Location: Moscow Idaho

Prominent Cities and Towns of the State

Boise, The Capital City The following descriptive article is an excerpt from the souvenir edition of the Boise Sentinel, issued in June 1897: So much has been said and written and sung of “Boise, the Beautiful,” that the task of saying any-thing new seems utterly hopeless; and of this there is little need. While those who have made their homes here from the beginning, and those who from year to year have come to stay, might naturally be expected to be most fervent in their praises, they have not always been the happiest in laying appropriate tributes before the shrine of the object of their love and admiration. Strangers and transient visitors have often been more fortunate in their offerings. Perhaps the first question that arises in the mind of a stranger in regard to this locality is why was it so named. After more than a third of a century has passed since the first human habitation was erected on the present site of the town, and after the story has been so often repeated in print, the inquiry continues to be daily made. Why Boise? Briefly, this is what the ancient chroniclers tell of the origin of the name: In the summer of 1834 a party of French Canadian voyagers, belonging to the expedition of Captain Bonneville (whose explorations and adventures were afterward immortalized by the pen...

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Biography of James Harvey Forney

A visit to the library of the gentleman whose name is above and a chat with him in his pleasant home at Moscow, are sufficient to dispel any idea that the new west is without culture or men of ability interested in its educational progress and development. Mr. Forney has given some of the best years of an active and useful life to the cause of education in Idaho, and has attained more than local distinction otherwise. James Harvey Forney, a prominent citizen of Moscow, Idaho, and ex-United States district attorney for the district of Idaho, was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, forty-seven years ago, a son of James H. and Emily (Logan) Forney. The old homestead in North Carolina, where Mr. Forney was born, has been in the po-session of his family for four generations. The Forneys are of French-Huguenot descent and Mr. Forney’s great-great-grandfather, who was born in 1640, fled from his native land in 1685, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and settled in Alsace, on the Rhine. His son, Mr. Forney’s great-grandfather, was born in 1721. In 1754 he married a Miss Maria Bergner, of Canton Berne, Switzerland, and thereafter settled in Lincoln County. North Carolina. The fact that they and their sons, Jacob, Peter and Abraham, were uncompromising Whigs, and that the family sustained the cause of American liberty by the...

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Biography of William A. Baker

The commercial interests of Moscow are well represented by William Alexander Baker, a leading and enterprising merchant, whose well directed efforts, sound judgment and reliable dealing are bringing to him a creditable and satisfactory success. For twelve years he has carried on operations in Moscow, where he deals in both new and second-hand goods. He is a native of Virginia, born in Augusta County, July 13, 1855, of Scotch-Irish descent. His grandfather, Guinn Baker, was the founder of the family in the Old Dominion, and was an industrious and respected farmer and a valued member of the Methodist church. He devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits in Virginia, and died at the age of eighty-two years. His son, Frank Baker, father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania and married Miss Martha Guinn, a native of Virginia. They removed to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and he began farming on a tract of land of forty acres, but as time passed he extended the boundaries of his place until it comprised one hundred and forty acres. His wife died in her forty-second year, but he lived to be seventy-one years of age. Both enjoyed the high regard of their fellow men, and their lives were well spent. They had a family of three daughters and two sons, of whom four are living. William A. Baker, their eldest child, spent his...

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Biography of Wylie A. Lauder

Among those who have been distinctly conspicuous in connection with the substantial up-building and legitimate progress of the attractive little city of Moscow, the county-seat of Latah county, very definite recognition must be given to him whose name initiates this paragraph. It was his fortune to be on the ground when the town practically had its inception, and with every advance movement he has been prominently identified, being recognized as one of the leading and most enterprising business men of the place and as one who has contributed liberally and with enthusiasm to every cause which has had as its object the growth and prosperity of Moscow. Mr. Lauder traces his ancestral line through many generations of sturdy Scottish stock, he himself being of but the second generation on American soil, since his father, William Lauder, was a native of bonnie Scotland, the fair land of “brown heather and shaggy wood.” Wylie A. Lauder is a native of Canisteo, Steuben County. New York, where he was born in July, 1857, the son of William and Mary (Cameron) Lauder, the former of whom was born in Scotland, as has already been noted, while the latter is likewise of Scottish ancestry. William Lauder came to the United States in the year 1845, locating at Duanesburg, New York, where was eventually solemnized his marriage to Miss Mary Cameron. In the year 1869...

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Biography of Louis N. B. Anderson

Fortunate is the man who has back of him an ancestry honorable and distinguished, and happy is he whose lines of life are cast in harmony therewith. In person, in character and talents, Mr. Anderson is a worthy scion of his race. Though his life has been one rather of modest reserve than of ambitious self-seeking, he has shown himself a peer of the brightest men of his adopted state, and his mental talents led to his selection for the important position of superintendent of public instruction of Idaho for the years 1897 and 1898, in which capacity he served with distinction. For several generations his ancestors have devoted their energies to the advancement of intellectual acquirements among their fellow men. His great-grandfather, a native of Denmark, followed school teaching in his native land prior to his emigration to America. The latter event occurred, however, in the colonial period of our country, and he aided in the struggle which brought to the nation her independence. He afterward erected a schoolhouse, and conducted a private school throughout the remainder of his life. He was born December 22, 1747, and died in 1834, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. His son, Allen Anderson, the grandfather of our subject, was born in North Carolina, in 1777, and he likewise devoted his life to educational work. He married a Miss Evans, and...

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Biography of Mansfield C. McGrew

One of the prominent merchants of Kendrick, and the senior member of the large general mercantile firm of McGrew & Carmean, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, an enterprising, energetic man whose keen discrimination in business efforts and indefatigable industry have brought him a success which he well merits. A native of Illinois, he was born in Clay County, July 11, 1862, and is of Scotch-Irish lineage. His great-grandfather, James McGrew, having emigrated from the Emerald Isle to the New World, settled in Pennsylvania and became the progenitor of the family in the United States. He later became a pioneer of Ohio, where the grandfather, Joseph McGrew, was born in 1804. The latter became a successful farmer and was also a devout Methodist. In 1854 he removed with his family to Clay County, Illinois, where his death occurred, in 1898, at the advanced age of ninety-four years. James McGrew, the father of our subject, was a native of Clay County, and there married Miss Sarah Adeline Moore, a native of Indiana. Her father died when she was a small child, and she was reared in Illinois. Both of Mr. McGrew’s grandmothers died in 1898, the one on the paternal side at the age of ninety years, the one on the maternal at the age of eighty. On both sides the families were people of the highest respectability....

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Biography of Mason A. Cornwall

This honored citizen of Moscow has now attained the venerable age of seventy-seven years, yet largely possesses the vigor of a man in his prime. His life has been a busy, useful and honorable one, and has been crowned with a rich measure of success as the fitting reward of his labors and his well directed energies. He is still actively interested in business affairs and in all that is connected with the state’s prosperity and progress, and is one of the most valued citizens of Idaho. Old age is not necessarily a synonym of weakness or inactivity. It need not suggest as a matter of course want of occupation or helplessness. There is an old age that is a benediction to all that comes in contact with it, that gives out of its rich stores of learning and experience, and grows stronger intellectually and spiritually as the years pass. Such is the life of Mr. Cornwall, an encouragement to his associates and an example well worthy of emulation to the young. Mason A. Cornwall was born in Truxton, Cortland County, New York, December 2, 1821, and is a descendant of an old English family that numbers many prominent men among its representatives. Four Cornwall brothers emigrated to New England in 1636, and founded the family in Connecticut and Rhode Island. William Cornwall settled in Hartford, Connecticut, and became...

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Biography of Franz L. Koehler

The sturdy German element in our national commonwealth has been one of the most important factors in furthering the substantial and normal advancement of the country, for this is an element signally appreciative of practical values and also of the higher intellectuality which transcends all provincial confines. Well may any person take pride in tracing his lineage to such a source. As one of the able and enterprising citizens whom the German Fatherland has contributed to the United States, and as one of the prominent and progressive citizens of the flourishing town of Moscow, Latah County, Idaho, Franz Louis Koehler is worthy of distinct recognition in this work. Mr. Koehler is a native of the province of Bavaria, Germany, where he was born on the 8th of October 1859, coming of stanch old German stock. He received his educational discipline in the excellent schools of the Fatherland and there instituted his association with the practical affairs of life by learning the brewing business, a line of enterprise in which the sons of the German empire have ever been the leaders. He was employed in the leading breweries of his native land, becoming thoroughly familiar with every detail of the business and with the methods employed to secure the maximum excellence in products. Finally determining to try his fortunes in the New World, Mr. Koehler embarked for the United States...

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Biography of Frank L. Moore

The junior member of the prominent law firm of Forney, Smith & Moore, of Moscow, is Frank Latham Moore, who was born in Olmstead County, Minnesota, February 8, 1863, and is of Scotch-Irish ancestry. The family was early founded in Canada, the great-grandfather of our subject being its progenitor there. The grandfather, Chauncy Moore, was born in Canada, and when a young man removed with his family to Rochester, New York, where Reuben Billings Moore, father of our subject, was born in 1826. The grandfather removed from Rochester to Putnam County, Illinois, where he secured land from the government and made his home until his death, in 1844, when he had reached the age of forty-three years. His wife was a cousin of Captain Johnson, who fought in the war of 1812, and is credited with having killed the Indian chief and warrior, Tecumseh. Her people were of German descent and were early settlers of the Mohawk valley. In 1849 Reuben B. Moore crossed the plains to California with oxen, being the first to arrive at Sutter’s Fort that year. He mined on Feather River, but was principally engaged in constructing ditches and flumes to convey water to the miners. He met with a satisfactory degree of success during his ten years residence in California, and then returned to Illinois. Soon afterward he removed to Rochester, Minnesota, where he...

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Biography of John J. Owen

The history of the first things is always interesting. In any town the first settler’s is the name most carefully preserved. The places where he established his home and first worked at his primitive vocation are carefully noted, and his deeds and words are recounted often and with increasing interest as generations succeed one another. There lives in Genesee, Idaho, a man, now the postmaster of the city, who was its pioneer in more ways than one and it is the purpose of the biographer to record now a brief statement of the facts of his life and of his residence in the town with whose progress he has been so long and closely identified. John J. Owen is of English and Welsh ancestry and was born in Birmingham, England, January 30, 1843, a son of John and Matilda (Jordan) Owen. In 1849, when he was six years old, the family came to the United States. It consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Owen, John J. and two sisters. Charles, an older son, had been lost at sea. W. H., the youngest of the family, was born after the others came to this country and is now living in Minnesota. The family settled at Jacksonville, Illinois, where the elder Owen found work as a tinner, a trade which he had learned and at which he had been employed in England....

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Biography of Michael J. Shields

The life of Michael Joseph Shields affords an illustration of the vicissitudes of business under modern conditions; it emphasizes the importance of doing the right thing at the right time, and it teaches a lesson of patience under difficulties and perseverance against obstacles, a lesson that should not be lost upon all of the many who need it. It is suggestive in another way, too, because it affords an example, in addition to many others that have been given in the past, of the excellent quality of the sturdy Irish-American character. Mr. Shields, who is one of the most enterprising and influential citizens of Moscow and who has the reputation of having done as much toward the upbuilding of that city as any other man, was born near Lockport, New York, September 15, 1853. His parents were natives of Ireland. His father, John Shields a well known contractor, was drowned at the age of thirty-one while making improvements on a section of the Erie Canal. After his death his widow, with three children, removed to Lockport where she died in her fifty-seventh year. After having attended school at Rochester and Lockport, New York, Michael Joseph Shields began the battle of life as a driver on the Erie Canal. His business ability was exhibited early in his career, for at seventeen we find him the owner of a team, at...

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Biography of Archibald Gammell

Archibald Gammell, county assessor and tax collector of Latah County, now residing in Moscow, is a native of Nova Scotia, his birth having occurred February 23, 1835. He is descended from Scotch-Irish ancestry, of Presbyterian faith. William Gammell was the progenitor of the family in the New World. He crossed the Atlantic to Nova Scotia about 1776, since which time three generations of the family have been born there. Industry, uprightness and reliability are the chief characteristics of the Gammells, and they are also noted for longevity, most of the name having attained the age of eighty years or more. John Gammell, the grandfather, and William K. Gammell, the father of our subject, were both born in Nova Scotia, and the latter married Miss Martha Millen, a native of Ireland. They had seven children, but three are now deceased. The mother departed this life in her eighty-first year, and the father survived her only twenty-eight days. They were about the same age, and had celebrated their fifty-sixth wedding anniversary. In religious belief they were Presbyterians, and their upright lives exemplified their faith. Archibald Gammell is now the eldest of the surviving members of the family. He was reared on his father’s farm, educated in the common schools, and entered upon his independent business career as an employee in a woolen factory. He also learned the miller’s trade in a...

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Biography of Charles L. Gritman, M. D.

Among the ablest representatives of the medical profession of Idaho is Dr. Gritman, of Moscow, who is successfully engaged in practice as the senior member of the firm of Gritman & Ward, and is also conducting the Moscow Hospital. He was born near Springfield, Illinois, December 28, 1862. His grandfather, Erastus Gritman, was a native of Germany, and when a young man crossed the broad Atlantic to America, locating at Lockport. He thus became the progenitor of the family in the United States. He was married at Lockport, spent the remainder of his life there and died at the age of seventy-nine years, an honest, industrious and respected farmer. His son, Delos Walter Gritman, the Doctor’s father, was born in Lockport in 1831, and in his nineteenth year removed to central Illinois, where he married Mary Ellen Davis, a native of Maryland. In his early life he was a carpenter, contractor and builder, but later became a prosperous farmer. He and his wife were valued members of the Methodist church. The father died in 1893 at the age of sixty-two years, and the mother died exactly a year later, at the age of fifty-eight years. They had a family of nine children, eight of whom are living. The Doctor, the third in order of birth, was reared on the home farm and obtained his literary education in Lincoln, Illinois....

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Biography of William W. Watkins, M. D.

A man’s reputation is the property of the world. The laws of nature have forbidden isolation. Every human being submits to the controlling influence of others or, as a master, wields a power for good or evil on the masses of mankind. There can be no impropriety in justly scanning the acts of any man as they affect his public, social and business relations. If he be honest and successful in his chosen field of endeavor, investigation will brighten his fame and point the path along which others may follow. One whose record will bear the closest scrutiny and stand the test of public criticism is Dr. Watkins, a most able physician, a loyal citizen and true gentleman, whom Moscow numbers among her valued residents. The Doctor was born in Warner, Merrimac County, New Hampshire, August 3, 1846, that locality having been the birthplace of three generations of the family before him. On the paternal side he is of Welsh descent, and on the maternal of English lineage. His father, Jason D. Watkins, was there born and in early life followed farming, but afterward became a merchant. He married Miss Phoebe Abbott, a native of Boscawen, New Hampshire, and a representative of the eminent Abbott family of America. Their union was blessed with seven children. In religious faith they were Baptists and were people of the highest respectability and...

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Biography of James Deakin

Those who have opened the way for civilization in our land, as the star of empire has taken its way toward the sunset gates, have been men of strong character, courageous, hardy, tenacious of purpose and willing lo endure hardships and privations for the sake of making homes for themselves and posterity. All honor has been paid the pioneers who blazed their way through the sylvan wilderness of the middle west in past generations, while not less is the homage due to those whose fortitude led them to traverse the plains, invade the mountain fastnesses and do battle with a dusky and treacherous foe in the great empire of the far west. Among those who are to be considered as genuine pioneers of Latah county is James Deakin, one of the honored citizens of the thriving county seat, Moscow. Hither he came to make his permanent abode as early as the year 1871, at which time there was no Moscow, no Colfax, no Spokane, this entire region, with its opulent resources, being then 1 wild and uninhabited district, save as the red men roamed at will among the peaceful valleys and over the mountain crags. At the time our subject located here the settlers were compelled to go to Walla Walla for their supplies, a distance of ninety miles. He passed through many and trying vicissitudes and has watched...

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