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Samuel O. Tannahill, of the law firm of Tannahill & Tannahill, of Lewiston, is a native of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Van Buren County, that state, August 10, 1868. In colonial days the family was founded in New England, and the great-grandfather of our subject, Henry W. Tannahill, was one of the heroes of the Revolution, valiantly fighting for the independence of the nation. He afterward became one of the pioneer settlers of Ohio, and there occurred the birth of Henry and John L. Tannahill, the former the grandfather, the latter the father of our subject. When a young man John L. Tannahill emigrated to Iowa, and became an industrious and successful farmer of that state. He married Miss Elmira Jones, a native of Iowa, and to them were born three sons, all vet living. At the time of the civil war, the father responded to the country’s call for aid and served in the Seventh Iowa Cavalry until the cessation of hostilities. Later he removed to Kansas, in 1872, where he died in the thirty-third year of his age. His widow still survives him and is now forty-nine years of age. She belongs to the Presbyterian Church, as did her husband.
Samuel O. Tannahill, the eldest son, acquired his preliminary education in the public schools of Kansas, and later was a student in the Kansas State Normal School. He was reared oil the home farm, and when seventeen years of age began to earn his own living by teaching school. He was employed as a teacher of country schools until 1888, when he came to Idaho and continued his labors along educational lines, in Nez Perces county, until 1892, when, by popular ballot, he was elected to the office of assessor and ex-officio tax collector. He then came to Lewiston to reside, and filled his position in such a satisfactory manner that in 1894 he received the nomination of his party for clerk of the district court and. ex-officio auditor and recorder of the county. He was also clerk of the board of commissioners, and his public service was most acceptable and commendable. In the meantime Mr. Tannahill had read law, and having passed the necessary examination was admitted to the bar. He then entered into partnership with his brother, George W. Tannahill, who is a graduate of the law school at Valparaiso, Indiana, and they have rapidly acquired a good practice, now retaining a distinctively representative clientele. They have a nicely appointed office, a good library and also own a set of abstract books.
Samuel O. Tannahill has always been an advocate and supporter of the Democracy, has attended many of the county and state conventions and has a wide acquaintance in the party throughout the state. He had the honor of being appointed by Governor Steunenberg a member of his staff. He keeps well informed on the issues of the day and is therefore able to give an intelligent support to the principles in which he so firmly believes.
Mr. Tannahill was married, in 1897, to Miss Alice Cox, a daughter of W. S. Cox, a prominent Lewiston merchant. She is a lady of culture and refinement and is a valued member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Tannahill have a nice home in Lewiston, where he has acquired considerable property. He belongs to the Odd Fellows society, has passed all the chairs in all its branches, is a blue-lodge and royal-arch Mason and has taken the Scottish-rite degrees up to and including the eighteenth. He is a youngman of worth and ability, and has the happy faculty of making friends and drawing them closer to him as the years pass by. At the bar he has attained an enviable position. Deeply interested in his profession he spares no pains in perfecting himself in his chosen calling, and has a wide and accurate knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence.