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Territorial Offices Established

In accordance with the provisions of the act creating Idaho Territory, on the 10th day of March, 1863, or one week after its approval, the President appointed the following officers: Governor, W. H. Wallace; Secretary, W. B. Daniels; Chief Justice, Sidney Edgerton; Associate Justice, Alex. C. Smith; Associate Justice, Samuel C. Parker. On the thirteenth of the same month he appointed D. S. Payne United States marshal. The position of United States attorney remained vacant until February 29, 1864, on which date C. C. Hough was appointed to that office.

The first territorial offices were established in Lewiston, no territorial capital having been named in the organic act. Some criticism of Governor Wallace has been indulged in for selecting Lewiston as the point from which to conduct the business affairs of the new territory, basing the reason therefore on the fact that Idaho City was a larger town and in the midst of a more dense population.

Political prejudice at that time was quite bitter, and it was but natural that any, and in fact, all acts of the appointees of President Lincoln should be criticized. Idaho City at the time of the establishment of the territorial offices in Lewiston was a new mining town which could be reached only by saddle and pack animals, there being no wagon road thereto, and no postoffice had as yet been established.

Fort Boise was not located until early in July, 1863, and since it was not until after the location of the fort that the site where the city of Boise now stands was located, the territorial offices could not have been established there. In justice to Governor Wallace, long since deceased, it is but fair to state that when he was commissioned governor of the new Territory of Idaho, he found his duties very onerous, not the least of his burdens being the lack of facilities for communication with the Department and the President in Washington. The fact that Lewiston had a stage line, or lines connecting with steamboats at Wallula for Portland, made it the most easily accessible; hence, on that account its selection by Governor Wallace as the temporary seat of the territorial government seems to have been wise.

As was doubtless anticipated, a great deal of correspondence was necessary between the Territorial Secretary and the seat of government in Washington, before the new territory was in position to conduct its own affairs, and consequently much delay resulted.

On September 22nd, 1863, Governor Wallace issued a proclamation calling for an election to be held throughout the Territory on the 31st day of October of that year (1863), naming the officers to be elected, including a delegate to congress and members of the first Territorial legislature, which afterwards convened by executive order in Lewiston, on December 7th, 1863.

The political campaign preceding the first election in the Territory of Idaho was a spirited contest. The bitterness engendered by the War of the Rebellion, then in progress, had divided the people into two adverse factions, rather thwart political parties. The names Democrats and Republicans were still retained, but the issues were no longer "tariff" or "free trade." Slavery or its abolition—the one great question, overshadowing and sinking into insignificance all others, was the one for which in the east and south vast armies contended. "Shall the Union of states be dissevered, dismantled, or shall that Union be preserved?"

Those who voted the Republican ticket were Union men while, generally speaking, those who supported the Democratic nominees were Secessionists. There were a few Democrats in Idaho who were loyal to the Union and the Flag, but none such could obtain recognition in Democratic nominating conventions.

The first election in Idaho resulted in a victory for the Republicans. They elected a delegate to congress and a majority of both houses of the legislative assembly. Governor Wallace was a candidate of the Republicans for delegate to congress and was elected, thus causing a vacancy in the Governor's office until his successor, Caleb Lyon, was appointed and qualified. In the interim W. B. Daniels, Secretary of the Territory became the acting governor, following the resignation of W. H. Wallace.

As will be observed by reference to the enabling act it was within the vested authority of the governor to name the time and place for the meeting of the first legislative body. No place being named in the organic act as the capital of the new territory, the duty of locating the seat of government was left to the legislature, it being provided that the governor should name the place or places where the body should meet until the capital was located.

The first territorial legislature was convened in Lewiston, Idaho, on December 7th, 1863, the council consisting of—First District, E. H. Waterby, Stanford Capps, Lyman Stanford; Second District, Joseph Miller, Ephriam Smith; Third District, William Rheem, A. J. Edwards. President, Joseph Miller.

The Representatives were: Joseph Tufts, Beaverhead District; C. P. Bodfish, M. C. Brown, R. P. Campbell, Milton Kelly, W. F. Keithley, Boise County; L. C. Miller, East Bannock District; Alonzo Leland, John Wood, Idaho County; L. Bacon, Nez Perce County; James A. Orr, Shoshone County. Speaker, James Tufts.

At the time the foregoing session was held, the Territory of Idaho included all the country within its original boundaries; hence, as will be noted, Beaverhead district and East Bannock, now within the state of Montana, were represented at that session. The personnel of the Idaho Territorial legislature that was assembled in Lewiston by call of the governor, was in some respects superior to the average legislative assembly of today. Many of the members came long distances; requiring days of toilsome travel over rugged mountain trails such as had formerly been traversed only by Indians. No wagon roads had at that time been constructed, and hotels were luxuries seldom enjoyed. Mounted on saddle horses or mules, armed with rifle and revolver, and bringing with them on a pack animal their blankets and provisions, these early statesmen "hit the trail" for the scene of their legislative endeavors. As there has been no record of any of them having been robbed by bandits, it is to be presumed that, like their successors of today, they carried but little "dust" and consequently were not worthy of the attention of the toll gatherers of the time.

Those who endeavor to comprehend the circumstances under which that first legislature met will find their minds bewildered by the effort. Legislative bodies usually have as a guide the enactments of former sessions, their duty being to amend laws already in force or enact such new ones as experience has suggested. But these men came to a little frontier town where many of the inhabitants were lawless and where the accommodations were of the most primitive character, and entered with energy and intelligence upon duties which were new to most of them.

The session laws enacted by that first session of the Territorial legislature of Idaho, which was convened in Lewiston on December 7th, 1863, bear official evidence of the industry, loyalty and honesty of its members. To the laws they enacted is attached the following certificate, bearing the Seal of the Territory of Idaho:
"Secretary's Office, Lewiston.
"I hereby certify that the laws contained in this printed volume are true and literal copies of the enrolled laws passed by the first Legislative Assembly held during the months of December, January and February, eighteen hundred and sixty-three and four.”On file in my office.
"William B. Daniels,
Secretary of the Territory."

The Organic Act, creating the Territory (Sec. 2) provided that "The Governor shall receive an annual salary of two thousand five hundred dollars;" "the Secretary shall receive an annual salary of two thousand dollars;" "the said salaries shall be paid quarter-yearly from the dates of the respective appointments at the Treasury of the United States. The members of the legislative assembly shall each be entitled to receive four dollars per day during their attendance at the sessions thereof."

At the time when the first session convened, and for several years thereafter, the lowest prices for which a meal could be obtained was one dollar, while one dollar and a quarter was the usual charge, and lodgings of the most primitive character rented from one dollar to one fifty per night. Greenbacks, with which all territorial officers, including members of the legislature, were paid, were, at the time of which I write, worth only about fifty cents on the dollar; hence the members of the first legislative assembly were to receive only the equivalent of one dollar and sixty cents per day. Such was the dilemma confronting them. With even mineral water selling at twenty-five cents a drink, the condition was, to say the least, serious.

Although some of them brought blankets, yet they found it impracticable to live on the equivalent of one dollar and sixty cents per day; hence an act was passed providing an additional compensation to be paid in warrants on the territorial treasury: The governor and justices of the supreme court, each the sum of two thousand dollars; the secretary of the territory, one thousand four hundred dollars; the members of both houses of the legislature, six dollars per day each, and a proportionate increase to all the employees, as neither the members or employees could have subsisted on the compensation paid by the government.
It must be remembered that up to the meeting of the legislature and the subsequent enactment of the revenue laws, no taxes were collected, and as a result there was no money to pay warrants issued as provided in the foregoing act; therefore, while the salaries were raised and the warrants paid to the officers and members, they could be sold or bartered only at a heavy discount, bringing the owner, if obliged to sell, as some of them were, not over sixty cents on the dollar, or the equivalent of $3.60 per diem; add to this $1.60 obtained for their greenbacks and their total per diem was only $5.20. The expense of living at that time was far in excess of that of today; hence the members of the Idaho State Legislature who receive $5.00 per diem are much better paid than those of the first session of the territorial assembly. I have been thus explicit for the reason that I believe an injustice has been done in this matter by a former historian.

The summer following the creation of the Territory of Idaho was an eventful epoch in its history. Boise Basin developed to a degree that attracted wide attention. The towns of Placerville, Centerville, Hogem and Bannock became marvels of business enterprise and vim. During that summer, 1863, the towns of Boonville and Ruby City were located on what is now called Jordan Creek, in Owyhee County, and as very rich ledges carrying silver and gold were soon discovered, another town was located above Ruby on the same stream, and named Silver City. Although Ruby was the first county seat in that county, Silver proved to be the best business point, and eventually secured the county offices, and the pioneer town of Ruby gradually succumbed to the inevitable, and today exists only in the memory of a few old pioneers who are left to mourn its decadence, and they too will soon be known no more. They did a great and good work and were manly and true men. May they find good "diggings" in the Great Beyond, is the hope and prayer of all who knew them.

Boise River, near what is known as Rocky Bar. The discoveries of placer mines in the eastern portion of the territory, on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, caused a large influx of miners, business men and adventurers into that country also, so that from the east to the west, over the vast regions of mountain and plain, constituting the original area of Idaho, before the first year of her territorial existence had closed, the march of industry was noticeable in widely distributed localities, and a constant stream of yellow gold began to replenish the channels of trade, materially strengthening the credit of the government, then in the hour of greatest need.

As was to be expected, the Indians did not surrender their hunting grounds and fisheries without a struggle. The Nez Perce tribe, as has been told, were very forbearing, no doubt owing to the Christianizing efforts of Rev. Spaulding and wife, but no such influence had been brought to the tribes occupying the Boise, Payette and Snake River valleys. There the Indians had held undisputed sway from time immemorial.

As the crickets and jack rabbits sometimes over-run and destroy the crops in these valleys today, without asking leave, so we of the Anglo Saxon race in those days over-ran and destroyed the hunting grounds of the original owners, and without asking leave, took forcible possession thereof. Not having the time to spare from our other pursuits to sufficiently punish the Indians for presuming to bar our progress, we appealed to the government to support us in holding the country we had entered. In response to our petition, Major Lugenbeil, on the 28th day of June, 1863, arrived with a company of U. S. cavalry and went into camp on what is now called "Government Island," a mile or more down the river from where Boise now stands, and on the 6th day of July selected the present site of Boise Barracks. A few days later a number of men from Bannock, now Idaho City, came down and located the townsite of Boise City, and with the proverbial enterprise of those days, but little time was required to inaugurate a busy mart.

A cargo of goods owned by Cyrus Jacobs, which was then in transit to Bannock, was diverted to the embryo city of Boise, and a building was speedily erected for its accommodation. Another stock of goods was soon shipped in by "Crawford & Slocum," who established a sutler store. Several saloons, two livery stables, and a couple of hotels were rapidly placed in commission, and the quiet which had heretofore reigned was to be known no more. The town begun in the foregoing manner was the following year made the capital of the territory, and is now the capital of the state. It is a beautiful inland city of about twenty thousand inhabitants, at this writing (1912).

The writer and his then partner, John Porter, located a ranch in April, 1963, on one of the tributaries of the Payette river, about four miles above Horseshoe Bend, and there engaged in gardening and farming for four years, finding a ready market for all our produce in the mining towns and along the gulches in Boise Basil, using pack animals to transport our produce over the mountain, a distance of thirteen miles, to Placerville, and approximately twenty-five miles to Idaho City.

Porter was an English-Canadian, and not having had previous experience in packing, that task was mine, while he ran the ranch and kept the sour-dough can in order. During those days nearly all the goods and supplies used in the Boise country were brought via Portland, up the Columbia river to Umatilla Landing, and from there transported by either pack train or wagons to the distributing points, either Boise Basin or elsewhere. Consequently, the cost of all commodities was high. During the first three years nothing in the line of provisions or hardware sold for less than twenty-five cents per pound, and when it is remembered that the art of canning vegetables had not arrived at its present state of perfection it will be understood that they who were farmers in those days were engaged in a profitable business. They were the first monopolists in Idaho, and I am willing to testify that we enjoyed it. During those three years there were not enough men engaged in farming to supply the mining camps, consequently there was always a shortage. When Porter and I began operations we had only about two gallons of onion sets; these we planted, spading up a piece of ground in the bend of the creek. It was a sunny spot, and the soil being a rich loam, the young plants grew rapidly, and four weeks after planting them we pulled them all and tied them in bunches of one dozen each. There were one hundred bunches, which we sold in Placerville as fast as we could pass them out at one dollar a bunch. These were the first green vegetables sold in the Basin. Cucumbers brought two dollars per dozen, green corn the same price.

I arrived on Buena Vista Bar one Sunday morning in August, 1863, with the first watermelons ever seen in that camp. An emigrant family had arrived but a few days before. They were from Missouri, and there were two beautiful girls among the other eight or ten offspring. These were the first young ladies to arrive, other than the painted kind, and they were lovely girls, wearing white starched dresses. They were even more attractive than my melons. Two gallant young miners had moved into a tent, leaving their cabin to the family and by this means had become well acquainted. The girls liked watermelons in Missouri, and were anxious to sample the Idaho product, so they solicited one of the young men to buy one. They had doubtless been accustomed to seeing melons sold in their home town for five or ten cents each, and while they must have known that the price would be greater in Idaho, they hardly expected it would be more than three or four times as much. The young man was delighted to gratify the girls, and coming within hailing distance, with a whoop in volume equal to a Bannock Indian, yelled "Hey, Cap, bring us a melon." I sized up the party and taking a rapid inventory of their number, selected as large a melon as I had, and carried it into the cabin where the young ladies stood ready with knives to determine whether it was ripe. Knowing that they were from Missouri it was understood that I was to "show them." The melon proved to be satisfactory and the young man asked how much he owed me. I told him 25 cents per pound; the weight was marked in the rind. Upon examination, it was found to weigh thirty-two pounds, making the price eight dollars.

In justice to the farmer, it is proper to state that those melons were transported on pack animals from the garden, a distance of twenty five miles, over a rough mountain trail, and the loss by breakage was great, no farm product being less profitable at that time. And in extenuation of the investment of the young man, it is also fair to state that he thought she was worth it.

My first visit to Boise Basin was in May, 1863, or approximately nine months after the first discovery there of gold. Yet, although winter was included in that time, and the annual fall of snow at that altitude is usually from three to six feet, beginning in December and remaining until April, four towns had assumed considerable importance. All these being busy hives of industry and enterprise. When it is remembered that up to that time, and many months afterward, all supplies were brought from Walla Walla and the Columbia River on pack horses and mules, and the only conveyance for passengers was saddle animals, it seemed as if the Basin must have been touched with some magician's wand. But it was gold that worked the charm.

On the first trip I entered Placerville, which then, as now, was built with a plaza in the center, and facing it on all sides were stores, saloons, and various other business enterprises; including a bakery and hotel. Although I was twenty-three years old, I was yet a boy, and as I rode down Granite Street onto the plaza, which was crowded with men, the impression made on me will always remain. It was Sunday, and the miners from the adjacent gulches were in town purchasing supplies or seeking amusement. In front of a saloon on the north side a dense crowd had assembled, and after dismounting and securing my horse, with the proverbial curiosity of the tenderfoot, I pushed my way among them. Gaining the attention of a man who proved to be the owner of a claim on Wolf Creek, I asked him what the excitement was. He replied "Oh, nothing. A man for breakfast, that's all. They have moved him into the shade of the saloon," pointing around the corner. Following his direction, I ventured with others to take a look, and there, sure enough, lying on the ground, was "Hickey," a former member of the notorious gang of robbers and murderers who had so effectively for the two preceding years terrorized Lewiston, Florence, and other northern camps. Accompanied by several of his former boon companions, they had made their way into the Basin, and although the quality of whiskey obtainable at that early period in the history of Placerville was not so enlivening as the later brews, it was sufficient to give him the courage to attempt to run a bluff on an old timer, known by the euphonious name of "Snapping Andy," who proved to have too much "snap," for, snatching a pick handle from a barrel conveniently near, he gave Hickey his quietus before the latter could use his revolver. The skull bone was indented where the blow took effect, and the blood and brains were oozing out. There the body was permitted to lie all that day, while the sightless eyes seemed fixed upon the beautiful summer sky.

This was the first of many tragedies which came to my notice during the early days in Boise Basin. Boy and tenderfoot that I was, for many months I could not banish from my mind that lifeless form. Even now, as I pen these lines, I can see it all again—the lofty pines, the eternal hills, the bearded men, the roofs, steep-pitched, to shed the snow.

No mail contracts having been let or postoffices established letters carrying news and urging friends to hasten to the new Eldorado were sent out by all possible conveyances.

As a result of this advertising which was emphasized by reports of the enormous quantities of gold being sent to the United States mints, the country was soon invaded by thousands of gold crazed persons. Stage lines were established and a population estimated as high as forty thousand settled down to their various pursuits. A majority of these were no doubt engaged in mining, yet nearly all the vocations followed in the older communities were in evidence.

From the beginning Bannock City increased in population more rapidly than any other of the mining towns, owing, perhaps, to its fortunate location at the confluence of two mountain streams, the channels of which seemed to be literally lined with gold. So profitable was mining in these streams and in the bars which formed their banks, that I have witnessed the clean-up of a string of sluices where the gold dust was divided among the owners—share and share alike—by measuring it in a tin cup, using for a strike the back of a sheath-knife.

A short time previous to the Snapping Andy-Hickey tragedy, another group of Florence notables arrived in Placerville, among the number Bill Mayfield, Cherokee Bob's former companion. Mayfield killed Sheriff Blackburn in Nevada, was captured, tried and sentenced to be hanged but made his escape. Coming to Lewiston he joined Plummer, and became prominent among the robbers who pillaged the northern mining camps. Soon after his arrival in Placerville he became involved in a quarrel with a man named Evans over a card game. Mayfield drew his revolver, intending to settle the dispute by killing his adversary, but Evans exclaimed "I'm not heeled"—the mountain expression for "I am not armed." "Then go and heel yourself," said Mayfield, replacing his revolver in its holster at his belt, "and look out the next time you meet me, for I am bound to kill you at sight. One of us must die."

The next day while Mayfield was walking down Granite Street in company with friends, Evans, who was in a cabin on the north side of the street, doubtless waiting for Mayfield to pass, fired through a window, using a double barreled shotgun charged with buckshot. Mayfield, being accustomed to the use of a revolver, even in the act of falling, reached for his weapon, but the vital spark had flown and his gun-plays were over. He fell in the street and expired shortly afterward, illustrating once more the truth of the maxim "Those that live by the sword die by it."

Evans was placed under arrest, but made his escape the following night, leaving the country on a horse furnished by some friend. He was never apprehended.

The Boise News, a weekly paper then published in Idaho City every Saturday evening, by T. J. and J. S. Butler, was the first newspaper published in the Boise Basin, and it was eagerly sought and read by everyone, single copies being sold at fifty cents. Its issue of Saturday, February 27, 1864, contained an announcement of the appointment of the first county officers for Boise County; the appointments having been made by the Governor and confirmed by the council:
Sheriff, Sumner Pinkham;
Probate Judge, Daniel McLaughlin;
County Commissioners, John C. Smith, Frank Moore, Henry Crow;
Auditor, Washington R. Underwood;
Treasurer, Charles D. Vajin;
Assessor, George Woodman;

Justices of the Peace for the various precincts, and other officers, all of whom were to hold their positions until their successors were elected and qualified.

The same number of the Boise News also announced the convening of the first term of the district court in and for Boise County, Hon. Samuel C. Parks presiding.

Boise County at this time contained a population equal to, if not greater, than that of all the other counties combined; hence, as there had been no prior term, a great deal of business had accumulated. The first order of the court was the issuance of a venire, returnable on Thursday morning, the 25th, for thirty-six persons possessing the qualifications of jurors. The proceedings during this first term of court were conducted under the laws enacted by the first session of the Idaho Territorial legislature, and the jurors were summoned under the provisions of an act concerning jurors, Page 589, Session Laws, 1st Session, as follows:

"AN ACT CONCERNING JURORS."
"Be it Enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Idaho, as follows:
"Section 1. The Probate Judge and the Sheriff of the county in which the term of the district court is or may be authorized by law to be held, shall at least ten days prior to the commencement of said term of court, select the names of one hundred persons, lawfully qualified to serve as jurors, from the assessment roll of such county; Provided: That that number of names are contained on such assessment roll; and the names of the persons so selected, after being written on separate slips of paper, shall be deposited in a box to be provided for such purpose, and from the names so deposited the judge and sheriff aforesaid shall alternately draw the names of thirty persons who shall constitute trial jurors, for the next ensuing term of such district court.
"Section 2. The list of names so drawn, certified to by the judge and sheriff as selected by them, shall thereupon be delivered to the clerk of the district court who, upon the receipt of the same, shall immediately issue a venire directed to the sheriff of the county, commanding him to summon the persons so named as trial jurors for such term of court, and the sheriff shall summon such named persons at least three days prior to the commencing of such term of court.
"Sec. 3. The venire as provided for in Section 2 of this act shall be returned to the clerk of such district court, by the sheriff aforesaid, at least two days before the commencement of such term of court, and such venire, after its return, shall be subject to the inspection of any officer or attorney of the court.
"Sec. 4. The box containing the residue of the names of the jury list as aforesaid shall, after such drawing, be locked up, and with the key deposited with the clerk of the district court for such county, and by him safely kept for future use by aforesaid officers, or as further provided in this act.
"Sec. 5. When at any time during a term of the district court, it shall become necessary to summon other jurors than as hereinbefore provided for, the clerk shall in open court, under the direction of the judge thereof, from such box, draw a sufficient number of names to constitute additional trial jurors during such term of court; Provided: In case any such jurors so drawn reside at a great distance from the place where the court is held, the court may, in its discretion, dispense with the summoning of such jurors and order another to be drawn instead thereof, and the clerk shall issue a venire directed to the sheriff, for the summoning of such persons as trial jurors, and the sheriff shall proceed forthwith to summon the same as such trial jurors, and with all possible diligence, make return with his proceedings thereon.
"Sec. 6. When at any term of the district court for the want of an assessment roll, or sufficient time is not permitted in which to prepare and draw the list of jurors as provided in this act, or when from any cause which may appear satisfactory to such district judge, such list has not been prepared or drawn, or the sheriff has not summoned the jurors, or the names selected as jurors, placed in such box be exhausted, it shall be lawful for such district judge and sheriff to prepare a list of names of a sufficient number of persons, competent to serve as trial jurors, and deposit such names in a box, and at any time during a term of court when a jury shall be required, names of persons shall be drawn there from by the clerk, as provided in Section Five of this act, and from time to time, other names may be selected and placed in such box and drawn there from as hereinbefore provided for and summoned as such trial jurors; Provided: That in the selection of names to be deposited in such box the name of no person from among the by-standers at such court be chosen and selected."

It will be observed that Section 6 of this act provides a method for summoning a jury in case no assessment roll has been prepared. The second session of the legislature, for reasons best known to the members, repealed that law and enacted as follows:
"Sec. 197. On or before the first day of the term, the judge shall, by an order to be entered on the minutes, direct the sheriff of the county to summon thirty-six persons from the citizens of the county, to appear forthwith, or at such time as may be named in said order.
"Sec. 198. The clerk shall issue the summons, and the sheriff shall execute and return it at the time specified, with a list of the names of the persons so summoned. If he has been unable to summon the whole number in the time allowed, he shall return the summons with the list of the names summoned.
"Sec. 199. The court may, in its discretion, enlarge the time of the return, and direct the sheriff to summon the whole number, or may proceed to empanel a grand jury from the number summoned.
"Sec. 200. Upon the return of the summons, or upon the expiration of the further time allowed, the names of the persons summoned shall be called, and the court shall proceed to empanel a grand jury and a trial jury, in like manner as if such persons had been empanelled upon a regular drawing of a jury."

It will be observed that under the provisions of the statute, the sheriff and his deputies could, if desired, secure a jury to either convict or acquit. The records of Boise county show that there was only one conviction for murder in the first degree in that county for several years, and the accused was found guilty of murdering a Chinaman, but was reprieved by the governor. It was said of him at that time that "He should have been hanged because he would not divide with his friends, the boys." He, consequently, had no influence.

The political activity of the criminal class in securing the right men for sheriffs and deputies in the principal counties can easily be comprehended. The sheriffs did not necessarily have to be bad men. All that was required of them was that they be "accommodating and friendly" in appointing their deputies.

The next matter of importance to engage the attention of the court was the certificates of the attorneys and the administering of the oath of allegiance to the government, prescribed by the law enacted by the first session. The following named lawyers were found to have the necessary credentials, and after taking the oath, were authorized to practice before the courts in Idaho: J. K. Shaffer, Edward Nugent, George I. Gilbert, H. L. Preston, John S. Grey, A Heed, John Cummins, Daniel McLaughlin, Frank Miller, I. N. Smith, R. B. Snelling, George Ainslie, E. D. Holbrook, C. B. Wait, V. S. Anderson, J. S. Hascall, W. C. Rheem, W. R. Kethly, R. A. Pierce, J. J. Morland, H. W. O. Margery, Joseph Miller.

Many of the attorneys admitted at that time were able lawyers, and became distinguished in their profession in after years, some of them being chosen to positions of high honor. After the foregoing preliminary proceedings had been concluded, Judge Parks stated that he desired to make a few remarks, which he did as follows: "Gentlemen of the Bar: Before proceeding with the regular business of the term I owe it to myself, to you and to the people of this county to make a few remarks. The position of a Judge of the second judicial district was not sought by me. In saying this I do not say that the position is not an honorable one. On the contrary, it is one of which an abler man than I might well be proud. But it is my desire and expectation, and I believe it was yours, that the Chief Justice of this Territory should be assigned to this district. There is in this part of the Territory far more population and legal business than in either of the other two districts. There are many cases here involving character, liberty and life; there are others here on which depend large pecuniary interest. It is doubtful whether any court in so new a country ever needed more ability and experience.

"This district properly belongs to Judge Edgerton, not only from his position as Chief Justice, but from his high moral and official character, and his large experience. But circumstances rendered it inconvenient, if not impossible, for him to be here; while the pressure of business in your court, the crowded state of your jail, and the natural impatience of your people made it necessary that a court should be held at as early a day as possible. Under these circumstances, Governor Wallace assigned this district to me. I consented to the arrangement reluctantly, and with a deep sense of the responsibility it devolved upon me. To some, and perhaps to a considerable extent, the property, the liberty and the lives of many men depend upon my action in this court. I do not say that any judge can always decide aright; I know that I cannot.

All that I promise is that to the best of my ability I will discharge the duties incumbent upon me, and by so doing strive to secure the confidence of the bar and of the people. And from my acquaintance for some months past with some of your number, and the cordial greeting you have extended to me on my arrival among you, and the uniform courtesy with which you have treated me since, I feel confident I shall have your assistance in the effort to make this court a means of suppressing disorder and wrong, and promoting good morals, harmony and peace.

"Whatever popular prejudice there maybe against the profession of the law, it is a useful and noble one, calculated, when properly pursued, to expand and elevate the mind and heart, and has furnished many of the loftiest intellects and purest characters that have adorned the history of our race. Associated in fraternal relations with the members of such a profession here, I cannot doubt that I shall find them in the conduct of the business of this court devoted to the real and substantial interest of their clients, and not to technicality and free form; relying for success not upon artifice and fraud, but upon professional knowledge and skill—laboring not to embarrass but to assist the Court.

"Amid the difficulties and embarrassments of an untried position, of an unfamiliar practice, and of heavy responsibility, I rely for success much upon your assistance and generosity. In some degree my reputation depends upon the result of this court; if it shall not succeed, I am sure the fault will not be yours. Hoping that I may not fail, and that the just expectation of the community may not be disappointed, I enter upon the discharge of the duties of the office assigned me."

The term of court thus auspiciously begun made an enviable record as to the amount of work transacted.

Idaho City proper, at the time the first court was held, consisted of two streets running parallel with one of the creeks for a distance of approximately one-half mile, intersected by cross streets. It also had an extensive suburb known as "Buena Vista Bar," together with others of minor importance in close proximity. The buildings which covered the townsite were with but few exceptions of wood, many of logs, hewn on two sides and neatly constructed. The lumber used at first was whipped or whipsawed, which process, with wages from eight to twelve dollars per day, made the erection of buildings an expensive luxury.

Two large and well conducted hotels were in operation for the entertainment of the traveling public, in either of which accommodations consisting of room and board could be had for, approximately, present-day prices at first-class hotels; yet the freight rate on all supplies from Umatilla Landing on the Columbia river, in Oregon, which was the nearest shipping point, was not less than an average of $500 per ton, or 25 cents per pound, while nothing in the line of vegetables sold for less, and generally for much more than that, yet neither of these hotels had bar-rooms or sold liquors.

In addition to the hostelries named, were many restaurants where lodging was not provided. These were patronized, rather than the hotels, by persons who had places to sleep in connection with their business. The restaurants never closed, and were frequented largely during the night, when tin-horn gamblers, the demimonde, and other doubtful characters are generally in evidence. Saloons were more numerous in all mining towns than any other class of business, and as gambling was usually an adjunct; every effort possible was exerted to make them attractive. Talented musicians were employed at high salaries, and not infrequently girls, called "hurdy-gurdies," were engaged to dance with all comers who desired that kind of amusement at the nominal price of fifty cents per dance, and the drinks for self and partner, which cost fifty cents more, or one dollar net per dance.

The girls were engaged by the proprietors of the "social resorts," in sets of four, with a chaperone, who accompanied them at all times.

They were almost invariably German girls, and although they were brought into contact with rough people and sometimes witnessed even the shedding of human blood, the rude, generous chivalry of the mountain men, some of whom were always found in these resorts, was a guarantee of protection from violence, and strange as it may sound to those of modern times, these girls were pure women, who simply did the work they had bargained to do, and when their contracts expired, most of them married men whose acquaintance they had made while pursuing their vocation, the men who knew them best, and with the money they had earned by dancing with "Wild Bill," "Texas Pete," and others, helped to buy a home for themselves and husbands. The poor girls, and they danced only because they were poor, had kind hearts and wonderful patience and forbearance.

They proved themselves loyal wives and tender, affectionate mothers. Most of them have gone to render their final account, but some of their children remain in Idaho, the land of their mothers' adoption, honored and respected citizens.

Among the many musicians employed as an attraction in the saloons and gambling houses, was a violinist named Kelly, whose proficiency as a "fiddler" was well known through all the mountain regions of the Pacific slope. He commanded a salary second to none and was engaged in the largest gambling resort in the city. The contract under which he played included the installation of a swinging stage, or platform, swung by iron rods from the upper joists, several feet above the heads of those who might stand on the main floor below. This platform was reached by a movable ladder, which, after he had ascended, he pulled up out of reach of those below. The object was two-fold: First, when located upon his aerie, he was removed from the danger of panics which were an almost nightly occurrence, caused from the sportive instincts of some visitor, who, having imbibed too freely of the regulation vest-pocket whiskey, or having suffered some real or imaginary grievance, proceeded to distribute the leaden pellets of a Colt's navy revolver, not only into the anatomy of the offender, but quite as frequently to the serious if not fatal injury of some innocent bystander.

When it is understood that it was not unusual for five hundred men to be present in the room at the time these diversions occurred, it is not difficult to imagine the kind of panic liable to ensue. Hence, the first object of Kelly's lofty perch. His second object was to be above the course of flying missies and thus preserve his violin, which was a valuable one from the chance of being perforated by stray bullets.

It seemed to be an instinct with Kelly to protect it, for he invariably rose to his feet when the first shot was fired and faced the disturbance, holding his instrument behind him, evidently preferring that any stray bullet should find lodgment in his body rather than in his violin.

As an artist with the bow he had no equal in that day; he could make his pet instrument tell a plaintive tale of home and mother, or of tearful ones who awaited, oft in vain, the return of father, brother or lover; again he would arouse the reckless instincts of his hearers by some rollicking tune which told of wine and song. He was a big-hearted son of the Emerald Isle and although untoward circumstances had made him the leading attraction of a den of iniquity, he loved best to play those tender chords that awakened the memories of other days and sent some of his hearers back to their lonely cabins up the gulch better men for the hour they had spent under the musician's spell, even in that dreadful haunt. On such occasions he seemed to be inspired by his own music and all unconscious of games and men, with eyes closed to his surroundings, he played on and on, such strains as melt the hardest hearts.

[Source: Early history of Idaho; By William John McConnell, Idaho. Legislature; Publ. 1915; Transcribed and donated to Genealogy Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack.]



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