WILLIAM P. LOCKE
William P. Locke was born at Waterville, where he still resides, April 28, 1842. He was one of a family of eleven children, ten of whom grew to man and womanhood. One of these is now in Louisville, Ky., one in California, one in Pierre, S. D., one in Ithaca, N.Y., two in the Black Hills, and three in Waterville, viz.: Mrs. A. J. Hale, George N. Locke, and W. P. Locke, the subject of this sketch and portrait herewith presented. Horace P. Locke, the father, came to Waterville in 1809, being then only four years of age. He was born at Peterboro, N. H., October 26, 1805. His father had died soon after Horace P. Locke was born, so that he had gone to live with an aunt and uncle, Captain Ford. Captain Ford, in 1809, came to Sangerfield and bought of the government a farm, about one mile east of Sangerfield Center. Horace P. remained with the Fords till the Captain's death, when the farm fell to him. Mr. Locke continued to carry on the farm until he finally returned to Waterville,. where he died. He married in 1825, Mary Gilmore, mother of the twelve children. Besides this she bore her share of the struggle in developing the farm and accumulating the property. She died in 1872.
The Lockes were descended from William Locke, of Stepney Parish, London, England, who came to this country in 1634, when only six years old. He came alone on the "Planter," at least with only friends to care for him. He settled in Massachusetts where he spent his life.
William P. Locke, after completing his education, remained at home till 1866, at which time he married Helen F. Bates, daughter of John W. Bates, of Utica, N. Y. He received his education at the Clinton Liberal Institute.
About this time Mr. Locke bought a farm adjoining the homestead, and a little later bought of his father the latter place. These farms he still owns, besides several others in the county, the product from them being mostly hops. From 1865 to 1889 Mr. Locke was engaged in hop-buying, carrying on an extensive business in that line during most of those years. He was at one time the largest hop producer in the State, and has at present about seventy acres devoted to that industry. His enterprises are not all confined to this county or State either, for he is largely interested in grape culture in Florida, and a member of the Ponce de Leon Wine Co., at Moultrie, near their vineyards. In addition to this Mr. Locke, in 1889, was one of a company to build the large hotel at Pierre, S. D., known as the "Hotel Locke," the finest hotel in that thriving young city. This place has since become famous the world over on account of the mineral springs connected therewith. The government has for some time had a similar well at the Indian school about two miles distant, which became a mecca for invalids as the curative properties of the water became known. The influx to this place was finally prohibited by the government, and this led to the putting down of the well in the town. The water stands at nearly 100 degrees and possesses such healing powers for skin diseases, rheumatism, kidney and liver troubles, that hundreds now visit it every year. The hotel is a large structure, accommodating several hundred guests.
Mr. Locke is an ardent Republican and takes an active interest in the party's welfare.
They have had four children, two of whom are now living, viz.: Emma B. and Edward G.