William W. Storms, who since January, 1911, has been district attorney in Racine County, was born in Walworth County, Wisconsin, March 22, 1872, a son of Charles L. and Lucia C. (Spoor) Storms. The father, who was born in Wisconsin, was a son of Winslow P. Storms, of New York, who became one of the pioneer settlers of the southern section of this state, where he arrived in the early ’30s. The supremacy of the white man had hardly been established in this district at that period and the work of civilization and development seemed scarcely begun. He aided largely in promoting pioneer progress and hi the early days conducted a tavern on the old plank road. The maternal grandfather, John Spoor, was also a pioneer settler who came to Wisconsin in the ’30s, establishing his home in Lyons Township, Walworth County, where he carried on general farming. Charles L. Storms was a carpenter by trade.
In the public schools of Burlington, -Wisconsin, William W. Storms pursued his education, the family having removed from Walworth County to Burlington about 1879. He passed through consecutive grades to the high school, from which he was graduated in 1888, and later he attended Beloit College, displaying special aptitude in his studies. Taking up the profession of teaching in Racine County, he was for five years principal of the high school at Union Grove, Wisconsin, and was assistant superintendent of the high school at Burlington, Wisconsin, for a year, making a most enviable record as an educator. He was afterward elected County superintendent of schools, which position he filled from January, 1899, until January, 1903, and during that period several substantial improvements were made in the school system of the County. He had previously read law and in further preparation for the profession he attended the law department of the University of Wisconsin, from which he was graduated with the class of 1905. However, he was admitted to the bar in 1904 and entered upon active practice in Racine on the 17th of September of that year. He continued in the private practice of law for about six years and in 1910 was made the candidate on the republican ticket for the office of district attorney. The election returns proved that he was the choice of the people for the position, which he has occupied continuously since January, 1911. He has also during this period served as a member of the school board, remaining in that position for seven years.
On the 23d of June, 1906, Mr. Storms was married to Miss Edith Hanson, a daughter of H. I. and Anna Hanson. Her father was a retail meat merchant of Racine, but is now living retired. Mr. and Mrs. Storms have had two children, but Kathryn, their first born, died in infancy. William Wallace, the surviving son, was born May 20, 1909.
Mr. Storms is a prominent Mason, belonging to lodge, chapter, council, consistory and to the Mystic Shrine. Of the Knights of Pythias lodge of Racine he is a past chancellor commander and he is also connected with the Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorassan. He is a member of the Elks and the Eagles and belongs to Rochester lodge, No. 1, I. O. O. F., in which his father and his grandfather held membership, the latter having been one of the first representatives of the order in the state. Mr. Storms is also connected with the Order of the Eastern Star and with two college fraternities, the Delta Tau Delta and the Phi Alpha Delta. He is a member of the Commercial club and of the Wisconsin Republican club. A recognized leader of the Republican Party in Wisconsin, he has served as a delegate to the national convention. His official record as district attorney is most creditable. In five years he has conducted but one case in which the verdict of not guilty has been returned, He conducted the grand jury investigation of the Commercial & Savings Bank of Racine. which was the first occasion on which the grand jury had been called in Racine in sixty years. Nature endowed him with keen mentality and he has used his talents wisely and well. He has a comprehensive knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence, is correct in their application to the points in litigation and has won a well deserved reputation as a most able and successful lawyer.