William Gladstone Steel, as a school boy in Kansas, reads a newspaper article telling of the discovery of Crater Lake and determines to visit the Lake. The newspaper had been wrapped around his lunch. Will’s father, William, was from Scotland and was a first cousin of the late Prime Minister Gladstone. After moving to Ohio, William Steel, Sr. became active as a prominent abolitionist by moving slaves through the Underground Railroad.(see 1911)
“I was a farmer’s boy in southern Kansas and attended school 5 miles distant. My lunch was carried in a newspaper, the advantage of which was that I had no basket or bucket to carry home. One warm day in May or June, I sat in the schoolroom eating the contents of that paper. When through I scanned the columns, reading the short articles, among which was one descriptive of a sunken lake that had been discovered in Oregon. It was said to be 5,000 feet below the surface of the surrounding country, with vertical walls so that no human body could reach the water. In the center of it was an island 1,5000 feet high, with an extinct crater in the top. In all of my life I never read an article that took the intense hold on me that that one did and I then and there determined to go to Oregon and to visit that lake and to go down to the water.” Will G. Steel, from a speech given in 1917 at the National Parks Conference in Washington, D.C.