Location: Virginia City Nevada

Biographical Sketch of Ferguson Owen

One of San Mateo County’s most efficient peace officers is Ferguson Owen, constable of the 2nd Township. As well as the important part Owen has played in the suppression of crime in his township, he has figured in many important criminal cases. One of the best known is the capture of Nick Greelish (James C. Greelish), the highwayman, who assaulted Mrs. L. Guggenheim in the Home of Peace Cemetery. While a thousand officers were in pursuit of this criminal, Constable Owen cleverly worked out his own set of clues and tracked him into a saloon on the state highway. Working single-handed Owen had Greelish handcuffed before the desperate criminal even realized that Owen was looking for him. Greelish is now serving a twenty-five year sentence for highway robbery. Three years ago Owen’s bravery saved the lives of a score of San Mateo citizens. A drink crazed Austrian was standing on a balcony on Main street shooting with a rifle at every passerby. Exposing himself to the fire of the maniac Owen took a dead aim at the man and shot him through the arm which held the gun. By trade Constable Owen is a painter but he has had to put aside the brush most of the time because of his arduous duties as constable. He was born in Virginia City, Nevada on July 25, 1875 and has lived...

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Biography of Thomas Howard

This substantial and capable gentleman is one of the real builders of the county of Harney, and it is quite proper that he should be accorded representation in its history, being a man greatly respected and worthy of the high esteem given to him. He was born in the city of New York, on May 11, 1833, being the son of Patrick H. and Mary (Ford) Howard. The father was an engineer, operating a stationary engine. Thomas grew to manhood, gaining a good education meanwhile, and part of the time working in the markets, where he learned the butcher trade. In the memorable ‘forty-nine he was one of the gold seekers, going from New York on a steamer to Panama and thence to San Francisco on a sailing vessel. The trip was hot and tedious, being two months from Panama to the Golden Gate. He mined for a time and then went at his trade in Marysville and other places in the state. It was in 1859 that he went to Carson and Virginia Cities, Nevada, and there operated at his trade, and also wrought in Esmeraldo. In the spring of 1862 Mr. Howard was hired at a wage of one hundred dollars per month to accompany a herd of cattle belonging to Job Dye to Florence, Idaho. The water around Harney lake being so high that it was...

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Biography of Hon. Richard P. Bland

HON. RICHARD P. BLAND. From poverty and obscurity all the eminent men of the West have fought their way in the battle of life, and by their own persistence and perseverance have attained to prominence and honor. They have given permanency to every enterprise that they have honored with their patronage and have stamped upon them their own individuality. The subject of this sketch is a man well known to the people of Missouri, and needs no eulogy from the pen of the biographer, for his deeds are his monuments and will endure long after he has moldered into dust. He was born near Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky, August 19, 1836. His parents Stouton E. and Margaret (Nall) Bland, both of whom were born on Blue Grass soil. The family originally came from Virginia, but emigrated to Kentucky in the time of Daniel Boone, and were among the early settlers of that country. The father devoted his life to the occupation of farming, and at the age of thirty-five, when just in the prime of life, was called upon to pay the last debt of nature, his widow surviving him several years. Of the four children born to them three are now living: Richard P.; Charles C., who is judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri, and Elizabeth, wife of Frederick Tutley, of St. Francois County, Missouri. Young...

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Biography of Richard Z. Johnson

Perhaps there is no part of this history of more general interest than the record of the bar. It is well known that the peace, prosperity and well-being of every community depend upon the wise interpretation of the laws, as well as upon their judicious framing, and there-fore the records of the various persons who have at various times made up the bar will form an important part of this work. A well known jurist of Illinois said, “In the American state the great and good lawyer must always be prominent, for he is one of the forces that move and control society. Public confidence has generally been reposed in the legal profession. It has ever been the defender of popular rights, the champion of freedom regulated by law, the firm support of good government. In the times of danger it has stood like a rock and breasted the mad passions of the hour and finally resisted tumult and faction. No political preferment, no mere place, can add to the power or increase the honor which belongs to the pure and educated lawyer. Richard Z. Johnson, of Boise, is one who has been honored by and is an honor to the legal fraternity of Idaho. He stands today prominent among the leading members of the bar of the state, a position which he has attained through marked ability. A...

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Biography of Hon. James Gunn

To the energetic natures and strong mentality of such men as James Gunn, member of congress from Idaho, is due the success and ever increasing prosperity of the Populist party in this state, and in the hands of this class of citizens there is ever assurance that the best interests and welfare of the party will be attended to. resulting in a successful culmination of the highest ambitions and expectations entertained by its adherents. Given to the prosecution of active measures in political affairs, and possessing the earnest purpose of placing their party beyond the pale of possible diminution of power, the Populist leaders in Idaho are ever advancing, carrying everything before them in their irresistible onward march. Certainly one of the most potent elements in the success of the Populist movement in Idaho is James Gunn, who throughout his life has been a loyal citizens, imbued with patriotism and fearless in defense of his honest convictions. Through the long years of the civil war he followed the Union banners on southern battle-fields, and today, just as fearlessly and just as loyally, he is advocating in the halls of congress and before the people the principles which he believes will best advance the welfare of the nation. Such is the man whose life history forms the theme of this article. Mr. Gunn was born on the 6th of March...

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Biography of Edward J. Curtis

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,...

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Biography of Malcolm McGregor

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...

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Biography of Isaac F. Smith

Isaac F. Smith, of Weiser, who is serving as clerk of the district court and ex-officio auditor and recorder of Washington County, was born in Butte County, California, on the 28th of July, 1854. His father was born in Ohio. July 27, 1823, and married Miss Josephine C. Whitaker. In 1849 they crossed the plains with ox teams to California, bringing with them their firstborn. Walter W. Smith, who is now a resident of Washington County, Idaho. The father engaged in mining on Feather River for a time, and in 1854 removed to Nevada and thence to Utah, remaining in the latter territory for nine years. In 1880 he took up his abode in Weiser, Idaho, where he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in the home of our subject in 1896, when he had reached the age of seventy-three. He was an honorable and worthy citizen, respected by all who knew him. His wife had died in Silver City, Nevada, at the age of forty-one years. Isaac F. Smith, the younger of their two children, was educated in the public schools of Virginia City, Nevada, and in Oakland. California, and has been prominently identified with the development of the mineral, mercantile and agricultural resources of this section of the country. He engaged in mining in Utah for six years, was a clerk in a general mercantile establishment...

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Biography of George B. Hill

George B. Hill, of the extensive mercantile firm of Hill & Ballentine, of Bellevue, Idaho, is one of Idaho’s prominent businessmen and states-men. He came, through New England ancestry, of honorable English and German descent, and was born at Cherry Valley, New York, August 28, 1843. He is of fighting stock, too, his great-grandfather Hill having fought for independence in the Revolution, his grandfather Hill having risked his life for his country in the war of 18 1 2- 14, and his father and himself having done battle for the Union in the civil war of 1861-65, the latter yielding up his life on the field in defense of the starry flag, while his maternal grand-father Busch fought in the war of 1812-14. Charles Hill, father of George B. Hill, was a native of Barrington, Massachusetts. He became a lawyer of ability and while yet a young man re-moved to Cherry Valley, New York, where he married Margaret Busch, of German descent and a daughter of an old and honored resident of that town. He was a member of the One Hundred and Twenty-first New York Volunteer Infantry and was killed while upon a reconnaissance in 1864. His good wife, a devout member of the Christian church, survived until 1884, and died in her seventy-ninth year. George B. Hill was the youngest but one of the eight children of...

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Biography of John W. Murphy

JOHN W. MURPHY. To the active, enterprising and intelligent citizen, esteemed pioneer, and stanch representative of our free institutions, whose name initiates this paragraph, we accord a space in these abiding chronicles of Union county, with pleasure, because he has been a prominent figure in the development of the county’s interests and the advancement of its welfare, since the very first days of its settlement and ahs always stood for the cause of substantial improvement and the exemplification of sound principles in both personal endeavor and in the manipulation of public affairs. Mr. Murphy was born in Franklin, Ohio, on December 9, 1831, being the son of Isaac and Rhoda (Stone) Murphy, farmers, who moved to Illinois in 1849, and there dwelt until the time of their demise. The grandfather of our subject, on his mother’s side, Mr. Stone, was a soldier in the Revolutionary struggle and also in the war of 1812. Our subject never had the opportunity to attend the schools in his youth but has instead pursued the muse of knowledge with such successful advances in his own private endeavors that he has gained a good education besides a rich store of general information that well repays the efforts to gain. Early he learned the millwright trade in Jefferson county, Iowa, and in 1852, in company with his employer went to California, using horse teams. First...

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Biography of George Gumbert

The proprietor of the city meat market and the pioneer butcher of Boise, where he has been in business since 1864, is George Gumbert, who is a native of Pennsylvania, his birth having taken place in Pittsburg on June 11, 1835. Of German extraction, his ancestors were early settlers of Pennsylvania and his great grandfather, Gumbert, fought in the colonial army during the Revolutionary war. His paternal grandfather was a farmer in Westmoreland County. His father, George Gumbert, was born in Pittsburg, where he followed the meat business nearly all his life, having attained the advanced age of ninety years. He was in politics first a Whig, later joining the Republican Party upon its organization. He married Miss Amelia Turner, who was born in Pennsylvania, and both of them were members of the Baptist church. They became the parents of nine children, of whom three sons and a daughter are now living. George Gumbert, the immediate subject of this sketch, was educated in the public schools of Pittsburg and in 1850, when but fifteen years old, he crossed the plains to California, later removing to Nevada and engaging in the butcher business at Virginia City. He volunteered in the war against the Piutes, furnishing his own horse and complete outfit, and assisted in driving the Indians back to the reservation. In 1863 he came to Boise, which at that...

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Biography of Charles D. Armstrong

In a record of those who have been prominently identified with the development and progress of Latah county it is imperative that definite consideration be granted to the subject of this review, for not only is he a prominent representative of the agricultural interests of this favored section, but has the distinction of being one of the pioneers of the golden west, with whose fortunes he has been identified for fully forty years, concerned with varied industrial pursuits and so ordering his life as to gain and retain the confidence and esteem of his fellow men. Charles Dexter Armstrong is a native of the old Buckeye state, having been born in Knox County, Ohio, on the 22d of January 1834, and being a representative of sterling old southern families. His father, John Armstrong, was born in Owen County, Kentucky, and did valiant service as a soldier in the war of 1812, being a member of an Ohio regiment. As a young man he married Miss Melinda Hinton, a native of the state of Maryland, and soon after their marriage they removed to Ohio, where they established their home and reared a family of eleven children. They were members of the Methodist church and were conscientious and upright in all the relations of life. The mother departed this life in the fifty-fourth year of her age, and the father lived...

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Biographical Sketch of David Meacham

David Meacham was born in Genesee County, New York, May 3, 1835, and was reared at Geneseo, learning the carpenter’s trade. In 1858 he came to California, crossing the plains with General Harney, shortly after the Mountain Meadow Massacre. He helped to gather up the bones of the murdered emigrants, and assisted in building the monument erected by the Government on the scene. Arriving in California, he located at Bloomfield, Sonoma County, where he followed his trade five years. In 1863 he came to San Bernardino, and here followed the building trade. He rode to Riverside on the first load of lumber ever hauled there, and, as before stated, built the first house there. He has resided in this State all of the time since 1858, except one year he spent in Virginia City, Nevada, where he went in 1869, and there followed mining principally, but also did some work at his trade. Mr. Meacham is a man of excellent qualities of character, unassuming in manner, fair and honorable in business...

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Biography of W. Ladd

W. Ladd, of Redlands, first came to California in 1851. He shipped his horses and wagons from near Detroit, Michigan, to Chicago, and then to Missouri. April 9, 1851, they started from St. Joseph, Missouri, across the plains, and on August 11, of the same year, they arrived in Virginia City. Mr. Ladd mined until 1852, when he went back to Michigan by way of Panama. He worked at blacksmithing and the wagon-maker’s trade at Dearborn, Michigan, from 1852 until 1859, and on April 9, of the latter year, he again started from St. Joseph, Missouri, across the plains for the “Golden State,” this time with oxen, and arrived at Virginia City, August 14, having made the trip in just three days less time than he had made the first trip with horses in 1851. He mined from August to February and then worked as a millwright for five years in the Eureka Mills. He then engaged as contractor, sinking shafts and making tunnels for about four years. At this time he lost all he had and went back to the Eureka mills, where he worked for fifteen years for a mining company. In 1882 he came to Redlands and purchased twenty acres of land, for which he paid $1,500, on which he built the third house in the place. He at once put this land out to oranges...

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Biographical Sketch of Fred Furth

FRED FURTH. – One looks for saddles and harnesses in Spokane Falls under the sign bearing the name of the above. The gentleman thus designated is from Germany, where he was born in 1839. He came to America in 1855. Stopping but a short time in St. Louis, he came to San Francisco in 1856 via Panama, and went thence to Washoe and Virginia City, Nevada, merchandising. He located in Colusa county, California, in 1869, and came thence to Spokane Falls, engaging in his present occupation. Mr. Furth is of the opinion that Spokane Falls is, and will be the most important place in Washington next to Seattle. He thinks it is one of the finest countries in the world, and has all the advantages of soil, climate and resources which can be reasonably expected anywhere. Mr. Furth has the qualities of popularity, and has been repeatedly honored with the trust of public office. While in Douglas county, Nevada, he held the office of county clerk for two years, and the following year was elected to the office of recorder and auditor, being obliged to relinquish this position only be reason of his removal from the state to California, whence he came to Spokane Falls in 1883. At this most flourishing city of intelligent people, Mr. Furth was placed at the head in 1889 by his election on the...

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