William G. Waddel Biography


This biography appears on pages 1090-1091 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) and was scanned, OCRed and edited by Maurice Krueger, mkrueger@iw.net.


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William G. Waddel, a well known member of the Day county bar and now filling the office of states attorney at Webster, was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, June 29, 1870, and is descended from Scotch ancestry that was early established on American soil. His ancestors went into Kentucky with Daniel Boone and aided in colonizing the "dark and bloody ground." William Waddel, the grandfather of William G. Waddel, was born in Ohio and at an early day removed to Wisconsin, where he followed the occupation of farming and spent the remainder of his life. His son, W. W. Waddel, was born in Wisconsin in 1842, was reared to farm work and also learned and followed the carpenter's trade for a time. He also worked in the lead mines of Wisconsin prior to the Civil war.


He married Elizabeth Garner, who was born in the Badger State in 1849, a daughter of Daywald Garner, and a native of Pennsylvania, who removed to Wisconsin in 1851 and there resided until called to his final rest. Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Waddel continued to make their home in that state until 1874, when they removed to Iowa. They became the parents of eight children, seven of whom survive: William G.; Thomas Warren, now living upon a farm in Iowa; Arthur, a resident farmer of Day county; Reuben, who follows farming in tile same county; Nellie, the wife of Myron Kanago, who lives upon a farm in Day county; and Fred and Edward both of whom are farming in Day county. The father was a successful man, carefully directing his business affairs and improving his opportunities until he was the possessor of a handsome competence, being financially well off at the time of his death, which occurred in November, 1912. His widow survives. He attended the Methodist Episcopal Church and in his political belief was a republican. William G. Waddel was but four years of age when his parents left Wisconsin for Iowa and in the public schools of the latter state he pursued his preliminary education. He was afterward graduated from the College of Law of the State University of South Dakota with the class of 1904 and entered upon the active practice of his chosen profession at Webster, this state, in connection with E. L. Sheldon, who was the first law student enrolled in the State University, while Mr. Waddel was the second. Their partnership was continued for two years and at the present time Mr. Waddel is a partner of Frank Anderson, their legal business being conducted under the firm style of Anderson & Waddel. He has secured a liberal clientage and his practice has been of an important character. He has proven himself able to cope with involved legal problems and to find for them a correct solution and it is well known that he is most careful and painstaking in the preparation of his cases.


In 1900 Mr. Waddel was united in marriage to Miss Eliza M. Otis, who was born in Union county, South Dakota, a daughter of John J. Otis, who was a miller and millwright and built some of the first mills in South Dakota, having removed to this state, then a territory, in 1877. To Mr. and Mrs. Waddel have been born four children: Sterling, twelve years of age, the first son born to any law graduate of the State University; Garner, aged ten; Kenneth, seven; and Harold, five years of age. The family attends the Methodist Episcopal Church and Mr. Waddel belongs to the Knights of Pythias fraternity. His political endorsement is given to the Republican Party and upon that ticket he was elected to the office of states attorney in 1912 and again in 1914. His entire attention is given to the duties of his position and to his private law practice. He also has farming interests in Day County, owning a good tract of land. His has been an active life crowned with a gratifying measure of success that is the fitting reward of his intelligently applied effort and his close adherence to the high ideals of the profession.