Young shoulders that bend beneath unnatural responsibilities which may not be laid aside become strong shoulders, and young brains that must plan and direct the work of bread-winning become active and practical, and the boy who makes success from ruin, as many a boy has done, is pretty apt to develop into a successful man of affairs. Such a boy was Charles F. Molden, and such a man is this boy grown to maturity, who is the present judge of probate of Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho.
Judge Molden was born in Germany, March 4, 1862, a son of Fredrick and Bertha (Febing) Molden, both of whom descended from, old German families. In 1872 when the future Judge Molden was only ten years old, Mr. and Mrs. Molden came with their family of seven sons to the United States and located at Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Mr. Molden had been steward of a large estate in his native land and he became a farmer in the New World. In the spring of 1873, scarcely a year after his settlement in Wisconsin, he died at the age of fifty-eight years. His wife survived him, and died at the age of sixty-nine years, in 1886. It was now that Judge Molden was brought face to face with the sternest necessity of his life. His mother and his younger brothers must be provided for, and the task devolved largely on him. He sold fish and berries and did anything that was honest that any one would pay him for doing. He proved himself a good boy, willing to work, and as time passed his opportunities improved. He attended school when he could, read and studied in his spare moments and managed to educate himself to an extent, and he kept the wolf from the door for those who were dependent upon him. Some of the younger boys came to his assistance later, and by hard effort and skillful management he not only supported the family, but paid for the farm, which he operated for years, and which he still owns.
In 1894 Mr. Molden came to Idaho and located on a ranch three miles west of Blackfoot, where he has a fine home and raises fruit and cattle. He also deals in cattle quite extensively, buying and shipping them to eastern markets.
Judge Molden has, as a Democrat, interested himself actively and intelligently in politics. He was chairman of the Democratic county convention of 1898, and received the Democratic nomination for the office of judge of probate. Later there was a fusion of the county Democracy with the silver Republicans. The election that ensued was a signal test of Mr. Molden’s personal popularity. While the entire fusion ticket was elected, Mr. Molden was elected by one hundred and forty-eight majority. As a trial judge he has been very successful, his decisions having been in accordance with the law and the evidence and’ not one of them having been reversed by an appellate court.
Judge Molden was married August 3, 1886, to Miss Anna Lee, a native of Red Wing, Minnesota. They have three daughters, named Clara, Mabel and Hazel. Mr. and Mrs. Molden are members of the Methodist church, and the Judge is a member of the Woodmen of America.