William Buckingham was born in Crediton, Devonshire, England, in 1832. His newspaper career began as a shorthand writer with the North of England Press. He came to Canada in 1857 and joined the parliamentary reporting staff of the Toronto Globe. In 1859, he went with William Coldwell to Red River, Man., to found the first newspaper on the prairies, the Nor’Wester. The hand press was bought in Toronto and the equipment in St. Paul, and all was transported by oxcart to Red River, a six-week trip. The first issue of the paper appeared on Dec. 28, 1859. Though favourably received, it was not a financial success.
Buckingham returned east in 1861 and became editor of the Simcoe Reformer. From 1863 to 1873, he was editor of the Stratford Beacon, and in 1866 he acted as the official reporter of the London Conference on the Confederation Bill. From 1873 to 1878, he was secretary to the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, and in 1878 appointed deputy minister of the interior.
In 1881 he wrote a series of articles in the Toronto Globe on the possibilities of Manitoba as a farming district. He was president of the Canadian Press Association in 1868. He was also author of Recollections of Canadian Statesmen and joint author with Sir George Ross of The Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, His Life and Times (Toronto, 1892). He died in Stratford, Ont., on June 11, 1915. Source: Manitoba Historical Society