IN THE BEGINNING
His is a life, a name, the ages will revere. He seeks a country new,
afar, the pioneer. On March 3, 1883, Idaho Territory was organized out
of parts of Washington, Nebraska and Dakota Territories, with Lewiston
the capital. The new Territory contained four counties which had been
created in the following order, while forming a part of Washington
Territory, namely, Shoshone, Nez Perce, Idaho and Boise, ten mining
towns and 20,000 people.
The first session of the Territorial legislature met at Lewiston on
December 7, 1863. During that session three counties were created in
the following order, to-wit: Owyhee, Oneida and Alturas. This made
seven counties in the new Territory.
Alturas county was created on February 4, 1864, with Esmeralda the
county seat. The latter was situated near the present site of
Featherville, on the South Boise River, about six miles in an air line
from Rocky Bar, but its exact location is unknown. The county seat soon
there-after was removed to Rocky Bar, and thereby hangs a tale. Of this
more anon. Alturas county at this time included all lands north of
Snake River from the mouth of Bruneau to Little Lost River and as far
north as the Sawtooth Mountains.
Bancroft in his history of Washington, Idaho and Montana says Alturas
is a Spanish word meaning "Mountainous Heights." It was said by the
Indians who inhabited that part of the country to mean "Heavenly
In 1860 gold was discovered on Oro Fino Creek by a party of prospectors
led by Captain E. D. Pierce of California. In 1861 the Salmon River
mines were discovered, while a search for a rich central gold deposit
was made by prospectors, revealing the Florence diggings. In 1862 the
Salmon River Basin gold mines lying south of the Salmon River, were
discovered, and called Warren's diggings, for their discoverer. In the
same year the Boise Basin mines were discovered by a party led by
George Grimes of Oregon City, Oregon, who was killed by Indians in
August of that year. In 1863 prospectors started out from Boise Basin
and in that year discovered the important gold quartz mine,
Vishnu, near Rocky Bar. Several other discoveries of rich gold quartz
mines in that vicinity soon followed, the Ida Elmore being the
principal one. The mining camp of Rocky Bar was established and was one
of the earliest in the Territory. It soon developed into a town.
The records of the first Board of County Commissioners of Alturas
county, now in the fireproof vault of the Blaine County Court House,
and which are as legible today as the day they were written, namely,
April 4, A. D. 1864, show that the Board consisted of Samuel Stover,
chairman, Robert A. Sidebottom and John Roach. Their Clerk, who was
also Auditor and Recorder, was Charles Woodbuxy Walker. The Sheriff was
John G. Howell. All these officers were appointed by William B.
Daniels, Acting Governor of the Territory of Idaho. The Board, after
approving the bonds of said officers, took a recess until 2 o'clock P.
M. The minutes disclose that "pursuant to adjournment the Court
convened at 2 o'clock."
Whereupon the following order was made and entered:
"It appearing to the Court that, whereas the first session of the
legislature located the county seat of said county at a place known as
Esmeralda in said county, and whereas it seems impossible for this
Court, as required by law, to provide proper offices, and procure
stationery, lights and fuel for said offices at said Esmeralda,
therefore, it is ordered that the county seat be, and the same is
hereby transferred from the said Esmeralda to the town of Rocky Bar, on
Bear Creek, in said county of Alturas, Idaho Territory."
Here is presented the unique spectacle of a quasi-judicial body
overruling an Act of the legislature which had been duly approved. No
appeal was taken and Rocky Bar remained the county seat until after the
special election in September, 1881. The removal of county seats have
often engendered a great deal of ill feeling, and, at times, the
shedding of human blood. This was a notable exception.
Prospectors, the usual forerunners of civilization in mineralized
regions, were still seeking new El Doradoes. A few of them set out from
Rocky Bar in 1865 and discovered and filed for record two gold quartz
mining claims on what was later to be known as the Gold Belt, and which
are the earliest recorded mining claims in any part of what is now
within the confines of Blaine County. These were called the
Big Camas and the Black Cinder, the notices of which were filed for
record on September 11, 1865, and are recorded in Book 4 of Quartz
Mining Records of Alturas County, Idaho Territory, on pages 41 and 44,
respectively. The locators of the Big Camas were Ross Smith, David
Whitmer, John Tudor, H. S. Waikfield, J. B. Ingersoll, J. B. Harris, D.
W. Lightenthaler and M. H. Williams. The locators of the Black Cinder
were Ross Smith, M. H. Williams, J. N. Mason and W. H. Spencer. Two of
these locators, M. H. Williams of Bellevue and David Whitmer of
Broadford, were early pioneers of Wood River and lived here until
called hence. This record effectually disposes of the contention that
the earliest discovery of minerals in what is now Blaine County was on
Warm Springs Creek in 1878.
But there were no permanent settlers in southern Alturas county until
1879. The greatest obstacle to the development of this region until
that year was nomadic bands of blood-thirsty Indians, who regarded the
mountain ranges and Camas Prairie as their peculiar property. After
they were driven out in the campaign of 1878 white settlers followed
almost upon their heels.
Unlike Pierce, Florence, Warren's diggings, Boise Basin and Rocky Bar,
it was not gold, but large quantities of high grade silver and lead
ores discovered in many of the hills and mountains in the Wood River
country, which attracted people from far and near, notably from Boise
Basin, Rocky Bar, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, the Black Hills of
Dakota, and elsewhere. At the time in question and until the building
of the Oregon Short Line Branch of the Union Pacific railroad in 1883,
the nearest railroad station was Blackfoot, Idaho, on the Utah and
Northern, a narrow-gauge railroad.
COMING OF THE RAILROADS
this juncture, due to the importance of railroads, a digression will be
made to tell of some early railroad building in Utah and Idaho, as it
profoundly affected this region.
The Utah Central Railroad, which operated from Ogden to Salt Lake City
was built under the direction of Brigham Young to provide
transportation between the Utah capital and Ogden in connection with
the newly completed Union-Central Pacific transcontinental line, which
was completed and in operation into Salt Lake City early in 1871.
During that period the extension of a line northward from Ogden was
The railroad northward from Ogden was incorporated as the Utah &
Northern Railway, and its construction as a narrow gauge line was begun
in 1870. It had only reached Franklin, Idaho, in the spring of 1878, at
which time control passed to Jay Gould. Upon acquiring control the
Gould interests began active preparations for completion of the line,
its ultimate objective being the thriving mining camp of Butte,
Montana. The line from Pocatello to Blackfoot was commenced
at Pocatello in July, 1878 and track laying to Blackfoot was completed
on December 23, 1878. The line was completed to Butte, Montana, and
turned over to the Operating Department on December 15, 1881. This road
was changed to a broad gauge in 1887.
In 1889 the Utah & Northern and other lines in Idaho were
consolidated with the original Oregon Short Line running from Granger,
Wyoming, westward, the combination being known as the Oregon Short Line
and Utah Northern Railroad Company, later to be known as the Oregon
Short Line Railroad Company.
During 1901 the Oregon Short Line Railroad Company constructed the
Salmon River Railroad, now known as the Mackay branch of the Oregon
Short Line from Blackfoot to Mackay, a distance of 86 miles.
As heretofore stated, Blackfoot was the nearest railroad station to Wood River points from 1879 to 1883.
Thus situated, far from the ordinary lines of through travel, only the
most daring and hardy adventurers sought these mountain solitudes. The
only means of communication was by stage or team, or on horseback, over
mountain trails in many instances, and in danger of being scalped by
prowling Indians. But the indomitable spirit of the
prospector and the pioneer was not to be deterred by any obstacles,
As there are several thousand mining locations of record, it would be
not only impracticable, but tedious, to mention them all. I shall,
therefore, content myself with a brief reference to some of the most
important mines in various parts of what is now embraced within Blaine
The development of mining on Wood River began in 1879. At that time M.
H. Williams, David Whitmer, Frank W. Jacobs, William McWade, Sam
Friend, Jimmy Gray, and a few other men were living at Jacobs City,
named for Frank W. Jacobs. The name of Jacobs City was changed to
Broadford in 1880. Following are the names of a few of the early quartz
mining claims recorded on Wood River and vicinity, to-wit: Galena,
located by Warren P. Callahan, notice filed for record April 26, 1879;
Queen of the Hills, located by Frank W. Jacobs, notice filed for record
July 15, 1879; River View and Penobscot, located by A. H. Johnston,
notices filed for record October 11, 1879; Minnie Moore, located by
Daniel W. Scribner, notice filed for record September 22,
1880. All these mining claims were situated near what is
now Broadford, which is a short distance west of Bellevue.
The Minnie Moore mine has produced lead and silver ore of greater value
than any other in the district. In 1881 a half interest was sold to
Henry E. Miller for $10,000.00. On the date of sale to Dent, Palmer
& Co. of London, England, on February 25, 1884, with the price of
silver at $1.14 an ounce and of lead at $100 a ton, the gross value of
the reserves was $673,329. In this condition the mine was sold for
$450,000. There is no accurate record of the value of the output for
1884 and 1885.
The mine filled with water and lay idle from 1889 to November, 1900,
when I. E. Rockwell, C. R. Carpenter, and others, having purchased the
property for $30,000, began to pump out the workings. Ore was struck in
a raise from the crosscut on the old 900-foot level in June, 1902, and
from that time the lower part of the mine was vigorously explored. In
July, 1904, 60 per cent of the stock in the Minnie Moore Mining Co.,
Ltd., was sold to Charles M. Schwab, who operated it on company account
until August, 1905. The mine was worked from time to time by various
companies until May, 1927, at which time it was abandoned.
It is not possible to present a comprehensive summary of the production
of the Minnie Moore mine. The most complete record is that com-piled in
1902 by I. E. Rockwell, who, having access to the books of the Hailey
sampler, which handled the ore during the early years, estimated the
gross smelting returns at $7,316,600.12. During the period 1902 to 1906
mining operations below the old 900-foot level yielded about
$1,100,000, net smelter returns. A small slope on the Singleterry vein
above the 1000-foot level yielded $31,000, net smelter returns.
Approximate total production $8,447,600.
With so many mines so near at hand working to capacity, Broadford soon
became a town. It had stores, hotels, saloons, etc., but mostly
dwelling houses for the miners.
A story is told of one of its merchants who had the habit, when asked
by a customer for something which he did not have in stock, to always
say in a most pleasing way,
"Wre are just out, but have a carload on the way."
One day a little girl asked for some chewing gum, and, believe it or not, the force of habit was so great, that he said,
"We are just out, but have a carload on the way." "I know not what the truth may be, I tell the tale as 'twas told to me."
But it should be true because an Angel (Texas) told it to me.
Near Hailey were the Star, Croesus, Hope group, Idaho Democrat and
other mines. Up Greenhorn Gulch were the Imperial and other mines, now
the property of the Hailey Bonanza Mining company.
On the East Fork of Wood River were the North Star, Triumph and others.
The company operating the Triumph mine recently completed an aerial
tramway between the mine and the railroad siding about one mile south
of Ketchum. The tramway is approximately four miles in length.
In a northerly direction from the last mentioned mines were the Independence, Elkhorn, Parker group, Noonday and others.
About 12 miles in a westerly direction from Ketchum were the Boyle Mountain group and other mines.
At Boulder were the Ophir, Bazouk, Trapper, Tip Top, Sullivan and other mines.
MINES ATTRACT MANY
was situated about 28 miles northwest of Ketchum and at the southern
base of the Sawtooth mountains. Adjacent to this town were the Senate,
Gladiator and other mines. This town at one time had a Post Office,
hotel, large general store, several restaurants and saloons, liveiy
stable, stage stable, etc. and a stage line to Hailey. Martin Barry had
a shoe shop. His son, William Galena, was the first white child born in
town. F. M. Willmarth, grandfather of Mrs. Lillian M. Reid of Ketchum,
built the first hotel and the first livery stable. He died in 1890 and
was buried there. The last resident left Galena in 1890. At present and
for some years past a small store is kept there in the summer. When the
town was at its zenith its population was estimated at about 800.
About nine miles westerly from the northern base of the Sawtooth
mountains were the Vienna group and oher mines near the town of Vienna.
The Vienna mine was located June 4, 1879. This town at one time had a
Post Office, a general store, two hotels, several restaurants and four
or five saloons, etc. William A. Holland kept the last
store there. He left in 1892. The estimated population of this town in
its heyday was over 800. It was the largest of the three Sawtooth
Mountain towns. Owing to the low price of metals mining operation at
the Vienna group has recently been suspended.
Sawtooth City was situated in Beaver Gulch, north of the Sawtooth
mountains. The Pilgrim mine which was located in 1879, was situated in
this gulch. Other mines there were the Bidwell and Beaver Extension,
and the Silver King. Alfred M. Van Scoten was watchman at the Silver
King mine for over 25 years. Sawtooth City at one time had a Post
Office, three general stores, a tailor shop, two meat markets, three
restaurants, four or five saloons, a livery stable etc. and a stage
line to Ketchum. The estimated copulation of this town in its palmiest
days was about 600.
The mining records show a great number of mining locations near Galena,
Vienna and Sawtooth City in 1879. Thus it will be observed that
numerous mining claims were being located and worked all the way from
Broadford up to and across the Sawtooth mountains in 1879. Galena and
Sawtooth City, as well as Doniphan and Muldoon, have been at their
nadir for years and are known as "ghost cities."
In 1880 the following quartz lode mining claims near Bullion, about
seven miles west of Hailey, were discovered, namely, Jay Gould,
Bullion, Mayflower, May Queen, Idahoan, and others. Bullion in its
heyday had over 500 men at work in the mines and its population was
estimated at 700. It had two general stores, a shoe shop, a Post
Office, a school house, four boarding houses, a Miners' Union hall, a
livery stable, a daily stage that made round trips to Hailey, a pipe
line with hydrants and hose, a large number of dwelling houses, seven
saloons, etc. The mines adjoining Bullon produced more ore than did any
other mining camp in the county. The post office was discontinued
October 15, 1890.
A short distance west of Bullion was the Red Elephant group.
Across the ridge on Deer Creek were the following groups, Red
Cloud, War Dance, Narrow-Gauge, Nay Aug, and other mines.
In the Little Wood River District, situated about 18 miles northeast of
Bellevue, were the Muldoon group, Silver Spar group, Eagle Bird, John
A. Logan, and others. There was a little town called Muldoon near these
mines. In its palmy days there were about 200 men employed at those
THE SMELTING INDUSTRY
There were smelters near Bellevue, near the mouth of Indian
Creek, a few miles north of Hailey, Ketchum, Galena and Muldoon. Both
Vienna and Sawtooth had stamp mills and a large amount of silver
bullion was shipped from each of these places. In addition to the
above, there were several concentrating works and samplers.
The Philadelphia Mining and Smelting Company's works at Ketchum are
worthy of special mention. The first unit or furnace was built in 1882.
In the summer of 1883 this company made extensive improvements to their
smelting works, which already had two stacks. They constructed two
additional buildings, the one 200 feet long by 50 feet wide, the other
60 by 60. The first mentioned was an ore'house and was divided into
bins, in which the various lots of ore purchased were laid and prepared
for the furnace. These bins were on each side of the building, and a
roadway wide enough for two teams and their line of loaded trail-wagons
to pass extended from end to end of the building.
The other building was a furnace house. These
buildings had solid masonry foundations. A huge brick stack also was
constructed at this time. Two new furnaces were erected. These, in
addition to the two stacks which were already in operation, gave the
company a smelting capacity of 180 tons per day. This was not a net
capacity, but a gross one. That is to say, the total tonnage just
stated included iron, lime, charcoal, etc., mixed with ore, as well as
the ore itself. Of the latter, the quantity reduced was from 80 to 130
tons per day, the daily capacity depending upon the character of the
ores. The ores of this entire region which had been taken to this
smelter up to the time in question, carried an average of 50 per cent
lead and about 100 ounces of silver. Two tons of ore, therefore, on an
average, made one ton of bullion. With the four furnaces in operation
the daily output was from 40 to 60 tons of base bullion.
All these buildings, in addition to the 20 kilns which were constantly
converting wood into charcoal, the boarding houses, assay and business
offices, the wood and lumber flumes, etc., and the necessary yard room
for 50 or more teams to move about at once, required a great deal of
room. Rut as the company owned 400 acres there was ample room.
The location of the works was probably the very best that could be had
in this region. The furnaces and ore bins were erected on the edge of a
high bluff bordering on Wood river, a little west of Ketchum.
The works were run exclusively by water-power derived from Warm Springs
creek, which never froze, and thus afforded all the required motive
power, the year round.
The mines which furnished the most of the ores to this smelter were the Elkhorn, Parker, West Fork, Bullion and Mayflower.
In 1887 a certain mortgage was foreclosed and the property, including
the Muldoon smelter, was sold at Sheriff's sale and bid in by James M.
Rhodes, personally. Shortly thereafter the Philadelphia and Idaho
Company was organized and commenced operations at Ketchum. This company
owned the Ketchum and Muldoon smelters and the following mines, to-wit:
North Star, Silver Star and West Fork groups, the Star of Hope and two
mines on Boyle mountain. This smelter continued to operate until 1890.
It was stained again in the fall of 1892 and closed down permanently
early in 1893.
BIG BOOM OF 1880
1880 was the year of the Wood River boom. Thousands of miners
came and found ready employment in mines that were reputed to be making
their owners "rich beyond the dreams of avarice." So ubiquitous seemed
prospectors that every mountain and hill was covered with them in their
search for precious metals. While the country was virgin they struck
many prospects which afterward developed into good paying mines. Of the
prospector,it truthfully can be said, in the words of Pope, "Hope
springs eternal in the human breast," and furthermore, that hope never
dies while he lives. He hopes on, hopes ever, firmly believing that he
is within a short distance of a rich streak of ore. In a log hut with a
dirt roof and floor, pole bunks for bedsteads, and candle and soap
boxes for seats., at times many miles distant from any other
habitation, with tbe bare necessities of life, alone save for his
faithful dog to bear him company, he spends a life of unremitting toil,
too often, alas, unrequited. Yet who will say that his is not a happy
life? When he lies down upon his humble couch, gentle sleep
"weighs his eyelids down and steeps his senses in forgetfulness."
Here is a good illustration of the following words of Goldsmith, and,
at least, a partial substantia-tion of them:
"Still to ourselves in every place consigned, Our own felicity we make or find."
Millions of dollars in ores were shipped out of this region, but how
many millions it is impossible to say. Many believe that there may be
as much ore shipped out of here in the future as there has been in the
Gold in good paying quantities was discovered on the Gold Belt in the
early eighties. There was considerable mining activity there for many
years. A little town by the name of Doniphan was built there. It was
situated about 15 miles southwest of Hailey. It was named in honor of
Judge Doniphan, who was the principal operator. It had a Post Office, a
school house, a general store, a shoe shop, a boarding house, several
dwelling houses for the miners, a saloon, etc. About 25 years ago all
the tailings containing gold were worked over by the cyanide process.
With so many miners at work all the way from Broadford to Vienna, on
East Fork, Deer Creek, Bullion, the Gold Belt, and Rocky Bar, and
mining being a hazardous occupation, it was necessary to have a
hospital where they could receive treatment. A miners' hospital was
accordingly built in the early eighties. It was a frame building
situated near the Hailey Hot Springs, about two miles west of Hailey.
Each and every man who worked at the mines was assessed one dollar a
month for board, room, medical and surgical treatment. One severely
injured was generally taken to a hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. In
connection with the miners' hospital was a ward for the care of the
sick and dependent poor of the county. This building was destroyed by
fire in the nineties.
Ketchum was first called Leadville. Albert Griffith was there in 1879.
He left that fall but returned in April, 1880, and resided there
permanently until his death. In 1879 there was only one cabin there and
it was owned by David Ketchum, who lived in it. When application was
made to the proper authorities for a post office by the name of
Leadville it was refused. Application was then made for a post office
by the name of Ketchum and the same was granted. The name of the town
was then changed to Ketchum in honor of David Ketchum. The Post Office
was established in 1880 and William H. Greenhow was the first
Postmaster. The present Postmaster is Jack Riley.
Ketchum is situated about 12 miles northwest of Hailey and is the
northern terminus of the Wood River Branch of the Oregon Short Line
Railroad. Even before the advent of the rail-road it was a prosperous
town. At one time it had three banks, seven daily stages, two hotels,
several restaurants, seven stores, seven black-smith shops, three
doctors, three lawyers, six livery stables, two assay offices, a weekly
newspaper, several saloons, etc., and its population was estimated at
Albert Griffith, Paul P. Baxter, Geo. W. McCoy, William H. Greenhow,
Theo Hage and Geo P. Hodson were among its earliest residents. Isaac I.
Lewis, T. E. Clohecy and J. 0. Swift were some of its earliest business
William Hyndman was an early resident of Ketchum. He was a Major in the
Civil war, a practicing attomey-at-law and a prominent mining
man. He died in Ketchum October 1, 1896.
Horace C. Lewis, son of I. I. Lewis, of Ketchum, started in business
while quite young. He organized the Ketchum & Challis Toll Road
company and was one of its stockholders. This company built the first
wagon road over the Trail Creek summit. He owned the
freighting outfit that freighted into Challis, Clayton, Bayhorse,
Custer and Bonanza. He had the mail and express contracts for the above
mentioned towns and did practically all the freighting in that region.
He had a large forwarding house and express office at Ketchum. He had
the largest freight wagons in the State. They were drawn by 20-mule
teams. He continued in the freighting business for a few years after
the building of the railroad from Blackfoot to Mackay in 1901. At the
time of the Thunder Mountain boom in 1902-3 he opened the road from
Ketchum to Thunder Mountain in the dead of winter.
On December 29, 1898, he conveyed to Samuel E. Rigg of Spokane,
Washington, for a consideration of $80,000.00, the Croesus lode,
Croesus Extension lode, Croesus millsite and Croesus Extension
millsite, all patented, situated in Scorpion Gulch about three and
one-half miles southwest of Hailey. He died January 19, 1911.
Ketchum is now quite a summer resort. In the spring of 1929, Carl E.
Brandt had the hot water from the Guyer Hot Springs, (about three miles
west of town) piped into town, and a large natatorium
built. This water has a temperature of 170 degrees,
Fahrenheit. There are 31 tourist cabins heated by this hot water and
supplied with all modern conveniences. The town has two good general
stores, one hotel, one restaurant, one garage, one service station,
etc. It is one of the greatest sheep and lamb shipping stations in the
START OF RANCH AND FARM
1879 Charles Black built a house on Spring creek and moved his family
there the next spring. In the same year Joseph Loving and family built
a house on the ranch still known to old-timers as the "Yank Robinson"
ranch. In the same year Isaac W. Garrett located on Spring creek and
filed on land that afterward belonged to John Hailey. Mr. Garrett moved
his family there on July 4, 1880. He was elected to the legislature in
1880 and it was due to his efforts that a bill was enacted into law
giving the citizens of Alturas county the right to vote at a special
election held on September 12, 1881, to locate the permanent county
seat of said county. In January, 1883, he accepted the office of deputy
auditor and recorder at Hailey. Other settlers near the Charles M.
Black ranch were S. E. Stanton and his son, Clark T. Stanton. Stanton
Crossing was named for the former. Both of these men afterward moved to
Hailey and lived there for many years. Other early settlers on Spring
Creek were the Brown brothers, John W. and Michael, who settled there
in 1881. Their brothers, Joseph and Peter, came later.
In the spring of 1881, Mrs, Lafe Griffin established a stage station
near the base of Timmerman Hill and conducted it until her death in the
fall of that year.John Redding kept a store close to this station in
1881 and until he moved to Bellevue in 1882, where he kept store while
This station was on the stage line running from Hailey to Goose creek
in Cassia county, where it intersected the Overland stage line running
from Kelton, Utah, to Boise, Idaho. The stage line running from Hailey
to Boise intersected the branch of the Overland stage line at the
station at the base of Timmerman hill.
John L. Timmerman came to Wood river in July, 1880, and lived near the
Black ranch the first year. In the fall of 1881 he established his
residence on the northern slope of the hill which bears his name, took
up land there and continued to live there until the day of his death on
November 23, 1906.
The old Emigrant road that crossed Snake river at Eagle Rock (Idaho
Falls) and came by way of Lost river and over Bradley hill, north of
Carey, crossed Wood river about six miles south of Bellevue. In 1881 a
stage line was established between Blackfoot and Hailey which came over
Clark T. Stanton, the present probate judge of Jerome county, Idaho,
was a scout with Colonel Green during the Bannack Indian war in 1878,
when the Bannacks of Fort Hall, led by Chief Buffalo Horn, and the
Pahutes of Malheur, led by Chief Egan, went on the warpath because the
national government opened to settlement Camas Prairie, which had been
reserved to the Indians. Colonel Green crossed Wood river where the old
Emigrant crossing was, went east to Lost river near where the town of
Mackay is now, and on to Challis, thence northeast to the old Lemhi
General Miles took up the trail there and Mr. Stanton returned by way
of the Salmon river. Cape Horn, Redfish Lakes, and down by Atlanta.
While writing of pioneers it may not be amiss to state that in 1824,
the Snake River expedition of 140 persons, led by Alexander Ross,
trapped the Lemhi and Salmon Rivers southward, thence to Lost and Wood
Rivers. But a trapper is not a pioneer. His aim is to leave the country
as he found it, except for the establishing of fur trading posts. He
makes no other improvements. He is opposed to any improvements as that
is inimical to his chosen calling.
Webster defines the word pioneer as, "One who goes before, as into the
wilderness, preparing the way for others to follow; as, pioneers of
civilization." The word trapper he defines as, "One who traps; esp.,
one who makes a business of trapping animals for their furs."
In the summer of 1879 Archie Billingsley drove cattle into Carey
valley, and moved his family there the following year. He was the first
settler there. James Carey was the first postmaster and the town
derives its name from him. The Post Office and the first school house
in the valley were situated on his ranch. Other settlers soon followed.
The soil of the valley is very productive, a part of which is watered
by Little Wood River.
The town of Carey has a grade school and an accredited high school, a
fine L. D. S. church, stores, garages, etc. It is situated about eight
miles in an easterly direction from Picabo.
In May, 1880, Patrick McMonigle and Joseph A. Meadows settled on Deer
Creek and took up land. They were the first settlers there.
On October 4, 1880, L. C. Dorsey and wife settled on Reck Creek on the
ranch now owned by Rodney R. Brown. But the snow was so deep that
winter that they did not wait for it to leave but moved into Hailey and
bought a lot. The townsite of Hailey was being laid out at that time in
1881. Mr. Dorsey lived here until his death in 1916. Mrs. Dorsey still
lives here and conducts a store.
Commodore Perry Croy was one of the earliest settlers near Hailey. He
filed on the land on which the Hailey Hot Springs are situated. He and
Geo. W. Edgington located the Jay Gould mine at Bullion and filed the
notice for record June 4, 1880. Croy's Addition to Hailey, Croy Street
and Croy Gulch are named for him. Yet notwithstanding all his
activities he was dissatisfied with the country and left for the east
in two or three years.
William Quigley, after whom Quigley Gulch is named, was one of the
early settlers in this vicinity. He filed on the land east of town long
known as the Drake ranch, now owned by Mrs. Joseph Hunter. A part of
the Hailey Cemetery is situated on this land.
George H. Knight, present county commissioner of the Third district,
arrived in Bellevue in 1880 and moved to Hailey in 1881. In those
bygone days he was a freighter. In the early eighties he filed on 160
acres of land on Indian creek and was granted a patent for the same.
Since disposing of this land he has lived on a ranch he owns on East
Herman Vorberg came to Wood River in 1880 and brought his family here
in April, 1881. He filed on the land about a mile west of Hailey which
is known as the Vorberg ranch, and received a patent to it. The house
which he built in 1881 is in a good state of preservation and is
occupied by two of his children, Herman J. and Agnes T., who cultivate
the land. Mr. Vorberg built a brewery on this land and conducted it for
some years. He lived on this land until his death on February 16, 1907.
To these hardy pioneers of mountains and valleys the present citizenry
of Blaine County owes a debt of gratitude. They came, they saw, they
conquered. It requires but little imagination to see them with our
mind's eye pitching their tents on the sagebrush plains, building
houses, fences, bridges, clearing off the sagebrush, digging ditches to
convey water on the arid soil, and thus transforming the fields which
had lately been sagebrush, under the magic influence of water, into
fruitful fields. They, as well as the early merchants, had manj-
hardships to undergo. Many luxuries were denied them. Yet there was a
certain glamour associated with pioneer life. It has been said that
"God made the country and man made the town." Without either
subscribing to that statement or taking exception to it, it is a
well-known fact that without developed mines or country there would be
no towns here, nor need of towns. But with a productive agricultural,
stockraising country, coupled with mining, towns are indispensable.
In the early days all goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, etc. for
Bellevue, Hailey and Ketchum were hauled in freight wagons drawn by
either horses or mules from either Blackfoot, Idaho, which was about
1S5 miles from Hailey by coming over the Bradley Hill, or from Kelton,
Utah, which was about 150 miles. All ores were hauled to Kelton. The
mail came by stage from Blackfoot.
BELLEVUE THE GATE CITY
Bellevue is situated about five miles south-east of Hailey.
In 1880 the first building was erected there. It was a log building
owned by Owen Riley, who was the first Postmaster. L. Young succeeded
him in that office. The present Postmaster is Mrs. Florence V. Clark.
In the building in which the first Post Office was located was a drug
store owned by W. T. Riley and conducted by J. J. Tracy. The latter
moved to Hailey in 1881 and has been conducting his own drug store here
since that date. In 1883 a charter for the City of Bellevue was granted
by the legislature, and with some amendments, is the charter under
which the city still operates. Bellevue had a weekly newspaper, a bank,
a school house, good business buildings and residences, and did a
thriving business while the mines near Broadford flourished. It was
also the county seat of Logan County for five years. Today it has
several general stores, a hardware store, a drug store, two garages
with service stations combined, three churches, a grade school and an
accredited high school, etc. It is one of the large lamb and sheep
On December 6, 1880, Hon. John Hailey filed on a desert land entry of
440 acres, for which he was granted a patent on April 5, 1884. This is
the land on which the principal part of the city of Hailey is situated.
The town was named for him, a pioneer of pioneers, and who served as a
delegate to Congress for two terms. His first term began March 4, 1873
and ended March 4, 1875, and his second term began March 4, 1885, and
ended March 4, 1887.
The townsite was located by John Hailey, A. H. Boomer, W. T. Riley and
E. S. Chase. It is situated about five miles northwest of Bellevue and
about 12 miles southeast of Ketchum. It has an elevation at the Court
House of 5332 feet.
The promoters of this townsite at first thought of locating it at the
mouth of Indian Creek, about three miles north of town, and naming it
Marshall, in honor of Doctor R. W. Marshall, who was the first doctor
on Wood River. But that idea was abandoned and the townsite never was
Ernest Cramer, S. J. Friedman, J. C. Fox, W. T. Riley, J. J. Tracy,
Leon Fuld and H. Z. Burkhart were some of the early merchants, all of
whom came in the spring of 1881. Ernest Cramer erected the first
building in the spring of 1881. It was a log structure situated on Lot
10, Block 42, and was used as a business building. The town developed
very rapidly as the mines at Bullion and vicinity which were tributary
to Hailey were being worked at capacity. Most of the merchants
conducted their business in tents until they were able to have suitable
buildings erected. Geo. M. Parsons was the first Postmaster and Leon
Fuld the second. Austin A. Lambert is the present Postmaster. H. Z.
Burkhart had the first express office. He burned 350,000 brick for the
Court House, Alturas hotel and other buildings. J. C. Fox retired in
1927 with the record of the oldest dry goods merchant in the State.
THE COUNTY SEAT FIGHT
A special election was held
on the 12th day of September, 1881, for the purpose of determining the
permanent location of the county seat of Alturas county, Idaho
The minutes of the Board of County Commissioners under date of September 25, 1881, are as follows:
"The returns from the various precincts (ex-cepting Canon Creek and
Indian Creek) having been recevied, the said meeting was held publicly,
the returns or poll books were received by the Clerk of this Board,
were presented to the Board, were found duly sealed and were then
publicly opened, and the Board proceeded to canvas and count the votes
and it was found that the town of Hailey received 1070 votes for the
county seat, and that the town of Bellevue received 1071 votes, the
town of Ketchum 356, and the town of Rocky Bar 236 votes.
On motion the Board adjourned sine die."
There is nothing more in the minutes in regard to the result of this
special election, neither is there anything to show whether the
election returns from Canon Creek and Indian Creek precincts ever were
received. From what follows it is reasonable to presume that they were
received and counted later, and that the town of Hailey got a majority
of those votes. The next thing in the minutes in regard to this matter
is as follows: "Ordered by the Board that G. L. Bixby be and he is
hereby authorized and empowered to employ counsel to take all and any
steps necessary in defense of any suit now pending in the District
Court of the Second Judicial District of Idaho Territory in and for
Alturas County, against the Board of County Commissioners of said
county in regard to the removal of the county seat from Rocky Bar.
"Ordered that the clerk of this board notify James H. Hawley, district
attorney, to appear for and defend any suit or suits now pending in
Alturas County, I. T. in which the Board of County Commissioners or
Alturas County is a party."
In the minutes of the District Court under date of October 26, 1881, is
the following entry: "Joseph A. Rupert vs The Board of County
Com-missioners of Alturas County. On motion of F. E. Ensign, Esq.,
Ordered that this cause be placed on the calendar." On the following
day the case was set for trial on November 2, 1881.
On that date the motion to dismiss the appeal was argued, submitted and
taken under advisement. On November 3, 1881 ,the Court denied the
motion to dismiss the appeal. The case was thereupon tried before the
Court and the Court rendered its decision on the same day, as follows:
"The Court Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed, that the town of Hailey
having received the highest number of votes for county seat, at the
Special Election held in said County of Alturas on the second Monday of
September A. D. 1881, said town of Hailey is hereby established and
confirmed as the permanent county seat of said Alturas County, and that
each party pay his own costs.
H. E. Prickett, Presiding Judge.'
In the County Commissioners' minutes of July 6, 1882, a county warrant
for §700.00 was ordered drawn to defray the expenses of removing the
county records from Rocky Bar to Hailey. The Board then adjourned to
meet at Hailey. . On August 2, 1882 the Board met at Hailey, I. T.,
pursuant to adjournment. There being no Court House at Hailey the Board
rented various rooms for the county officers.
On July 12, 1882, the following order was made and entered:
"Resolved that the Chairman and Auditor be and they are hereby
authorized and empowered in behalf of the county to enter into a
written lease with L. H. Woodin & Texas Angel, owners of Bullion
Block, for the use of the county for County Jail and County offices
from the 15th day of April, 1883, to such time as the Board of County
Commissioners may decide, at a monthly rental of $425.00 payable
quarterly in warrants." This was a two-storied building with a stone
basement and was situated on Lot 1, Block 32. The basement was used for
a jail. The building now occupied by Jacobs Variety store is situated
on the same site.
THREE DAILY PAPERS
For several years Hailey had
three daily papers which also were published weekly, and it continued
to have two daily papers until 1919. It now has one weekly paper, The
Hailey Times. Until this year many of us believed that Hailey had the
first daily paper in the Territory of Idaho. But L. A. York of Boise,
who published the Avalanche at Silver City from 1890 till 1903, under
date of June 2, 1930, writes, in part, as follows :
'The Owyhee Avalanche, of Silver City, was published as a daily in
1875-6, by W. J. Hill. He had the first steam press (cylinder) in the
Territory, and received telegraphic reports over a line built from
Winnemucca. He paid $300.00 per month for the telegraph service. This
The most reliable information obtainable is that T. E. Picotte of
Hailey published the second earliest daily paper in the Territory of
Idaho. It was called Wood River Daily Times and was first published May
20, 1882. Mr. Picotte began the publication of the Wood
River Weekly Times June 15, 1881.
The earliest electric light plant in the Territory was at the Ketchum
smelter. But Hailey was the first town to have an electric light plant.
Hailey had the first telephone system in the territory.
The attention of the Union Pacific Railway company, while constructing
their through line to the Pacific Coast, was drawn to the large
freighting business done by the Wood River country. As a consequence,
the Wood River Branch was built to Hailey. On May 7, 1883, at 10:30
o'clock A. M. the first train arrived in Hailey. There was great
rejoicing. The following year it was extended to Ketchum. Ketchum
celebrated the extension of the railway to that town on August 19,
1884. Trains began running regularly the following day. With the advent
of the railroad the stage coach and the big freighting outfits had to
seek new fields.
An Act of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Idaho, at its
12th session, approved February 8, 1883, entitled, "An Act providing
for the erection of a County Court House and jail at Hailey, the county
seat of Alturas County," provided that for the purpose of erecting and
completing said Court House and jail, Alturas County might issue Forty
Thousand Dollars of negotiable coupon bonds.
On July 14, 1883, the bid of Horace J. Knapp that he would erect,
complete and furnish the Court House and Jail, as per the plans and
specifications adopted by the Board for the sum of $37,800.00 and
accept the bonds known as the Court House Bonds in payment therefor,
was accepted. There were incidentals which made the cost $40,000.00. On
August 11, 1883, the corner stone of the court house was laid under the
supervision of J. K. Morrill, chairman of the Board of County
Commissioners. Deposited and hermetically sealed are:
The names and official titles of the County officers, a copy of the
Wood River Times, a copy of the Act of the legislature providing for
the erection of a court house and jail at Hailey, Idaho, and a blank
court house bond.
On August 1, 1884, the building was accepted. The basement is of rock
and is the jail. In the jail are steel cages which are said to have
cost about $10,000 00. The other two stories are of brick. In this
building are offices for all the county officials, a large up-to-date
Court room, jury room, Judge's chambers, etc. When built it was
probably the best Court house in the Territory. In 1S07 a fireproof
vault of two stories and a jury room on the the third story was erected.
The Alturas Hotel (now Hiawatha) is a three story brick building with
rock basement. On March 22, 1S83, ground was broken for this hotel. On
May 25, 1886, it was opened to the public with a grand ball. A Hailey
paper of that date says, "it is admitted to be the finest hotel between
Denver and the Pacific Ocean." It was said to have cost $35,000;
furniture $8,000, not including the $5,000 bar and fixtures connected
with the billiard hall. In 1914-15 quite an addition was built to it
and renovated throughout. It contains 82 rooms and each room is
furnished with hot and cold water. The natural hot water from the
Hailey Hot Springs (about two and a half miles west of town) is piped
in and the hotel is heated throughout with this water which has a
temperature of 136 degrees, Fahrenheit. The hotel has all modern
conveniences. There is a large natatorium in connection therewith.
Even in the early days, Hailey, like the other towns, had good business
houses in which were carried all goods, wares and merchandise necessary
for the community. All these towns had good residences and good
educational facilities, churches, etc. There wei'e about 20 lawyers.
There were able men who represented several religions, who ministered
to the spiritual welfare of the inhabitants. There were saloons
a-plenty. Faro, poker, roulette and other games of chance were also
plentiful. Even the smallest mining camp had its saloon and some game
of chance. It is no exaggeration to say that in the larger towns there
was nothing lacking that was to be found in a real mining town.
On September 17, 1884, Sheriff C. H. Furey issued licenses to 18
saloon-keepers in Hailey, seven at Bullion, and five at Shoshone. The
number of licenses at Bellevue and Ketchum was not definitely known but
it was thought the number would reach 15 for Ketchum. There were 12
gaming licenses issued for Hailey and eight for Ketchum. The revenue
from saloons alone amounted to $9,800 a year.
Hailey in the early days had the Hailey Iron Works, which was a branch
of the Colorado Iron Works of Denver, and were manufacturers of and
dealers in mining machinery, sawmills. jigs, screens, elevators,
furnaces, crushers, Cornish pumps, steam pumps, etc.
The United States Land Office at Hailey was opened for business on July
14, 1883, with Homer L. Pound as the first Register and J. S. Waters as
the first Receiver. An immense area was included in this Land District.
After most of the land had been filed on and patented, the Land Office,
for economic reasons, was abolished at the close of April 30, 1925. All
books, records and files were transferred to Blackfoot, Idaho.
BIG HAILEY FIRE
L. Baxter of Fairfield, Idaho, whose reminiscences of early days have
lately been published in the Camas County Courier, has this to say of
the early citizens of Hailey: "I want to say that the citizens of
Hailey went very strong for anything that they wanted. They could raise
money for anything that would help Hailey, and I believe there are a
good many residents in Hailey who are just as loyal now as were those
of that time. Just to show what kind of citizens there were in Hailey I
want to state one incident that occurred at that time. The people of
Camas Prairie wanted a. road into the Big Smoky country. I went into
Hailey to try to raise money to put in bridges across Big Smoky and
South Boise river so there could be a road put in the next spring so
that people would be able to cross these streams in high water. I went
to a business man and told him what we would like. He asked me to go
with him for a little while and I did. In less than two hours he handed
me $800.00 to help put in these bridges. That is the way the Hailey
people always were. They were always ready to help build up the
country'. That was the starter of the road to Big Smoky."
On September 24, 1883, fire in
Hailey destroyed the business portion of the east side of Main street
between Bullion and Croy streets. Estimated loss $75,000. In place of
the frame build-ings destroyed substantial brick buildings were soon
On July 2, 1889, about 1:30 o'clock in the morning the Nevada hotel in
Hailey was discovered to be on fire. This hotel was situated about the
same place as the Hailey Commercial Club building is at present, which
is about half way between Bullion and Carbonate streets on the east
side of Main street. There was a strong wind blowing at the time and
the fire got beyond control and burned all the business section except
the brick store building of S. J. Friedman, which is still intact; the
rear of the building now owned and occupied by the Friedman company as
a genera] store, and the rear of the building now owned and occupied by
Dr. Robert H. Wright as his office. The S. J. Friedman store had a dirt
roof under the ordinary roof which accounts for its not being
destroyed. The loss caused by this fire was estimated at the time to be
about $500,000.00. Before winter the greater part of the burnt district
had been rebuilt.
The Fourth of July celebration that year was held out near the Hailey
Hot Springs hotel, about one and half miles west of town. This was a
fine hotel which was built in 1888-9. It was heated by the natural hot
water. It had a gentlemen's plunge adjoining, bath rooms, and a ladies'
plunge a short distance from the hotel. Robert E. Strahorn was the
first manager. It was destroyed by fire in August, 1899.
Hailey was incorporated as a village in April, 1903, and in April, 1909, became a city of the second class.
At present Hailey is well supplied with busi-ness houses, two banks,
three churches, hotels, rooming houses, restaurants, three garages,
five sexwice stations, two drug stores, one assay office, one grade
school and one accredited high school, an up-to-date hospital, a
talking picture theatre and a large auditorium.
The following fraternal organizations are well represented, namely,
Masons, Eastern Star, Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, Modern Woodmen of America,
Royal Neighbors, Eagles and W. B. A. They all meet in the Odd Fellows'
Each succeeding year finds this town becoming more of a summer resort.
The nights here are always cool. Since the settlement of the Gooding
and Twin Falls tracts the increase in the number of summer tourists is
A great number of sheep and lambs are shipped from this station every year.
The Wood River Daily Times of August 4, 1884, devotes two columns to W.
W. Cole's circus which arrived that morning by special train. The
estimated number of persons in town was 6,000. The greater part of the
article, however, is taken up with a description of the havoc wrought
by Samson, the five-ton, 100-year-old elephant. It states he went on
the rampage and killed two horses, overturned four wagons and
demolished three railway cars. It also states that 40 or 50 shots were
fired at him with rifles and although several hit him they were without
effect. It describes the consternation created by Samson. Finally
Samson attempted to climb on to a pile of ties. Being unable to get a
firm footing this halted him, and the circus-hands threw ropes over and
downed him. After resting a few moments they led him back to his tent
gentle as a lamb.
The Wood River Times in 1884 had the following :
WOOD RIVER'S RECORD
In 1878 .............................................. Wild Indians In
1880 ........Settled by the whites. In 1881........Yield of the
mines........$1,250,000 In 1882 ........Yield of the
mines........$2,500,000 In 1883 ........Yield of the
mines........$3,500,000 In 1884 ........Yield of the
The foregoing figures are given for what they are worth.
The year 1879 is omitted from the list, per-haps for the purpose of
making a good showing. But as the development of mining on Wood river
began in 1879 it should have been included with 1880 as "settled by the
MINERS STRIKE AT BROADFORD
On July 20, 1884, the miners
at the Minnie Moore mine struck and the mine was, in consequence,
closed. Several causes were stated for this move. One was that the
miners did not receive their pay on pay-day; another, that the owners
of the Minnie Moore had determined upon reducing the miners' wages from
$4 to $3.50 a day; and another that it was attempted to reduce all top
men, blacksmiths and carpenters $1 and laborers 50 cents a day.
Ten days later the miners resumed work at the Minnie Moore, their demands having been complied with by Superintendent Palmer.
On January 20, 1885, Captain Lusk, superintendent of the Queen of the
Hills mine, informed the miners that owing to the low prices for lead
and silver, and the high rates for freight, etc., his company could not
afford to paj' $4 per day but would pay $3.50. If the men would submit
to a reduction temporarily, when the price for lead and silver
advanced, wages would be advanced. But the men peremptorily refused to
accede to a reduction. The Queen of the Hills mine shut down forthwith.
Superintendent Palmer of the Minnie Moore mine, having decided on a
similar reduction of wages as that announced by Captain Lusk, the
miners at the Minnie Moore went on strike on February 4, 1885.
On February 12, 1885, a complaint was filed in the probate court of
Alturas county charging 12 men at Broadford with conspiracy. A warrant
of arrest was thereupon issued for the arrest of these men. The
complaint charged that these men belonged to the Broadford Miners'
Union, whose object was to fix and maintain the rate of wages; that the
Queen of the Hills and the Minnie Moore mines are the two most
important mines in the vicinity of the said town of Broadford, and have
heretofore' employed nearly all the miners at work in said vicinity;
that on or about the fourth of February, 1885, fearing and believing
that the owners and managers of said mines would no longer continue to
pay the wages of $4 per day, and for the purpose of compelling the said
owners and managers of the Queen of the Hills and Minnie Moore mines to
guarantee to Broadford Miners' Union that the rate of wages per day for
miners working in the mines should continue to be $4, the defendants
and numerous other members of the said Broadford Miners' Union, did,
unlawfully and fraudulently conspire, with force and arms, feloniously
and injuriously to trade, to prevent any and all persons whomsoever
from performing labor or mining, either for wages or by contract, or
under lease, to either mine.
The 12 men surrendered voluntarily when in-formed by the sheriff that he had warrants for their arrest.
The preliminary examination of the 12 members of the Broadford Miners'
Union began in the probate court on February 13,1885, and continued
until February 23d, at which time the Court took the matter under
advisement. The following day Judge H. C. Street announced his
decision, which was to hold seven to answer for conspiracy, in the sum
of §500 each. Bonds wex*e supplied instanter and defendants returned
On February 24, 1885, some men on their way to the Queen of the Hills
and Minnie Moore mines were stopped by an angry crowd at Broadford, who
loudly declared that no work would be done until the mine-owners should
guarantee $4 per day.
The second batch of 14 members of the Broadford Miners' Union was
arrested on the following day. Their bonds were fixed at §500, which
they gave and were released from custody.
The managers of the Minnie Moore and the Queen of the Hills refused to
pay §4 but offered $3.50 per day. They claimed that, during the
preceding three months, the depreciation in price of lead and silver
had entailed a loss of $15 per ton of ore.
The Daily Times of February 28, 1885, said: "For some time past it has
been evident that no men would be permitted to work in the mines at
Broadford on any other terms than the payment of $4 per day wages, and
that violence would be resorted to, if necessary, to prevent men from
going to work, either on contract or for less than the wages required
by the Miners' Union. This state of affairs caused considerable alarm
in the community, and it became evident that something should be done
to assert the supremacy of the law. The miners of Broadford, except on
two or three occasions, had behaved remarkably well for men on a
strike, and it was hardly deemed probable that they would openly defy
the law; but as there was a bare possibility that they might do so, the
sheriff, moved to act by a requisition in due form, concluded to summon
a posse to set to work what men were willing to work.
"The preparations—such as procuring badges, guns, ammunition, and
appointing deputies— —were completed last evening; this morning, the
superintendents of the Queen of the Hills and Minnie Moore companies,
having announced their working force ready, the sheriff and his
deputies marched to Broadford, escorting seven miners, which were all
who were ready to go to work.
"The sheriffs force consisted of about 12 deputies from Hailey, and
about 20 from Bellevue. All being ready the force left the Minnie Moore
office, in Bellevue, about half-past 11 o'clock, and marched to
Broadford. On arriving there a crowd of men numbering about 120 were
seen standing on the sidewalk or in the street, by the side of the
road. Of the men standing there the majority were armed and kept their
hands quite near their side and hip pockets; but they did not make any
move to use arms. It was evident, however, that they were determined,
in case of an outbreak, to make a bitter fight.
"For a moment the sheriff's force halted, and divided, one-half going
to the Queen works, the other half to the Minnie Moore, where the men
who wished to do so went to work. The sheriff led the detail to
the Minnie, and after seeing the men to work returned to the Queen,
where he collected his force and marched it back to Bellevue, not one
insulting word having been heard, not a blow offered. The sheriff's
posse had been in Broadford just one hour.
"The effect of the demonstration by the sheriff's posse, this morning,
will be good. Those of the miners who might have been led into deeds of
violence have seen that the law would not countenance such acts; that,
furthermore, the people propose to have peace; and that the men who
desire to go to work, no matter at what wages, or whether on contract
or day's work, will be protected, and all will be more careful to keep
within the law.
"Whether the mining companies will secure men for less than the Union rate remains to be seen."
On March 2, 1885,—"Ex-United States Marshal E. S. Chase, who is in
charge of the deputies at Broadford, came up this afternoon for a
change of clothes. He reports the Queen and Minnie working full-handed,
with good miners, and the superintendents refusing work to many who
apply, because unable to work them to advantage. A contract
was let today by Superintendent Palmer to run 1000 feet east of the
shaft, in entirely new ground. Work upon this will begin tomorrow
March 17, 1885.—For weeks the members of the Miners' Union of Broadford
and Bullion felt the necessity of an authoritative statement on their
part that would quiet all apprehensions, on the part of mine-owners and
the public generally, in regard to their intentions anent the pending
strike and the occurrences possible in consequence thereof.
General anxiety, if not alarm, prevails in time of a strike. To subdue
this alarm the union leaders determined to make a demonstration. To
that end, a general invitation was extended to their members throughout
the region to gather at Broadford to attend an open air meeting, to be
addressed by fellow-members; after which a committee, three from
Broadford, three from Bullion, and three from Ketchum, would be
appointed to confer with Superintendents Cecil B. Palmer and J. A.
Lusk, of the Minnie Moore and the Queen of the Hills, respectively, and
their counsel, J. H. Harris.
The miners began coming at once. All day and evening teams brought them
down from Bullion, Deer Creek, Ketchum and the surrounding gulches. At
10 o'clock in the morning the main body of visiting members arrived
from Bullion, and numbered over 100. They were joined by about 50 from
Ketchum, and all left for Bellevue, where they formed in procession and
proceeded to Broadford.
On the outskirts of Bellevue they were met by the Broadford Miners' Union, and escorted to the mines.
The miners and mine-owners being anxious that the difficulty be
settled, Colonel Wall and Martin Curran consented to act as mediators,
and proceeded to the Queen of the Hills works, where Messrs. Lusk,
Palmer and Harris awaited them. Fulton Haight and Judge Turner also
accompanied them. The superintendents of the Queen and Minnie stated
they were willing to listen to any proposition the miners wished to
make. They had none to advance. All they wish'ed was the right to work
their mines as they saw fit.
Colonel Wall and Martin Curran went back to the miners, who were in
front of their hall. Barney McDevitt, Charles O'Brien, James Gunn,
Eugene O'Callaghan, W. H. Atkinson, David Lawrence, James McPherson and
Alex. McPhail were appointed a committee to confer with the
superintendents. It proving satisfactory, Colonel Wall so reported, and
the committee proceeded to the Queen works.
The mine approaches were fortified, bulkheads of solid timber having
been erected at all points easy of access. Behind these bulkheads
deputies were stationed, who were armed with rifles and revolvers.
There were probably 250 union miners in Broadford.
Shortly after 4 o'clock the committee returned and reported that they
had failed to come to an understanding; that Superintendents Palmer and
Lusk would not recede from their position.
Barney McDevitt, president of the Broadford Miners' Union, thereupon
made a violent speech, saying, substantially, that they would get $4
per day, or blood would run in the streets of Broadford and Bellevue.
He concluded by calling on the men to capture the mines.
The flag of the union was then unfurled, arms were brought from the
hall of the union, and some 50 armed men ranged themselves in line
behind the flag.
President Atkinson, of the Bullion Union, jumped on a box and called
out: "Halt! there! As president of the Bullion Union, I command every
man to keep quiet. You will retire to your hall, and deliberate upon a
future course of action."
Ex-President Gunn of Bullion, and Eugene O'Callaghan of Ketchum, also
addressed the crowd, advising them to refrain from violence. They were
ably seconded by many others.
District Attorney Hawley addressed the miners, urging them to refrain from carrying their threats into execution.
Sheriff Furey and Deputy Sheriff Pat Furey were talking to the foremost
men all this time, holding the crowd back, and succeeded in obtaining a
It was then agreed that the sheriff should proceed to the Queen works
and inform the men at work that the union wished to speak to them. This
was done. The men came, and were requested to refrain from working
until the trouble was over. Most of them consented.
Sheriff Furey then drove up to the Minnie in a buggy, with President McDevitt, and the men there also quit work.
It being about time for the night shift to go on, a crowd collected in
front of McFall's hotel to escort them out of town, the understanding
being that not a hand should be laid on, nor a threat uttered, to one
of them. Unfortunately, Jack Haines, an old Bullion miner who had
persistently refused to join the union, came out. He was at once
collared by two or three men, and kicked and beaten. As soon as he
could he ran into the hotel, a dozen infuriated men following.
But the shift had scattered through the back streets and taken to the
main road. Some union men had already driven back a part of the shift
coming from Bellevue to go to work. There being no one who seemed
disposed to go to work, the union men dispersed, and quiet prevailed
The following morning the visiting members of the union returned to Bullion, Ketchum or Deer creek, where they are employed.
Acting Governor Curtis and General Brisbin, of the United States Army,
arrived in Bellevue March 18, 1885 and began examining the situation.
General Brisbin spoke substantially as follows:
"Governor Curtis and myself have come over to settle this thing, and we
will not leave until it is definitely settled. With the causes that
have led to the conflict we have nothing to do. If the sheriff or the
local authorities declare themselves unable to preserve order and
protect men who wish to work at any wages that they see fit, or if the
process of the local courts is resisted, it will be our duty to enforce
the laws. I can get United States troops here from Boise in a few
hours, but I do not believe that any will be required. In a day or two
we shall be better informed and will know just what we should do in the
premises. But this much you may depend on, and that is, that employers
have the right to say what they can afford or are willing to pay, and
they shall be protected in the exercise of this right. And while any
man, or men, acting individually or collectively, have a right to
refuse to work for the wages offered, they have no right to prevent
from working others who may wish to work."
On March 20, 1885,. the situation at Broadford was practically
unchanged. Men were working in the Minnie Moore and the Queen of the
Hills mines, but only about half the force employed previous to the
17th instant. Some of the men sent over to work were stopped, and some
were again stopped in the morning. A meeting of citizens was held in
Bellevue, to consider the situation, and a committee was appointed to
interview Governor Curtis and General Brisbin, and demand that troops
be brought in. Governor Curtis replied that the power of the county to
preserve the peace had not been put to the test. That if it was, and
the distur-bances were not squelched, he would make the requisition for
troops, but that, until that was done, he was powerless.
General Brisbin reassured the citizens, saying that it was the
governor's intention and his to enforce the laws. But he wished to
satisfy himself that force was needed, before using it. March 23, 1885,
the trouble at Broadford was as far from settlement as ever. The men
going to work at the Queen, were stopped by Union men, on the Broadford
road, and turned back. A number of deputies were thereupon ordered to
escort the men to the Queen—which was done, not a union man interfering.
Brevet Brigadier General Brisbin returned this morning on the train. He
was dressed in full uniform. Last week he came in civilian's clothes.
He was accompanied by his adjutant and two non-commissioned officers.
He expressed himself as ready to act. He went on to Bellevue. He had
orders from the secretary of war to bring all or a part of his command
(which includes infantry, cavalry and two gatling guns) to Wood river
for the summer.
Twenty union men were arrested.
Three days were consumed in the taking of testimony in the probate court concerning the riot of the 17th at Broadford.
Judge H. C. Street, after summarizing the case, went on to state that
the evidence showed that the crowd were called together to prevent work
on certain mines at certain prices; that after failing peaceably to
accomplish their objects, they prepared to forcibly carry out their
demands; that incendiary speeches were made and commended by the crowd;
that they prepared by force and arms to carry the works and take the
mines; that the sheriff of the county was defied, resisted and
assaulted; that outrages by the mob were perpetrated on various
individuals; that arms were in the hands of many of the crowd and an
unlawful object openly avowed; that confusion reigned supreme in
Broadford for hours; that persons outside the crowd were terrorized
He certainly must conclude, he said, that there was a riot on that occasion.
Having carefully examined the evidence he declared it to be his duty to
hold the defendants to appear before the gi'and jury, in bonds fixed at
$1000, $750, $500, respectively. Five defendants were held to give
$1000 bonds each, five to give $750 bonds each, and five to give $500
The grand jury which met in June, 1885, in their final report found 17 true bills and ignored 13 charges.
Two of the union miners were charged with felony. Nolle prosequi was
entered in both cases. One defendant was then charged with assault and
battery, to which he entered a plea of guilty, and was fined $50, the
other defendant was charged with assault, to which he entered a plea of
guilty and was fined $20.
In the latter part of March, 1885, Superintendents Lusk and Palmer
stated that the Queen of the Hills and the Minnie Moore mines were
full-handed with miners working at the rate of $3.50 a day.
THE TERRITORY THRIVES
Leduc Post Office was
established in 1883 with Peter Leduc as Postmaster, who served until
his death in November, 1899. It was situated about two miles north of
the present site of Picabo.
Early in 1900 the post office of Leduc was abolished and the post
office of Picabo established with Mrs. Margaret Donahue, postmaster.
William J. Dunn is the present postmaster. Picabo is situated about 15
miles south of Bellevue. The townsite plat was filed with the county
recorder July 16, 1917. It has one hotel, two.stores, three service
stations, one grain elevator, etc.. An average of 5,000 tons of ice
have been put up and shipped from that point every year since 1902.
The plat of the townsite of Gannett was filed in the office of the
county recorder on June 3, 1916. The land was owned by Lewis E. Gannett
and the town is named for him. It is situated about eight miles south
of Bellevue. It has one general store, one drug store, one garage and
service station combined, one service station, one grade school and one
accredited high school, one L. D. S. church, etc. Its first postmaster
was Elmer J. Trowbridge and its present one is Louise Bowlden.
In 1884, James L. Onderdonk, in "RESOURCES OF IDAHO," says: "Alturas
county has an area of over 19,000 square miles, or larger than Vermont
and New Hampshire combined. It is 200 miles in length, with a width
varying from 70 to 130 miles. It is the banner county of the territory,
not only in size, but also in wealth and population. In it lies the
great Wood River region, the phenomenal richness of whose deposits, as
well as those of the Sawtooth, have made the name of Alturas known all
over the world. Situated in central Idaho, watered by the river from
which the section takes its name and by a score of tributaries, at an
elevation of from 5200 to 9000 feet, are the great mineral deposits of
Idaho. With a mineral belt extending for 110 miles, with easy
communication by means of the Wood River branch of the Oregon Short
Line, with a record already brilliant though hardly four years old,
this may truly be regarded as an attractive country."
It will be recalled that this was written subsequent to the creation of
Custer county in 1881, which took off an immense slice from
Alturas county, yet note its enormous size. This is the county which
spellbinders up to 1889 used to describe in florid prose as the "Empire
of Alturas/' and as "extending from near the capital city of Boise on
the west, to the Little Lost river on the east, and from the lofty
snowcapped peaks of the Sawtooth range on the north, down to the
glittering sands of the Snake river on the south." In 1886 it was
entitled to six members in the legislature, which was onesixth of the
It had 252 miles of railroad and an equal extent of telegraph lines.
Its greatness and its large representation at political conventions and
in the halls of legislation excited the envy of her sister counties,
and the day of reckoning was near at hand. After the legislature of
1889 had adjourned, but before the records were written up and signed,
a "rump" legislature convened and created the counties of Elmore and
Logan on February 7, 1889. The county seat of Elmore county was
temporarily located at Rocky Bar. At the election held October 1, 1890,
the permanent seat was established at Mountain Home. The temporary
county seat of Logan county was located at Shoshone. At the election
held October 1, 1890, the permanent county seat was established at
Bellevue. Then there were two county seats within five
miles of each other. The boundary line ran between Hailey and Bellevue.
The Croesus mine and all of Camas Prairie were in Logan county. A suit
to have the act creating these two counties declared unconstitutional
was unsuccessful although carried to the United States supreme court.
This and subsequent litigation cost many thousands of dollars. The
mighty Alturas of yesterday was now but a wreck of its former self. All
that was left of it was Hailey, Ketchum, the Sawtooth mountains, and
the Lost River country, and the assessable value of the latter at that
time was almost negligible. County warrents were soon selling at 50
cents on the dollar and the county was heading for bankruptcy.
Naturally relief was sought for this intolerable situation. On the
third day of March, 1891, the legislature passed "An Act to create and
organize the counties of Alta and Lincoln, to locate the county seats
of said counties, and to apportion the debt of Logan county." This act
was approved by the governor. Alta county comprised approximately what
is now Blaine, Camas, the greater part of Butte and part of Power
counties. But its existence was very brief. On
the third day of June, 1891, the supreme court of Idaho held the above
entitled act unconstitutional on the ground that "An act to divide a
county and attach the part cut off to another county, without
submitting the proposition to a vote of the people in the segregated
part, is in violation of Section 3 of Article 18 of the constitution."
THE COMING OF BLAINE
On March 5, 1895, the county of Blaine was created. The first section
of the act creating Blaine county reads as follows: "The counties of
Alturas and Logan are hereby abolished and the county of Blaine is
hereby created, embracing all of the territory heretofore included
with-in the boundary lines of said Alturas and Logan counties." The
county seat was located at Hailey.
On March 18, 1895, the county of Lincoln was created out of the county of Blaine and the county seat located at Shoshone.
The "act to abolish the counties of Alturas and Logan and to create and
organize the county of Blaine," provided that "Sidney Kelley, Fred W.
Gooding and Israel T. Osborn, shall be the county commissioners of said
county, H. H. Clay, treasurer, J. J. McFadden, probate judge and
ex-officio superintendent of public instruction, Andrew J. Dunn,
coroner, and Frank C. Mandell, surveyor. Of the two persons elected in
said Alturas and Logan counties at the last election to each of the
offices of sheriff, of assessor and ex-officio tax
collector, and of clerk of the district court and
ex-officio auditor and recorder, during the first year one shall be the
officer and the other shall be his assistant or deputy, and during the
second year they shall exchange positions, and the clerk of the
district court and ex-officio auditor and recorder for the third and
fourth years shall alternate as herein provided, and that unless they
can agree among themselves upon the order in which they shall so occupy
such office, the board of county commissioners of Blaine county shall
determine the same." All the above named officers qualified. The
following also qualified: Geo. W. Richards, clerk of district court and
ex-officio auditor and recorder, Thomas Fenton,. sheriff, and James M.
McPherson, assessor and tax collector.
The creation of Lincoln county March 18, 1895, legislated County
Commissioner Fred W. Gooding out of office in Blaine county for the
reason that he was no longer a resident of Blaine county. John E. Schad
was appointed county commissioner by the governor. He presented his
commission and qualified.
The board of county commissioners as then constituted consisted of
Israel T. Osbom, chairman, Sidney Kelley of Carey, and John E. Schad.
The indebtedness of Lincoln county to Blaine county had to be
determined, bonds refunded, and counsel employed to defend the rights
of Blaine county. Their lot was as difficult, perhaps, as ever fell to
a board of county commissioners in this state.
On February 6, 1917, the county of Camas was created from Blaine county.
Alturas county at the date of its creation embraced all the area of the
present counties of Blaine,Camas, Elmore, Gooding, Lincoln, Jerome,
Minidoka, the greater part of Butte, and parts of Custer, Bingham and
Power. The appellation of "mother of counties," so often applied to
Alturas county, is not a misnomer, as can readily be seen, but is an
The present area of Blaine county is 2,797 square miles. It was named
in honor of that eminent statesman, James Gillespie Blaine. Its present
population (1930 census) is 3771. It is bounded on the north by Custer
county, on the east by Butte and Bingham counties, on the south by
Power, Cassia, Minidoka and Lincoln Counties, and on the west by Camas
county. On January 14, 1899, the suit attacking the constitutionality
of the act creating Blaine county was presented to the state supreme
court. That tribunal said in part: "The state, having, through each of
its co-ordinate branches of government, repeatedly recognized Blaine
county as a county and legal subdivision of the state, is estopped,
after the lapse of nearly four years, from questioning the regularity
of the passage of the act creating the county. * * * The conclusion in
this case is based upon a rule of estoppel, demanded in this case by
On January 30, 1913, the county of Power was created from parts of Oneida, Bingham, Blaine and Cassia counties.
On February 6, 1917, the county of Butte was created from parts of
Blaine, Jefferson and Bingham counties, but principally from Blaine
On February 6, 1917, the county of Camas was created from Blaine county.
Alturas county at the date of its creation embraced all the area of the
present counties of Blaine, Camas, Elmore, Gooding, Lincoln, Jerome,
Minidoka, the greater part of Butte, and parts of Custer, Bingham and
Power. The appellation of "mother of counties," so often applied to
Alturas county, is not a misnomer, as can readily be seen, but is an
The present area of Blaine county is 2,797 square miles. It was named
in honor of that eminent statesman, James Gillespie Blaine. Its present
population (1930 census) is 3,771. It is bounded on the north by Custer
county, on the east by Butte and Bingham counties, on the south by
Power, Cassia, Minidoka and Lincoln counties, and on the west by Camas
SAWTOOTH NATIONAL FOREST
A large part of Blaine county lies in the Sawtooth national forest.
This reserve was created by President Roosevelt on May 29, 1905, its
original area being 1,947,520 acres. An addition of 1,392,640 acres was
made on November 6, 1906. The name "Forest Reserves" was changed to
"National Forests" in 1907.
Major Frank E. Fenn was the first supervisor, with headquarters at
Boise. He was later transferred to northern Idaho and was succeeded by
On July 1, 1908, the Sawtooth forest was divided, and the local unit,
retaining the name "Sawtooth," was placed under the administration of
Clarence N. Woods as supervisor, with headquarters at Hailey. In the
fall of 1914, Mr. Woods was transferred to Ogden, Utah, and his place
was taken by M. S. Benedict. Shortly after war was declared against
Germany on April 6, 1917, Mr. Benedict left for a training camp, and
was succeeded by Herbert G. McPheters, who held the position until
Benedict returned as a captain in the spring of 1919.
Three other members of the Sawtooth forest force saw service in the
World war, namely, Guy C. Hendrickson, who was promoted to a first
lieutenancy, John Gilman and Albert R. Griffith, all of whom saw
The Sawtooth forest is considered very beneficial to Blaine and Lincoln
counties. Its lofty mountains, its many lakes and streams, its great
forage resources, are contributing, in one way or another, to the
welfare of the residents of these counties. It is protecting from
damage the headwaters of Wood river, without which the valley would be
a desert as the white man found it; it furnishes lumber and fuel for
local needs; its extensive ranges are the means of feeding many
thousands of sheep and lambs during the summer season and of finishing
for market thousands of Idaho's prime lambs. The government is building
a comprehensive road and trail system and making other improvements to
open up, conserve, and protect the forest.
In the forests of pine and fir are bear, deer and small game. Deer are
protected by law. But during the open season, hunters from far and
near, duly licensed, with high-powered rifles kill scores of these
beautiful, inoffensive, fleet-footed creatures.
In those beautiful lakes are several varieties of fish, chief of which
are salmon and mountain trout. This forma an ideal resort in summer for
recreation and amusement. James McDonald, the Hailey millionaire, has a
country residence on the beautiful shore of Pettit lake. The
snow-capped peaks of the Sawtooth mountains range all the way from
10,000 to 12,000 feet in altitude. The bracing mountain air and the
sublimity of the scene make it seem like an earthly paradise to those
who are fortunate enough to take advantage of its attractions. This
region is often referred to as "The Switzerland of America." Hyndman
peak is 12,078 feet above sea level. It forms a part of the boundary
line between Blaine and Custer counties and is about 18 miles in a
northeasterly direction in an air line from Hailey, or about 24 miles
by the road and trail. The view from its summit is indescribably grand
as the writer knows at first hand. While contemplating the grandeur of
this scene the following words of Byron irresistibly came to mind:
"Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase, And marvel men should
quit their easy chair, The toilsome way, and long, long league to
trace, Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air, And life, that
bloated ease can never hope to share."
Wood river, from which the valley takes its name, rises in the Sawtooth
Mountains and drains a region of about 100 miles in length from north
to south, and about 60 miles in width from east to west. Its principal
tributaries are the Malad, Little Wood river, Silver creek, Rock creek,
Deer creek, East Fork, Warm Springs creek, Prairie creek and Cherry
creek. Without these streams the valleys would be nothing but barren
Fish are to be found in all these streams, but Wood river and Silver
creek are especially famed for their trout, and tourists from afar
visit this region principally as disciples of Izaak Walton.
Grouse and sagehens are plentiful throughout the county.
HOT AND COLD WATER
The natural hot springs in Blaine county are the Condie, near Carey,
Hailey, Clarendon, Guyer, Warfield, Easley and Russian John. These
springs are favorite resorts for bathing. Several well-to-do people
have built summer homes near Warfield and Easley hot springs. The
Baptists have a camping ground for their meetings and summer vacation
near the latter spring.
There are two dams in Blaine county that are worthy of special mention,
the Fish Creek and the Magic. The former is situated about 14 miles in
a northeasterly direction from the town of Carey. It was commenced in
1916 and completed in 1920. It is built entirely of concrete, of the
multiple arch type, is 190 feet high and about 1600 feet long, and is
said to be the longest dam in the world of this type.
It cost about $1,000,000 and impounds 13,000 acre feet of
water when full.
The Magic dam is situated about 23 miles in a southwesterly direction
from Hailey, at the confluence of the Malad and Wood rivers, which
supply it with water. Construction was started in 1907 and
practically completed in 1910, when water was first stored
for irrigation purposes. It is an earthen dam, maximum height above the
floor of the tunnel, intake end, 114 feet; top width is 10 feet and the
main dam is approximately 1800 feet long; upstream slope is three to
one, and the downstream slope is two to one, making the bottom width of
the dam 580 feet; the upstream face is heavily rip-rapped. At the time
of its construction it was considered the highest dam in the world. The
top of the dam is at an elevation of 4940, and the top of the concrete
spillway is 4930, but the high water elevation, when the reservoir is
full, is at an elevation of 4935. The maximum impoundage or storage, at
the 4935 elevation is 191,500 acre feet.
The reservoir and system were built to irrigate about 125,000 acres of
land, but under decree of the court this has been cut to 75,000 acres
net. When full, the water backs up approximately seven miles, and at
this stage the area submerged is practically 3,800 acres. The total
cost of the dam, reservoir and machinery was approximately
Trout weighing from four to 12 pounds are caught in the back waters of the dam.
A TRAGEDY IN THE SNOW
An appalling calamity occurred at the North Star mine on the East Fork
of Wood river about 3:30 o'clock on the morning of February 25, 1917.
Three slides formed an avalanche, one from the east, one from the north
and one from the northwest, which killed 15 men and injured 17.
Following is a list of the dead: Emmett P. Russell, Philip Welch, John
Fleming, Samuel La Barge, John Vaughn, John Kistle, John McKelvy, all
of Hailey; Israel Peterlin of Broadford, John Hearn of Fairfield,
William C. Schmidt of Rock Creek, E. P. Manjino, time-keeper, of
Mexico, Joseph H. Purnell of Boise, E. G. Cooley, W. R. Motley and Roy
Following is a list of the injured: Andy Smith of Lost River, H. B.
Richardson of Boise Basin, George Lee of Boise, John Lillquist of
Rossland, Canada, M. S. Legault, 0. E. Beeson, O. D. St. Amand, Bert
Judd, M. S. Lesault, John Peterson, Pete Colombtta, K. D. Lindsay, H.
F. Manard, A. E. Wood, E. C. Jones, Thomas Jay and J. R. Carter.
Over 20 men escaped uninjured. Of the 85 men employed only 65 were at the mine; and they are all accounted for.
The avalanche destroyed the office, storeroom, changing room, two-story
bunkhouse and compressor room of the Federal Mining & Smelting
company, smashing them into kindling wood. The Bell telephone line
being out of commission the Hailey Electric Light works was called over
the Federal Company's private line and Superintendent Rising was urged
to send all the physicians and able-bodied men available to the scene
of the tragedy.
Mr. Rising thereupon aroused Doctor Wright by telephone and he called
doctors Kleinman and Plumer of Hailey and doctors Byrd and Dutton of
Bellevue, all of whom responded immediately. After consultation doctor
Plumer was left in Hailey to look after the relatives of the victims of
the tragedy, many of whom resided in Hailey, and the other physicians
left for the North Star mine which they reached about 8 o'clock. They
immediately turned the mill office into a temporary hospital.
A veterinary surgeon had begun to give first aid in the company's
office at the mill and had bandaged some of the rescued when the Hailey
and Bellevue physicians arrived. In the meantime the mill
hands and the mill employees who were unhurt had been rescuing those
whom they could reach. By 9 o'clock about 100 men were engaged in
rescue work. Some of the men were buried under 20 to 30 feet of snow.
Several of the dead showed no marks of injuries and are supposed to
have suffocated. Others showed cuts and bruises.
The company did all it could to locate the relatives of the dead or
injured. The train was held at the siding near Gimlet for the purpose
of taking the injured, accompanied by doctors, volunteer assistants and
miners, to Hailey and Bellevue.
Of the injured two died a short time later, making 17 deaths all told.
This awful calamity has a parallel in Idaho, the number of deaths being
the same as in the Coeur d'Alenes a few years prior when . an avalanche
crashed through a part of the city of Wallace. It brought sorrow to
many homes in Hailey where so many people were closely related by blood
Never have so many snowslides happened here as during the big snow
storm of February 23, 24 and 25 of the year 1917. It seemed as if all
the snow in the mountains had tumbled into the gulches.
David P. Clarke, the pioneer and former post-master of Pierson, was
caught in a snowslide on his way home from Stanley postoffice and
killed. No other casualties were reported.
There was a gigantic snowslide at the Independence mine which carried
away the orehouse, destroyed a part of the gravity tram to the mill,
disabled the electric power and light and tele-phone line and lifted
the mill six inches from the foundation, besides carrying down a lot of
timber, lumber and cordwood. The slide came down 1500 feet with a width
of 300 or 400 feet and caused $6000 damages.
The boarding house of the Eureka mine, which is situated in Eureka
gulch, a fork of Bullion canyon, was struck by a snowslide and
seriously damaged. The building was occupied by the foreman, C. W.
Pinney and family, and others, all of whom were uninjured.
Snow at the Mascot mine, where ever it had a chance to slide, piled up to a depth of 10 to 20 feet.
MANY PROMINENT MEN
Several men and women who have resided in what is now Blaine county,
have filled positions of trust and honor. I fully realize the
difficulty of drawing the line of demarcation between the great and the
near-great, and I hesitate to mention names. In presenting such a list
I shall only include the names of those who have occupied state or
federal offices, or were distinguished in some calling or profession. I
shall not even include all state officers as members of the legislature
are classed as state officers, but I shall include only the names of a
few in this class and they were distinguished in other lines. There may
have been many, and doubtless there were, who have done their duty in
humble walks of life who are as worthy of the laurel wreath of fame as
some of these whose names I am about to indite. But their names are
unknown and their deeds unsung.
Gray, in his Elegy, Says:
"Some mute, inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood."
Blaine County can boast of one native son of international fame, Ezra
Pound, the poet, son of Homer L. Pound, the first Register of the
United States Land Office at Hailey. He was born in Hailey October 30,
1886. His poems have received favorable mention from some of the
foremost critics of Europe. He lives abroad all the time.
Frank R. Gooding served two terms as Governor of Idaho and one term as
United States Senator and was serving his second term when summoned by
Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of the United States Treasury.
Harold Lancaster Butler is a noted singer and teacher of music, and at
present is a doctor of music teaching in the Syracuse, New York,
conservatory of music.
James H. Hawley was District Attorney when he lived in Hailey. He was a distinguished lawyer and Governor of the State of Idaho.
Isaac Newton Sullivan served 26 consecutive years on the Supreme Bench of Idaho.
James H. Beatty served two years as District Judge and 17 years as United States District Judge.
Charles 0. Stockslager served four years as Receiver of the United
States Land Office in Hailey, 14 years as Judge of this District and
six years on the Supreme Bench of Idaho.
Lyttleton Price served four years as Judge of this District.
Henry F. Ensign had served nearly 12 years as Judge of this District
and was serving his fourth term when his untimely death closed his
Selden B. Kingsbury was a United States District Judge at Honolulu, Hawaii.
Geo. H. Roberts was first Attorney General of the State of Idaho.
Geo. M. Parsons was second Attorney General of the State of Idaho.
Norman M. Ruick was United States Attorney.
Presley M. Bruner was District Attorney of this District, and later was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge I. 0. 0. F. of Idaho.
Francis E. Ensign was a prominent pioneer lawyer of California and
Idaho, and was Grand Master of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Idaho.
Robert E. Strahorn was Vice President and manager of the Idaho and
Oregon Land Improvement Company and is now a reputed millionaire.
Hugh C. Wallace was Secretary of the Idaho and Oregon Land Improvement
Co., was appointed Ambassador to France by President Woodrow Wilson,
and is now a reputed millionaire.
A. J. Pinkham was first Secretary of State of Idaho.
Isaac W. Garrett was a Secretary of State of Idaho.
Geo. J. Lewis was a Secretary of State of Idaho.
E. S. Chase was a United States Marshal. Joseph Pinkham was a United States Marshal.
W. T. Riley was Register of the United States Land Office at Hailey.
W. H. Brodhead was Register of the United States Land Office at Hailey.
W. F. Horne was Receiver of the United States Land Office at Hailey.
W. A. Hodgman was Receiver of the United States Land Office at Hailey for two terms.
Fred C. Bradley was Receiver of the United States Land Office at Hailey.
Ben R. Gray was State Fish and Game Warden and also Register of the United States Land Office at Hailey.
H. K. Lewis was Receiver of the United States Land Office at Hailey.
Miss May G. Angel was Register of the United States Land Office at Hailey.
Stewart Campbell is serving his tenth consecutive year as Inspector of mines.
Nathan Kingsbury was a Vice-President of the Telephone & Telegraph Company.
W. A. Brodhead was Chairman of the State Highway Commission from 1915 to 1919.
Mrs. Mary George Gray was a State Representative and in 1926 was
nominated for Representative in Congress, also a Past President of the
Rebekah State Assembly of Idaho.
Miss Perineal J. French was State Superintendent of Public Instruction
and at present is dean of women at the University of Idaho, at Moscow.
Miss Bernice McCoy was State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Dr. D. W. Figgins was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge I. O. 0. F. of Idaho.
E. B. Lemmon was Grand Master of Grand Lodge I. 0. 0. F. of Idaho.
W. E. Heard was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge I. 0. 0. F. of Idaho.
Emil A. Friedman was Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment I. O. O. F. of Idaho.
I.eon Fuld was Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge I. 0. 0. F. of Idaho.
Presley F. Home is present Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge I. 0. O.
F. of Idaho. He has served as such continuously since October, 1913.
Mrs. Ella W. Home is a Past President of the Rebekah State Assembly of Idaho.
Mrs. Blanche E. Kleinman is a Past Grand Matron of the Grand Chapter of the Eastern Star of Idaho.
John W. Cramer was Assistant Attorney General of Idaho.
BRAVE SONS OF BLAINE
The brave good soldier ne'er despise Nor treat him as a stranger.
Remember he's his country's stay In day and hour of danger.—Burns.
On May 20, 1890, Company F, Idaho National Guard, was mustered in at
Hailey by Col. W. T. Riley. It is a matter of regret that no roster of
this company can be found. At the time in question there were two daily
papers published in Hailey, which also were published weekly. One of
the editors was a member of the company and the other was a veteran of
the Civil war, yet neither published a list of the privates although
both published a list of the officers. No roster of said company is on
file in the office of the adjutant general at Boise.
At the time President Benjamin Harrison visited in Boise in May, 1891,
a special train, free of charge, was provided for said company to go to
Boise. In 1892 this company was ordered to the Coeur d'Alenes to assist
in quelling the riots there.
When war was declared against Spain in 1898 the following residents of
Blaine county enlisted and served in the Philippine Islands until
discharged in 1899, namely, Morris E. Bruner, Charles Bechtol, John C.
Cliff, Sidney C. Fuld, Frank W. Higginson, Jesse H. Jackson, Jerod H.
Jacobs, Barnum M. Mallory, jr., Basil McCoy, Tremain Merton Osborn,
John W. Sharp and Walter T. Wright.
Sidney C. Fuld was promoted to the rank of corporal and served several
months as clerk of the provost court of Manila. Tremain Merton Osborn
was promoted to the rank of sergeant-major.
Herbert Gorham McPheters of Ketchum also served in the Philippines. He enlisted in Virginia City, Montana.
Dr. D. W. Figgins of Hailey, who a few years previously had been
captain of Company F., I. N. G. (at Hailey) went to the Philippines as
a major, and upon his return to San Francisco, California, with the
troops in 1899, was brevetted lieutenant-colonel.
On April 6, 1917, war was declared against Germany.
An Act "to authorize the president to increase temporarily the military
establishment of the United States/' was approved May 18,
This was known as the selective service law.
In June, 1917, local and district boards were appointed by order of the
president. The local board for Blaine county was composed of Aaron
Clements, then sheriff, chairman, Geo A. McLeod, then auditor and
recorder, clerk, and Dr. Robert H. Wright.
All male persons between the ages of 21 and 30, both inclusive, were
required to register in accordance with regulations prescribed by the
president, except officers and enlisted men of the regular army, the
navy, and the national guard and the naval militia while in the service
of the United States. Following registration, local and district boards
had to consider the various questions of exemption and discharge
arising under the law, the examination, in the order determined, of a
sufficient number of registered men in each subdivision to fill the
quota to go to the colors, and notify all those selected for military
service of the date upon which they must report to be assembled and
sent to mobilization camps and their transportation to mobilization
In 1918 all local and district boards received instructions to
register, classify and examine all male persons between the ages of
18 and 45 years, with the same exceptions as those
prescribed in 1917. There were but few of this class called to the
colors as the armistice of November 11, 1918, removed all need of
further military preparations.
The roster of Blaine county Post No. 24, American Legion, contains the
names of 317 ex-service men, and recites that the following were
slightly wounded, namely, John W. Cramer, who was awarded D. S. C,
French Croix de Guerre, and Belgian S. W. Guerre, James F. Head, Lionel
Hutton, Glenn Rice and John M. Talbott; and that the following were
severely wounded; Albert Bellinger, Milton E. Blair, Carl A. Gubler,
Guy M. Jones, John L. Rothio and Angus Young.
Following is the list of World war dead from Blaine county as reported
by the American Legion and as it appears in the hall of memories at the
university of Idaho, at Moscow: D. T. Davis, Hailey; Arlie Fuller,
Hailey; James Hyde, Ketchum; Jesse Lee, Hailey; Alma Lewis, Hailey; Lee
E. Moore. Hailey; Ned Stuart, Hailey; John A. Timmerman, Gannett;
Sherman Trowbridge. Gannett, and Samuel T. Werry, Bellevue.
Several Blaine county men served in the navy. Dr. E. W. Kleinman served
as a captain in the World war and was brevetted a major. James McDonald
and Stewart Campbell, both of Hailey, served as first lieutenants.
James McDonald served in France and was brevetted a captain. Mention
elsewhere has been made of Captain Miller S. Benedict and First
Lieutenant Guy C. Hendrickson,
Peter Lorillard Kent in the fall of 1914 served with the American field
force which was attached to the French army. In 1917 he was transferred
to the engineer corps, A. E. F. He served as second lieutenant and was
brevetted first lieutenant at the close of the war. Walter J. Leopold
of Hailey enlisted in Boise, Idaho; was a motorcycle dispatch rider in
France, was gassed and severely wounded.
The valor of all Blaine county men wheresoever engaged on the field of
battle, whether in the far-off Philippine Islands, at Chateau Thiery,
St. Mihiel, the Meuse-Argonne offensive, or elsewhere, sustained the
best traditions of the American army and their fame is imperishable.
ROADS AND BRIDGES
The roads and bridges of Blaine county are in good condition. The roads
are being improved from year to year and new up-to-date steel and
concrete bridges are replacing wooden structures.
We learn from history that the first thing which the Romans did after
conquering a country was to construct good substantial roads and
bridges. This was an absolute necessity with her far-flung empire in
order that she might move her armies to any given point with the least
possible delay. We are now following in her footsteps in this respect.
Good as are the roads now being constructed, it is not contended that
they will have the durability of the Roman roads. Those roads for which
federal aid is given are being built for military strategic purposes as
well as to facilitate travel and commerce Prior to 1914 all
road-building in Idaho had been of the order known as patch-work— bad
holes were filled and the job was done. The legislature of 1913 enacted
a law which provides for systematic, scientific road-building. On May
12, 1914, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 179, Session Laws of
Idaho, 1913, page 558, the board of county commissioners of Blaine
county entered into an agreement with the State Highway commission of
the State of Idaho for the construction and improvement
of the public highways in said Blaine county, Idaho, and
appropriated $20,000 for the cost and expense of construction and
improvement of said highways, and the State appropriated
$10,000. This was the beginning of systematic road-building
in Blaine county. The first contract for the construction
of the Sawtooth Park Highway was let to O. C. Burton of Richfield,
Idaho, September 4, 1914. This covered the grading of a 30
mile section from the Lincoln county line to Hailey at an estimated
cost of $7,515. Work was commenced about October 1, 1914 and completed
in the following year. A new roadway from
Bellevue to Hailey, running on the west side of the
railroad right-of-way was secured and the new road built
hereon. This road has been
maintained by the State since its completion. Previous to this, the
road between Bellevue and Hailey ran through the ranches, beginning on
Main street in Bellevue and ending on Main street in Hailey.
The highway from Boise via. Mountain Home and Fairfield, which comes
within Blaine county a few miles west of Camp Creek canyon, and comes
east as far as Hailey, is a main traveled road, and is traveled not
only by people coming and going to Boise, but by many tourists enroute
to the Yellowstone National park and other places, who often st&y
over night at the Hailey tourist park. This road is maintained by the
county and kept in good condition.
The highway which comes into Blaine county about four and a half miles
in a northwesterly direction from the Craters of the Moon, and which
comes via. Carey and Picabo to Hailey, is a main highway to Arco and
other points east. This highway has been taken over by the State and is
maintained by it. The state also has taken over the highway from the
Lincoln-Blaine county line up to its junction with the road above
mentioned, a little south of Picabo. All the secondary roads needed
throughout the county have been built and are maintained by the county
and kept in good condition.
Trail Creek highway is one of the scenic roads of the county. It is a
short cut from Ketchum to Mackay, the distance being only about 60
In the early days this was a toll road. It is now maintained by the county and kept in good condition.
There is a good road from Ketchum to about one mile beyond Warfield's
Hot Springs. The forest service is building this road and eventually
will have it constructed to Carrietown, in Smoky mining district.
The contract recently has been let for the con-struction of 8.91 miles
of highway beginning about one mile north of the Lincoln-Blaine county
line, on what is locally known as the Timmerman Hill Highway, and by
the state as the Sawooth Park highway, and by the federal government as
U. S. 93, and extending a short distance north of the Stanton school
house. The contractor will receive $63,080 for this contract. Blaine
county has appropriated $10,000 for this work which is expected to be
completed this year. This new road will shorten the distance in Blaine
county approximately two miles and in Lincoln county approximately
three miles. The distance from Hailey to Shoshone will then be 43
miles. The grade over Timmerman hill will be materially reduced. It is
expected that a contract for the completion of the remainder of this
road in Blaine county will be let this year and the road completed next
year. This highway will join the main highway running north and south
at the southern end of Main street in Bellevue.
Lincoln county also has let a contract to have part of this road
constructed this year, and it is expected to have the remainder of the
road up to the Lincoln-Blaine county line completed next year.
There is a gap of about 11 miles of this road which begins at the
northern base of the Sawtooth mountains which is nearing completion.
When the U. S. 93 Highway, which extends from Las Vegas, Nevada, up
through Idaho and Montana to the international boundary line, will have
been constructed, it will be one of the best and one of the most scenic
highways in the country. The first view one gets of Blaine county from
the summit of Timmerman hill looking north, is one never to be
The beautiful Wood River valley, with its cultivated farms, and the
lovely Silver Creek, meandering in its course, are near by, and the
majestic Sawtooth Mountains, about 60 miles to the north, is such a
scene as would inspire even a Peter Bell to rhapsodize, and Wordsworth
tells us that:
"A primrose by a river's brim, A yellow primrose was to him, And it was nothing more."
The scenery all the way through Blaine county is magnificent. Between
Gimlet and Ketchum, upon looking to the right, one beholds, a few miles
distant, the stately form of Hyndman peak cleaving the sky at an
elevation of 12,078 feet above sea level—the highest mountain in the
county and the second highest in the State. This mountain was named in
honor of Major - William Hyndman, of whom mention heretofore has been
made. A short distance north of Ketchum one sees Glassford peak
straight ahead towering to an elevation of 10,500 feet. This mountain
was named in honor of Thomas H. Glassford, a popular railroad conductor
on the Wood River branch of the Oregon Short Line railroad in the early
nineties. Boulder peak and many other lofty crags add to the sublimity
of the scene. At the southern base of the Sawtooth mountains was the
old town of Galena. In the summer there is one little store there, in
the winter it is deserted, but the door is unlocked so that a wayfarer
may find shelter.
The elevation there is 7294 feet. Upon reaching the summit of the
Galena grade in crossing the Sawtooth Mountains one finds the elevation
to be 8752 feet. This highway was constructed by the Federal government
in co-operation with the state and county and that is ample warrant for
saying that it is a good highway. Each year this road is being improved
by widening it in places and eliminating sharp turns. In crossing the
mountains on this road you behold some of the most magnificent scenery
there is to be found anywhere.
There are many beautiful streams along this highway which have been
bridged with not only substantial but beautiful bridges. The latest one
constructed on this highway is. situated about two miles south of
Ketchum, and crosses Wood River near Mrs. Bonning's ranch. It is an
imposing structure. It has one steel span of 161 feet, two concrete
approaches of 20 feet each, making the total length of bridge and
approaches 201 feet. The total cost of bridge and approaches was
$26,702.98. The rights-of-way leading to and from this bridge cost
$675.00. The roadway, which is 2.701 miles long cost $19,891.30. The
total cost of bridge, approaches, rights-of-way and new roadway was
Of this amount Blaine county paid $14,440.90. On May 14th of this year
this bridge was dedicated with impressive ceremonies, H. C. Baldridge,
governor, and many lesser dignitaries were present and made suitable
addresses. The honor of dedicating the bridge was accorded to two
pioneer women—Mrs. George W. McCoy of Ketchum and Mrs. J. C. Fox of
While it was from the interior of her mountains that the chief source
of wealth of Alturas county was derived in the early days, it is those
same mountains that furnish the nutritious grasses that sustain
hundreds of thousands of sheep and lambs during the summer. For many
years the lambs from Blaine county have commanded the highest price on
the Chicago and other leading markets. They have also taken many first
prizes at various stock shows.
The greatest importers in this county of pure bred sheep are Laidlaw
& Brockie of Muldoon. They have several breeds on their thousands
of acres of good grazing land. They paid $2,000 for one Suffolk ram.
It is the valleys that furnish the soil of her productive farms and
ranches of today. The valleys produce good crops of wheat, barley,
oats, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, turnips and corn, and are especially
adapted to the raising of alfalfa. Great and lucrative as mining has
proved and is proving, farming and stockraising are destined to be
permanent and lucrative. Many hundreds of cattle are shipped to market
from this county every year. Frank Grice of Boise began buying cattle
on Wood River and Camas Prairie in 1909. He is as actively engaged in
that business at present as he ever was. He has shipped more cattle
from this region than any other man. He says the best grass-fed cattle
he ever shipped were six carloads which he bought from Phil S. Dittoe
of Bellevue in 1929.
It is a matter of great satisfaction to know that Blaine county,
although making great improvements in the matter of roads and bridges,
is at the same time gradually reducing her indebtedness. It would seem
that the building of bridges and cost of maintaining roads would
gradually decrease in the near future, and as a consequence, that there
will be lower taxes. We look hopefully to the future.
A brief resume of the indebtedness of Blaine county on January 11, 1930, is herewith given.
The bonded debt of Blaine county on January 11, 1930, was $235,400.00,
of which Butte and Camas counties' share was $14,155.28, leaving the
net bonded debt of Blaine county $221,244.72.
During the year 1930 there will fall due bonds amounting to the sum of
$29,800.00, the greater part of which has already been paid, and the
remainder will be paid as it falls due.
There is no county warrant indebtedness.
Source: McLeod, George A.,. History of Alturas and Blaine Counties, Idaho. Hailey, Idaho: Hailey Times, 1930.
Transcribed and submitted to Idaho Genealogy Trails by Barb Ziegenmeyer