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An illustrated history of the state of Idaho, containing a history of the state of Idaho from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time, together with glimpses of its auspicious future; illustrations ... and biographical mention of many pioneers and prominent citizens of to-day .. online

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Online LibraryLewis Publishing Company. cnAn illustrated history of the state of Idaho, containing a history of the state of Idaho from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time, together with glimpses of its auspicious future; illustrations ... and biographical mention of many pioneers and prominent citizens of to-day .. → online text (page 68 of 136)
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the Pioneer .Association of Latah County were William
Ewing. John Russell. James Deakin, George W. Tomer,
Henry McGregor, Thomas Tierney. William Taylor,
William Calbreath. John and Bart Niemj'er. John
NeiT. James and .\\ Howard, Reuben Cox, O. H. P.
Beagle, James Montgomery and probably a few oth-
ers, whose names have been lost in the lapse of years.

In 1872 the first mail route was established in this
section and the post-office was situated about one
mile east of Moscow and called Paradise post-office.
The mail was then carried from Lewiston on horse-
back by Major Winpey. In May, 1875. Mr. Lieuallen,
at the urgent request of his neighbors, decided to
establish a little store at some convenient point and
having purchased from John Nefl that tract of land
extending westward from the present Main street for
one-half mile, he erected a little one-story building on
the vacant lot just north of Kelley's jewelry store,
laid in a small stock of merchandise and christened
the embryo village, and thus Moscow was started
on the road to future prosperity. He hauled his goods
from Walla Walla, then the nearest railroad point, and
that was reached only by Dr. Baker's "rawhide road."
Two ordinary wagon-boxes would have held his entire
stock in the store, but the prevailing prices made up-



in size for the smallness of the stock. Five pounds of
flour sold for one dollar, brown sugar was fifty cents
per pound, common butts and screws were fifty cents
per pair and everything else in proportion. But at
Lewiston prices were infinitely worse. Some of our
older settlers will remember paying C. C. Bunnell
one dollar for one-half a joint of stovepipe, although
a whole joint could be bought for fifty cents. He
charged fifty cents for cutting it and had half left.
In 1877 the post-office was moved to Moscow and
located in a little shed in the rear of Lieuallen's store,
he becoming Moscow's first postmaster. The office
I furniture consisted of a boot-box, about the size of a
j half-bushel, which Postmaster Lieuallen used as a
I receptacle for the mail. This box is still preserved
I as one of the relics of the early history of Moscow.
About this time John Benjamin, now at Kendrick,
\ Idaho, put up a little "shack" and opened a black-
smith shop, and a little box house was torn down
, and moved over from the former Paradise post-office
, and put up on a little knoll which was just back of
I Zumhqflf & Collins' present blacksmith shop. This
I was afterward remodeled and moved on to William
Hunter's lot adjoining I, C. Hattabaugh's. The only
other building the village contained was an old log
barn, which may yet be seen standing, just south of
the fair grounds, on the John Niemeyer place. In
\ June, 1877, came the Joseph Indian war. At the first
alarm the settlers with their families sought safety
in temporary forts and stockades that were hastily
constructed as a protection against the raids of the
j treacherous redskins. Moscow's first stockade was
I built near the residence formerly occupied by J. S.
I Howard, who died in the early '80s. The permanent
stockade was built where part of Moscow now stands,
back of the residence of John Russell and now the
residence of Mrs. Julia A. Moore. The stockade was
built out of logs from six to ten inches in diameter^
set on end in the ground close together. They were
I hauled from the mountains six miles distant and at
' a time when it was taking a man's life in his hands
to make a trip. These old posts may yet be seen
along the road to the south of the Moore residence.
Here about thirty settlers and their families spent
many anxious days and nights. 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 efforts of their chief, who was always peace-
ably disposed toward 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 hos-
tile Joseph and his warriors so hard that they re-
treated across the old Lo-Lo trail to Montana, where
they were finally captured. The very scarcity of set-
tlers in this section caused the savages to turn their

attention southward toward Grangeville and Mount
Idaho, where there were more scalps and plunder to
be obtained. By way of digression one little incident
of .this war may be mentioned, as it concerns one of
the most estimable ladies of Moscow who was also
one of our earliest pioneers. Herself, husband and
little child, a boy about ten years of age, and another
settler and family were fleeing from near the south-
ern portion of the county to Mount Idaho for a place
of safety. En route they were surrounded by a band of
the bloodthirsty cut-throats and at the first fire her hus-
band fell, mortally wounded. Calling his little son to
his side he told him to slip away if possible and
go for assistance. The little fellow succeeded in elud-
ing the savages and made his way to Mount Idaho,
thirty miles distant. Early next morning a score of
avenging settlers arrived at the scene of the fight, but
too late except to succor his mother, who had been
shot through both limbs and left for dead; the others
had all been killed. Tenderly she was conveyed to
the settlement and in time recovered from her wounds.
She has since married and Mrs. Eph. Bunker is known
and respected by all. Her little boy is now a man,
and who is better known to the boys who call him
friend than Hill Norton?

The first sawmill in the Paradise valley was about
six miles northeast of Moscow, owned by Stewart &
Beach, but it was soon moved away. Just at the
close of the Nez Perce war, R. H. Barton, our pres-
ent efficient postmaster, arrived in the Palouse coun-
try, bringing with him a portable sawmill, which he
hauled all the way from Corine, Utah, with an ox
team. He settled in the foot-hills- six miles east of
Moscow and here, together with S. J, Langdon and
Jack Kump, succeeded, after many difficulties, in man-
ufacturing lumber late in the fall of 1878.

In the meantime Hi. Epperly bought out the inter-
est of Kump who returned to Utah, and these three
men continued in the business over two years, saw-
ing all the lumber used in Moscow at that time,
including the lumber used in building our first hotel,
erected by Mr. Barton. On the same ground where
stood the Barton House, afterward burned down, there
now stands that magnificent structure known as "The

By this time several had pitched their tents in Mos-
cow, among them Curtis and Maguire, who had wan-
dered here distributing eyeglasses among the mem-
bers of our little community, collecting thereon their
usual commission. Attracted by the many natural
advantages of the locality, they built a little box house
where the Moscow National Bank building now stands,
and were ready for business, St. George Richards
had also built on the lot just south of Miss Farris'
millinery store, and kept a stock of drugs in the
front room. The stock consisted principally of a
barrel of old Bourbon and a few bottles of Hostet-
ter's stomach bitters.

Early in the spring of the following year W. J.



McConnell. our ex-govcrnor, visited Moscow and. im-
pressed with tlie richness of tlie country and its
future possibilities, bought out Mr. Curtis and went
into partnership with Mr. Maguire, under the firm
name of McConnell, Maguire & Company. This new
firm at once proceeded to erect a large and commo-
dious store on the corner of Second and Main streets,
where now stands the Moscow National Bank. The
store was one hundred and twenty feet deep, with a
thirty-foot frontage, and was stocked with fifty thou-
sand dollars' worth of goods. The people in the sur-
rounding country were greatly encouraged at the sight
of this, at that time, mammoth store, and from that
time on the town began to grow rapidly. When this
store was cotnplete, Moscow had the immense popu-
lation of twenty-five. The news of the great store
at Moscow spread everywhere and people from all
parts of the Potlatch and Palouse country fiocked to
Moscow to do their trading, and it is no exaggera-
tion to say that to no other men living in Moscow
is the town so much indebted for its present size and
flourishing condition as to ex-Governor McConnell
and J. H. Maguire. Dr. H. B. Blake. Moscow's first
physician, and the Rev. Dr. Taylor arrived during
the year 1878, and James Shields and John Kanaley
came in the fall. John Henry Warmouth had started
a hotel on the present site of the U. S. Store, and
also kept whisky for "medical purposes." Shields
and Kanaley boarded with him; Splawn and How-
ard had built a saloon where the Commercial Bank
building now stands, and A. A. J. Frye had a small
house on the present site of the Commercial Hotel,
and "Hog" Clark kept a butcher shop on the lot
now occupied by the drug store of Hodgins & Rees.
They often amused themselves by shooting holes
through the ceiling of Howard's saloon or taking a
shot at the whisky bottles on the rude shelves, and
by way of variation Scott Clark would proceed to
paint the town red until someone would yell "Indians"
when Clark would at once subside. The next sum-
mer, that of 1879, there were but three families living
in Moscow. R. H. Barton had moved to the north
Palouse and engaged in the sawmill business with
Jerry I5iddison, leaving Dr. Reeder, Asbury Lieuallen
and A. A. J. Frye to hold the fort. While Barton
was living in Moscow, and before he went to the
Palouse, he had been keeping boarders; Johnson's
family had in the meantime come out from the east
and were working with Biddison on the Palouse, and
so when Barton went to Palouse to go into the
sawmill he sent the Johnsons to Moscow to attend
to the boarding house, which they did till the spring
of 1880, when one morning Barton got up and found
the dam had washed out and all his logs floated down
the river to Palouse City. Being disgusted with the
turn afifairs had taken, he came back to Moscow and
built the old Barton House and also a livery stable,
where the handsome Skatteboe brick now stands.
The old wooden building was moved back and became

a part of the Red Front stables. Moscow did not
grow much during the summer of 1879. James Shields
had gone into the implement business in a building
later occupied by Kelly & Allen, and this was after-
wa-d torn down to make room for the handsome
brick in which the James Shields Company now have
their quarters. When he opened business he had
in- stock two wagons, half a dozen plows and a sec-
ond-hand standing plow-coulter. Barton bought the
coulter for what he would have to pay for a first-
class breaking-plow nowadays and traded for one
wagon which he in turn traded to Splawn for the
house and lot adjoining his.- being a portion of the
ground now occupied by the Hotel Moscow. About
this time C. & M. C. Moore built the Peerless, after-
ward the Moscow, roller mill, which was located just
west of the ball park and was destroyed by fire about
four years ago. This, together with the noted McCon-
nell & Alaguire's store, gave the town a start, and it
has been growing ever since, except in 1884, when
Moscow became almost bankrupt, owing to the col-
lapse of Villard and the failure to complete the rail-
road into the growing city. Before this the residents
of Moscow and vicinity had to go to Palouse City
for flour, and of course that diverted from this place
a great deal of trade that rightly belonged here.

People who come to our city to-day have but little
conception of the hardships and difiiculties which fell
to the lot of the early settlers. All the grain had to
be hauled to Wawawai and shipped by boat down the
Snake river, and all other products had to be sent
the same way. Freight rates were exorbitant and
prices for grain were low, while everything brought in
was almost worth its weight in money. Had this not
been one of the richest and most productive coun-
tries in the world, every one would have been bank-
rupt. But Moscow continued to steadily increase in
population and wealth till 1890. when her position
-as one of the leading cities of the state was assured.
From that date to the summer of 1893 was witnessed
a prosperous and growing city and a happy and con-
tented people, and these three years will long be
remembered as the time during which Moscow reached
the high-water mark of prosperity. Everybody made
money and everyone had money, and the volume of
business transacted here during that period was enor-
mous. Among the great business enterprises vvhich
were rapidly building up fortunes for their owners
at that time may be inentioned the elegantly furnished
and palatial store of the McConnell-Maguire Company,
who had built up a business which any Chicago or
New York house might justly have been proud of;
the magnificent establishment of Dernham & Kauf-
mann. on the southeast corner of Main and Third,
they carrying at that time a one hundred thousand
dollar stock, the largest amount of goods in any store
in the Palouse or Potlatch country; the mammoth
business of the M. J. Shields Company, which taxed
to its utmost capacity their three-story brick, with


its one hundred and sixty foot frontage; tliis com-
pany was also owner of the electric-Hght plant which
lighted the city, the Moscow planing mill, which gave
employment to fifty skilled mechanics, and was, besides,
interested in five large grain warehouses outside of
Moscow; and the Chicago Bargain House, an exclus-
ive dry-goods store owned by Messrs. Creighton &
Coinpany who had just moved into their new and
commodious quarters in the Skatteboe block. Many
other lesser business houses and corporations, too
numerous to mention at this point, were flourishing
and all combined to make Moscow one of the wealthy
cities of the northwest, and the wealthiest in Idaho.
With individuals and with cities prosperity is no test
of stability, and it was destined that Moscow should
pass through the refining and crucial test of adver-
sity, crop failures, and business depression before we
could prove to the world and to ourselves that the
superstructure we had reared was as solid and per-
manent as the foundations laid by the pioneers of
the '70s. In the fall of 1893 a long continued wet
season caused almost the entire loss of our staple
product, the wheat crop, and to make matters worse
there was a complete demoralization in prices on all
products. Wheat dropped from eighty-five cents per
bushel to fifty cents, then down lower and lower till
it seemed that it would be a drug on the market.
Debtors were absolutely unable to meet their obliga-
tions, the farmer had no money to pay his bills, the
smaller concerns could not settle their accounts with
the wholesale houses and money could not be bor-
rowed, even though gilt-edge security was oiTered.
The panic spread to large cities, and business houses
of long standing and established credit toppled and
fell into ruins, carrying with them many smaller firms.
Banks everywhere were coinpelled to close their doors.
In Portland there were seven bank failures recorded
in one day. A number of our business houses were
driven to the wall, but the most far reaching failure
of all was that of one of our largest and most import-
ant establishments, the McConnell-Maguire Company.
In 1894 and 1895 wheat was quoted in Moscow as
low as twenty-three cents per bushel, and it seemed
as though universal bankruptcy was inevitable, but
the pendulum of adversity had reached the lowest
point of its arc and slowly but steadily it swung
onward and upward to better prices and better times,
and we had time to draw a long breath and find out
"where we were at." One fact patent to all was that,
though some of our strongest props had crumbled
and fallen, yet Moscow was still here, and, though
tried in the crucible xif hard times, had maintained
her title as the Queen City of northern Idaho. In
1896 an abundant crop, with prices of our staple prod-
uct touching seventy cents per bushel, brushed away
the last traces of depression. Along all lines was seen
unusual activity, — old debts were cancelled, old scores
straightened up and new business houses opened and
old ones enlarged their quarters. Moscow has truly

proven that, unspoiled by prosperity, she can, un-
scathed, withstand the "slings and arrow^s" of adver-

The county-seat of Latah, and with a population
of five thousand, Moscow stands to-day the gem city
of the northwest and is an educational center of unsur-
passed facilities with her public schools and the Uni-
versity of Idaho (described elsewhere in this volume).
Nowhere in the northwest can be found a more thriv-
ing town. Its location is favorable to its rapid growth
and development, its site being both healthful and
accessible to the surrounding country. The principal
business center is on Main street. To stand at the
north end of this principal street and look south with-
out having a knowledge of the population of the city,
one would think, judging from the palatial business
brick buildings to be seen, that it might be a city
of ten or fifteen thousand people.

Socially speaking, Moscow has no equal in the
northwest, for it is a city of cultured ladies and beau-
tiful, rosy-cheeked maidens. During the long winter
months there is no dearth of amusements, — musicals,
social dancing parties, theater parties, etc., follow each
other in rapid succession, and the stranger within
our walls is always sure of a pleasant time and a
hearty welcome. There are to be seen here neither
"finicky" cliques that make life a misery in many of
the smaller cities nor the chilly exclusiveness to be
found in a metropolis. Thus it may be seen that
Moscow is a very desirable place to live. We have
two railroads, the Oregon Railway & Navigation Com-
pany's line and the Northern Pacific. (The Moscow
& Eastern Railroad Company has been organized
(1899) and will soon build its line, which will tap the
vast white-pine timber belt of Idaho, in which it is esti-
mated there is 1,293,000.000 feet of lumber. This road
will be an immense accession to Moscow's prosperity.)
The city is well supplied with the purest water, free from
all organic and deleterious matter and derived from
artesian wells situated within the city limits. The cli-
mate is delightful and healthful, and within a short
drive of mountain or forest is situated our beautiful
city. These are environments especially appreciated by
invalids and convalescents, and the benefits derived
from a residence amid this diversity of scenes is incal-
culable. No epidemic has ever visited us, and no pre-
vailing disease makes its home here. It is a matter
of fact that the longevity attained by many of our citi-
zens is greater in proportion to our population than
in other places. We are fanned by airs untainted
by malaria and we have sunshine and shadow in suffi-
cient quantity to suit the most fastidious. Between
the months of March and October the rainfall is
much less than during the remaining months, when
w-e have an abundance of rain and snow, often enjoy-
ing the finest of sleighing, and the tinkle, tinkle of
the merry bells may be heard night and day for sev-
eral weeks at a time. Our average temperature is
about fifty degrees, the thermometer seldom register-



ing ten degrees below zero in the winter or higher
than ninety degrees in the summer. The "Chinooks."
or warm winds, during the spring rapidly melt the
snow, which carries in its bosom a fruitful and refresh-
ing fullness to the soil. Finally. Moscow is a natural
distributing point and has a class of business men
who always work in harmony and concert for the
upbuilding of all her interests, and she is destined to
become a great manufacturing center, which w-ill in-
crease her population, her wealth, her prestige and
make her a power and producer among the great cities
of the northwest.

The newspapers of Moscow are duly considered in
the chapter devoted to the press of the state.

Moscow's first school-house was built in 1878, just
beyond the south Palouse. It was known as the Ma-
guire school-house. In the fall of that year R. H.
Barton was engaged to teach, and district No. 5
was supplied with its first educational facilities. But
this location was not satisfactory to the inhabitants
of Moscow, it being nearly a mile from the one store
the village contained, so a petition was circulated to
move it in closer. It was finally decided to settle
the matter by a vote to be held at the school-house,
as the country people did not wish to change its
location, on the ground that it was easier to move
the town to the school-house. It seemed as though
their wishes would prevail, as there were many more
votes from the country than from the town. But
Asbury Lieuallen threw off his coat and rustled around
among the floating population and by running a free
'bus all day between his store and the polls, carried
the election. John Russell donated a piece of ground,
and a new building was put up on the present loca-
tion of the Russell school. It was not long before
the young and growing city found that this building
was entirely too small, and those interested in the
welfare of Moscow early gave consideration to the
erection of a public-school building capable of afford-
ing accommodation to the school children then resi-
dents of the village, making some allowance for any
increase that might take place. Silas Imbler, one of
Moscow's beneficent citizens, donated a splendid piece
of land on which to place the proposed building. The
site is most centrally located in the northeastern por-
tion of the city. At the time of which we are writ-
ing it was admirably suited to the convenience of
the residents, being equidistant from all. The new
building, finished in 1883, was capable of accommo-
dating one hundred and twenty pupils, and was thought
to be of sufficient size to meet all the requirements
for the next decade. In the meantime reports as to
the richness of the country and the productiveness
of the soil began to go abroad, with the result that
the country began rapidly to settle, and Moscow, with
the neighboring district, began to take the leading
place in northern Idaho, so that in 1889 the trustees
of the public-school found it necessary to procure
additional school accommodations. They immediately

set to work, had plans prepared, and soon the con-
tract was let for the erection of the present Russell
school. The cost of this structure was sixteen thou-
sand dollars, making in all twenty-two thousand dol-
lars for school buildings. No pains were spared to
make this school second to none in the state. In
this endeavor the trustees received the hearty endorse-
ment of the citizens of Moscow. The school furni-
ture is all of the most modern and improved manu-
facture. The interior of the building is so arranged
that each department can be reached with the least
possible confusion. The different rooms are so located
that each grade can depart from the building with-
out intruding on the province of, or coming in con-
tact with, members of other departments, thus avoid-
ing the slightest confusion. This is borne out by
the fact that the entire school, numbering over four
hundred pupils, has vacated the building in less than
thirty seconds. On the 3d day of July, 1890, Idaho
was admitted into the Union.^ and since that time the
state has experienced a steady increase in population.
Moscow continued to keep the lead, so much so that
during the seven months of the last school term of
1892, in spite of her new school building, she was
compelled to rent a place of worship and to utilize
it for a school in which to place over fifty of her
children. Many thought this state of affairs would
not continue longer than the end of the term but
on the reassembling of the school in the fall it was
found that the same state of affairs existed, thus mak-
ing it necessary for the trustees to secure another
temporary building. This was found to be impos-
sible, so a new room was fitted up on the present
site and the building, on south Main street now
occupied by Emery's photograph gallery, was rented
and as many children placed therein as could be

Online LibraryLewis Publishing Company. cnAn illustrated history of the state of Idaho, containing a history of the state of Idaho from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time, together with glimpses of its auspicious future; illustrations ... and biographical mention of many pioneers and prominent citizens of to-day .. → online text (page 68 of 136)