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The Payette Valley, Its Towns

For the following graphic and ably written article in regard to the attractions of the Payette valley we are indebted to a souvenir edition of the Payette Independent issued in March, 1898: The Payette valley lies in the southwestern part of Idaho, with its upper and narrow end extending far back into pine-clad mountains and its lower flaring into broad, fertile fields, terminating at the banks of the Snake river, just across whose waters rise the mountain peaks of Oregon. Its length is upward of forty miles, its width varying from two miles at the upper point to eight where it merges into the larger delta of the Snake. On its northern side rise foothills which succeed each other with in-creasing height until they are lost in the great chain of the Seven Devils mountains: on the south a long, low line of hills divides it from its sister valley, the Boise; and through it from end to end the Payette river, broad, deep, perennial, threads its way around innumerable islands. At its mouth, its gateway and outlet, within half a mile of the confluence of the Snake and Payette rivers, is the flourishing town of Payette: midway in its length, on its mesa or bench lands, is New Plymouth, a new community established on the co-operative principle: still farther up the valley is Falk’s Store, which in an early day was one of the most widely known stage stations in the state and an outfitting point for cattlemen of a large adjacent territory: and at its upper end, where the waters of the Payette, cold and clear, come...

Biography of Robert Van Gilse

The capable and educated gentleman, of whom we now have the privilege of writing, is one of the leading fruit men of the entire northwest, being better fitted, doubtless, than most in this industry in the entire country, for in addition to the practical experience in handling nurseries and fruit farms themselves, he has received from some of the leading horticultural schools of Europe the best theoretical and practical training that is now the privilege of a man to secure. It is with great pleasure, therefore, that we grant space here for an epitome of his interesting career. And it would give us gratification if in brief we were privileged to publish for the benefit of the fruit men of Malheur county, his valuable experience in these lines. We will revert to the personal history of our subject and we note first that in the pure Anglo-Saxon country of Holland is his birth-place. Middleburg is the spot and June 18, 1873, is the date. His parents were J. A. and Mary Van Gilse. The father is editor of one of the most powerful journals of Holland and is a member of the Congressional body of the country, being a leader in those halls as else, in the field of journalism. Our subject attended the common school until twelve years of age at Rotterdam, then entered the Horticultural College at Amsterdam in which noted institution he finished with credit a three years’ course, graduating with distinction. Immediately succeeding this, he spent two years in practical work in the nurseries in Holland and England, being conversant with the methods employed in...

Biographical Sketch of Roswell W. Clement

Among the leading agriculturists of Malheur county is to be mentioned the subject of this sketch, whose life has manifested a worthy record of honest and rigorous endeavor, dominated with sagacity and tempered with prudence and display of affability and genial bearing toward all. In Middleville, Barry county, Michigan, on January 5, 1862, occurred the happy event of the birth of Roswell W. Clement, his parents being Judge James T. and Lucy (Hayes) Clement. The family came to Usage, Iowa, while our subject was a small child, and thence they removed to the vicinity of Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1868. In these various places Roswell W. was reared, receiving a good education from the common schools. 1881 marks the date when they again removed toward the west, this time journeying with teams, one of which our subject drove the entire distance, to Payette, Idaho, making the trip in eighty days. Here on September 11. 1884, Mr. Clement married Miss Harriet, daughter of John and Melissa Neal, and a native of Denver, Colorado. Mr. and Mrs. Neal were early pioneers of the Payette Valley, coming thither from Denver, in which town they also were among the first settlers and lived there when flour retailed at fifty dollars per sack. To Mr. and Mrs. Clement there have been born four children named as follows: Martha Ethel, James R., Walter and Buell J. Mr. Clement came to his present place, which consists of one hundred acres of valuable land six miles southwest from Ontario. in 1895. He purchased the land when it was raw and at once began the work of improvement with...

Biographical Sketch of Almer G. King

The subject of this review is one of the well known and representative men of Malheur County and is to-day entrusted with the responsibilities of one of the main County offices and has made a record for himself of faithfulness, integrity, and capabilities, that places him secure in the esteem and respect of the entire population of the County. Almer G. was born in Waverly, Iowa, on December 6, 1866, being the son of George and Littie (Kimball) King. In 187o, the family came west via San Francisco and Portland to a place opposite Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia, where they resided for a time and then re-moved to Pendleton, afterwards going to The Dalles in 1872 where they remained until 1882. In that place, our subject was educated in the public schools and then took the entire course in the Vasco Independent Academy, but (lid not graduate as he was detained from passing the examinations.  In 1882 he came to Malheur, at that time a part of Baker County, and engaged to handle cattle for Thomas R. David-son and fourteen years he remained with him never losing a day, and for the last half of this time he was foreman. In 1892 he went to Payette, Idaho, and conducted a livery stable for one year then went to Westfall Malheur County, and operated as a farmer for a time. It was in the spring of 1896, that Mr. King was nominated for County assessor on the Democratic ticket and was elected with a handsome majority, being the only one on that ticket who was elected. At the close...

Biographical Sketch of James A. Walker

About five miles southwest from Ontario is the farm and home of the subject of this article. It is a place of eighty acres well improved, skillfully tilled, has line buildings, good orchards and a vine-yard, and in connection with the care of this estate, Mr. Walter is operating a dairy and manufacturing a good quality of butter, which is readily sold in the markets. In person Mr. Walter is a man of sound principles, stands well among his fellows, possesses good ability, and has made a success of his labor, starting with his bare hands and now has a good property accumulated. He was born in Wayne county, Indiana, on February 14, 1834, being the son of Henry and Lovier (Lee) Walter. He grew up on a farm, received a good education from the common schools, and remained with his parents until 1880, having removed with them to Henry County, Indiana in 1875. When he stepped out for himself, he came by rail to Reno, Nevada, and in the fall of 1881 came across the country with teams from there to Malheur County, locating in Malheur Valley, and doing his first work as a wage earner in this new country. The settlers were few then and the country open and he selected a farm near where Yale stands, but later closed out the farm business and for three years he acted as salesman throughout the country for the Payette nursery. In 1894 he purchased the improvements of a man and filed a homestead on the eighty above described. On January 16, 1896 occurred the marriage of Mr. Walter...

Biography of Z. C. Mills

Z.C. MILLS. – Z.C. Mills of Seattle, Washington is a native of the Empire state, and was born in 1834. While yet in his boyhood, his parents moved to Illinois, where he grew to manhood and received his education. After he had reached his majority, he engaged in business with his father. He was successful; but, when an American has once felt the excitement of moving, it is almost impossible for him to be contented, so long as there are new countries to be found beyond the Western horizon. Accordingly, in 1859, when the Pike’s Peak gold excitement reached his home, young Mills started for the new El Dorado, and settled in the new town of Denver, where he opened a tin store. That country, not proving as productive as expected, Mr. Mills, with others, pulled up stakes in 1862, and started for the Salmon river diggings, which were then just reaching their fame as the richest strike yet. The party crossed the Rocky Mountains, the Bitter Creek Desert, Green River, the Wasatch Range, went down the Bear River past the famed soda springs, and had reached a point above Fort Hall, when news reached that the Salmon river gold bubble has burst reached them. They retraced their steps to Fort Hall, and there joined a train bound for Oregon. In the eastern part of that state they stopped, and went to mining in the diggings on the headwaters of Powder and Burnt Rivers. In three months time the Boise gold excitement swept them back to Idaho. They located in the beautiful Payette valley, and built the “Pickett Corrall,”...

Biography of David C. Chase

David C. Chase, the secretary and treasurer of the great Payette Valley Mercantile Company, Limited, doing business in Payette, Idaho, is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Johnsonville, Trumbull County, on the 26th of April 1853. He traces his descent from English ancestors who were early settlers of Connecticut, and participated in many of the leading events which go to make up the history of that state. His father, David Chase, was a New England farmer, and died when his son and namesake was only a small boy. The latter was educated in the public schools of Meadville, Pennsylvania, and began life as a newsboy, selling papers on the streets and afterward on the train. As the years passed and he became fitted for more responsible duties, he resolved to learn telegraphy. This he did, and was employed in the railroad service for twenty years, being with the Union Pacific Railroad from 1873 until 1891, one of its most competent, faithful and trusted employees. His industry and economy in that time had enabled him to save some capital, and in the latter year he became one of the organizers of the Payette Valley Mercantile Company, Limited. He was elected its secretary and treasurer, a position which he has since filled with great acceptability, for in no small degree the success of the house is attributable to his efforts. The company do a large wholesale and retail business, dealing in general merchandise, and enjoy an extensive and constantly growing trade. They have one of the best department stores of the northwest, stocked with everything found in their...

Biography of Garner Miner

For thirty-eight years Garner Miner has been a resident of Idaho, having come to the territory in 1861, when the development of this great northwest was in its incipiency and the frontiersmen had to meet many privations and dangers. The Indians were frequently on the warpath, carrying death and devastation wherever they went; and separated from the base of sup-plies, from the comforts and luxuries of the east the pioneers endured hardships undreamed of by the present generation. In those days brave hearts were necessary, indeed, but the same spirit of Anglo-Saxon daring, fortitude and stability, which, has characterized the people of this fair land from its earliest colonization, and has carried the English language and English supremacy to all parts of the globe, found renewed manifestations among the mountains and valleys of Idaho, and thus were laid the foundations of the state, which now occupies a prominent place in the great galaxy of states west of the Mississippi. In all the work of progress and development, in the task of subduing the wild land to the purposes of civilization. Garner Miner bore his part, and now in the evening of life is living retired at his pleasant home in Caldwell, enjoying a well earned rest. Mr. Miner was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on the 5th of November 1822, his parents being John and Mary (Marshall) Miner, also natives of the Nutmeg state. In their family were five children. Garner Miner attended school in New Haven and in New York and subsequently removed to Ohio, where he worked at the carpenter’s and millwright’s trades. He was married in...

Biography of Peter Pence

The life record of this honored pioneer, and his connection with many of the leading events in the history of Idaho, form no unimportant chapter in the annals of the state. He has been identified with its early development through the period when existence in the northwest was attended by many difficulties and dangers, and with its latter-day progress and advancement which have placed Idaho on a par with many of the older states of the east. His early years were spent far from this “Gem of the Mountains.” He was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, in October 1837, and is of German ancestry, the founders of the family in America having been early settlers of the Keystone state. The grand-father of our subject, George Washington Pence, served as a lieutenant in the Revolutionary war and lived to be one hundred years of age, while his wife reached the remarkable age of one hundred and seven years. Their son, who also bore the name of George W. Pence and is the father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, November 10, 18 10, and is still living on the old family homestead where he first opened his eyes to the light of day. He married Deborah McKee, who was of Irish lineage. They were industrious farming people and were members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Pence has survived his fourth wife. By his marriage to the mother of our subject he had ten children, eight of whom are living, including Sarah Pence, who resides in the east and is president of the National League. Other members of the family...

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...
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