Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"GADZOOKS!" "Lest we forget, lest we forget!"


September 26, 1913

Editorial Page

Watkin L. Roe, Editor

We have faith that the pardon board of the State of Idaho will retain its reason and judgment in spite of the maudlin sentiments being exhibited by a few religious organizations in behalf of Orchard, the murderer. Must we forget and forgive the dastardly crime so soon? Suppose the man has got religion, suppose he has become a fit member for religious "rollers?" What then! Gadzooks! Stuenenberg (sic) was a man Idaho took pride in and his premeditated assassination cannot so soon be forgotten. A life term in the penitentiary, where conscience can hammer at Orchard spectre-like, and jingle in his ears till the death rattle appears should be his portion. It used to be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but now-a-days a few fool lawyers try the immunity bath. Oh faugh, put on the brakes, "Lest we forget, lest we forget!"

Click here to view the original document on Footnote.com

Other Footnote Story Pages of Interest

Footnote Spotlights (not all Idaho)

Today in History

You should be able to access the above Footnote pages free of charge. Let me know if any difficultly.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

August 29, 1899 - Bartlett Sinclair, Auditor of Idaho

"The Governor's (Steunenberg) Special Commissioner at Wardner During Mining Troubles."

I was happy to find this photograph and short article as pictures of Sinclair seem rather hard to come by.

Click on the picture to be taken to my Footnote viewer for easier reading. On Footnote, click on the picture (or where it says "Enlarge") and you will be taken to the Footnote viewer. Use the + or - signs or slide in the upper left hand corner to change the size of the picture. Use the slides under the picture and on the right hand side to move the photograph right or left or up and down. Any problems let me know.

To the left of the Sinclair photo is another interesting article titled, "Grant Is Due At Any Time." "Grant" is referring to one of several transport ships used in the war with Spain. The article reports on the return of troop volunteers from Manila and the Idaho delegation that is there to greet them home (including Governor Frank Steunenberg and Senator George Shoup).

San Francisco Chronicle, 8/29/1899

8/29/1899 - Bartlett Sinclair, Auditor of Idaho

Note: My L.A. Lakers are 25-5. They edged the Boston Celtics on Christmas day in a classic match-up that had a championship aura to it. Tonight they easily dispensed with the San Francisco Warriors. I am starting to sense a post-season rematch with the boys from Beantown and La La Land.

I hope you are all having a great holiday season. John

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Day, December 25, 1905

From Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas:
“At noon on Christmas Day, the governor and Belle attended the traditional family dinner at A. K.’s house. The hustling young entrepreneur and his family occupied an imposing Colonial Revival mansion, its great front portico supported by three Tuscan columns, approached by a new cement sidewalk on North Kimball Avenue, where the city’s “quality” clustered in the lee of the Presbyterian Church.”

“….a gracious A.K. welcomed the boisterous clan beneath his portico. No fewer than thirty Steunenbergs gathered around the heavily laden table, headed by the seventy-two year old patriarch, Bernardus, a shoemaker by trade, a Mexican War veteran who’d come west from Iowa to join his children earlier that year. Seven of his ten offspring were there that afternoon: five sons—Frank; A.K.; Pete, the most raffish of the brothers, a part-time printer who sometimes dealt cards at the Saratoga; Will and John, lifelong bachelors and partners in a shoe store (“Fitters of Feet,” they called themselves) just behind the Saratoga—and two daughters—Elizabeth (“Lizzie”), married to Gerrit Van Wyngarden, a Caldwell contractor who’d built both Frank’s house and the new Caldwell Banking and Trust building, and Josephine (“Jo”), at thirty-four still unmarried, who made a home for John, Will, and Bernardus at her commodious house on Belmont Street, while finding time to repair Franks’ shirts as well. The “plump” and jolly” A.K. played Santa at his own festivities, distributing elaborately wrapped gifts to all the children.”

Of course, the family could never imagine that this would be Frank's last Christmas at his brother A.K's, with only five days remaining until the tragic events on December 30th, 1905. A reminder to us all...enjoy the day as you never know what tomorrow will bring.

You can see a recent picture of the home of A.K. and Carrie Steunenberg by scrolling down to my December 8, 2008 blog post.

From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Holidays and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

John, Cindy and Caley Richards

Blue Genes by Christopher Lukas

Christopher Lukas discusses the complex and shattering effects of a family legacy of depression and suicide on himself and his brother, the award-winning journalist, J. Anthony Lukas.

To get involved with suicide prevention, join the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walks this fall. Go to www.afsp.org to find out more.

From: http://doubleday.com/2008/09/16/video-blue-genes-by-christopher-lukas/

Click here to read the New York Times Review.

As many of you know, Tony Lukas committed suicide shortly before the release of his epic, Big Trouble-A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America. I just found out about this new book by his brother, Christopher Lukas, and will be getting a copy and perhaps discuss it in a later post.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

1st Lt. George Steunenberg in the Spanish-American War

1st Lt. George Steunenberg

of the 1st Idaho Volunteer Infantry

Writes of the Trip from Hawaii to Manila

Click on the link below


Captain George Steunenberg-The Army Poet. Click on Library of Congress to see the full page where I found this photo.

George often got himself in hot water with military/government authorities because of his outspoken and opinionated nature. Definitely the free spirit from among the Steunenberg brothers. He produced a considerable volume of poetry, much of it having been published, including the books Memories of Hawaii and Other Verse and Songs of a Soldier.
He was a gifted writer.

In the climate of fear that existed during the time of WWI, George was investigated by the Bureau of Investigations (later changed to the FBI) as he tended to draw a lot of attention to himself with comments that might be critical of political leaders or viewed as opposing the war. His poetry sometimes drifted into the political realm and at times would draw rebuke from his superiors.

Interestingly, a government agent initially assumed that with a name like Steunenberg he must be German. Of course, that was incorrect as the Steunenberg's are Hollander's.

Probably because of George's somewhat rebel nature, I find him to be one of my most interesting ancestors. Give'em hell George!

For a couple of other pictures and additional information on George, go to my post: Saturday, December 29, 2007, Photo of Charles and Major George Steunenberg.


This was written my George Steunenberg in memory of his sister Elizabeth Steunenberg Van Wyngargen.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gary, John, Becky and Kris

This morning I been mostly going through old photo scans and adding a few pics to some pages that you can view by clicking on the following: Footnote Pages. This is another feature on my Footnote.com account that I am just starting to explore. Definitely a work in progress. If you are family (or even if you are not!) and have something you want to add to a page, send my way and I will be happy to accommodate. You can view these pages and mosey around a bit but full access or the ability to add is limited to paying customers. They got to try and lure you in somehow.

Here is one of the pictures I ran across this morning. No, not late 1800's or even early 1900's or Haywood trial related but it does make it to early 1950's. Maybe 1951 as looks to be not long after I was born. All are the children of Brenda Steunenberg Richards, grandchildren of Julian and Francis and great grandchildren of Frank and Belle Steunenberg. So in that sense, we can always trace the family connection back to the terrible event in Idaho that triggered the "Trial of the Century." Gary and Beck are from my mothers early first marriage (Osborne) and Kris and I came along after she married my father John Richards Sr. Kris and I were too young to notice any difference anyway since Gary and Beck were there for us from the get go.

From the left my older brother Gary, me (John) that he has been forced to hold, oldest sister Becky and older sister Kris. A perk of being the baby of the family is that you can forever refer to your sibs as older or oldest. We all look about same today but for the markings of life's experiences and I notice my hair is reverting back to the thinner style of infancy.

Anyway, that is just a touch of more recent family history but what still seems like a hundred years ago. I will get back to early Idaho soon.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Home of A.K. and Carrie Steunenberg

The A.K. and Carrie Steunenberg house as it appears today (c. 2007) at 409 N. Kimball in Caldwell, Idaho. A.K. was the brother, business partner and close confidant of Governor Frank Steunenberg. The home has been converted to apartments and could use considerably more restoration. It was designed by Tourtellotte, John E. & Company and built in 1904. A grand house in its time and a frequent place for gatherings of the family. In the diaries of Will Steunenberg, there are many references to going over to A.K.'s for dinner, to play cards, holidays, etc. Of course I would like to see the house restored to its original splendor. I wonder if the owners want to sell low in this depressed housing market? Sadly, the home that belonged to Frank & Belle Steunenberg, and where the assassination occurred, burned down in 1913.

The 1st Idaho State Legislature

We always had a copy of this composite picture of the 1st Legislature. The original hangs in the Idaho Capitol building (or at least did and I assume will again once the restoration is completed)."The First State Legislature convened at Boise on December 8, 1890, and continued in session until March 14, 1891. A principal responsibility was the election of two United States Senators (until 1916 Senators were elected by the legislature, not by the public voting public). In an odd turn of circumstances, Idaho elected three senators on December 18, 1890, and startled everyone by electing a fourth on February 11, 1891. To quote the Helena Journal, 'Idaho evidently goes on the principle that electing United [States] Senators is like courting a widow--it can't be overdone.' "(From History of Idaho, Volume I. Leonard J. Arrington. 1994).

It required quite a bit of meandering, legal maneuvering and power sharing before the above was resolved. Maybe we will cover that another day or go read your Idaho history.

The Idaho State Historical Society has a slightly different picture of the same group. Go to: ISHS.

Frank was the clean young baby face among this bunch, having never sported the facial hair typical of the time...and of course no tie.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

1/2/1906 from J. C. Smith to Julian Steunenberg

This is another letter of condolence written by a J. C. Smith from Touchet, Washington and sent to my grandfather Julian Steunenberg following the assassination of his father, Ex-Governor Steuneneberg of Idaho. I am not sure who J. C. Smith is or his connection to Julian. I am guessing that it may be a J. C. Smith that taught in the Dairy Department at Walla Walla College during 1905/06. I got that bit of information from the book, 60 Years of Progress, Walla Walla College, 1892-1952. We have a wonderful old copy of the book that belonged to my grandmother Frances Beardsley Wood Steunenberg and remains a treasured possession of my 90 years young mother Brenda Steunenberg Richards. Throughout the years, my grandmother, mother and others made various notations of interest that help identify many of those in the book. Some of the pioneers that came by wagon train to the Walla Walla Valley and were involved in the formation of the college include my great-great grandparents J. Franklin and Caroline Maxson-Wood and great-great-great grandparents (I think I have my "greats" right) Stephen and Lois Babcock-Maxson. But that is a whole different story in and of itself that I am slowly putting together.

The 1905/06 period that J.C. Smith was at the college would coincide with when Julian was also there. Touchet, Washington is not too far from College Place, where the envelope was postmarked on its way to Caldwell, ID. If anyone has other information then please let me know.

I have a couple of other similar letters, one from a W. E. Nelson and also with a College Place postmark. Referencing the same books as above, I see that W.E. Nelson taught "Mathematics, Science and other subjects 1904-1914" at Walla Walla College. Well, guess I might as well go ahead and include it below.

Click on the pictures to enlarge. I will work on transcribed copies...sometime...but I think you can read most of it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Frank Steunenberg By Caley Richards (Age 11, March 2003, 5th grade)

I have been looking for this report for years and thought maybe it had gone out with the trash by accident. Low and behold, while doing some house cleaning this weekend and opening up bins of "stuff"...there it was. Caley (kay-lee) was age 11 at the time and in the 5th grade.

Below are some post it notes that were on the indicated pages.

Click each page to enlarge.

My son Joe did a news project in the 4th grade on Frank Steunenberg. You can see it on the Thursday, January 3, 2008 blog post at: Read All About It! Ex-Governor Assassinated

Sunday, November 30, 2008

James H. Hart, author of "In Memory of Ex-Governor Steunenberg"

Before reading on, you will want to refer back to and read my November 16, 2008 post, In Memory of Ex-Governor Steunenberg, if you have not previously done so.

The poem in the above post and dedicated to Governor Steunenberg was written by a James H. Hart and I was trying to find more information about this gentleman. Not surprisingly, my fellow blogger and history and political junkie, Tara Rowe, located and sent me the article below. I also later found the complete book available online in case you have other Southern Idaho "Progressive Men" to look up.

Progressive Men of Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Fremont and Oneida Counties, Idaho. Chicago. A.W. Bowen & Co., 1904. You can view the complete book and the article being cited here by clicking on James H. Hart.

Knowing a bit more about James Hart helps in my understanding of his glowing praise and eulogy of the martyred governor. We discover that Hart was a Democrat (where did all those Steunenberg Idaho Democrats and Populists go?) and was a Mormon. Frank Steunenberg was of course a Democrat and at a time when the Mormons were experiencing a great deal of discrimination and downright hatred, he was a supporter and ally. The governor did not subscribe to Mormon beliefs but he did believe they were "good citizens" and opposed the persecution that was prevalent during that time as Mormon influence spread from Utah to throughout Idaho and the West. Although I have not found any specific reference, Hart and the Governor undoubtedly came in direct contact from time to time. Hart was very active politically, had been a Democratic member of the lower house in the Idaho legislature in the the late 1800's and was elected Judge of Probate in 1900. Hart probably wrote the poem, In Memory of Ex-Governor Steunenberg, shorty after the Haywood trial had ended.

The following provided courtesy of Tara Rowe.

Progressive Men of Southern Idaho (Illustrated). Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1904.

Entry for Hon. James H. Hart, pages 205-207:

History does not always make just and adequate return to the souls which have helped to create it. It is often arbitrary, whimsical and partial, celebrating as heroes mere opportunists and letting the pioneers, the real crusaders, go by unclaimed, unhonored. It is the province of this compilation to leave the speculations of historical disquisitions and to preserve the biographical features of the life careers of those who have, by their able endeavors and progressive connection with the development of any line, civil, professional or industrial, of the advancement of the community of their residence, rendered themselves prominent, active or beneficial. Most intimately connected with the history of Bear Lake County, Idaho, has been the gentleman whom we now have under consideration. Hon. James H. Hart, of Bloomington, who has most capable held the highly important office of probate judge of Bear Lake county, in which he rendered most satisfactory service by his erudition, dignity, courtesy and marked spirit of equity.

Judge James H. Hart was born in Abingford, Huntingtonshire, England, on June 19, 1825, a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Marriott) Hart, descending from ancestors whose lineage runs back unbroken through many generations of active usefulness in his native land, his paternal grandfather, John Hart, being a native of the same county with himself and where his father was also born. Thomas Hart was the third in a family of eight children and engaged in the vocation of a builder for his life work, and, after performing most creditable labors in his chosen profession, and after attending with faithfulness to his duties as parish clerk and sexton for over half a century, his remains now repose in the old-time cemetery in Abingford, side by side with the mother of Judge Hart, who long ago passed to the Great Beyond.

In this religious atmosphere Judge Hart attained maturity, acquiring the elements of a solid literacy education in the parish schools and supplementing this instruction in the full course of stenography, following this as a profession for some time. A man beyond the ordinary in reasoning powers and mental endowment, James Hart was early convinced of the truthfulness of the religious doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and became a member of that body when he was twenty-two years old, later being called by the church to fill important missions in London, Birmingham, the Island of Jersey, Germany and in several departments of the church established in France, notable about them being St. Malo, Paris, and Havre, his efforts receiving attention and securing large additions to the members of the faithful. From France he was transferred to St. Louis, Mo., in 1857, in which city he was prominent in church activities and most capably performed the onerous duties of managing editor of the newspaper publication entitled St. Louis Luminary, in addition to these duties diligently working at carpentry. From St. Louis in 1857 he was placed in change of an ox train of Mormon emigrants en route for Salt Lake City, and brought them safely through to their destination, arriving there on October 9th of the same year.

Remaining in Salt Lake City and vicinity, engaged in various occupations until 1864, Judge Hart then made his home in the new town of Bloomington, Idaho, where he became a worker in wood, being a carpenter and also making all the doors and tables of the place. He was also commissioned as the first postmaster of Bloomington, holding the position for seven years, was chosen and served as a popular justice of the peace, and in 1870 he was nominated and elected judge of probate of the county, discharging the important functions of the office with great acceptability for the term of four years and thereafter representing the people of his district in the lower house of the state Legislature for six consecutive years, and later, in 1900 being nominated again, as the candidate of the Democratic party, for his former judicial office, judge of probate, and receiving a flattering endorsement and election at the polls. This term of office expired on January 10, 1903. For the past twenty years Judge Hart has practiced the legal profession at Paris, and occupies a leading and prominent position among the members of the bench and bar, having many friends and being noted for his constancy to his clients, his comprehensive grasp and presentation of the merits of his cases before the courts, and the affable courtesy of his manner.

Always deeply devoted to the interests of the Church of Latter Day Saints, Judge Hart has from the first held position therein, rendering also distinguished serve for a long term of years as one of the stake presidency, being in this connection the superintendent and manager of the Fielding Academy in Paris.

Miss Emily Ellingham, a native of Hertfordshire, England, and Jude Hart were united in matrimony in the city of London in 1852. She was the daughter of Thomas and Ann Ellingham, and of this union is there is but one surviving child, James Ellingham Hart, now serving in his second term of four years as auditor and recorder of Bear Lake county. By his second wife, Sabina Schieb, to whom he was united in 1862, he had nine children, of whom seven are now living. The oldest, Charles H., is serving his second term as judge of the First judicial district of Utah. The others are Alice C., who married Anson Osmond, has seven children and lives in Bloomington; Eugene S., a popular teacher in Fremont County; Arthur W., an attorney at Preston, Idaho. Both of the last named have preformed missionary service, the first in Missouri, the latter in Germany. Alfred A., of Bloomington, a graduate of the Agricultural College of Utah, has recently performed a mission of two years in Wisconsin; Hemoine, a graduate of the Agricultural College of Utah, is a teacher at St. Charles; Rosina, now Mrs. Ivan Woodward of Franklin, Idaho; the family includes also one adopted son, Henry J. Hart, a carpenter of Montpelier, Idaho.

To sum up, there is no one individual throughout the who extent of southern Idaho who has more completely lived up to the high standing of his ideals than has Judge Hart, and it stands in evidence, without an attempt at contradiction, that no man has filled important functions with greater fidelity, or ever discharged his duties as a citizen or church member with a clearer perception of their requirements or with a nobler result.

Other things to be thankful for:

My L.A. Lakers are 13-1.

I received my book and CD of Early Songs of Southern Idaho and the Emigration Trails.

I still have a couple more days off.

I just found some new kinfolk with historical family information & items of interest.

**Sorry if Blogger spacing and formatting doesn't seem to be cooperating this morning.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another Letter of Condolence to my grandfather Julian for the murder of his father/Ex.Governor Steunenberg

Here is a letter of condolence from Elizabeth H. Goetler (?) to Julian Steunenberg dated 12/31/1905. I am not sure of the last name spelling. If anyone has a better guess or knowledge of who this high school Principal is from Tekoa, WA during the period around 1905/1906 then let me know. There was no envelope. Eventually I will do a little detective work and track down the connection between Julian and Elizabeth. I am guessing that the trail may lead to Walla Walla College. Click on the letter to get the enlarged version.

Tekoa, Washington
Dec. 31, 1905

Dear Julian:
On my return from Church this morning, I was shocked beyond measure to hear of your father's death. What fiend could have perpetrated this awful deed!

I hasten to offer you my sympathy in this trying hour. May the Lord help and sustain you in this great bereavement is my prayer. I know that all words seem vain (?) when one is overwhelmed with grief as you are, and yet, sometimes, it is a comfort to know that our friends think of us and do sadly sympathize with us in our grief and sorrow for the loved one that has been so cruelly snatched from our side.

You have the comfort in knowing your father was a good and just man and respected by all who knew him.

I extend my heartfelt sympathy to your mother and entire family.

Most Sincerely your friend

Mrs. S. Elizabeth H. Goetler (?)
Principal High School Tekoa, Wash.

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving weekend. We took a Turkey meal up to my folks (John Sr. and Brenda Steunenberg Richards) on Friday. They are not able to go out anymore and find it difficult to have any large groups in the house. We visit in shifts. Both were in good spirits and we were pleased to see Mom eat a pretty healthy portion. For Dad, a healthy portion is never a problem! I gathered with all my kids (son Josh and his wife Chrystie and their foster son Noah, my other son Joe, my daughter Caley and her friend Victor and my wife Cindy for dinner out this year. Plenty to eat as usual and happy to have all my kids nearby. Our best to you and yours. John and Family.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Harry Orchard Items at the Idaho Pen

A couple more items coming up from the depths of the blog picture section to now become regular posts. This way they can be more easily found using the archive listing or search tool.

This is the inlaid game board made by Harry Orchard while at the Idaho Pen. He had a lifetime to hone his skills doing such things. Those that he brutally murdered did not. This was shown to us during our November 2007 visit through the courtesy of Rachelle Littau, Interpretive Specialist with the ISHS.

If I remember Rachelle correctly, the shoe molds and leather were found down under the Idaho Pen in what I refer to as the "hole." It is suspected that they were used by Orchard to make shoes, a skill he developed during his long stay at the pen. Ironic that he would become a shoemaker , the same craft practiced by a number of Steunenberg's both in this country and back in Holland. Most notable was Will Steunenberg, brother of the governor, who had a shoe shop in Caldwell. Those were the days when shoes really were made in the USA. Whether Orchard's or not, these were an interesting find along with the game board. We appreciated the special showing arranged by Rachelle during our visit to the pen.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Early Songs of Southern Idaho and the Emigration Trails

Our friend Gary Eller has just announced that the CD, Early Songs of Southern Idaho and the Emigration Trails, is now available. This is great opportunity to get some great music AND a 75 page book documenting the historical roots of each song. Of course I am excited to see included among this collection Farewell Steunenberg (2008), the Harry Orchard Song (1907) and Are They Going to Hang My Papa?(1907).

Looking for holiday gifts? Help support the preservation of historical music and pick up a copy of Early Songs of Southern Idaho and the Emigration Trails by contacting Gary Eller by email at PGaryEller@aol.com or through his Pickle’s Butte Music website.

While you are at it, why not mosey on over to Idaho Public Television and get the perfect companion to this CD, and that would be a copy of the DVD, Assassination: Idaho’s Trial of the Century.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Knife Made by Harry Orchard, Mass Murderer

Here is another item I am moving up from the pictures section and into the main posts. It's a picture of Frank Steunenberg along with a knife made my Harry Orchard while residing in the Idaho Pen. This picture appeared in Knife World , August 1993, Vol. 19, N. 8 as part of a nice several page article. An original of this edition was graciously given to me by Roger Worley, a knife collector from Boise, ID., who has this knife in his collection. Orchard did not make it as a prison weapon or shank. He gave the knife to fellow inmate Tom Farley and it was probably held with Farley's belongings until released. I will have to get in touch with Roger again sometime and see what it might take to get him to part with it! Nice article and pics that I will try to scan and get on the blog at some point. Click the picture to enlarge.

Passing of Jean Smylie Steunenberg

Idaho Statesman Obituary

--A recently discovered photo courtesy of the College of Idaho Smylie Archives

From the Naperville Sun November 20th, 2008:
Jean S. Steunenberg, a resident of Naperville since 1951, died on November 16, 2008 at the age of 84. Her husband, Robert K. Steunenberg, predeceased her in 2002.

Jean was active in politics as a member of the League of Women's Voters and precinct Committeeman and Captain when she was not teaching piano. She was an avid reader.

A memorial service will be held at Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home, 516 South Washington Street, Naperville, IL on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with visitation at noon. There will be a private interment in Canyon Hill Cemetery, Caldwell, ID. Donations to The College of Idaho (2112 Cleveland Boulevard, Caldwell, ID 83605-4432) in lieu of flowers in the name of Jean S. Steunenberg are requested.

Jean was married to Robert K. Steunenberg. I may have met Jean when I was very young but no memory of her or Robert. I have seen their picture in a Steunenberg reunion photo (c. 1970) that hangs in the living room at the home of my father and mother. Jean will be joining Robert and many other Steunenberg family members at their final resting place on Canyon Hill in Caldwell, Idaho.

To read more about Robert, go to an earlier blog entry at:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Robert K. Steunenberg-WW II Veteran on LST 808 and Distinguished Scientist

Governor Frank Steunenberg - Life, Assassination, Trial of the Century

I have started (somewhat randomly) posting a few items to a Frank Steunenberg page on Footnote.com. Mostly stuff you have seen here. Feel free to email me comments regarding the web page or anything you would like to add. You won't be able to do so directly on the Footnote web page unless you are a paying Footnote customer but I will be happy to post anything you send my way.
Governor Frank Steunenberg - Life, Assassination, Trial of the Century - biography, pictures and information, learn share and discover the life and times of Frank Steunenberg.

After some fumbling around, it looks like I have have managed to find and eliminate most of the stray HTML that brought forth the pink and chartreuse colors. Of course, maybe they were an attention getter that I should have left in! It does have me playing with the colors a bit so you might notice some changes.

"To Hell With The Man Who Breaks My Will"

Will in the widow of his Caldwell store.
Below: inside his store (Will on the right. Unidentified person on the left). Caldwell, ID (photo got deleted. Have to find it again). 

The last will & testament of Will Steunenberg dated 5/9/1907. Some of you may have seen it before as moving up from the picture section at the end of the blog and adding a transcribed version. Certainly weighing on Will's mind as he wrote this would have been the untimely deaths of his brothers Frank and AK Steunenberg coupled with the passing of his father and family patriarch Bernardus Steunenberg. All were gone within an 18 month period beginning with that awful night of December 30th, 1905 when Governor Steunenberg was assassinated. Ancil Keppel “AK” died of a serious illness on March 16, 1907 and Bernardus Steunenberg passed away a short time later on March 29th 1907.

The following is a transcribed copy from the above 1907 diary along with a few additional entries of interest. Will was the second oldest of the ten children of Cornelia and Bernardus Steunenberg and the oldest brother of Governor Frank Steunenberg. He was a shoemaker by trade and owned the above pictured shop in Caldwell, ID. He was born 3/26/1857 in Holland, MI; died August 12, 1946 Caldwell, ID.
A few words are difficult to discern although eyes better then mine could probably figure it out. Will kept a daily diary throughout his adult life and typically made short and to the point notations on each calendar day. Most indicate the weather, lodge activities, visits to family, playing cards, results of hunting/fishing trips and daily personal and business expenses. The last will and testament appears in the memorandum section of the 1907 diary. The diaries are in the possession of my cousin Bill Crookham of Caldwell, ID and several were loaned to me for examination.

The names referenced in his last will and testament are of Will’s remaining seven Steunenberg siblings. I have attempted to use punctuation, capitalization and spelling as per the original. A few items in parentheses have been added for clarification or comment purposes.
May 9th 1907 (Memoranda section of the diary)
In case anything should happen to me, I would like Jo & Deal (sisters Josephine and Delia) to have the property on Gospel ridge 9 blocks and house in block 33 Dorman’s addition. (space) The ¼ share I own in the home property Block (space) to go to John. let Charley (his brother Charles Benjamin Steunenberg often referred to as “C.B”) & George (Steunenberg) divide my share of the shoe store equally between them. If there is any Money left give Lizzie & Grace (Elizabeth and Jennie Grace Steunenberg) One hundred dollars each & divide the balance equally among you all. see that the guns get good keepers. And if any of Frank’s Boys ever show any tendency to guns & will take care of same; give them the gun that belonged to Frank the 30-303 savage.Don’t blow in (spelling?) money foolishly on funeral Just plain. and remember no mourning goes, Just be Jolly & forget and don’t drag my carcass to a Church I would like the K.P’s (Knights of Pythias) & Odd Fellows to Plant me if they can do so without making blunders & would like for Prof. Boone to make one of his nice sensible talks, No Preaching goes (spelling?). And give Boone $25.00 for his trouble.
Let John, Charley & George see that my wishes are carried out.
W. L. Steunenberg
To Hell with the Man who breaks my will.

Transcribed by John T. Richards Jr.

Other samples of the entries in the 1907 diary include:
3/15 – went to A.K.’s in evening & stayed all night at A.K.'s… A.K. very low.
3/16 – don’t see how A.K. can get well…A.K. died at 5 min to 12
3/19 –A.K. was buried by the IOOF Grand Lodge officers and the canteen assisting…it was a very large funeral considering the muddy & sloppy roads.
3/29 – Father died at 1:15
4/21 – rode out to the cemetery
4/23 – went home and found John and Charlie looking over Frank’s papers.
7/28 – The jury acquitted Haywood this morning of having anything to do with Frank’s murder.
10/27 – went fishing with T.W. Boone 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Was Governor Steunenberg as Tall as Shaquille O'Neal or another Crocodile Dundee?

"Gov Steunenberg stood nearly seven feet in his stockings, and never wore a necktie. When he appeared on Broadway six years ago he created a sensation with his Western costume, broad hat and long hair."

Well the governor was a big guy but not seven feet. Otherwise he might have been playing basketball rather then being a governor. He was more like 6'4", about the same as me. Sensation on Broadway? Costume? My great grandfather had long hair? That sounds like when Crocodile Dundee came out of the Australian bush and was walking the streets of New York (for those that saw the movie). In this case it is Governor Steunenberg from the Idaho Treasure Valley. I think we see a bit of the still prevalent view in 1905 that Eastern papers had of the "Wild West."

I am proud to say that the Governor and I share the same view when it comes to neckties. A family tradition that I try to follow.

Chicago Tribune 8/29/1899.

In Memory of Ex-Governor Steunenberg

Another item I am moving up from the picture section. If anyone has more information on this poem, when it was written and/or the author James H. Hart then please let me know. Click the image to enlarge for reading.


You may have seen these postcards before in the picture section toward the bottom of the blog. I am moving a few items around and brought these up here to go along with the small article below that I just found on Footnote.com.
Click on the pictures to enlarge.

"Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mill, April 28, 1899 before the wreck." The card below from after the explosion is highly sought after but this one from the day before is actually harder to find.

BH&S Mill after the explosion, April 29, 1899. Nothing but splinters. Click here to read "From Statehouse to Bull Pen"

Back side of the card above it. Someone had their history wrong. Of course the governor was not killed in this explosion on 4/29/1899 of the BH&S Mill. His was murdered several years later on the evening of 12/30/1905 when he opened the gate to his home triggering a bomb (see below).

May 4, 1899 - MARTIAL LAW
Martial law was declared by Governor Steunenberg (misspelled Steunberg in this article) within a few days of the bombing of the Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mill.
This is the same pic that I requested be posted on the "Historical Tour" link on the City of Caldwell website several years ago. The Steunenberg name had been there but a blank spot with no picture. Click the link and then "Choose site" and "Steunenberg." Check out the rest of the houses and information on the site.


We can see Judge Fremont Wood on the bench, perhaps a few members of the jury and Charles Moyer on the witness stand.