Ellen H. (Ellen Henrietta) Richards.

An illustrated history of north Idaho : embracing Nez Perces, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone counties, state of Idaho online

. (page 145 of 302)
Online LibraryEllen H. (Ellen Henrietta) RichardsAn illustrated history of north Idaho : embracing Nez Perces, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone counties, state of Idaho → online text (page 145 of 302)
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The first stockade was built near the residence formerly
occupied by J. S. Howard, who died in the early
'eighties. The permanent stockade was built where
part of Moscow now stands, back of the residence of
John Russell and now the residence of Mrs. Tulia A.
Moore. The stockade was built of logs from six to ten
inches in diameter, set on end in the ground close to-
gether. They were hauled from the mountains six
miles distant and at a time when it was taking a man's
life in his hands to make the trip. These old posts may
yet be seen along the road to the south of the Moore
residence. Here about thirty settlers and their fam-
ilies spent many anxious days and night. The greatest
danger was from the Coeur d'Alene Indians of the
north joining their forces with those of the wily leader
of the Nez Perces and making a raid on the settlers
who were very poorly supplied with arms and more
poorly supplied with ammunition. But through the ef-
forts of their chief, who was always peaceably disposed
towards the whites, and the timely assistance of the
good Father Cataldo, the mission priest, they were held
in check. In the meantime the United States troops
and volunteers pressed the hostile Joseph and his war-
riors so hard that they retreated across the old Lolo
trail to Montana, where they were finally captured.
The very scarcity of settlers in this section caused the
savages to turn their attention southward towards
Grangeville and Mt. Idaho, where there were more
scalps and plunder to be obtained. Greater alarm than
would perhaps otherwise have existed was caused by
the killing of John Richie, who was shot by an Indian
while standing in the doorway of his house in Pine
Creek. This apparently confirmed the report that the
Spokane and Couer d'Alene Indians would join the
Nez Perces in a general war against the whites.

At the time of the Bannock Indian war in 1878.
Latah county citizens prepared for emergencies by or-
ganizing two companies of volunteers who held them-
>lves in readiness to respond to any call that might
be made for their services. Moscow had a company
if forty or fifty men, officered by W. D. Robbins, cap-
lin, and Henry McGregor, first lieutenant. At the
awmill northeast of town was another company equally
s large of which S. J. Langdon was captain; R. H.
Barton, first lieutenant; H. S. Epperly, second lieu-
tenant, and J. L. Naylor, orderly. Guns were secured
from Lewiston for which happily there proved to be no
leed, as the Indians did not appear in this part of
.he country.

To show something of the rapidity with which the
Palouse country was settled during the 'seventies, we
:produce some correspondence taken from an issue
of the old Lewiston Teller, dated June 9, 1881. The
'ior of the correspondence was the editor of the
Teller at the time and was on an overland trip from
Lewiston to Spokane. The camping places referred to


were along the Idaho-Washington state line north of
Moscow. "It is hard to describe the changes that have
taken place since I camped here nine years ago (1872),
when not a solitary habitation could be found within
many miles of this place. At that time we had been
riding north from Lewiston to find settlers to sign a
petition for a mail route from Lewiston north to Spo-
kane Bridge. We crossed at the forks of Hangman's
creek then turned and went down the north side and
'about every half mile found a statue with a shingle
nailed to it, upon which was written the name of some
man with the announcement that he claimed a tract of
land at or near that point. Until we went down the
creek about eight miles we found no settler. Then we
found the savage family. Further down we found fif-
teen or twenty persons camped, among them Major
Wimpy. 'They were cutting hay and getting timber in
the mountains and making other preparations for the
beginning of permanent homes. On our return we
found six or seven log structures completed and occu-
pied. We now find almost the entire section within
a radius of eight or ten miles absorbed by settlers, save
the railroad reserves, and many of these have been
occupied and much improved. Good homes have been
built, good fences and extensively improved fields are
everywhere visible and the acreage under cultivation is

A gap in the divide between the two mentioned
creeks led us by a good wagon road into the Rock creek
valley, which now contains from 125 to 140 voters with
their families, which ought to give a population of
from 700 to 1,000. When we passed through this
country nine years ago over the Indian trails leading
from Lapwai to the Spokane, not a solitary habitation
was visible throughout the whole vast extent of prairie
land from Moscow north. Now Genesee valley, Paradise
valley, Strawberry valley and Rock creek valley are
settled and the greater portion of the lands occupied."

At the second session of the territorial legislature
which convened at Lewiston, November i 4 th and ad-
journed December 23d, 1864, the following act was
passed and approved : "An Act creating the Counties
of Lah-toh and Kootenai. Be it enacted by the Legis-
lative Assembly of the Territory of Idaho as follows :
Section I. That all that portion of Idaho Territory
embraced within the fojlowing described boundaries,
be and the same is hereby created into, and shall be
known as the county of Lah-toh, to wit: Beginning
at a point in the main channel of the Snake River at
its junction with the Clearwater River; thence running
due north along the dividing line between Washington
and Idaho territories, to the forty-eighth degree of
north latitude ; thence east with said degree of latitude
t-ntil it interesects the boundary line of Shoshone coun-
ty ; thence south with the boundary line of said county
to the middle channel of Clearwater river ; thence with
the channel of said river to its junction with the Snake
river to the place of beginning ; and the county seat of
said county of Lah-toh is hereby located at Couer
cFAlene." '

At the fourth session of the territorial legislature
which convened at Boise December 3, 1866, and ad-

journed January n, 1867, an amendatory act was
passed redescribing the boundaries of Kootenai county
and repealing section i of the act of 1864, which created
Lah-toh county. In the fall of the year 1878 the peo-
ple in and around Moscow, and in the northern part of
the county determined to organize the county of Lah-
toh under the assembly act of 1864. They were for
some reason without knowledge of the amendatory leg-
islation of 1867. Meetings were held at Moscow and
elsewhere, a petition having the required fifty signatures
was secured and forwarded to Governor Brayman with
the request that he appoint commissioners. By the
old act the 48th parallel of latitude was named as
the northern boundary and Coeur d'Alene as the tem-
porary county seat. Governor Brayman had also over-
looked the repealing act of 1867 and granted the re-
quest of the petitioners, going so far as to appoint com-
missioners in the persons of Messrs. Canfield, Rankin
and Martin, residents in the vicinity of Coeur d'Alene.
Governor and people were not long in discovering their
mistake, however, and the movement to organize Lah-
toh county was for the time dropped. Again in 1881
a petition and communication were forwarded from
Coeur d'Alene to Governor John B. Neil asking for the
appointment of commissioners for the county of Lah-
toh. This the governor replied he could not do under
existing laws and cited the petitions to the acts of 1864
and 1867. As the northern boundary line of Nez Perces
county had been in the meantime established on the di-
vide between Hangmans' creek and Palouse river by
the government survey of the Coeur d'Alene Indian
reservation, and as the act of 1867 described Kootenai
county as embracing all territory north of Nez Perces
county, the petitioners found that they were no longer
in the Lah-toh county described by the act of 1864.
L T pon the return of the papers from Governor Neil,
therefore, they substituted the name of "Kootenai" for
"Lah-toh" and at once sent them back for his recon-
sideration. The following extract from a letter pub-
lished in the Lewiston Teller explains the action of the
petitioners at Coeur d'Alene: "Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Ty., July 22, 1881. A. Leland Esq. : Shortly after
you left here we received a letter from Governor Neil
disapproving of our county organization under the
name of Lah-toh. We at once took the necessary legal
steps to organize as Kootenai county. The territorial
officers have acknowledged us and we are now a de
facto and de jure government under the name of
Kootenai, etc.," Messrs. Canfield, Rankin and Martin
became Kootenai county instead of Lah-toh county

In September, 1885, the O. R. & N! railroad reached
Moscow, which has remained the terminus of the road
since that date. During the summer of 1883 commit-
tees from Colfax, Pullman and Moscow visited the
farmers along the proposed route of the railway and
secured the right of way. All the country needed in
order to make it exceedingly prosperous was transpor-
tation facilities. It is not our purpose to recount here
. the history of the building of the railroad. In another
portion of this work a special chapter has been devoted
to railroad schemes and railroad construction and in



this chapter the reader will find details concerning the
O. R. & N. and N. P. Railroad. The O. R. & N.
reached Moscow about the middle of September and
the first cars crossed the Idaho- Washington line and
ran into Moscow on the 23d of the month. There was
general and great rejoicing; salutes were fired, whis-
tles blown, and speeches made. Wednesday, the day
of the arrival of the first train, witnessed a grand cele-
bration and on Friday a grand ball was held which was
attended by hundreds. The results following the com-
pletion of the road can never be properly estimated.
They were not all manifested in a year or in a decade ;
they are accumulating still and must ever continue to
accumulate for the agricultural resources of the county
are practically inexhaustible and all industrial interests
must grow and keep pace with the gradual develop-
ment of these resources.

There is an interesting reminiscence entitled to a
place here, in explanation of the old railroad grade
which runs through the north end of town, but which
has never been used. At the time the O. R. & N. was
projected, Miles C. Moore, of Walla Walla, and Charles
Moore, of Moscow, were joint owners of a tract of
land on the north side of Moscow and they induced the
company to build their grade through this tract, giv-
ing them the right of way. In return for this conces-
sion, they demanded exclusive warehouse privileges for
a term o'f years. W. J. McConnell, W. W. Baker, A.
A. Lieuallen and others living in the north end of town
were also desirous, because of their property. holdings,
that the road should use this end of town for their
terminal equipment. There were those in the south end
of town who were not averse to having the road cross
their property and as the company was loathe to grant
exclusive warehouse privileges to anyone, circumstances
rather favored the southenders. Both Field Engineer
McClellan and a new chief who had just come upon the
ground favored the south end, claiming that if the
company ever wanted to extend the line east they could
not get out of town by the north end route. The chief
and his assistants were boarding at the Barton house
at the time and R. H. Barton, accidentally learning
their views, at once took steps to push matters to a
conclusion. Henry McGregor and James Deakin were
the owners of land on either side of the present main
street in the south end of town. It was night, but Bar-
ton hurriedly summoned M. J. Shields, Henry Durn-
ham and John Kanaley to a special meeting to be held
on the bridge south o'f town. He then located James
Deakin and Henry McGregor and piloted them to the
bridge. Here the situation was explained to the land
owners, and after some vigorous characteristic speeches
by Shields and Barton, and promises of an equal dis-
tribution of their loss involved in the concessions de-
sired, they readily consented to give the railroad any-
thing they wanted in the way of right of wav through
their places, provided they would change the route.
The party then disbanded and Mr. Barton informed
the engineers that if they would survey the line through
south Moscow they could have all the land needed
there for tracks, depot, etc. The offer was at once com-

municated to the officials at Portland with the rec-
ommendation that it be accepted. On the following
day M. C. Moore was in Portland and repaired to the
offices of the railroad company to press his claim for
warehouse privileges. The officials were independent
and refused to make any concession of this character.
Some "puts and calls" were exchanged and at the close
of the argument, a message was sent to the engineers
at Moscow to survey the new route. This was at once
done and the old grade was abandoned. This was the
sequel to the midnight meeting on the bridge.

Turning again to an earlier period in the history
of the county, let us record briefly the work of those
who followed the argonauts of the 'fifties, 'sixties and
seventies in their quest for golden treasure. These
men were not in search of pastoral lands, and had they
been, they would not have builded their homes in the
Palouse country, for it was not thought possible in
those days to produce crops on the hills of Genesee and
Paradise valleys, nor on the ridges of the Potlatch.
Ten years before a new one considered the Latah coun-
try adapted to agricultural pursuits, mining was car-
ried on in various parts of the county. As far back
as 1862 placer claims were worked along some of the
water courses. Besides the deposits of gold and silver,
mica and opals were found in several localities. The
exhibit of Idaho opals at the World's Fair in Chicago
in 1893, came from Latah county. In 1881 a. mine of
mica was discovered about thirty miles from Moscow
by J. T. Woody, and in a short time a number of other
locations were made in the same vicinity. The prin-
cipal placer mines in the county are situated in the
Hoodoo district which has been worked for the last
thirty-five years. Other mines worked successfully are
on Jerome creek. Swamp creep, Gold creek and many
others, and in Howard gulch, Garden gulch, Crum-
rine gulch and others on Moscow mountain. The first
quartz mill in the county was operated on a ledge on
Moscow mountain and owned by Dr. Worthington and
D. C. Mitchell. In 1896 a mill was started in the Daisy
mine on Jerome creek, which is now on a paying basis.
On Ruby creek is a most valuable gold and silver mine
caller! the Silver King. For years gold has been taken
from the ledges of Moscow mountain by the "arrastre"
process and if this mountain of wealth were situated
in some remote locality, difficult of access it would be
considered a veritable Klondyke. The Gold Bug,
Golden Gate and the Big Ledge are the principal mines
worked there in recent years. The Golden Gate Com-
pany has a 200 foot tunnel, and contemplates putting
in a mill. Adjoining the Golden Gate is the White
Cross mine which has a fine stamp mill.

The Hoodoo mines have had seasons of tips and
downs ; worked successfully for a time in the early
sixties, they experienced a long season of inactivity
during the late 'sixties and the 'seventies. Again in
1885 and 1886 there was a season of excitement, many
flocking there from all directions with the hope of
improving their fortunes. What are known as the
Hoodoo mines, comprising four gulches that empty
into the Palouse river about 30 miles northeast of Mos-
cow, were first discovered and worked in the years



1862 and 1863 and paid all the way from $20 to $100
per day to the man. At that time all provisions, tools,
etc. were packed into the mines on ponies over a very
difficult and almost impassable trail from Lewiston, a
distance of about eighty miles, which was the nearest
trading point. The high prices that were then paid
for merchandise in Lewiston, together with the high
price also charged for packing, compelled miners to
work only claims that would yield the precious dust
in abundance. Mines that would not pay at least $20
a day were not considered worth taking. About the
time the- Hoodoo mines were being worked, there was
great excitement raging in the northwest over new dis-
coveries of gold in Montana and thousands of miners
packed their blankets and picks and started eastward
toward the new Eldorado. The Hoodoo miners, not
making any new discoveries on the Palouse, one by
one, gathered up their luggage and silently took their
departure, following the chant of excitement. Thus
Hoodoo was vacated. The pioneer prospectors left
their little gold field that but a short time before was
rich in its deposits of mineral wealth. Nothing more
was heard of the Palouse as a mining district until the
year 1870 when gold was discovered on Jerome, Ca-
mas and Gold creeks, tributaries of the Palouse. These
creeks were worked with very little excitement, and
paid equally as well as the old Hoodoo mines. From

dividuals. more or less, down to the present time. The
Coeur d'Alene excitement brought hundreds of pros-
pectors to this region and the result was the redis-
covery of gold in the old Hoodoo district. Many
claims were opened and the side gulches which were
easily mined proved far richer than was expected.

Many will remember the excitement about Moscow
during the summer of 1881 over the Roland quartz find
in the mountains east of the town. Roland had
guarded his secret carefully but while in town for
supplies confided in a few personal friends and by the
time he was ready to return to the mountains, several
parties were ready to follow him. His secret soon be-
came common property and scores of claims were taken
up in the vicinity. Assays from Roland's claim re-
turned three to four hundred dollars per ton. A good
deal of the development work has been done on this
and other claims in the region but thus far no heavily
producing mines have resulted.

Prior to the building of the Northern Pacific
railroad, Lewiston, the county seat of Nez Perces
county, of which the present Latah county was a part,
was a very inaccessible point for citizens of Moscow
and of all points north of the Clearwater river. The
distance is about thirty miles and the roads in those
days were, during a portion of every year, next to im-
passable. It was necessary to go down the Clearwater
breaks which is, even today, after years of work on
the roads, an undertaking accompanied by a element
of risk and danger. Since the building of the rail-
road to Lewiston it is still necessary to travel fifty-
three miles to reach the town from Moscow, making
a semi-circle via Troy, Kendrick, Juliaetta, etc. Un-
der these conditions it is not surprising that the citi-

zens of the north half of the county should conceive
the plan and endeavor to execute it, of removing the
capitol of the county to Moscow. In 1882 a determ-
ined effort was made to accomplish this end, first by
seeking to create a new county north of the Clearwater.
Petitions were formulated which were numerously
signed, and a bill was introduced in the legislature
providing for the creation of Latah county with Mos-
cow as the county seat. The bill was introduced by
William S. Taylor in the council and vigorously sup-
ported by G. W. Tomer in the lower house. It was
found, however, that the legislature was powerless to
act in the matter owing to the existence of a recently
passed congressional act forbidding special legislation
by the territorial legislature, creating new counties or
changing the boundary lines of old ones. Disap-
pointed in this effort Mr. Taylor introduced another
bill providing for a special election, submitting the
question of relocation of the county seat of Nez Per-
ces to a vote of the people. This election was held in
June, 1883, and Moscow, through her citizens, worked
hard to secure the coveted prize. She was doomed to
a second disappointment, however, as Lewiston was
selected by a vote of 922 to 642. At this time the cit-

Washington and expected confidently that the union
would be speedily consummated. During the county
seat contest the friends of Lewiston worked diligently
among the voters north of Moscow and inspired them
with the belief that when annexation was accomplished
there would be a readjustment of the county lines, in
which case Palouse City, nearer their section than
Moscow, would in all probability be chosen a county
seat of some new county. When election day came,
therefore, voters in the north end of the county voted
with Lewiston and against Moscow, this giving the vic-
tory to Lewiston. In another chapter will be found the
history of the annexation movement. It is only
necessary to state here that the citizens of Latah were
almost unanimous for political affiliation with Wash-
ington. The principal causes of this unanimity of
sentiment was the difficulty experienced in reaching
Boise, the capital of Idaho, and the fact that Washing-
ton was about to become a state while the prospects for
Idaho remaining indefinitely a territory were at that
time excellent. It is interesting to note, in looking
over the files of newspapers printed during the time of
the agitation of this question and after its settlement,
up to and after the date of the organization of the
state, that sentiment has gradually changed until, at
the present time, it would be difficult to find anywhere
in the Panhandle, a prominent advocate of annexation.
The efforts a few years ago to revive the question by
the introduction into the Washington legislature of a
bill requesting the appointment of a joint Idaho-
Washington commission to consider the question met
with no supporting sentiment in northern Idaho and
was ridiculed mercilessly in the editorial columns of
the press, one edition stating that the panhandle would
never again support any move to dismember the proud
"Gem of the Mountains." In a speech recently made
by A. J. Green, a pioneer attorney of Moscow, at a



pioneers' reunion near Moscow, he gives a reason for
the final settlement of the question of annexation. We
quote his words: "In the early days there was great
agitation of the question of annexing to Washington
what is known as the panhandle of Idaho. This agita-
tion continued for years and finally both houses of con-
gress passed a bill annexing the panhandle to Washing-
ton. Had it not been that President Cleveland vetoed
this bill by putting it into his pocket and refusing to
sign it, we would now be in the state of Washington
instead of in the state of Idaho. The people of Mos-
cow and Latah county, as I have said before, have al-
ways been very ambitious. At the time to which I re-
fer we had a new county and a new county seat, but
we were not satisfied. The annexation scheme having
failed and the question having been settled, as we be-
lieved, for all time, we set about getting something for
the new county and Moscow. The state university was
to be located somewhere and by hard work we secured
its location at Moscow. Southern Idaho having more
than twice the population of northern Idaho, had al-
ways fought the annexation of any part of the terri-
tory to Washington ; so when a bill was introduced into
the territorial legislature to locate the university at
Moscow, all southern Idaho came to our support and
assisted in making the bill a law, thinking that it

would forever settle the questii
it did ; when the '

in question was finally settled."
Before closing this chapter it may be v

)f annexation. And
located at Moscow the

.11 to


tion briefly the last effort on the part of the
of Moscow, prior to the creation of Latah co
secure to their town political honors, and to the
some of the conveniences enjoyed by the citi
Lewiston and of all that portion of Nez Perc
ty south of the Clearwater river. In 1886 an effort
was made to secure the passage of an act permitting
the county to elect two sets of officers. It was de-
sired only that there be two treasurers, two auditors
and two tax collectors, one set with offices at Lewiston
and one with offices at Moscow. The citizens of Mos-
cow and of the north end of the county agreed to fur-

Online LibraryEllen H. (Ellen Henrietta) RichardsAn illustrated history of north Idaho : embracing Nez Perces, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone counties, state of Idaho → online text (page 145 of 302)