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.
JOHN INKSTER, SR., as well as
being a pioneer of the country, has taken an active part in the development
of Lincoln county and is well known. He was born in the Shetland
Islands, in 1828, and remained there until fourteen years of age, when
he went to sea. For ten years, he followed this hazardous life, navigating
the waters from seventy-two degrees north latitude to sixty degrees south
latitude. Reviewing these years, Mr. Inkster says he passed through
three years of winter, then three years of summer, then followed two years
of winter and after that two years of summer. He visited most of
the large ports of the world and traveled to every part of the globe.
In 1857 he was shipwrecked on the east coast of Ireland, and in 1863 was
again shipwrecked on the Island of St. Paul, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
After his first trip from Liverpool to Melbourne, Australia, he, with the
rest of the crew, took French leave and the next three years of life were
spent at carpenter work.
Returning to Scotland, he was married on October
9, 1856, to Miss Phillis Pottinger. In 1860 Mr. Inkster paid his
first visit to America, landing the night Mr. Lincoln was nominated for
the presidency the first time. Eighteen months later, he returned
to his old home. In 1863, he came to the United States and since
then has remained here. For two or three years he lived in Chicago
and did carpentering. Later, he was engaged in farming on Grand Prairie,
Illinois, where he remained twelve years. Being possessed of a restless
spirit he was attracted to the great west, his first move being to Lane
county, Oregon, where he farmed until 1881. Thence he came to the
Big Bend country, being here before Lincoln county was organized.
His sons, John and James had preceded him a year and their reports had
induced him to make this move. He arrived here May 7th, he and his
family having been nearly a month on the road. He homesteaded a place
in the Egypt country and in addition to looking after his farm assisted
to construct Fort Spokane. Mr. Inkster served as county commissioner
from 1886 to 1892, having been elected on the Republican ticket.
He has always held the principles of that party and has labored tellingly
for its success. He has also been very active in promoting educational
matters. During the first term of office, he gave entire satisfaction
to his constituents and it was especially trying as those were the stormiest
days of Lincoln county's political history. Mr. Inkster was in the
heat of every battle that had to do with the county seat fight. He
stood loyally by Davenport and the northern part of the county and to him
is due the fact that new county buildings were not erected at Sprague,
which may have been responsible in a degree for moving in 1896 to Davenport.
To Mr. and Mrs. Inkster, five sons and one daughter have been born, namely,
John, Jr., James S., Charles A., Archibald H., Lawrence A., and Euphemia
J. Charles and Archibald are deceased.