In any community, east or west, the man who is for any considerable time kept in public office is one who has proven himself zealous and efficient in the discharge of duties devolving upon him in official position. It is the old story, many times repeated, of “faithfulness in small things.” These reflections have been encouraged by contemplation of the successful career of one of the prominent officials of Kootenai County and the first judicial district of Idaho.
John C. Callahan was born in Massachusetts, January 28, 1859, a son of John and Hannah (Tuohey) Callahan, natives of Ireland, who came to the United States, he at twenty-one, she at seven, and were married in Massachusetts and lived there until 1861, when they removed to Iowa. There they remained for thirty years.
Mr. Callahan received a common-school education in Iowa, and in 1881 engaged in the hotel business in that state. He continued it in Minnesota and in Montana, where he lived for seven years. In 1891 he came to Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, bringing with him his wife and son. He was employed in different ways until 1896, by which time he had become so well known and popular as a citizen that he was elected assessor and collector of taxes of Kootenai county, on the silver Republican ticket, by a majority of eighty-two, and in 1898, upon a Democratic, silver Republican, Populist fusion ticket, he was elected clerk of the district court of the first judicial district of Idaho, by a majority of four hundred and eighty. Until 1896 he was a Republican “of the straight sect,” but at that time he became a silver Republican, in deference to I what he believed to be the best interests of the state. A man of liberal information and of broad and generous views, he is regarded as a citizen of great public spirit and usefulness. He was made a Knight of Pythias in Acme Lodge, No. 10, of Miles City, Montana. In 1881 he married Miss Carrie Soules, a native of Elgin, Illinois, and they have a son named Fred L.