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Owyhee County Its History, Towns, Industries

In 1862 the present county of Owyhee was a part of Boise County, which comprised all of the western portion of Washington Territory lying south of what was then called Idaho county, its area being nearly equal to that of Pennsylvania. When Idaho was created a territory by act of congress, March 3, 1863, Boise county became part and parcel of the territory of Idaho, and at the first session of the territorial legislature, held at Lewiston, Idaho, Owyhee County was created, December 31, 1863, out of all territory south of Snake River and west of the Rocky mountains. In 1864 Oneida County, and in 1879 Cassia County, were cut off of Owyhee County, reducing it to its present limits. Its northern boundary line is the Snake River. Cassia County on the east, state of Oregon on the west, and the state of Nevada forms its southern boundary. Its area is 8,130 square miles, being somewhat larger than the state of Massachusetts. Its name, “Owyhee,” is believed to have been borrowed from the Hawaiian language, and to have been given to the Owyhee River by two Kanakas in the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Prior to the spring of 1863, Owyhee County was an unexplored country, inhabited only by bands of hostile Indians, while at that time the diggings of Boise basin and Oro Fino boasted of a population of over ten thousand miners. A legend of the early immigrants to Oregon of the “Blue Bucket diggings,” in the vicinity of the Owyhee mountains, wherein they used sinkers of gold for fishing purposes, led several adventurous spirits to...

Biography of George W. Bruce

George W. Bruce is one of the successful businessmen of De Lamar, where he is conducting an extensive and well appointed meat market. He is also the owner of a well cultivated fruit and stock farm on Castle creek, Owyhee county, and is one of the citizens of foreign birth of whom the community has every reason to be proud, for he has taken an active part in developing the resources and augmenting the wealth and prosperity of this section of the state. A native of the Emerald Isle, Mr. Bruce was born in county Wicklow, Ireland, in the town of Bray, September 28, 1851, and is of Scotch ancestry. His parents, John and Margaret (Thompson) Bruce, were farming people and worthy members of the Methodist church. Mr. Bruce was educated in his native country and emigrated to the United States when twenty years of age. The following year he took up his residence in Silver City, Idaho, and has spent twenty-six years in this part of the state, so that he is numbered among the pioneer settlers. He first engaged in quartz-mining, but after three months devoted to that pursuit he became proprietor of a dairy farm at Flint, and, in addition to supplying the citizens of Silver City and vicinity with milk and butter, he engaged quite extensively in raising stock, continuing in that enterprise until 1890 and having as many as twenty-five hundred head of cattle on his ranch at one time. His efforts in that direction were crowned with success, prosperity attending his labors as the years passed. In 1890, in partnership with J. C....

Biography of Frank Crosson

Frank Crosson is now engaged in general merchandising in De Lamar and is one of the most successful and enterprising businessmen here. His life stands in evidence of the fact that ambition, enterprise and diligence can cope with an adverse fate and ultimately reach the goal of prosperity. He came to Owyhee County on foot, reaching Silver City in June 1889, and secured employment in driving a freight team. Since that time he has advanced steadily toward success and competence and is today accounted one of the most progressive, respected and well-to-do merchants of the county. Mr. Crosson was born at Red Bluff, California, on the 24th of April 1862, and is of Scotch-Irish lineage. His father, Samuel Crosson, was born in the state of New York, and in 1852 took up his abode in California. He was married in Sacramento to Miss Mary Burk, a native of Ireland. For six years he lived the life of a sailor, making trips on the Sacramento River between San Francisco and Red Bluff. He died in 1893, at the age of sixty-four years, but his wife is still living and makes her home in San Francisco. Frank Crosson of this review started out in life on his own account when but ten years of age and is truly a self made man, a title of which he has every reason to be proud. .He has traveled in Oregon, Nevada and in Mexico, and came to Idaho on foot, without money, having resolved to settle down and win success if it could be secured through energy and industry. He was first employed...

Biography of J. J. Plumer, M. D.

Dr. J. J. Plumer, the physician and surgeon of the De Lamar Mining Company, also engaged in general practice in De Lamar, is a native of Missouri, his birth having occurred in Edina, April 8, 1860. He traces his ancestry back to England, whence in the year 1832 members of the family who belonged to the sect of Puritans crossed the Atlantic to America. They braved the dangers so common to ocean voyages in those days in order to have liberty of conscience in the New World, and they and their descendants were connected with the early history of the colonies. They were mainly farming people, whose upright lives commended them to the confidence and respect of all. The Doctor’s father, William F. Plumer, was born in Marietta, Ohio, and married Miss Sarah F. Beswick, also a native of that place. In religious faith they are Presbyterians and by profession Mr. Plumer is a civil engineer. He now resides in Hillsboro, Iowa, at the age of sixty-seven years, and all of the family, including three sons and three daughters, are also yet living. The Doctor, the second in order of birth, spent his boyhood at his parental home, acquiring his literary education in Birmingham Academy, in Iowa. Determining to make the practice of medicine his life work he prepared for his chosen calling in the Starling Medical College, in Columbus, Ohio, where he was graduated with the class of 1882. He then opened an office in Bonaparte, Iowa, where he remained for two years, after which he practiced for six years in Kansas and one year in Baker City,...

Biography of George H. Handy

George H. Handy, probate judge and ex-ofificio superintendent of schools for Owyhee County, Idaho, resides at Silver City. He was born at Grand Island, Hall county, Nebraska, on the 20th of February 1871, and is of Scotch and English ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Parker Handy, was a native of New York city, and for many years was prominently connected with the banking business, his death occurring at the advanced age of ninety years. H. P. Handy, father of the Judge, was also born in New York City, and throughout his active business career has followed civil engineering. He came to Idaho in 1894 and now resides in Nampa, where he is living retired. He married Miss Elizabeth Cassidy, who was born on the Emerald Isle but was of Scotch and English lineage. In their family were eleven children, six of whom are yet living. Judge Handy, the fifth in order of birth, acquired his education under the direction of his parents, both of whom are people of high mental culture. He also attended the public schools of Fort Collins, Colorado, and was graduated with the class of 1888. He then matriculated in the Colorado Agricultural College, but left that institution when in his senior year in order to accept an insurance agency. He continued in that position for three years, and later occupied a number of clerical positions in the service of Larimer county officials. In 1892 he took up his residence in Nampa, Idaho, and in October of 1892 he removed to De Lamar, where he accepted the situation of cashier for the De Lamar Mercantile & Banking...

Biography of S. D. McLain

The prosperity of any community, town or city depends upon its commercial activity its industrial interests and its trade relations, and therefore the real upbuilders of a town are those who stand at the head of the leading enterprises. Among the prominent representatives of commercial life in Silver City is S. D. McLain, who as a partner in the firm of Shea, McLain & Crete is at the head of the most extensive mercantile establishment of the town. This well appointed store, with its large and carefully selected stock, is a credit to the proprietors as well as to the city, and in its management Mr. McLain displays that executive force and able management that rank him among the leading business men of the community. Mr. McLain was born at Chariton, Iowa, January 3, 1869, and is of Scotch descent. His father, Clinton J. McLain, is a native of Ohio, and now resides in La Grande, Oregon, where he is engaged in the sale of farm implements. He married Miss Eva Hollingsworth, a daughter of M. Hollingsworth, a farmer living in Iowa. Six children were born to them, of whom five are living, the subject of this sketch being the eldest. In the public schools our subject acquired his education, and as soon as old enough to engage in business on his own account went to Kamela, Oregon, where he was engaged in general merchandising for two years. He then removed to La Grande and organized the firm of Coy & McLain, remaining there for two and a half years. In 1896 he removed from that place to De...

Bilyeu, Emma C. Brown – Obituary

The rosary will be recited at 10 a.m. June 16, 1994, followed by Mass at Holy Redeemer Church. Interment will be in Willamette National Cemetery. Mrs. Bilyeu, of southwest Portland, died June 10 of causes related to age. She was 99. She was born Jan. 8, 1895, in DeLamar, Idaho, and moved to Portland in 1915. She was a 50-year member of Holy Redeemer Church. Her husband, C. Lloyd, died in 1967. Surviving are her daughter, Cathryn M. Jiroch of Tigard; six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter. Remembrances: American Cancer Society or American Heart Association. Arrangements: Zeller Chapel of the...

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