IDAHO COUNTY FREE PRESS

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 1888

SALMON RIVER WAGON ROAD  - Idaho County Takes the First Step Towards Opening the Salmon River Wagon Road by Bridging White Bird Creek.

As will be seen by the report of the proceedings published elsewhere the board of county commissioners have contracted for the construction of a bridge across White Bird creek, at a cost to the county of $750.  The grading and approaches will probably cost $250 in addition, which will bring the cost up to about $1000.  The building of this bridge is the first step towards the opening of the long talked of wagon road to southern Idaho, a bill for which is now pending in congress.  Mr. Larimor received a letter from Delegate Dubois recently, stating that the outlook for the passage of the bill was most favorable.  In this event, the road is as good as built, and the fact that this county has incurred the expense of the White Bird bridge will have weight in congress in facilitating the passage of the bill by showing the earnestness of our intentions in the matter of the proposed road.

The press of southern Idaho are also awaking to the urgency of the proposed wagon road, and every support is being given to the measure.  It is indeed matter for surprise that the subject was not long since agitated and pushed to a successful consummation, and but for the opposition in Lewiston to the measure, the road would have been built by the government ten years ago.  It is bad policy to count chickens before they are hatched, but the indications now are that the wagon road bill will be endorsed by congress, to which event the money for its construction will be promptly forthcoming and Idaho county as well as her sisters through which the road will run, will receive immense accessions of revenue and population from the new territory which the road will open up and develop.

It is impossible for those not acquainted with the region through which the road will run to realize its extent, the resources it contains and the great possibilities for the production of mineral wealth which has already been exposed.  In Warrens alone there is quartz enough in sight to afford employment to 500 men, which is now worthless and idle for lack of easy access to the camp.  With the completion of the proposed wagon road, every quartz ledge in Warrens camp will possess an actual money value which today could scarcely be given away.  The country beyond is greater and richer than anything yet discovered in Idaho Territory, and the interests already existing there are seriously retarded by reason of lack of proper road facilities.  In fact, the proposed road will develop all the unexplored country that is left on the south side of Salmon river, and when that is opened up there will be nothing left for us to accomplish, except the development of the Elk City country, where roads have yet to be built which will speedily demand attention.  Meanwhile the Salmon River project is in a fair way to become an accomplished fact, which is glory enough for one day.

A Weak Argument

The Lewiston clique and their henchmen hereabouts claim that the portion of Idaho County which will be cut off in the event of our annexation to Washington territory is worthless, and for that reason they propose to give it away.  We were told the same story last year when they proposed to divide Idaho County in half; that Warrens and the county south of Salmon river was worthless and not worth keeping.  This is the reason of Lelandís opposition to the Salmon River wagon road project.  He does not want to see the road built because it will develop the country so fast, and make Idaho County so rich and great that the existing order of things will be disturbed.  Camas prairie is now bottled up and Lewiston is the cork and here lies the efforts on the part of the old moss backs there to retard our development by depreciating the value of the country inside.  It is the same with the reservation and all the practical schemes which long headed men are trying to accomplish to develop the resources of Idaho County. Such opposition is only another obstacle to over come and as Lelandís name is a synonym for bad luck, we are rather glad that he is on the other side. 

The remonstrance against the segregation of Idaho territory passed by the board of commissioners of this county will meet the approval of seventy-five per cent of the bona fide tax-paying and voting population of Idaho county.  The Lewiston humbugs will get a black eye every time they meddle with the affairs of Idaho County.
 

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