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
CHARLES F. WILL is at present
county assessor at Waterville, which office he has acceptably filled for
some time. He is also engaged in stock raising and general farming,
having a fine estate about six miles southeast from Waterville. He
has labored in Douglas county with energy and wisdom for many years and
has not only secured a good holding of property but also the good will
and esteem of all who may have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
Charles F. Will was born in Vinton county,
Ohio, on January 19, 1862, the son of George B. and Helen A. (French) Will,
natives of Philadelphia and Connecticut, respectively. The father
followed merchandising and also served in the United States army.
Our subject was educated in the common schools and later studied in the
high school at McArthur, in his native county. At the early age of
twelve he stepped out into the world to do for himself and soon went to
Nodaway county, Missouri, and there lived with an uncle for four years.
In 1878 he made a visit to his former home and the next year he went with
his uncle to Fort Scott, Kansas, and there farmed for one year. Returning
to Missouri, he worked on the farms for wages for three years, then moved
to the vicinity of Kearney, Nebraska, and there farmed until the spring
of 1885. Then came a journey to Washington, and on December 14, 1885,
he filed on a homestead where his residence is at the present time.
He has improved it splendidly and has it all in a high state of cultivation.
Good buildings of every kind needed are in evidence and he has added by
purchase until the estate is now four hundred acres. In addition
to handling the farm, Mr. Will has also given attention to stock raising
and has at the present time one hundred and sixty head of cattle.
When he first came here, Mr. Will worked for John W. Stephens, and while
in labor about the sawmill he had the misfortune to lose his left hand.
The nearest medical aid was in Spokane and thither he journeyed to get
the member attended to. After his recovery, he was retained by the
company as bookkeeper and in the spring of 1891 he was chosen deputy assessor
of the county. Following that service, he was again on the farm,
where he took the oversight of his business until 1900, when he was called
by the people to the office of assessor of the county. The next term
he was elected by two hundred majority, an increase of ten over his former
term. He was the only Republican on the ticket who was favored with
election, which demonstrated beyond a doubt his popularity with the people.
Mr. Will has one brother, Joseph K., and two
sisters, Mrs. Henrietta K. Drake, and Mrs. Eugene Hoyt. At Kearney,
Nebraska, on November 4, 1884, Mr. Will married Miss Mary E., daughter
of Campbell and Polly Engle, natives of Kentucky. Mrs. Will was born
in Nodaway county, Missouri, on September 24, 1862. Mr. and Mrs.
Will have four children: Claud C., born April 26, 1886; Frederick R., born
March 23, 1888; Arthur L., born May 19, 1893; and Helen G., born March
18, 1901. Mr. Will is a member of the Maccabees and is a popular
and first-class man.
Mr. Will remarks that when he first came here
he had two trunks and a wife. Owing to the excellence of his helpmeet
and his own energy and ability he has transformed the two trunks into a
fine estate, a large holding of stock and is attended with much prosperity.