Friday, May 23, 2008
As is always the case, it is the patina of time, the hand made corrections and the addition of the three cent stamps at the top commemorating that moment on Mount Suribachi that reflects the heart and soul of its author in honoring his fellow soldiers. I will let Uncle Cal's words do the talking as we honor the service and sacrifice of all those past and present on this Memorial weekend.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Just going through more stuff and ran across this cover I had picked up quite some time ago. Too bad the letter was not inside. It is a Spanish-American war cover from the Philippine Islands and addressed to Gov. Frank Steunenberg. The postmark is a Military Station postmark. The Military Stations were field Post Offices operated under the administration of the San Francisco Post Office (information courtesy of Mark Metkin). This cover was likely "mailed" sometime earlier in the Philippine Islands but postmarked on January 7, 1899 at the military station in San Francisco. It arrived in Boise on February 14th 1899.
I had previously compared the handwriting on the cover to that of George Steunenberg, the brother of Governor Steunenberg, as he was serving with the First Idaho Volunteers. However, the writing is not similar and Steunenberg is spelled incorrectly.
One can only imagine the contents of the letter, maybe part of a correspondence between the governor and military authorities regarding a request for troops to serve in the Spanish-American War or an anticipated need on the home front because of simmering trouble in the Coeur d'Alene's. Or perhaps from a soldier in the field wishing to express an opinion or experience. The name Lyman C. Reed is on the back but I have been unable to identify who that might be. Maybe we will eventually uncover a letter somewhere among Frank Steunenberg's papers that will match this envelope.
"Just before the regiment left for the front, it was presented with a handsome flag of military blue silk, upon which was embroidered in richly colored silks the Great Seal of the State of Idaho. This flag was presented by the women of the state and was carried by the regiment during its entire service. Col. Charles H. Irvin, of Boise, suggested the material and design for the flag, and through the courtesy of Mrs. J. B. Lyon, of Chicago, mother of Mrs. Calvin Cobb, of Boise, the flag was made in Chicago by skilled needle-workers. After the war the legislature directed to collect all flags belonging to the state of Idaho and carried by troops in the Spanish-American war and preserve them in the capitol building, and $100 were appropriated for the purpose. The flag presented to the boys of the First Idaho is now preserved under that order and can be seen by visitors to the capitol." 1The battle flag of the First Idaho Infantry consisted of a rendition of the pictorial content of the Idaho Territorial Seal centered on a blue field. The regiment name was placed below.
Read more at:
“After their calculated rebuff to Gooding’s March 14 request for direct command of U.S. Troops in
“When nothing happened by April 18th,
“For more than a year, Frank Gooding had stewed about threats of a labor or Socialist insurrection during the upcoming trials. In early 1906, he’d persuaded Roosevelt and Taft to triple the cavalry force stationed at the Boise Barracks, bringing Troops A and B of the Fourteenth Calvary from
I guess the stage was set, machine guns ready and the state fully prepared to deal with any trouble that might occur during the upcoming trial. John
Saturday, May 17, 2008
As most of you know, Orchard had converted to Adventism, a rather controversial conversion at least partially attributable to my great grandmother the widowed Belle Steunenberg. That story is discussed elsewhere so I won’t go into detail here.
In 1990, C. Griffith Bratt's opera "A Season For Sorrow" was performed in
If anyone has more information, has seen these items, knows there whereabouts, etc then we would sure like to have them returned to the proper owners (the Adventist Church) and made available for historical study. I believe the name of Leon Cornforth as Trustee (written on the smaller card on top of the display case) refers to Pastor Cornforth but I am not sure. Perhaps someone can shed light on that for me. I hope one of several Orchard descendants with whom I have had contact might recognize and be able to identity the people we see in the box of photographs. Email me at: email@example.com
Monday, May 12, 2008
Time marches on and we need to value each day as it comes. A belated happy mothers day to all the mothers out there...past, present and future.
I love you mom! John
I love this old tin type photo of Frank Steunenberg Sr. as a teenager. He is maybe 17-20 years old, living in
I am not sure who has the original tin type as the photos were not referenced but I assume it was in Frank Juniors possession. It is the earliest picture I have seen of the future governor.
And right out of Martyr of Idaho, 1974 by Frank W. Steunenberg Jr, here is the complete preceding paragraph to the poem:
“Frank was in his mid-teens when his mother died. It hit him hard, but he did not permit the tragedy to blight his buoyant spirit. Perhaps I can do no better then to share with you two poems that gave us some insight into the life of the shoemaker’s home, while the family was growing up in
From Martyr of Idaho by Frank Steunenberg Jr. The poem was written by future governor Frank Steunenberg Sr. as a young man of about 20 years of age living in Iowa and attending Ames College. It appears that each of the five boys...John, Al, Charles, Will and Frank were identified with a specific part. Nothing like Boys and Beans!
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Continuing from Big Trouble:
"With a resigned sigh, she (Belle) left the funeral arrangements in the capable hands of Frank's close friend Harry Lowell."
"From the church, a dark procession of fifty carriages crawled up the long gravel road on the snowy face of Canyon Hill, where the governor's body was lowered into the frozen earth. He wasn't buried in the family plot, which at that time held only his first son Felix, dead in 1894 at the age of six.
The day before the assassination, as he and Harry Lowell had returned from their trip, Frank Steunenberg had gazed out the train window at the old town graveyard on Canyon Hill and remarked how "dreary and desolate" it was, overgrown with sagebrush, graves piled high with boulders to keep the coyotes and other varmints from digging there. So Lowell selected a new part of the burial ground, free from the dense sagebrush and chaparral thickets, more open to light and air, overlooking the valleys of the Boise and the Snake."
Picture to the left from Martyr of Idaho. A pretty desolate looking place in those days.
I have discovered that finding information and documents related to the Caldwell Banking & Trust Company can be rather difficult. With Frank Steunenberg's assassination in 1905 closely followed by brother A.K.'s. death in 1907, the ownership and administration of the bank from there on forward is unclear. Perhaps other family have more information in that regard. The bank did go on until it failed to open one day in I believe 1925, perhaps an early victim of the depression. I have a little more information around somewhere but can't put my hands on it at the moment. The banks assets were bought up by other financial institutions. Surely there must be some records somewhere.
Pictured at the top of this posting is an old $1000.00 first mortgage real estate bond for an Ammon Christopher and his wife May K, Christopher. The original date on the mortgage is April 6th, 1908, coming after the death of Frank and A.K. The bond amount plus interest is due April 1, 1911. On the back it is marked "pay to the order of Robert E. Morgan without recourse" and signed by J. H. Lowell, Vice president. I hope to someday find other bank documents with the signatures of Frank and/or A.K. but no such luck in this instance. However, this is of interest since it is a period item from the bank and the J. H. Lowell would be James "Harry" Lowell, a close friend and business associate of Governor Steunenberg. Lowell had been handling the real estate transactions of the Caldwell Banking & Trust Company for a number of years. To the left is an early picture of the bank before the rest of the Steunenberg block was erected. This one and other bank pictures are located toward the bottom section of the blog.
From Big Trouble: "For only the day before he'd (Frank) returned from a strenuous trip--by train, buggy and horseback--to his sheep ranch near Bliss, a hundred miles to the southeast. With his business associate, James H. "Harry" Lowell, he'd also inspected an irrigation project along the Wood River. A.K. Steunenberg--his brother's confidant--believed there was a quite different explanation for Frank's behavior that day. Later he told reporters the governor must have received a warning late in the week, which would account for his "unusual" manner. On Friday afternoon at the bank, he'd walked the floor with a "meditative and troubled expression" on his face."
..."Frank and A.K. Steunenberg, often led by Harry Lowell, invested in many of these (water reclamation) projects; recently they'd participated in a more massive scheme to reclaim 250,000 acres in the Twin Falls area, 130 miles to the southwest."
..."they (A.K. and Frank) were officers of Caldwell's Independent Lumber and Manufacturing Company, headed by their colleague Harry Lowell, who also served as manager of the newly formed real estate department at the Steunenberg bank. Lowell and the Steunenbergs reaped thousands of dollars from exclusive sales rights on the remaining lots of the Caldwell Land Company, once run by Bob Strahorn" (From Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas).
I am not sure where the property and assets ended up (not with me!) but the business interests of the Steunenbergs seemed to diminish rapidly from there on with Frank and A.K. having been the main movers and shakers in that regard. Wish I had one of those lots in Caldwell now.
Friday, May 2, 2008
You will want to check out the Bona Fide website if you haven't been there recently. www.bonafidaho.com
The information below came from the website. You will need iTunes , Windows Media Player or something similar on your computer for playing music downloads. Just click on the title of this entry or the link below to go right to the music. Enjoy, John
INSTRUMENTAL SONG - Farewell to Steunenberg ( click to hear)
Playoff Update: The Lakers swept the Denver Nuggets four straight and are resting up, licking their wounds and preparing for the first game with the winner of the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets series.