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William J. Sutton


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"Spokane and The Spokane Country - Pictorial and Biographical - Deluxe Supplement." Vol. II. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. (No author listed.) pgs. 156-158.


       WILLIAM J. SUTTON, prominently known in connection with financial interests in eastern Washington as president of the Security National Bank of Cheney, has reached his present enviable position through indefatigable energy, keen discrimination and unfaltering enterprise. Moreover, realizing that real estate is the safest of all investments, he has made extensive purchases of land near Cheney and in Adams county. In other connec-tions, too, he has figured prominently as a leading individual and progressive citizen, deserving especial credit for his efforts in behalf of education, the Cheney Normal School largely owing its existence to his self-sacrificing efforts and his high ideals along educational lines.
       Mr. Sutton is a native of Lapeer county, Michigan, born September 29, 1865. His parents, Levi L., and Sarah J. (Goodenough) Sutton, were pioneer residents of the Wolverine state. He pursued his education in the public schools of Michigan and in the Fenton Normal School, from which he was graduated with the class of 1886. Coming west in 1887, he located in Cheney and organized its first graded public school. For three years he devoted his time and ef-forts untiringly to systematizing the work and developing the interests of the public school system here and in 1890, when the Cheney Normal School was established, he was chosen vice principal and professor of mathematics, continuing to serve in the dual position for a year and a half. On the expiration of that period he was made principal and so continued until 1897. During that time the main building was erected, the money for which was largely acquired through the untiring efforts of Professor Sutton. After the old normal school building was destroyed by fire the maintenance appropriation passed by the legislature was vetoed but Professor Sutton continued to conduct the school without an appropriation fund. In this way he became able to obtain the money for a new building. His services in the educational field have been of inestimable value in the intellectual progress of this section and have constituted an important element in upbuilding the high standards of the state in this connection. In 1897, however, Professor Sutton severed his identification with educational interests as an active factor and turned his attention to agricultural and banking interests, giving his time and energies throughout the intervening period of fifteen years to his personal interests.
       On the 10th of March, 1897, Mr. Sutton was united in marriage to Miss Nellie G. Hutchinson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Hutchinson, of Auburn, New York. Her parents were early settlers of the Empire state and Mrs. Sutton is a graduate of the State Normal School at Oswego, New York. Mr. Sutton is the present junior grand warden of the grand lodge of Masons in the state. He belongs also to the Odd Fellows and to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton attend the Congregational church and are prominent socially, having an extensive circle of warm friends not only in Cheney but throughout the district in which they have long resided. In all those ventures which contribute most to the upbuilding and progress of a community Mr. Sutton has been deeply interested and his labors have been fruitful of good results. The simple weight of his character and ability has carried him into important relations and he has that confidence and courage that come of conscious personal ability, right conception of things and an habitual regard for what is best in the exercise of human activities.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

* * * * Notice: These biographies were transcribed for the Washington Biographies Project. Unless otherwise stated, no further information is available on the individuals featured in the biographies.


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