The new west is eminently the home of the self-made man. Indeed, it may be said that in making himself the self-made man of the new west has built the new west up about him. Of course this means the self-made man in a collective sense. Individually self-made men like Louis E. Eilert, of Rathdrum, Kootenai County, Idaho, are units in the scheme of moral and material development and progress. Louis E. Eilert is a native of Hanover, Germany, and was born April 5, 1851, a son of Ernest and Mary Eilert, descendants from a long line of German ancestors. In 1852 Ernest Eilert started for America with his wife and his son (then about a year old), with such plans in his mind as a man will make for those whose lives he wants to make better, without regard to the sacrifices he may be called upon to make in his efforts to the end. But he was doomed to bitter disappointment at the very outset. His wife died on the voyage and was buried in the Atlantic Ocean. But still duty lay plainly enough before him. Emigrants and pioneers may not have time for mourning their dead, for they have a fight to wage for the living. One may scarcely imagine how lonely the journey was of Mr. Eilert to the new land, after that dark day in his history, and across a land to him unknown to Wisconsin, where he settled on Wood river, in Waukesha county. There the boy Louis was reared and taught a good deal about work and not much about books. The schools there were crude and inadequate, but they were schools of a kind, and the boy learned enough to serve as seed in the field of knowledge, seed which he has cultivated since as well as he might, until he is regarded as a well informed man, alive to every important public question and zealous for education and all material progress. He came to the site of Rathdrum, Idaho, in 1880, and was one of the men who erected the first building where the town has since grown up. He is to some extent interested in mining, and is the operator of the Rathdrum brewery and carries on a retail trade in wines and liquors. He has been successful as a businessman and owes his success entirely to his own exertions, for he is in every sense of the word a self-made man.
A steadfast Democrat, he has always taken an active interest in the work of his party, but he has no desire for official position and has discouraged the use of his name whenever his candidacy for office has been suggested. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and has made an enviable reputation as a pubic-spirited citizen.
Mr. Eilert married Mrs. Abbie (Bradbury) Tucker, in 1883, and her one son by her former marriage has been given the name of his step-father, Louis Eilert.