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Political Secessionism And Crime

Before the mining period, commencing in 1862, Idaho was a comparatively unknown region belonging nominally to Oregon and afterward to Washington. During the years 1862-3 such was the rush of immigration to this section that Idaho was erected into a territory of the United States government. The enabling act to organize as such was passed by congress in the spring of the latter year, and on the 22d of September William H. Wallace, late delegate to congress from Washington, who had, on July l0th preceding, been appointed governor of Idaho by President Lincoln, issued his proclamation for organizing the territory, with the capital at Lewiston; but the fact of this proclamation was scarcely known to the miners in the wilderness, far removed from mail facilities, until the following spring. Meanwhile the laws of Washington were in force. The first occurrence of the name Idaho territory in the public records seems to have been under date of August 7, 1863, in Boise. James Judge was on that day made assessor. Previously to his election as delegate Wallace had districted the territory, for judicial purposes, as follows: First district, Nez Percé and Shoshone counties, A. C. Smith judge; second, Boise county, Samuel C. Parks judge; third, Missoula county and the country east of the Rocky mountains, Sidney Edgerton judge. Florence, Bannack City and Hellgate were appointed as the seats of federal courts. Edgerton was named as the chief justice of the territory, and probably should have been given the more populous region of the Boise basin; but Wallace was prejudiced against “imported” judges. Alexander C. Smith, being from Olympia, was given...

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...

Biographical Sketch of Robert Newell

ROBERT NEWELL. – “Doc” Newell, as he was commonly called, was one of the same breed of pioneers as Jo Meek. He was, in fact, associated with the latter for many years in the wild, trapping life on the border; and when that was given up he went with the rest of the little company of trappers to Oregon and became one of the state-builders there. He was born near Zanesville, Ohio, on the 30th of March, 1807. After having spent some time in Cincinnati, in learning the saddler’s trade, he was led by his adventurous disposition to go with a trapping party, in his eighteenth year, to the Rocky Mountains. It was there that he became acquainted with Joe Meek. Te friendship of the two rough but warm-hearted trappers deepened into the closest intimacy; and in after years they stood by each other through thick and thin. Newell went with Meek, Doty, Walker, Wilkins, Ebberts and Larison, in 1840, to the Tualatin Plains, where most of the number became permanent residents. Newell himself bore an honorable part in the affairs of the growing state; and, although he had had few advantages of early education, he possessed a natural intelligence and force of character which gave him due recognition among the strong-headed men of our early epoch. He was married in 1846 to Rebecca Newman, of Marion county. In 1867 he changed his residence to Lewiston, Idaho; and there he died in November,...

Biography of Rev. Henry Harmon Spalding

REV. H.H. SPALDING. – Rev. Henry Harmon Spalding was born at Prattsburg, New York, November 26, 1803. In early life he was left an orphan, and was brought up by strangers, who gave him almost no school advantages, so that at the age of twenty-one he began the rudiments of English grammar and arithmetic, could read so as to be understood and write after a copy. Having become a Christian, he united with the Presbyterian church of his native place in August, 1826; and between 1825 and 1828 he went to school so much that he was able to teach school. A part of the time he worked for his board and walked three miles to school. In 1828 he gave himself to missionary work, and entered Prattsburg Academy; and by 1831 he was able to enter the junior class – half way through – of Hamilton College, New York. On account of his poverty and the help he received from the education society, he was soon obliged to leave and go to the Western Reserve College, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1833. On October 12, 1833, he was married to Miss Eliza hart, of Trenton, new York, who was born at Berlin, Connecticut, being the daughter of Captain Levi and Martha hart, and who had been brought up in Ontario county, New York. In the fall of 1833 he entered lane Theological Seminary, where he remained two years, and in August, 1835, was ordained by the Bath Presbytery of New York, and soon after was appointed by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to the...

Biography of William F. Kettenbach

William F. Kettenbach now deceased, was one of Lewiston’s most enterprising and successful businessmen, and for many years was president of the Lewiston National Bank. He left the impress of his individuality upon the commercial life and prosperity of the city, and his history forms an important chapter in the annals of the growth and development of this section of the state. He was born in New York City, May 15, 1849, just two days after the arrival of his parents, Henry and Elizabeth Kettenbach, from Germany. They were natives of that land. The father was descended from one of the noble families of Germany, and held the office of colonel of cavalry at Wurtzburg. On coming to America he took his family to Indianapolis, Indiana, and there the subject of this review was educated. When sixteen years of age he left school and proceeded to the frontier, where he was in the government service, acting as a scout with Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill. After the civil war he for some years acted as guide to emigrant trains across the plains, and then returned to Indianapolis, where he was engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery business for three years. He then devoted his energies to conducting a hardware store, and in the meantime invested largely in real estate, but in the financial panic of 1877 all his accumulations were swept away, owing to the great depreciation in values. In 1878 he came to Lewiston, a poor man, and accepted a position as bookkeeper. He afterward served for a time as agent for the Oregon Railway & Navigation...

Biography of General Edward McConville

In the recent trial of arms in which America won recognition and admiration never before accorded her by the older “powers” of Europe, there was no more distinguished or valiant soldier than General McConville, of Idaho, who went forth as one of the commanders of the Idaho troops and laid down his life on the altar of his country. His was a noble life and a glorious death, and his name is enduringly inscribed on the roll of America’s heroes. Though his loss is deeply mourned by his many friends, his memory will ever be cherished by all who knew him, and the cause of liberty will acknowledge its advancement to him and his compatriots who have fallen in defense of the honor of the flag and the noble principles of republicanism and justice which it represents. General McConville was a native of New York, his birth having occurred at Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, June 25, 1846. The history of the family furnishes many examples of valor, for since the days when William the Conqueror fought the battle of Hastings its representatives have won honor and fame in the military and naval service of France, England, Ireland and America. The family had its origin in France, it’s branches being found in Brittany, Gascony and Normandy. Two representatives of the name fought with William, the Norman prince, at the battle of Hastings, and their descendants went to Ireland with Sir John de Coursey’s forces in 1166 A. D., and were of the Normans of whom it was afterward said by the English that “they became more Irish than the Irish...

Biography of Henry Heitfeld

In considering the career of the present United States senator for Idaho, Hon. Henry Heitfeld, we are led to the following reflections: It is a well attested maxim that the greatness of a state lies not in its machinery for government, nor even in its institutions, but in the sterling qualities of its individual citizens, in their capacity for high and unselfish effort and their devotion to the public good. An enumeration of those men of the present generation who have won honor and public recognition for themselves and at the same time have honored the state to which they belong, would be incomplete were there failure to make prominent reference to the one whose name initiates this paragraph. He has attained distinction in the business world and is a recognized leader in political circles in Idaho. He has been and is distinctively a man of affairs, and one who has wielded a wide influence. A strong mentality, an invincible courage, a most determined individuality have so entered into his makeup as to render him a natural leader of men and a director of opinion. Henry Heitfeld was born in St. Louis, Missouri, June 12, 1859. His parents were natives of Germany, and on their emigration to America, in the early ’50s, located in St. Louis, where the father, by his well-directed efforts and indefatigable energy, won a handsome competence and was widely known as a successful merchant. Both he and his wife were members of the Catholic Church and were people of the highest probity of character. Mr. Heitfeld passed away in 1867, at the age of thirty-eight...

Biography of J. D. C. Thiessen

One of the best known and most successful sheep-raisers and wool-growers of Idaho is J. D. C. Thiessen, of Lewiston. A native of Holstein, Germany, he was born February 16, 1843, and is of Danish ancestry, although his parents, John D. and Alary (Hanchild) Thiessen, were both natives of Germany. The father was a farmer and trader. In religious faith both he and his wife were Lutherans, and the former lived to be fifty-four years of age, while the mother departed this life in her fifty-sixth year. Mr. Thiessen of this review is the fourth in their family of seven children. He was educated in his native land, and when twenty-three years of age emigrated to the United States, reaching New York in 1866. Two years later he came to San Francisco, where he pursued a course in a commercial school and was thus fitted for life’s practical duties. He did not come to this country entirely empty-handed, as so many have done, having had five hundred dollars on his arrival. He was however, ignorant of the English language, and had to meet other difficulties. After having spent several years in America, he received three thousand dollars from his father’s estate, but lost it in mining enterprises in California and Nevada, and when he arrived in Lewiston, November 10, 1876, he had just eighteen and one-half dollars remaining. Here he entered the employ of John Brearley, but soon afterward the Indian war broke out, and he engaged in packing army supplies for the government, receiving eighty-five dollars per month and his rations. In the spring of 1878 he established...

Biography of William Lauer

Since the establishment of Payette William Lauer has been identified with its development and upbuilding, and his labors have been most effective in promoting its welfare. He is the pioneer hardware merchant of the town, and still continues in that line of business, his well directed efforts bringing him success. He is among the worthy citizens that the Fatherland has furnished to the New World, his birth having occurred in Germany on the nth of November 1833. In his youth he crossed the Atlantic to New York with his father, Isaac Lauer, who made his home in the eastern metropolis until called to his final rest. His death occurred in his eightieth year. William Lauer had attended the public schools, of his native land, and was fifteen years of age when he came to America. He learned the tinner’s trade in New York City, and there remained for seven years, when he resolved to leave the Atlantic coast and seek a home on the Pacific coast. In 1854 he sailed from New York to San Francisco, and engaged in merchandising in Siskiyou County, California, where he remained until 1861, when he came to Idaho, attracted by the Oro Fino excitement. He engaged in clerking and also in placer mining, but his efforts in the latter direction did not prove successful. For his services as a salesman, however, he received one hundred dollars per month. Later he visited the various mining camps in Idaho, was in Elk City and in Florence, finally returned to Lewiston, and subsequently went to Warren, where he met with success, both as a merchant and...

Biography of John M. Silcott

Almost forty years have passed since John M. Silcott took up his residence in Idaho, and he is therefore one of the oldest and most widely known pioneers of the state. He came in the spring of 1860 to establish the government Indian agency at Lapwai, and has since been identified with the growth and development of this section. He is a Virginian, his birth having occurred in Loudoun County, of the Old Dominion, January 14, 1824. His French and Scotch ancestors were early settlers there, and during the Revolution and the war of 18 12 representatives of the family loyally served their country on the field of battle. William Silcott, the father of our subject, married Sarah Violet, a lady of Scotch ancestry, and about 1828 they removed with the family to Zanesville, Ohio, where the father engaged in business as a contractor and builder. He was liberal in his religious views, and his wife held the faith of the Presbyterian Church. His political support was given the Whig party and the principles advocated by Henry Clay. Only two children of the family of five are now living, the sister being Sarah T., who married Captain Abrams, of Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Abrams now makes her home in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1845 the family removed to St. Louis, where both the parents died. Mr. Silcott received a common-school education in Zanesville, Ohio, and one of his school-mates was “Sunset” Cox, afterward distinguished in the United States congress. In his early life our subject learned the carpenter’s and boat-builder’s trades, which knowledge afterward proved of great practical benefit to him...
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