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.
JOHN H. NICHOLLS, residing one
mile southeast of Davenport, Lincoln county, is engaged in general farming,
stock raising, and fruit growing. He was born in Goderich, Ontario,
Canada, June 27, 1850, the son of Thomas and Harriett Nicholls, natives
of England. The father came to the United States when twenty-two
years old, located in Chicago, opened a law office, became chief assistant
to the master in chancery, and burned out in 1871. Then he went to
Minnesota, and from there to California. He came to Washington in
1885. He opened a law office, at Spokane, but was burned out again
in the great Spokane fire, of 1889. He then came to Davenport where
he lived two years. On the death of his wife he returned to Fairmont,
Minnesota, and died in 1900. To Thomas and Harriett Nicholls were
born six children, Sophia, Cordelia, John H., Thomas, Hattie and Aimee.
Our subject was reared in Canada where he
received his elementary education, and later completed an excellent business
education in Chicago. He began the world for himself at the age of
eighteen years, he and his brother taking charge of an extensive farm in
Minnesota. Later he removed to California where he was made field
boss, and subsequently foreman, on an extensive wheat farm. He remained
here four years. Going to Chicago he was for three years city buyer
for a wholesale drug house. He came to Washington and located at
Four Lakes, Spokane county, where he worked for I. N. Peyton during the
winter of 1879, and in the spring of 1880 he, in company with Colonel Peyton,
opened a store at Deep Creek. In 1881, he and James Courtright purchased
Colonel Peyton's interest in the store, and moved the stock to Cottonwood
Springs, now Davenport, where they conducted business one year. Mr.
Nicholls then bought out his partner and for eight years was alone.
On coming to Davenport he erected the first hotel in the place, and purchased
one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land, which now includes the site
of Davenport. He disposed of half this land to Colonel Peyton, and
later sold the other half. Mr. Nicholls was the first postmaster
in Davenport, and the first mayor. Subsequently he moved on to his
farm, containing a section and a half of land, where he at present resides.
He is interested in blooded stock, having many fine jerseys, and two thoroughbred
bulls. He has an orchard of one thousand bearing trees, a large variety
of small fruit trees, and, also, owns, in company with Dr. Whitney, a brick
block in the city of Davenport.
In 1881 Mr. Nicholls was married to Emma A.
Edes, daughter of W. H. and Sophronia (Bigelow) Edes, natives of Maine.
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholls have two children, John R., and Myrtle. Politically
he is a Republican, and fraternally a member of the Loyal Americans, and
the Order of Pendo.