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Prominent Cities and Towns of the State

Boise, The Capital City The following descriptive article is an excerpt from the souvenir edition of the Boise Sentinel, issued in June 1897: So much has been said and written and sung of “Boise, the Beautiful,” that the task of saying any-thing new seems utterly hopeless; and of this there is little need. While those who have made their homes here from the beginning, and those who from year to year have come to stay, might naturally be expected to be most fervent in their praises, they have not always been the happiest in laying appropriate tributes before the shrine of the object of their love and admiration. Strangers and transient visitors have often been more fortunate in their offerings. Perhaps the first question that arises in the mind of a stranger in regard to this locality is why was it so named. After more than a third of a century has passed since the first human habitation was erected on the present site of the town, and after the story has been so often repeated in print, the inquiry continues to be daily made. Why Boise? Briefly, this is what the ancient chroniclers tell of the origin of the name: In the summer of 1834 a party of French Canadian voyagers, belonging to the expedition of Captain Bonneville (whose explorations and adventures were afterward immortalized by the pen of Washington Irving), in traveling across the treeless and arid Snake river plains, reached the edge of a plateau overlooking a beautiful valley, which, extending westward beyond the limits of their vision, seemed to present a continuous forest belt of...

Biography of Benjamin A. Jenne

Character and ability will come to the front anywhere. As boy and man, many a man has been buffeted by fortune and had almost insurmountable obstacles thrust in his path, but per-severance has cleared them away and he has gone on to success. Such has been the experience of the subject of this sketch, one of the rising and popular citizens and public men of Bingham County, Idaho, a man with a heart for any venture, and a smile for friend and foe. Benjamin P. Jenne, deputy sheriff and jailer of Bingham County, Idaho, was born at Poor Man’s Gulch, California, October 22, 1855, and is descended from English and French ancestry. His grandfather, Benjamin P. Jenne, was born in France, whence he emigrated to the United States and settled in St. Lawrence County, New York. There his son Benjamin P. Jenne, 2d, was born and reared. He went, while yet a young man, to California, and there married Miss Annie Ann Richardson, who died in giving birth to her only child, the subject of this sketch. Benjamin P. Jenne, 2d, died, aged eighty-seven, in 1894. When he was four years old, Benjamin A. Jenne was taken to Ohio to live with his uncle, Ansel Jenne, and remained there, attending school after he was old enough, until he was twelve. He then went back to St. Lawrence County, New York, where he had a home with relatives, and at fifteen began to earn his own living. For two years he was a sailor on the great lakes between Ogdensburg, New York, and Chicago, Illinois. Then he went into the...

Biography of Samuel G. Benedict

Samuel Benedict, a brave Idaho pioneer, who was killed by the Nez Perces Indians June 14, 1877, was born in Kingston, Canada, and was of English lineage. In his early manhood he married Miss Sarah Kelley, a native of New Brighton, New York, and in 1862 they came to Idaho. They were among the earliest settlers in the northern section of the state and Mr. Benedict established a general mercantile store at the mouth of White Bird River, where he was carrying on business at the time of his death. When the Nez Perces Indians went upon the warpath they visited that locality, and he lost his life at the hands of the treacherous savages. In the early morning he was shot through both of his legs, but managed to escape to the house. At six o’clock in the evening of the same day eighteen Indians called him out of the house and shot him eighteen times. The hired man then shot one of the Indians, but was himself shot, the ball entering his right eye and causing his death. Mrs. Benedict and her little daughter, then eight years old were taken prisoners by the savages, who burned their house, but the squaws took pity on the white woman and secured the release of herself and daughter, so that she was only held as a prisoner one night. She escaped on foot to Mount Idaho, where she was cared for by Captain E. W. Robie, whom she afterward married. She still survives, and her daughter is now the wife of G. W. Brown. By her marriage to the Captain...

Biography of Judge Frederick S. Stevens

The distinguished citizen of Bingham County, Idaho, whose name appears above, has lived longer in that county than any other resident now alive. He has at different stages of his life in the county been soldier, pioneer, storekeeper, farmer and jurist, and in each capacity has won the respect of all who have been associated with him, and he is widely known as one of the most prominent citizens of southeastern Idaho. Frederick S. Stevens was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, August 7, 18^8. Benjamin Stevens, his grandfather, was born in Massachusetts, as was also Benjamin Stevens, Jr., his father. Benjamin Stevens married a native of Lynn, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Smith Downing. He was a tanner, and died in 1856, at the age of forty-four years. His widow lived seventy-five years, her death occurring in 1896. They were devout and helpful members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They had four children, three of whom are living. Judge Frederick S. Stevens, the eldest of the survivors of his father’s family, was graduated from the Lynn (Massachusetts) high school. He went early in life to California, via the Isthmus of Panama, and was there a miner, a bookkeeper and a clerk in turn, until the outbreak of the civil war. In April 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Third Regiment of California Volunteer Infantry, with the expectation that the regiment would be sent to participate in the war in the southern states, but it was sent into the interior, instead, to keep the Indians in subjection and to protect emigrants. The regiment was located at Camp Douglas and at Soda...

Biography of L. C. Eastman

The quality of a man’s manhood has everything to do with not only the degree but with the quality of his success. In point of magnitude a man’s success may be great, but it may be of a character pitifully weak, if not dangerous to the public weal. The sold, substantial, honest and admirable success which brings a man not only money but the respect of his fellow men is the kind of success that has crowned the endeavors of the man whose name appears as the title of this article. L. C. Eastman, postmaster at Soda Springs, Idaho, and pioneer and leading druggist of that city, was born at Oskaloosa, Iowa, August 22, 1855, a son of Hon. Enoch and Caroline (Greenough) Eastman. The founder of this family of Eastman in America was Jeremiah Eastman, an English gentleman who had a fine place near some of the landed property of the king of England. Frequently, it is related, he was annoyed by the sheep belonging to His Majesty breaking into his grounds and injuring them. Remonstrance was vain. One day the animals invaded Mr. Eastman’s garden and destroyed it, and in driving them out, not any too gently perhaps, the wronged subject shot one of them, greatly to the displeasure of those who were presumed to have them in charge and to His Majesty’s personal displeasure also, it appears likely, for he was menaced with such serious trouble and personal danger because of this trivial occurrence, that he was obliged to seek safety beyond the borders of his native land. With his two sons he escaped to New...

Biography of Wallace Fairbank

WALLACE FAIRBANK. – The subject of this sketch is one of the substantial and capable men of Union county, and one who showed the metal of which he was made at the time Columbia called for sons to avenge her insult and to put down the minions of rebellion, at which time he responded and did good service until the work was completed and he was honorably discharged, carrying, however, until this day the serious effects of his service and the wounds that he received. Mr. Fairbank was born in St. Lawrence county, New York on July 27, 1848, being the son of Luther and Nancy (Green) Fairbank. At the early age of ten he started for himself and when he was fifteen years old he enlisted in Company H, First Wisconsin Cavalry, under Colonel Lagrange. In June, 1864, he was detailed to take a wagon train from Nashville, Tennessee, to Atlanta, Georgia, and enroute he was troubled much with guerilla bands, and on one occasion he was prostrated from over exertion, which, with its effects, is present with him, now. While attacking General Wheeler at Spring Hill, he had a horse shot from under him, and in falling the animal crushed the side of our subject, and although he was sent to the hospital, he never recovered his wonted vigor. After his discharge he returned home, and in 1871 went upon an expedition to hunt buffalo, wolf, bear, and so forth, which lasted for three years. Making a good thing from this trapping and hunting expedition, he then turned his attention to farming, taking a homestead in Filmore...

Biography of Hon. Fredrick H. Turner

Hon. Fredrick Hugh Turner, merchant, Idaho Falls, and grand master of the grand lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Idaho, has represented his district ably in the state senate, and is in all respects one of the leading business men and most distinguished citizens of southeastern Idaho. Mr. Turner was born at Janesville, Wisconsin, October 31, 1858, a son of John and Margaret (Jehn) Turner. His father was an English barrister, born in London, who came to the United States in 1838, and located as a pioneer in Rock County, Wisconsin, where he became a prominent farmer and landowner and there died in 1885, aged eighty-four years. He was an influential Republican and was one of the county commissioners of Rock county, Wisconsin, and held other important local offices. Fredrick Hugh Turner’s mother, Margaret Jehn, was a native of Wales. She died in Rock County, Wisconsin, in 1891, at the age of sixty-three years. Mr. and Mrs. Turner were members of the Episcopal Church and were of the most exalted personal character. They had eight children, of whom Fredrick Hugh Turner was the fifth in the order of birth. He was educated at Milton Academy, Wisconsin, and at the Wisconsin State Normal School, at Whitewater, and for ten years devoted himself to the work of a teacher. He taught two years in Wisconsin and eight years afterward in Idaho, where he was for some year’s principal of the schools at Soda Springs. In 1890 he opened a large general store at Idaho Falls and has had great success as a merchant, drawing the trade from all...

Biography of Thomas Crane

The manifestation of superior business talent at an early age is always a good sign. It usually marks a young man who will care less for pleasure than work, who will keep trying and will try intelligently, and who is pretty apt to come out strong financially sooner or later. The career of the late Thomas Crane, of Soda Springs, Idaho, was an illustration of these claims. He began early and endeavored always; he despised not the day of small things, and he died successful and honored. Thomas Crane was born in Canada, July 4, 1843, and died at Soda Springs, Idaho, May 15, 1896. His parents, who were natives of New Jersey, had taken up farming in Canada. His father, Isaac Crane, died in the prime of life, and the widowed mother removed with her children to Michigan, where she died in 1899, aged eighty-six. Of their family of nine children Thomas was the sixth in order of birth. He attended the public schools near his home in Canada and made good progress with his books. When but a boy of seventeen, he demonstrated his possession of extraordinary business talent by establishing a match factory, in which he employed several men. Information is wanting as to how this enterprise terminated, but it is safe to state that it was not a failure. After some years of business experience as traveler for a wholesale drug house, in Canada, he went to Oregon in 1863, being then only twenty years old. For some years he mined in that state and in British Columbia, with the fluctuating fortune peculiar to mining,...

Biography of William Chester

The substantial rewards that come to the able and upright man as the result of well-doing, small as they may be in comparison with the fortunes and apparent honors won by questionable methods, bring With them a sense of satisfaction to which the sharp financier and the corrupt politician live and die as strangers. A man who wisely and honestly adjudicated the small misunderstandings of his fellow citizens for sixteen years, and who has the respect of all those for or against whom he has decided, as has Justice Chester, of Soda Springs, Idaho, has a greater reward than the perjured judge who ends his days in a bitter struggle to enjoy thousands obtained by oppression, injustice and a systematic affront to the law he has falsely sworn to uphold. William Chester, who is a member of the board of county commissioners, has been for sixteen years justice of the peace at Soda Springs, and is well and favorably known throughout eastern Idaho. He is a native of Lincolnshire, England, and was born May 3, 1843. His father, Thomas Chester, died when William was only a year old, and the baby was taken into the home of his grandfather, John Chester. He was educated in a plain, practical way, worked on the farm and learned the machinist’s trade. He came to America in 1873, with the expectation of having employment in machine shops at Lockport, New York, but the panic of that year prevented the realization of this hope, and Mr. Chester came west as far as Council Bluffs, Iowa, and from there, in the winter of 1873-4, he...

Biography of Hon. George W. Gorton

The late Hon. George W. Gorton filled a place in the business and social circles of Soda Springs, and in fact of the entire state of Idaho, which will be vacant as long as his friends and admirers survive, for he was a man of marked individuality, a magnetic man who drew men to him and bound them with bonds of strongest friendship, and a helpful man who was always assisting others over rough places, and those who knew him believed that there was no man like him. Air. Gorton was born at Scranton, Pennsylvania, March 3, 1846, a son of Job P. and Deborah (Sweet) Gorton. His ancestors were English, and the progenitors of his families of Gorton and Sweet located early in Rhode Island, and some of their descendants participated in the Revolutionary struggle of the American colonies. His father and mother were born in Rhode Island and found a new home in Pennsylvania soon after their marriage. They had four children, and Mrs. Gorton died in giving birth to the subject of this sketch. George W. Gorton was educated in the public schools of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was only seventeen years old in 1863, when the fortunes of the Union cause, in the great struggle for northern and southern supremacy, were darker than at any other time during the war, but realizing how sorely our nation needed men who were willing to risk their lives in defense, and inspired somewhat, perhaps, by the memory of his Revolutionary forefathers, he enlisted in Company K, Eleventh Regiment of Pennsylvania Cavalry. His term of service was from June 17,...
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