William Lincoln Dudley was born at Yreka, California, June 29, 1864. His father, John Dudley, for several years was engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods at Lowell, Massachusetts. He came to California in 1861, and from that time until 1867 was engaged in mining at Yreka. In 1868 he came to Portland. and has since been Superintendent and Manager of the Portland Gas Company, and held the same position in the Portland Water Works Company, until the property was sold to the City in 1885.
The subject of this sketch was educated at the public schools of Portland, graduating from the High School in 1879. In 1880 he was appointed Assistant Cashier of the Portland Gas Company, serving in that capacity until 1887, when he was nominated on the Republican County Ticket as candidate for Recorder of Conveyances for Multnomah County. He was elected by a majority of more than 2,600 votes, receiving the second highest number of votes on the Republican ticket, and has now nearly completed his term as Recorder, his administration having been in every way highly satisfactory to the people, irrespective of party lines. He has recently been nominated by his party for a second term, and as these sheets go to press, the election is only a few weeks distant.
In 1886 Mr. Dudley was the leading factor in the establishment of the Dudley Packing Company. This company manufactures and deals in packing for steam engines, and has been a most prosperous enterprise. A branch office has been opened in Chicago to facilitate the trade of the Company. Mr. Dudley has been Secretary of the Company since its organization. He was also, for some three years, engaged in the real estate business, at one time as a partner with Frank Cartwright, and later with H. Glenn. His success in this line of business evinced rare judgment, his speculations being rewarded with uniform good results, and some of them being peculiarly fortunate, netting him large returns upon his investments.
Mr. Dudley has taken a deep interest in military matters. He has served one term in the National Guards as a member of Company “G,” and is now serving a second term, and acting as Secretary of the Company.
A deservedly high reputation both as a business man and as a public officer, has been attained by Mr. Dudley earlier in life than falls to the lot of most men. At the present time he is perhaps the youngest official in the State occupying a position of equal responsibility and importance, and to say that he has proven himself thoroughly competent, is not only the truth, but surely a record of which he has a right to feel a pardonable pride. At an age when most men have barely commenced their career, he is thoroughly established in the confidence and good opinion of the people, which, with his exemplary habits and character, and the possession of unusual good judgment and business sagacity, make him a most creditable representative of the young business men of Portland, and one whose future, judged by the past, is bright with promise.