Friday, October 3, 2008

Who is Harry Daus? Was he in the Steunenberg house on 12/30/1905?

Well here is an interesting little tidbit of information courtesy of our friend Jan Boles, the archivist over at the College of Idaho in Caldwell.
Yesterday, while searching through C of I publications from the 1960s, I found a very odd statement in the “Alumni News” section:

“HARRY DAUS, a 1907 graduate of The College of Idaho Academy, who died on December 30, 1974, was a special part of Idaho history. An academy student, age 16, he was living in the home of former Governor Frank Steunenberg when Steunenberg was assassinated by a bomb planted at the gate of his Caldwell home on December 30, 1905…”

There is no attribution with this statement. I have no idea where it came from.

Until 1912, there was no men’s dormitory at the C of I, so male students had to room and board with townsfolk. So, Daus would have been living some where in Caldwell. But Frank, Jr., certainly makes no mention of him in Martyr of Idaho.

We know he went from the C of I to the U of I, where he earned a B.S. in 1911. By 1929 he was in the insurance business in Portland. He died in Portland on December 30, 1974. An obit would help. I’ll see what our Alumni News reported and get back to you.
(Courtesy of Jan although I didn't really ask him first!)

A quick search of the Heritage Quest Census records shows a Harry Daus and a Daus family in Caldwell at the time of the 1910 Census and that Harry had moved to Portland (consistent with Jan's information) by the 1920 census. That being some fourteen years after the assassination, the sixteen year old Daus would have been thirty-years old, a fact confirmed by the 1920 census record. Nothing is available that I have yet located for later years.

Among all the written accounts, investigations and stacks of documents and copies, I am not aware of any reference to a Harry Daus or for that matter anyone other the family members being in the house at the time of the assassination. It would be hard to believe that such a fact would have escaped the official accounts and news reports. If someone knows something we do not, or there are Daus family members out there that knew Harry, please shoot me an email, as we would sure like to know if he ever stayed in the Steunenberg household.

Thank you Jan, for providing another interesting trail we can try to follow. John


Tara A. Rowe said...

Don't you just love Jan? He seems to find all sorts of interesting stuff in that Smylie archive. I remember when I first met Jan (we talked about the Symms papers)--I was mesmerized by how much that man knows!

some guy who blogs said...

Hey, I just wanted to thank you for posting information about Lee Morse in the sidebar of your blog. I host a Yahoo Group, Miss_Lee_Morse which also features a lot of photos and the 'files' section has a couple of her tunes that I've never heard anywhere on the internet. I 'discovered' her a year ago, and I think she's great. On Youtube, or, you can see her alive in living black and white in two feature-ettes, "Song Service" and "A Million Me's". A third movie short, "The Music Racket" suffers because the last reel of film was lost, but it's still worth watching. Great job on your blog, by the way. There's a lot of history out there, for sure!