Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin Counties", published by Western Historical
Publishing Co., 1904.
WILLIAM E. BLAKELY is one of
the stirring and business men of Franklin county and as such is to be classed
in any work that names the leading citizens of this political division.
He was born in Richland county, Wisconsin, on February 4, 1863, the son
of Walter and Elizabeth (Knowlton) Blakely, natives of Pennsylvania.
The mother is deceased but the father is still living in Wisconsin.
William E. was educated in the Badger State and there remained until 1882,
in which year he came to western Kansas and engaged in farming. For
five years, he tilled the soil there then went to the vicinity of Purcell,
Indian Territory and did farming and stock raising. He succeeded
admirably there until 1901, when he sold out and came to Washington.
He located at Connell and began speculating in land. He bought and
sold thousands of acres and now owns nine hundred and sixty acres, all
good wheat land, two miles west of Eltopia. In March, 1902, Mr. Blakely
opened a hardware store in Eltopia and is operating the same at the present
time in addition to overseeing his estate. He carries a full line
of all kinds of shelf and heavy hardware needed n this section, besides
farming implements, feed and so forth. He has secured a good patronage
from the surrounding country and is constantly increasing his business.
Mr. Blakely served as county commissioner for district number two, his
name appearing on the Democratic ticket. He takes commendable interest
in everything that is for the upbuilding of Franklin county and the success
of those principles in politics which he deems best for all. Fraternally,
he is affiliated with the M. W. A.
At Dodge City, Kansas, in 1887, Mr. Blakely
married Miss Emma Knittle, a native of Pennsylvania. Five children
have been born to this marriage, Edna I., Eunice B., Everett E., Earl D.,
and Elizabeth E.