Biography of William H. Sebastian

Among the pioneers who came to northern Idaho in an early day to secure homes and open up this region to civilization is William H. Sebastian, now an enterprising farmer of Camas prairie. He located on the prairie in 1871, fought for the protection of the settlers in the Nez Perces Indian war, and has ever labored for the advancement and upbuilding of the section. He was born in Missouri, December 31, 185 1, but has practically spent his entire life in the northwest. His father, Daniel Smith Sebastian, was born in Missouri, November 21, 1819, and was there reared to manhood and married, and in 1852, with his wife and three children, made a safe journey across the plains to Oregon. He located in Clackamas County, where he secured a government donation-claim of six hundred and forty acres. At the time of the gold excitement, however, he went to Elk City, Idaho, in 1861, and engaged in mining there for some time, after which he returned to his family. In 1871 he took up his abode on Camas prairie, on land on Three Mile creek, and there resided until 1875, when he sold out. He died in March 1896, at the age of seventy-seven years. When the Nez Perces Indians went on the warpath he was among the volunteers who aided in defending the settlers and their homes. He was twice married, his first wife dying in 1853. By their union there were four children, and three by the second marriage. The second wife died in July 1896.

William H. Sebastian was only four months old when his parents crossed the plains. He attended school in Oregon and in 1871 came with the family to Camas prairie. In 1877, when the Indian war broke out, he also volunteered, continuing on duty until all danger was past. Subsequently he secured from the government a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, and in 1886 he further completed his preparations for a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Thamer McKerlee a native of North Carolina and a daughter of E. B. McKerlee, who was also born in that state and came to Camas prairie in 1883. They now have one daughter, Cloah. The mother is a valued member of the Baptist Church and is a most estimable lady. In his political affiliations Mr. Sebastian is a Democrat. In 1896 he built a very comfortable residence, and there makes his home, giving his time and attention to his farming pursuits, in which he is meeting with creditable success.


Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top