Biography of Hon. Philetus Averitt
In the Weekly Capital, published in Boise, June 17, 1899, appeared the following sketch of him whose name introduces this article.
“Hon. Philetus Averitt was born in Mayfield, Kentucky, thirty-one years ago. He was educated at Bethel College and Cumberland University, and practiced law in his native town for one year. Six years ago he came to St. Anthony, Idaho, and commenced the practice of his profession. In a few years he has built up a first-class practice, and is recognized as an able and painstaking member of the legal profession. In 1896 Mr. Averitt gave his splendid abilities to the organization of the Democratic party of Fremont County, and was made chairman of the county committee. By his careful and able management of the county campaign every man on the Democratic ticket was elected.
“In 1898 Mr. Averitt was elected a member of the house of representatives from Fremont County, and early in the session was made the leader of the Democratic and silver-Republican majority in that body. This leadership was maintained by Mr. Averitt throughout the session, in face of strong opposition from brilliant and aspiring young men. He managed the campaign of L. C. Rice for state treasurer, nominating him in the state convention in a remarkably able speech. The magnificent results for Democracy in Fremont County at the last election are largely due to the untiring energy and wise counsel of Mr Averitt. He organized victory in every precinct, and made a vigorous and successful campaign. When it is known’ that the silver Republican and Populist forces fused in the county matters there, the victory organized by Mr. Averitt will be more fully appreciated. When the state code-commission was organized Governor Steunenberg appointed Mr. Averitt a member of the commission. This was a just recognition of the legal abilities of one of Idaho’s best lawyers, and time will record the verdict that the appointment was in every respect one most worthy.
“Mr. Averitt has a fine legal mind well stored with legal foundation principles, and his work on the commission will prove very satisfactory. To a well stored mind he adds indefatigable industry and an indomitable will. Mr. Averitt is a shrewd politician, is a good judge of men, has organizing qualities of a high order, and in the field of politics has few equals in the west. His star is rising in the western sky and is destined to grow brighter with the years.”