Editor’s Note: This is the 341st in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
UNTINGTON — For years, The Herald-Dispatch farm and garden column written by William D. Click — better known as “Farmer Bill” — was one of the newspaper’s most popular features, and his regular broadcasts on WSAZ radio and television were equally popular.
Click was born in Jackson County, Kentucky, in 1889. The youngest of 12 children, he graduated from Berea College.
In 1914, he came to West Virginia as an agricultural extension agent in Nicholas County, traveling from farm to farm by horseback. In a 1949 interview, he recalled helping build the first silo ever erected in Nicholas County.
Continuing to work as an extension agent, Click moved to Lincoln County in 1919, to Wayne County in 1921 and Cabell County in 1930, traveling the countryside and encouraging farmers to adopt the latest agricultural methods. He began writing his newspaper column during World War II, encouraging readers to plant “Victory Gardens” to help ease the nation’s critical need for food.
Click retired from the WVU Extension Service in 1952. After that he devoted full time to his radio-TV and newspaper activities.
Over the years, he not only dispensed expert advice to farmers, but he was happy to help home gardeners as well. He offered a newspaper reader or TV viewer with a sickly plant in his or her backyard the same attention and encouragement he gave someone with a 500-acre commercial farm.
“Farmer Bill” Click was 71 when he died in 1960.