Collection: Illustrated History of the State of Idaho

Biography of Henry Heitfeld

In considering the career of the present United States senator for Idaho, Hon. Henry Heitfeld, we are led to the following reflections: It is a well attested maxim that the greatness of a state lies not in its machinery for government, nor even in its institutions, but in the sterling qualities of its individual citizens, in their capacity for high and unselfish effort and their devotion to the public good. An enumeration of those men of the present generation who have won honor and public recognition for themselves and at the same time have honored the state to which they belong, would be incomplete were there failure to make prominent reference to the one whose name initiates this paragraph. He has attained distinction in the business world and is a recognized leader in political circles in Idaho. He has been and is distinctively a man of affairs, and one who has wielded a wide influence. A strong mentality, an invincible courage, a most determined individuality have so entered into his makeup as to render him a natural leader of men and a director of opinion. Henry Heitfeld was born in St. Louis, Missouri, June 12, 1859. His parents were natives of Germany, and on their emigration to America, in the early ’50s, located in St. Louis, where the father, by his well-directed efforts and indefatigable energy, won a handsome...

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Biography of T. J. Jones

On the roll of Idaho’s distinguished lawyers is the name of T. J. Jones, of Boise. Faithfulness to duty and strict adherence to a fixed purpose in life will do more to advance a man’s interests than wealth or adventitious circumstances. The successful men of the day arc they who have planned their own advancement and have accomplished it in spite of many obstacles and with a certainty that could have been attained only through their own efforts. This class of men has a worthy representative in T. J. Jones, who began life amid unfavoring circumstances in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Born in Montour County, Pennsylvania, in 1857, he is of Welsh lineage. His father, David Jones, was born in a little County of Wales, whence he emigrated to America, locating in the Keystone state, where he married Miss Anna Naughton. He was a Baptist minister, and served as an officer in the war with Mexico. He died in 1861, from injuries received in said war, leaving a wife and five children. The subject of this review was only four years old at the time of his father’s death. He spent his childhood and youth in the state of his nativity, and when only eight years of age began earning his own livelihood by working in the coal mines. Thus he was employed for seven years, when he...

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Biography of Hon. John C. Rice

John Campbell Rice, president of the Commercial Bank of Caldwell and a prominent member of the bar of Canyon County, is numbered among the native sons of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Cass County, that state, January 27, 1864. He is of Welsh descent, tracing his ancestry back to the Welsh emigrants of the name who located in the colony of Massachusetts during the early settlement of America. Later, members of the family removed to Tennessee. The grandfather, Ebenezer Rice, removed with his family from Tennessee to Illinois in 1839. Elbert Gallatin Rice, the father, was born in Tennessee in 1823, and was accordingly sixteen years of age when he accompanied his parents to the Prairie state, their home being in what was then Morgan County, but is now Scott County. In his younger years he adhered to the faith of the Baptist church, but afterward united with the Christian church and entered the work of the ministry. By occupation he was a farmer and owned and operated a tract of land, but each Sunday he was found in the house of worship proclaiming the gospel to those who sought to know of the better life. His death occurred in the sixty-ninth year of his age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Ann Camp, was a relative of General Putnam and a great-granddaughter of General...

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Biography of Solomon Hasbrouck

One of the best known pioneer settlers of the state of Idaho is Solomon Hasbrouck, who is now serving as clerk of the supreme court and is accounted one of the leading and influential citizens of Boise. He is numbered among the sons of the Empire state, his birth having occurred in New Paltz, Lister County, New York, on the 30th of May. 1833. He is a descendant of Holland Dutch ancestry, and at an early period in the history of the state the family was founded within its borders. Solomon P. Hasbrouck, the grandfather of our subject, was a prominent lumber manufacturer and merchant and carried on business in such an extensive scale and employed so great a force of workmen that he was called the “king of Centerville.” His son, Alexander Hasbrouck, father of our subject, was born in Centerville and there spent his entire life, passing away in 1894, at the age of eighty-six years. At the age of twenty-three he married Miss Rachel Elting, a native of his own County, and after that conducted a farm about three miles from Centerville for twenty-five years. He then moved to New York City, where for five years he was in business in Washington market. Then he came to Idaho and lived with his son Solomon until his decease. He and his wife were valued members of the...

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Biography of Relf Bledsoe

The days of chivalry and knighthood in Europe cannot furnish more interesting or romantic tales than our own western history. Into the wild mountain fastnesses of the unexplored west went brave men, whose courage was often called forth in encounters with hostile savages. The land was rich in all natural resources, in gold and silver, in agricultural and commercial possibilities, and awaited the demands of man to yield up its treasures, but its mountain heights were hard to climb, its forests difficult to penetrate, and the magnificent trees, the dense bushes or the jagged rocks often sheltered the skulking foe, who resented the encroachment of the pale faces upon these “hunting grounds.” The establishment of homes in this beautiful region therefore meant sacrifices, hardships and oft times death, but there were some men, however, brave enough to meet the red man in his own familiar haunts and undertake the task of reclaiming the district for purposes of civilization. The rich mineral stores of this vast region were thus added to the wealth of the nation; its magnificent forests contributed to the lumber industries and its fertile valleys added to the opportunities of the farmer and stock-raiser, and today the northwest is one of the most productive sections of the entire country. That this is so is due to such men as Captain Relf Bledsoe, whose name is inseparably interwoven...

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Biography of George L. Shoup

It is a well-attested maxim that the greatness of a state lies not in its machinery of government, nor even in its institutions, but in the sterling qualities of its individual citizens, in their capacity for high and unselfish effort and their devotion to the public good. Rising above the heads of the mass there has always been a series of individuals, distinguished beyond others, who by reason of their pronounced ability and forceful personality have always commanded the respect of their fellow men and who have revealed to the world those two resplendent virtues of a lordly race, perseverance in purpose and a directing spirit which never fails. Of this class George L. Shoup stands as an excellent illustration. The goal toward which he has hastened during the many years of his toil and endeavor is that which is attained only by such as have by patriotism and wise counsel given the world an impetus toward the good; such have gained the right and title to have their names enduringly inscribed on the bright pages of history. George L. Shoup has been a resident of Idaho since 1866, has served as chief executive of the state, and is now representing the commonwealth in the United States senate. He was born in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, June 15, 1836 and traces his descent to German ancestors, who located in the colony...

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Biography of John Hailey

The well-known pioneer and statesman of Idaho from whom the town of Hailey takes its name, is now a resident of Bellevue, this state. He has been twice elected a delegate to congress from this territory, and is one of the best informed men in the state on national affairs. Mr. Hailey is a native of Smith County, Tennessee, born August 29, 1835, of Scottish ancestry and a descendant of a family long resident in the Old Dominion, his grandfather, Philip Hailey, and his father, John Hailey, having been both natives of Virginia. His father married Miss Nancy Baird, a native of Tennessee, the daughter of Captain Josiah Baird, who had been a captain in the war of 1812. Mr. Hailey received his education in the public schools. His father, with his family, removed to Dade County, Missouri, in 1848, and in 1853 young John crossed the plains to Oregon, as a member of the Tatum Company. When near the Platte a large company of Indians came upon them and made them give up the greater part of their provisions, leaving the emigrants short of everything excepting bread and tea. At Rock creek the Indians again swooped down upon them and stampeded their horses, after which they had to drive the one hundred head of cows they had on foot. The company arrived at Salem, Oregon, in October 1853,...

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Biography of James P. Gray

Thirty-five years have passed since James P. Gray came to Idaho to cast in his lot with its pioneers. People of the present end-of-the-century period can scarcely realize the struggles and dangers which attended the early settlers, the heroism and self-sacrifice of lives passed upon the borders of civilization, the hardships endured, the difficulties overcome. These tales of the early days read almost like a romance to those who have known only the modern prosperity and conveniences. To the pioneer of the early days, far removed from the privileges and conveniences of city or town, the struggle for existence was a stern and hard one, and these men and women must have possessed indomitable energies and sterling worth of character, as well as marked physical courage, when they thus voluntarily selected such a life and successfully fought its battles under such circumstances as prevailed in the northwest. James P. Gray was a young man of eighteen years when he took up his residence in the mining camp at Idaho City. His early life was spent in Illinois, his birth having occurred in Peoria County, that state, December 10, 1846. He is of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and his grandfather, William Gray, emigrated from the north of Ireland with his wife, taking up his residence in Indiana, where occurred the birth of Thomas Gray, the father of our subject. In the Hoosier...

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Biography of Almon S. Senter

An eventful career was that of Colonel Almon S. Senter, who for some years figured conspicuously in connection with the mercantile and official interests of Lincoln County. At the time of his death, March 6, 1899, he was serving as district-court clerk and ex-officio auditor and recorder of Lincoln County, and he was also an enterprising and prominent merchant of Shoshone. A native of the old Granite state, he was born February 18, 1845, and is a representative of one of the old and honored families of New Hampshire, of English descent. His ancestors were early settlers of Londonderry, that state, and one of his great-granduncles served in the Colonial army during the Revolutionary war. The grandfather and father of our subject, both of whom bore the name of Thomas Senter, were natives of New Hampshire, the latter born in Petersboro. He wedded Miss Mary C. Giddings, a native of Temple, New Hampshire, and also a descendant of one of the prominent colonial families. Mr. Senter was an industrious farmer, who followed agricultural pursuits throughout his entire life. Both he and his wife were Methodists in religious belief, and the father lived to be sixty-four years of age, while the mother departed this life in her forty-seventh year, leaving a family of eleven children, the eldest but seventeen years of age, the youngest only three months old. Colonel Senter...

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Biography of Alexander S. Robertson

In the field of political life and commercial activity Alexander S. Robertson has won distinction, and today is numbered among the leading, influential and honored citizens of Nampa. A young man, he possesses the enterprising spirit of the west, which has been the dominant factor in producing the wonderful development of this section of the country. Brooking no obstacles that honest effort can overcome, he has steadily worked his way upward until, having long since left the ranks of the many, he today stands among the successful few. A native of Ontario, he was born in Elgin County, June 22, 1863, and when a child of two years was taken to Whiteside County, Illinois, by his parents, J. A. and Christina (McFarlane) Robertson. They made their home in Morrison and the father was accounted one of the industrious and leading farmers of that community. In 1878 the father removed with his family to Exeter, Fillmore County, Nebraska, where he carried on agricultural pursuits until 1883, when he went to Custer County, Nebraska, and engaged in the banking business, being president of the State Bank at Arnold for several years. In 1890 he took up his residence in Boise, where he still makes his home. He has put aside all business cares, and now in his sixty-fifth year is enjoying the rest which he has so truly earned and richly...

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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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Biographical Sketch of Richard Harvey Johnson

The subject of this sketch, the son and law partner of Richard Z. Johnson, subject of the preceding review, was born at Silver City, in Owyhee County, Idaho, on the 19th of July 1870. He received his education at the Boise high school, and in mathematics and the modern languages at the Concordia, in Zurich, Switzerland, and in Greek and Latin under Professors Lambert and Winneger, at Lindau, in Boden-See, Bavaria. Returning to America, he entered Yale University and afterwards graduated from the law department, with the degree of LL. B., in 1892 just thirty-three years after his father had taken the same degree at the same institution. Returning to Idaho, he entered into partnership with his father, in the practice of the law at Boise City, the capital of the state, with whom he is still associated. At the general election in 1896, Mr. Johnson was elected to the house of representatives of the fourth session of the state legislature, as a Democrat, and served as chairman of the committee on state...

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Biography of Joseph W. Huston

The history of a state as well as that of a nation is chiefly a chronicle of the lives and deeds of those who have conferred honor and dignity upon society. The world judges the character of a community by those of its representative citizens, and yields its tributes of admiration and respect for the genius or learning or virtues of those whose works and actions constitute the record of a state’s prosperity and pride. Among the distinguished citizens of Idaho is Judge Joseph Waldo Huston, of Boise, who holds distinctive precedence as an eminent lawyer and jurist, as a statesman, as a man of high scientific and literary attainments, a valiant and patriotic soldier and as one who occupied a most unique and trying position in an important epoch in our judicial history, in which connection he bore himself with such signal dignity and honor as to gain the respect of all. Judge Huston was born in Painesville, Ohio, April 10, 1833. On the paternal side his ancestors were from County Tyrone, Ireland, and were early settlers in the state of New Hampshire. The military record is one of which the family has every reason to be proud. The grandfather of the Judge valiantly aided in the struggle for independence, and his father, Caleb C. Huston, defended the new republic in the second war with England, after which...

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Biography of Norman M. Ruick

This distinguished practitioner at the bar of Idaho has been connected with the leading interests of the state for some years, and in all the relations of life he has commanded the respect and confidence of his fellow men by his fidelity to duty and his devotion to the interests entrusted to his care. He comes from the far east, being a native of Connecticut. His birth occurred in Granby, that state, on the 4th of October, 1854, and his ancestry includes both Irish and Puritan stock. His paternal great-grandfather, a native of the Emerald Isle, emigrated to the New World and took up his residence in Hartford County, Connecticut, where he resided for many years. When the colonies attempted to throw off the yoke of British tyranny, he joined the army and valiantly fought in the war which gave to the nation her independence. The grandfather of our subject, William Ruick, Sr., and the father, who also bore the name of William, were both born in Granby, Connecticut, the latter on the l0th of July, 1822. He was a carriage-maker by trade and followed that pursuit in order to gain a livelihood for his family. He married Miss Temperance C. Hutchinson, a native of Mansfield, Connecticut, and a representative of one of the old Puritan families of New England. The Ruick family for several generations had been connected...

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Biography of Meserve M. Getchell

The popular postmaster of Silver City and one of the proprietors of the Idaho Hotel of that place is Mr. Getchell, who was born at Baring, Maine, January 5, 1868. His ancestors were natives of Wales, who emigrated to this country at an early day. His great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Getchell, was born February 4, 1753, married Mehitable Meserve and moved to St. Stephens, New Brunswick. He assisted in the capture of the English schooner Diligence and her armed cutter Tatmagouch July 14, 1775, being a volunteer in Captain John Preble’s company, the colonel of the company being John Allen. The great-grandfather, Joseph Getchell, and his son of the same name, fought in the Revolutionary war and were members of the volunteer crew on the sloop Unity, which, under the command of Captain Jeremiah O’Brien, captured the English armed schooner Margaretta, June 12, 1775. The grandfather of our subject, Daniel Getchell, was born in St. Stephens, New Brunswick, January 24, 1785, and married Miss Elizabeth Grimmer, who was born May 6, 1806. He died January 10, 1876. Their son, Asher B. Getchell, the father of our subject, was born at St. James Mills, New Brunswick, September 3, 1829. When he was ten years old he removed to Baring, Maine, where he grew to manhood and married Miss Julia F. Smith, a daughter of Dr. S. M. and Mary Ellen (Nickerson) Smith...

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