The following data is extracted from Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties, Oregon.
WILLIAM ECCLES. - Among the giants of achievement in our county perhaps there are none that stand higher in the estimation of the people, while he manipualtes great business interests not only that are vitally connected with the welfare of our county but that are far reaching in the great industries of the land, that he of whom we would attempt to give in brief review the salient points of his life's history. Great breadth of comprehension, coupled with keen financial foresight and fine executive ability, together with excellent judgment in the business affairs of men, are some of the qualities that have made William Eccles a prominent figure in the northwest.
We are made aware of the stanch integirty and intrinsic worth of our subject when we learn that is birthplace was Scotland, having come of a sturyd family of fine quality and ability. The year of his birth was 1860, and his parents, William and Sarah (Hutchinson) Eccles came to Ogden, Utah, in 1864. The father was a master workman at the turner's lathe and in the quiet and steady pursuit of this industry he occupied his time and gained meawhile the high estimation of his fellows and rose to prominence in his church, that of the Latter Day Saints. His ability and integrity are manifest, and he is entrusted with responsible functions in these relations. Our subject faced the world at the time of his majority, being girded for activity and soon we find him in the lumber business, in which capacity he straighway rose to prominence and amassed a property that was commendable and gratifying. At the present time he has large interests in Utah, Oregon and Washington, and is a controlling factor in much of hte manipulation of this mammoth industry. The tireless energy and bright talens of Mr. Eccles were not satisfied with this triumph in one line of industry, but he has added to this that he is treasurer of the Sumpter Valley Railroad, making him prominent in the circles of the controllers of the O.R.&N.R.R. In the electric system of Baker City Mr. Eccles has a large interest. But in the manufacture of the staple product of sugar Mr. Eccles has gained a prominence that stamps him as a leader in no uncertain terms. He is manager of the Oregon Sugar Company at Lagrande, but in addition to this he also has large interests in factories at Logan and Ogden, Utah. The combined output of these large factories gives Mr. Eccles, with his associates, the control of such a large quantity of this product that he is recognized as no mean antagonist in the markets of the land. In the circles of his church he has been favored with the confidence nad esteem of his fellows in a marked degree, being connected with the leading and progresive movements of hte church and always laboring for its welfare and interests.
The marriage of Mr. Eccles and Miss Marion; daughter of Hans and Marion Schow, was consummated in 1884 and they have been blessed by the advent of the following children: William, Pearl; Arnold, who passed away in 1901 and is buried in Ogden; Roland, celia, Irma, Marion, Walker and Thelma. Mrs. Eccles parents came to Utah in an early day and were in the memorable party known as the Hand Cart Company. They are prominent members of the church of the Latter Day Saints or Mormon church. We are favored in the person of Mr. Eccles by one of the foremost men of the county, having been a leader in every enterprise that he has taken up, and to his efforts are due much of the progress and prosperity of our county to-day, having given his widom and energy in unstinted measure to the advancement of the same. In uprightnes and stanch principles of worth as well as in amiableness he has always excelled and has gained the high regards of all.
Source: Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties, Oregon