W. F. Nichols, manager and part owner of the King City Mercantile Company, was born at Aptos, Santa Cruz county; California, February 10, 1884. His father, Benjamin C. Nichols, came to that county in 1852, when the state of California was but two years old. He built and operated one of the first sawmills in the county and later followed agricultural pursuits. He married Miss Margaret Ward and the subject of this sketch is one of the children born to this union.
After receiving a common school education W. F. Nichols learned telegraphy. While still in his teens he was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company at various stations along the coast division. At the age of twenty years he came to King City as agent and operator for that company. In 1908 he severed his connection with the railroad company and for the next two years had charge of the Standard Oil Company’s King City office. He was then for several years employed by various mercantile concerns, and at one time was bookkeeper for the H. A. F. Mercantile Company.
In 1917 Mr. Nichols was one of a company that bought out A. Wideman & Company of King City and reorganized the business under the name of the King City Mercantile Company. Of this company J. C. Falkenberg is president ; S. Dedini, vice president; W. F. Nichols, secretary and general manager; and G. S. Dedini, treasurer. Much of its success is due to the management and foresight of Mr. Nichols, who has constantly studied the demands of the trade and taken the steps to supply that demand.
Mr. Nichols is a member of the Chamber of Commerce of King City; was one of the organizers of the Merchants Association, of which he is president ; and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of America. In 1907 he married Miss Grace Eade, of King City, and they have one son, Fred, Jr.
Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California’s history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925.