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