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Biography of William F. Sommercamp

William F. Sommercamp, the leading merchant of Weiser, Idaho, is a native son of the golden west. He was born in California, February 16, 1860, and comes of German ancestry. His father, William F. Sommercamp, was born in Germany and when a young man emigrated to America, landing at New Orleans, where for a time he followed his trade, that of confectioner. Subsequently he married Miss Mary Slack, of Zanesville, Ohio, and shortly after their marriage they removed to California, where he engaged in mining. In 1864 he came over into Idaho and became one of the prominent miners and stock-raisers of Owyhee County. He died in the sixty-second year of his age. His widow is living, aged fifty-nine years, and of their children, three daughters and seven sons, only four are now living, three sons and a daughter. William F., the subject of this sketch, is the eldest of the family. He was in his fifth year when they moved to Idaho and located in Silver City, and in the public schools of this place his education was begun. Later he attended St. Augustine College, at Benicia, and, after clerking three years in a mercantile establishment, took a course in Heald’s Business College, San Francisco, where he graduated in due time. After his graduation he accepted a position in a San Francisco wholesale house, where he remained three years. Next, we find him at Bodie employed as bookkeeper for Gilson, Barber & Company, and afterward he was for two years receiving teller in the Bodie Bank. Returning to Silver City at the end of that time, he became...

Biography of Mrs. C. B. Cary

MRS. C.B. CARY. – This refined woman and intelligent lady, one of our earliest pioneers, comes of one of the old Virginia families of English or Cavalier origin; whose members, in the early days of the Old Dominion, took and held an advanced social position. She was born at Richmond in 1815, and at the age of four moved to Kentucky with her father, William Taylor. In 1831 she was married to Miles S. Cary, one of the pioneer sons of Kentucky, with his full share of southern chivalrousness and western energy. In 1835 they moved to Missouri, and were prospered in their efforts to make a home and carry on business. In the winter of 1842, however, their attention was called to the advantages of Oregon by a neighbor of theirs, a certain Squire Vivian, a merchant, who, on a visit to St. Louis on business, had found a pamphlet on Oregon written by Doctor Whitman, and was so much impressed by the value and possibilities of that country as there described that he determined to go thither the coming summer. The Carys, reading the document, also formed the same purpose. The Squire was unable to accomplish the design owing to the sickness of his wife; but the Cary’s collected their all into wagons and early in the spring of 1843, set out for the rendezvous on the Missouri. They also drove a considerable band of cattle, expecting to kill them for beef if necessary, or otherwise to drive them through, and thus to have the nucleus of a herd in the new home. For a time with...

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