William Mashiter was born in Woodford County, Cheshire, England and brought up as a farmer. His father was the first Vicar of Woodford.
He left England in May 1870. in 1874 he arrived in Victoria after first travelling to California. He worked in canneries along the Skeena River and took part in the Cassiar Gold Rush. He came to Vancouver via the Lillooet-Squamish tarail and canoed down Howe Sound. He also operated a logging camp on the Fraser River for one and a half years.
William arrived in Granville (now Gastown) in November 1884. He opened a general store in Granville on Water Street. The store burned in the "great fire" on June 13, 1886. By June 16, 1886, he had already rebuilt the store.
Between 1889 to 1890, he rode a sleigh on Marine Drive. He was one of teh two survivors when a tree fell on the sleigh. Four people died.
In 1890, William came up to Squamish and took over the Magee farm. In 1891 he built a store and post office at the foot of Winnipeg Street (present site of the Shell Bulk Plant). It was the only store until 1905. The store had a small dock, "Mashiter's Landing" that was serviced twice weekly by the S.S. Defiance and Saturna. He was the post master until 1903.
William also ran a boat service across the channel to where the Pentecostal Church now stands.
He married Elizabeth Atkinson (from Cumberland, England) in Vancouver on May 21, 1894. In 1902, he sold his business to David Galbraith and went to England for the summer with his wife. During his absence, William Brohm built "Mashiter House". It was a landmark until it was torn down in 1964 to clear the way for Overwaitea (later the location of Fields).
In 1909, school was held in the Mashiter's old store house. In 1915 he donated land and grounds for the first proper school in Squamish (Mashiter School). He remained an official of the School Board for several years.
In September 1925, Mrs Mashiter died at age 78 and was buried in Brackendale. She had been the first president of the Ladies Guild for the Anglican Church.
In the 1930's, he lost most of his property to taxes in the depression. He continued to farm hay until his death.
Memorials: Mashiter Creek, Mashiter School, altar windows and brass plaque in St. John's (memorial to Mrs Mashiter), and a Carved Oak Lecturn (memorial to Mr Mashiter).