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.
WILLARD STIMSON is one of the
venerable and respected residents of Lincoln county, and is also entitled
to the distinction of being one of the pioneers of Washington and the Big
Bend country. He was born in Huron county, Ohio, August 20, 1825,
being the son of Gilbert and Sarah (Picksley) Stimson. The father
was born and raised in New York, and later moved to Ohio, where he was
sheriff of Huron county for a number of years. He was a veteran of
the war of 1812, being fife major, and was at the blowing up of Little
York, and was a prominent and influential farmer. His father, John
Stimson, the grandfather of our subject, was a patriot in the Revolution
and acquitted himself with distinction. The mother of our subject
was born in New York and reared in Ohio. Her father, Paul Picksley,
was a colonel in the Revolution and a member of the Boston Tea Party.
He was wounded and was a pensioner for many years. He was a farmer.
Descended from such ancestors as have been mentioned, we would expect that
the subject of this article would be a patriotic and stanch American.
When a child he came with his parents to Burlington,
Iowa, and there received a limited education in the subscription schools
of that day. When grown to manhood he engaged in rafting on the Mississippi
river, and in 1850 crossed the plains with ox teams to California.
There he engaged in freighting, handling from six to eight mule teams,
until 1857, when he returned to Iowa and took up farming. In 1872
Mr. Stimson came to Whitman county, Washington, and took a homestead fifteen
miles southwest from Colfax. That was the scene of his labors until
1889, when he came to Lincoln county, Washington, locating about three
miles south from Creston, where he and his son, George L., own three hundred
and twenty acres. Part of the ranch is good land, and some scab land.
They pasture over large amounts of government scab lands. They have
usually about fifty head of cattle, and one hundred and thirty head of
horses, including a fine Percheron stallion which cost $1,500. They
raise fine draft horses many of which have been sold to farmers around.
In July, 1858, Mr. Stimson married Miss Nancy
C., daughter of Elijah and Ruth (Ping) Barnes, natives of Kentucky.
Elijah Barnes was in the war of 1812 and fought with General Jackson at
the battle of New Orleans. Mrs. Stimson was born in Indiana, in 1839.
Two children have been the fruit of this union, George L. and James H.,
both living on the home place. George L. was born in Des Moines county,
Iowa. He is a member of the Woodmen of the World. James H.
was born at the same place. The wife died at Carroll county, Missouri,
before the family came west.