Location: Owyhee County ID

Biography of Frank Crosson

Frank Crosson is now engaged in general merchandising in De Lamar and is one of the most successful and enterprising businessmen here. His life stands in evidence of the fact that ambition, enterprise and diligence can cope with an adverse fate and ultimately reach the goal of prosperity. He came to Owyhee County on foot, reaching Silver City in June 1889, and secured employment in driving a freight team. Since that time he has advanced steadily toward success and competence and is today accounted one of the most progressive, respected and well-to-do merchants of the county. Mr. Crosson was born at Red Bluff, California, on the 24th of April 1862, and is of Scotch-Irish lineage. His father, Samuel Crosson, was born in the state of New York, and in 1852 took up his abode in California. He was married in Sacramento to Miss Mary Burk, a native of Ireland. For six years he lived the life of a sailor, making trips on the Sacramento River between San Francisco and Red Bluff. He died in 1893, at the age of sixty-four years, but his wife is still living and makes her home in San Francisco. Frank Crosson of this review started out in life on his own account when but ten years of age and is truly a self made man, a title of which he has every reason to...

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Biography of J. J. Plumer, M. D.

Dr. J. J. Plumer, the physician and surgeon of the De Lamar Mining Company, also engaged in general practice in De Lamar, is a native of Missouri, his birth having occurred in Edina, April 8, 1860. He traces his ancestry back to England, whence in the year 1832 members of the family who belonged to the sect of Puritans crossed the Atlantic to America. They braved the dangers so common to ocean voyages in those days in order to have liberty of conscience in the New World, and they and their descendants were connected with the early history of the colonies. They were mainly farming people, whose upright lives commended them to the confidence and respect of all. The Doctor’s father, William F. Plumer, was born in Marietta, Ohio, and married Miss Sarah F. Beswick, also a native of that place. In religious faith they are Presbyterians and by profession Mr. Plumer is a civil engineer. He now resides in Hillsboro, Iowa, at the age of sixty-seven years, and all of the family, including three sons and three daughters, are also yet living. The Doctor, the second in order of birth, spent his boyhood at his parental home, acquiring his literary education in Birmingham Academy, in Iowa. Determining to make the practice of medicine his life work he prepared for his chosen calling in the Starling Medical College, in...

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Biography of William N. Nichols

Among the earnest men whose depths of character and strict adherence to principle excite the admiration of his contemporaries, Mr. Nichols is prominent. He is now the esteemed and capable chairman of the Owyhee county board of commissioners and resides at Silver City. At present he is connected with various mining and business interests and is the possessor of an ample fortune; but the time was when his means were very limited, and to his own well directed efforts his success is attributable. Mr. Nichols was born in Shelby County, Ohio, on the 9th of May 1853, and is of German lineage. His father, L. H. Nichols, was a native of Buffalo, New York, and married Miss Anna Bell Newell, of Pennsylvania. They removed to Wisconsin, where they made their home for many years. In 1853, however, the husband and father crossed the plains to California, where he engaged in mining for some time and then returned to the Badger state. In 1858 he again crossed the plains, his destination being Pike’s peak. He was a regular physician and served his country as a surgeon during the civil war. After the close of hostilities he returned to his Wisconsin home, where he resumed the practice of his profession. He died in 1887, at the age of seventy-seven years, and his wife passed away at the age of seventy-eight years....

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Biography of Francis E. Ensign

Holding marked prestige among the prominent members of the Idaho bar is Francis Edward Ensign, who is now engaged in the practice of the legal profession in Hailey. There are few-men whose lives are crowned with the honor and respect which is uniformly accorded him; but through forty-five years” connection with the west his has been an unblemished career. With him success in life has been reached by sterling qualities of mind and a heart true to every manly principle. In his varied business interests his reputation has been unassailable and in offices of public trust he has displayed a loyalty that classed him among the valued citizens of the commonwealth. He has nearly reached the seventieth milestone that marks earth’s pilgrimage, but is still concerned with the active affairs of life, and in the courts of his district displays a strong mentality undimmed by time and a power of argument that wins him many notable forensic victories. A native of Ohio, Mr. Ensign was born in Painesville, March 4, 1829, and is descended from English ancestors who came from the “merrie isle” to the New World, locating in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1630, only two years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. A little later the Ensigns became pioneer settlers of Hartford, Connecticut. The paternal grandfather of our subject was one of the first settlers of...

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Biography of Ernest L. Ballard

The clerk of the district court and ex-ofificio auditor and recorder of Owyhee County, Idaho, residing in Silver City, is a native of the state of Virginia, his birth having occurred in Lynchburg on the 1st of February 1862. His ancestors, leaving their home in England, crossed the briny deep to the New World and became residents of Pennsylvania at the time William Penn founded the colony. They participated in the events which go to make up the early history of the Keystone state, and representatives of the name also fought for America in the war of 1812. Removing from Pennsylvania to Virginia, the family became identified with the interests of the south. Henry Clay Ballard, the father of our subject, was born, reared and educated in the Old Dominion and became a railroad contractor. He married Miss Sally Pollard, and during the civil war he served as a captain in General Munford’s cavalry in the Confederate army. He continued to reside in Virginia until 1880, when he removed to Colorado. He is now engaged in railroad contracting in British Columbia, and has reached the age of fifty-seven years. For many years he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity and in his life exemplifies the beneficent teachings of that order. His wife died in 1880, in her fortieth year, leaving the husband and two children to mourn...

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Biography of Benjamin F. Hastings

It has been the discovery of the rich mineral deposits of the northwest that has led to the development of this section of the country, and among those who have been prominent in promoting the mining interests of Idaho is Benjamin F. Hastings, late mining inspector of the state. An excellent judge of the value of ore, and a man of unimpeachable integrity, he was well qualified for the position which he so acceptably filled, and all concerned commended him for the straightforward, prompt and reliable manner in which he discharged his duties. A native of Mississippi, Mr. Hastings was born in the city of Vicksburg, on the 31st of August 1848. His ancestors were English people who took up their abode in Pennsylvania at an early period in the history of the Keystone state. They took an active part in the affairs which shaped the destiny of the colony, and representatives of the name aided in the struggle for American independence. Benjamin Franklin Hastings, father of our subject, was born in Lan-caster County. Pennsylvania, and when a young man removed to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he married Miss Ann Caroline Baker, a native of Somersetshire, England, and a daughter of Amos Baker, Esquire. On the discovery of gold in California, in 1849, Mr. Hastings, Sr., made a voyage around Cape Horn to the Pacific coast and became prominently engaged in...

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Biography of Henry Dorsey

Henry Dorsey, deceased, formerly the proprietor of the Dorsey Cottage Hotel, at Mountain Home, was born in Hancock county, Ohio, in February, 1853, and traced his ancestors back to German and Scotch people who located in Pennsylvania at an early epoch in the history of the Keystone state. His father, David Dorsey, was born in Pennsylvania, and married Miss Rosana Wyant, also a native of that locality. In 1821, soon after their marriage, they started westward and located in the midst of the unbroken forests of Ohio. Mr. Dorsey was a farmer by occupation, and in order to prepare land for cultivation at his new home he felled the first tree that had ever been cut upon what is now the site of the city of Findlay, Hancock County, Ohio. He was one of the honored pioneers of that locality, bearing a very important part in the work of development and improvement, and at an early day he served as justice of the peace and county commissioner. He was a man of ability and worth, and exerted marked influence in his township and county. His death occurred when he had reached the ripe old age of eighty years, and his wife departed this life at the age of fifty-three years. In the family were eight children, Henry, who was the youngest, being but three years of age at the...

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Biography of George H. Handy

George H. Handy, probate judge and ex-ofificio superintendent of schools for Owyhee County, Idaho, resides at Silver City. He was born at Grand Island, Hall county, Nebraska, on the 20th of February 1871, and is of Scotch and English ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Parker Handy, was a native of New York city, and for many years was prominently connected with the banking business, his death occurring at the advanced age of ninety years. H. P. Handy, father of the Judge, was also born in New York City, and throughout his active business career has followed civil engineering. He came to Idaho in 1894 and now resides in Nampa, where he is living retired. He married Miss Elizabeth Cassidy, who was born on the Emerald Isle but was of Scotch and English lineage. In their family were eleven children, six of whom are yet living. Judge Handy, the fifth in order of birth, acquired his education under the direction of his parents, both of whom are people of high mental culture. He also attended the public schools of Fort Collins, Colorado, and was graduated with the class of 1888. He then matriculated in the Colorado Agricultural College, but left that institution when in his senior year in order to accept an insurance agency. He continued in that position for three years, and later occupied a number of clerical positions in...

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Biography of Richard H. Bennett

The proprietor of one of the fine sheep ranches of southern Idaho, Richard H. Bennett maintains his residence in Mountain Home and from that point superintends his extensive business interests, in which he is meeting with good success. He is truly a self-made man, for he came to America empty-handed and through his own labors has worked his way steadily upward. He was born in England, March 19, 1850, a son of James and Jane (Sanders) Bennett, also natives of that country. In 1868, at the age of eighteen years, he severed the ties which bound him to his native country, and crossed the Atlantic to begin life in the New World as an employee in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. He received for his services two dollars and a half per day, and thus he gained a start in life. He continued his residence in the east until 1871, when he came to Idaho, and has since been identified with the interests of this state. In 1878 Mr. Bennett married Miss Flora Anna Benney, a native of England, who had come to the United States in 1859. Her father is John Benney; now a resident of Missouri, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett took up their abode in Silver City, Idaho, where our subject engaged in mining for several years. He located the Stormy Hill mine, afterward sold it, and...

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Biography of S. D. McLain

The prosperity of any community, town or city depends upon its commercial activity its industrial interests and its trade relations, and therefore the real upbuilders of a town are those who stand at the head of the leading enterprises. Among the prominent representatives of commercial life in Silver City is S. D. McLain, who as a partner in the firm of Shea, McLain & Crete is at the head of the most extensive mercantile establishment of the town. This well appointed store, with its large and carefully selected stock, is a credit to the proprietors as well as to the city, and in its management Mr. McLain displays that executive force and able management that rank him among the leading business men of the community. Mr. McLain was born at Chariton, Iowa, January 3, 1869, and is of Scotch descent. His father, Clinton J. McLain, is a native of Ohio, and now resides in La Grande, Oregon, where he is engaged in the sale of farm implements. He married Miss Eva Hollingsworth, a daughter of M. Hollingsworth, a farmer living in Iowa. Six children were born to them, of whom five are living, the subject of this sketch being the eldest. In the public schools our subject acquired his education, and as soon as old enough to engage in business on his own account went to Kamela, Oregon, where...

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Biography of William F. Sommercamp

William F. Sommercamp, the leading merchant of Weiser, Idaho, is a native son of the golden west. He was born in California, February 16, 1860, and comes of German ancestry. His father, William F. Sommercamp, was born in Germany and when a young man emigrated to America, landing at New Orleans, where for a time he followed his trade, that of confectioner. Subsequently he married Miss Mary Slack, of Zanesville, Ohio, and shortly after their marriage they removed to California, where he engaged in mining. In 1864 he came over into Idaho and became one of the prominent miners and stock-raisers of Owyhee County. He died in the sixty-second year of his age. His widow is living, aged fifty-nine years, and of their children, three daughters and seven sons, only four are now living, three sons and a daughter. William F., the subject of this sketch, is the eldest of the family. He was in his fifth year when they moved to Idaho and located in Silver City, and in the public schools of this place his education was begun. Later he attended St. Augustine College, at Benicia, and, after clerking three years in a mercantile establishment, took a course in Heald’s Business College, San Francisco, where he graduated in due time. After his graduation he accepted a position in a San Francisco wholesale house, where he remained three...

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Biography of Peter Adams

For a third of a century Peter Adams has been a resident of Owyhee county, and has been identified with the important work of taking from the mountain side the rich mineral deposits and securing the valuable metals that they may be used in connection with the commercial activity of the nation. He came to the west from the far-off Empire state, his birth having occurred in Dunkirk, New York, on the 24th of February 1837. The Adams family is of Scotch origin, and the parents of our subject were Peter and Jane (Brodie) Adams, residents of Buffalo, New York. The father followed the business of stonecutting and contracting, and died in the forty-seventh year of his age. His wife, surviving him many years, was called to her final rest at the age of seventy-six. They were members of the Presbyterian Church, and were people of the highest integrity and respectability. Peter Adams, who was one of their family of seven children, was reared and educated in New York, and in 1864 crossed the plains to California, where he engaged in the butchering business for two years. In 1866 he went to Silver City, Idaho, and soon afterward formed a partnership with T. W. Jones, since which time they have done a large and profitable business as contractors and builders. They have constructed many of the hoisting works and...

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Biography of Frederick Crete, Sr.

One of the most successful pioneer citizens of Silver City is Frederick Crete, who is a native of Hanover, Germany, where he was born in August 1833. He is a brother of John Crete, Sr., whose sketch will be found elsewhere in this volume. While still a young man Mr. Crete decided to try his fortunes in the New World, of which he had heard so much, and bidding adieu to the Fatherland and all its happy associations, he embarked on a vessel which landed him in New York city in 1852. From there he found his way to Attleboro, Massachusetts, where for some time he worked at the jewelry business. In 1858 Mr. Crete became a victim of the California fever and took a trip to the land of gold by way of the Isthmus of Panama, sailing on the steamer John L. Stephens. He remained in California until 1865, during that time studying and practicing dentistry, and then removed to Silver City, where he carried on his profession for some years. He also had a store at a place called Fairview, on Eagle Mountain. This town was burned out in 1875 and Mr. Crete lost all his property. Soon after this the great excitement caused by the discovery of gold in the Black Hills swept over the land, and our subject started with hundreds of others to...

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Biography of Timothy Regan

Among the pioneers of Idaho is Timothy Regan, of Boise, who came to the territory in 1864, and has since been largely instrumental in developing the rich mineral resources of the state. He is a native of Rochester, New York, born November 14, 1843, and is of Irish extraction. His parents, Morgan and Mary (Burk) Regan, were both natives of the Emerald Isle, whence they emigrated to the state of Maine, in 1831, bringing with them their two infant daughters. At a later date they removed to New York, thence to Chicago and afterward to Wisconsin, where the father secured a tract of land and industriously carried on agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1878, at the age of sixty-nine years. His wife, surviving him some time, departed this life in 1897, at the age of eighty-four years, in Wisconsin. They were devout members of the Catholic Church and were people of the highest respectability. Nine children were added to their family in America, of whom seven are still living, one being a resident of Boise, namely, Timothy. Philip, who for many years was a leading grocer of the city, died February 9, 1899. Timothy Regan, whose name introduces this review, was educated in the public schools of Wisconsin, and was reared on his father’s farm, early becoming familiar with all the duties of field and meadow....

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Biography of John Scales

John Scales, a resident of Wagontown, is a native of the Emerald Isle, his birth having occurred in Kilrush, County Clare, on the 6th of May 1840. At the time of the protectorate in England members of the Scales family, natives of that land, went to Ireland as soldiers of Oliver Cromwell, and for their services were paid in Irish estates, called “sword-lands.” The parents of our subject were Samuel and Rachel Scales, who were distant relatives. They came to America in 1855, bringing with them their family of five children, and took up their residence in the state of Maine. The father died in 1875, at the age of seventy-two years, and the mother spent her last days in the home of her son John, passing away at the advanced age of ninety-two years. Four of the children yet survive, one being a resident of Maine, one of Oregon, one of Silver City and one of Wagontown, Idaho, and thus they are separated by the width of the continent. John Scales was a youth of fifteen years when he accompanied his parents on the voyage across the briny deep. He attended school in his native land and pursued a commercial course in Eastman’s Business College of Poughkeepsie, New York. His residence in Idaho dates from 1868, when he took up his abode in Silver City and began work...

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