Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi
William J. Brotherton was born on New Year’s Day in 1950, the first baby born for that year in Spartanburg, South Carolina. For that accomplishment, his mother received a year’s supply of cloth diapers. Fleeing a polio epidemic, the young family settled in Atlanta, Georgia, where William grew up amidst the railroads of the South, often hopping freight trains into downtown in order to hang out in the city’s two beautiful railroad terminals.
After moving to North Dakota in 1977, he went to work for the Burlington Northern Railroad and lived his dream of railroading in the days of the caboose. In addition to railroading, William has worked as an oilfield roughneck in Montana, driven tractor-trailers, operated wastewater treatment plants, trained as a respiratory therapist, built high-rises as a commercial carpenter, and taught environmental law at both Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. An attorney in Dallas-Fort Worth today, he is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Museum of the American Railroad, and recently wrote a series of articles about the dangers of railroad quiet zones, which were published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He is working on his next book, “Peachtree Hills”, about growing up in small-town Atlanta, when life itself was an adventure.