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Wherever his lot may be cast in the north, the intelligent, progressive southerner finds a welcome and makes many friends. If he fought on “the other side” in our great civil war, he is everywhere regarded more highly than the southern union man or the southern non-combatant. He is made to feel at home by Grand Army men and is quickly on fraternal terms with those whom once he faced on the field of battle.
William Kirkpatrick is one of the prominent pioneer farmers of Blackfoot, Idaho, where he located in 1873, on one hundred and sixty acres, west of the town site, which property he still owns. The county was then unsurveyed and had few inhabitants except Indians, with whom the whites at times had misunderstandings but managed to evade actual warfare. Mr. Kirkpatrick improved his property, cultivated it profitably and gave much attention to stock raising. He has a fine water right and is enabled to raise large quantities of alfalfa hay, upon which he feeds his stock in winter. He has become an influential citizen and is a Democrat of the deepest dye, declaring his intention to vote the Democratic ticket as long as he lives. His ideals of military genius and statesmanship are Robert E. Lee and Grover Cleveland. He is active in partisan work and in the conventions of his party. In 1878 he did faithful and efficient service to his fellow citizens as deputy sheriff, and in that capacity won an enviable reputation as a reliable and fearless public officer.
Mr. Kirkpatrick is a southerner, having been born in Greenbrier county, Virginia (now West Virginia), December 3, 1842, and was descended from English ancestors who settled early in the Old Dominion, where several generations of his family were born. His father, George Kirkpatrick, a native of Virginia, married Miss Malinda Dean. They were religious from childhood and active and useful members of the Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Kirkpatrick was an elder. Mrs. Kirkpatrick died in the forty-third year of her life and her husband survives her, aged eighty-three. They had ten children, eight of whom are living.
William Kirkpatrick, third child of George and Malinda (Dean) Kirkpatrick, was educated in Virginia, and when the anti-slavery agitation culminated in the war between the states, he espoused the cause of the south, enlisting in Company E, twenty-sixth Virginia Battalion, which for a time was attached to the Western Army and did scout and guard duty in West Virginia. Later Mr. Kirkpatrick took part in some of the hard-fought battles of the great struggle. He was in the fighting at Winchester, Cedar Creek, Cold Harbor, Culpeper Court House, White Sulphur Springs, Charleston, Hawk’s Nest and at various other points. In one of these engagements he was shot in the right shoulder, but though his wound was painful, he bore up bravely and never left his company. At Cold Harbor, one of the most terrific engagements of the war, his hearing was impaired by the incessant concussions of heavy cannonading. At the time of the surrender of General Lee, the Twenty-sixth Battalion was in its home state, and it disbanded and its members went to their homes without either discharge or parole.
For a time after the war Mr. Kirkpatrick was overseer of a large stock farm in West Virginia, owned by a prominent citizen of that state. From there he came to Idaho, in 1873, as has been stated, to engage in stock raising on his own account. After spending two years here as a single man, he married Miss Ann Geret, a native of England. They have six children: John, Edward, William, George Cleveland, James and Millie.
Mr. Kirkpatrick is a genial, whole souled man who makes friends wherever he goes, and his home is one of the most hospitable at Blackfoot.