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There is a sprinkling of English blood in Idaho which adds to the moral and financial vitality of the state. One of the leading citizens of Blackfoot of English birth is ex-County Treasurer Henry W. Curtis, who was also the pioneer hardware merchant of that city. Mr. Curtis was born in London, England, August 9, 1854. His father, Joseph H. Curtis, of an old English family, married Miss Sarah Morrell, a native of London. They had seven children born to them in England, and in 1860 they came to the United States, to found a home in the New World. Mr. Curtis was a silk-weaver by trade and for about a year was employed at stocking-weaving in Philadelphia. In 1861 the family moved to Utah, and there the father died in 1877, aged sixty-four years. His wife has attained the age of eighty-four, and their children are all living.
Henry W. Curtis, the youngest of the seven, was educated in public schools of Utah and began to earn his living at the early age of nine years. He has not only depended on himself since that time, but has helped others, and may be called a self-educated man. In his early efforts to get on in the world he engaged four years in freighting from Corinne, Utah, to different points in Montana. In 1874 he embarked in the hardware business and general manufacture of tinware, and in 1885 became the first hardware merchant of Blackfoot, where he met with well deserved success. He has proven himself a business man of first-class ability, and the favor with which he has been received and which has resulted in the building up of a large trade through-out all of Blackfoot tributary territory, has been won by honest methods and the policy of giving full value in every transaction, large or small. Mr. Curtis has a genial manner and a hearty courtesy which gain him friends not only numerous but warm and steadfast. Possessed of a generous disposition and much public spirit, he has interested himself in every movement for the public good, and he has been a useful citizen whose good offices are appreciated by the people of Blackfoot. He was twice elected, as a Republican, to the office of county treasurer and performed its duties to the satisfaction of every good citizen.
Mr. Curtis was made a Mason in Grove City Lodge, No. 33, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and has passed every chair in the local Odd Fellows lodge and is a Modern Woodman of America.
In 1870 Mr. Curtis married Miss Luella Benson, who bore him a son, Harry B. Curtis, who is one of Blackfoot’s most prominent young men and is a valuable assistant to his father in his business. Mrs. Curtis died in 1881. She was a woman of great ability and of the truest worth, and her loss was felt keenly not only in her own household, but throughout her large circle of acquaintance. After the expiration of nine years, in 1890, Mr. Curtis married Miss Agnes E. Millen, who was of Scotch parentage and a native of Minnesota. She died in March 1895, leaving two daughters, Lola and Sadie. She had proven herself a loving wife and mother and a woman of value to the community, and her death caused sorrow to all who knew her. Mr. Curtis has since lived a single life, comforted by the affection of his children.