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
WILLIAM DOMRESE is to be classed
as one of the pioneers of Douglas county. Since the early days when
the prairies were without human habitation and when many hardships had
to be borne by those who sought homes in this section, and until the present
time, Mr. Domrese has devoted himself steadily to the labors of upbuilding
and improving. His present fine holding has been gained as the result
of his industry and he is to be addressed as one of the leading citizens
of the county.
William Domrese was born in Prussia, on March
26, 1844, the son of Carl and Lottie (Litchew) Domrese, both natives of
Prussia. They came to the United States in 1860, settling in Chicago.
Before leaving the old country, our subject had begun his education and
continued the same in the Garden State, until nineteen. In that year,
being 1863, he enlisted at Chicago in the United States navy. He
was on the Monitor, Osage, Naid, Onichita, Fairplay and Neosho, and received
his honorable discharge at Mound City, Illinois, on August 17, 1867.
He had participated in the Mississippi campaign under Admiral Porter and
was at New Orleans, Vicksburg and Baton Rouge. He was wounded while
on the Naid by a glancing shell, which kept him in the hospital for five
months. Following his discharge, he returned to Chicago and there
remainned for six months, during which time occurred the Chicago fire.
In 1873, he removed to Winona county, Minnesota, where his residence was
for seven years, during which time he was engaged in carpentering and building.
From that city, he journeyed to Stafford county, Kansas, and continued
the same business, and among the different edifices erected by him were
the school house and court house at St. John.
In 1884, Mr. Domrese provided himself with
teams and wagons and crossed the plains to Washington, consuming six months
in the journey. It was in October when he landed in Douglas county
and he took by squatter's right a place near the old town of Okanogan,
which was six miles east from where Waterville now stands. After
a short residence there, he removed to where Mr. Teller now lives, but
only remained a few months. In 1886, he took up a pre-emption and
timber cluture, which was a nucleus of his present estate, which lies about
seven miles northeast from Waterville. To that one-half section,
he has added as much more by purchase and the whole section of land is
one of the finest farms to be found anywhere in this region. It has
been brought to a high state of cultivation and is very productive . This
estate is supplied with good buildings and improvements. Mr. Domrese
has a nice band of cattle and in addition to farming and stock raising
he has done considerable contracting and building in Waterville and other
places, since settling here.
Politically, Mr. Domrese has always been active
and was one of the first delegates from this county to the Republican convention
at Seattle. Our subject has two brothers and one sister, Herman,
Edward and Mrs. Lena Nhels.
At Chicago, in 1872, Mr. Domrese married Miss
Helen, daughter of Carl H. and Albertine (Braun) Zachow, natives of Prussia
and now living in Chicago. Mr. Zachow was an active educator in the
school room for fity-two years. In April, 1903, he came on a visit
to his daughter here in Douglas county and here passed from earth to the
life beyond, after having spent eighty-eight years and eight months so
faithfully in noble labors. Mrs. Domrese was born in Prussia on January
21, 1854, and has one brother and three sisters, John, Mrs. Anna Knobelsdorff,
Mrs. Louisa Bollman and Miss Matilda Jacobson. To Mr. and Mrs. Domrese,
the following children have been born; Charles A., in Winona county, Minnesota,
April 7, 1874; Adele K., in Winona county, Minnesota, on June 27, 1876,
now the wife of William McKay; Louis E., in Winona county, Minnesota, on
August 29, 1877; Henry J., in Kansas, on December 23, 1882; Lucy M., in
Douglas county, March 27, 1885; Lilly D., in this county, on July 8, 1892;
and Bernice A., in this county on September 5, 1893.
Mr. Domrese is an active member of the G.
A. R., and he and his wife are communicants at the Lutheran church.
In his labors and walk in this county and elsewhere he has always shown
marked integrity and sound principles, coupled with industry and sagacity,
which have won for him, not only an enviable position in this community
but also a fine competence in this world's goods.