Saturday, November 22, 2014

1900 Pinkerton US Detective Agency Badge : Old West Collectibles at

DMZ_Collectibles_1945 on
Here is a little free advertising for this seller. A nice Pinkerton badge and documents. Although fakes and reproduction badges are common, this one looks to be authentic. I don't see these very often and for now will have to make due with just a photograph. Too rich for my wallet unless maybe it had James McParland's or Charlie Siringo's name on those documents. Nonetheless, a nice period piece directly connected to the Pinkerton's, the likes of which, with agents such as McParland and Siringo, played a major role in events depicted on this blog.

Go check it out. And let me know if you buy it!
1900 Pinkerton US Detective Agency Badge : Old West Collectibles at

dick1l on

While I am browsing Gunbroker, I might as well add this nickel and gold Idaho 1911 that comes to us from a seller in Blackfoot, Idaho. 
Auto Ordnance NRA 1911 Idaho #2

Goes nice with the badge!

(links will probably not be active for any extended period)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

More Early Caldwell, Idaho

Here are two Albumen Photos of Caldwell along with various detail scans. I will probably add a few more scans as I enlarge and study the photos. Let me know if anything particular you want me to zoom in on. The originals are about 8" x 10".
First photo shows the Western Bank Building circa 1906. ©JTR
Click here for Google street view today (we sure know how to ruin a nice building). Bottom floor left to right I see the following signs/window lettering: The Scenic, Rooms, Idaho Meat Co., Western Nation Bank, United States Depository, Pressary Clothes? (basement level), Meranda The Tailor, Dentist (can't make out the name) and The Ragket Store.
Top floor left to right: Walter Griffiths Lawyer, in the tower window I see a lady with one of those big hats of the period, Griffiths & Griffiths Law Office and *A Griffiths Lawyer (they seem to have a big chunk of the upstairs) and of course the kids out front.
The second photograph (below) is looking down a muddy Main St. from about Main & Kimball.
"T.K Little bought the building in 1899 and added a second floor and the flat-topped corner tower."
Quote from Early Caldwell Through Photographs.

Steunenberg Block can been seen on the left along with the Saratoga Hotel at the intersection of 7th and Main. The train station would be to your right down 7th. Interurban coming at you. ©JTR
Click here for Google street view.

Steunenberg building left and Saratoga Hotel with the cone tower on the opposite corner of 7th St.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

Thank you to all of our Vets for your service to the country, including my brother Gary and other family members who have served previously or are doing so at the current time.

Fold3 Honor Wall - Walter 'Gary' Osborne

You will find my bro still living on the sea aboard the Sea Feather in Bocas Del Toro, Republic of Panama. Not in the Gulf of Tonkin anymore.

Previous related blog posts:
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Veterans Day 2013 - Fold3 Honor Wall 

Sunday, November 11, 2012
Veteran's Day....send your photographs

Friday, November 11, 2011
Veteran's Day 2011

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Veterans Day 2010 - Thank You for Your Service

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Caldwell Idaho and surrounding areas

From an old, non family, photograph album I recently purchased on eBay. No doubt a couple of fellow Caldwell fans out there are not happy with me as the bidding was spirited but not too pricey. I will always get items posted on here for all to see anyway. I just received the album and am scanning the pages this morning and posting without additional information or further research. Information and more photos will be added from time to time. All the pages with photos were already detached so I am getting them into archival covers. Most of the pages in the album were unused. The photos measure in the 2 1/2" by 1 3/4" to 2 3/4" by 4" range and are glued to the pages. Some of the images of buildings around town are well known already. Others have appeared as postcards. I will probably be updating and adding some individual images as I get the chance. Let me know if you recognize the homes, family, etc. Feel free to school me.
Know any of these Caldwell folks?
A piece of the Steunenberg house being moved?  Doubtful but the scene might have been similar. Gotta love those early steam engine tractors. They could pull a house!

We know all the places shown above & below...or do we?  Many are labeled. Take a guess at the others & email or comment. I have posted a couple of them already.
Looking at the intersection of 7th & Main. Of course that is the Caldwell Bank & Trust/Steunenberg block on the left, City Hall in the distance, Saratoga hotel on the right and, as indicated, the photo was taken from the train depot. Goggle street view today. City Hall and the Saratoga long gone. Steunenberg block and Train Depot remain. Below another bridge shot from the same page. I know a couple guys out there are bridge afectionados like I am.
And above we see the interurban depot at 501 Main St. Same building at this Google map link. 
Facade has changed but still has the chimney.
Someones kinfolk?
I do like these WWI vintage tanks. Looks like the town turned out for the show.
 Now that looks like a fun long as you don't fall in front of the tank!

Please feel free to email me at or click on comments below to add information.

This photo of the Carnegie Library in Caldwell posted for Patricia. Click on comments below.
Click here where I found this photo for more on the Carnegie Library.
And here is a Google map view today at 1101 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell. I had to go around the corner to 11th street to get around those two trees still out front. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Revisiting The Idanha Hotel

Idanha Flashback.

Picture to the right of the Idanha Hotel and Charles Siringo from Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas: "At times the spacious lobby (of the Idanha) didn’t seem large enough to contain all the gunslingers in the prosecution camp. One day, two of the deadliest-Charlie Siringo and Bob Meldrum-confronted each other by the mahogany bar. Hawley had imported Meldrum and his sidekick, Rudie Barthell, ostensibly under subpoena as prosecution witnesses, actually as insurance against federation 'thuggery' or other contingencies. Ten years before, as sheriff of Carbon County, Colorado, Meldrum had pursued a gang of horse thieves headed by 'Kid' Curry, while the Pinkerton's sent Siringo to infiltrate the bunch. Unaware of the desperado’s identity, Meldrum had almost killed Siringo. Now, as they eyed each other grimly, Meldrum's hand jumped toward his revolver pocket. 'I've felt worst about not getting you than any man I ever missed,' he growled. 'It's all right, Bob,' said Siringo. 'I call it all off.' Ultimately, they downed a whiskey together." (Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas, 1997).

Below are a couple of  recent postcard acquisitions. I have a couple of the first one but not with the notations you see on the right hand side regarding room rates.
Circa 1903-4. This postcard is pre-assassination (12/30/1905) and Frank stayed here from time to time when on business in Boise. ©JTR
As indicated on the postcard above, E. W. Schubert was then manager of the hotel. The Idanha had opened in January 1901 with John Cage as manager but he left a year later. Schubert, the assistant manager at the time, took over. Schubert would remain manager until 1908, including through that period when the Idanha played witness to many individuals and events related to Frank's assassination in 1905 and the trial of Bill Haywood in 1907. Schubert actually testified briefly at the Bill Haywood trial as to the accuracy of the Idanha's registration books showing Harry Orchard was in the hotel during the time of a failed attempt to blow up Frank (and the hotel & guests). Orchard had confessed as to this attempt and his total disregard for other patrons and employees at the hotel.

Circa 1908-1913. ©JTR
Anyone you know? Give a holler if you can ID any of these boys. ©JTR
I am assuming this is a basement storage area. It took a lot of supplies to run a large hotel and to feed the guests. In this photo Charles H. Grout is now manager. Shubert had remained manager until 1908 and Grout took over from 1908 until 1913. Hence, we can date this postcard as during that period of time.

Early RPPC from the same time period circa 1901-1906. Doesn't look like much in the way
of power poles & lines have yet been installed. ©JTR
Walter Johnson pitching at the Idanha?
With it sprinkling outside. Walter wound up and pitched a few down the 2nd floor hallway
 to his Weiser Kids catcher. Photo from The Idanha by Dick d'Easum

Of course this photo of the Idanha with a note from Justice Byron Johnson will always have an honored place in my collection.

Related links:
The Idanha: Guests and Ghosts of an Historic Idaho Inn  By Dick D'Easum

Saturday, March 1, 2008 (letter on Idanha letterhead).
Frank Steunenberg to son Julian - February 2, 1905

Saturday, January 17, 2009
Boise Idaho - Real Photo Postcards & Covers

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Shootout over Harry Orchard

Saturday, March 15, 2008
Would Trade a Mantle, Mays, Koufax or Robinson for a good Steunenberg, Orchard, Siringo or Meldrum

Saturday, October 6, 2012
Golden Arches

I will take the $5.00 room 5th floor turret with a bath and claw foot tub. Hot water better be working.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Addendum to Sunday, 9/28/2014 post about Bob Richards (AKA Ricciotti), Roman Catholic High School, Univ. of Iowa Hawkeye Football & Nile Kinnick

Missed posting this article from Autograph Magazine as forgot where I had the link and printout until now. Same signed photo of Kinnick. Click the link below or scroll down for the related blog spot. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014, Bob & John Richards (AKA Ricciotti), Football & Nile Kinnick

Heisman Trophy Winner Autographs By Jay R. Neill: Autograph Magazine January 2010.
Signed images of Nile Kinnick are rare and sell
upwards of $10,000. Image courtesy PSA/DNA.

Nile Kinnick: 1939, Iowa

University of Chicago running back Jay Berwanger won the first Heisman in 1936, but it’s Nile Kinnick whose signature is the rarest. Berwanger died in 2002 and genuine autographs are easy to find through reputable dealers in the $50-$100 range. But for a Nile Kinnick, expect to pay over $4,000 for even a cut signature or a signed index card.

Kinnick was an All-American halfback from the University of Iowa. Prior to the 1939 season, Kinnick wrote, “For three years, nay for 15 years, I have been preparing for this last year of football. I anticipate becoming the roughest, toughest all-around back yet to hit this conference.” His prediction proved true: he was responsible for 16 of the 19 touchdowns (11 passing, 5 rushing) that Iowa scored. Kinnick played 402 out of a possible 420 minutes that season, and all told he set 14 school records, six of which stand today. Nile Kinnick was more than an exceptional football player; he was an exceptional young man. His Heisman acceptance speech was so moving that he received a standing ovation, prompting Bill Cunningham of the Boston Post to write, “This country’s okay as long as it produces Nile Kinnicks. The football part is incidental.”

After graduation he chose to attend law school rather than pursue a lucrative career in the NFL, but left school a year later to enlist in the Naval Air Reserve, reporting for duty just three days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. On June 2, 1943, he died during a training flight while serving as a U.S. Navy airplane pilot in World War II. Rescue boats arrived at the scene of the crash off the coast of Venezuela a mere eight minutes later, but they found only an oil slick. At 24, Nile Kinnick was the first Heisman Trophy winner to die.

Kinnick’s signature is toughest of all Heisman winners in any form. A simple signed index card realized over $7,000 in 2006 and signed photos can bring well over $10,000. A boon to any sports historian, the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa holds the papers of Nile C. Kinnick, donated by his parents.

($7-10k!! That's a lot of Steunenberg, Orchard, Siringo, Meldrum and Idaho related cards & collectibles. Or maybe a 1895 Savage Rifle like the governors or a Colt SAA like Orchards. Of course the real things would be better). 

Since we are back on Kinnick, I might as well throw in a little more of my Uncle Bob Richards & his football exploits during the same period as Kinnick. Maybe not worth $10k but a keeper nonetheless.
Family photo from 12/3/1939 RCHS vs St. Joseph's Prep. Bob Richards on the right. Connell McGill identified on the left (right of Bob). ©JTR
From the Varsity Football page in the 1939 Roman Catholic HS Yearbook. Courtesy RCHS Library.

Names on the back of the photo, including Bob Richards, Coach Dougherty, Butch McMahan, Al Skavictus and the rest of the offensive team. ©JTR

Not sure what year but looks to still be RCHS 1937-39 and that is Bob at center. ©JTR

1939 RCHS Varsity Football Team (courtesy of the RCHS Library).

    F4F Wildcat
On June 2, 1943, an F4F Wildcat is lost while on a training flight off of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington. While flying over the Gulf of Paria,Venezuela, the aircraft develops a severe oil leak and the pilot, former Heisman Trophy winner (1939) Nile Kinnick ditches the aircraft near the aircraft carrier. Sadly, his plane sinks before he can exit the cockpit and he perishes. Note that Kinnick Stadium at the University of Iowa is named in his honor.

Status: Never found, ditched in good condition, recoverable. Note that the US Navy does not relinquish rights to the aircraft. The body of the pilot should be recovered in accordance with US Military policy, as he was never properly buried with the military honors he deserves and remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).  From Historic Wings

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Unidentifed Caldwell Idaho school/class photographs.

While going through my all too many files and boxes, I ran across a couple of 1927 era school  photographs from Caldwell, Idaho. I believe these were acquired with other Idaho items a few years back (perhaps from eBay). I have no reason to believe they are family related although you never know if a Steunenberg or Crookham is among the group. Let me know if you are kinfolk and see any familiar family faces.

I am also looking for assistance from all the helpful Caldwell/Idaho history experts out there, particularly those who might be familiar with early schools in the area. If you recognize someone related to your family, or if a school, historical society or organization has some interest in these, just let me know. I will make you an offer you can't refuse but you will have to provide me with documentation to verify any connection or reason for your interest. However, if I do find an unexpected personal family connection, they will probably stay where they are.

On the back.
Afternoon Update: Sometimes I just need to open my eyes and take a closer look (magnayfing glass) at the schools in Early Caldwell Through Photographs by Elaine C. Leppert & Lorene B. Thompson. The photo above looks to be on the front steps of Van Buren School in Caldwell.
From Early Caldwell Through Photographs.
Detail of the front steps.
From Early Caldwell Through Photographs: "The original Van Buren was sold for $1 to the Calvary Temple Church for materials." Looks like Canyon Springs High School occupies the same general site now on the corner of 11th and E. Denver.

Not sure if the class/location below is from Van Buren or somewhere else in Caldwell.
"Mason" maybe a student or the teachers name?
Above from the back side. Not sure why the town names or if  the #'s relate to student census or what.