Edward Gray Will
M the orchards were blossoming in
the states, and the farmers were
beginning their spring work, a municipal election was held in Nome. It
was the annual election of city officers,
which occurs on the first Tuesday in
April. Some difficulty was experienced in inducing representative citizens
to become candidates, as there is no
salary in any of the elective municipal
offices, except that of municipal magistrate, but there is a great deal of thankless work to be done. At a mass meet-
ing in the Seventh Ward, Mr. E. G.
Will was unanimously nominated as
a candidate for the council. The
nomination was unsolicited, but com-
ing to him in this way Mr. Will felt
that it was his duty to accept the nomination. In the campaign he made a
number of public speeches which showed the people that he had oratorical
ability and was a student of political
economy, entertaining advanced ideas
on the subject of socialism and believing
in a government "of the people, for the
people and by the people." He was elected by a splendid majority.
The fact came to light during this campaign that Mr. Will always had taken a
deep interest, if not active part, in politics, being led thereto by industrial tendencies, and
the firmly rooted idea which he has often expressed that "the wealth producers should
cease to be the slaves of the wealth absorbers." When a resident of South Dakota in
1890 he helped to organize the Independent Party, which was afterward merged into
the Populist Party, and in 1896 he took the stump in behalf of Wm. J. Bryan.
Mr. Will was born in Iowa May 24, 1861. His parents were James Will and
Margaret Gray Will, of Dundee, Scotland. When he was twenty-one he owned a stock
ranch in Jerauld County, South Dakota, and this was his home for thirteen years. In
1 895 he moved to Le Mars, Iowa, where he resided until 1 898, when he went to Dawson and engaged in mining. He came to Nome in 1900, and since then has been mining
and conducting a transfer and freighting business.
E. G. Will and Miss Lizzie M. Prescott were married in Preston, Minn., Dec.
24, 1884. They have five children, two sons and three daughters, all born in South
Dakota. Their names are Cameron Gray, Julia Enid, Lizzie Marie, Edward Clarkson
and Bessie Rowena. The family recently removed from Le Mars to a new home built
for them on University Heights, Seattle.
Mr. Will is an aggressive and industrious business man, who believes in the lines
where Bobbie Burns says:
"To win Dame Fortune's smile
Assiduously wait upon her.
And gather gear by every wile
That's justified by honor.
Not to hide it in a hedge
Nor for a train attendant,
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent."
He is a student and a thinker who has the courage of his convictions. He does not
hesitate to express his ideas on ethical subjects, and he usually expresses himself well. The
man who interprets the truth as he sees it is rendering his best service to his fellow men.
Source: Nome and Seward Peninsula by
E. S. Harrison. Seattle: The Metropolitan Press, 1905.