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In the olden days the kings and rulers of countries erected palaces, temples or shrines in honor of themselves and to serve as monuments perpetuating their memory after they had passed away, but how much more does one do for civilization and his fellow men who aids in the substantial upbuilding of a city, the promotion of enterprises that add to its prosperity or the establishment of movements that produce progress and improvement along intellectual, social and material lines. Such Michael Charles Normoyle has done. No resident of Kendrick through the past nine years has done more for the city than he, for through the establishment and conduct of private business interests he has led to the improvement and growth of the town. He is a most loyal and public-spirited citizen, and is now the possessor of a handsome capital, which has come to him through his own labors. A bellboy in a hotel at the age of ten, he is now proprietor of the St. Elmo Hotel, one of the best in the state of Idaho, and has other extensive and profitable investments which render him the heaviest taxpayer in Kendrick.
A native of Troy, New York, Mr. Normoyle was born September 8, 1853, and is of Irish lineage. His parents, John and Bessie (Clancy) Normoyle were both born in Ireland, and came to the United States with their respective parents in 1834. They were reared and married in Troy, New York, where the father followed his trade of stone cutting. He departed this life in the forty-third year of age, but his wife survives him and now resides in Kendrick, with her son Michael, at the age of seventy-five years. They were devout members of the Catholic Church. Of their six children three are now living.
Michael C. Normoyle, whose, name introduces this review, was educated in the city of Denver, Colorado, and began his present successful career as a bellboy in a hotel in Washington, D. C., when but ten years of age. He was then an active, bright, good looking little fellow, who became very popular on account of his obliging ways, and by his fidelity to duty he steadily worked his way upward, becoming successively waiter, steward and clerk, and when but eighteen years of age was proprietor of the Lindell Hotel, in Denver, Colorado. He successfully conducted it for five years, and then conducted all the eating-houses on the Rio Grande Railroad for five years. Subsequently he was actively engaged in the hotel business, conducting two hotels at a time for three years, after which he went to Palouse City, where he was in business as proprietor of the St. Elmo Hotel for two years, meeting with p-ratifying prosperity in his undertakings.
In 1890 Mr. Normoyle came to Kendrick and has been identified with the growth of the town almost from the beginning. He built a frame hotel, the first in the place, and therein entertained the visitors to Kendrick until 1892, when the building was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of fourteen thousand dollars, the accumulation of many years of active business life. With remarkable enterprise, however, he continued to care for his patrons in tents until more substantial quarters could be secured. Men of means, believing implicitly in his business ability and integrity, offered to advance him the means with which to erect a new hotel, and thus he was enabled to build the St. Elmo, a fine brick structure, together with the St. Elmo block, a two-story brick. These are the finest buildings of the town and the confidence in the future of Kendrick which Mr. Normoyle thus displayed by the erection of these substantial structures has been an important factor in the further upbuilding of the place, by causing others to invest in realty here. The hotel, two stories high, is built in the form of an L, sixty by ninety-two feet, the first story with sixteen feet between joists, the second eleven feet. It is fitted up with fine offices and parlors and twenty-four handsome sleeping apartments, and supplied with every modern convenience which will minister to the comfort of the guests. His patronage is so large that he also utilizes several rooms on the second floor of adjoining buildings. He is a most popular landlord, and his earnest desire to please his patrons, his genuine interest in their welfare, and his cordial, genial manner have gained for him many friends among the visitors to Kendrick.
The St. Elmo block is sixty by seventy-five feet, two stories in height, the lower floor making a fine double store, while the second story is fitted up with scenery, stage and chairs, making a most pleasing little opera house, where many attractive entertainments are offered the citizens of the town. Mr. Normoyle takes a deep interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of Kendrick, and lends an active support to all measures for the public good. He was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Kendrick, one of its stockholders and a member of the directorate. He is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and forty-eight acres of land adjoining the town, whereon he raises cattle, hogs, poultry, vegetables and fruit, thus supplying the hotel with nearly everything demanded by the table. He is president of the company which has furnished Kendrick with its splendid water system, the water supply being obtained from a spring on his property, four hundred and five feet above the town. They have a reservoir with a capacity of six hundred thousand gallons, three hundred feet head and on the main street a pressure of one hundred and sixty pounds to the square inch. He also has large and valuable mining interests. He furnished food and provisions to the miners who, it is believed, rediscovered the lost Robinson gold quartz mines. To operate this mine a large corporation has been formed, composed of many of the leading capitalists of Spokane, under the name of the Syndicate Gold Mining Company, and Mr. Normoyle was elected its vice-president and is one of its heavy stockholders. The mine is located in Shoshone county, in what is known as the Burnt Creek mining district, three and a half miles north of the north fork of the Clearwater river, thirty-two miles from Kendrick and twenty miles west of Pierce City. There has been over six hundred feet of work done, and competent experts estimate more than one thousand tons of high grade ore in sight, an average of eighty dollars in gold being obtained. Mr. Normoyle is entitled to the credit for the assay and developing work that has been done in this mine.
In 1872 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Aggara, and to them was born a son, Thomas Francis, who is now clerk of the district court at Butte, Montana, and a member of the Montana state legislature, and he is now only twenty-five years of age. The mother died in 1885, and Mr. Normoyle was again married, in Kendrick, in 1891, his second union being with Arra Nichols. They have two very bright little sons, George W. and Edwin N. The father is a valued member of the Masonic fraternity, the Eastern Star and of the Odd Fellows society, of which he is representative for Idaho to the grand lodge of the state of Louisiana. He is a charter member of Kendrick Lodge, No. 26, F. & A. M., formerly served as master and is now its efficient secretary. In politics he is a Democrat, but has had neither time nor inclination to seek office, although he served as a member of the first city council of Kendrick. He possesses marked business and executive ability, keen discrimination and sound judgment, and his resolute purpose has enabled him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he has undertaken. His life has been well spent and successful, and his capital is the merited reward of indefatigable effort. In manner he is free from all ostentation and display, but his intrinsic worth is recognized and his friendship is most prized by those who know him best, showing that his character will bear the scrutiny of close acquaintance. He is a generous-spirited, broadminded man, a true type of the American spirit and an embodiment of that progress which in the last few years has drawn to this country the admiring gaze of the nations of the world.