Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Biographical Sketch of Ferguson Owen

One of San Mateo County’s most efficient peace officers is Ferguson Owen, constable of the 2nd Township. As well as the important part Owen has played in the suppression of crime in his township, he has figured in many important criminal cases. One of the best known is the capture of Nick Greelish (James C. Greelish), the highwayman, who assaulted Mrs. L. Guggenheim in the Home of Peace Cemetery. While a thousand officers were in pursuit of this criminal, Constable Owen cleverly worked out his own set of clues and tracked him into a saloon on the state highway. Working single-handed Owen had Greelish handcuffed before the desperate criminal even realized that Owen was looking for him. Greelish is now serving a twenty-five year sentence for highway robbery. Three years ago Owen’s bravery saved the lives of a score of San Mateo citizens. A drink crazed Austrian was standing on a balcony on Main street shooting with a rifle at every passerby. Exposing himself to the fire of the maniac Owen took a dead aim at the man and shot him through the arm which held the gun. By trade Constable Owen is a painter but he has had to put aside the brush most of the time because of his arduous duties as constable. He was born in Virginia City, Nevada on July 25, 1875 and has lived in California 35 years, eight of which were spent in this county. He is a member of the Eagles, the Knights of Pythias and the Masonic...

Biography of Thomas Howard

This substantial and capable gentleman is one of the real builders of the county of Harney, and it is quite proper that he should be accorded representation in its history, being a man greatly respected and worthy of the high esteem given to him. He was born in the city of New York, on May 11, 1833, being the son of Patrick H. and Mary (Ford) Howard. The father was an engineer, operating a stationary engine. Thomas grew to manhood, gaining a good education meanwhile, and part of the time working in the markets, where he learned the butcher trade. In the memorable ‘forty-nine he was one of the gold seekers, going from New York on a steamer to Panama and thence to San Francisco on a sailing vessel. The trip was hot and tedious, being two months from Panama to the Golden Gate. He mined for a time and then went at his trade in Marysville and other places in the state. It was in 1859 that he went to Carson and Virginia Cities, Nevada, and there operated at his trade, and also wrought in Esmeraldo. In the spring of 1862 Mr. Howard was hired at a wage of one hundred dollars per month to accompany a herd of cattle belonging to Job Dye to Florence, Idaho. The water around Harney lake being so high that it was impossible to make headway, they were turned aside, not knowing the route they were taking, and came where Canyon City now stands. They discovered the first gold on the creek and their band of cattle were the first cattle that...

Biography of Hon. Richard P. Bland

HON. RICHARD P. BLAND. From poverty and obscurity all the eminent men of the West have fought their way in the battle of life, and by their own persistence and perseverance have attained to prominence and honor. They have given permanency to every enterprise that they have honored with their patronage and have stamped upon them their own individuality. The subject of this sketch is a man well known to the people of Missouri, and needs no eulogy from the pen of the biographer, for his deeds are his monuments and will endure long after he has moldered into dust. He was born near Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky, August 19, 1836. His parents Stouton E. and Margaret (Nall) Bland, both of whom were born on Blue Grass soil. The family originally came from Virginia, but emigrated to Kentucky in the time of Daniel Boone, and were among the early settlers of that country. The father devoted his life to the occupation of farming, and at the age of thirty-five, when just in the prime of life, was called upon to pay the last debt of nature, his widow surviving him several years. Of the four children born to them three are now living: Richard P.; Charles C., who is judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri, and Elizabeth, wife of Frederick Tutley, of St. Francois County, Missouri. Young Richard P. received his initiatory training in the public schools in the vicinity of his rural home, and afterward finished his education in Griffin’s Academy. In 1855 he left the home of his childhood and took up his residence in...

Biography of Richard Z. Johnson

Perhaps there is no part of this history of more general interest than the record of the bar. It is well known that the peace, prosperity and well-being of every community depend upon the wise interpretation of the laws, as well as upon their judicious framing, and there-fore the records of the various persons who have at various times made up the bar will form an important part of this work. A well known jurist of Illinois said, “In the American state the great and good lawyer must always be prominent, for he is one of the forces that move and control society. Public confidence has generally been reposed in the legal profession. It has ever been the defender of popular rights, the champion of freedom regulated by law, the firm support of good government. In the times of danger it has stood like a rock and breasted the mad passions of the hour and finally resisted tumult and faction. No political preferment, no mere place, can add to the power or increase the honor which belongs to the pure and educated lawyer. Richard Z. Johnson, of Boise, is one who has been honored by and is an honor to the legal fraternity of Idaho. He stands today prominent among the leading members of the bar of the state, a position which he has attained through marked ability. A native of Akron, Ohio, he was born May 21, 1837, and is descended from ancestors who were early settlers of New England. On both the paternal and maternal sides representatives of the families were found among the “minute men” who...

Biography of Hon. James Gunn

To the energetic natures and strong mentality of such men as James Gunn, member of congress from Idaho, is due the success and ever increasing prosperity of the Populist party in this state, and in the hands of this class of citizens there is ever assurance that the best interests and welfare of the party will be attended to. resulting in a successful culmination of the highest ambitions and expectations entertained by its adherents. Given to the prosecution of active measures in political affairs, and possessing the earnest purpose of placing their party beyond the pale of possible diminution of power, the Populist leaders in Idaho are ever advancing, carrying everything before them in their irresistible onward march. Certainly one of the most potent elements in the success of the Populist movement in Idaho is James Gunn, who throughout his life has been a loyal citizens, imbued with patriotism and fearless in defense of his honest convictions. Through the long years of the civil war he followed the Union banners on southern battle-fields, and today, just as fearlessly and just as loyally, he is advocating in the halls of congress and before the people the principles which he believes will best advance the welfare of the nation. Such is the man whose life history forms the theme of this article. Mr. Gunn was born on the 6th of March 1843. His parents were John Gunn and Mary (Kerns) Gunn, the former of whom died before the war of the Rebellion. The mother survived him for many years and was almost a centenarian at the time of her death. James...

Biography of Edward J. Curtis

Among the eminent men of the northwest whose life records form an integral part of the history of Idaho was numbered Hon. Edward J. Curtis. In his death the state lost one of its most distinguished lawyers, gifted statesmen and loyal citizens. As the day, with its morning of hope and promise, its noontide of activity, its evening of completed and successful efforts, ending in the grateful rest and quiet of the night, so was the life of this honored man. His career was a long, busy and useful one, marked by the utmost fidelity to the duties of public and private life, and crowned with honors conferred upon him in recognition of superior merit. His name is inseparably interwoven with the annals of the Pacific coast, with its best development and its stable progress, and his memory is cherished as that of one who made the world better for his having lived. Edward J. Curtis was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1827 and acquired his preliminary education in public schools and under the instruction of private tutors in his native town. He was thus prepared for college and entered Princeton, where he was graduated with high honors. On the completion of his collegiate course he returned to Worcester, but soon after went to Boston, where he began the study of law in the office of the renowned jurist, Rufus Choate, but after a short time the news of the discovery of gold reached the east, and in company with a number of young men he started for California, crossing the plains to San Francisco, where he arrived early...

Biography of Malcolm McGregor

Among the enterprises of Weiser which are alike creditable to the city and to their proprietors is the Vendome Hotel, which was built by its present owners and managers, Messrs. McGregor and Coakley, and by them opened for business in February, 1891. Since that time the hotel has gained a very favorable reputation with the traveling public and enjoys a large patronage. It is a brick structure, two stories high, and contains twenty-eight rooms, well finished, well furnished, well ventilated and nicely kept. Great care is given to the perfection of all arrangements which will contribute to the comfort of the guests, and from the daintily spread tables, supplied with all the delicacies of the season, to the tastefully appointed parlors, all is harmonious and attractive. Malcolm McGregor, the senior member of the firm of McGregor & Coakley, was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, on the 14th of January 1845, and in his youth learned the machinist’s trade. He afterward operated a stationary engine and worked at his trade both in San Francisco, California, and Virginia City, Nevada. In 1871 he removed to Silver City, Idaho, where he accepted the position of chief engineer of the Ida Elmore mine and mill. He also conducted the Idaho Hotel there for some time, but came to Weiser in 1885. Here he engaged in raising sheep, also conducted a hotel, but abandoned both of those interests on joining Mr. Coakley in the erection of and conduct of the Vendome Hotel. He is an obliging and courteous landlord, well fitted by nature for the duties which rest upon him, having a social, genial...

Biography of Isaac F. Smith

Isaac F. Smith, of Weiser, who is serving as clerk of the district court and ex-officio auditor and recorder of Washington County, was born in Butte County, California, on the 28th of July, 1854. His father was born in Ohio. July 27, 1823, and married Miss Josephine C. Whitaker. In 1849 they crossed the plains with ox teams to California, bringing with them their firstborn. Walter W. Smith, who is now a resident of Washington County, Idaho. The father engaged in mining on Feather River for a time, and in 1854 removed to Nevada and thence to Utah, remaining in the latter territory for nine years. In 1880 he took up his abode in Weiser, Idaho, where he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in the home of our subject in 1896, when he had reached the age of seventy-three. He was an honorable and worthy citizen, respected by all who knew him. His wife had died in Silver City, Nevada, at the age of forty-one years. Isaac F. Smith, the younger of their two children, was educated in the public schools of Virginia City, Nevada, and in Oakland. California, and has been prominently identified with the development of the mineral, mercantile and agricultural resources of this section of the country. He engaged in mining in Utah for six years, was a clerk in a general mercantile establishment at Rush Lake, and in 1880 came to Weiser, since which time he has been one of the leading promoters of many of the best interests of Washington county. He first entered from the government one hundred and sixty acres...

Biography of George B. Hill

George B. Hill, of the extensive mercantile firm of Hill & Ballentine, of Bellevue, Idaho, is one of Idaho’s prominent businessmen and states-men. He came, through New England ancestry, of honorable English and German descent, and was born at Cherry Valley, New York, August 28, 1843. He is of fighting stock, too, his great-grandfather Hill having fought for independence in the Revolution, his grandfather Hill having risked his life for his country in the war of 18 1 2- 14, and his father and himself having done battle for the Union in the civil war of 1861-65, the latter yielding up his life on the field in defense of the starry flag, while his maternal grand-father Busch fought in the war of 1812-14. Charles Hill, father of George B. Hill, was a native of Barrington, Massachusetts. He became a lawyer of ability and while yet a young man re-moved to Cherry Valley, New York, where he married Margaret Busch, of German descent and a daughter of an old and honored resident of that town. He was a member of the One Hundred and Twenty-first New York Volunteer Infantry and was killed while upon a reconnaissance in 1864. His good wife, a devout member of the Christian church, survived until 1884, and died in her seventy-ninth year. George B. Hill was the youngest but one of the eight children of Charles and Margaret (Busch) Hill. He was being educated in the Cherry Valley Academy for boys, when, in 1861, at the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the Seventy-sixth New York Volunteer Infantry, with which he served in the Army...

Biography of John W. Murphy

JOHN W. MURPHY. To the active, enterprising and intelligent citizen, esteemed pioneer, and stanch representative of our free institutions, whose name initiates this paragraph, we accord a space in these abiding chronicles of Union county, with pleasure, because he has been a prominent figure in the development of the county’s interests and the advancement of its welfare, since the very first days of its settlement and ahs always stood for the cause of substantial improvement and the exemplification of sound principles in both personal endeavor and in the manipulation of public affairs. Mr. Murphy was born in Franklin, Ohio, on December 9, 1831, being the son of Isaac and Rhoda (Stone) Murphy, farmers, who moved to Illinois in 1849, and there dwelt until the time of their demise. The grandfather of our subject, on his mother’s side, Mr. Stone, was a soldier in the Revolutionary struggle and also in the war of 1812. Our subject never had the opportunity to attend the schools in his youth but has instead pursued the muse of knowledge with such successful advances in his own private endeavors that he has gained a good education besides a rich store of general information that well repays the efforts to gain. Early he learned the millwright trade in Jefferson county, Iowa, and in 1852, in company with his employer went to California, using horse teams. First they visited Hangtown, whence they went to Carson Valley, Nevada, and there built the first sawmill in the valley. After this he engaged in mining in gold canyon, where Virginia City is now located, and for three years he made...
Page 1 of 212

Pin It on Pinterest