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The History 


Bannock County 

The History 


Bannock County 



Pocatello, Idaho. U. S. A. 



i * > 






Introduction 9 


Preliminary History 11 


Some Natural History 23 


The Indians 35 


The Cowboy 46 


Fort Hall 55 


The Nez Perce Indian War 66 

The Bannock Indian "War and the 

Sheep-Eaters 76 


The Stas-e Coach 8S 


The Railroad 101 

General Conditions and Develop- 
ment Ill 


Pocatello 122 

Conclusion 136 


Although Bannock county is not yet 
twenty-five years old, it has seemed 
desirable to collect her history, before 
the adventures and legends of early 
days have been lost in the more pro- 
saic and pressing interests of today. 

Probably no state in the union is 
less known than Idaho. "Wyoming 
has her "Buffalo Bill," Colorado her 
Pike's Peak, Nevada her far, but ill- 
famed Reno; Utah her famous salt 
lake; all known throughout the Eng- 
lish speaking world. But Idaho, rich 
in natural resources, fertile and pros- 
perous, has furnished no wild-west 
tragedy like that of Custer in Wyo- 
ming, to attract the attention of writ- 
ers. She possesses no natural won- 
der to rival the Niagara Falls or Grand 
Canyon; she has produced no Kit 
Carson or Daniel Boone to fire the 
adventurous blood of ten-year-olds. 

Few people in the eastern states 
can accurately locate Idaho. They 
know dimly that it is in the great 
northwest, but whether it is hill or 
plain, mine or ranch, they have for- 
gotten along with much of the other 
lore of early school days. 

The history of Idaho, however, has 
already been published by men whose 
long residence in the state and ex- 


History of Ban nock County 

perienee in its public affairs emi- 
nently fitted them for the task. It 
is our more bumble and less preten- 
tious pleasure to record the annals 
of our own county — Bannock — than 
•which no other in Idaho is more beau- 
tiful in scenery, more romantic in 
history or more promising for the 

It is a pleasure to make grateful 
acknowledgment here of the valuable 
and ready help so courteously given 
in the compilation of this history by 
the heads of t,he various United States 
departments at Washington, the offi- 
cials of the Oregon Short Line, the 
city and county officers and the many 
private persons whose personal knowl- 
edge or study of the early days of 
Bannock county made their assistance 
indispensable. The list is too long to 
reproduce, but in most instances the 
authority has been cited in the text, 
although in several cases names have 
been omitted at personal request. 

Of course, what we call Bannock 
county today has existed since the 
time of Adam. And so — not to begin 
in the middle of the story— the first 
chapter is devoted to a rapid sketch 
of the territory comprising Bannock 
county, before the county was created 





The territory now comprising Ban- 
nock county first entered the pages 
of history when, in 1662, the French 
Sieur de la Salle planted his coun- 
try's flag in what he called "Louisi- 
ana," after his sovereign, Louis XIV, 
of France. In order to prevent Eng- 
land from gaining it, and hoping at 
the same time to win an ally, Louis 
XV ceded Louisiana to Spain in 1762. 
Napoleon traded it back from Carlos 
IV of Spain, but later sold it. This 
was the territory purchased for the 
United States by Thomas Jefferson in 
1803 and for which the country paid 
$15,000,000. It included the greater 
part if not all, of the present state 
of Idaho, and certainly all of Bannock 

The northwestern section of this 
purchase became known as the North- 
west Territory and included all land 
west of the summit of the Rocky 
Mountain range, between the forty- 
ninth and forty-second parallels of 
latitude. This was later called the 


History of Ban nock County 

Oregon territory, and contained not 
only the present state of Oregon, but 
also Washington, Idaho, and parts of 
Montana and Wyoming. 

In 1789, Captains Robert Gray and 
John Kendricks skirted the coast of 
this territory and traded for furs 
with the Indians, and three years 
later Captain Gray discovered the 
Columbia river, up which he sailed 
several miles. The Lewis and Clark 
expedition, which left St, Louis in 
May, 1804, headed by Captains Meri- 
wether Lewis and William Clark, gave 
such encouraging accounts of the re- 
sources of the Northwest Territory 
that many of the more adventurous 
people in the states were induced to 
undertake settling it. 

For a time Spain, Russia and Great 
Britain, as well as the United States, 
claimed the northwest, there beinp; 
some dispute between the latter two 
countries as to the boundary line be- 
tween Canada and the northern limits 
of the Louisiana purchase. 

Great Britain and the states, by 
treaty of October 20, 1818, agreed 
that the subjects of both countries 
should settle the territory jointly for 
a period of ton years. Before the 
ten years had passed, both Spain and 
Russia had ceded their claims to the 
United States— the former in 1810, 
the latter in 1824. At the expiration 
of the ten vears, the treaty between 

History of Bannock County 

Great Britain and the United States 
was renewed indefinitely, to be an- 
nulled by either party after one 
year's notice. 

In his History of Idaho, Mr. Hiram 
T. French gives the following brief 
sketch of Jim Bridger, after whom 
Bridger street in Pocatello was 
named : 

"Among the men who trapped on 
the headwaters of the Missouri and 
its tributaries for the fur companies, 
probably none was better known than 
Jim Bridger. He made his headquar- 
ters at a place now in southwestern 
Wyoming, which became known as 
Fort Bridger, and was later one of 
the landmarks along the old 'Oregon 
Trail. ' 

"Jim Bridger is authoritatively 
credited with being the first white 
man to see Salt Lake. In 1824 he 
was trapping along Bear river in 
what is now Idaho territory. He fol- 
lowed the stream to the canyon lead- 
ing out of Cache valley. Climbing 
the high hills, he saw off to the south 
a large body of water. His interest 
aroused, he went on until he reached 
the shore, tasted the water and found 
it salty. Later an exploring party 
went around the lake and determined 
that it had no outlet. 

"After having spent many years 
among the Indians, Bridger lost his 
life at their hands." 



History of Bannock County 

The fate of Jim Bridger was not 
an uncommon one in the early days. 
A number of white men deserted their 
own kind to become the adopted mem- 
bers of Indian tribes. They took to 
themselves Indian wives, and dressed, 
spoke and lived as Indians. But their 
fate was nearly always the same. 
Sooner or later they were usually 
killed by the people of their adoption. 

Two American expeditions visited 
this country in 1832, one headed by 
Captain Bonneville. U. S, A., and the 
other by Captain Wyeth. 

Already some of the names in this 
narrative must have struck the read- 
er's ears as locally familiar — Clark, 
Lewis, Bonneville and Wyeth. All 
the cross streets in Pqcatello, except 
Center, which divides the city into 
north and south, are named after 
early explorers, Indian fighters, hunt- 
ers or men who otherwise distin- 
guished themselves in daring during 
the early days. Hence, Wfreth street, 
Bonneville street, etc. The streets 
parallel with the railway on the east 
side of the city are numbered, while 
those on the west are named for the 
various presidents, as Arthur, C!lar- 
field and Hayes. 

In this way Pocatello has linked to 
herself the names and therefoie the 
history and adventures of the daring 
and hardy pioneers of the <rreat north- 
west. The history of her street names 

History of Bannock County 

would be one of romance and adven- 
ture, of daring and hardship, suffer- 
ing and triumph, such as it would be 
hard to equal. For this heritage of 
nomenclature, the city is indebted to 
Daniel Church, former mayor of 
Pocatello, to the Tribune, and others 
who selected this system of names. 

Captain Bonneville 's expedition was 
one of exploration only. Captain 
Wyeth came to trade with the In- 
dians, but in this he met with small 
success. The Hudson Bay Company, 
a wealthy English corporation, had 
entered the territory and was most 
ably represented by Doctor — some- 
times called Captain — McLoughlin. 
He was an honorable, kind and brave 
man, but far-seeing and shrewd. He 
covered the country with a network 
of English, Canadians, French and 
Indians, and met American competi- 
tion everywhere by offering higher 
prices for furs than his rivals could 
afford. Consequently Captain Wy- 
eth 's expedition was not a business 
success, but he deserves more than 
passing notice, not only because his 
name is now a household word in 
Pocatello, but more especially because 
he established Fort Hall, which he 
named after a member of the firm for 
whom he had come west. 

Captain Nathaniel Wyeth, having 
heard of the profits to be made in 
fur-trading, led an expedition over- 


History of Bannock County 

land from Boston, arriving at Fort 
Vancouver in the fall of 1832. Here 
he was to meet a vessel laden with 
supplies and sent by a Boston com- 
pany with which he was associated. 
But the ship never came. After wait- 
ing all winter Wyeth decided that she 
had been lost, and returned to Bos- 

In 1834, Captain Wyeth returned to 
the northwest and this time a ship 
containing supplies did come to meet 
him. In his party were three Metho- 
dist ministers — Rev. Jason Lee, Rev. 
Cyrus Shepherd and Rev. T. L. Ed- 
wards, who were the first missionaries 
to land in Oregon. It was on this 
second trip that Captain Wyeth built 
Fort Hall, on the banks of the Snake 
river, as a trading post, and here, 
on July 27, 1834, Rev. Jason Lee con- 
ducted the first Christian service held 
in Idaho. 

Competition with the Hudson Bay 
Company and the loss of many men 
by desertion and death, finally forced 
the captain to sell out and return to 
the east. 

Two women deserve notice here as 
being the first white women to pass 
through what is now Bannock county. 
They are Mrs. Whitman, wife of the 
Rev. Dr. Marcus Whitman, afterward 
killed by the Indians, and after whom 
Whitman College in Oregon, and 
Whitman street in Pocatello, are 


History of Bannock County 

named, and Mrs. Spalding, wife of the 
Rev. Spalding. They came to the 
Northwest in 1836, and settled in 

Another expedition, under Captain 
John C. Fremont, after whom Fre- 
mont street, Pocatello, is named, was 
6ent to survey parts of this territory 
in 1843. 

At t,his time the condition of Amer- 
icans in the Northwest Territory was 
far from satisfactory. They had un- 
dergone great hardships and risks in 
order to establish themselves in the 
new land, but their home government 
had done nothing to either protect or 
organize them. Petition after peti- 
tion was sent to congress, but without 
effect. So, on May 20, 1843, the 
Americans met, at a place called 
iShampoig, near where Salem, Oregon, 
now stands, and organized a provi- 
sional government, designating Ore- 
gon City the capital. The first legis- 
lature met in a carpenter shop, and 
adopted the laws of the state of Iowa, 
because an Iowa man, with a copy of 
the. Iowa laws in his pocket, happened 
to be present. 

This provisional government was 
entirely successful and continued un- 
til 1846, when a new government was 
formed and Hon. George Abernathy 
was elected governor. 

In this same year, 1846, Great Brit- 
ain ceded to the- United States her 



History of Bannock County 

claim to the Northwest Territory, 
with the exception of the Hudson Bay 
Company's holdings and those of the 
Puget Sound Agricultural Company. 
In July, 1863, the United States pur- 
chased the interests of these com- 
panies for $450,000 and $200,000 re- 
spectively, the final payments being 
made in 1865. 

On March 3, 1853, congress passed 
an act creating and organizing Wash- 
ington territory, which included all 
the Northwest territory except the 
present state of Oregon. Ten years 
later to a day, the territory of Idaho 
was created and organized, containing 
all of Washington territory, except 
the present state of Washington. The 
following year, 1864, Montana was 
cut off from the territory of Idaho, 
and that of Wyoming in 1868, when 
Idaho took her present geographical 
limits, being three hundred miles long 
across her southern portion and only 
sixty across the northern panhandle. 

In February, 1864, the territory of 
Idaho -was divided into Shoshone, Nez 
Perce, Idaho, Boise, Owyhee, Alturas 
and Oneida counties, the last of which 
included the present county of Ban- 
nock. Soda Springs was the first 
county seat, which was afterward 
moved to Malad City. 

Bingham county was created Janu- 
ary 13, 1885, out of the northern ami 
eastern parts of Oneida county, the 

History of Bannock County 

southern part of which was made into 
Bannock county, March 6, 1893. This 
county was named after the Bannock 
Indians, who were its original inhab- 
itants, and who still own many acres 
within the county limits. 

In speaking of conditions at the 
time when the first seven counties 
were created, Mr. John Hailey, in his 
"History of Idaho," says: "Quite 
a percentage of the whole population 
was engaged in some kind of trade, 
merchandising, hotel and restaurant- 
keeping, butcher, feed and livery busi- 
ness, blacksmithing, sawmilling and 
carpentering. A large number were 
engaged in the transportation of mer- 
chandise and passengers. Some few 
had settled on ranches and were cul- 
tivating and improving them. A few 
were engaged in the stock business 
and many more than was necessary 
were engaged in the saloon and gam- 
bling business, with a few road 
agents, ready and willing to relieve 
any person of his ready money with- 
out compensation, whenever a favor- 
able opportunity presented itself. The 
primary object of all seemed to be 
to gather gold. But I think I may 
truthfully say that ninety-five per 
cent of these people were good, in- 
dustrious, honorable and enterpris- 
ing, and to all appearances desired to 
make money in a legitimate way." 

In this same connection Mr. Hailey 



History of Bannock County 

also says: "Most of the first settlers 
of Idaho were poor in purse, but were 
rich in muscle and energy, and most 
all possessed a good moral character. 
The rule that was in common prac- 
tice was for each person to attend to 
his own private business, and to have 
an affectionate regard for his neigh- 
bors and his neighbors' rights, and to 
extend a helping hand to the unfor- 
tunate that needed help. I speak from 
experience, having an extensive busi- 
ness and social acquaintance with 
many of the early settlers of Idaho, 
when I say (with a few exceptions), 
the early settlers were as noble, patri- 
otic, industrious, unselfish, intelligent, 
good, generous, kind and moral peo- 
ple as ever were assembled together in 
like number for the reclamation and 
development of an unsettled country, 
inhabited only by untutored, savage 
Indians, wild animals and varmints." 
iSurely, we people of Idaho have a 
proud heritage to live up to! 

The following list of prices, quoted 
by Mr. Hailey from the Boise News 
of December* 26, 1863. published at 
Bannock City (afterward Idaho City) 
may give pause to some people who 
complain of the present high cost of 

"Prices current. Corrected weekly 
by Higbee & Company, dealers in gen- 
eral merchandise, groceries and pro- 

History of Bannock County 

visions, corner Main and Wall street, 
Bannock City. 

"Groceries and produce: 

Butter, per pound $ 1.25 

Chickens, per dozen 36.00 

Eggs, per dozen 2.00 

Ham, per pound 75 

Lard, per pound . .i 40 to .50 

Salt, per pound 35 to .40 

Side bacon, per pound. . . .60 to .70 

Tea, per pound $ 1.50 to 2.00 

Flour, per 100 lbs $33.00 to 36.00 

Onions, per pound 25 to .30 

Rice, per pound 50 

Sugar, per pound 70 to .75 

Candles, per pound 1.00 

Nails, cut, per pound 40 to .50 


Women's hip boots $30.00 

Women's calf boots 6.00 

Men 's calf boots 12.00 

Woolen drawers, per pair 

$1.50 to 2.00 

Red drawers, per pair. $2.50 to 3.50 

Men 's quilted brogan 3.50 

Gum boots, long legs 12.00 

Gum boots, short legs 11.00 

Men's cavalry boots. .$12.00 to 15.00 

Men's boots, long gr 10.00 

Cal. best blankets 16.00 

Salem blankets $13.00 to 15.00 

Oregon socks, per doz 9.00 

Best Cal. wool shirts. . .$3.00 to 4.00 
Buck gloves, per doz. .$18.00 to 30.00 

Red undershirts, per doz 

$30.00 to 36.00 


History of Banno ck County 

Wines and Liquors. 
Best Champagnes, per doz. .. .$48.00 

Cal. Wine, per case 24.00 

Claret Wine, per ease 24.00 

Sherry, per gal., in wood. . . . 7.00 

Port, per gal, in wood 7.00 

Baker's Bitters, per case 

$24.00 to 30.00 

Goddard Brandy, per gal 10.00 

Hermitage Whiskey, per gal.. 7.00 
Kerosene Oil, per gal.. $8. 00 to 9.00 

(The above prices were nsually paid 
in gold dust at the rate of $16.00 to 
the ounce, when the real value of 
gold dust was only $14.50 to $15.00 
per ounce.) 

The above list has been consider- 
ably shortened in reproducing it. 




Nature is the greatest of all his- 
torians. She is alike the most accu- 
rate and interesting. Her pen is the 
impress of time, and in characters 
more durable than the most lasting 
creations of man, she has written the 
story of the ages as they rolled slowly 
by. Impartial, unprejudiced, and in 
this respect omniscient, she has pa- 
tiently and unerringly recorded a his- 
tory more ancient than that of prime- 
val man, more valuable than that of 
the proudest monarchy. And so, hav- 
ing in the previous chapter traced 
Bannock county from an unlocated 
spot in an unexplored desert to a 
settled and civilized community of 
fixed limits, let us now examine the 
scene of our story more closely, and 
try to read something of what Natur.; 
has written there. 

The sheltered canyon mouth in 
which our city is built was once the 
bed of a huge lake, larger than many 
present day seas. Fish and prehis- 
toric water animals, uncanny and 
awe-inspiring monsters, could we see 
them today, once sought their prey 
where now our houses raise their shel- 
tering roofs. The benches that today 
are advertised as desirable building 
sites, were at one time the sloping 



History of Bannock County 

shores of an inland sea. Could we 
but read the romance of rock and 
soil in all its detail, surely the most 
lurid fiction of man would pale by 

The westernmost point of Bannock 
county is bounded by the Snake river, 
far-famed for the beauty of its valley 
and the rich gold deposits therein. 
The character of these deposits has 
puzzled prospectors and miners for 
many years, because unlike all other 
placer fields, it maintains a uniform 
fineness and coloring from mouth to 

In the Engineering and Mining 
Journal for January 25, 1902, Mr. 
Robert Bell, a well known mining 
expert of this state, published an 
article entitled: "The Origin of the 
Fine Gold of Snake River." This 
article was reprinted in the Pocatello 
Tribune, February 15. 1902, from 
which we quote, in part : 

"One of the most plausible theo- 
ries that have been suggested touch- 
ing the origin of this extensive dis- 
tribution of the precious metal was 
advanced by Captain N. L. Turner, a 
West Point man, who spent consid- 
erable time investigating the prob- 
lem in the early eighties. Captain 
Turner advanced the theory that the 
gold was originally held in solution 
by the waters of a great inland sea 
or lake that occupied the Snake river 

History of Bannock County 

valley subsequent to the Miocene 
period and that the gradual and re- 
peated evaporation of -this great body 
of water by subsequent lava flows 
resulted in the precipitation of its 
metallic contents, generally and even- 
ly over its basin area. This theory 
would seem to account for the uni- 
form size and quality of the golden 
colors so generally disseminated 
throughout the enormous acreage of 
fine gravel beds through which the 
Snake river now courses. 

"The geological record of the rocks 
left along the borders of this stream 
offer conclusive evidence of a land- 
locked body of water. This great 
body of water, which might aptly be 
called Lake Idaho, was created by 
the closing of the lower valley by a 
great dam of brown Columbia lava, 
6,500 feet high, now plainly exposed 
by erosion." 

The highest level of this lake was 
about 6,000 feet, and its extent 500 
miles in length from "Weiser to the 
foot of the Rocky Mountain range, 
and 150 miles in width. Its deepest 
point was over 4,000 feet. 

Mr. Bell goes on to say: "This 
lake suffered numerous and extensive 
variations of level during the Ter- 
tiary period. Some of the more re- 
cent horizons are still exposed at 
Pocatello, where on either side of the 
Portneuf estuary, in plain sight from 


History of Bannock County 

the depot, well defined benches or ter- 
races of shore-line gravel are left 
exposed one hundred feet above the 
town; and a succession of low step- 
terraces of lake-shore gravel, cut by 
the main track of the Oregon Short 
Line railroad between Pocatello and 
American Falls, plainly indicate the 
rapid recession of the lake levels of 
this period, and its final drainage and 
complete obliteration by the erosion 
of the Shake river channel to its 
present level. 

"Prior to the inception of the great 
floods of black lava that have filled 
the upper valley (near Pocatello)), 
the shore lines and basin area of Lake 
Idaho were almost all composed of 
granite and Palaeozie formation. 
These formations were rich in placer 
and quartz gold." 

It is thought that the Snake river 
deposits also contain some alloy of 
platinum or iridium. 

But gold is not the only valuable 
mineral deposit in Bannock county. 
Situated at the mouth of Sulphur 
canyon, five miles east of the town 
of Soda Springs, is a group of soda 
springs with associated deposits of 
native sulphur. These mines were 
worked in the late nineties and in the 
years 1901 and 1902 a considerable 
amount of sulphur was taken from 
them, but the enterprise was finally 
abandoned. The United States Geo- 


History of Bannock County 

logical Survey, in Bulletin 470, gives 
the following summary of these de- 
posits : 

"The failure of an apparently well 
backed attempt to develop these de- 
posits will render improbable any 
further attempts in the immediate 
future. It is extremely doubtful if 
the deposits can be profitably worked 
* * in competition with the rela- 
tively high-grade deposits of Wyo- 
ming and Utah." 

The same bureau, in Part I of its 
publications for 1909, speaks more 
hopefully of the salt deposits in Ban- 
nock county. In an article on this 
subject, Carpel L. Breger says: 

"Valuable areas of salt-bearing 
land lie along the "Wyoming-Idaho 
border in Bannock county, Idaho. In 
the old days, before the advent of 
railroads in the west, relatively large 
amounts of salt were boiled from the 
brine springs in this region and were 
hauled by ox team to supply Idaho 
and Montana mining camps. The 
emigrants to the northwest along the 
Lander route also drew upon this re- 
gion for their salt. Indeed, some 
forty years ago, in the reports of the 
Hayden survey, this area was briefly 
described as containing the finest salt 
works west of the Mississippi. In 
those days as much as 200,000 pounds 
of salt was boiled per month, selling 


History of Bannock County 

in the late sixties at $1.25 a hundred 
pounds at the spring's." 

Col. Lander, mentioned above, after 
whom a street in Poeatello has been 
named, led a government expedition 
through these parts in 1863, and F. 
V. Hayden, whose name has been 
given to Hayden street, Poeatello, 
conducted a United States geological 
and geographic survey in this country 
in 1872. 

".Since then, however, the area has 
decreased in importance. The rail- 
roads have passed it by; other salt 
works — those of the Great Salt Lake 
region — have taken its markets on 
account of easier railroad connection. 

"Interest in these salt deposits has 
recently been revived, owing to the 
discovery of rock salt beneath some 
brine springs. James Splawn and H. 
Hokanson, in deepening these springs 
in 1902, encountered a formation of 
rock salt six feet below the surface 
and this has been penetrated for a 
thickness of twenty-six feet without 
reaching the bottom. The exceptional 
purity of the salt, its cheapness of 
production, and the probability of 
railroad connections in the near 
future, lend interest to the deposits 
of the entire district. 

"As to quality, salt can be easily 
obtained here which is above the aver- 
age in chemical purity. This salt 
could be produced most cheaply and 

History of Bannock County 

with the maximum of cleanliness by 
a process of solar evaporation. 

"At present the market for the 
salt of the area described is limited 
to the immediate vicinity. It could, 
however, command the markets of 
eastern Idaho, western Wyoming, and 
much of Montana. 

The vicinity adjacent to Pocatello 
is rich in mineral deposits, but most 
of them lie on the Indian reserva- 
tion upon which white men are not 
allowed to trespass. In his "History 
of Idaho," Mr. Hiram T. French 
speaks as follows of the mining re- 
sources of Bannock county: 

"Many outeroppings in the moun- 
tains near Pocatello give promise of 
most fabulous richness. Many assays 
from the rock have been made, and 
they run up into the thousands. The 
agent in charge of the reservation, 
however, has been strict in enforcing 
the treaty laws. In the summer of 
1893 a company of Pocatello men dis- 
covered a copper ledge of marvelous 
promise, on Belle Marsh creek, on the 
reservation, and made a determined 
effort to work it. They put a force 
of men to work there and uncovered 
a ledge for a distance of a hundred 
feet, finding a well-defined ledge of 
wonderfully rich copper ore. They 
worked it until twice warned off by 
the Indian agent, and quit only when 
they were finally threatened with ar- 



History of Bannock County 

rest. During the same summer a 
strong company of capitalists of 
Pocatello, Butte and Salt Lake City 
organized and made an effort to se- 
cure a lease of the mineral lands on 
the reservation; but other men in 
Pocatello, who had been watching 
prospects and opportunity for years, 
entered a protest and the interior de- 
partment at Washington refused to 
grant the lease. The same year a 
Pocatello organization made an at- 
tempt to obtain permission to de- 
velop mines on this reservation, but 
failure likewise attended this only 
when they were finally threatened 
with arrest. In 1891 some very rich 
galena was discovered about two miles 
east of Pocatello, and this created a 
veritable stampede of miners who be- 
gan digging vigorously. The signs 
were most encouraging, but the In- 
dian agent again came to the front 
and drove the men from the reserva- 
tion. According to the testimony of 
all the old timers in this region there 
are many rich deposits of the respec- 
tive valuable minerals in nearly all 
the mountains of Bannock county. 
Apparently there is enough of coal 
and asbestos deposit here to make 
a whole community rich." 

Pocatello 's railroad and ranching 
interests alone insure the develop- 
ment of a prosperous and fair-sized 
city, and in the immediate attention 

History of Bannock County 

demanded by these activities, the 
mining possibilities of the neighbor- 
hood seem for the time to have fallen 
into the background. The day will 
come, however, when the Indian res- 
ervation will be thrown open, and 
when that day does come, a new 
source of wealth will be released 
which might easily place Pocatello 
well in the front rank of western 

In the southeastern counties of 
Idaho there lies an extensive shore- 
line of middle carboniferous lime- 
stones and shales, which has been 
outlined by the United States Geo- 
logical Survey, and a very large por- 
tion of which is contained in Bannock 
county. This in its entirety composes 
the largest phosphate field in the 
world, the rock phosphate of the de- 
posit being seventy per cent pure, in 
beds of from three to eight feet thick. 
In December, 1908, the secretary of 
the interior withdrew from all kinds 
of entry 4,541,300 acres of land, part 
of which extends over the Utah line, 
pending an examination of their phos- 
phate resources. During the summer 
of 1909, the United States Geological 
Survey conducted field work on this 
area, which resulted in the restora- 
tion of some of these lands and the 
withdrawal of others. The total area 
now withheld is 2,551,399 acres. 

The rock phosphate deposits of 



History of Bannock County 

Bannock county are original sedi- 
mentary formations made when this 
part of the earth was still under 
water. Since then other rock-form- 
ing sediments have accumulated, so 
that thousands of feet of subsequent 
strata have overlain them. Deforma- 
tion of the earth's surface has broken 
these strata, which originally lay flat. 
Hence these rock-phosphate deposits 
resemble coal and limestone, rather 
than ore deposits, such as veins or 
lodes. No entirely satisfactory ex- 
planation of their source or manner 
of accumulation has yet been given. 

The value of these deposits will be 
more readily understood when it is 
known that prior to their discovery 
the total known supply in the United 
States was barely sufficient to last 
forty years. In addition to this, most 
of the deposits were in the control 
of European investors, which threat- 
ened to put the American farmer at 
the mercy of foreign speculators. 

In his book entitled, "The Conser- 
vation of Natui'al Resources of the 
United States," Professor Van Hise, 
of the University of Wisconsin, says: 
"The most fundamental of the re- 
sources of this nation is the soil, 
which produces our food and cloth- 
ing, and one of the most precious of 
the natural resources of America, 
having a value inestimably greater 
than might be supposed from the 

History of Bannock County 

present market value, is our phos- 
phate-rock resources." 

Phosphoric acid is essentially a soil 
fertilizer. It is really nothing 1 else 
than a rich manure, as the odorifer- 
ous smell given off when two pieces 
are rubbed together amply testifies. 
The enormous deposits of this power- 
ful fertilizer practically insure the 
agricultural future of Idaho. The 
secretary of the interior, in a recent 
report, said: "The present crop 
yields of the virgin fields of the west 
under irrigation cannot be expected 
to be maintained by irrigation water 
alone, and the intensive methods of 
that region will within a few years 
have to figure on artificial fertilizers 
to maintain their great yield." 

And Nature, foreseeing our future 
need, has provided for it in advance. 

The limestone deposits near Inkom 
are said to be valuable for the manu- 
facture of cement. 

The agricultural soil of the county 
is composed largely of disintegrated 
lava and volcanic ash, which, when 
irrigated, is very fertile. The prin- 
cipal waterways are the Portneuf, 
the Snake, and the Belle Marsh, which 
are fed by many mountain tributaries. 

The county contains 3,179 square 

Having now determined in our first 
chapter the geographical location and 
early history of Bannock county, and 


History of Bannock County 

in our second examined the nature of 
the country and what resources it 
contains, we will in the third chap- 
ter turn our attention to its first in- 
habitants, and consider the case of 
our brother, "the noble Indian." 




Some years ago, when life was 
young and all the world one luring 
and beckoning field of adventure, the 
writer of this modest history spent 
five dollars to hear Dan Beard, Ernest 
Seton Thompson and others, lecture 
on "Woodcraft and Indians." They 
6poke of the "noble red man," and 
pictured a romantic and heroic being 
of high ideals and chivalrous life, 
whose adventures were clean and ad- 
mirable, whose domestic life was 
happy and blameless. At least one 
member of the audience went home 
from those lectures and shed bitter 
tears of remorse and shame because 
it was his sad lot to be a cowardly 
pale-face. "We mention the incident 
because it serves to illustrate the non- 
sense that is published broadcast for 
mercenary reasons, by people who 
really know the truth. 

This chapter does not pretend to 
be a scholarly dissertation on the 
American Indian, but is rather in- 
tended to preserve the first impres- 
sions made by the Indians on an in- 
terested and uninitiated observer. 
For the salient and noticeable traits 
of these people are more likely to 



History of Bannock County 

excite the comment of a newcomer 
than they are to live in the haid soil 
of familiarity. 

The Arabs of the Sahara desert, 
like our own Bannock Indians, wrap 
themselves closely in camels-hair 
blankets during the hottest weather, 
which as everyone knows, is extreme 
in North Africa. They also wrap 
their heads in turbans, and explain 
the custom by saying that it protects 
them from the scorching rays of the 
eun. Otherwise their skin would blis- 
ter and dry up with the reflected heat 
of the desert. This is probably true, 
and it is no doubt for some similar 
reason that the Indians wear blankets 
all through the summer. It has been 
said that the Indians use a powder 
of vegetable or mineral character with 
which they rub the inside of their 
blankets, thereby rendering them im- 
pervious to heat rays. Certain it is 
that an Indian, clad in a blanket, is 
seldom seen to perspire, even in the 
hottest weather, while his civilized 
brother drips just as profusely as a 
white man. 

In like manner all strange and 
seemingly fantastic and heathen cus- 
toms have their birth in reason, if we 
can only detect it. The Indian, for 
instance, paints his face as a protec- 
tion from the dry and arid western 
winds, which make some artificial ap- 
plication of grease necessary. Let 

History of Bannock County 

those who doubt this take a glance 
at the parched visage of some Ari- 
zona rancher. 

Some people maintain that the In- 
dian is equal in intelligence to the 
white man. Common sense tells us 
that this is not true. No race men- 
tally equal to the Caucasian would 
remain for centuries in baibarism and 
turn from civilization even when it 
is thrust upon them. It is sometimes 
said that an Indian is a white man's 
equal because he can pass the intelli- 
gence test of a twelve year old white 
boy, this modicum of intelligence be- 
ing scientifically sufficient to rescue 
a white man from the ranks of the 
mentally deficient. A man might al- 
most as well be insane as to escape 
insanity by a hair's breadth. And 
so, also, of his intellect. 

An Episcopalian missionary to the 
Indians on the Fort Hall reservation, 
said in this connection: "I noticed 
when I first began to work among 
these Indians that I could establish 
no footing of equality between myself 
and the bucks, although the latter 
seemed to be on the most familiar 
terms with my twelve-year-old boy. 
This puzzled me for some time, and I 
began to watch the intercourse be- 
tween my boy and the Indians. Then 
I discovered the secret. The mental- 
ity of my boy and of the Indians was 
on a par. The red men, although 



History of Ban nock County 

adults in years, were twelve-year-olds 
in mind. From that time on I talked 
with them on such terms and my for- 
mer trouble was ended." 

For this reason and because of the 
results so far attained, it seems very 
questionable whether it is wise to at- 
tempt to civilize these people, in the 
ordinary meaning of the term. Chris- 
tianize them by all means. But two 
men practicing the principles of 
Christianity can live as happily in a 
wig-wam as in a palace — perhaps 
more so, and there is no reason why 
we should want the squaws to wear 
split-skirts because our own women 
wear them. There is but little choice, 
and perhaps the squaw has the best 
of it at that. The South Sea islander 
does not want us to wear rings in our 
noses because he does, and it seems 
hardly fair that we should wish to 
throttle the poor Indian with the 
shackle that civilization calls a col- 
lar, just because we are foolish 
enough to wear collars. Christianity 
alone will bring these people as much 
civilization as they need for both 
their happiness and salvation, and 
that is more than many of our own 
boastful race possess. For the rest, 
the Indian, to his honor, be it said, 
is a child of nature, who loves his 
sagebrush and desert freedom, and it 
is no kindness to tear him from the 
life he loves so well. No wonder he 

History of Banno ckCounty 

hates the white man. Most of us 
would hate people who insisted upon 
making canary-birds, guaranteed to 
sing in the parlor, out of us, when we 
wanted to be eagles. Perhaps it is 
some such reason as this that leads 
the Indians on the reservation to 
despise those who live among the 
whites. The average Indian who 
hangs around Pocatello is certainly 
inferior to his brother in the sage 

Although the Indian is a lazy man, 
who makes his squaw do most of the 
work, he is not without some strain of 
generosity. The squaw usually fol- 
lows along some ten paces behind her 
husband, and it is no uncommon thing 
to see the buck eating a bag of apples 
or other delicacies and throwing the 
cores to his faithful squaw, who de- 
vours them with relish. 

The Bannocks, in common with all 
other Indians, have a decided sense 
of beauty, — a trait that is seldom 
noticed, although one of the best pos- 
sessed by the red-men. This artistic 
instinct finds play in the basket and 
bead work done by these people. 
Many of their designs combine great 
beauty with great simplicity, and dis- 
play a taste that is far from uncul- 
tured. In their names, too, the In- 
dians show a love of the beautiful. 
Where in the whole wide world can 
more beautiful names be found than 



History of Bannock County 

Wyoming and Arizona, Idaho and 
Oregon, Nevada and Oklahoma? 
Resonant and poetical names they 
are, suggestive of a bigness quite 
commensurate with the vastness of 
the states they name. It has been 
said that the west, inspired by the 
beauty of her Indian names, will some 
day produce a new school of poetry, 
made possible only by the poetry of 
the wild, free red-men. 

As in all frontier communities, 
many amusing incidents have trans- 
pired between the Indians and whites. 
Probably everyone in Pocatello knows 
"''Stonewall" Johnson and probably 
no one in Pocatello knows horse- 
flesh better than he. One day 
Mr. Johnson bought a horse from an 
Indian. The animal had seven dis- 
eases — all fatal — but Mr. Johnson, 
with infinite skill and patience, grad- 
ually cured him of them all. He 
nursed the dying beast back to health 
and made a valuable horse of him. 
Prom time to time the Indian dropped 
around to inspect the animal. One 
fine day, when the cure was fully 
effected, the Indian deliberately en- 
tered the field where the horse was 
grazing in care of Mr. Johnson's little 
boy, mounted and rode away, leaving 
the youngster to carry the news home. 
Mr. Johnson has never seen either 
horse or Indian since. It is said that 
the only way to bind a bargain with 

History of Bannock County 

the Indians is by a deed of sale. On 
the other hand, the missionary pre- 
viously mentioned, says that he would 
rather lend money to an Indian than 
to a white man, as the former never 
fails to repay the loan. 

We have spoken of the Indian's 
sense of beauty. He is also cruel, and 
his cruelty is written on his face. 
Imagine, then, the dismay and terror 
of a missionary's wife, who, with her 
husband, alighted one dark night at 
a little way station just north of 
Pocatello. the depot was. locked, and 
while the missionary went to look for 
a night's lodging, his wife disposed 
herself comfortably on a soft and 
well-filled gunnysack lying or« the sta- 
tion platform. Presently the gunny- 
sack moved, stretched a pair of moc- 
casined legs, and said "Woof!" The 
lady eventually recovered, bu* whether 
the Indian did, the story does not 

While possessing much innate no- 
bility, the Indian sometimes appears 
in a ridiculous light. It is said that 
when a part of the reservation was 
thrown open a few years ago, and the 
red-men reimbursed in cash, many of 
them invested their money in vehicles. 
They bought every old wagon for 
miles around, and when the supply 
ran low, took what they could get. 
So it happened that one buck bought 
an old hearse. In the body of this 



History of Bannock County 

he was wont to carry his numerous 
papooses, who gazed at the passing 
throng with their squat faces pressed 
flat against the windows, while the 
proud parents occupied the driver's 

These people have a strange aver- 
sion to the camera, probably as to 
something uncanny and not under- 
stood. They believe that to be pho- 
tographed saps the strength. At the 
last sun dance held in the Bottoms 
near Pocatello, it was necessary to 
pay one old centenarian five dollars 
to induce him to pose for one snap- 

Among the common-places of for- 
mer days that are fast passing away 
are the wild horses. These animals 
Btill roam the plains of Bannock 
county, but they are becoming more 
scarce every year. They travel in 
bands of fifteen or twenty and are 
very bold. They will approach with- 
in close range of a human being and 
feed unconcernedly under his gaze, 
but at the sound of the human voice 
they become terror-stricken and stam- 
pede away in great confusion. Some 
daring men rope these animals dur- 
ing the summer months and break 
them in for saddle use, but their wild 
blood is never really tamed. It is 
necessary to break their spirit with 
cruelty before they are of any use, 
and then they are apt to relapse at 

History of Bannock County 

any time. When one escapes from 
captivity it is said that he will 
travel hundreds of miles with en- 
erring instinct back to the plains 
whence he was taken. 

The fact that a large portion of the 
land included in Bannock county was 
set apart for and inhabited by In- 
dians retarded its settlement for 
many years. The Indians were hos- 
tile to the white men, few of whom 
settled in the vicinity, except em- 
ployes of the stage lines runing from 
Salt Lake to Butte, government 
agents, etc. 

The Shoshone — in the Report of the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 
1913, this name is spelt Shoshoni — 
and Bannock Indians now living on 
the Fort Hall reservation are types 
of the great Lemhi family. The Sho- 
shone, or Snake Indians, are fairly 
honest, intelligent and peaceable, al- 
though all the Indians west of the 
Rocky Mountains are inferior to 
those living to the east. The Ban- 
nocks are more cunning, sly, and rest- 
less than the Shoshones. The Sho- 
shone family, of which the Bannock 
is a branch, are thought to have come 
originally from California. While the 
name Shoshone is commonly supposed 
to mean "snake," some authorities 
hold that it means "inland." These 
Indians are more pretentious in dress 
and ornamentation than those living 


History of Bannock County 

farther south, and possess no mean 
skill in the art of pottery. Ross, an 
authority on Indian affairs, says: 
"The Snakes have been considered as 
a rather dull and degraded people, 
weak in intellect and wanting in cour- 
age. And this opinion is very prob- 
able to casual observer, at first 
sight or when they are seen in small 
numbers, for their apparent timidity, 
grave and reserved habits, give them 
an air of stupidity. An intimate 
knowledge of the Snake character 
will, however, place them on an equal 
footing with that of other kindred 
nations, both in respect to their men- 
tal faculties and moral attributes." 

The different tribes or families of 
these Indians speak different dialects, 
but have a sign language that is un- 
derstood by all. Although stolid and 
silent in their intercourse with white 
men, they are vivacious and even gar- 
rulous among themselves. The play 
of their hands when they talk with 
signs resembles the conversation of 
deaf mutes. 

Another writer says: "The Ban- 
nocks of Idaho are highly intelligent 
and lively, the most virtuous and un- 
sophisticated of all the Indians in the 
United States." 

These Indians were at least intelli- 
gent enough to devise a system of 
hieroglyphics, examples of which are 
still to be seen on the lava rocks to 

History of Bannock County 

the west and south of Pocatello, al- 
though the Indians of today seem to 
have lost the art of reading them, and 
their contents remain a mystery. They 
are recent enough in execution to have 
survived the wear of wind and weath- 
er, but how interesting it would be if 
we could read the crude romance they 
tell — some memorable page of bar- 
barous history or some forgotten trag- 
edy of desert life ! 

There are in the neighborhood of 
Pocatello also some old Indian forts — 
crude constructions of dug-outs and 
mountain boulders, interesting only 
on account of their origin. The cur- 
ious may find one about two miles 
out of Pocatello, to the left of the 
road that winds back from West Sub- 
lette street. It probably differs in 
no way from those built by the In- 
dians of this vicinity two thousand 
years ago, and were they to construct 
another today it would be impossible 
except by age, to tell the new from 
the old. Civilization rolls on apace, 
and today's triumph of mechanism is 
the scrap heap of tomorrow, but the 
stolid Indian, imperturbable and un- 
interested, remains much the same, 
yesterday, today and apparently for- 





Closely associated with the Indians 
in the minds of many people, es- 
pecially in the east, are the cowboys. 
The prevalent idea in the eastern 
states about the far west is much the 
same today as it was fifty years ago 
— an illusion that the moving pictures 
help to keep alive. And yet, prosaic 
as it may be compared with the stir- 
ring times of yore, there is still a 
charm and freedom in western life 
unequalled in any other part of the 
United States. That western people 
are fully alive to the romance and 
adventure connected with the settle- 
ment of the west, is shown by the 
fact that moving picture representa- 
tions of western life are popular to 
an equal extent in no other portion 
of the Union. 

The mouth of the Portneuf canyon 
was a favorite wintering place for 
cattle men and freighters because of 
the feeding ground to be found on 
the bottoms, the shelter afforded by 
the surrounding hills, and the water 
supplied by the Portneuf river. For 
similar reasons the Indians used the 
present site of Pocatello for their 
winter quarters. Just west of Po- 

History of Bannock County 

catello, along the banks of the Snake 
river, lay a rich and fertile grazing 
ground, where was situated the head- 
quarters of the old War Bonnet Cat- 
tle company, a big outfit that operat- 
ed in this country for several years. 

Until the old ranges were broken 
up into ranches, which practically 
ended the old cowboy life, the Port- 
neuf canyon remained a winter ha- 
ven for cattle men, and many wild 
and thrilling exploits were enacted 
here. The cutting up and fencing of 
the ranges has been inevitable in the 
course of progress and development, 
but from the cowboy standpoint it 
has not been altogether desirable 
Cattle driven by a storm will run be- 
fore the wind, and when they meet 
an obstacle will halt rather than turn 
in the face of the gale. As a result, 
many cattle, stopped in their course, 
have perished from cold and expos- 
ure in recent years. 

Cowboys and sheepherders are still 
seen daily on the streets of Pocatello. 
Many of the latter are Mexicans and 
they are looked down upon by the 
cowboys as being less hardy and 

The two classes have never lived 
peaceably together because the sheep 
clip the grass so close to the ground 
that cattle can find no nourishment, 
after the sheep have gone. For this 
reason fights were so common be- 



History of Bannoc k County 

tween the sheep and cattle men that 
the government finally alloted to 
each grazing grounds of their own. 

The sheep men go out with their 
charges in the early spring and are 
on the range for several months at a 
stretch. So many of them went in- 
sane from monotony and loneliness 
that a law has been passed, requiring 
owners to send two men with every 

Like most men living an open and 
free life, these men are for the most 
part generous and careless of money, 
taking little thought for the future 
and oftimes going to excess for the 

Some years ago, says a resident of 
Pocatello, an Italian, with infinite 
patince and trouble, succeeded in 
catching a mountain lion in the hills 
and brought him safely to town in a 
large cage. A band of cowboys, bent 
on merry-making, surrounded the 
cage and danced about it, letting out 
their blood-curdling yells and shoot- 
ing their guns. The lion, unaccus- 
tomed to such antics, at first snarled 
savagely. Later he became quiet. 
The cowboys began to thrust at him 
through the cage, and then to dare 
one another to enter it. At length 
one of the men took up the dare. 
Armed with a knife and a gun, he cau- 
tiously entered the cage. The lion 
crouching in a corner, watched the 

History of Bannock County 

intruder but made no movement. The 
cowboy grew bolder and began to 
probe and kick the beast. His com- 
panions encouraged him with more 
hoots and yells, but still the lion lay 
quiet. Finally the adventurer with- 
drew in despair of stirring up a fight. 
The savage animal had been so com- 
pletely cowed and terrified by the 
noise that it was literally paralyzed 
and unable to move. 

Mr. Herman Goldsmith, now in the 
employ of the Oregon Short Line, but 
formerly a cattle man, tells of a town 
that boasted but one bathtub, owned 
by the barber. To this shop repaired 
the soiled and weary of the commu- 
nity for ablution and refreshment. 
One fine night a band of cowboys 
shot up the town and the next day 
the bath-tub was gone. Search was 
made high and low, but no tub could 
be found. The loss was serious, as 
there was no railway in those days 
and another tub could not be pur- 
chased in a radius of many miles. 
The town had little godliness, and 
now even its cleanliness was gone! 
One fine day the disconsolate barber 
was given a tip that his bath-tub was 
secreted in a cowboy's shack some 
miles distant. A warrant was sworn 
out, the tub recovered, and the cul- 
prit hied into court. Came also the 


History of Bannock County 


"How many baths do you sell a 
week?" asked the judge. 

"About seventy," said the barber. 

"At how much per bath?" con- 
tinued the judge. 

"Fifty cents," answered the bar- 

"How many weeks has your tub 
been gone?" the court asked. 

"Three," the barber said. 

Then the court summarized: "Sev- 
enty baths at fifty cents each equals 
thirty-five dollars per week. Three 
weeks at thirty-five dollars is $105." 

So he fined the cowboy $105 and 
costs, and reimbursed the barber for 
his lost business. 

The same frontier conditions that 
produced the cowboy have served also 
to make the westerner a more rugged 
and ever-ready man than the eastern- 
er. The westerner may lack some of 
the culture and finish of his New 
England cousin, but he is better 
equipped to fight the battle of life 
both in his training and in his in- 
herent qualities. The west is devel- 
oping a fine and unique type of man- 
hood. Its vast distances, its noble 
hills and far-stret?hing plains make 
an atmosphere of bigness that alone 
must influence, even inspire the race 
that is native to them. It is said 
that a little girl, fresh from the west- 
ern plains, was asked how she liked 
the east. "I don"; like it," she said. 

History of Bannock County 

"I can not see anything because of 
the trees." And the same cramped 
conditions that oppressed the child 
have perhaps done their part in nar- 
rowing the easterner. However that 
may be, the easterner is usually a 
man of more narrow ideas and of 
stronger prejudices than the west- 

We have one other inhabitant in 
Bannock county who deserves notice 
before he vanishes in the face of civ- 
ilization' — the coyote. No one who 
has not heard the yell of a coyote on 
a still night knows what the phrase, 
"blood-curdling" means. These ani- 
mals are often crossed with dogs and 
make cowardly curs, until they are 
taught to fight. Having once learned 
the noble art, it is hard to make them 
keep tlie peace. Their pelts have a 
market value today, and in time to 
come will probably be highly prized. 

Another class of men who made a 
winter rendezvous of the present site 
of Pocatello were the freighters — men 
who drove the old freight stages from 
Salt Lake to Butte. These men were 
true pioneers, camping along the old 
trails until they knew them blind- 
fold for hundreds of miles, and en- 
countering great risk from exposure 
and from the Indians. Sometimes an 
impoverished traveler worked his way 
with these freighters. He was called 
a swamper, and to his lot fell all the 



History of Bannock County 

chores of the camp — chopping wood, 
carry ing water and building fires. He 
usually paid well for his passage. 

There was always bad blood be- 
tween the Indians and freighters, the 
former resenting the intrusion of the 
teamsters as they passed through the 
reservation along the old trail. The 
freighters prepared for trouble as 
they neared the reservation limi ts, 
and frequently met it. 

In August, 1878, two men, Orson 
James, and another named James, but 
not related to the former, were taking 
a load of merchandise from Salt Lake 
to Butte, and were attacked by a hos- 
tile Indian on the road between Poca- 
tello and Fort Hall. The red man 
opened fire unexpectedly and shot 
James in the back. The freighters 
returned the fire from behind their 
wagons, but in time the Indian suc- 
ceeded in hitting Orson James in the 
neck. Then he rode off into the sajre- 
brush, but was later captured and 
taken to Malad City, at that time the 
county seat, for trial. He was sen- 
tenced to four months' imprisonment 
in the penitentiary at Boise, where 
he died before his term expired. Both 
men recovered but Orson James was 
lame during the rest of his life. 

When the Indian just mentioned 
was taken to Malad City, he was ac- 
companied by a brother. This man 
heard Alec Roden, a cow-puncher, re- 

History of Bannock County 

mark that the Indian on trial should 
be hung. He attached undue import- 
ance to these words, thinking', in his 
ignorance of the white man's methods 
of justice, that they would affect the 
verdict unfavorably for his brother. 
Roden was later sent to the Fort 
Hall reservation to attend to a hay 
contract. In talking over the trial, 
Joe Rainey said to Roden, "You 
should not have let that Indian's 
brother hear you advise hanging. He 
is likely to seek revenge." 

Roden laughed the fear away, but 
that same evening, while he was work- 
ing at the barn, the imprisoned In- 
dian's brother shot him dead. 

'Such attacks served to keep the 
white men on the alert. They were 
usually unprovoked, so far as the 
people who were attacked knew, but 
an investigation generally showed 
that the red man, after his fashion, 
was visiting a real or supposed wrong 
on the first member of the offending 
race he encountered. 

Few features of the far west are 
more widely known, or more charac- 
teristic than the prairie schooner. In 
parts of South Africa the same pio- 
neer conditions exist that prevailed 
in our western states until a few 
years ago. The climate and nature 
of the country are much the same. 
It is interesting to notice that the 
same conditions, ten thousand miles 


History of Bannock County 

away, and untouched by American 
western influence, have produced the 
same prairie schooner that we see 
winding the dusty trails of Bannock 
county today. It is probably safe to 
say that were two bodies of men sent 
from Paris — one five thousand miles 
east and the other five thousand miles 
west — to new countries of like con- 
ditions, the two parties would be 
found after several generations to 
have evolved the same habits of 
dress, custom and life. Yet not the 
men, but Nature, the great mother 
of us all, would have decided these 
things for them. 




There are many historical spots in 
the United States unmarked by a 
monument, but there are probably 
few cases on record of a monument 
searching for a vanished site. Such 
is the case of the stone pillar pur- 
chased by subscription to mark the 
original site of Fort Hall. 

In 1906 Ezra Meeker traveled along 
the old Oregon trail and raised money 
with which to mark the historical 
points along the route. One monu- 
ment stands in the High School 
grounds at Pocatello. Another was 
purchased for erection on the Fort 
Hall site. A teamster was directed 
to carry it to its destination on the 
banks of the Snake river, twelve 
miles to the west of Pocatello, and 
this man deposited the monument at 
the dobies, that were once a stage 
station. Those in charge of placing 
the monument, being unable to cer- 
tainly determine the original site of 
the fort decided to leave the pillar 
where it lay, until the old fort 
had been indisputably located. And 
there it still rests, and probably will 
remain for some time to come. 

It is unfortunate that the most his- 



History of Bannock County 

torical point in Bannock county and 
one of the most historical in the state 
of Idaho, should have been lost 
sight of. 

No effort will be made in this chap- 
ter to decide the question, because 
such an attempt would be little more 
than a guess. It seems not unlikely, 
indeed, that the original site has com- 
pletely vanished. 

Fort Hall was established in 1834 
as a fur trading station by Captain 
Nathaniel Wyeth. The captain found 
himself unable to compete success- 
fully with the Hudson Bay company, 
which at that time operated in these 
parts, and in 1835 sold his interests 
to his rivals and returned to the east. 

Here comes the first problem in lo- 
cating the original site. The Hudson 
Bay company is thought to have 
moved the fort. Wbo can tell whether 
the sites now pointed out were those 
of the first or second post? Some 
pioneers maintain that Fort Hall was 
moved three times before the sixties, 
while others maintain that some old 
ruins on the bank of the Snake, about 
one and a half miles above the Tilden 
bridge, are the first site. This spot 
is now overgrown with grass, but it 
is possible to detect the outlines of 
an old foundation, something over 
two hundred feet in length, and what 
appears to have been at one time rifle 
pits. Evidently it was the location 

History of Bannock County 

of a large building, but whether or 
not of the first fort, who can tell? 
Joe Rainey, native interpreter at the 
present Fort Hall Indian reservation, 
maintains that this was the first site. 

Other old-timers say that some do- 
bies near the Snake river were a fort 
site, but Mr. J. N. Ireland of Poca- 
tello, says that he built these himself 
and that they were a station on the 
old Overland stage road. 

The old Oregon trail, which ex- 
tended for over two thousand miles, 
from St. Louis, Mo., to Portland, Ore- 
gon, divided at Soda Springs, in Ban- 
nock county, into two almost parallel 
courses, which met again at old Fort 
Boise. One of these followed the 
Portneuf river through the present 
sites of McCammon and Pocatello. 
The other followed a northwesterly 
direction from Soda Springs to old 
Fort Hall. 

Many pioneers, in their description 
of the fort as they first knew it, speak 
of a river that can be no longer 
found. Either its course has changed 
since the early days, or its name 
chang-ed; perhaps both, which last 
condition would make it very diffi- 
cult to identify the present stream 
with that of seventy-five years ago. 

During pioneer days. Fort Hall was 
one of the most important posts alone: 
the Oregon trail. It was the first 
point west of Fort Laramie, where 


History of Bannock County 

travelers could rest securely under 
the protection of the flag-, and where 
there was a garrison of soldiers to re- 
lieve them of all fear of sudden at- 
tack from the Indians. Here the 
weary and travel-stained pioneers, 
pushing- on for the far-famed Oregon 
territory, found respite from their 
toils and dangers, and enjoyed once 
more the companionship of their own 
kind. Here, too, preparatory for the 
last, long march of their transconti- 
nental journey, they repaired their 
wagons, and discarded such baggage 
as it had seemed wise to bring when 
starting, but which later experience 
proved to be only an encumbrance. 
An area of several acres around Fort 
Hall is said to have been covered with 
this debris, Avhicli was ransacked by 
the Indians and shorn of such parts 
as the red men wanted. Prof. W. R. 
Siders, superintendent of the Poca- 
tello public schools, who has been 
interested for several years in the 
effort to locate the site of the original 
fort, and to whom the writer is in- 
debted for very generous and valu- 
able information, maintains that it 
Might to be possible to identify the 
Hudson Bay company's fort by the 
rummage in its vicinity. He has ex- 
amined the banks of the Snake river 
for several miles and been unable to 
unearth any such remains. This fail- 
ure adds probabilitv to the statement 

History of Bannock Count y 

of old "Doc" Yandell, a trapper in 
early days, who still resides in these 
parts. Mr. Yandell says that some 
years ago he and Pete Weaver lived 
on the site of old Fort Hall, which 
was then on the banks of the 'Snake 
river, and three quarters of a mile 
distant from a spring. In later years 
Mr. Yandell maintained that he could 
walk directly to the site of his former 
camp, but when he attempted to do 
so, he found that the Snake was flow- 
ing within three hundred yards of 
the spring that used to be three-quar- 
ters of a mile from its bank. It 
is probable that since his departure 
some spring flood had washed out a 
new channel for the river, thereby 
changing its course, and placing the 
old fort site under water. This might 
account for Prof. Siders' failure to 
find the debris of which he was in 

The name "Fort Hall" has experi- 
enced numerous vicissitudes, since it 
was first coined eighty years ago. The 
Hudson Bay company received it from 
Captain Wyeth. When the Hudson 
Bay company sold its American rights 
to the United States government in 
1863, the latter used the name to des- 
ignate the military post which stood 
about sixteen miles northeast of the 
present agency. Here the government 
maintained a garrison of three com- 
panies of soldiers until about LSS4. 


History of Bannock County 

when the troops were withdrawn and 
the fort buildings used for Indian 
school purposes. When the school 
was moved to its present quarters, 
which were first occupied in 1904, the 
name went with it. Some of the old 
fort buildings were moved to the new 
site, and the remainder given to the 
Indians. Traces of the fort may still 
be seen. 

The Oregon Short Line station at 
the reservation, originally called Ross 
Fork, has recently been changed to 
Fort Hall and the name is also used 
to designate the whole reservation. 

The name Ross Fork, according to 
Interpreter Joe Rainey, was derived 
from an old man named Ross, who 
operated a ferry across the Snake 
river forty years ago. One or two 
old posts still mark the ferry site. 

The Fort Hall Indian reservation 
for the Bannock Indians was estab- 
lished in July, 186S. In July of the 
previous year the government ap- 
pointed a commission consisting of 
N. G. Taylor, Lieutenant General 
Sherman, IT. S. A., William S. Har- 
ney, John R. Sanborn. S. F. Tappen, 
A. H. Terry, and Brevet Major Gen- 
eral C. C. Augur, U. S. A., to nego- 
tiate treaties with all hostile and non- 
treaty Indians, and if possible to set- 
tle them on reservations. The treaty 
made with the Bannock Indians states 
that they were to have "reasonable 

History of Bannock County 

portions of the Portneuf and Kansas 
prairies." There is no doubt that 
not "Kansas" but "Camas" was 
meant, the latter being a favorite re- 
sort of the Indians, where they 
gathered the tuberous Camas root, 
which they prized highly as a food! 
The mistake in the name must have 
been made by an interpreter, clerk or 
typesetter, and Mr. John Hailey says 
that the government officials under- 
stood the mistake, but threw open the 
Camas prairie for settlement by the 
whites. The Indians who signed this 
treaty on behalf of the Bannocks 
were Taggee, Tay-Toba, We-Rat-Ze- 
Won-A-Gen, Coo-Sha-Gan, Pan-Sook- 
A-Motse, and A-Mite-Etse. To them, 
no doubt, "Kansas" and "Camas" 
meant the same, but the mistake 
caused much trouble in later years. 

The treaty was made July 3, 1868, 
ratified by the United 'States senate, 
February 16, 1869, and proclaimed 
by President Andrew Johnson, Feb- 
ruary 24, 1869. 

The governor of Idaho was in- 
structed by the authorities at Wash- 
ington to have the proposed reserva- 
tion surveyed, probably in accordance 
with the clause which provided "rea- 
sonable portions of the Portneuf and 
Kansas prairies." The governor is 
said to have visited the Portneuf val- 
ley, and with a wave of the hand to 
have instructed the surveyor to "sur- 



History of Bannock County 

vey out a good-sized reservation 
around here for these Indians." He 
then returned to Boise. As the sur- 
veyor was paid by the mile for his 
work, he ran the survey out to as 
many miles as possible. Consequent- 
ly the reservation included twice as 
much land as was needed, but its lim- 
its were later curtailed. No notice 
was taken of the provision for a por- 
tion of the ''Kansas" prairie, but 
the Indian agent allowed his charges 
to fish, hunt and dig camas on the 
Camas prairie whenever they wished. 
The country now included in the 
Fort Hall reservation was at one time 
the scene of many Indian battles. A 
hundred years ago, when buffalo still 
roamed these parts, the Blackfoot In- 
dians ranged along the river that now 
bears their name. This tribe was the 
arch-enemy of the Bannocks and Sho- 
shones, who used to make raids into 
the enemy's territory for the pur- 
pose of stealing their horses and cat- 
tle, and in turn to patrol their own 
demesnes when the enemy invaded 
them. An old squaw, said to have 
been more than a hundred years old. 
died on the reservation last year, who 
used to tell of a battle fought in her 
childhood between the Bannocks and 
Blackfeet that lasted four days. 

On some of the higher buttes to- 
ward the north of the reservation 
there still stand stone pillars, built 

History of Ban nock County 

by the Indians. These were look-out 
posts, and most of them stand where 
a view of the country may be had for 
miles around. Here the spies watched 
the movements of their enemies and 
made signals to their friends. Usually 
the look-out lay behind the pillar and 
peered around its base, but sometimes 
he stood flat against its front. As 
the enemy gradually circled in one 
direction or another, the spy moved 
slowly around the pillar, always keep- 
ing his face toward those he was 
watching lest in the distance they 
should detect his form standing- out 
from the pillar and take alarm. 

The following statistics were very 
kindly furnished by Mr. Cato Sells, 
U. S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs : 
The Fort Hall Indian reservation 
contains 454.239 acres, of which 
38,000 acres were irrigated by 140.37 
miles of ditch in June, 1913. 

The value of the property and 
funds on the reservation of the In- 
dians is $4,551,711, or $1,103.97 per 

The crop raised by the Indians in 
1913 were valued at $73,591, and dur- 
ing the same year they sold $51,520 
worth of stock. These items, added 
to the receipts from other industries, 
made their total income for the year 
amount to $169,262.42. 

The Indian population of the reser- 
vation, June 30, 1913, was 1.819. Of 


History of Banno ck County 

these, 273 were operating' farms for 
themselves, 222 children were en- 
rolled at the reservation school, and 
thirty were enrolled at the Episcopal 
Mission School of the Good Shep- 

The largest ranch operated by an 
Indian contains 160 acres. 

Only three crimes were committed 
by Indians during the year. Two ar- 
rests were made for drunkenness. 

The most prevalent diseases among 
the Bannock Indians are tuberculosis 
and trachoma. 

There are no longer any soldiers 
on the reservation, but a patrol of 
Indian police guards the public safety. 
These men are splendid types of their 
race. The delight of their lives is 
to arrest a white man. 

There is an atmosphere of content- 
ment on the reservation and a good- 
will between the Indians and govern- 
ment agents employed there that is 
a credit alike to red men and white. 
While most of the full-blooded bucks 
on the reservation wear thick braids 
of hair, most of them appear to be 
clean shaven. Yet they seldom, if 
ever, use a razor. When their beards 
begin to come in, they pluck out the 
hairs, thereby solving the barber 
problem for all time. 

In the government school, too, the 
air is one of wholesome contentment. 
No more eheerimr sight could be 

History of Bannock County 

wished for than that of the Indian 
boys and girls chatting cheerily as 
they eat their bountiful dinner in the 
large, well-lighted, dining room of the 
government school. It is a pleasure 
to acknowledge here the unfailing and 
uniform courtesy the writer has al- 
ways experienced on his visits to Fort 



The Nez Perce Indian War. 

In the days when Bannock was a 
part of Oneida county, the Nez Perce 
Indians went on the war path. The 
trouble started in Oregon and ended 
a thousand miles away at Bear Paw, 
Montana. Several accounts of this 
outbreak have been published, some 
of them going into much detail, but 
no one, to our knowledge, has told 
the story of the rapid flight of a band 
of Chief Joseph's 'followers across 
Oneida county. To fill the gap and 
because the history of Bannock coun- 
ty up to 1889 is identical with that of 
the county of which she formed a 
part, this chapter is written. 

The Nez Perce war, like so many 
of the early troubles between red men 
and white, was due to a dispute 
caused by a treaty. 

The first Indian treaty in Idaho 
was executed between Governor Ste- 
vens, of Washington Territory, who 
was also ex-offieio superintendent of 
Indian affairs, and the Nez Perce In- 
dians, June 1, 1855. Up to this time 
there had been no serious trouble with 
the Indians in this part of the north- 
west, with the exception of the Whit- 
man massacre in 1847, when the Cay- 
use Indians killed Dr. Whitman and 


History of Bannock County 

several other settlers. The Nez Perce, 
however, showing signs of uneasiness 
at the increasing number of whites 
and the large tracts of land they were 
appropriating, Governor 'Stevens 
thought it wise to have an under- 
standing with them. In brief, the 
treaty set apart the Nez Perce reser- 
vation, allowing to the Indians cer- 
tain annual payments and providing 
for the establishment of an agency 
and Indian schools, in return for 
which the Indians ceded to the United 
States their claim to other lands. One 
independent, sagacious and brave Nez 
Perce chief, named Joseph, refused 
to sign this treaty, and with his ad- 
herents, continued to roam the coun- 
try as before, unti*amelled by reserva- 
tion limits or the provisions of treat- 

In May, 1877, Chief Joseph and his 
followers were ordered from the Wal- 
lowa Valley, Oregon, to the Nez Perce 
reservation in Idaho, and given until 
June 14th to make the move. The 
Indians felt the injustice of being 
called upon to observe a treaty to 
which they had never agreed, and in- 
stead of obeying the order, made a 
rapid journey to the east of the 
Salmon river country in Idaho, and 
suddenly attacked the thinly settled 
whites there, killing; seventeen, and 
wounding many others. They then 
fired the settlers' homes and farms 



History of Bannock County 

and drove away their horses and cat- 
tle. Volunteer companies were quick- 
ly formed to protect the whites in 
the outlying districts, but during the 
mobilizing of the men, several more 
were killed. Three other small bands 
of non-treaty Indians linked their for- 
tunes with those of Chief Joseph ; one 
band, under Chief Looking Glass, an- 
other under Chief White Bird, and 
the third under Chief Tchulhulsote, 
known as the Dreamer Chief. 

General Howard, at Fort Lapwai, 
who had been relying on a promise 
given by Chief Joseph to obey the 
order to move on to the Nez Perce 
reservation, immediately sent two 
companies of cavalry, under Colonel 
Perry, to deal with the Indians, while 
other soldiers were summoned from 
Walla Walla, Portland and San Fran- 

The Indians continued on the ram- 
page for the next two davs until June 
16, 1877. On that day, Colonel Perry 
arrived on the scene and gave battle 
to the red men in Whitebird canyon. 
In an hour thirty-four of his ninety 
men were killed and two wounded. 
He beat a hasty retreat to Grange- 

On June 22nd, General Howard 
himself took the field with a force of 
two hundred and twenty-five men and 
an equipment of artillery. From that 
time until his final surrender to Col. 

History of Bannock County 

Nelson A. Miles, October 5, 1877, 
Chief Joseph led his followers from 
one point to another, extricating them 
from apparently hopeless predica- 
ments, and showing a military shrewd- 
ness that ranks him among the first 
warriors of his race. 

In their flight eastward one body 
of Nez Perces pursued a southerly 
course, crossing Oneida county a lit- 
tle above Eagle Rock, now called 
Idaho Falls. It is thought that they 
expected the Bannock Indians on the 
Fort Hall reservation to rise and join 
them, but if this was the case they 
were disappointed. Perhaps the Ban- 
nocks saw the folly of casting in their 
lot with an ally who was already in 
flight, but as will appear presently, 
the Nez Perces received no help from 
the Bannocks. 

The Nez Perces followed a trail 
down Birch creek. At the same time, 
August, 1877, two freighters, named 
Hayden and Green, were traveling 
northward to Salmon City, with eight 
or ten wagons, loaded with merchan- 
dise. In their party were two hired 
men, two Chinamen and a swamper, 
who was working' his passage. A 
party of the Indians met the Hayden 
and Green outfit and approaching 
them in a friendly manner, said they 
wanted to buy flour. Hayden asked 
them the price then current in Salmon 
City— $1.75 per hundredweight. The 



History of Bannock County 

Indians beat him down fifty cents per 
hundredweight in his price, bought 
and paid for their flour, and moved 
on. Soon Hayden met a second de- 
tachment of the Nez Ferces, who also 
wanted to buy flour. He quoted these 
men the same price he had sold to the 
first party for, but the second also 
beat him down. After paying for 
their purchase, the Indians passed on 
and joined their comrades. When the 
two bands compared notes, they found 
a discrepancy in price, and turned in 
their tracks to overtake Hayden. 
When they came up with the freight- 
ers, thej' forced them to go into camp 
near the sink of Birch creek, and be- 
gan riding threateningly around the 
wagons, which the freighters had cor- 
raled in regular form. The swamper 
became uneasy and, when opportunity 
offered, took to the hills. After a 
time the Indians took a barrel of 
whiskey from one of the wagons and 
having opened it, used it as a free 
bar. Now Hayden and his compan- 
ions felt alarmed. One by one they 
made cautiously for a willow grove 
on the creek bank, but one of them 
was killed within thirty yards of the 
camp, another ten yards further, while 
a third was shot down when nearly 
a quarter of a mile distant. All three 
bodies were mutilated. The Indians, 
now maddened with drink, turned 
their attention to the two Chinamen, 

History of Bannock County 

whom they abused cruelly. Forcing 
them down on all fours, they rode the 
yellow men with spurs, using their 
whips and rowels freely. Tiring of 
this sport, the Nez Perces after tak- 
ing what they wanted, made a bonfire 
of the freight wagons, which were 
afterward found burned to the hubs. 
The Chinamen availed themselves of 
this opportunity to escape. Both they 
and the swamper were rescued after 
wandering for several days in the 
mountains., but all three men were 
insane from exposure, hunger, fear 
and abuse. 

Colonel George L. Shoup, of Salmon 
City, who was expecting the arrival 
of the Hayden party, went up into 
the hills where he could get a view 
of the road, just at the time the In- 
dians forced the freighters into camp, 
to see whether the wagons had come 
into sight yet. Taking in the situa- 
tion, the colonel hurried back to 
Salmon City for aid, but the rescuers 
arrived too late. All they could do 
was to give decent burial to Hayden, 
Green, and their two companions. 

After this massacre, the Indians 
followed down Birch creek, crossed 
the Lemhi river and made a long 
day's journey, without water, to 
Hole-in-the-Rock, in Beaver canyon, 
close to the present town of High- 

At this time, Mr. E. N. Rowland 



History of Bannock County 

who now lives on a ranch five miles 
west of Pocatello, was traveling north- 
ward with a freight outfit. He had 
gone a little beyond Eagle Rock when 
word eanie that the Indians were on 
the warpath. Hurrying ahead, |he 
overtook other freighters, who in turn 
held back for others to overtake them. 
In this way forty or fifty men band- 
ed together for mutual protection. 
Presently, looking southward, these 
men saw a great cloud of dust ap- 
proaching, and prepared for trouble, 
but the newcomers proved to be 
friendly Bannocks, a hundred and 
fifty or two hundred strong, who had 
heard that the Nez Perces were in 
the country. They were making a 
raid to steal the invaders' horses. 
Mr. "Rowland says the same band 
passed them again a few days later, 
leading with them about two hundred 
captured ponies. 

Further on, just as they were go- 
ing into camp for their noonday meal, 
the freighters saw an Indian some 
distance ahead turn out of the road 
and disappear among the rocks. A 
couple of hours later, before resum- 
ing their march, a few of the freight- 
ers made a cautious search and found 
the Indian dead from thirst. This 
was the first of several dead Indians 
found by the freighters, all of whom 
had died in the same manner. The 
hot August weather had dried up the 

History of Bannock Cou nty 

few streams between the scene of the 
Hayden tragedy and the Indians ' next 
halting place, Hole-in-the-Rock. Their 
whiskey orgy of the previous night 
had left them in bad shape for a 
long, dry march and some of the 
weaker of them perished by the way. 
It is but a few miles from High- 
bridge to the Montana line, and the 
fleeing Nez Perees circled on toward 
Bozeman, in that state, without per- 
petrating any more outrages in Idaho. 
In June of this same year, 1877, 
a band of Bannock Indians from Fort 
Hall, influenced probably by the ac- 
tion of the Nez Perees in refusing to 
be restricted by the terms of treaties, 
left their reservation and proceeded 
toward Boise. The band was well 
armed and well mounted. When word 
reached Boise that these Indians were 
in camp, less than thirty miles away, 
the town was greatly alarmed and 
a body of volunteers, under Captain 
R. Robbins, was quickly equipped for 

A small detachment of men was 
sent to interview the Bannocks, with 
instructions to bring the band, or at 
least the chiefs, into Boise to have a 
talk with the governor. The embassy 
returned the following morning, June 
20th, bringing with them thirty or 
forty stalwart Bannock warriors. 
They created a sensation as they rode 
double file through the main street 



History of Bannock County 

of the city to the governor's office. 
Here they were introduced to the gov- 
ernor and several of the leading men 
of Boise, with whom they held a long 
peace conference. In the end it was 
agreed that the people of Boise 
should provide the Indians with pro- 
visions and accommodations for their 
horses until the following day, and 
give them a few hundred pounds of 
flour and meat, beside certain amounts 
of sugar, tea, coffee, tobacco, etc., the 
Bannocks for their part undertaking 
to return peaceably to their reserva- 

Mr. John Hailey, who was detailed 
by the governor to see that the com- 
pact was carried out, has given us 
the following account of their de- 
parture : 

"Early the next morning, with the 
assistance of a few of our good boys, 
we gathered up all these contribu- 
tions and checked up to see if they 
filled the agreement. Everything was 
satisfactory, we helped them to pack 
up, and then tried to impress on them, 
first, that we had kept and fulfilled 
our part of the agreement, and sec- 
ond, that they must not fail to fulfill 
their part of the agreement. They 
seemed to realize the importance of 
fulfilling their part, so we bade them 
a good-bye, wishing them a speedy 
and safe journey to their home on 
the Fort Hall reservation. They went 

History of Bannock Cou nty 

and kept their part of the agreement 
for this year, 1877, but in 1878 they 
gave us trouble." 

The trouble to. which Mr. Hailey 
refers was the Bannock Indian war, 
which we will take up in the next 



The Bannock Indian War and the 


For seven years previous to the 
treaty of 1S69, the Bannock Indians 
had given no trouble. In the late fifties 
and early sixties thej 7 committed anum- 
ber of depredations, and in 1862, Gen- 
eral Conner, with a body of troops 
from California, administered a de- 
feat to them at Battle Creek, near the 
present town of Oxford, that effectu- 
ally ended their misbehavior for sev- 
eral years. The bones of Indians 
killed in this fight are still found in 
the vicinity. 

It was told in a previous chapter 
how a confusion pf the terms Camas 
and Kansas occurred in the Bannock 
Indian treaty of 1869. The document 
stated that the Indians should have 
a portion of the Kansas prairie, in- 
stead of Camas. The two words were 
synonymous to the Indians, but wise 
men among the whites foresaw that 
the mistake would cause future trou- 
ble. Accordingly, in the spring of 
1873, Mr. John Hailey called on the 
secretary of the interior and the com- 
missioner of Indian affairs in Wash- 
ington and urged that the mistake 
be corrected. As a result a commis- 
sion of three was appointed to settle 

History of Bannock County 

all disputed points with the Nez 
Perce and Bannock Indians, but noth- 
ing was accomplished by the embassy. 
The treaty still read "Kansas" and 
the Bannocks still believed that they 
were entitled to a portion of the 
Camas prairie, where there were no 
white settlers at that time, and where 
the Indians roamed at will. 

The trouble came in 1878. In May 
of that year some hogs were herded 
on Camas prairie and William Silvey, 
George Nesbet and Lou Kensler drove 
a band of cattle and horses there to 
graze. The men camped about ten 
miles south of Corral Creek crossing. 
On the twenty-seventh of May, two 
English-speaking Indians, called Char- 
ley and Jim, visited the campers and 
appeared in every way friendly. They 
came again early the next morning, 
ate breakfast with the white men and 
continued their show of friendliness 
until Silvey, Nesbet and Kensler had 
scattered to their several camp du- 
ties. Then Indian Charlie, without 
warning, shot Nesbet through the 
jaws with a pistol as he was gather- 
ing up some dishes from the ground, 
while Indian Jim fired a shot at 
Kensler, who was saddling a horse, 
and grazed the side of his head. Nes- 
bet and Kensler made a dash for 
their tent, where they seized guns and 
opened fire on the Indians, who were 
now shooting at Silvey. They fled 



History of Banno ck County 

before the bullets and Silvey escaped 

Nesbet was badly wounded. His 
companions tended his injuries as well 
as they could, saddled a couple of 
horses, and started with him for 
Boise. Wlhen they had gone a few 
miles they looked back and saw a 
large body of Indians devastating 
their camp. They gave the alarm as 
they traveled along toward Boise, 
which Nesbet was a week in reaching. 
Upon examination, his mouth was 
found to be alive with vermin, caused 
by fly-blows, but Dr. Treadwell 
cleansed it and sewed his tongue to- 
gether, and after much suffering Nes- 
bet recovered. 

The Indians spent a day in the 
raided camp on Camas prairie, killing 
cattle and drying beef, gathering 
horses and preparing generally for 
war. Two white men, Mabes and 
Dempsey, were with them. The lat- 
ter had lived with the Bannocks for 
several years and had an Indian wife. 
The Indians made Dempsey write a 
letter to Governor Braymen at Boise, 
threatening to kill settlers and de- 
stroy property all over the state, if 
troops were sent to fight them. They 
then sent Mabes to deliver the letter, 
and killed Dempsey. 

It was learned later that there was 
a division among the Indians at this 
time, some favoring war, and others 
counselling against it. Buffalo Horn, 

History of Bannock County 

who was bent on mischief, finally se- 
cured a following of some two hun- 
dred warriors and a few young In- 
dian women, while the remainder of 
the Indians returned to the Fort Hall 

Buffalo Horn and his followers next 
appeared at King Hill station on the 
Overland stage road. They robbed 
this place and then raided Glenn's 
Ferry, five miles below, on the Snake 
river, where they destroyed several 
wagon-loads of merchandise consigned 
to Boise merchants, and held a big 
spree on some whiskey they found 
there. The next day they went on 
down the river to Bruneau, killing 
John Bascom and two other men on 
the way, and two others, Jack 
Sweeney and a Mr. Hays, whom they 
found at, or near, Bruneau. The 
murders would have reached a much 
higher number had it not been for 
the alarm spread by Kensler, Nesbet 
and Silvey, which gave tht settlers 
an opportunity to escape. 

In the meantime, W. C. Tatro, who 
had met the fleeing campers and 
learned of the outbreak from 
them, carried the news to Rocky 
Bar, where a company of volun- 
teers was at once raised by Hon. 
G. M. Parsons. At the same time, 
Colonel Bernard, accompanied by 
Colonel R. Robbins. who had rendered 
valuable services in the Nez Perce 
war of the previous year, led a body 



History of Bannock County 

of troops from Boise. Both parties 
took up the trail of the Indians at 
Camas Prairie and followed in their 

The people of Silver City in Owy- 
hee county, hearing that a band of 
hostile Indians was encamped in the 
mountains to the north, sent a com- 
pany of twenty-six men, undei Cap- 
tain Harper, to give them battle. The 
white men were greatly outnumbered 

d the Indians had the advantage 
of position. A long and fierce fight 
ensued, during which Captain Har- 
I fir Lost two men. The result was in- 
decisive, the white men returning to 
Silver City, and the Indians with- 
drawing the following day. 

When he heard of the Silver City 
engagement. Col. Bernard hurried 
thither, and sent Col. Bobbins out 
with a detachment of men to see why 
the mail stage, due the day before, 
had not arrived. They found the 
stage destroyed by the Indians, and 
the driver killed. The only passen- 
ger had escaped on one of the lead 
horses of the stage. 

The Bannock Indians soon persuad- 
ed others to join them. They gained 
recruits from the Duck Valley In- 
dians, the Lemhis, Winnemuccas, 
Malheurs and Snakes, and with their 
allies numbered about two thousand 
warriors, women and boys. As they 
traveled they killed or stole all the 

History of Bannock County 

cattle and horses they met and de- 
stroyed a large amount of property. 

From Silver City, Col. Bernard 
moved on to Fort Harney. Col. Rob- 
bins, who was scouting' ahead, suc- 
ceeded in locating the camp of the 
Indians by night. He followed their 
trail for some distance and then 
climbed a steep hillside to a level 
plateau, along which he crawled un- 
til opposite the red men's camp. In 
the clear starlight, he could see all 
the Indian camps and calculated that 
they contained at least a thousand 
warriors. The white men had less 
than three hundred soldiers. 

After a conference, Colonels Rob- 
bins and Bernard decided to attack 
the hostile camp. Col. Robbins, with 
thirty-five men, charged and sur- 
prised the enemy in the early morn- 
ting, while Col. Bernard, with the 
main force, proceeded up Silver Creek 
to the canyon where the Indians were 

Although completely surprised, the 
red men betook themselves to some 
fortifications they had made among 
the rocks, while the soldiers shielded 
themselves as best they could. The 
two parties kept up a fusilade 
throughout the day, and during the 
following night, June 23rd, the In- 
dians decamped, leaving a hundred 
dead behind. Five soldiers w<re 
killed and a few slightly wounded. 



History of Bannock County 

Before beginning the battle, Col. 
Bernard had sent word to General 
Howard, who was at Malheur, say- 
ing that he was about to enter an 
engagement with a large force of? 
Indians and might need reinforce- 
ments. The general arrived the fol- 
lowing morning and took command 
in person. 

Colonel Bobbins and his scouts fol- 
lowed the Indians, who headed in a 
northwesterly direction, while the 
troops came on behind. 

Within a few miles of John Day 
river, Bobbins came to a sheep cor- 
ral in which a large fire had been 
built by the Indians. Tht brutes had 
then bound together the hind legs of 
the lambs found on the place and 
thrown them into the corral to burn 
to death. They had killed the old 
sheep and left them to rot. In an- 
other place the scouts found a herd 
of Merino bucks, whose forelegs the 
Indians had cut off at the knee, leav- 
ing the poor animals in agony. Such 
exploits were typical of the Indian 
on the warpath. 

On another occasion the scouts saw 
a white man on foot running for his 
life from a party of pursuing Indians, 
who overtook and killed their victim 
before the rescuers could arrive. The 
man was found, scalped and muti- 
lated, and although still breathing, 
too far gone to give even his name. 

'Scalping was quite an art amon? 

History of Bannock County 

the Indians, and one in which, sad 
to say, some white men became very 
proficient. The Indians did not re- 
move the whole head of their vic- 
tim's hair, but only a circular por- 
tion, about the size of a silver dollar, 
from the crown of the head. Some- 
times in an attempt to win false 
glory, a man would cut two or three 
scalps from one head, taking the ex- 
tra ones from the sides, but a judge 
of scalps could always detecjt the 
fraud, and unerringly select that 
which had been taken from the crown. 
Some white scouts scalped the In- 
dians they killed, and sold the tro- 
phies, properly cured, for good sums, 
the price among eastern curio seek- 
ers ranging from fifty to seventy-five 
dollars. The wound inflicted by 
scalping was by no means fatal, al- 
though most people who went through 
the ordeal died, because they had 
been badly wounded first. But in- 
stances are on record of men who 
afterward recovered and were none 
the worse for their experience. 

On July 8th, Colonel Robbins lo- 
cated and surprised the Indians in a 
canyon leading up to the Blue moun- 
tains in Oregon. He was supported 
by Colonel Bernard with his troops, 
and succeeded in driving the red men 
from their position. But the Indians 
took to the hills and got away, leav- 
ing several dead behind them. 

The Bannocks had crossed into Ore- 



History of Ban nock County 

gon in the hope of persuading the 
Umatilla and Yakima Indians to join 
them. In this they were disappoint- 
ed, which, added to the close pursuit 
of the soldiers and the, now, well- 
picketed condition of the country, dis- 
heartened the marauders, and they 
began to sneak back in small bands 
to the reservations from which they 
had come. On their way they com- 
mitted many d< predations. 

In Umatilla county, Oregon, Mr. 
Charles Jewell, hearing of the Indian 
outbreak, secured an equipment of 
guns and carried them to his herders, 
Avho were tending his sheep about 
thirty-five miles from Pendleton. He 
stopped at a rancher's door for a 
friendly chat, and had barely alighted 
from his horse when a volley of shots 
from some ambushed Indians laid him 
on the ground. The other man was 
killed and Mr. Jewell was left for 
dead. When the Indians had gone, 
he crawled into the house and se- 
cured a pair of blankets and a 
shingle. On the shingle he wrote: 
"Charles Jewell — shot by Indians — 
is in the brush near by — call me if 
you see this." The wounded man 
then dragged himself to the road, 
posted his sign (here, and crawled 
into the brush, where he wrapped 
himself in the blankets. For three 
days and nights he lay without food 
or water, and when finally some pass- 
ing men found his sign and were led 

History of Bannock County 

to him by his feeble answer to their 
call it was too late. He died a few 
days afterward in Pendleton. 

The three leading war chiefs of the 
fighting* Indians were Buffalo Horn, 
Bear Skin and Egan. The two for- 
mer had been killed since hostilities 
began in May. About the middle of 
July, Chief Homily of the Umatillas, 
with ninety followers, went up into 
the hills to recover some horses that 
Chief Egan's men had stolen. He 
arranged for a conference with Chief 
Egan and thirty of his men, and in 
the midst of it, at a given signal, 
fell upon Chief Egan, killing him and 
his thirty companions. He then af- 
fixed the dead chief's scalp to a long 
pole, with the hair flying in the breeze 
and carried it triumphantly back to 
the reservation. General Howard 
had doubted the loyalty of the Uma- 
tillas up to this time and Chief Hom- 
ily killed Chief Egan as an evidence 
of his good faith toward the whites. 
Colonel Robbins was sent to the scene 
of the massacre to determine whether 
Chief Egan were really dead. Every- 
thing was found just as Chief Hom- 
ily had described it. 

Chief Egan's death completely de- 
moralized the Indians. They had 
now lost their three greatest fighting 
chiefs, and wherever they went they 
found the white men ready for them. 
Volunteer companies had been formed 



History of Bannock County 

all through that section of the coun- 
try, even as far south as Nevada, and 
the triumphant advance of the red 
men had turned into a search for 
safety. They broke into small par- 
ties, traveling along out-of-the-way 
trails and largely by night, killing 
and plundering when the opportunity 
came, but always heading for the res- 
ervation and safety. It is now more 
than thirty-five years since this war 
ended, during which time the Ban- 
nock Indians have given no further 
trouble. The large increase in popu- 
lation makes another outbreak prac- 
tically impossible. 

Idaho has seen one other Indian 
war, known as the Sheep-Eater In- 
dian war. This was fought with the 
Tookarikkas, in 1879. These people 
were a mixture of the Shoshonts and 
Bannocks, apparently inheriting the 
bad qualities of both without their 
good qualities. They were outcasts, 
even among the Indians, and won 
their soubriquet of "Sheep-Eaters" 
by stealing sheep from the ranges. 
They were cowardly and treacherous, 
and subsisted largely by theft. In 
May, 1879, they killed some settlers 
and burned some property on Hugh 
Johnson's ranch on the south fork 
of the Salmon river, near Warrens, 
and as a result were rounded up by 
government and state troops and 
sent to Vancouver, Wash. 

History of Bannock County 

We give this war only passing no- 
tice because it belongs to the history 
of Bannock county, only through the 
relationship of the Tookarikka and 
Bannock Indians. 


The Stage Coach. 


Previous to 1863 there was no reg- 
ular line of transportation through 
Bannock county, the mails being car- 
ried by pony express, which made the 
postage on letters cost from fifty 
cents to one dollar each, and the few 
people whose business called them 
across southern Idaho traveled singly 
or in groups, in the saddle, or by 
wagon, as suited their convenience 
end opportunity. But, however they 
traveled, they all followed the line of 
the old Oregon trail. 

In 1863, Oliver and Conover stock- 
ed a road from Virginia City, Mon- 
tana, to Salt Lake City, the impetus 
given to transportation in these parts 
by the development of the mines in 
Montana promising to make such a 
venture successful. The trail through 
Bannock county followed closely the 
present tracks of the Oregon Short 
Line running north from Fort Hall 
{ilong the Montana division. The sta- 
tions were from twelve to fifteen 
miles apart, there having been one at 
Fort Hall, another near the Lavatta 
ranch, another at Pocatcllo creek and 
a fourth just west of McCammon, 
formerly called Harkness. 

The freighting season opened in 

History of Bannock County 

April and lasted until November. The 
bottom lands to the west of Poeatello 
were a favorite wintering resort for 
the freighters because of the facili- 
ties they offered in the way of pro- 
tection, water and food. 

The freight wagons were drawn by 
either mules or oxen, and so slow was 
their progress that they made only 
from three to five trips a season. The 
more costly and perishable merchan- 
dise, such as drug's and chemicals. 
was usually carried on the passenger 

A mule train was made up of from 
eight to twelve animals attached to 
two or three wagons; an ox train of 
about fourteen animals. These cum- 
brous outfits traveled about twelve 
miles a day. 

The passenger stages, however, 
traveled about one hundred miles in 
twenty-four hours. They were drawn 
by from four to six horses, who were 
changed every twelve or fifteen miles, 
while the drivers changed every fifty 
miles. They were usually accompa- 
nied by a messenger, who was a kind 
of guard and rode beside the driver. 
Most of the stages were of the thor- 
ough-braced type, the bodies resting 
upon leather straps instead of springs, 
vhieb gave them an easy, swinging 
motion. They were usually fitted 
with three seats and carried nine pas- 
sengers, and were very comfortable 
\r> travel in. A few post stages, which 



History of Bannock County 

would accommodate twenty-six pas- 
s-enters, were run over this road, but 
the" traffic was not heavy enough to 
brine: them into general use. 

In 1864, Ben Halliday, whose name 
has been given to a street in Poca- 
tello, secured a contract to carry the 
United States mails, and bought out 
Oliver and Conover. This line was 
later called the Halliday Overland 
Mail and Express, a name retained in 
the Overland Limited of tolav, on the 
Oregon Short Line and Union Pacific 

Ben Halliday was well known 
throughout the far west fifty years 
ago, and his name is linktd insepar- 
ably with her early history. Mr. Hi- 
ram T. French, in his History of Ida- 
ho, says: ''Ben Halliday was a prom- 
inent figure in the development of 
the country west of the Mississippi, 
and filled a place that no man lack- 
ing in courage, judgment or charac- 
ter could have held. To one who 
knows the west, 'Overland' is even 
yet a word to conjure by. In fancy 
one sees the dashing horses and lurch- 
ing coach, and hears the crack of the 
driver's whip." 

Hon. John Hailey writes from per- 
sonal knowledge of the famous stage 
man as follows: "Ben Halliday was 
a little over the average in size, 
strong in stature, fine looking, soci- 
able, generous, energetic and far-see- 
ing. In conversation his intellectual 

History of Bannock County 

face and eyes would fairly shine. He 
was open and frank in all his deal- 
ings. He was brave, quick and dar- 
ing in engaging in any legitimate 
business that tended to open the re- 
sources of this great western coun- 

"At the time Mr. Halliday estab- 
lished his Overland Stage Line from 
the Missouri river to Salt Lake City, 
and from Salt Lake City to Helena, 
Montana, and to Boise, the country 
through which his stages must run 
was wild, inhabited by none save In- 
dians, usually hostile, and a few white 
men who were equally dangerous. Few 
men would even have entertained the 
idea of engaging in such a dangerous 
and hazardous business, which in- 
volved the investment of several hun- 
dred thousand dollars to build sub- 
stantial stations, and fit up the road 
with the necessary live and rolling 
stock, f oragt , provisions, men arms, 
and ammunition for the protection of 
life, property and the United States 
mail, but Mr. Halliday did it success- 
fully. He opened the great Overland 
Route and transported mail and pas- 
sengers from the east to west and re- 
turn with reasonable celerity and se- 
curity, besides making the route much 
safer for others to travel and blaz- 
ing the way for the Union Pacific 
railroad, which was commenced soon 

The stage line through Bannock 


History of B annock County 

county passed from the hands of Ben 
Halliday to the Wells Fargo Express 
company, and later to the firm of 
Gilmore and Salisbury, who continued 
the service until the opening of the 
Utah and Northern railway made 
stages a thing of the past. 

The mountain fastnesses along the 
Portneuf canyon, made this the most 
dangerous stretch of road between 
Salt Lake City and Butte. It was 
very difficult to trail men over the 
lava rocks that abound along this 
route, and the wild nature of the 
country beyond them offered road 
agents a fair chance of safety. The 
gold bullion brought down from the 
Montana mines made a tempting 
prize, and encouraged highway rob- 
bery to such an extent that the out- 
rages in time gave birth to the vigi- 
lantes, who gave the robbers short 
shrift and in time succeeded in prac- 
tically ending their operations. 

The first hold-up in Bannock coun- 
ty occurred in 1863, about a mile and 
a half west of Pocatello creek, when 
Jack Hughes, a Denver man, was 
robbed of $0,000 by Brocky Jack, at 
that time a well-known character 
alonjr the stage road. The trick was 
easily turned and Brocky Jack es- 
caped with his booty without firing 
a gun. 

In 1865, a far more serious affair 
was perpetrated near Robbers' Roost 

History of Bannock County 

Creek, a few miles west of the pres- 
ent town of McCammon. A stage of 
the Concord type, carrying several 
passengers and $60,000 of private 
money, was betrayed by its driver, 
Frank Williams, to a gang led by Jim 
Locket. As he rounded a steep hill, 
Williams turned his horses suddenly, 
breaking the reach of the coach, and 
the road agents, concealed in the 
brush, which was so thick at this 
point that it scratched the sides of 
the stage, gave the word to halt. 
Among the passengers were two 
wealthy St. Louis merchants, David 
Dinan and a man named McCausland. 
These men were apprehensive of be- 
ing held up and carried their guns in 
their hands, ready for instant use. 
This precaution probably caused their 
death. At the cry, "Hands up," the 
passengers discharged their guns into 
the brush, shooting too high to wound 
their opponents, but thereby bringing 
upon themselves a volley that killed 
both Dinan and McCausland and two 
other men, one of them being Law- 
rence Merz, a passenger who was sit- 
ting by the driver. Charles Parks, a 
messenger, riding within the coach, 
was shot in the foot, while one man, 
whose name is variously given as 
Brown and Carpenter, escaped un- 
hurt. The murdered men were bur- 
ied in a gulch near the scene of their 
death and the coach, riddled with bul- 
lets, was taken to Malad. 



History of B anno c k C o u n t y 

None of the members of this gang 
were apprehended, but Williams, the 
driver, was arrested and hung. He 
retained his position for some ten 
days after the hold-up, and then, ac- 
tuated perhaps by a guilty conscience 
and the fear of detection, resigned 
and went to Salt Lake. Here it was 
noticed that he spent money very 
freely, and he was seized later in 
Denver. Jim Locket was a man of 
such notorious character that no at- 
tempt was made to trail him, the few 
settlers in the neighborhood at that 
time preferring to give him as wide 
a berth as possible. 

Three men, named McCay, Jones 
and Spangler, followed a stage out 
of Malad City in 1870, and held it 
up some six or seven miles from that 
city. Spangler and Jones were after- 
ward captured, but Jones escaped 
from jail, and Spangler cleared him- 
self by giving information that led 
to the recovery of $6,000 of the $9,000 
taken from the coach. 

Two weeks later, in 1870, a very 
daring hold-up was made by two men 
near the top of the Malad divide. 
One of the men was variously known 
as Ed. Flag, Frank Long and Frank 
Carpenter. The other, whose name 
was Stone, was said to belong to a 
good family in Louisville, Ky. 

These two men placed three dum- 
mies in a half-exposed position near 

History of Bannock County 

tnje road and succeeded in making off 
with $36,000 in gold bullion without 
firing a shot. The stage carried no 

The driver returned to Malad and 
said that he had been held up by a 
gang of five men. After some delib- 
eration, J. N. Ireland, now a resi- 
dent of Pocatello, Tom Oakley, Dan- 
iel Robbins and four others, set out 
to trail the bandits. This was not a 
difficult matter in the early days, pro- 
vided the fugitives took to the brush, 
which they were obliged to do in 
most cases in order to find conceal- 
ment. Their horses, in pushing a way 
through the growth, left a well-de- 
fined track that a child could follow, 
and as travelers were few, there was 
little danger of hitting the wrong 
trail. But while it was sometimes 
an easy matter to follow up a gang 
of robbers, few men cared to under- 
take the task. A road agent knew 
that capture probably meant death 
and his very occupation was a suffi- 
cient guarantee that he would kill 
without scruple. He had the advan- 
tage, too of being able to ambush 
his pursuers, and shoot them before 
they could seek cover. 

The posse of seven men took up 
the trail of the bandits at the spot 
where the hold-up occurred and traced 
them to Birch Creek. As evening 
came on and darkness closed in, and 



History of Bannock County 

when they bad ridden some twenty 
miles, the pursuers came within a 
half mile of the robbers, whom they 
found to be on the opposite side of 
the creek. In the early morning they 
crossed the creek, and were close upon 
Flag and Stone, before those men 
were aware of their proximity. Not 
expecting 1 pursuit, the highwaymen 
were not on their guard. They con- 
cealed themselves in a steep hollow, 
where slender willows, about the 
thickness of a man's finger, and sev- 
en feet high, grew in such profusion 
that they formed an impenetrable 
hiding place. 

Mr. Ireland and his party rode past 
this hollow to the robbers' horses, 
where a council of war was held. At 
last Mr. Ireland and Dan Robbins 
volunteered to trail Flag and Stone 
while three of the party remained 
with the horses, and Tom Oakley, 
armed with a very fine rifle belonging 
to Mr. Ireland, took a position on 
the hillside behind a rock, where he 
could pick off the road agents if they 
emerged from the brush. 

Cautiously, with every sense alert, 
the two daring men worked their way 
into the hollow. They knew they were 
within a few feet of their quarry, but 
could see nothing of them. Pres- 
ently Mr. Ireland said: "Dan, here's 
where we're close upon them, because 
they have trampled these willows 

History of Bannock County 

down and they have sprung up 
again. ' ' 

At the same moment Oakley's voice 
called a warning from the hill, "Look 
out! You're close on them!" 

Simultaneously a shot rang out and 
Daniel Bobbins fell, riddled with shot. 
Flag and Stone made a clash from 
cover, but Oakley brought them both 
down with two well-directed shots 
from his rifle. The two men lay side 
by side, Flag dead, and Stone with 
a wound in his leg that necessitated 
its amputation. 

Mr. Ireland and his companions 
tried to get iSltone to tell where the 
$36,000 taken from the coach was 
hidden. Stone at first insisted that 
the stage had been held up by five 
men, three of whom had in turn 
robhed himself and Flag, who were 
left empty-handed. These three men, 
Stone said, had the money. Tom 
Oakley, after whom the town of Oak- 
ley in Bannock county was named, 
was a man of forbidding appearance 
and a bad man to trifle with. He took 
a hand in the matter and Stone finally 
confessed that the money was hidden 
near Elkhorn, where it was after- 
ward found. 

After the fight, which occurred in 
the early morning, Mr. Ireland rode 
back to Malad and returned the same 
day with a doctor, having traveled 



History of Bannock County 

over forty miles after his harrowing 

Mr. Robbins recovered from his 
wounds and died a few years ago in 
Salt Lake. At the time they entered 
the willow thicket, Mr. Ireland was 
wearing a grey and Mr. Robbins a 
white shirt. Stone said afterward 
that he and Flag saw the gleam of 
the white shirt through the foliage, 
and were thus enabled to shoot Rob- 
bins, although they could see no other 
portion of the two men. 

Stone was sent to the penitentiary 
at Boise, but after a short imprison- 
ment secured a pardon and became a 

Not until after their return from 
this expedition did Mr. Ireland's 
party learn that a large reward had 
been offered for the capture of the 
two road agents. A quarter of the 
$36,000 stolen was divided among the 
seven men, who received $1280 each. 

Another successful use of dummies 
was made by a lone bandit, who 
placed several at a turn in the road 
not far from Malad, and succeeded in 
relieving a coach, driven by James 
Boyle, of several bars of gold. There 
were no passengers in the stage. 

One night during the summer of 
1873. a stage manned by Charley 
Phelps and Joe Pinkham was ordered 
to stop by a road agent, while pass- 
ing through Portneuf canyon. In- 
stead of obeying the order, the stage- 

History of Bannock County 

men fired in the direction of the 
voice. The fire was returned and 
Phelps, who was driving, fell back, 
mortally wounded. Pinkham caught 
up the reins and the stage dashed on 
without stopping. Phelps was buried 
in the cemetery at Malad, where the 
following inscription stands over his 
grave : 

"In memory of Charles Phelps, 
of St. Lawrence County, New 
York. Driver on the Overland 
Stage Line, who was mortally 
wounded, July 16, 1873, in an at- 
tack on his coach by highway- 
men, in Portneuf Canyon, Idaho, 
and died on the following day. 

"Age 43 years. 
"He fell, as all true heroes fall. 

While answering to his duty's 

"This stone is erected by his 
friends and companions, who 
loved and respected him, and sin- 
cerely mourn his death." 

The days of the stage coach have 
passed, and with them the incidents 
that we class under adventure and 
romance in the reading, but that 
meant hardship, danger and exposure 
in the making. The advent of the 
railroad was the beginning of a new 
era in Bannock county — an era of 
prosperity and growth, but also, let 
us not forget, an era for which the 
way was paved by the hardy pioneers 



History of Bannock County 

who faced the wilderness unafraid, 
and tamed it for the uses of civiliza- 
tion. These men, following their 
humble lot in life and performing 
their toilsome duties from day to day, 
were in truth empire builders, to 
whom is due the respect and honor of 
all right-feeling men. 




It occurs to few men, as they glide 
smoothly across the Snake river in 
a vestibuled train, and watch the 
seething waters toss and tumble be- 
low the substantial iron bridge, to 
think of the problem the passage of 
this same stream afforded the trav- 
eler of fifty years ago. In his "Ven- 
tures and Adventures," Ezra Meeker 
tells of how he crossed the Snake in 
1852. Mr. Meeker and his party had 
crossed the plains from Iowa, on their 
way to Oregon, and by the time they 
reached Idaho their funds were al- 
most exhausted. Ferries were scarce 
and where one was found, the price 
asked for a passage was prohibitive 
to most of the immigrants. 

'"Some immigrants," writes Mr. 
Meeker, "had caulked three wagon 
beds and lashed them together, and 
were crossing, but would not help 
others across for less than from three 
to five dollars a wagon, the party 
swimming their own stock. If others 
could cross in wagon-beds, why could 
not I do likewise? Without much ado, 
all the old clothing that could possi- 
bly be spared was marshalled, tar 
buckets ransacked, old chisels and 
broken knives hunted up, and a veri- 


History of Bannoc k C o u n t y 

table boat repairing and caulking 
campaign inaugurated, and shortly 
the wagon-box rode placidly, even if 
not gracefully on the turbid waters 
of the formidable river. 

"My first venture across the Snake 
river was with the wagon gear run 
over the wagon box, the whole being 
gradually worked out into deep wa- 
ter. The load was so heavy that a 
very small margin was left to pre- 
vent the water from breaking over 
the sides, and some actually did, as 
light ripples on the surface struck 
the "Mary Jane," as we had chris- 
tened (without wine) the 'craft,' as 
she was launched. However, I got 
over safely, but after that took light- 
er loads and really enjoyed the nov- 
elty of the work and the change from 
the intolerable dust, and the atmos- 
phere of the water." 

The Utah & Northern was the first 
railroad to enter the territory of 
Idaho. It was promoted by John W. 
Young, a son of Brigham Young, 
whose name has been given to Young 
street in Pocatello, but although a 
large sum of local capital was invest- 
ed, the enterprise received its chief 
support from Joseph and Benjamin 
Richardson, two contractors of New 
York City, whom Young interested in 
the project. 

In March, 1873, congress granted 
a right of way to Young's company 

History of Bannock County 

running along the Bear river valley, 
through Soda Springs, up the Snake 
river valley and across Montana to 
a junction point with the Northern 
Pacific. The act allowed ten years 
in which to complete the work of 
construction. A second act, passed 
in June, 1878, empowered "the Utah 
& Northern Railroad company and 
its assigns to build their road by way 
of Marsh valley, Portneuf and Snake 
river instead of by way of Soda 
Springs and Snake river valley." 

By the spring of 1877 the road had 
been constructed as far as the Snake 
river. In the following year a bond 
issue of $4,991,000 was "floated and 
during 1880 the rails were extended 
to Silver Bow, Montana, a distance 
of 328 miles from the Utah line. 

In July, 1882, congress officially 
ratified an agreement made at Fort 
Hall between the Shoshone and Ban- 
nock Indians and Joseph K. McCam- 
mon, whose name has been given to 
the town of McCammon in this coun- 
ty, and several railroad officers, by 
which the promoters secured a right 
of way through the reservation. 

The opening of the Utah & North- 
ern railway gave the first great im- 
petus to settlement and development 
in southeastern Idaho, making it pos- 
sible to market produce profitably 
and at the same time bringing the set- 
tler into touch with the outside world. 


History of Bannock County 

The Portnenf canyon, through which 
this line was constructed, is one thou- 
sand feet lower than any other 
mountain pass within three hundred 
miles either north or south, and con- 
stitutes a natural gateway through 
which a very large portion of the 
produce of the great northwest must 
pass on its way to an eastern market. 

The Utah & Northern Railway com- 
pany was consolidated with the Ore- 
gon Short Line Railway company in 
August, 1889, being known as the 
Oregon Short Line & Northern Rail- 
way company, and in 1897 the two 
were merged into the present Oregon 
Short Line Railroad company. 

The Utah & Northern had con- 
structed a narrow gauge line. When 
the old Short Line Railway company 
built its line between Granger and 
Huntington it used the transportation 
facilities afforded by the Utah & 
Northern both to the east and west 
of Pocatello. During the early part 
of 1882 the Short Line laid a narrow 
gauge track between Pocatello and 
the Snake river crossing, now Ameri- 
can Falls, and from McOammon, at 
that time called Harkness, to a point 
near the present station of Pebble. 

During the year 1882, the Utah & 
Northern track between MeCammon 
and Pocatello was rebuilt to stand- 
ard gauge, the narrow gauge equip- 
ment of that company being provided 

History of Bannock County 

for by laying a third rail. By the 
summer of 1SS7 the entire line be- 
tween Poeatello and Silver Bow, Mon- 
tana, was operating on a standard 
gauge, while the lines to the east and 
south had been similarly reconstruct- 
ed before 1890. 

At the time the first railroad bridge 
across the Snake river was huilt, 
American Falls was located on the 
western side of the river. The popu- 
lation was made up of the usual as- 
sortment of men, who make up the 
population of frontier towns. The 
good, the bad and the indifferent were 
there — graders, stockmen. Chinamen, 
gamblers and business men, with a 
few women — all rough and ready: 
hardy people of the plains and the 
mountains. Law and order were ad- 
ministered in a ready manner and 
summary justice was meted out to 
the evil-doer by self-constituted 
judges and juries. 

Two of the worst characters in the 
neighborhood at that time were cow- 
boys, gamblers and probably mur- 
derers; "Tex" and "Johnson," as 
they were known to the people of 
American Falls. 

One night some Chinamen were 
murdered and the more law-abiding 
citizens decided that if the culprits 
were found they should suffer for 
the crime. The two cowboys. "Tex" 
and Johnson, were suspected of the 


History of Bannock County 

murder, but as no certain proof was 
obtainable, they were not punished, 
but ordered to leave town. This they 
did, going 1 to the east side of the river 
and spending the night in a house 
occupied by Buck Houston. The next 
day they returned to the west side. 
The law and order element immedi- 
ately organized a necktie party, with 
"Tex" and Johnson as the chief 
guests. With a grim brevity the two 
were taken to the river, ropes thrown 
over an iron span, and with a short 
wait for the usual last words they 
were hurried into eternity. Their 
bodies swung back and forth, sus- 
pended from the bridge, the falls 
roaring and splashing beneath them, 
and the spray shooting up into the 
air, wetting their high boots and 
leather chaps. 

Afterwards the two bodies were cut 
down and taken to the top of the 
bluff, overlooking the river, and there 
they were buried. Two rough slabs, 
with "Tex" carved on one, and 
"Johnson" on the other, were placed 
at their heads. The mounds where 
these men were buried are still dis- 

In most newly-settled communities, 
justice is administered quickly and 
wit hunt the formality of legal pro- 
ceedings. This was especially true 
of the early days in the west. Time 
was when the regular method of col- 

History of Ban nock County 

lecting overdue bills in Bannock coun- 
ty was at the mouth of a gun, and 
this within the memory of living men. 
Horse theft was punishable with 
death throughout the far west, the 
penalty being no more than propor- 
tionate to the crime. For the west 
in those days was a desert country, 
&nd the loss of a man's horse often 
meant a horrible death by thirst be- 
cause the next watering place was 
further away than a man could walk. 
So it happened that while a cowboy 
sometimes paid a hundred dollars for 
his saddle and only twenty-five dol- 
lars for his pony, he would forgive 
the man who stole the former, but 
without scruple hang the man who 
stole the horse. 

The terminal facilities of the Ore- 
gon Short Line at Pocatello have 
been steadily increased and the road- 
bed improved because of the immense 
traffic caused by the development of 
the tributary territory. In 1904 the 
"Michaud Cut-off" was made in or- 
der to straighten the track a few 
miles west of Pocatello. Since 1910 
the road has been double-tracked be- 
tween Lava Hot Spring's and Mich- 
aud, and in that year the svstem of 
mechanical block signals was com- 
pleted from the eastern to the west- 
ern boundary of the county. A branch 
line, connecting Alexander and Grace, 
a distance of about six miles, was 


History of Bannock County 

opened in 1913. Among other note- 
worthy recent improvements are the 
Batise Springs water plant, the Cen- 
ter street viaduct and Halliday street 
subway in Pocatello, the new shop 
buildings and depot, now being built 
in the same city, and the new depot 
and water plant at MeCammon. 

The Oregon Short Line is the ar- 
tery through which pulses the very 
life blood of Bannock county. In the 
Pocatello shops over eleven hundred 
men are employed, and those who find 
work on the Montana and Idaho divi- 
sions bring the number to about 4000. 
It is, therefore, a very fortunate 
thing for the community at large that 
the Oregon Short Line Railroad com- 
pany is one of the apparently few 
large corporations in tlhis country 
today that realizes a moral responsi- 
bility toward the general public. A 
.'.omparison of the Safety First move- 
ment as conducted by this company 
with the conditions that are not only 
tolerated but apparently encouraged 
by the owners of the Colorado mines 
shows what a great blessing or curse 
the attitude of big corporations to- 
ward the public welfare may be. 

Some years ago, l\fa*. Harriman, 
while talking with the claims attor- 
ney of one of the roads in which he 
was interested, about the policy to 
bft ndonted in dealing with injured 
employes in (he maiier <»? settlements, 

History of Bannock County 

and particularly of providing them 
with some kind of work when they 
had been so seriously injured that 
they could not fill their former posi- 
tions, said that he wanted "all in- 
jured men to be dealt with along the 
lines of practical Christianity." That 
this idea is still followed by the com- 
pany is shown by the fact that in 
June, 1914, only one injured employe 
had a suit pending against the com- 
pany for injuries received in its ser- 
vice; the rest being satisfied with the 
terms of settlement accorded them by 
the company. 

The Safety First movement, by 
which the Oregon Short Line seeks 
to guard the safety of .'its employes 
?nd of the public alike, is an educa- 
tional measure inaugurated about two 
years ago and intended to interest all 

The work is carried on by means 
of committees. At each division point 
is what is known as a "sub-commit- 
tee," composed of men from all 
branches of the service, who suggest 
changes in the road's equipment or 
in existing conditions, that will make 
the work of railroading safer. If 
the suggestions made cannot be act- 
ed upon locally, they are referred to 
the "division committee," which in 
turn accepts or rejects them, and if 
unable to enforce them by its own 
vote, recommends them to the "cen- 
tral committee." This body is eom- 


History of Bannock County 

posed of officials of the road and their 
decision is final. In this way the 
entire Short Line force, from the 
newest and lowest paid employe to 
the highest officer, is interested in 
the common safety, and is in a posi- 
tion to suggest measures for the gen- 
eral good. That the system is suc- 
cessful is shown by the fact that dur- 
ing the year ending June, 1913, there 
were 2829 people injured on the Ore- 
gon Short Line. During that ending 
June, 1914, the total was reduced to 
3711, or 39.5 per cent. During the 
first six months of this year there 
were only 606 accidents, as against 
955 for the same months of 1913 — 
a reduction of over 61 per cent. 

The company is also conducting a 
campaign to eliminate the accidents 
caused by trespassing. In 1913, 5434 
trespassers wore killed on the rail- 
roads in the United States. Of these, 
10 per cent were tramps, 70 per cent 
young men or heads of families, and 
20 per cent were children under 14 
years of age. By trying to educate 
school children, their teachers and the 
general public in precautionary meas- 
ures, and by attempting to secure 
proper legislation on the subject, the 
Oregon Short Line Railroad company 
is trying to still further enhance its 
value to the people at large and to 
reduce to a minimum the accidents 
connected with all great railroad cor- 



In his book " Astoria," written 
about 1840, in which he gives the 
history of an attempt made by the 
first John Jacob Astor to establish a 
fur trade to the west of the Rocky 
Mountains, Washington Irving re- 
peatedly regrets the fact that the 
great stretch of the western plains 
must forever form a desert stretch 
between the civilization of the west 
and that of the east. In one place 
he says: "Some portions of it (the 
prairie) along the river* may par- 
tially be subdued by agriculture, 
others may form vast pastoral tracts, 
like those of the east; but it is to be 
feared that a great part of it will 
form a lawless interval between the 
abodes of civilized man, like the 
wastes of the ocean or the deserts of 
Arabia; and, like them, be subject 
to the depredations of the ma- 

In this the great writer proved to 
be a false prophet. Irrigation and the 
principles of dry farming are fast 
converting the desert into productive 
farm land, and land that a few years 
as - o could be had for a sony is today 



History of Bannock County 

held at high prices. The United 
States Census report for 1910 gave 
the average value o'f land in Bannock 
county as $7.76 per acre. In 1910, 
the same bureau °-ave the average 
value as being $21.57. 

This increase in value, however, is 
not due to development alone, but 
also to the increased rainfall during 
recent years, which has made it pos- 
sible to profitably till soil that was 
before considered arid. The total 
precipitation in Pocatello in 1901 was 
7.56 inches. In 1906, it was 18.17 
inches, and in 1907, 17.43 inches, 
while in 1914 it was over 18. 6U 
inches. Some scientists explain this 
by saying that the increased areas of 
irrigation give off a sufficient evapor- 
ation to form clouds, which precipi- 
tate the evaporated water in the form 
of rain and snow, while others main- 
tain that the surface of irrigation 
waters is not large enough to effect 
the annual precipitation. But what- 
ever the explanation, the fact remains 
that many hitherto unproductive 
tracts have now sufficient natural 
moisture to make them productive. 

The only weather bureau in Ban- 
nock county is situated at Pocatello, 
at an altitude of 4,483 feet, and the 
following statistics were registered at 
that place: The average number of 
days per year with more than .01 inch 
<>'!' precipitation is 92. The mean 

History of Bannock County 

temperature is about 47.5; nearly the 
same as that of eastern Massachu- 
setts, but more equably distributed. 
The earliest killing- frost of the win- 
ter usually comes about the middle of 
October, and the last in the spring 
toward the end of April. 

The population of the county in 
1910 was 19,242; in 1900 it was 
11,702. Some idea of the cosmopoli- 
tan character of the population may 
be gathered from the fact that there 
were in this county in 1910, 52 Chi- 
nese. 360 Japanese, 129 negroes, 641 
Greeks, 483 English, 288 Danes, 280 
Italians, and 232 Swedes, beside 
smaller numbers from fifteen other 
nationalities. Only 51 per cent of the 
population were nativ° born children 
of native parents. The county con- 
tained 11,405 males, and 7837 fe- 
males. These were divided into 3.668 
families, housed in 3.560 dwellings. 

In 1910 the county had 1,503 farms, 
as against 769 in 1900. The value of 
all farm property was $10,957,609, an 
increase of 188.6 per cent over the 
total valuation in 1900. The value of 
all crops in 1910 was $1,339 642, the 
most valuable being cereals, which 
totaled $653,768. Hay and forage 
came next at $610,585. The remain- 
ing crops were made up of grains and 
seeds, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and 
a few other products. The total irri- 
gated area is about 110,000 acres. 


History of Bannock County 

The altitude in the valleys varies from 
4,250 i'eet to 5.780, -while among the 
mountains it is, of course, much 
higher. There is a large acreage of 
fine, well-watered pasture land in the 
county, on which grows an abundance 
of nutritious bunch grass. McCam- 
mon, Downey, Oxford, and Soda 
Springs are all surrounded with rich 
agricultural lands, and at the latter 
place are a number of hot mineral 
springs, whose waters are bottled and 
widely sold. Lava Hot Springs will 
in time be a health resort of more 
than state-wide fame, the beauty of 
its surroundings as well as its health- 
giving springs making it an ideal spot 
for rest and recreation. 

There was a time when deer, bear 
and other game were plentiful in this 
county, and it is only about ten years 
since a settler was sitting quietly in 
his cabin one summer evening, read- 
ing a magazine, when he was dis- 
turbed by a slight noise. He paid no 
attention to this, but was suddenly 
startled a second time by an ear- 
splitting scream from his cat, who 
made a dasli 'for the door, and in her 
exit, jumped over a bear, who was 
calmly walking in. The settler was 
not in the habit of entertaining stray 
bears in his cabin, and was at a loss 
to know how to greet the visitor. In 
his perplexity he emitted a yell that 
startled all the bears for many miles 

History of Bannock County 

around and caused the one lone 
bear in the cabin to make a hasty 
dive for cover under the bed. The 
rancher's gun hung over the bed, but 
he did not turn that way. He headed 
toward the door. As he neared it, 
the bear, for reasons known only to 
himself, made a dash in the same 
direction and man and beast were 
jammed in the narrow entry. The 
man pushed in and the bear pushed 
out, but in his excitement the animal 
turned clean about in the open and 
presently rushed back into the cabin 
to his own surprise no less than that 
of the inmate. The latter, however, 
was now safe on his bed, and reach- 
ing for the gun, he probably added 
considerably to Mr. Bruin's perplex- 
ity by sending him unexpectedly into 
kingdom come. 

Parts of three national forests are 
situated in Bannock county; the 
Caribou in the east, the Cache in the 
southeast, and the Poeatello in the 
western part. The Poeatello division 
of the Poeatello forest was cieated 
September 15, 1903, from an examina- 
tion by Edward T. Allen. 

Following an examination by Rob- 
ert B. Wilson, the Portneuf division 
was created March 2, 1907. The 
Malad division, created May 28, 1906, 
as a part of the Bear River forest, 
became a part of the Poeatello in the 
reorganization of July 1, 1908. These 


History of Bannock County 

national forest lands, covering, in 
general, the Portneuf and Marsh 
Creek watersheds, were merged into 
the Pocatello forest July 1, 1908. 

The Bear River forest, almost en- 
circled hy the Bear river or its tribu- 
taries, was formed May 28, 1906, and 
with the Logan became the Cache 
July 1, 1908. 

The Caribou forest was established 
January 15, 1907, the part in Ban- 
nock county lying mainly on the wa- 
tersheds of the Blackfoot, Salt, and 
Bear rivers. 

Peter T. Wrensted, Clinton G. 
Smith, and J. F. Bruins, in turn, su- 
pervised the Pocatello, the headquar- 
ters during this time being at Poca- 
tello. The Pocatello and Cache were 
joined March 1, 1914, for administra- 
tive purposes, under Mr. Smith, 
whose headquarters are now at Logan, 
Utah. Logan is the headquarters of 
the Cache, which has had four super- 
visors, John F. Squires, Mark G. 
Woodruff. W. W. Clark, and C. G. 
Smith. The Caribou has been admin- 
istered by Supervisors J. T. Wede- 
tneyer, N. E. Snell, and George G. 
Bentz. The headquarters is at Mont- 

The need of planting to restock the 
great areas of burned and insuffi- 
ciently forested land in the national 
forests was recognized almost as soon 
as they were proclaimed. Particular- 

History of Bannock County 

ly was this need felt as to the forests 
withdrawn for watershed protection, 
and on watersheds furnishing 1 a do- 
mestic supply the need was most 
urgent. At that time a pleasing 
theory existed that every forest 
ranger should have a nursery in which 
to raise trees for setting out in the 
hills during his spare time. With 
this idea, the nursery on Mink Creek 
among others, was started. 

It was then realized that nursery 
and planting work presented special- 
ized technical problems calling for a 
high degree of skill to meet success- 
fully the adverse conditions of an 
arid region. Soon after the nursery 
was started, it was realized that suc- 
cess could be hoped for only by cen- 
tralizing this work at favorable loca- 
tions. The shipping facilities at Poea- 
tello, together with the need of ex- 
tensive planting there with a favor- 
able site for the nursery determined 
the location at that place. 

The early work was experimental 
and principally valuable as indicating 
the future methods to be followed. 
However, actual production of stock 
was begun on an extensive scale in 
1911, and since that time half a mil- 
lion or more young trees have been 
shipped each year to the forests of 
southern Idaho and Utah. The pres- 
ent capacity of the nursery is about 
2,000.000 plants a year and the nur- 



History of Bannoc k C o u n t y 

sery is firmly on its feet with a rec- 
ord of successful production of stock 
for several years at a cost not ex- 
ceeding five dollars per thousand for 
the stock supplied. At present there 
are probably three or four million 
young- trees in the nursery, the prin- 
cipal species being Douglas fir and 
yellow pine. 

Stream Aoav protection is the first 
object o'f the service on the area of 
the Pocatello city watershed. Dur- 
ing the time that this area was part 
of the Indian reservation there was 
not much difficulty with stream flow 
protection, but when it was opened, 
the citizens received an object lesson 
in the effects of free grazing that led 
to the inclusion of the watershed in 
a forest and the prohibition of graz- 
ing. The protection of this area has 
been devoted to prevention of fire, 
prohibition of grazing and replanting 
to forest. During the last five years, 
not five acres of this area has been 
burned. Control of grazing is more 
difficult because the boundaries are 
not fenced, but it may be stated that 
with the exclusion of stock, the for- 
age has been completely replaced, 
forming a sight such as gladdened the 
eye of the first explorer and inciden- 
tally a cover that prevents erosion 
and rapid run-off of water. The 
streams are almost always clear and 
the city of Pocatello has an except- 

History of Bannock County 

tionally pure and palatable supply of 

The planting operations will prob- 
ably have no effect on the water sup- 
ply of the present generation, as it 
is being undertaken for the future 
timber supply and present experimen- 
tal value. About 200,000 trees are 
being planted a year and recently 
with good success. The conifers 
planted are slow growing, but the 
early plantations are a foot or two 
high and even the present generation 
should see fine groves as a result. 

Lately the question of stocking this 
area with game has been considered. 
It is pointed out that the area is an 
ideal natural range for elk, deer and 
other game, also that such a use would 
not interfere with the stream protec- 
tion, but would furnish meat, sport 
and attractiveness to the region and 
would tend to reduce the fire danger. 
To provide complete use with com- 
plete protection will be the next logi- 
cal step. 

In spite of the wild and sometimes 
forbidding scenery that meets the 
traveler's eve from the train window, 
there are probably few more peaceful 
communities than Bannock county in 
the farming sections of the east. 
Women frequently live alone and un- 
protected on isolated ranches and are 
seldom molested. The case of Hugh 
Whitney, the bandit and outlaw who 


History of Bannock County 

robbed Pocatello o'f a true citizen, 
and upon whose head there rests a 
large reward, is today an exception. 
His story is too well known to be re- 
peated in detail here. In brief, Hugh 
Whitney, who was a Wyoming sheep- 
man, and a companion, held up a sa- 
loon at Monida, just over the Mon- 
tana line, in 1911, and were appre- 
hended on a train running south to- 
ward Pocatello. The sheriff who had 
boarded the train to make the arrest, 
placed his guns on a seat in order to 
handcuff the prisoners. Whitney 
grabbed those and shot both the sher- 
iff and Conductor James Kidd, who 
was helping the officer. Conductor 
Kidd died in Pocatello within a few 
days. The sheriff recovered. 

Whitney and his companion jumped 
from the moving train and separated 
in making their escape. Wlhitney was 
trailed by posses for weeks, and in 
the course of the chase killed several 
of his pursuers. Although blood- 
hounds were used in the attempt to 
capture him, he eluded all pursuit 
with an ingenuity worthy of a better 
cause. When the excitement had died 
down somewhat, he and his brother 
held up a bank in Cody. Wyoming, driv- 
ing the employes into the safe and 
locking them up there while they 
made their escape. 

Evidently the days of "bad men," 
in the criminal sense of the terra, are 

History of Bannock County 

not yet ended in the far west, but the 
facility o'f communication afforded by 
the railway, telephone and telegraph 
makes their trade very hazardous, 
and the ordinary citizen lives in less 
danger of being held up or shot than 
does the wayfarer on the streets of 
New York or Chicago. 




The city of Pocatello, so named in 
memory of an Indian chief, stands at 
the western entrance to the Portneuf 
canyon, and for that reason is appro- 
priately known as the "Gate City." 
Its site marks the junction of the 
Montana and Idaho divisions of the 
Oregon Short Line railroad, and the 
tremendous volume of traffic that 
passes through its yards, together 
with the many departments main- 
tained here, is rapidly developing a 
large and prosperous city. Twenty- 
five years ago the town was a mere 
'hamlet; in 1910 the United States 
Census returns gave a population of 
9,100, and in 1914 Polk's Directory 
credits Pocatello with over 12,000 in- 
habitants, to which must be added 
some 500 transients. The city is the 
metropolis and county seat of Ban- 
nock county, and the second largest 
place in the state of Idaho. 

Pocatello is pre-eminently a rail- 
road town, and to the railroad she 
owes her birth as well as her growth. 
When the westward course of the 
Oregon Short Line crossed the tracks 
of the Utah & Northern railroad, 
some fifty miles south of Idaho Falls, 

History of Bannock County 

then called Eagle Rock, a hamlet nat- 
urally sprang up at the junction. 
This was in the heart of the Fort 
Hall Indian reservation, but the rail- 
road had a grant of some two hun- 
dred acres for its right of way, upon 
which it allowed settlement, and upon 
which, in 1882, it erected the Pacific 
hotel and station. Shoshone had been 
selected by the railroad officials as, a 
division terminal, but there beinsr 
some dispute relative to the townsite, 
they determined upon Pocatello in- 
stead. In 1887 the town received a 
further impetus in the removal thither 
of the shops from Idaho Falls, which 
brought several hundred men, many 
of them with families, into the ham- 
let. For the accommodation of this 
addition, the railroad company built 
what is today known as Company 

One of the most historic buildings 
in the city is the two-story frame 
house to the left of the west end of 
the Center street viaduct. In the 
days when buildings were scarce and 
the little available space overcrowded, 
this building, now used for office pur- 
poses, served as a public meeting hall. 
Portneuf Lodge, No. 18, A. F. & A. M. 
was organized here in 1SS6, and met 
in the building for some time. In the 
late eighties the building was used 
for public school purposes, and in 
1891 as the fire hall. At various 


History of Bannock County 

times it has been used as a church, a 
theatre, a pool hall, and within its 
walls were held many a church fair 
that helped to build the present city 
churches, and many a dance that lives 
yet in the memories of the older mem- 
bers of Poeatello society. The city 
council also used it for a meeting 

Although there was no land open 
for settlement, there quickly grew up 
a typical frontier town, "wide-open," 
as the saying is, where excitement ran 
high, where vice went unashamed, and 
where saloons and gambling knew no 
closing hours nor Sunday laws. At 
last the demand for more room be- 
came so insistent, that the United 
States government purchased two 
thousand acres of reservation land 
from the Indians, to be used as a 
town-site. This was surveyed in 1889, 
and the following year lots were sold 
at auction at prices ranging from ten 
to fifty dollars. At that sale the 
foundation of many comfortable for- 
tunes of today were made. Already 
some buildings had boon erected, and 
it was feared that the purchase of 
their sites by other parties migtyit 
cause trouble. But the squatter's 
right was honored, and the man who 
had built a store or homo was allowed 
to secure a title to his holdings. 

The community was organized into 
a village during this year, with H. L. 

History of Bannock County 

Beeraft as chairman of the board of 
trustees, and D. K. Williams, A. F. 
Caldwell, L. A. West and Doctor 
Davis members. Another tract of 
reservation land was opened for set- 
tlement in 1905.. 

Before 1892, Pocatello had a popu- 
lation of over three thousand, and by 
an act of legislature it was in that 
year created a city of the first class. 
At the first city election, held in 1893, 
Edward Stein was elected mayor; Ed. 
Sadler, clerk, and J. J. Curl, treas- 
urer. Eight councilmen were also 

Echvard Stein, Pocatello 's first 
mayor, and now a citizen of Boise, 
has had an eventful career. He is a 
grandson of Baron von Stein, com- 
mander-in-chief of the Prussian army 
during the Napoleonic wars. His 
father, William von Stein, a veteran 
of the Franco-Prussian war, became 
a follower of the brilliant reformer 
Carl Schurz, and upon the failure of 
the latter 's attempt to establish a 
democracy in Germany, was cast into 
prison. He was afterwards released, 
but lost his title to nobility. Edward 
von Stein was born in Schubina, 
Poland, January 17, 1854, and was 
educated at the Prussian University 
of Bromberg. His republican tenden- 
cies naturally turned his attention to- 
ward America, where Carl Schurz 
and many another European revolu- 


History of Bannoc k County 

tionist had already found a haven, 
and with his father's approval, em- 
barked in 1871 on the steamer 
Weiland from Hamburg to New York. 

Because he had reached an age at 
which the German military service 
would have claimed him, young Stein 
had entered upon his journey without 
a passport, an application for which 
would have led to his compulsory en- 
listment in the army. Presently an 
officer of the ship accosted him and 
demanded his passport, and proceed- 
ed to make a search for it when none 
was forthcoming. But the search was 
vain, which the officer announced in 
a loud voice, adding that officials had 
warned the ship's officers that young 
von Stein had no passport. The 
future mayor of Pocatello thereupon 
produced a packet from his pocket, 
which he handed to the officer, who 
examined its contents, and promptly 
shouted to his superior officer, "I find 
the papers of Mr. Stein to be quite 
correct." The packet contained the 
four hundred marks his father had 
given him at starting. 

It was, therefore, with a light 
pocketbook that Mr. von Stein land- 
ed in the United States. He was 
anxious, however, to see something 
of the country before settling down, 
and got as far as Chicago before his 
funds failed. He accordingly pawned 
some of his belongings, and was de- 

History of Bannock County 

jectedly walking the streets, wonder- 
ing where to turn in his perplexity, 
when a gun was thrust suddenly in 
his face, and the order given, "Hands 
up." The highwayman found noth- 
ing of value on his victim, and when 
he learned that the boy was penniless, 
took him to a restaurant and bought 
him a meal, and told him where he 
could find employment as a Polish- 
German interpreter in a brick yard. 
From then on von Stein's fortunes 
began to advance. He spent some 
time in "Wisconsin, was recalled to 
Europe in 1876 by his father's death, 
when he made an extended tour of 
the continent, returned to this coun- 
try and made a fortune in the Black 
Hills, which he later lost in mining 
ventures, and moved on to Colorado, 
where he married. In 1884 he came 
to Idaho, and in time became super- 
intendent of car service on the Ore- 
gon Short Line, with headquarters in 

Before his tenure expired, Mr. von 
Stein resigned his office as mayor of 
Pocatello, and moved to Nampa, where 
he had purchased a section of land, 
and helped to organize that town. 
He still has property interests in 

A. B. Bean succeeded Edward Stein 
as mayor of the city, and was fol- 
lowed by W. F. Kasiska, the present 
proprietor of the Bannock hotel and 


History of Bannock County 

owner of large real estate and busi- 
ness interests in and about Pocatello. 
Mr. Kasiska held the office until 1898, 
when W. T. Reeves was elected, who 
in turn was succeeded by A. B. Bean, 
the former mayor of 1894. 

During 1895,^ J. B. Bistline filled the 
office. Mr. Bistline is a member of 
the Bistline Lumber company and has 
been a resident of the city since 1891. 

M. D. Rice was the next mayor and 
in 1901 Theodore Turner was elected 
to the office. He was re-elected in 
1912. Theodore Turner is one of the 
most prominent men in the political 
life of the county. He was a state 
senator in 1900, and in 1902 was 
elected state auditor. Besides hold- 
ing many public offices, Mayor Turner 
has taken great interest in the Acad- 
emy of Idaho and in the good roads 

Dr. 0. B. Steeley succeeded Mr. 
Turner in the mayor's chair, and has 
since served the county as coroner 
and the city as school trustee. In 
1904, D. Swinehart filled the office, 
and in 1905, W. H. Cleare. Mr. 
Clears was one of the organizers of 
the Farmers cV Traders Hank in l'oca- 
tello and also of the Railroad Y. M. 
C. A. He served in the citv council 
during the years 1901-2, and lias been 
a member of the board of trustees of 
the Academy of Idaho. 

Dr. C. E. M. Loux, of the lumber 

History of Bannock County 

firm of Loux, McConnell & Co., a 
member of the city council, was 
elected to the mayoralty in 1907. and 
D. W. Church, cashier of the Ban- 
nock National Bank, in 1909. Mr. 
Church is one of the most prominent 
members of the Republican party in 
Bannock county, and was a state sen- 
ator in 1898. He has been identified 
since the organization of the city with 
nearly every movement for civic bet- 
terment and advancement. Mr. Church 
was succeeded by J. M. Bistline. a 
brother and business partner of the 
mayor of 1899, who in turn was fol- 
lowed by Theodore Turner, who is 
now filling the office for the second 

Many other residents of Pocatello 
whose names make a list too long to 
repeat here, have rendered valuable 
public service to both the city and 
county. Among them may be men- 
tioned Judge T. A. Johnston, who for 
a period of twelve years, beginning 
in 1900, served the county as probate 
judge; Oscar B. Sonnenkalb, who has 
been county surveyor since 1896; the 
late D. Worth Clark, Lorenzo Brown, 
Andrew B. Stevenson, and John Hull, 
who have served in the state senate ; 
Wl. A. Staley. W. J. Inkling, Col. H. 
V. A. Ferguson, and W. A. Hyde, 
former members of the state house 
of representatives; Alfred Budge, 
who. after long and faithful service 



History of Bannock County 

as district judge, has just been ele- 
vated to the supreme bench of the 
state; Daniel C. McDougal. attorney 
general of the state of Idaho in 1908, 
and Hon. Drew TV. Standrod. 

Judge Standrod was elected district 
attorney in 1S86, while he was still 
a resident of Malad, where his father 
practiced medicine for many years, 
and in 1890 he ran successfully for 
election as judge of the Fifth Judi- 
cial District of the state of Idaho. 
He moved to Poeatello in 1895, since 
which time he has been actively iden- 
tified with the legal and financial ac- 
tivities of the city. In addition to his 
interest in the First National Bank 
of Poeatello. of which he is president, 
Judge Standrod is interested in ten 
other banks in the inter-mountain 
country. He is a leading figure in the 
Republican party, and has recently 
resigned a six year appointment on 
Idaho's first Public Utilities Commis- 
sion, after serving nearlv two vears. 

Of Senator Brady, who is not only 
one of the most distinguished citizens 
of Poeatello. nor yet of Idaho, having 
been governor of the state, but also 
of the United States, he being a mem- 
ber of the nation's highest legislative 
body, we will speak in the next chap- 

Men who left Poeatello ten or fif- 
teen yean ago would hardly recognize 
the city today. Recently a man re- 

History of Bannock County 

turned from Ohio, who had owned a 
large number of lots near Center and 
Main streets in the late nineties, and 
who sold them for a modest sum after 
having- held them for some years on 
speculation. He learned to his sur- 
prise and chagrin that the property 
he had sold for fifteen hundred dol- 
lars is worth more than twenty thou- 
sand today. Another old-timer who 
grew tired of the west and returned 
to his eastern home, in acknowledging 
the receipt of a picture of Pocatello, 
wrote that the picture was very nice 
but that he knew it was not a picture 
of Pocatello because Pocatello had 
no trees ! 

Not only is the city well supplied 
with trees, but it is equipped with 
the full complement of an up-to-date 
city. Commercially it is one of the 
most active and prosperous in the 
west. It has an ample supply of 
water, of electric power, a street ear 
service, and is gradually installing 
new improvements in its street and 
sewerage system. It is a common 
thing in the west for growing cities 
to outstrip themselves in their zeal 
for improvements, and an unwise en- 
thusiasm and optimism has plunged 
many municipalities into embarrass- 
ment and debt. Pocatello has been 
wisely governed in this respect, and 
if she is rather behindhand in some 
lines of improvement, this is far 


History of Bannock County 

preferable to being several years 
ahead, and attempting by a forced 
growth to meet an unneeded equip- 
ment. Several local organizations, 
notably the Civic Club, have done 
much for the betterment of civic life 
in the city, and it is probable that the 
next five years will see a decided im- 
provement in the appearance of both 
streets and homes. 

The religious needs of the city are 
well supplied. The Congregational 
church was organized in 1888, and 
Trinity parish, of the Episcopal 
church, was established the following 
year. Since then the Baptist, Metho- 
dist, and Presbyterian denominations 
have built up strong institutions. The 
Latter Day Saints and the Roman 
Catholic church ai*e so strong that 
they have each two churches, one on 
the east and one on the west side of 
the town. No reference to the re- 
ligious growth of Pocatello would be 
complete without a sketch of the Rev. 
Father Cyril Van der Donekt, who 
came to Idaho as a missionary in 1SS7 
and has resided in Pocatello since 

Father Van der Donekt was born 
in [-ielgium in 1865 and was educated 
in Etenaiz College, in the Seminary of 
iSt. Nicholas, and in the American 
college in Louvain. By a special dis- 
pensation from Pope Leo XIII, he 
was ordained when twenty months 

History of Bannock County 

under age, and came directly to Idaho, 
where he has since labored. During 
six years he was general missionary 
for the whole of southern Idaho, his 
ministrations covering eleven coun- 
ties, and for some time he was the 
only secular priest in the whole state. 
In addition to St. Joseph's parish, a 
large and strong institution, Father 
Van der Donckt has built a parish 
school, and will soon see a hospital 
added to his establishment. The pro- 
longed and faithful services of such 
a man as Father Van der Donckt are 
invaluable to any community, but es- 
pecially to a country in its formative 
stage. The hardships, discourage- 
ments and indifference that the latter 
condition always throws in the way 
of a missionary call for no ordinary 
amount of pluck and perseverance, 
and great credit is due to the man 
who faces them unflinchingly and who 
out of nothing builds up a flourishing 
and useful work. 

Among the religious activities of 
Pocatello, the Railroad Young Men's 
Christian Association takes a leading 
place. This is the second largest in- 
stitution of its kind in the United 
States, having a membership of over 
fifteen hundred members. Its success 
is due to the ability of its general 
secretary. A. B. Richardson, and his 
associate, Eric A. Krussman. 

During recent years Christian Sci- 


History of Bannock County 

ence has becoe firmly established in 

Other among the city's public in- 
stitutions are the Carnegie Public 
Library and the Pocatello General 

In addition to her public school 
system, of which Supt. W. R. Sliders 
is the head, Pocatello is the seat of 
the Academy of Idaho, a state insti- 
tution created by the legislature of 

1901. and opened for instruction in 

1902. The city gave ten acres as a 
site 'for the Academy, and in 1905 the 
state gave the institution forty thou- 
sand acres of land, the sale of "which 
will provide an endowment. The work 
of the Academy is largely along tech- 
nical lines, and for the use of the 
agricultural department a hundred- 
acre farm has been purchased just 
south of the city. Miles F. Reed is 
president of the Academy, which has 
about three hundred students. 

Standing sentinel over the city, 
towering above it to the south, and 
doubtless protecting it from many a 
wind and storm, is Kinport's peak. 
Harry Kinport, for whom this moun- 
tain was named, is now dead, but he 
was well known in Pocatello a few 
years ago, and is supposed to have 
been the first white man to climb the 
mountain. He signalized his feat by 
planting a flag there. Kinport was a 
business man in Pocatello 'for several 

History of Bannock County 

years, coming* to the town in 1885. 
He was always a great hunter and 
fisherman, and when President Roose- 
velt visited the city, caught a mess 
of trout and presented them to the 

There is every reason to hope that 
Pocatello will have a population of 
over 20.000 before the next census. 
Its facilities as a distributing point 
are attracting many manufacturing; 
and merchandise companies, who are 
building warehouses, and the fact that 
the Oregon Short Line railroad has 
built a freight depot to handle the 
traffic of a town of 50,000 population, 
shows that the management of that 
line expects a big growth. 





There are twenty-three counties in 
the state of Idaho, of which sixteen 
have a smaller and six a larger popu- 
lation than Bannock, while twelve 
counties have a smaller area and ten 
a larger. Therefore, Bannock is one 
of the larger counties of the state. 
This position she has creditahly 
maintained in hoth the number and 
the quality of her public men, of 
whom several were mentioned in the 
last chapter. 

Others who deserve mention here 
are former State Senators Ruel 
Rounds, George C. Parkinson, Louis 
S. Keller, John B. Thatcher, George 
H. Fisher and W. H. Mendenhall, our 
present senator, and former State 
Representatives William A. Walker, 
Robert V. Cozier, L. R. Thomas, 
William McGlee Harris. Denmark Jen- 
sen, W. H. Lovesy, Edward L. Holz- 
heimer, Thomas M. Edwards, John 
Schutt, C. W. Dempster, W. H. Men- 
denhall and C. W. Cray, I). J. Lau 
and D. J. Elrod, the county's present 

Many of these men have been re- 
turned to office several times, J. 
Frank Hunt, of Downey, having rep- 

History of Bannock County 

resented the county either as sena- 
tor or representative continuously 
since 1900, with the exception of one 
term of office. In 1900, Thomas Ter- 
rell was elected lieutenant governor 
of the state, and in 1908, James H. 
Brady, of Pocatello. present United 
States senator for Idaho, was re- 
turned as governor. 

Senator Brady was born in Indiana 
count}, Pennsylvania, June 12, 1862, 
but was taken to Kansas by his 
parents in early boyhood, where he 
was educated in the State Normal 
College. He taught school for three 
years, fitted himself for the profes- 
sion of law, edited a semi-weekly 
newspaper for two years, and then 
became interested in the real estate 
business. In time he was operating 
successful offices in St. Louis, Chi- 
cago and Houston, Texas. The irri- 
gation and power possibilities of Ida- 
ho attracted him to this state in 1895, 
when he beeame identified with the 
development of the Snake river val- 
ley, the Idaho. Marysville and Fort 
Hall canals being among the projects 
in which he was active. He has been 
a leading factor in the electrical de- 
velopment of southeastern Idaho, the 
Idaho Consolidated Power company, 
at American Falls, being one of his 
useful and successful enterprises. 

Although a man with large private 
interests that demanded much time 


History of Bannock County 

and attention. Senator Brady has 
been an active and ruling figure in 
the Republican party in Idaho for 
several years. In 1900 he was a dele- 
gate to the Republican national con- 
vention and in 1908 he was a mem- 
ber of the committee sent by the con- 
vention to notify William H. Taft of 
his nomination for the presidency of 
the United States. He was vice- 
president of the National Irrigation 
Congress in 1896 and 1898, and a 
member of its executive committee 
from 1900 until 1904. The senator 
has always represented his constitu- 
ents efficiently and well and in re- 
turn enjoys their personal good-will 
and loyalty. 

It was Senator Brady who made 
possible the "Western Governors' 
Special," a railway train which 
toured the east in 1911 in what proved 
to be a very successful attempt to 
forge closer the links that bind the 
east and west, and to demonstrate by 
exhibits carried on the train that the 
sums expended by the United States 
government for the reclamation of 
arid western lands were wisely in- 
vested. The governors of Idaho, 
Washington, Oregon, California, Ne- 
vada, Wyoming, Montana, North and 
South Dakota and Minnesota accom- 
panied the train, each in his own 
car. The expedition, which has been 
justlv termed "one of the most 

History of Bannock County 

unique incidents in the annals of 
publicity," was entertained at din- 
ner in the White House at Washing- 
ton by President Taft. 

Among the-men who played import- 
ant parts in developing Bannock 
county, is the late Henry 0. Hark- 
ness, who founded the town of Mc- 
Cammon, which formerly bore his 

Mr. Harkness was bo:n in Nor- 
walk, Ohio, in 1838, and as a young 
man learned the rade of machinist. 
When the Civil war broke out, he en- 
listed in the Washburn Lead-Mine 
regiment and attained the rank of 
captain before he was honorably dis- 
charged from the service in 1865. The 
following year he left Atchison. Kan- 
sas, with an outfit of four wagons and 
ten oxen, and crossed the plains to 
the Madison valley in Montana. Here 
he engaged in stock-raising but a se- 
ver, winter killed most of his cattle, 
and in the spring of 1867 he moved 
south into Idaho. He spent three 
years in the northern part of the state 
and in 1870 settled in the Portneuf 
valley, where he once more raised 
stock. He was a man of unusual 
business sagacity, combining shrewd 
foresight with an ingenuity that de- 
fied defeat, and he soon acquired both 
wealth and influence in the commu- 
nity. He was county commissioner 
of Oneida from 1874 until 1880. At 


History of Bannoc k C o u n t y 

the time of his death in 1911, his 
estate consisted in part of seventeen 
hundred acres of land near McCain- 
mon, sixteen hundred acres in the 
vicinity of Oxford, the large H. 0. 
Harkness hotel at M^Caminon, which 
was a landmark in the county for 
several years but was destroyed by 
fire i 1913, the flour mill in McCam- 
mon, and several mammoth feed 
barns in the same town. Mr. Hark- 
ness was the first postmaster of Mc- 
Cammon and the first man in south- 
ern Idaho to own an electric light 

Another citizen of McCammon who 
is a factor in both the political and 
business life of the county is the 
Hon. Thomas M. Edwards, who, with 
his brothers Walter and Charles own 
the McCammon Investment company. 
Mr. Edwards was a member of the 
State House of Representatives from 
190S until 1910, and a member of the 
Republican state central committee 
for Bannock county in 1910 and 1911. 

Thomas Edwards was born in 
Yankton, S. D., in 1864. His father, 
Colonel Thomas H. Edwards, was a 
veteran of the civil war and his 
grandfather, Col. Jonathan Edwards, 
was a veteran of the Mexican war. 
Thomas Edwards settled in McCam- 
mon in 1900. being attracted to the 
town by the opportunities it offered. 
Since that time he has helped to or- 

History of Bannock County 

ganize the McCarmnon State Bank, of 
which he was formerly president, the 
McCarnmon Telephone company, the 
Portneuf - Marsh Valley Irrigation 
company, the Downey Townsite & De- 
velopment company, the Ferguson- 
Jenkins Drug company, of which 
Thomas Jenkins and Samuel Fergu- 
son are the present proprietors, and 
several other smaller enterprises. 

The first permanent settlement in 
Bannock county was made in 1866, 
when a party of Latter Day Skints 
established themselves at what is now 
Malad City. Since that time most 
of the larger Christian denominations 
have carried their missionary work 
into the county, whose religious de- 
velopment unfortunately has been 
carried on principally by a succession 
of short ministries. In addition to 
the Rev. C. Van der Donckt, of whom 
some account has already been given, 
two men, however, have worked long 
and faithfully in building up the re- 
ligious life of the county. One of 
these is the Venerable Howard Stoy, 
an archdeacon of the Episcopal 
church, who, with headquarters in 
Poeatello, gives pastoral care to over 
twenty-five mission points, although 
not all of these are in Bannock coun- 
ty. His jurisdiction, indeed, covers 
a distance of more than two hundred 
miles westward from the Wyoming 
line, and in the course of his work 


History of Ban nockCounty 

lie sometimes travels three thousand 
miles in a month. He has opened up 
many a town and hamlet to ehurchly 
influence and has conducted services 
at points that had never known a 
Christian service until his coming. 
Such men, above all others, are con- 
tributing to both the present and 
future upbuilding of the community, 
and to them is all honor due. Mr. 
George Peacock, a missionary of the 
American Sunday School association 
of Philadelphia, is another man who 
is sacrificing all worldly interests in 
order to carry Christian instruction 
to children who must be without it, 
except for him. Mr. Peacock organ- 
izes undenominational Sunday schools 
in places that have no church, these 
schools in time being taken over by 
the first church to establish itself in 
the town. 

The principal occupations in the 
county at the present time are ranch- 
ing, stockraising and railroading. It is 
quite possible that mining will be 
added to these in years to come, and 
that manufacturing will soon be 
added to the list is a very safe pre- 
diction. The exceptional railroad fa- 
cilities, the abundant water power 
afforded by the rapid current of the 
Portncuf, and the conveniences of a 
city like Pocatello will offer strong 
inducements to manufacturers, as 
soon as the population of the sur- 

History of Bannock County 

rounding country is sufficiently great 
to offer a lucrative, market. 

The history of Bannock county is 
one of which her citizens may well 
be proud. It has been consistently 
progressive and healthy. The suffrage 
was granted to women in 1896, when 
the state of Idaho adopted woman's 
suffrage, and in 1911 the county ex- 
ercised its local option rights and 
voted for prohibition. 

With the exception of the strike in 
the Oregon Short Line Railroad shops 
in Pocatello in 1911. when the shop- 
men walked out, there has been no 
really serious labor trouble in the 
annals of the county, and in the case 
of the strike in 1911, which is still 
unsettled, there was no violenee nor 

The history of Bannock eounty is 
a history of honest men and clean 
citizens. Its pages are unstained by 
any public scandal, or official dishon- 
esty, but, on the contrary, bear the 
records of an industrious and true- 
hearted race of men. The future of 
the county is promising and bright. 
The foundation of her development 
has been truly laid, and her command- 
ing commercial position, her abun- 
dant and fertile resources, her splen- 
did climate and her excellent railroad 
facilities insure a prosperity that few 
other communities can expect. 


THE -=---- 

' " '" 111