The Post Falls History Walk

William "Bill" Wilson

 

 

 

1872-1950

 

Area’s first black resident

Immigrated from Michigan

Operated a successful truck garden business

Befriended two families whose fathers had been killed in accidents

Well liked and respected by neighbors and friends

 

 

“Human kindness transcends color, race or creed.  It  knows no boundaries, and is never forgotten”.

 

Kimberly Rice Brown

2008 

 

 

 

William “Bill” Wilson

 

Bill Wilson, the area’s first black resident owned and operated a successful truck garden business near the corner of Poleline Avenue and Highway 41.

 

He arrived on the train in 1930 with a team of horses and some equipment from a successful truck garden operation in Onata, Michigan.

 

He raised a variety of garden products, including potatoes, tomatoes, and row crops.  He milked cows and sold the milk and cream to the local creamery in Coeur d’ Alene.  He delivered produce and sold it from his home also.

 

He pressed his apples and made cider.  His apples also ended up in pies, which he shared with the local children.

 

During the Depression, he helped local families with food and housing.  When two local families lost their fathers to work-related deaths, Bill helped the mothers and children with food and a helping hand.

 

Bill had lived with segregation and racism, but in Post Falls, his actions were recognized and appreciated at the time, and long after his death.

 

 

Post Falls History Walk Project, 2007-2008

Research and lecture by Kimberly Rice Brown

Files of Post Falls Historical Society

Oral Video Histories

Kootenai County Genealogical Society &

Darlene “Dee” Whittum Ternes, Lester Hunt, 2008

 

 

 

Creating Mr. Wilson's Figure

The creation of Bill Wilson's figure posed a challenge as no known photographs of him are in existence.  The mural artist, Linda Fabrizius, called upon her skills as a former forensic artist.  She spent time with the former children Bill befriended, now elderly, to develop his likeness.

Mr. Wilson's figure is currently kept inside the Post Falls Historical Museum on Spokane Street. 

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