Biographical Sketch of William R. Boothe
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WILLIAM R. BOOTHE. – This gentleman, a conspicuous figure in Eastern Oregon, was born in Missouri in 1846. He was raised on a farm, and received a fair education. At the age of eighteen, he crossed the plains to Grande Ronde valley with his father, the Reverend L.J. Boothe. For three years after his arrival, he was engaged in freighting. In 1868, he purchased a homestead right in The Cove and engaged in stock raising and farming, where he still resides and now owns nine hundred and twenty acres of land, of which three hundred and sixty are in one body and, as usual with The Cove farmers, are beautifully situated and very productive. He is still raising stock, and among the rest has twenty-eight hundred fine sheep.
In 1876, he was elected captain of the hurriedly organized company who had assembled in Wallowa valley to protect the few families there when Chief Joseph made his first demonstration. Captain Boothe prevailed upon his companions to desist from a contemplated attack upon the Indians, – much contrary to the general wish. An attack then would have undoubtedly have resulted disastrously to the Whites there gathered, as well as to the whole section, since Joseph was ready for war and had his line of battle formed. Captain Boothe believes that he was not wholly to blame. A few cool heads treated with the Indian chief, and prevented serious disturbances in Northern Idaho. In 1877, when hostilities had actually commenced, Captain Boothe, in response to a request from the governor, led out a company and scouted the south side of Snake river until the Nez Perces retreated to the mountains. In June, 1872, Mr. Boothe was married to Miss Nancy E. Sturgill, daughter of J.P. Sturgill. They have a family of seven children.