No Compendium such as the province of this work defines in its essential limitations will serve to offer fit memorial to the life and accomplishments of the honored subject of this sketch a man remarkable in the breadth of his wisdom, in his indomitable perseverance, his strong individuality, and yet one whose entire life has not one esoteric phase, being an open scroll, inviting the closest scrutiny. True, his have been “massive deeds and great” in one sense, and yet his entire life accomplishment but represents the result of the fit utilization of the innate talent which is his, and the directing of his efforts in those lines where mature judgment and rare discrimination lead the way. There is in Mr. Hawley a weight of character, a native sagacity, a far-seeing judgment and a fidelity of purpose that commands the respect of all. A man of indefatigable enterprise and fertility of resource, he has carved his name deeply on the record of the political, commercial and professional history of the state, which owes much of its advancement to his efforts. James H. Hawley was born in Dubuque, Iowa, on the 17th of January 1847, and in his veins mingles the blood of English, Dutch and Irish ancestors. The Hawley family was founded in America in 1760. William Carr, the maternal great-grandfather of our subject, was a major in the...Read More
Location: San Francisco County CA
One of the best known and most successful sheep-raisers and wool-growers of Idaho is J. D. C. Thiessen, of Lewiston. A native of Holstein, Germany, he was born February 16, 1843, and is of Danish ancestry, although his parents, John D. and Alary (Hanchild) Thiessen, were both natives of Germany. The father was a farmer and trader. In religious faith both he and his wife were Lutherans, and the former lived to be fifty-four years of age, while the mother departed this life in her fifty-sixth year. Mr. Thiessen of this review is the fourth in their family of seven children. He was educated in his native land, and when twenty-three years of age emigrated to the United States, reaching New York in 1866. Two years later he came to San Francisco, where he pursued a course in a commercial school and was thus fitted for life’s practical duties. He did not come to this country entirely empty-handed, as so many have done, having had five hundred dollars on his arrival. He was however, ignorant of the English language, and had to meet other difficulties. After having spent several years in America, he received three thousand dollars from his father’s estate, but lost it in mining enterprises in California and Nevada, and when he arrived in Lewiston, November 10, 1876, he had just eighteen and one-half dollars remaining. Here...Read More
A little thoughtful consideration of the career of Clarence W. Brooks, proprietor of the Brooks House, Idaho Falls, brings one to the conclusion that he has in most of his business operations been impelled by the spirit of the pioneer. He has sought out new plans and new conditions likely to favor his projects, and after he has made them available and profitable, he has sought out still others, and after those others. The wisdom of his selection has been proven by the success which has crowned his efforts. Not only is he one of the boldest, most venturesome and most successful hotel men in the west, but he is one of the best all-round hotel men “to the manner born” and experienced in the best houses in the country, with a comprehensive grasp on the hotel business, as such, and an intimate knowledge of all the details of good hotel-keeping. Clarence W. Brooks was born in Royalton, Vermont, June 22, 1848. His ancestors came from England and settled early in New Hampshire. His paternal grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier, and lived for some years after American independence, for which he had fought, was an established fact. Austin Brooks, his son and the father of Clarence W. Brooks, was born in Vermont, and there married Miss Susan Smith, and they lived and were farmers at Royalton for fifty years,...Read More
Almost forty years have passed since John M. Silcott took up his residence in Idaho, and he is therefore one of the oldest and most widely known pioneers of the state. He came in the spring of 1860 to establish the government Indian agency at Lapwai, and has since been identified with the growth and development of this section. He is a Virginian, his birth having occurred in Loudoun County, of the Old Dominion, January 14, 1824. His French and Scotch ancestors were early settlers there, and during the Revolution and the war of 18 12 representatives of the family loyally served their country on the field of battle. William Silcott, the father of our subject, married Sarah Violet, a lady of Scotch ancestry, and about 1828 they removed with the family to Zanesville, Ohio, where the father engaged in business as a contractor and builder. He was liberal in his religious views, and his wife held the faith of the Presbyterian Church. His political support was given the Whig party and the principles advocated by Henry Clay. Only two children of the family of five are now living, the sister being Sarah T., who married Captain Abrams, of Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Abrams now makes her home in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1845 the family removed to St. Louis, where both the parents died. Mr. Silcott received a common-school education...Read More
Among the eminent men of the northwest whose life records form an integral part of the history of Idaho was numbered Hon. Edward J. Curtis. In his death the state lost one of its most distinguished lawyers, gifted statesmen and loyal citizens. As the day, with its morning of hope and promise, its noontide of activity, its evening of completed and successful efforts, ending in the grateful rest and quiet of the night, so was the life of this honored man. His career was a long, busy and useful one, marked by the utmost fidelity to the duties of public and private life, and crowned with honors conferred upon him in recognition of superior merit. His name is inseparably interwoven with the annals of the Pacific coast, with its best development and its stable progress, and his memory is cherished as that of one who made the world better for his having lived. Edward J. Curtis was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1827 and acquired his preliminary education in public schools and under the instruction of private tutors in his native town. He was thus prepared for college and entered Princeton, where he was graduated with high honors. On the completion of his collegiate course he returned to Worcester, but soon after went to Boston, where he began the study of law in the office of the renowned jurist,...Read More
Among the enterprises of Weiser which are alike creditable to the city and to their proprietors is the Vendome Hotel, which was built by its present owners and managers, Messrs. McGregor and Coakley, and by them opened for business in February, 1891. Since that time the hotel has gained a very favorable reputation with the traveling public and enjoys a large patronage. It is a brick structure, two stories high, and contains twenty-eight rooms, well finished, well furnished, well ventilated and nicely kept. Great care is given to the perfection of all arrangements which will contribute to the comfort of the guests, and from the daintily spread tables, supplied with all the delicacies of the season, to the tastefully appointed parlors, all is harmonious and attractive. Malcolm McGregor, the senior member of the firm of McGregor & Coakley, was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, on the 14th of January 1845, and in his youth learned the machinist’s trade. He afterward operated a stationary engine and worked at his trade both in San Francisco, California, and Virginia City, Nevada. In 1871 he removed to Silver City, Idaho, where he accepted the position of chief engineer of the Ida Elmore mine and mill. He also conducted the Idaho Hotel there for some time, but came to Weiser in 1885. Here he engaged in raising sheep, also conducted a hotel, but abandoned...Read More
Among the enterprises of Weiser which are alike creditable to the city and to their proprietors is the Vendome Hotel, which was built by its present owners and managers, Messrs. McGregor and Coakley, and by them opened for business in February, 1891. Since that time the hotel has gained a very favorable reputation with the traveling public and enjoys a large patronage. It is a brick structure, two stories high, and contains twenty-eight rooms, well finished, well furnished, well ventilated and nicely kept. Great care is given to the perfection of all arrangements which will contribute to the comfort of the guests, and from the daintily spread tables, supplied with all the delicacies of the season, to the tastefully appointed parlors, all is harmonious and attractive. Malcolm McGregor, the senior member of the firm of McGregor & Coakley, was born in Picton, Nova Scotia, on the 14th of January 1845, and in his youth learned the machinist’s trade. He afterward operated a stationary engine and worked at his trade both in San Francisco. California, and Virginia City, Nevada. In 1871 he removed to Silver City, Idaho, where he accepted the position of chief engineer of the Ida Elmore mine and mill. He also conducted the Idaho Hotel there for some time, but came to Weiser in 1885. Here he engaged in raising sheep, also conducted a hotel, but abandoned...Read More
Since seven years of age Oscar F. Brunzell has been a resident of Owyhee County and is now residing in Silver City, where he is faithfully discharging the duties of assessor and tax collector. A native of Sweden, he was born January 5. 1864 and is a son of J. M. Brunzell who is now serving as postmaster of Reynolds, Owyhee county. In 1868 the father came to Idaho, and in 1871 sent for his family, who joined him, since which time they have resided continuously in Owyhee county. He is a stock-raiser and proprietor of a hotel and successfully conducts a good business. The family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death, and the three sons, Carl, Oscar F. and John A., are all residents of Idaho. The subject of this sketch attended the public schools of this locality and later continued his education in the Lincoln school in San Francisco. He has since been engaged in general stock-raising and mining until called to public office. In politics he is a “silver” Republican, and at the election of 1892 was chosen by popular ballot for the office of assessor and tax collector of Owyhee County, serving in that capacity until 1896, when he was again elected to that office. In 1898 he received the nomination of his party for county sheriff, and was elected by a...Read More
In the year which witnessed the arrival of so many of Idaho’s prominent pioneers. 1862 this gentleman cast in his lot with the early settlers, and through the period which has since elapsed he has been an important factor in the development and progress of the state. He is a native of Schoharie County, New York, born May 11, 1839, and is of Scotch and English descent. His ancestors came to America in colonial days and the maternal great-grandfather of our subject. Major Norton, fought throughout the struggle for independence. Joseph Baird, the father of our subject, was born in New York, and married Miss Sally Ann Gifford. For many years he engaged in the operation of a flouring mill, but in 1849 took up his residence upon a farm near Binghamton, New York, where he spent the remainder of his life. He took an active part in public affairs, and held various county offices, discharging his duties with marked promptness and fidelity. Both he and his wife were faithful members of the Episcopal Church. The former departed this life in the fifty-ninth year of his age, the latter in her seventy-seventh year. They had a family of four sons and three daughters, of whom five are living. Ezra Baird was reared and educated in Binghamton, New York. With the hope of more rapidly acquiring a competence in the...Read More
Throughout the greater part of his life Judge Henry M. Thatcher has resided on the Pacific slope, and as one of the honored pioneers of this section of the country has been prominently identified with its development, progress and up-building from an early day. He was born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1833, and is of German lineage. His grandfather, Samuel Thatcher, was born in Germany, and when a young man emigrated to the United States, settling in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, where he married Miss Hannah Smith. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and lived to the advanced age of ninety-three years. Enos Thatcher, the father of the Judge, was one of a family of three sons and five daughters. He married Miss Artemesia Case, also a native of Susquehanna County, and in 1837 they removed to Illinois, locating at Ottawa, LaSalle County, where the father entered land and, in connection with agricultural pursuits, conducted a hotel. Both he and his wife were Congregationalists in religious belief, and for many years Mr. Thatcher served as chorister of his church and took an active part in other branches of the work. He lived to be seventy-eight years of age. The mother of our subject died in the fifty-first year of her age, leaving two children, Henry M. and Elizabeth, who is now Mrs. Deckerd, of Albany,...Read More
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...Read More
This gentleman is the senior member of the law firm of Jones & Morphy, of Wallace, and holds a position of distinctive precedence at the bar of northern Idaho, by reason of his eminent ability as counsel and advocate. He was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, May 5, 1855, and is a son of Joseph D. and Catherine A. (Kaercher) Jones, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and spent their entire lives in that state, as had their ancestors since early colonial days. The father died at the age of forty-five years, and the mother was called to her final rest when seventy-three years of age. The subject of this review was reared and educated in the common schools of Pottsville and further continued his studies in the Paschal Institute, at that place. Determining to prepare for the bar, he began familiarizing himself with the principles of jurisprudence in 1874, as a student in the law office of the Hon. W. H. M. Oram, of Shamokin, Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the bar at Sunsbury, Pennsylvania, January 15, 1878, and immediately afterward began practice, spending one year in Mount Carmel, and then removing to Shamokin, where he practiced from 1879 until the close of the year 1885. In January 1886, he came to the Coeur d’Alene country and took up his abode in Murray, Shoshone County, where through the...Read More
A leading representative of the commercial interests of Hailey is R. W. Berry, the well known proprietor of a hardware store. He is an enterprising and progressive business man, whose well directed efforts, sound judgment and capable management insure him success, and today he is numbered among the substantial and valued citizens of Blaine county. A native of Maine, he was born in Augusta, on the 25th of March 1842 and is of Scotch lineage. His father, Arthur W. Berry, was born in Maine and married Miss Lucretia Jane Marble, also a native of the Pine Tree state. The father was for many years engaged in journalistic work as the publisher of the Gospel Banner. He died at the age of thirty-two years, leaving a widow and one son, the subject of this review. The mother lived to be fifty-seven years of age and died in Boise. After the death of Mr. Berry she married again and with her second husband removed to California, locating in Yuba County in 1857. In the public schools of his native state, R. W. Berry acquired his education, and when fifteen years of age began to earn his own living. He accompanied his mother to California. Attracted by the discovery of gold, he went to Washoe, Nevada, where he engaged in prospecting and mining. He also entered land from the government and followed...Read More
Among the enterprising young businessmen of Boise is the subject of this review, who is now at the head of an extensive wholesale and retail grocery house. His marked ability has done much to promote the commercial activity upon which the welfare of every community depends, and in trade circles he enjoys an Unassailable reputation. Almost his entire life has been passed in Idaho, and he is numbered among the native sons of California, his birth having occurred in San Francisco, on the 6th of April 1861. His father, David Spiegel, is numbered among the pioneers of California, Oregon and the Gem of the Mountains. He was born in Poland, Russia, in 1831, and when a young man came to the United States, locating in San Francisco when it was only a small town, where he began merchandising. In 1863 he came on foot to the Boise Basin, and in the manner of the old-time peddlers sold his goods throughout the new territory, traveling through the wild region when it was infested with savage Indians and white men ready to commit any crime for the sake of booty. Many times Mr. Spiegel walked from Umatilla to Boise Basin in all kinds of weather, sleeping in his blankets on the ground and enduring many discomforts: but he persevered in his labors, and when civilization had founded enterprising towns he was...Read More
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...Read More
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- History and Genealogy of Blue Hill, MaineAugust 29, 2016From the record of the town’s annual meeting held “March 6, 1769”, we learn that it was “Voted that Joseph Wood, Jonathan ...
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