Collection: Illustrated History of the State of Idaho

Biography of Solomon M. Jeffreys

In the front rank of the columns which have advanced the civilization of the northwest, Solomon M. Jeffreys has led the way to the substantial development, progress and up building of Idaho, being particularly active in the growth of Weiser, where he still makes his home. He is numbered among the pioneers of Idaho, California and Oregon, his memory going back to the time when the entire Pacific coast was but very sparsely settled, when the Indians were more numerous than the white men, and the land had not been reclaimed for purposes of cultivation, but remained in the primitive condition in which it came from the hand of nature. Mr. Jeffreys was born in Jackson County, Missouri, February 11, 1835, and is of English lineage. His father, Thomas Jeffreys, was born in Kentucky and was married there to Miss Mary Dickerson. In 1845, with his wife and five children, he started for Oregon with a train of sixty wagons, drawn by oxen and mules, there being about two hundred persons in the company. They were nine months in making the long and tedious journey across the plains and endured many hardships and privations. Their route lay along the south and west banks of the Snake River, but they little dreamed that in the course of a few years members of their Party would locate in that beautiful district...

Read More

Biography of Augustus G. Upton, A. M., D. D.

Although Dr. Upton has been a resident of Weiser for little more than three years he has been so closely and prominently connected with the educational and moral interests of the town during that time that no history of the community would be complete without the record of his career. It is a widely acknowledged fact that the most important work to which man can direct his energies is that of teaching, whether it be from the pulpit, from the lecture platform or from the schoolroom. Its primary object is ever the same, the development of one’s latent powers that the duties of life may be bravely met and well performed. The intellectual and the moral nature are so closely allied that it is difficult to instruct one without in a measure influencing the other, and certainly the best results are accomplished when the work goes hand in hand. Christian instruction is having an influence over the world that few can estimate, for it is in youth that the life of the man is marked out, his future course decided and his choice as to the good or evil made. It is to this work of thus instructing the young that Dr. Upton devotes his time, energies and thought, and as the president of the Weiser College and Academy his influence in this direction is most widely felt. He...

Read More

Biography of George Ainslie

Hon. George Ainslie is a western man by birth, training and choice, and possesses the true western spirit of progress and enterprise. He belongs to the little group of distinctively representative business men who have been the pioneers in inaugurating and building up the chief industries of this section of the country. He early had the sagacity and prescience to discern the eminence which the future had in store for this great and growing country, and, acting in accordance with the dictates of his faith and judgment, he has garnered, in the fullness of time, the generous harvest which is the just recompense of indomitable industry, spotless integrity and marvelous enterprise. He is now connected with many extensive and important business interests, is one of the leading lawyers of Boise, and is a recognized leader in Democratic circles in Idaho. A native of Boonville, Missouri, he was born October 30, 1838, and is of Scotch descent. Several of his paternal ancestors served in the British army as members of Scotch regiments, and the grandfather and an uncle of our subject both held the rank of colonel. His father was also an officer in the army and was a graduate of Edinburg University, where he won a gold medal on the completion of his course. He was admitted to the bar in his native land and licensed as an advocate....

Read More

Biography of General Edward McConville

In the recent trial of arms in which America won recognition and admiration never before accorded her by the older “powers” of Europe, there was no more distinguished or valiant soldier than General McConville, of Idaho, who went forth as one of the commanders of the Idaho troops and laid down his life on the altar of his country. His was a noble life and a glorious death, and his name is enduringly inscribed on the roll of America’s heroes. Though his loss is deeply mourned by his many friends, his memory will ever be cherished by all who knew him, and the cause of liberty will acknowledge its advancement to him and his compatriots who have fallen in defense of the honor of the flag and the noble principles of republicanism and justice which it represents. General McConville was a native of New York, his birth having occurred at Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, June 25, 1846. The history of the family furnishes many examples of valor, for since the days when William the Conqueror fought the battle of Hastings its representatives have won honor and fame in the military and naval service of France, England, Ireland and America. The family had its origin in France, it’s branches being found in Brittany, Gascony and Normandy. Two representatives of the name fought with William, the Norman prince, at the battle...

Read More

Biography of Charles A. Schnabel

Thirty-seven years have passed since Charles Augusta Schnabel came to Idaho. This state, so aptly termed “the gem of the mountains,” was then a wild district, its lands unclaimed, its resources undeveloped. A few courageous frontiersmen had dared to locate within its borders, but the work of progress and improvement remained to the future, and there was little promise of early development. In the years which have since passed Mr. Schnabel has not only witnessed a most wonderful transformation, but has largely aided in the labors which have transformed the wild tract into a splendid commonwealth. Now in his declining years he is living retired, enjoying the well-earned rest which is the merited reward of a long and honorable business career. A native of Prussia, Mr. Schnabel was born in Elberfield, October 18, 1828 and for generations his ancestors had resided in the fatherland. He acquired his education in the public schools, and in Germany learned the trade of fringe and lace weaving. When a young man of twenty years he determined to try his fortune in America, landing in New York on the day that Zachariah Taylor was elected president of the United States. He then made his way to Baltimore, Maryland, where he had a brother living, and in that city worked at his trade for a year, when, hearing of the rich gold discoveries in California,...

Read More

Biography of John Crete, Sr.

The Fatherland has furnished to America many of her valued citizens, men who have crossed the Atlantic to ally their interests with those of “the land of the free.” Adapting them-selves to entirely new surroundings, customs and manners, they have achieved success and won a place among the representative men of the communities in which their lots have been cast. Such is true of John Crete, the genial, well-known and popular proprietor of the War Eagle Hotel, at Silver City. Born in Hasbrouck, Hanover, Germany, April 25, 1832, he was a son of a Ger-man soldier who afterward became a police officer, and while making an arrest, was beaten by a criminal. His injuries brought on blood-poisoning, from which he died when fifty-two years of age. His wife long survived him, and passed away at the advanced age of ninety years. They had six children, five sons and one daughter, all now deceased but two. John Crete, the fourth in order of birth, was educated in the schools of his native land, and in 1849, when seventeen years of age, crossed the Atlantic to the New World, hoping to better his financial condition in this country, where broader and better opportunities are afforded young men. He landed in New York and there accepted a position as salesman in a coffee and teahouse, where he remained until i860, when he...

Read More

Biography of John Wagener

John Wagener is one of the owners of the Trook and Jennings mine and five-stamp mill, one mile southeast of Silver City. He is also proprietor of several stock ranches and since pioneer days has been active in the development of the business resources of this state. A native of Germany, he came to America hoping to better his financial condition, and whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his own labors. Mr. Wagener was born June 30, 1833 and in his native land acquired his education. When a young man of nineteen years he bade adieu to home and friends and in 1852 sailed for America, coming to this country in limited circumstances and without any knowledge of the language, manners or customs of the people. It is astonishing how rapidly our foreign-born citizens adapt themselves to new surroundings and be-come an integral part in our public life. Mr. Wagener took up his residence in New York City and began learning the wagon maker’s trade, at which he worked for a number of years. He then left the Atlantic for the Pacific coast, and in 1858 visited Idaho, when it was still a part of Washington Territory. He crossed the plains to Vancouver’s, thence came to Florence in 1862, and after engaging in placer-mining at the latter place for a year, went to Idaho City in...

Read More

Biography of John M. Haines

The wise system of industrial economics which has been brought to bear in the development of Boise has challenged uniform admiration, for while there has been a great advancement in all material lines, there has been an entire absence of that inflation of values and that erratic “booming” which have in the past proved the eventual death knell to many of the localities of the west, where “mushroom” towns have one day smiled forth with “all modern improvements” and practically on the next day have been shorn of their glories and of their possibilities of stable prosperity, so to remain until the existing order of things shall have been radically changed. In Boise progress has been made continuous and in safe lines, and this is due in no small degree to Mr. Haines and those with whom he is associated in the real-estate business under the firm name of W. E. Pierce & Company. To real-estate men, probably more than to any one else, is due the healthful development of the town, and Boise is certainly indebted to this firm for much of its substantial growth and improvement. It is there fore meet that its members be represented in the history of the capital city, and therefore with pleasure we take up the task of preparing the life record of J. M. Haines. This gentleman was born in Jasper...

Read More

Biography of Colonel William H. Dewey

Among the prominent influential citizens of Idaho, Colonel Dewey, of Dewey, enjoys a unique position and reputation. He is a pioneer Idahoan in the true sense of that word, and the marvelous development of the interests and industries of his adopted state is largely attributable to his enterprise and sagacity. He is a man of remarkable resources, and has never failed to measure fully up to all the requirements and emergencies of life. Although over seventy years old, he is well preserved and exhibits unabated vigor of mind and body. Colonel Dewey is a native of the state of New York, and his first American ancestors were early settlers in Massachusetts. In the autumn of 1863 he came to Idaho and located where the town of Dewey now is, but subsequently removed to where the town of Ruby City was located, and with others, March 21, 1864, laid out the town of Silver City. The gentleman whose name introduces this review is a born miner, and from his first arrival in Idaho the Colonel became prominently connected with the mining interests of the northwest, in which connection it is perfectly fair to say that he has been one of the leading and principal factors in the development of the mineral resources of this state. He owned nearly half of the South Mountain camp during the period of its greatest...

Read More

Biography of Homer G. Patterson

Homer G. Patterson is a leading member of the Idaho legislature, representing Blaine County, and is a prominent practitioner of dentistry in Hailey. Dentistry may be said to be almost unique among other occupations, as it is at once a profession, a trade and a business. Such being the case, it follows that in order to attain the highest success in it one must be thoroughly conversant with the theory of the art, must be expert with the many tools and appliances incidental to the practice of modern dentistry, and must possess business qualifications adequate to dealing with the financial side of the profession. In all of these particulars Dr. Homer George Patterson is well qualified, and therefore has attained prestige among the able representatives of dentistry in southern Idaho. He was born in Ontario, St. Joseph County, Indiana, October 4, 1862. The family is of Scotch origin and the original American ancestors were colonial settlers of New York and participants in the events which formed the early history of that state. Among those of the name were also members of the American army who fought for the independence of the nation. James H. Patterson, the father of our subject, was born in the Empire state and married Miss Wealthy J. Foster, a native of Michigan. When a young man he removed to Indiana and there followed the trade...

Read More

Biography of George Little

The list of the leading citizens of Caldwell contains the name of Judge George Little, one of the representative and honored citizens of Canyon County. His record as a soldier, as an official and as a business man has been so honorable that he has gained the confidence and good will of all with whom he has been brought in contact, and as probate judge and superintendent of public instruction he won still higher encomiums from his fellow men by reason of the fidelity and ability which he manifested in the discharge of his duties. He retired from office in January 1899. A native of Kentucky, Judge Little was born in Daviess County, July 15, 1839, and is of Scotch and English descent. The original American ancestors of the family located in Massachusetts, and the branch to which our subject belongs was afterward planted in Charleston, South Carolina. Later generations of the family removed to Kentucky, where Wesley Morgan Little, the father of the Judge, was born, in 1814. In early life he learned the wheelwright’s trade, but afterward engaged in farming. His wife bore the maiden name of Henrietta Waltrip, and belonged to one of the old families of Culpeper County, Virginia. Her father was one of the prominent residents of that County and held various positions of honor and trust. In politics the father of Judge Little...

Read More

Biography of Samuel Strickler

The story of pioneer life in Idaho is well known to such men as Samuel Strickler, for through thirty-six years he has been a witness of the development of the northwest and has faithfully borne his part in the work of up building and advancement; he now resides in Bellevue. He claims Pennsylvania as the state of his nativity, his birth occurring in Chambersburg, Franklin County, November 21, 1832. He is of German descent and his ancestors were among the early settlers of the Keystone state. His father, Samuel Strickler, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and married Susanna Hollinger, also a native of Pennsylvania. Twelve children, six sons and six daughters, were born of this union, and ten grew to maturity, while six are yet living. The father died in 1875, at the age of eighty-one years, and the mother passed away a little later at about the same age. Mr. Strickler, of this review, was educated in Pennsylvania and in 1846 accompanied his family on their removal to Mount Carroll, Illinois, where he also attended school. In 1859 he crossed the plains to Colorado with an ox team and through the summer successfully engaged in mining. In the fall of the same year he returned to his home in Illinois, and in 1860 he again went west, locating in Denver, where he engaged in farming, selling his produce...

Read More

Biography of Thomas T. Redsull

Great, indeed, have been the changes that time and man have wrought since Thomas T. Redsull landed on the Pacific coast. California yet belonged to Mexico, and much of the land, especially in the southern part of the state, was divided into large estates, owned and occupied by Spanish families. Mr. Redsull was then but eleven years of age, yet had started out to make his own way in the world. He was born in the County of Kent, England, on the 15th of November, 1827, a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Goymer) Redsull, both of whom were natives of England and representatives of ancient families of that country. They were both members of the Episcopal Church, and the father was a collector of excise for the government. He departed this life in 1858, at the age of fifty years, and his widow is now living at the age of one hundred and three years. They had seven children, but only three are now living. Mr. Redsull of this review acquired his early education in England, and when only eleven years of age was bound out as an apprentice to the Hudson’s Bay Company, and in their service came to the United States in 1838, landing in California. He is consequently one of the oldest pioneers of that state. The same year he also went to Oregon, and therefore...

Read More

Biography of George J. Lewis

The life history of him whose name heads this sketch is closely identified with the annals of the northwest, and he is ex-secretary of the state of Idaho. An important department of the governmental service of the commonwealth has thus been entrusted to him, and in the discharge of his duties he manifested a loyalty to the public good that was above question and reflected credit upon the Party that called him to office. He is a western man and possesses the progressive spirit so characteristic of the region this side of the Mississippi. His birth occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on the 28th of March, 1861. He is a representative of an old New England family that was established in Connecticut in early colonial days, and when the war of the Revolution was inaugurated bearers of the name joined the forces of General Washington and fought for the independence of the nation. The father of our subject, Isaac I. Lewis, was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1825, and is still living, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. He married Georgiana Christmas, a native of Wooster, Ohio, and removed to Illinois at an early period in the history of that state. He was also a pioneer of Minnesota, and in connection with his father aided in founding the city of Minneapolis. He was a druggist, surveyor and metallurgist, and...

Read More

Biography of Neal J. Sharp

Many elements combine to make this brief biographical sketch an interesting one. It reaches back into the early history of our country, and has to do with the development of the new west. Neal J. Sharp, register of the United States land office at Hailey, was born in Fulton County, Illinois. July 14, 1833, of Scotch ancestry. His great-grandfather, Joseph L. Sharp, settled in Virginia and founded the town of Sharpsburg, which was named in his honor. His grandfather, James R. Sharp, was born in Tennessee, and fought gallantly for American independence in the war of the Revolution. Joseph L. Sharp, son of the patriot just mentioned, was also born in Tennessee, and did duty as a soldier in the Blackhawk war and in the war with Mexico. He married Matilda Singleton, of Irish lineage, whose ancestors were among the very early settlers in the south, and some of whom fought the British in Revolutionary days. By profession he was a lawyer, and he was a man of much force of character who was prominent wherever his lot was cast. He was elected to the legislature of Illinois and to that of Iowa, and was president of the first council of the Nebraska legislature. He died in his eighty-third year, his wife in her fifty-fifth. They had three sons and three daughters, of whom four survive. Neal J. Sharp,...

Read More


Free Genealogy Archives

It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Pin It on Pinterest