Clara Proulx.

Early history of the Upper Lemhi Valley online

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Uppec Lemhi Ualley

Clara Proulx

Eacly Histoey


Uppeg Lemhi Ualley

This bit of history of the Upper Lemhi Valley is dedicated
to my family and the other early settlers of Junction. This little
part of the world is still a prosperous spot, made possible by
those who came with faith and worked so hard for what they
wanted. Their untiring effort that was put forth is still
remembered by many of us who knew and watched as children,
and yes, wondered about the future.

I especially wish to thank:

Bertha (Hays) McCall and Dorothy (Pyeatt)
Baker for their suggestions and contributions,

Maemie R. Ellis and E. Gertrude Day who
assisted in the preparation of our history
manuscript, and

Tom Chandler for the design, photo layout
and final publication.

Place names, street names, creek names tell the history of
an area as surely as the formal diaries and chronicles record them.
The trick is to find the stories behind the names and to encourage
those who follow to record these events for their heirs just as
we attempt to do today. It is impossible to recall all of the
names or events that happened and should become part of our
local history, but we have been able to collect a great many.
To all who helped, I am deeply grateful.

Clk^ ^^6^'^-^^

Traveling north on Idaho's Highway 28, toward the Lemhi
Valley, one approaches the Gilmore Summit, just past the ghost
town of Gilmore which was once an active mining community.
A ridge of hills connects the two mountain ranges that divide
the Lemhi Valley. To the north, the waters flow into the Salmon
River, while the waters to the south, find their way into the
Birch Creek Valley.

Dropping now to an elevation of three thousand feet, one
approaches a beautiful green river basin, called the Upper Lemhi
Valley; well known for its stock raising, lumbering and mining.

Why did the early settlers come and for what did they strive
at that time? Probably they had heard that the Valley was
inhabited by Indians, who lived by hunting the buffalo and other
wild game plentiful in the neighboring hills and valleys. Yet they
came and from here I am going to portray the history of those
families and events in their lives which gives ample proof of why
the settlers developed this picturesque and colorful valley of

As the early settlers came, the only town established was
junction, the connecting link to the outside world. The house
first erected, was a log cabin, with a dirt roof, built by "Grandpa"
Stevenson in 1871. He with his wife Minerva, had migrated west
from Missouri to escape the turmoil of the days following the
Civil War.

Later he built the building known as the "High House"
which is still standing, the only remaining building at Junction.
He served as Junction's first Postmaster under the administration
of President Ulysses S. Grant. He established a blacksmith shop
and livery barn, so very essential to travel in those days. This
led him to build and operate the Junction Hotel. Shortly after
coming west, his wife Minerva died, but this did not deter his
interest nor enthusiasm in Junction's development.

He then sent for his widowed sister, Susan Clark, the mother
of seven children; Billie, Tom, George, John, Andrew, Mollie,
and Sarah. Mrs. Clark built the second house in Junction and
her children grew up there. Mollie married Sam Shelley who
came from England to Salt Lake, then to Bannack, Montana.
At that time, there were only two houses, and it was during
the Vigilante Days. Later Sam went to the" Diggings" on Horse
Prairie, and then came to Junction.

Their daughter, Sarah, married Neil McDevitt. Neil and Jim
McDevitt had come to the Valley, as had the Petersons. McDevitt
settled on the Old Reese Ranch, while Peterson settled on the
Old Amonson Ranch.

Fences were not in use at that time. The settlers lived in
log huts on the wide open spaces, and engaged in cattle raising.

Tom and Bill Clark left Junction, and moved to Oregon.

Grandma Clark, along with three of her sons, Andrew, John,
and George became very prosperous by acquiring many acres of
land around Junction.


"Granny" Reddington

Grandma Clark at her home in junction in 1906.

Junction and Leadore

Milton Reddington and Julia Frost Irvin
Reddington. This photo was taken in
about 1863 and reproduced from a

Junction Creek, which ran through the town, now known
as Railroad Creek, had no ranches on it.

Coming down through the canyon, now called Railroad
Canyon, one came to the residence of Wilbur Stone and his wife
Emma. He was Junction's merchant. His father, known as "Old
Man" Stone was the Indian Agent at Lemhi, twenty miles north
of Junction. He later moved to, and built the store at
Junction - the first store called "The General Store". In 1884,
the first drug store was built and owned by Mrs. Dunlap; next
built was the Wright Store, then George Yearian's, and the Fylire
Store near the canyon road.

Close by was the residence of Alex Waugh. On the bank
of the Creek farther down, lived Sam Shelley and wife, Molly.
Their children were Cora, George, and Ed. Cora married John
Reddington, George married Minnie Reddington, Ed remained
a bachelor. Their house was just across the street from
"Grandma" Clark.

The road was Junction's Main Street. In a northerly
direction, not far from the Shelley house, was the house occupied
by Charles Lee and his wife, Allie (Yearian) Lee. They had a
large family-Letty, Lemuel, Frank, Lucinda, Florence, Howard,
Oran and Curtis. The father, Charles, was killed by lightning on
Grizzly Hill in the early 1900's. The family later moved to the
State of Washington.

Junction, Idaho

Tucked in, by the side of Stone's store, was the home of
Henry and Mary Yearian. Beyond the store was a saloon, called
"The Dew Drop Inn". Farther down was John Yearian's tin shop.

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above which was a hall that was used tor dancing. John had
married Annie Lee and their children were Georgine, Hildreth
and Kenneth.

Back of this house, on the opposite side of the road, was
a two story building, known as the "High House" and as
mentioned before, it still stands. Next to the Henry Yearian
house stood the house occupied by John Stroud. Across the road,
and opposite lived Tomp Denny and his wife Ellen (Lipe) Denny.
Their children were: Ed, Roll, Annie, Lizzie, and Charlie. Ed
married Jennie Vezina, Roll's wife was the former Alvira Reese,
Annie married Will Vriel and, Lizzie became the wife of John
Bohannon, and Charlie married Nellie Wells.

Riley Pyeatt lived behind the building occupied by Stone's
Store. He had married Ettie Todd and they had a large family.
Edith married Wilbur Hays and Annie became the wife of Walter
Gill. The boys were; Frank, Clarence, Martin, Will, John,
Heybern, Art, Lloyd, Earl, and Max. Riley met an accidental
death, so Mrs. Pyeatt was left with all these children to raise
and educate. John, one of the sons, gave his life in World War I,
being the first of the Lemhi County soldiers to die in action.

W. D. "Bill" Rusk was born in Salem Springs, Arkansas in
1863. He came to Junction when a mere lad of 15. He worked
for Alex Cruikshank and for the Hawley Brothers in Lost River.
He also worked at the Nicholia Mines and later drove stage from
Utah to Salmon and did some freighting. He married Lela Daniels
in 1909 and they had two children, Mamie and Joe. Lela died
in 1913 and Mamie was adopted by the Ballards on Birch Creek.
Joe stayed with his father. Later, he married Polly Walters and
they had three children; Ray, Helen, and Grace.

Grandma Reddington and Lester Alfred

In front of Stone's store and posing are, I to r, Filo, can't identify Wilbur Stone, George Proulx,
Paris O'Neil, Ed McRea, John Stroud, Pete Vreeland, George Shelley, Lawrence Lipe, Don Reed,
Q. L. Webb and Ed Sullivan.

Junction School

Bill became very wealthy owning and operating five ranches
besides his real estate investments and large herds of cattle and
horses. At one time, he sold 1,000 guilding horses to the
Canadian Government in one shipment. He was one of the most
colorful pioneers of his time. He passed away in 1955 and was
buried at Salmon.

Abram Lipe was born on December 29, 1825, in Missouri.
He married Nancy Yearian January 25, 1849, in Illinois. Their
six children were Julia, Sarah, Ellen, Emily, Jacob, and Charley.
He was a Civil War veteran and fought for the North, rank and
company unknown. They came to Lemhi County in 1880, and
settled on a homestead near Junction. They lived there until
1902, when he sold to Gus Mulkey and moved to Sunfield. He
died of pneumonia on March 3, 1907.

Charley Lipe was Jake Lipe's brother. He lived at Junction
and married Daisy Cottom. Their children were Horace, Glodine,
Florence, and Fern.

Jake Lipe, the village blacksmith, lived across from the
Waugh and Lee homes. His wife, was the former Annie Ellis,
and their sons were Harvey and Lawrence.

First hotel in Junction that burned in the early I900's
Methodist Church in Junction

For several years, people continued to move to Junction,
and by 1888, the population was about two hundred. From this
time and until 1910, more settlers came to the Valley. With the
increased population, the valley became more productive.

In the country surrounding Junction, and in a south easterly
direction to "18 Mile", two ranches were taken up. One, by
Ike Williams was sold to a Mr. Long. The latter moved to
Junction. In time, this ranch passed through several hands. The
Henry Gilsters owned it, then much later the Pearson Brothers
sold it to the Skelton Brothers of Idaho Falls. Across the Creek,
and down a bit, lived George Cottom and his wife. Their children
were Morris, Daisy and Harry. Cottom sold the place to Ed
Patton, who in turn sold it to Pete Vreeland.

The Cottom family moved to what is known as "Cottom
Lane" located on Lee Creek. On Tex Creek lived Sam Keim and
his wife who was quite a character. She was of Spanish descent,
smoked a pipe and loved to play cards. A loving person, she
reared several homeless children. Among them was Ed Sullivan,
who was bow-legged and had a "squint eye", but proved to be
"as nice as they came". Later he moved to Junction where he
had purchased a cabin. Mrs. Keim also raised Mamie Nolan who
became the wife of Fred Dishno. They made their home on a
ranch in the "Big Hole" (Montana). Rock Vezina's ranch was
near the Keim's Ranch. He sold it to the first of the Carlsons
who came from Utah, and moved down the Creek. Later he sold
that ranch to his son, Fred, who in turn sold it to Milt Slavin.

On Spring Creek, not far from the Keim and Vezina
Ranches, was the place taken up by Gray Purcell in the early
eighties. Andrew Purcell took up the McRae Ranch, which
became the property of Staley. Soon after, Andrew took up the
Benson Ranch, now owned by the Mahaffey Estate.

Gray Purcell took up the land near what is known as "Big
Springs" With his wife, Drusey, sister of Mary Jane Yearian Gray
came from Tablerock, Nebraska, by way of Bannack, Montana,
where they lived eight years. In 1872. thev came to Lemhi and

settled. Later Claude Benson owned this ranch. His wife was the
former Nora Yearian, daughter of Henry and Mary Yearian,
whose other children were Liliie, George, joe and Docia.

Near the Purcell place was the ranch, known as the Barrows
place, though it had originally belonged to a man, named Smith.

Going to Hawley Creek, at the mouth of the canyon, the
ranch there was owned by Ed Hawley. He had married Christina
Yearian, widow of Joseph, who was lovingly known as "Aunt

Coming down Hawley Creek, a few miles was the Henry
Vreeland place. He was the father of Pete, Will, Margaret and
Liliie. Margaret married Ed McRae, and Liliie became the wife
of Mark Purcell. Henry's wife, affectionately known as"Granny"
was a very unusual and colorful character. Hank (Henry) drove
the stage from Eagle Rock, (now Idaho Falls), to Nicholia, then
through Junction enroute to Salmon. At that time the family
lived at the "sinks" on Birch Creek. From there they moved
to the Shenon Ranch on Horse Prairie, then to the ranch on
Hawley Creek.

Near the confluence of Hawley and "18 Mile" Creeks, a
man named Staley took up a homestead. The Glister family lived
there for a time, then the George Proulx family moved there.
Next in the area, was the Herb Hays Ranch. Mrs. Hays was the
former Nettie Yearian.

John Milton Burns Reddington

Going toward Salmon about two miles from Junction, is
what is known as the McRae Ranch. For a time, it was occupied
by the Patton family. Mrs. Patton's father John Yearian lived
with them. Her maiden name was Sally Yearian.

Adjoining this ranch, was the Jacob Yearian place, and on
the property above the road was built the Community Fort. At
this time, Chief Joseph and his warriors were moving through
enroute to Montana.

Some of the Indians did drift through the Canyon. Ed
Hawley refused to leave his ranch and go to the Fort. Herb Hays
went to persuade him to come with him to the Fort for safety.
As a result, the Indians did chase them as they crossed the prairie
enroute, but apparently made no real effort to capture them.

There were no ranches between the Jake Yearian place and
that of John Stroud, some five or six miles down the Lemhi

Going to the "Big Eight" Mile Creek area, the Hot Springs
Ranch was operated by Mrs. Dunlap who had moved there from
Junction. She had several sons, one of them, Tul Dunlap, became
a famous artist. Mrs. Dunlap was a midwife, helping many
children into this world. Numbered among them were the Herb
Hays children and I.

Another old time ranch in that area was the land owned
by John Warren and his wife, Phoebe. He was a small bowlegged
man, and had a wen on the top of his head. This place was
subsequently owned by Mark Purcell father of Kermit and Emma
(Purcell) Pearson.

Cora ReddinQto

Junction School in 1899. Bertha Hoffman, Minnie Reddington,
Jessie Patton, Retta Tobias, Ethel Tobias, Clara Proulx, Wilda
McRea, Rose Proulx, Bertha Hays, Bess Stroud and others.

J. P. Clough owned a ranch, which later became the
property of William Fayle and is now owned by Kermit Purceil.

Going west, up "Cottom Lane", a distance of about two
miles, was the ranch owned by Lee, who sold part of it to George
Cottom, father of Morris who lived with him. The remainder
of the ranch was sold to my father, Milton Reddington, and
my "Grandma" Sarah Tucker. Grandma Tucker was born, Sarah
Yearian, prior to her marriage to Grandpa Reddington. Widowed,
after the death of Grandpa Reddington, she had married a man
named Tucker.

At the age of sixteen, my father, Milton joined the Illinois
Regiment, Company K, going in as a drummer boy. After two
years of service in the Civil War, he returned to his home in
Du Quoin, Illinois, and was married to my mother Julia Frost
Irvin. Following the end of the War they moved to Kansas City,
Missouri. To this Union were born: Abigail, Sarah, John, Nellie,
and Joe.

Due to a railroad strike in Kansas City in 1886, my father
and my brother-in-law, Vern Tingley, came west, first to the
"diggins" on Horse Prairie, then came to Lemhi. Having

Methodist Church in junction. Among the people in the picture are Susan (Grandma) Clark, the founder of the little
church. Grandma Shelley, Molly Shelley and Jane Yearian.

purchased the Lee Ranch, they sent for the family who came
by emigrant train to Eagle Rock, (Idaho Falls) then by covered
wagon to Junction. Here Minnie and I were born.

Here I should like to tell of my family beginning with my
sister Abigail who had married Vern Tingley before leaving
Kansas City. To this union were born: Ray, Joe, Flora, Vern,
and Walter. Vern and Walter served their country during World
War I. Ray married Roxi McKim. Joe married Carrie Brown,
daughter of Billie Brown, a prosperous butcher at Salmon. Flora
married George Brown, Billie's son, Vern, married Doris Evans
and Walter married Faye Higgs.

My sister Sarah married T. J. Stroud. A bit about the
Stroud Family. John and Lige, came to Idaho about the time
that the Yearians and Reeses arrived. Lige Stroud married Lib
Lee, and to this union were born Thomas J . and Carrie. As stated
above Thomas J. married Sarah Gertrude Reddington and to this
union were born: Chauncey, Bess, Wilbur, and Wilma (twins),
and Everett. Chauncey married Pearl Wyant, Bess, never married,
has been prominent in the field of education in Idaho; Wilbur
married Jennie Caperon; Wilma, Ed Caperon, and Everett married
Rita Ryan. T. J. as he was familiarly known, became sheriff of
Lemhi County, serving twenty-five years.

John Stroud married Jennie Todd, and to this union were
born: Elmer who served during World War I, and died while

Discharge pension papers of Milton Reddington from the Civil War.
He is on the left, a captain from his outfit on the right that could
not be identified.



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Mrs. Vree/and'i sisters, Hank Vreeland, and Elizabeth
(Granny) Vreeland.

in France during the influenza epidemic at that time. He had
never married, but prior to his military service, he managed his
father's ranch and 1000 head of cattle. Glen married LoraCork;
Eldo, married Frances Cook; Laura died while still a young girl
at Junction.

My brother, John, married Cora Shelley, and to this union
were born: Olive, John, Wayne, Maimie, Elsa, Marvin, and Ivan.
Olive married Milford Allred; John, Edith Maes, Maimie, teacher,
married Ted Ellis, Elsa married Vern Chandler; Marvin married
Opal Jones, a teacher in the Leadore schools; Wayne married
Bernice Ashton; and Ivan, Maude Webb.

Three of the Reddington sons served their country in war
time: John, World War I; Wayne and Ivan, World War II.

My sister, Nellie Margaret, married Columbus Mulkey, and
to this union were born: Clarence, Blanche, Edith, Burrell, Maud
and Cora. Clarence, who served his country during World War I,
married Emma Hammond. Blanche married Ralph Koppas; Edith,
Ernest Diven; Burrell, who became famous as .a broncho rider,
married in California; Maud married Dick Simmonds; and Cora,
Lewis Maas.

My brother Joe married Alma McDevitt and to this union
were born: Julia who married Ott Gordon, Ted, who married
after leaving Idaho; and Nellie, who never married. She passed
away in 1919.

My sister, Minnie, married George Shelley, and to this union
were born: Laverna, Don, Dorothy, and Betty Jane. Laverna

The High House in Junction. On the balcony, the two ladies are Molly Waugh and Molly Shelley. The men, I to r Ed Denny, Tamp Denny,
John Clark, George Shelley, Pete Vreeland, Will Patton, sitting, Albert Ellis, Billy Figley, and Alex Cruikshank.

Taken in front ot Sum Shi'lltv\ home in ubuut 1^1 1 '■ iiii i] j r u k.uJiiiqtin hun Reddington,
E/sa Reddington, Grandma Reddington, Moll^ Stielley , Molls Waugh. Lura Reddington, Joe Yearian,
OIlie Aland Lester, Grandpa Siielley and Marvin Reddington.

Fistiin was good. I to r first two unknown, George Proulx, Paris O'Neil,
Alec Waugh, Wenlock Free, B. j. Waugh, F. O. McFall, Curley Martel,
Kenneth Yearian, Sam Pierce, Howard Lee, Ed Shelley, another unknown
and Art Pyeatt.


Elsa Reddington, OIlie and Lester Allred, Ivan Reddington, Grandma Reddington and Maemie

loe Bush and George Shelley

Maemie, Marvin, and Elsa Reddingti

and Dorothy died in early chiidiiood, Don married a Boise girl;
and Betty Jane married William Simpson.

I, (Clara Reddington) married Frank Proulx. We have one
son, Frank Donald, who married Oleta Burns. He is a retired
Navy career man, and lives at Chula Vista, California.

Here followrs a bit about the family history of the Proulxs.
Michael (George) Proulx was born at Quebec, Canada. While
merely a boy, he drifted to upper New York State. He grew
to manhood there, later going to Michigan. He worked in the
mining and lumber industries. Urged as were many by California
gold fever, he started west, arrived first at Butte, then went to
Bannack. From Montana, he came to Nicholia, then to Junction.
He married Minnie Dishno, sister of Silas Dishno, a very
outstanding character, who left Idaho, moved to the Big Hole
Valley in Montana, where he became very wealthy.

To the Proulx union were born the following children:
Rose, Frank, Flavia, Charlie, Michael, Leo, Ruby, and Fern. Rose
became the wife of Jake Hays, Frank, as mentioned married Clara
Reddington; Flavia married Walter Sheperd, Charles married
Elizabeth Cotter, Michael married Verda Owens, Leo married
after moving to California; and Ruby married Billie Purcell, Fern
died in infancy.

Chauncey Stroud

Three sons of the Proulx's served their Country during
World War I, all experiencing overseas duty, Frank, Charlie, and

Before leaving these bits of family history, there should be
added some information about my mother, Julia Frost Irvin
Reddington. George Yearian had married Abigail Irvin whose
husband had been killed in action during the Mexican War of
1846 at Vera Cruz. Abigail's daughter by her marriage to Irvin,
Julia Elizabeth, was my mother. George and Abigail were very
happy, but she contracted tuberculosis, and lived only five years.
Later George married Elizabeth Stroud, came west in 1864 to
Horse Prairie, and lived there until his death.

Here, too, I must speak of Joe Barrows. Joe, like many
young men of that day, left home, seeking greener pastures. In
so doing, he assumed the name of Joe Bush. As times went by,
he became as one of our family, living at the home of my mother,
and also at my brother, John's home.

He worked as a cowboy, being most helpful in the care
of the livestock. Too, he was rated as an excellent "bronc" rider.
Joe, along with " George" Shelley and my brother, Joe, broke
countless horses to be safe for riding, and in the handling of
cattle during the branding and "out to pasture" spring season,
then again in the "fall roundup". He finally left the upper Lemhi
Valley, going over into the Dillon area where he worked until
his death a few years ago.

Now to continue the Junction story.

The following written by Bertha (Hays) McCall was
contributed by Dorothy (Pyeatt) Baker:

"Hays Family Tree

A gallant knight, John Hays, was an active adherent to Mary,
Queen of Scots, and was sent by her as Ambassador to Queen
Elizabeth to secure the consent of the Virgin Queen to Mary's
marriage to Lord Darnley. A part of the family seem afterward
to have belonged to that strictest sect of the Protestant faith,
Viz The Coventer. This segment of the family found refuge in
foreign countries.

Robert Taylor was a gentlemen's son of the City of Cork,
Ireland; ran away from home to emigrate to America. When he
became of age, and acquired his 'portion', he was a merchant
at Providence, Rhode Island. His was the original family of that
name in Providence.

He was a Colonel in the Revolutionary War, and after its
close, moved to Marritta, Ohio, with his family. Maria, his
youngest daughter married Benjamin Guitteau, April 15, 1807.
Their family were eight children, one of whom, Caroline Rebecca,
was the mother of Herbert Hays.

The mother of William Hays (grandfather of Herbert Hays)
was Elizabeth Coleman, whose family came from Canada, settling
in New Jersey, about the time the Revolutionary War began.
After his marriage to Mr. Hays (first name unknown) they moved
to Ohio, living in different places.

The Hays Family Bible was lost in the Ohio River flood.
However, it is known, that they had eight children. One of them
William Hays, was the father of: Emma (Hays) Leary; John,
Herbert, and William. William, married Caroline Rebecca
Guitteau, March, 1840, at Newport, Ohio, and they moved to
old Du Quoin, Illinois.

The children of William and Caroline Hays were- Emma
Louise, born January 1, 1850, married Herbert Leary.

John Dudley married Ellen SchwarU - Their children, all
deceased, were Wilfred, Heroert, and William. John Doud's wife,
lived at Elkville, Illinois.

Schoonover from Gilmore, Murphy from Emmett and Wilbu

3 kids i home made wagon, Ivan Reddington, Lester
Allred and Marvin Reddington.

Deer with horns ,

Herbert married Nettie Yearian-children John G. died in

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Online LibraryClara ProulxEarly history of the Upper Lemhi Valley → online text (page 1 of 4)