrumental music; Sadie M.; John R.;
Regina M.; Joseph H., and Katie A.
Mr. Duncan is a charter member of the A. O.
U. W., of Davenport, and of the Fraternal Army of Loyal Americans, of Egypt.
He and Mrs. Duncan are prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church.