May 292017
 

Postcard – World War I

The six names listed below are the young men from, or with connections to,  the Clearwater Valley.  These men made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in “The Great War.” I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the lives lived and sacrificed, for God and Country, as we honor the fallen this weekend.

Private Charles Swinton Hunt Rennison
November 30, 1878 – September 18, 1917
Lieutenant Harold Everett Kinne
February 28, 1896 – July 19, 1918
Private Alton Bellomy
June 1, 1892 – July 26, 1918
Private Charles Augustus Bobbitt
October 11, 1893 – October 6, 1918
Private Glenn Royal Dieterle
February 17, 1891 – October 11, 1918
Private Bernard Smith Armstrong
October 17, 1893 – November 6, 1918

While researching the Cavendish Cemetery and putting together the community ties and relationships of those buried there, I came across the stone of Bernard S. Armstrong.  In researching Bernard, I discovered he was a casualty of WWI and thought it appropriate to write something about his life and the lives of the five men, with ties to Clearwater County, as we honor the memories of the fallen, this Memorial Day. Continue reading »

Jul 142016
 

During his lifetime John Paxon “Jack” Harlan’s career involved being a miner, merchant, farmer, trapper, teacher, soldier, historian, public servant, civic leader, timber cruiser, coroner et al.  Following is a brief synopsis of his life:

John Paxon Harlan

John P. Harlan with children l-r: Stila Myrtle, Eda Belle and George Washington (ca. 1913) on the boardwalk at Pierce City, Idaho

John P. Harlan with his children l-r: Stila Myrtle, Eda Belle and George Washington (ca. 1913) on the boardwalk at Pierce City, Idaho

John “Jack” Paxon Harlan was born on February 9, 1866 in Guthrie County, Iowa to George Washington and Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan, the seventh of ten children.  His father was a descendant of Michael Harland, who came to America in 1687, with William Penn and settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania.   Jack’s parents were married in 1849 at Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and remained there until the 1857.  In the Spring of  1857 Jack’s parents, along with his maternal grandparents relocated to Guthrie County, Iowa.  The family would remain in Guthrie County until 1879, when they moved to Lake County Colorado.

Wild Times in Leadville ‘The Silver City’

Leadville Colorado was incorporated in January of 1878 and soon Leadville had the reputation as one of the most lawless towns in the West.   In 1879 a large vein of silver was discovered at Leadville and the boom started in earnest, which would last until 1893.

It is unknown if George and Emma were aware of the town’s reputation when they decided to pack up their large family and head West.  I cannot imagine what a culture shock it must have been for Jack’s mother, Emma.  Emma was a deeply religious woman, who adhered to her Quaker beliefs and was actively involved in the Temperance Movement.  However, this experience must have been a great adventure for young Jack, who was just coming into his own.  The Harlan family quickly became a prominent family in the region, Jack’s father George would become a Justice of the Peace, in Leadville. Jack completed his studies at Central School and then attended college at the University of Colorado, where he studied law.  He returned to the area and was taught the skill of assaying, under the guidance of Clarence Hersey and would eventually become the assayer of the Montezuma mine, in Pitkin County.  Jack left Colorado in 1889 and according to his biography, published in 1914, he traveled for many years:

“He was a resident of Leadville until 1889 when he began to travel, following mining operations for many years in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Western Washington and British Columbia.–(Source) History of Idaho, A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests (Vol. 2) – Hiram T. French, M. S.

Continue reading »

Jun 192016
 
Stiles Homestead - Upper Fords Creek (photo courtesy www.tallpinecabin.com)

Stiles Homestead – Upper Fords Creek (photo courtesy www.tallpinecabin.com)

George Washington Stiles and Mary Jane Cunningham

George Washington Stiles

George Washington Stiles was born at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in July of 1835.  According to US census information, both of his parents were U.S. born, his father in Massachusetts and his mother in Ohio.

According to the 1900 census his family returned to the U.S. in 1844.  In 1857 George was living in the Boston area and on August 17 of that year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, as a blacksmith.  The 1860 census, enumerated September 5th of 1860, shows that George was stationed at Fort Defiance, in the New Mexico Territory.  He probably was there to witness the Navajo attack, which occurred in April of that year.

George mustered out of the Army on August 17, 1863, in Williamsburg, Virginia.  He would get as far as Chicago, where he would put down roots, for a time. Continue reading »