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 I. PURCELL.  In the year 1886 the subject of this sketch came to Adams county and located a timber culture and pre-emption.  This land he improved and cultivated until 1898, when he filed a homestead on his present home one mile east and two miles south of Fletcher.  He sold his original land in 1902 and purchased a half-section adjoining his homestead, making him the owner of four hundred and eighty acres, three hundred and fifty acres of which are now under cultivation.  All of his land is fenced, well improved and contains a first class orchard, making it one of the most desirable farms in the county.  It also is judiciously supplied with live stock.
     William I. Purcell was born in Bastrop county, Texas, January 11, 1855, the son of Samuel and Cerraphina (Weatherbee) Purcell, the father a native of Indiana and the mother of New York.  The parents went to Texas in 1852, migrated to Baker Springs, Kansas, in 1869, and returned to Pike county, Illinois, in 1870, where the father died one year later.  The mother came west with our subject in 1886 and died December 7, 1889, aged seventy-six years, seven months and twenty-one days.  She was a devoted member of the Christian church, was married twice and reared a family of seven children by her first union and another of two children by her second marriage.  Her first husband's name was William Martin, and his death occurred in 1838.
     Mr. Purcell received his early education in a subscription school in Texas, and after going to Illinois with his parents he attended school in that state three years.  At the age of sixteen he engaged in work on a farm, this being his first start for himself.  He remained thus engaged five years, then worked a rented farm for twelve years, at the expiration of which period he came  to Adams county.
     Mr. Purcell was married October 15, 1874, to Ruby A. Huffman, who is the daughter of Barney and Lucretia (Williams) Huffman, natives of Virginia.  The parents of Mrs. Purcell removed to Indiana while young and later to Pike county, Illinois, where they lived until 1888, then came to Washington and are now living in Adams county, both more than four score years of age.  They were the parents of eleven children, eight of whom are now living.
     Both Mr. and Mrs. Purcell come of American stock as far back as the family records extend.
     Mr. Purcell is a member of the Democratic party, and both he and Mrs. Purcell are members of the Christian church.