MARCH 6, 1921


Oldest Practicing Physician of Lewiston Country Tells of Treating Patients Who had Fallen Victims of Redskins

Dr. J.B. Morris, one of the best known pioneers of north Idaho, gave an interesting address recently at the Lewiston State Normal assembly, telling many personal reminiscences of the early history of north Idaho.  Doctor Morris came to Lewiston in 1875, and for a long time was the only doctor in Idaho County.  He lived at Mount Idaho, near Grangeville at the time of the Nez Perce Indian wars in 1877-78.  Doctor Morris tells of the outbreak of the war as follows:

I had been to San Francisco on a trip, one purpose of which was to exchange a quantity of gold dust belonging to some friends for money and after a difficult trip from San Francisco to Portland on my return, I took the boat which left Portland once a week for Lewiston.  On this trip I fell in with General Howard and a company of soldiers who were on their way to the Nez Perce reservation to quell the trouble that had just broken out.  Reports received on the way up the Columbia told me of the death of some of my friends at the hands of the Indians, and things looked pretty bad.  When we reached Lewiston I found a letter from my brother, who advised me not to leave Lewiston without a strong bodyguard.

Victims of Redskin War

A few days later I started out for Lapwai, where General Howard and his men were stationed, and borrowing a gun, began the long overland trip by horseback to Mount Idaho.  When we reached Lawyers Canyon we discovered an abandoned pack train and surmised that Indians were near.  Soon we saw a group of four on a nearby ridge, and about that time my horse began to run away with me.  Finally we reached Mount Idaho, where all the people of the county had gathered, and where several injured soldiers were awaiting medical attention.  There were also among the wounded women and children, who had been brutally attacked by the Indians.  One little baby was found between the news of its dead father.  This baby was rescued and later grew to womanhood and married.

One interesting incident related by the speaker related to a snowshoe trip of six days into Warrens to attend to a miner who had both hands and feet frozen.







If you have any questions, suggestions or to report  a broken link contact the Idaho County Coordinator