It is the enterprise and character of the citizens that enrich and ennoble the commonwealth. From individual enterprise have sprung all the splendor and importance of this great west. The greatest businessmen have developed from the humblest origins, and from clerkships have emerged men who have built up great business enterprises. Among those who have achieved prominence as men of marked ability and substantial worth in Boise is the subject of this sketch. De Forest H. Andrews, one of the most successful real-estate dealers of Idaho.
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A native of Auburn, New York, he was born on the 23d of May, 1841, and is a representative of one of the old families of that state. His grandfather, Salmon Andrews, was a resident of Syracuse, New York. His father, Salmon S. Andrews, was born in the Empire state, and there married Miss Sarah Stolp, a lady of German descent. In 1843 they removed to Aurora, Illinois, where for a time Mr. Andrews was engaged in farming. Later he removed to Valparaiso, Indiana, where he died at the age of seventy years. Mrs. Andrews then made her home with her son in Leadville, Colorado, where she died in the sixty-eighth year of her age. This worthy couple were the parents of eleven children, but only three are now living.
De Forest H. Andrews acquired his education in the public schools of Indiana and Illinois. Throughout his business career his energies have been devoted principally to stock-raising, to mining and to real-estate dealing. In 1860 he emigrated to Colorado, where he engaged in mining at Leadville and Aspen, and in Gilpin and Boulder counties. He was successful in his ventures there and ultimately sold his mining interests for eighty-five thousand dollars. In 1890 he came to Boise and purchased property, since which time he has engaged in the real-estate business, both on his own account and for others. He has been a very prominent factor in the growth and up-building of the city, for through his instrumentality many substantial improvements have been made. He has large realty holdings in the Thatcher, Broadway, Park, South Boise and Londoner additions, and the amount of his sales would reach a large figure.
In 1872 Mr. Andrews married Mrs. Isabella L. Rice, a native of Steubenville, Ohio, and to them were born five children, but all are now deceased. By her former marriage Mrs. Andrews had three children, George W., Nellie N. and William C, all of whom have reached mature years. She is a valued member of the Congregational church and a lady whose many estimable qualities have gained her many friends.
On attaining his majority Mr. Andrews gave his political support to the Democratic party. Later he became one of the organizers of the Greenback party, and is now a Populist. He was one of the founders of the enterprising little city of Nevadaville, Colorado, and for some time was its progressive and efficient mayor. When there was a fusion between the Populist and Democratic forces he was nominated for election as a member of the state legislature, but was defeated at the ensuing election, in Gilpin County, Colorado. In 1896 he was nominated on the Democratic-People’s party ticket in Ada County, Idaho, and elected by a safe majority. As a member of the legislature he was instrumental in introducing and securing the passage of the irrigation bill, a very important measure, resulting greatly to the benefit and improvement of the state. In 1898 he received his party’s nomination for governor, a high tribute to his worth and an unmistakable indication of his popularity in Populistic circles. His business career is one most commendable. He follows most systematic methods, is thoroughly reliable, has strict regard for the ethics of commercial life, and, by enterprise and careful management, has secured a most gratifying success.