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.
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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 the position, which he retained until 1885, when he came to Idaho for the purpose of organizing the Boise City National Bank, of which he has since been cashier and manager.
As early as 1866 Mr. Eoff had come to this state as the agent for the Wells-Fargo Company, also serving as their paymaster from Denver to Salt Lake City, until the road was completed. To his marked business ability is due much of the success of the Boise City National Bank, now recognized as one of the leading banking institutions of the northwest.
Idaho has just cause to be proud of her fine commercial facilities and of the able, far-seeing financiers who stand at the head of these vast business enterprises the banks of the state. The one with which Mr. Eoff is connected as cashier was organized in the fall of 1885, and on the l0th of the following April its doors were opened for business. At that time its capital stock was fifty thousand dollars; in 1891 this was raised to double the amount; and it has been authorized to increase its capital to five hundred thousand dollars. In 1898 the profits and surplus of the bank equaled its original capital, and this has been accomplished in spite of the fact that great financial depression has characterized the money markets of this country much of the time covered by the existence of the bank. In the winter of 1891-92 the fine building occupied by the bank was erected, which, with its furnishings, cost upward of fifty thousand dollars; but about half of that amount has been since realized from the renting of offices. The first year the deposits in the bank amounted to one hundred thousand dollars, which sum has been gradually increased until it has now reached five times the original amount. A dividend of ten per cent has been regularly paid and forty per cent has been added to the surplus, a truly wonderful showing! Among those prominent in the organization of the bank were Henry Wadsworth, cashier of the Wells-Fargo Bank at San Francisco; A. H. Boomer, manager of the California & Oregon Stage Company; Edward A. Hawley, of Hawley Brothers Hardware Company, of San Francisco; and James G. Walker, a wholesale liquor merchant of the same city: H. B. and B. M. Eastman, of Boise; and Joseph Perrault, surveyor-general of Idaho. The first officers were Henry Wadsworth, president; Alfred Eoff, cashier; and Joseph Perrault, assistant cashier. There have been no changes since, save that W. S. Bruce is now the assistant cashier.
During the civil war Mr. Eoff volunteered his services in aid of his country, was assigned to Company C, First Colorado Infantry, and was sent against the Indians, who were proving a constant source of danger to the white settlers of the state and of the northwest in general. He is now a member of George H. Thomas Post, No. 4, Grand Army of the Republic. Politically he is an ardent Republican.
One of the handsomest residences in Boise is the recently completed home of Mr. Eoff. He was married in 1882 to Miss Victoria Louise Marsh, who was born in Canada, is a lady of superior education and social attainments, and is a consistent member of the Episcopal church. In all his business and social relations Mr. Eoff is popular and influential. His marked financial and executive ability has gained him preeminence in commercial circles, while his pleasant personality and unquestioned integrity have won for him the respect of all.