THE NEZ PERCE NEWS
THURSDAY, MAY 26, 1881
The City of Graves and
Springs; An Embryo Metropolis, etc.
Mt. Idaho, the county seat
of Idaho County was first located in 1875 and contains a population of
about 400 souls. The town
is admirably located on Butcher Creek, in a grove of timber on the base
of the foothills at the head of Camas Prairie; being two miles from the
Clearwater River and fifteen miles above the mouth of its middle fork
and fifteen miles distant from Salmon river.
An extraordinary volume of business for the size of the place is
transacted here, as may be readily conceived when the fact is stated
that all the numberless mining camps in the hundreds of miles of
territory drained by the Salmon and Clearwater rivers are largely
dependent upon this point for their supplies of the necessaries of life.
From early summer till the winter rains have demoralized the
roads, an almost endless procession of pack trains with freight en route
from Lewiston to Mt. Idaho line the main thoroughfare between the two
places. This continuous
arrival and departure of pack trains lend to the streets of Mt. Idaho a
scene of cheerful business activity that is heightened by the pleasant
location of the town in the timber, while the presence of mules and idle
Indians clad in the gorgeous blanket paraphernalia of burden and
barbarism contrast admirably with the plain dress and somewhat abrupt
manners of the miners and packers busily engaged around, and these
again, combing with the spruce appearance of a few blue coats from the
neighboring military post of Camp Howard and the broadcloth and white
shirts of the resident citizens, blends into one harmonious whole and
forms the picturesque foot ensemble of a model frontier mountain town.
Such is what may be termed a
birdís eye view of Mt. Idaho. To
come down to the actual details of which the whole is composed, its
business interests comprise three general merchandising stores, one
flour and grist mill, a hotel, livery stable, saloon, variety store, two
blacksmith shops, butcher shop, drug store, boarding house, cabinet
shop, three attorneys, two saw mills in the near vicinage of the town,
the finest court house building in the territory of Idaho, and a Large
number of private residences built in the most approved styles of modern
architecture. The stores of
Mt. Idaho are more spacious and carry larger stocks of merchandise than
many more pretentious places. The
branch establishment of Messrs. Grostein & Binnard, of the city,
under the management of Maj. Binnard and Mr. Greenburg is doing a
splendid business and the firm as usual is always enlarging their
extensive warehouse or building new graineries to accommodate their
extensive transactions in the products of Camas prairie.
J.P. Vollmer & Co., of this city, also have a branch store at
Mt. Idaho under the management of Mr. Wallace Scott, the resident
partner of the firm; they carry a large stock of goods adapted, to the
varied interests which concentrate there, are doing a good business and
will have a big two story brick store when bricks are cheaper.
The establishment of Mr. H.C. Brown completes the merchandising
interests of Mt. Idaho. Mr.
Brown has a magnificent display of goods on exhibition and for sale, and
has a large constituency of friends on the prairie and in the outlying
mining camps. The Mt. Idaho
hotel is a fine, hand finished building, owned and run in tip top shape
by Hon. L.P. Brown, the original proprietor and locator of the town site
and the father of the town. He
also owns the grist mill on Butcher creek, fitted to run by steam power,
and has also vast interest all through the Salmon and Clearwater country
and in addition to being the great sheep raiser of North Idaho, he owns
and operates the daily stage line between Lewiston and Mt. Idaho.
John Denny has a variety store stocked with useful notions; John
McPherson owns the livery stable where stock are carefully tended at
living rates; at Auchinvole & Co.s Saloon, the choicest grades of
Hybrid refreshments are served in real ? style by the boss mixolygist,
J.J. Manuel; Dr. J.B. Morris is the resident physician and proprietor of
the drug store and being an ? student of medicine is ? in the practice.
Crooks & Sebastian supply the burg with the succulent meat
for which Camas prairie is justly?.
G. Ellsworth manufactures furniture at his cabinet shop;
Mrs. ? ? private boarding house in the summer; the two blacksmith
shops are operated by the one, by Adams Schubert , a thorough master of
his profession, the other by C.R. Aben, who knows his business equally
well. Shissler &
Mathisonís saw mill is located on Butcher creek, three miles from Mt.
Idaho and Bartleyís saw mill on three mile creek.
One of the solidest muldoons
on the prairie is HOn. B.F. Morris, clerk of the District Court, who in
conjunction with others, owns 1,200 acres fenced, and much of it under
cultivation in the heart of the prairie, in the locality known as
Centerville. The county
officers of Idaho county who have their offices on the ground floor of
the fine court house are, Treasurer, Wm. Baird, a brother of Ezra Baird
of this city, and just as good a man, auditor and recorder, J.B.
Chamberlain, as good a "watch dog of the treasury" as was ever
elected to that position; sheriff, T.J. Rhoades, who knows his duty and
goes for it on the spot; the probate judge is John Bower, in whose hands
the interests of widows and orphans are ever safe; we can personally
vouch that W.J. Rainey is a zealous assessor, for he stopped us on the
trail and cinched a $4 poll tax out of us, but we forgive him for that
as he serves Chinamen just the same way.
The county surveyor is Fremont Cobb a late arrival from Kansas,
who is inducing a large immigration to Camas prairie from that state by
the glowing descriptions he is publishing of this favored country.
The law practice is confined to A.H. Gordon, Hon S.S. Fenn and
J.H. Forney. Mr. Fenn is
North Idaho's favorite statesman; he has represented the territory in
Congress for four years as it was never represented before nor since;
besides being repeatedly sent to different legislations; we accepted his
hospitality for a night and gleaned much valuable information from his
well stored mind, for which our thanks are due.
Mr. J.H. Forney is a gentleman of southern birth and a natural
born lawyer, who has so assiduously cultivated his talents by hard study
that he has become a ripe scholar, ? we were not surprised to hear that
he has been uniformly succeeded ? his practice, never having ? case,
which speaks volumes for the industry ability and zeal which he puts
into his clients cause, and accounts for the good practice he is
this point our notes are very indistinct so we are reluctantly compelled
to bid a temporary adieu to Mt. Idaho an din so doing return our special
thanks to Hons. L.P. Brown, B.F. Morris, J.H. Forney, F. Cobb, Joh
McPherson and S.S. Fenn for valuable courtesics extended and also
generally to a large number of other friends on the prairie including
the county officials for favors and hospitality accepted and preferred.
No stronger proof of the hospitable character of the people of
Camas prairie can be advanced than the bare statement of the fact that
we have accepted 30 invitations to dine with different hosts on Camas
prairie on the coming glorious Fourth of July.