Among the distinguished citizens of Boise is Hon. John L. Weaver, who is now serving as adjutant-general of the state. For many years a prominent representative of the Christian ministry, honored and respected in every class of society, he has for some time been a leader in thought and action in the public life of the state and his name is inscribed high on the roll of fame, his honorable and brilliant career adding luster to the history of Idaho.
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General Weaver was born in Switzerland County, Indiana, May 26, 1856, and is descended from Swiss, French and Scotch ancestors, who early became residents of America, many years ago the Weaver family resided in Pennsylvania, but the grandfather of our subject removed to Indiana during the pioneer epoch of that commonwealth, and Robert F. Weaver, father of the General, was born in Switzerland county. Having arrived at years of maturity, he married Miss Jane Banta, who was also a native of that county. Industrious and enterprising, he became one of the substantial farmers of the Hoosier state, where he made his home until his death, which occurred when he had attained the age of seventy-seven years. His wife has also departed this life. They were Universalists in religious faith, and their sterling worth won them the regard of all. Of their family of ten children, seven are yet living.
General Weaver, who is the youngest, acquired his literary education in colleges of Indiana, and later began reading law. Having largely mastered the principles of jurisprudence, he was admitted to the Indiana bar and practiced in that state until his removal to Des Moines, Iowa, where he was ordained as a minister of the Christian church, in January 1890. He filled the pulpit of the Christian church in Perry, Iowa, for a time, then accepted a call from the church in East Des Moines, and in the years 1892-3-4 was engaged in evangelistic work. On the expiration of that period he came to Boise and accented the pastorate of the Christian church in this city. He is a forceful, earnest and convincing speaker. His addresses are always logical and instructive, showing careful thought and deep research, and whether in the pulpit or on the political platform his words have that strength and eloquence which arise from the speaker’s belief in the thoughts he is presenting.
With a just appreciation of the duties of citizenship. General Weaver has studied closely the political problems which affect the welfare of the nation, and for many years gave an unwavering support to the men and measures of the Republican party: but, when he could no longer agree with that organization on account of the attitude which is assumed on the money question, he withdrew from its ranks and in 1896 became an advocate of W. J. Bryan in his candidacy for the presidency. He has since affiliated with the Democratic party, and in 1898 was appointed by Governor Stuenenberg to the position of adjutant-general of Idaho to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of General B. W. Figgins. who went with the Idaho volunteers to Manila and is now engaged in service in the Philippines.
General Weaver entered upon his duties May i6. 1898 and has entire supervision of the military forces of the state. His conscientious purpose and fidelity insure a faithful performance of duty, which his strong mentality will also render capable.
On the 19th of February 1880. General Weaver married Miss Ida M. Jayne, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Celey Jayne, of that state, who was killed while serving as an officer in the Union army during the civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Weaver have three daughters: Lucile, Lottie J. and Rachel Mary. Mrs. Weaver has for ten years been supreme chief of the Rathbone Sisters of the World, the ladies department of the Knights of Pythias fraternity. She was a delegate from Iowa to the World’s Columbian Exposition, in Chicago, being also a delegate to the National Congress of Women. General Weaver belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is past grand high priest of the encampment and past brigadier-general of the patriarchs militant. He is a gentleman of marked ability, of scholarly attainments and superior mental culture, and, while commanding the respect of those with whom he has come in contact in public life, in private he has won the love and warm regard of many friends by his many admirable traits of character and good qualities of heart and mind.