The River Took Them
North Central Idaho is blessed with mountain beauty and wild rivers. In the early days small boats, or ferries were used to cross the Clearwater.
The Idaho Statesman – June 20, 1899
ORO FINO FERREY TIED UP.
The Steamer Hannaford Ran Into the Wire Cable.
Lewiston Tribune: C. C. Fuller, one of the interested parties in the Oro Fino townsite and ferry, arrived in Lewiston yesterday afternoon from Moscow.
Mr. Fuller stated to a Tribune representative that the ferry at that place is now tied up owing to an accident to the cable caused by the steamer Hannaford running into it and breaking a strand, and owing to the extremely high water it was deemed unsafe to run it. Mr. Fuller immediately came out and telegraphed to Portland for a new one.
Mr. Fuller states that the drowning of men and horses there is nearly an every day occurrence, and within a few days five men and a dozen horses were drowned in the treacherous Clearwater.
Mr. Fuller expects great things for the new town of Oro Fino, and predicts a rapid growth. The town now boasts of a newspaper, seven business houses, and a number of minor enterprises. He expects to return within a few days.
As early as 1883, a bridge, over the Clearwater to Lewiston was being built. As automobiles became common, more bridges were built, over the creeks and rivers.
The rivers which sustain life, sometimes choose to take it.
Following are several accounts of people, with connections to Cavendish-Teakean, who were taken by the river.
Earnest Leonard Brown – October 1883 – June 24, 1900
Earnest Leonard Brown was born in October of 1883, the second child and son of Samuel and Lucy (Ives) Brown.
The Brown family settled in the Palouse area in the Spring of 1881 and were followed by Samuel’s parents, who settled near Leland, on the Big Potlatch, later that same year. The Brown’s were one of the first settlers of the region and Earnest’s grandfather James William Brown, was the 1st white settler to die and be buried, in the area, his final resting place is the cemetery in Southwick, Idaho.
The only information about Earnest, other than census information are two short mentions, in local papers:
The Colfax Gazette – June 29, 1900
A 16-year-old son of S. L. Brown was drowned Monday while attempting to swim a deep hole in Union Flat Creek, near the Hamilton bridge.
The Pullman Herald – July 7, 1900
A sad drowning is reported from Union Flat Creek, 15 miles south of Pullman, the victim being Earnest, the 16 year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Brown.
There is no mention if Earnest’s body was recovered, the family plot, in the Ewartsville Cemetery, has no stone for Earnest. (more…)