Lewis Publishing Company. cn.

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 96 of 136)
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Oscar B. Steely, jNI. D., is a prominent resi-
dent and physician living at Pocatello, Idaho,
and is surgeon of the Idaho and Montana division
of the Oregon Short Line Railroad. Dr. Steely

was born in Belleville, Pennsylvania, August 22,
1862, and is descended from English and German
ancestry. His forefathers in both lines were
among the early settlers of Pennsylvania, and his
maternal grandfather (Baker) did patriotic ser-
vice as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His
parents were William and Sarah (Baker) Steely,
both natives of Pennsylvania. His father, who
for many years was a successful dealer in meats,
died at the age of seventy-six, in 1897. His wife
died at the age of seventy-six. three days prior to
the death of her husband. They lived happily as
man and wife for forty-nine years and enjoyed in
the highest sense the respect of all who knew
them. They had eight children, four of whom
are living and of whom Dr. Oscar B. Steely was
the youngest born.

Dr. Steely was prepared for college in the pub-
lic schools and was graduated from Pennsylvania
College in the class of 1883 and from the Jeffer-
son Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1891. For
a year thereafter he practiced in one of the prin-
cipal hospitals of Philadelphia, and thus espe-
cially fitted himself for the duties of railway sur-
gery. From that institution he came direct to
Pocatello to accept the position, which had been
tendered him, of assistant surgeon of the Union
Pacific Railway. In 1896, when the Oregon Short
Line was organized, he was appointed to his
present position as surgeon of the Idaho and
Montana divisions. He has had an extensive
and varied experience in surgery in Idaho and ad-
joining states and as a skillful surgeon and phy-
sician has won a reputation of which a practi-
tioner of twice his years might be justly proud.
His standing with the profession is exceptionally
high. Dr. Steely was a member of the State
Medical Association of Pennsylvania, and is a
member of the State Medical Association of Idaho
and a member of the Association of Military
Surgeons of the United States. He was surgeon
general of the state of Idaho under the adminis-
tration of Governor McConnell. As is indicated
by the fact that this honor was conferred upon
him by such authority, he is a stanch Republican
politically, but he is not in the accepted sense of
the term a politician.

He was made a Mason in Cassin Lodge, No.
273, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and took tne Royal
Arch degree at Pocatello and is now high priest



of his chapter. He has advanced slowly in the
order from choice, and has made an exhaustive
study of its principles as he nas proceeded, apply-
ing them to his daily life, until he has adopted
them as the rule of his conduct in all his rela-
tions with his fellow men. He is also a mem-
ber of the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen
of the World. Personally he is popular wher-
ever he is known and his acquaintance is large
and growing rapidly, both professionally and



Mr. Holbrook dates his residence in Idaho
from 1862, and is therefore one of its pioneer set-
tlers. He has witnessed almost the entire growth
and development of the state, and has largely
aided in its progress and advancement, neglecting
no duty of citizenship and withholding his sup-
port and co-operation from no measure for the
public good. He is now proprietor of the roller-
process flouring mill at Juliaetta, and is an en-
terprising business man whose honorable meth-
ods commend him to the confidence and secure
him the patronage of a large portion of the com-
munity with which he is connected.

Mr. Holbrook was born in New Haven, Con-
necticut, March 29, 1830, and is of English de-
scent, a representative of one of the early New
England families. John Holbrook, his great-
grandfather, was a native of the "merrie isle,"
and thence crossed the Atlantic to the New
World, taking up his residence in New Haven
county, Connecticut. He had a family of five
sons, four of whom served in the war which
brought to America her independence, being
loyal members of the Colonial army. The young-
est served under General Harrison in the war
of 1812. One of these sons, Abel Holbrook, was
the grandfather of our subject. He was born in
New Haven county, and during the Revolution
served as captain of a company. By occupation
he was a farmer, and operated his land with the
aid of slaves, but becoming disgusted with the
institution of slavery he freed his negroes and
was active in promulgating an abolition senti-
ment throughout the community. He was a
member of the Protestant Episcopal church, and
lived to the ripe old age of eighty years, respected
by all who knew him, as one of Connecticut's
best citizens.

Thomas C. Holbrook, father of our subject, was
born and reared in New Haven county, Connecti-
cut, and married Miss Maria Benham, also of the
Nutmeg state. He followed the occupation of
farming in pursuit of fortune, and was an in-
dustrious man and reliable citizen. His deatii
occurred when he had reached the age of ninety-
four, and his wife passed away at the age of
eighty-four. They had three children, two of
whom are yet living.

Noyes B. Holbrook, the youngest of the fam-
ily, was educated in Connecticut and in the North
Wilbraham Academy, in Massachusetts, after
which he learned the trade of a brick-layer and
plasterer. Determining to try his fortune in the
rapidly developing west, he sailed for California
in 1854, by way of the isthmus route, and at
length arrived safely in San Francisco. There he
worked at his trade for a time, and then engaged
in mining in Nevada and Butte counties on the
Feather river. He made money, but sunk it in
other mining ventures, and after losing all that
he had he returned to Marysville, California,
where he worked at his trade, doing considerable
contracting and building. In 1862, at the time
of the gold discoveries at Florence, he made the
journey with a companion through eastern Ore-
gon to the place of the excitement. He pros-
pected and worked at his trade in the then new
town of Lewiston, and the following year went
to the Boise basin, making the journey by boat
up the Snake river. He met with fair success in
the placer mines in the Boise basin and then
returned to the northern part of the state, estab-
lishing a store on Salmon river. After a time
he sold that property and purchased a placer
claim, from which he took out from fifty to sev-
enty-five dollars per day. The following spring
he went to Lapwai, where he worked for the
government for three months, spending the suc-
ceeding winter in Lewiston. When spring came
he went to the Coeur d'Alene district and was
there during the Wilson excitement. A mur-
dered negro was found there and buried on the
prairie, which for a long time thereafter went
bv the name of "Nigger Prairie." The town of
Mullan now stands on the site.

On leaving that locality Mr. Holbrook went
to Montana at the time of the Blackfoot excite-
ment, and thence returned to Idaho by way of


the Lolo trail. He opened a store at Long Bar,
on the Salmon river, but the following year sold
that and established a store on the main crossing
of the Coeur d'Alene, and in connection pur-
chased and operated the ferry there. He sold
out the following winter and went to Lewiston, •
where he secured the appointment to the position
of deputy sheriff, in which capacity he served
until the following July. He then resigned, and
resumed prospecting in the Seven Devils country.
He took up the Peacock lead and had it recorded
in Idaho county, but finally let it go by default.
Thence he went to Warrens, where he aided in
building the first quartz-mill at that point. He
remained in Warrens for five years, was there
appointed deputy sheriff and while thus serving
brought out four murderers through the then un"
inhabited mountain districts. He spent the winter
of 1870 in Portland, Oregon, and the next spring
purchased a livery business in Lewiston, conduct-
ingthe same for fourteen years. He met with good
success in the undertaking, having a very liberal
patronage. In 1880 he was elected sheriff of Nez
Perces county, and so acceptably did he serve
through the two years" term that he was re-
elected. In 1884 he sold his livery barn and
turned his attention to stock dealing.' In 1885 he
erected his flouring-mill in Juliaetta, where he
has fine water power and a full roller-process
mill, with a capacity of fifty barrels of flour per
day. His special brand is called the "Pride of
the Potlatch," and is of very superior quality. In
1896 Mr. Holbrook removed to Juliaetta, and has
since managed the mill himself. Owing to the
excellent quality of the product and his honor-
able business methods he receives a liberal pat- .
ronage, and is conducting a profitable business.
He resides in a pleasant home of his own, a
short distance above the mill, and from his resi-
dence has a splendid view of the beautiful valley.
In 1880 Mr. Holbrook was united in marriage
to Miss Lizzie Armstrong, but she died two
years later. In 1896 he wedded Eliza E. Cald-
well, his present w^ife. They have three chil-
dren. Mr. and Mrs. Holbrook are most highly
esteemed and have a large circle of warm friends
in the community. He has been a member of the
Masonic fraternity for more than forty-five years,
having joined the order in 1853, in Morning Star
Lodge, Xo. 43, F. & A. M., of Seymour, Con-

necticut. He assisted in organizinp- the lodge at
Lewiston and was one of its most active mem-
bers. In politics he has been a lifelong Demo-
crat, but during the war was a strong Union
man. He has filled various public positions of
honor and trust, and in every case has shown
himself fully worthy of the confidence reposed
in him. He was at one time county commis-
sioner of Nez Perces countv, and served as mayoi
of Lewiston. He ever discharged his duties with
promptness and fidelitv, and exercised his official
prerogatives to advance all measures which he
believed would prove of general frood. His life
has been a busy, useful and honorable one, and
he well deserves mention among the representa-
tive citizens of Idaho.


The Surridge Brothers, of Bridgeport, Idaho
county, came to the territory of Idaho in June,
1876, and are numbered among the most enter-
prising and progressive citizens of the community
in which they make their home. They are both
natives of London, England, sons of John and
Mary (Cochran) Surridge, who emigrated to
America in 1859, bringing with them their three
children. They located at Milan, ]\Ionroe coun-
ty, Michigan, where the father improved a good
farm and spent his remaining days. ]\Ir. Sur-
ridge died in 1898, at the age of seventy-two
years, and his wife is still living, in 1899. at the
age of seventy-three. Five children were added
to the family in Michigan and all the sons and
daughters yet survive.

James Surridge was born July 3, 1847, and
Thomas Surridge in October, 1849. W'hen they
became young men they went to California and
thence removed to Camas prairie, where they
now reside. They took up government laud and
successfully and extensively engaged in stock-
raising, being the first to introduce Clydesdale
horses and Berkshire hogs into this section of
the county. They also graded their cattle with
the Durham breed, and thus did much to advance
the interests of the stock-raisers of Idaho by im.-
proving the grade of cattle, horses and hogs
raised. They have become large land-owners,
their possessions aggregating two thousand two
hundred acres, of which fifteen hundred and
sixty acres belong to James, while six hundred


and forty acres belong to Thomas. The land lies
on the sonth fork of the Clearwater river, at the
old Jackson bridge, and there they have platted
a town site of forty acres, which they have named
Bridgeport. It is on the Clearwater river twelve
miles from Grangeville and dn the road between
Elk City and Newsom creek. The business lots
are twenty-five by one hundred feet and the resi-
dence lots fifty by one hundred feet, with an alley
in the rear. The town site is a beautiful one, be-
ing located on high ground adjoining the river.
There is fine water-power and two quartz leads
on the property, with a five-foot vein at the sur-
face and ore which shows fifty dollars per ton
at the shaft. There are also a school-house, store
and other buildings on the town site, and the
Surridge brothers, being men of the highest in-
tegrity of character, will spare no pains to make
it for the interest of people to join them in mak-
ing Bridgeport one of the most thriving towns
in the county. They conduct a stage line and
have the mail contract from Grangeville to Elk
City. Their business interests are. varied and
comprehensive. They own eight hundred head
of cattle, one hundred head of horses, and they
pack from seventy-five to one hundred head of
hogs annually. Their brand is "70," and they
brand all of their products. They supply the
miners with beef and pork, and thus add materi-
ally to their income. They are both men of grear
industry and enterprise, and their keen sagacity,
judicious investments and capable management
have brought to them splendid success, which
they well merit.

In 1876 Thomas Surridge was united in mar-
riage to Miss Julia Pequay, a native of Rutland,
Vermont, and they have four children: May,
Katie, John and Georgie. In politics the broth-
ers are both stalwart Democrats and James has
served as justice of the peace in his township
for a number of years. They also belong to the
Masonic fraternity and are active and valued
members of the order. In 1877 James Surridge
made a trip to the east and was absent at the time
of the Nez Perces war, but Thomas volunteered
and served as a scout and guide. They also par-
ticipated in the Bannock and Sheep-eater Indian
wars, doing guard duty and performing all the
service necessary in the protection of the, fort at
Mount Idaho. Thev are very widelv and favor-

ably known throughout Idaho and are held in
high esteem by all with whom they have come in
contact. Their efforts have been attended bv a
most creditable success, and their business polky
has ever commended them to the confidence of
those with whom they have had dealings.

In all the walks of life Captain Joel M.
Walker has so acquitted himself as to be re-
garded as a most valued and honorable citizen,
and as a representative business man and a leader
ni political circles he well deserves mention
among the prominent residents of Idaho.
Through the civil war he loyally served his coun-
try upon the field of battle, and has ever dis-
charged his duties of citizenship with marked
promptness and fidelity. It is pleasing in-
dulgence to write the biography of a man who
has been so prominent in the civil and military
affairs of the nation as has Captain Walker. This
country has brought forth many heroes, states-
men, financiers and brilliant men in all spheres
of life. Its annals teem with the records of good
lives and noble deeds. Most of our noblest and
best men are "self-made," and a worthy repre-
sentative of that class is the subject of 'this re-
view, who deserves prominent mention in this
volume by reason of his broad sympathies and
public spirit. He has left the imprint of his in-
dividuality on each place in which, for any length
of time, he ever resided, and Kendrick owes
nuich of its advancement to his .efforts. His
patriotism is clearly shown by his quick response
to the call to arms, when his country was in need,
and to-day he is numbered among the loyal and
progressive residents of Moscow.

Captain Walker is a native of Ohio, his birth
having occurred in Pickaway county, November
8, 1835. He is a representative of an old Vir-
ginian family, and from the Old Dominion his
paternal grandfather removed to Ohio in 1805.
Thomas Armstrong Walker, the father of the
Captain, was born in that year and was given
his mother's maiden name, Armstrong. She be-
longed to an equally old Virginian family, and
of the Walker family. Mrs. James K. Polk was
a member. In 1840 Thomas A. Walker removed
with his family to Iowa, where he resided until
1882, when he went with his son to southern



Kansas, where his death occurred in 1888, at the
age of eighty-three years. In their rehgious
faith both jie and his wife were Presbyterians.
Mr. Walker was a man of marked abihty and
wide influence and held a number of positions of
public trust. During the administration of Presi-
dent Polk he served as postmaster of Fort Mad-
ison, Iowa, and was register of the land ofifice at
Des Moines during the presidency of Franklin
Pierce and a portion of President Buchanan's ad-
ministration. His wife died at an early age, leav-
ing two children, but the Captain is the only one
now living. The father afterward married again
and had a family by the second union.

In the common schools Captain Walker ac-
quired his preliminary education, which was sup-
plemented by a course in the Denmark Acad-
emy, a Congregational school, at Denmark, Lee
county, Iowa. When only four years of age
he was taken to the Hawkeye state by his father,
and for many years made his home within its
borders. After leaving school he spent some
time in his father's office and then read law under
the direction of Finch & Crocker, the latter being
the distinguished General Crocker. He was ad-
mitted to practice in the district courts before
he was twenty-one years of age, and when twen-
ty-two years of age was licensed to practice in
the supreme court, but the great civil war was
inaugurated and interfered with his professional
labors. President Lincoln issued his call for
troops and Captain Walker and a friend enlisted
two hundred men, from among whom they chose
one hundred to form Company B, of the Twenty-
third Iowa Volunteers. Mr. Walker was ofifered
the captaincy of the company, but declined be-
cause he had no military knowledge, and his
friend was then given command, while he was
elected first lieutenant. With that rank he went
to the front, serving first in Missouri against
the guerrillas. The first engagement of import-
ance in which he participated was the Vicksburg
campaign, and his regiment was the first to cross
the Mississippi river, April 30, 1863. They were
under fire throughout the entire night and were
in the battle the next day. They were also in
the battle of Champion Hill, ]\Iay 16, and led the
charge on the enemy's works at Black river
bridge, where three thousand Confederate sol-
diers were taken prisoners, and the colonel and

several other officers and men were killed. After
this battle the regiment to which Captain Walker
belonged was detailed by General Grant to take
the prisoners to Memphis, Tennessee, and place
them in charge of the federal authorities there.
When they had returned to Vicksburg a colored
regiment was attacked by Texans and when hard
pressed broke. The Twenty-third Iowa was then
thrown in and stood the brunt of the fight. It
was a desperate, almost hand-to-hand, encounter,
but finally victory perched on the banner of the
Union forces. After the surrender of Vicksburg
the regiment was ordered to New Orleans, under
General Banks, and with him they made the
march through Louisiana and into the border of
Texas, where they spent the winter of 1863-4.
By this time their ranks had become very much
depleted, and in the spring Captain W'alker was
ordered on recruiting service in order to fill up
the thinned-out columns. When that task was
completed Captain Walker received an appoint-
ment on the staff of General Crocker, wlio had
been appointed governor of Arizona. They made
their way across the plains to New Mexico and
the Captain remained on the Governor's staff un.-
til the close of the war, in 1865. Soon after en-
tering active service in the Union army he was
promoted to the rank of captain, and led his com-
pany in all the engagements until he was ap-
pointed staff officer. He rejoined his regiment at
Mobile, Alabama, in June, 1865, and they were
again sent to Texas, where he was appointed
assistant provost marshal, and paroled many of
General Kirby Sniith's men. The regiment was
mustered out in August, 1866, and Captain
Walker immediately returned to his home.

Not long after this he was appointed by Presi-
dent Johnson to the position of L^nited States
marshal for the state of Iowa, and when his term
expired he engaged in farming in the central por-
tion of that state, having a large stock ranch,
whereon he engaged extensively in the raising of
blooded cattle, owning many of the best in Iowa.
In 1882 he sold out and removed to southern
Kansas, hoping that a change of climate would
benefit his impaired health. He engaged in loan-
ing money in Howard, that state, and there re-
mained for eight years, after which he spent three
months in the sanitarium at Battle Creek, Michi-
gan. In August, i8go, still in search of health.



he took up his abode in Kendrick, Idaho, and
established the Bank of Kendrick, opening it for
business in October, of that year. He conducted
it successfully until 1892, when he sold out to
the First National Bank of Moscow. He had
erected the bank building, which was the first
brick structure in the town, and was prominent
in advancing the interests of the town. He is
still connected with business affairs there, he and
his family owning all of the stock of the Lincoln
Hardware & Implement Company, of Kendrick.
They have a large store, carry a complete line of
goods and do an extensive business. In connec-
tion with his son-in-law, Captain Walker is inter-
ested in a book and stationery store in Moscow.

Not only has he won prominence in military
circles and prosperity in business life, but he is
also recognized as a leader in political circles,
being a stanch advocate of the Democratic party.
He is not an office-seeker in the usually accepted
sense of the term, yet has been honored by his
fellow citizens with positions of public trust.
While in Polk county, Iowa, he was elected and
served for two terms on the board of county
supervisors, notwithstanding the district was
largely Republican. He was also twice candidate
for the state legislature and was once candidate
for lieutenant governor, — facts which indicate his
high standing in Democratic circles. Since com-
ing to Latah county he has been the candidate
for state senator. He was for two years chair-
man of the Democratic state central committee of
Iowa. He was a member of the Soldiers' and
Sailors' national convention, which met at Phila-
delphia, in 1866. He has always attended the
state conventions of his party, wherever he has
resided, and has exerted great influence in the
afifairs and deliberations of those organizations.

In October, 1857, Captain Walker was united
in marriage to Miss Idie Marshall, a native of
Iowa and a representative of a Kentucky family.
Their union was blessed with three children, of
whom two are living: Eliza Marshall, now the
wife of J. R. Hall, of Moscow; and India, wife
of James M. Pierce, of Kendrick. Both sons-in-
law are associated with Captain Walker in busi-
ness. After six years of happy married life Mrs.
Walker was called to her final rest, and in 1865
the Captain married Miss Lou Ramsay, a native
of Iowa. Thev have one son, Ranisav M.. who

is now in charge of the large hardware business
in Kendrick. Captain W'alker and his wife have
also reared two bright girls, the daughters of his
half-sister, who died during their infancy. They
were reared as members of the Walker household
and both are now comfortably settled in homes
of their own. They are Louise, wife of R. C.
Sinclair; and Bessie W., wife of Robert Snyder,
both residents of Kendrick. Mrs. Walker de-
parted this life July 4, 1892, and her death was
deeply mourned by her many friends. The
Captain has since resided with his daughters, in
Kendrick and Moscow, and is one of the most
highly esteemed residents of this section of the
state. He has been true to all the duties of life,
meeting fully every obligation resting upon him,
and his honorable career has gained him the re-
spect, confidence and warm regard of all with
whom he has been brought in contact.


No work that might attempt to tell the story
of the settlement and civilization of Idaho would

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 96 of 136)