Archibald Gammell, county assessor and tax collector of Latah County, now residing in Moscow, is a native of Nova Scotia, his birth having occurred February 23, 1835. He is descended from Scotch-Irish ancestry, of Presbyterian faith. William Gammell was the progenitor of the family in the New World. He crossed the Atlantic to Nova Scotia about 1776, since which time three generations of the family have been born there. Industry, uprightness and reliability are the chief characteristics of the Gammells, and they are also noted for longevity, most of the name having attained the age of eighty years or more. John Gammell, the grandfather, and William K. Gammell, the father of our subject, were both born in Nova Scotia, and the latter married Miss Martha Millen, a native of Ireland. They had seven children, but three are now deceased. The mother departed this life in her eighty-first year, and the father survived her only twenty-eight days. They were about the same age, and had celebrated their fifty-sixth wedding anniversary. In religious belief they were Presbyterians, and their upright lives exemplified their faith.
Archibald Gammell is now the eldest of the surviving members of the family. He was reared on his father’s farm, educated in the common schools, and entered upon his independent business career as an employee in a woolen factory. He also learned the miller’s trade in a flouring mill, and in 1875 removed to Petaluma, California, where he was engaged in the draying business for three years. He met with moderate success in that undertaking, and in 1878 came to Idaho, securing a farm on American ridge, in the Potlatch country, in Latah County. Here for twenty-one years he has carried on agricultural pursuits and has greatly improved his property, now raising large crops of wheat, barley, corn and flax, together with an abundance of fruit for home consumption. His wheat crops have yielded as high as thirty-eight bushels to the acre, and through his well directed efforts he has become one of the prosperous farmers of this rich section of the county and one of the most progressive, practical, and influential agriculturists.
In 1868 Mr. Gammell married Miss Agnes Brenton, a native of Nova Scotia, who shares with him his pleasant home. In politics he has always been a zealous Republican, and in 1898 he was elected on that ticket to the office of assessor and tax collector, which position he is now filling in a most satisfactory manner. The assessment of the county in 1898 reached the sum of two million seven hundred thousand dollars. In his social relations Mr. Gammell is a Mason, having taken the preliminary degrees in Eureka Lodge, No. 17, F. & A. M., in Nova Scotia; the Royal Arch degrees in Keith Chapter, No. 3, traveling thirty miles in order to become initiated into the mysteries of capitular Masonry. He is a worthy exemplar of the teachings of this ancient and beneficent fraternity, but his remoteness from the lodge makes it impossible for him to take an active part in ritualistic work. He and his estimable wife are members of the Presbyterian Church at Juliaetta, and now attend the services of that denomination in Moscow. They have many friends in the county where they have so long resided and are highly esteemed by all with whom they have come in contact.