Born in Lunden, Germany, William Koerner was a noted magazine and book illustrator whose work was characterized by strong draftsmanship and an eye for detail. He immigrated with his family to the United States in 1880, and they settled in Clinton, Iowa. At age 20, he became a rapid-hand illustrator for the Chicago Tribune. By 1901, he was attending classes at the Art Institute in Chicago, and four years later enrolled in the Art Students League in New York. When illustrator Howard Pyle accepted him for formal instruction, it was a major career boost. In 1924, Koerner first went West, traveling in a seven passenger Buick. He camped extensively and continued to travel to California via the Santa Fe Railroad. Zane Grey, popular novelist, used his illustrations in his novels. Koerner worked primarily from New York but kept a summer studio near the Crow reservation in Montana. He settled in Interlachen, New Jersey and built a studio there, which is replicated at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.