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Biography of Benjamin F. Hastings

It has been the discovery of the rich mineral deposits of the northwest that has led to the development of this section of the country, and among those who have been prominent in promoting the mining interests of Idaho is Benjamin F. Hastings, late mining inspector of the state. An excellent judge of the value of ore, and a man of unimpeachable integrity, he was well qualified for the position which he so acceptably filled, and all concerned commended him for the straightforward, prompt and reliable manner in which he discharged his duties. A native of Mississippi, Mr. Hastings was born in the city of Vicksburg, on the 31st of August 1848. His ancestors were English people who took up their abode in Pennsylvania at an early period in the history of the Keystone state. They took an active part in the affairs which shaped the destiny of the colony, and representatives of the name aided in the struggle for American independence. Benjamin Franklin Hastings, father of our subject, was born in Lan-caster County. Pennsylvania, and when a young man removed to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he married Miss Ann Caroline Baker, a native of Somersetshire, England, and a daughter of Amos Baker, Esquire. On the discovery of gold in California, in 1849, Mr. Hastings, Sr., made a voyage around Cape Horn to the Pacific coast and became prominently engaged in the banking business in Sacramento, Virginia City, Nevada, and in San Francisco. He died in the last named place in 1882, at the age of sixty-five years. He was a man of excellent business ability and unquestioned integrity and left...

Biography of Walter Allen Jones

This gentleman is the senior member of the law firm of Jones & Morphy, of Wallace, and holds a position of distinctive precedence at the bar of northern Idaho, by reason of his eminent ability as counsel and advocate. He was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, May 5, 1855, and is a son of Joseph D. and Catherine A. (Kaercher) Jones, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and spent their entire lives in that state, as had their ancestors since early colonial days. The father died at the age of forty-five years, and the mother was called to her final rest when seventy-three years of age. The subject of this review was reared and educated in the common schools of Pottsville and further continued his studies in the Paschal Institute, at that place. Determining to prepare for the bar, he began familiarizing himself with the principles of jurisprudence in 1874, as a student in the law office of the Hon. W. H. M. Oram, of Shamokin, Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the bar at Sunsbury, Pennsylvania, January 15, 1878, and immediately afterward began practice, spending one year in Mount Carmel, and then removing to Shamokin, where he practiced from 1879 until the close of the year 1885. In January 1886, he came to the Coeur d’Alene country and took up his abode in Murray, Shoshone County, where through the summer he engaged in mining. Since the autumn of that year he has been in active practice in all of the civil and federal courts of the state, and in November 1897, was admitted to practice in the United States...

Biography of R. W. Berry

A leading representative of the commercial interests of Hailey is R. W. Berry, the well known proprietor of a hardware store. He is an enterprising and progressive business man, whose well directed efforts, sound judgment and capable management insure him success, and today he is numbered among the substantial and valued citizens of Blaine county. A native of Maine, he was born in Augusta, on the 25th of March 1842 and is of Scotch lineage. His father, Arthur W. Berry, was born in Maine and married Miss Lucretia Jane Marble, also a native of the Pine Tree state. The father was for many years engaged in journalistic work as the publisher of the Gospel Banner. He died at the age of thirty-two years, leaving a widow and one son, the subject of this review. The mother lived to be fifty-seven years of age and died in Boise. After the death of Mr. Berry she married again and with her second husband removed to California, locating in Yuba County in 1857. In the public schools of his native state, R. W. Berry acquired his education, and when fifteen years of age began to earn his own living. He accompanied his mother to California. Attracted by the discovery of gold, he went to Washoe, Nevada, where he engaged in prospecting and mining. He also entered land from the government and followed farming for a time, but subsequently abandoned that occupation and returned to San Francisco, where he accepted a clerkship in the Washington market, where he was employed for four years. In the fall of 1864 he went to Portland, Oregon,...

Biography of George Spiegel

Among the enterprising young businessmen of Boise is the subject of this review, who is now at the head of an extensive wholesale and retail grocery house. His marked ability has done much to promote the commercial activity upon which the welfare of every community depends, and in trade circles he enjoys an Unassailable reputation. Almost his entire life has been passed in Idaho, and he is numbered among the native sons of California, his birth having occurred in San Francisco, on the 6th of April 1861. His father, David Spiegel, is numbered among the pioneers of California, Oregon and the Gem of the Mountains. He was born in Poland, Russia, in 1831, and when a young man came to the United States, locating in San Francisco when it was only a small town, where he began merchandising. In 1863 he came on foot to the Boise Basin, and in the manner of the old-time peddlers sold his goods throughout the new territory, traveling through the wild region when it was infested with savage Indians and white men ready to commit any crime for the sake of booty. Many times Mr. Spiegel walked from Umatilla to Boise Basin in all kinds of weather, sleeping in his blankets on the ground and enduring many discomforts: but he persevered in his labors, and when civilization had founded enterprising towns he was ready to take his place among the progressive merchants in these new centers of commerce. In 1867 he came to Boise and opened a fruit and cigar store. Prices were very high in those days; he often paid ten dollars...

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 John Hanson

John Hanson, who loyally served this country as a member of the navy, is now successfully engaged in farming and stock raising on Camas prairie, in Idaho county, where he owns four hundred and eighty acres of land. He is a native of Denmark, his birth having occurred in that land on the 9th of June 1827. At the age of fifteen he bade adieu to home and friends and went to sea, eventually sailing to New York, in 1849. While there he joined the United States Navy and served for sixteen months, at the expiration of which period he received an honorable discharge. He then sailed on merchant vessels on the Pacific ocean and on the Mediterranean sea, and became a well informed seaman, his ability and worth winning him promotion from time to time, until he became a first mate. During his seafaring life he passed through many dangers and hardships, which if written out in full would make a most interesting volume. He was shipwrecked twice off the coast of San Francisco, where the ship was driven ashore, and was also in a fearful typhoon in South American waters, the ship being lost, but the crew escaped with their lives. When the United States became involved in the greatest civil war known to modern history, he determined to aid in the perpetuation of the Union, and enlisted in the navy, March 28. 1862. He became acting master of the Cayuga, a gunboat in the gulf squadron, under Admiral Farragut. They had several engagements up the Mississippi River and were engaged in forming the blockade off Galveston...

Biography of Michael J. Shields

The life of Michael Joseph Shields affords an illustration of the vicissitudes of business under modern conditions; it emphasizes the importance of doing the right thing at the right time, and it teaches a lesson of patience under difficulties and perseverance against obstacles, a lesson that should not be lost upon all of the many who need it. It is suggestive in another way, too, because it affords an example, in addition to many others that have been given in the past, of the excellent quality of the sturdy Irish-American character. Mr. Shields, who is one of the most enterprising and influential citizens of Moscow and who has the reputation of having done as much toward the upbuilding of that city as any other man, was born near Lockport, New York, September 15, 1853. His parents were natives of Ireland. His father, John Shields a well known contractor, was drowned at the age of thirty-one while making improvements on a section of the Erie Canal. After his death his widow, with three children, removed to Lockport where she died in her fifty-seventh year. After having attended school at Rochester and Lockport, New York, Michael Joseph Shields began the battle of life as a driver on the Erie Canal. His business ability was exhibited early in his career, for at seventeen we find him the owner of a team, at work independently, towing canal-boats from station to station, at two dollars a trip. From this work he advanced to towing rafts of lumber between Tonawanda and Troy, New York. In 1871, when he was eighteen, he went to San Francisco,...

Biography of Alfred Eoff

Alfred Eoff, the able and widely known cashier of the Boise City National Bank, possesses the undaunted spirit and business enterprise which have developed and are developing the marvelous resources and wealth of the western states and territories. All credit is due the brave and fearless frontiersman who paves the way for the on-coming tide of civilization, and, by his industry and zeal opens a thousand avenues for commerce and progress. In such a work Mr. Eoff has largely aided and in the history of Idaho he well deserves representation. Of Dutch ancestry, the forefathers of Alfred Eoff settled at an early day in Wheeling, West Virginia, and one of the streets of that city is named in honor of the family. James Eoff, the father of our subject, was born in Virginia (ere that state had been divided) and in 1840 removed to the prairies of Illinois, in company with his father. When grown to maturity he married there Miss Jane Ayres, and of their five children Alfred is now the only survivor. He was born in the village of White Hall, Illinois, June 11, 1845, and received his education in the schools of Chicago. In 1862, when he was seventeen years of age, he joined an uncle in Colorado, and within a short time he became connected with the Ben Holliday Stage Company. Later he was made cashier of the Wells-Fargo & Company’s Bank at Salt Lake City, which position he filled for six years. He was then offered the place of assistant cashier of the bank in San Francisco, owned by the same corporation, and accepted...

Biography of Hon. George B. Rogers

Some men achieve success almost instantaneously, some by slow accretion, others only after long and patient working and waiting. The experience of men who are willing to work persistently and intelligently and wait calmly goes to prove that success may surely be attained during an ordinary lifetime, and no man not cut off at an untimely age need work and wait in vain. These reflections have been suggested by a consideration of the career of Hon. George B. Rogers, receiver of the United States land office at Blackfoot, Idaho, who is one of the most prominent and successful citizens of the state. He was born in Dodgeville, Iowa County, Wisconsin, February 22, 1842. His father, John Rogers, was born in England and there married Miss Hannah Bailey. They came to the United States in 1837, bringing with them two daughters, named Susan and Elizabeth, and located at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where Mr. Rogers engaged in lead-mining and later became a farmer. He died in 1880, aged seventy-six years, and his wife passed away in 1882, aged seventy-three. They were lifelong members and supporters of the Methodist Episcopal church. Six more children were born to them in Wisconsin, of whom George B. Rogers was the second in order of nativity and of whom two others are living. George B. Rogers was brought up on his father’s farm and at a tender age gained an intimate acquaintance with hard work and long hours. The winter schools of that day and locality were poor, but such as they were he attended as opportunity presented, and later he attended night schools, but he...

Biographical Sketch of George N. Ifft

George N. Ifft, of the firm of Ifft & Wallin, proprietors and managers of the Pocatello Tribune, is a native of Butler County, Pennsylvania, born January 27, 1865. He began newspaper work, as a reporter, in Pittsburg, that state, and continued in that capacity and in various editorial relations in other cities, as Washington, D. C, Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City and San Francisco, until January 1, 1893, when he came to Idaho, locating at Pocatello, and since that time he has been connected with the Pocatello Tribune, as more fully described in our sketch of that paper. Mr. Ifft is a Republican, but is one of those who have always been firm believers in silver as advocated by the people of the west generally, and as such has taken an active part in the politics of the state. William Wallin is a practical, all around newspaper man, who came to Idaho in 1893, after a service extending over a number of years in various capacities on papers in Ogden and Salt Lake...
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