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Walter Hoge is one of the most prominent representatives of the industrial interests of southeastern Idaho. He makes his home in Paris, where he is connected with the lumber business, both manufacturing and selling lumber. The volume of his trade enables him to furnish employment to a large force of workmen and thus he adds to the general prosperity of the community and to the welfare of the town.
Mr. Hoge was born on the 18th of November 1844, and is of English lineage. His parents, Walter and Elizabeth Hoge, were also natives of the same land, and the father supported his family by working at the blacksmith’s trade. In his religious belief he was a Presbyterian, and died in that faith in 1866, when sixty-six years of age. His wife long survived him and departed this life in 1882, when eighty-three years of age. They were the parents of eleven children, but only four are yet living.
Mr. Hoge, of this review, the youngest of the family, accompanied his parents on their removal to Scotland in his early boyhood and was there educated. He served for four years as an apprentice to the butcher’s trade and followed that business until his emigration to America in 1862. Having come to the New World he took up his abode on Vancouver’s Island and began work in the mines of British Columbia, but at the time of the Cariboo excitement he went to that district, where he was paid ten dollars per day for his labors. In 1864 he went to Portland, Oregon, and from there to Walla Walla, where he worked at his trade for sixty dollars per month until the spring of 1864, when he removed to the Kootenai country, carrying on the butchering business there on his own account and meeting with fair success. Subsequently he engaged in mining at Alder Gulch, now Silver City, Montana, and at Helena, and on returning to Idaho settled at Salmon City. His partner, Godfrey Knight, was one of the discoverers of Leesburg, and Mr. Hoge lost considerable money in his mining ventures there. Leaving that place he came to the Cache valley to spend the winter and during that season embraced the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to which he has since faithfully adhered.
For two years Mr. Hoge engaged in teaching school in Utah, and in 1870 came to Bear Lake county, locating in Paris, where for some time he had the contract for carrying the mail and also ran a stage route between Evanston and Cariboo, a distance of one hundred and forty-five miles. Success attended his efforts in that direction and his capital was thereby materially increased. When called to public office he abandoned the stage route and for some time devoted his energies to public service. He is a stanch supporter of the Republican Party, well versed on the issues of the day. Many years ago he was appointed deputy district clerk of the third judicial district and later he was elected sheriff of the county, in which office he was continued, by re-election, from 1882 until 1888, discharging his duties with marked promptness, fearlessness and fidelity. In 1884, seeing the need of a sawmill in this locality, he erected a steam mill with a capacity of ten thousand feet of lumber per day, and also built a sawmill, operated by water power, the latter having a capacity of eight thousand feet of lumber per day. In addition he also owns and operates a planing-mill and a shingle mill. He saws yellow and white pine, getting his timber from the mountainside, and employs from twenty to thirty men. He has a good local demand for the products of his mills, and also ships to different towns in Idaho. In addition he owns a fine ranch and raises excellent Durham cattle, and has greatly improved the grade of cattle raised in this locality.
In 1876 Mr. Hoge erected a one-story cottage, but afterward remodeled it, making it a two-story residence with a mansard roof, an attractive home, pleasantly furnished, and surrounded by beautiful shade trees.
He was happily married, in 1869, to Miss Amelia Smith, a native of England, and to them have been born five children, three daughters and two sons, namely: Rhoda, at home; Ella, wife of Alfred Budge; Lizzie; Walter Smith and William Smith. Mr. Hoge and his family are valued members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he served on a mission to England, where for a year he was in the emigration office in Liverpool, during which time he sent fifteen hundred people to Utah. That year he was ordained high priest, and for twenty-five years has been the first counselor to the bishop of the second ward of Paris. He is a citizen of the highest probity of character, is a reliable and successful businessman, and is greatly esteemed throughout the community.