WILLIAM H. PETERSON. – Mr. Peterson, an excellent portrait of whom is placed in this history, was born in West Virginia, August 31, 1836, and removed to Missouri in 1868. He became a teacher of schools and a collector of taxes in the latter state, and was so efficient in the position last-named as to remain in office three terms. In 1876 he put behind him the vast plains of the Mississippi, and even the more expanded region of the Rocky Mountains, and made his home by the Western sea in California. Over the northern part of that state he made many peregrinations, consuming thus three and one-half years. From that point he undertook the final stage of his journey to Washington Territory, settling in Kittitass (then Yakima) county, and securing a place some nine miles east of Ellensburgh. He soon gained the confidence of the people and was elected superintendent of schools, serving two years Upon the establishment of Kittitass as a county in 1883, Mr. Peterson became auditor and has been twice chosen to the same office, declining a re-nomination in 1888. He was also appointed clerk of the district court by Judge Hoyt, and was retained by Judges Turner and Nash, a position he still holds. Other public positions have also been given him to fill; and he is a trustee of the Ellensburgh Academy.
Mr. Peterson was married in West Virginia in 1863 to Miss Anna E. Roach, and has a family of two children, Joseph W. and Virginia.
While thus himself a pioneer of the Pacific states, the records of the family to which Mr. Peterson belongs indicate that his proclivities for frontier life were honestly obtained. His father was a pioneer of Western Virginia; and his mother’s family was of extended historical fame, dating to the celebrated Colonel Elias Lowther, the founder of West Virginia.