Saturday, March 28, 2009

Celebration Of The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Establishment Of The Seat Of Government In The District Of Columbia

I had been on the hunt for sometime trying to purchase an original edition of the book, Celebration Of The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Establishment Of The Seat Of Government In The District Of Columbia-1800-Washington-1900. Compiled by William V. Cox. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1901. Finally snagged one.

The book is somewhat difficult to find for purchase and often rather expensive (I got this one for a song) as only 8,000 copies were printed in 1901. It is available at various libraries and through inter-library loan services.

Yes, I had a particular interest since Governor Steunenberg attended these events. However, this is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the history of the nation's capital.

The copy I have is in nice shape, includes the fold out maps of Washington D.C. in the back and quite a few period illustrations and photos. However, it does have a rather weak binding and, for that reason, I am not going to attempt any scanning except for the front cover above. I will include a couple of excerpts and you can find a link below to view the full volume online at Google books.

There are a couple of previous blog posts that will show the very colorful program that was developed for the Centennial. It is printed on heavy stock and bound within the book. I now know that the separated pages of the program that I had acquired previously were most likely removed from a volume of this book and are hence originals, not copies. I got those for next to nothing too, as neither me or the seller had any idea what they were (well okay, so I kind of knew what they probably were!).

There is also a section with pictures and information on the very nice commemorative medals given to participants. You
will want to click on the links at the bottom of this post to see the medal and how it relates to these events and Governor Steunenberg. This blog post and the others will give you a better of understanding of the centennial events and why I had an interest in acquiring an original edition of this commemorative book.

Excerpts (Chapter headings in bold)

Proceeding Of The Meeting Of The Joint Committee
The members of the joint committee assembled at II o'clock, February 21, 1900, in the parlor of the Arlington Hotel. The meeting as called to order by Hon. John B. Wright, chairman of the citizen's committee. After welcoming the members to the capital of the nation, he briefly presented a history of the movement to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the permanent seat of Government in the District of Columbia since its inception, in October, 1898, referring especially to the deep interests shown by the President, and to his suggestions, all of which had been carried out. The members of the committee from the country at large, as appointed by the President, were read as follows:

I will not type the whole list but includes "Idaho..F. Steunenberg".

The chair then directed the roll be called, whereupon the following named gentlemen responded:
...F. Steunenberg, governor of Idaho;....

Reception And Exercises At The White House
The ceremonies of the day commenced with a formal reception to the Governors of the States and Territories and the Commissioners of the District of Columbia by the President of the United States. Shortly after 10 o'clock, accompanied by members of the Cabinet, he entered the Blue Room, while the Marine Band, under the leadership of Lieut. William H. Santelmann, stationed in the large hallway, played "Hail to the Chief."

Their excellencies the Governors meanwhile assembled in the Red Room, attended by their chiefs of staff, having been escorted to the Mansion by members of the committee in charge of exercises. The Commissioners were also present. The President, being ready to receive them, they were then ushered into his presence and were presented by Col. Theodore A.Bingham, U.S.A. The President cordially greeted his distinguished guests and some little time was spent in conversation. At the close of the reception, the guests with the members of the Cabinet proceeded to the East Room where they were seated by members of the committee.

The Governors who attended the reception were their excellencies....Frank Steunenberg of Idaho......

Parade, And Review By The President Of The United States
At half past 10 o'clock, the President, accompanied by Senator Hale, chairman of the joint committee, and other members of the Cabinet, entered their carriages in Front of the Executive Mansion, proceeding to Pennsylvania Avenue, being immediately proceeded by the Fifth United States Calvary. They were followed by the brigade of the District of Columbia National Guard. The signal for the parade to start was given by a detail from the guard under the command of Capt. C. Fred Cook.

Governor of States, In Order Of Admission Of States To The Union [With staffs and military escorts.] 43. Idaho

...Idaho, Governor Frank Steunenberg, escorted by Dr. D. Percy Hickling.

Exercises At The Capital (Frank should be somewhere in this crowd)
At 3.30 o'clock, the hour appointed by law for a joint convention of the Senate and House of Representative to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the permanent seat of Government in the District of Columbia and of the first session of Congress held in the permanent capital, the President of the United States with the members of his Cabinet, the president pro tempore and members of the United States Senate, the Chief Justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court, the foreign ambassadors and ministers to the United States, the governors of the States and Territories, the Commissioners of the District of Columbia and those entitled to admission to the floor, entered the Hall of the House of Representative, which body was already in session.

Personnel Of Committees
Committee From The Country At Large
Hon. F. Steunenberg

Check out these related links:
12/29/2007 - Never Know What Might Pop Up On eBay

12/29/2007- Commemorative Medal Given To Governor Steunenberg on 12/12/1900

4/14/2008 - National Capital Centennial-Program from 1900

Celebration Of The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Establishment Of The Seat Of Government In The District Of Columbia

I am sure Governor Steunenberg was immensely impressed with the pomp and circumstance and the distinguished guests at this momentous event. I have searched but to date not seen any photographs that include his presence. I can't help but wonder if at some point the Governor longed to be back in Caldwell, Idaho, away from the formality of Washington D.C. and the controversy over the events that had occurred in the Coeur d'Alene. That event had followed the Governor to the nation's Capital earlier in 1900 when Congress had conducted hearings into the Idaho mining wars. No doubt some of those conversations still lingered during this later visit.

Did he or didn't he? We all know that Frank Steunenberg had an aversion to wearing a necktie, as does his great grandson. The Centennial was a rather formal event what with receptions at the White House and the parade. The winter cold of December was firmly entrenched in Washington D.C. and everyone had on their top hats and warm overcoats. The question is, would the Governor have worn a tie on this occasion or did he keep that coat collar buttoned up tight so no one could see? Above "Personals" appeared in The Chicago Tribune, 8/29/1899.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Arthur Hart Straightens Me Out

Arthur Hart, Director Emeritus of the Idaho State Historical Society and historian extraordinaire, pointed out that my description under the postcard of the "Public Buildings, Jefferson Street", the second photo shown in the previous post, Governor Steunenberg's Office in the Territorial Capitol Building, is incorrect.

Dear John,
I appreciate receiving your informative and interesting "Idaho Meanderings." One minor correction to your labeling of the first postcard in today's wonderful collection of images: I am sure the big building in the foreground is Central School, not the courthouse. The interior shots are gems!
With sincere appreciation,
Arthur A. Hart

I did go checking, goggling, comparing images, etc. After all, this was a chance for the rookie to show up the veteran, to make by mark and demonstrate who has the sharper eye. However, I guess that will have to await another time. Just as Arthur indicates, that is the old Central School building in the foreground, not the courthouse as I mistakenly identified it. The courthouse is in the very far distance with just a peek of the steeple visible. If I had been smart, I would have opened up my copy of Life In Old Boise by one...Arthur Hart! It shows an engraving of Capital Square and Arthur has written "An engraving of Idaho's Territorial Capitol Building, published in 1887, shows Capitol Square; the buildings, left to right, are Central School, the Capitol, and the Ada County Courthouse. (The present capitol now occupies the space.)"1888 ENGRAVING CAPITOL SQUARE, BOISE CITY  

Since we can't see much of the courthouse in that picture postcard from the previous post, here is one of several I have of it with the Haywood Trial inset. It looks kind of like the central school building!I have cut and pasted a couple items below from the Internet. The picture immediately below shows the "new" central school built in 1905. The old central school continued to be utilized for various purposes until it burned on November 24, 1908 (see further down below). It was destined for demolition anyway. You can see in the fire picture that the new capitol rotunda is already under construction to the immediate right. The building would need to come down to make way for the wing of the capitol housing the senate chambers. I believe I have it right but I know Arthur will straighten me out if not.

From-- (no longer an active link)

CENTRAL SCHOOL - 610 North Seventh Street
The State Legislature passed a law on February 4, 1881 creating the Independent School District of Boise City No. 1. The School District began operations in the large Central School building in September. 1882. The school housed four grades; primary, secondary, grammar, and high school. Central was the only public high school during the territorial period. The original building was located at 8th and Jefferson (the site of the State Capitol Senate Chambers).

A new Central School opened in 1906 at the corner of 7th and Washington The old building was used for a time for some special programs, and burned in 1908. Beginning in 1946, Central was the home of the cadet teacher program for Boise College.

The article below showing the fire is a bit misleading, as the picture to the right of the burning school would appear to be presented as a shot taken before the fire. However, that picture shows the already existing new central school at the corner of 7th & Washington, not the building that burned at Jefferson and 8th. Am I right Arthur?

The Fresno Morning Republican California 1908-12-05
Posted November 24th, 2008 by Stu Beitler

Dec. 4. -- The Central school building, temporarily occupied by the Idaho State School for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, was partially destroyed by fire early this morning. Forty children, inmates of the institution, were being marched to breakfast when the alarm was given and they were taken out of the building in perfect order. The loss is $10,000.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Governor Steunenberg's Office in the Territorial Capitol Building

JTR Collection
Here are several pictures, circa 1897-1900, of Governor Steunenberg in his office at the old territorial capitol building in Boise. You have probably seen them in publications or on websites before. A couple were in the photo section at the bottom of this blog but have been moved up here. The top photo is original and comes from the album of my grandparents, Julian and Francis Steunenberg. You can see Governor Frank Steunenberg sitting in his back office and Jason McKinney, Secretary, at the front desk in the governors suite. Maybe there is a parade going by. Click on the pics for larger/clearer photos.
JTR Colletion
The second photo is from my post card collection and is an unused "Private Mailing Card, Authorized By Act Of Congress Of May 10, 1898" and showing the "Public Buildings, Jefferson Street" much as they would have appeared to the governor. Nearest is the old Central School building, the territorial capitol building to the right and in the far distance is a peek of the courthouse and where the Haywood trial took place. See the next post on 3/23/09 above this one.

The two photos below were recently obtained from the ISHS. This one of the governor at his desk is not among our family collection although I have seen it before. I do have an original of the one below it but Dr. T. H. Calloway, shown on the right, had been cropped out of that picture. Here he appears a bit shadow-like or ghostly, probably due to light exposure from a nearby window. Jason McKinney, Secretary to the governor, is standing on the left and Governor Steunenberg is sitting at the desk. Read more about the desks on my blog post, Governor Steunenberg's Desk or Desks?

ISHS although I have these in my private collection (JTR) too.
Dr. T. H. Calloway was a Democrat, served in the Idaho legislature and was active in Idaho politics and the community. Not surprising that he would be in the governor's office. Two photos above courtesy of the Idaho State Historical Society. Don't ask me to send higher resolution scans of ISHS items. They will provide photos or scans to you at reasonable cost and they need the money!

From my personal family collection. Original of the same photo above it minus Dr. Calloway

And a couple more cards above and below, circa 1900, showing the territorial capitol. I haven't figured out yet which window is the governors office.
JTR Colletion
JTR Colletion

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Harry Orchard's Cottage at the Pen?

Too bad it wasn't Harry driving.
This picture comes courtesy of the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS). I have had a photocopy that I got from the ISHS several years ago but recently purchased a higher resolution scan for printing. Although the truck might have been a more suitable home for Harry, it is the cottage in the upper left hand corner that is allegedly where he was allowed to reside outside the walls of the Idaho State Penitentiary. I am not yet convinced that is the one. Below I have enlarged that corner of the picture for better viewing. Click on the pics to enlarge.

I wonder which State of Idaho Department of Land agent (as per insignia on the door) was the poor guy driving the old Chevy truck!

Caption on the picture reads:

“Truck wrecked southeast of Dairy Barn. Shack in background was occupied for a time by Harry Orchard, confessed assassin of Gov. Frank Steunenberg.”
You can see a picture of Orchard working in front of his cottage in the post Wash Bench Made by Harry Orchard?
Could have changed but the structures look different to me. What do you think?

Photos courtesy o
f the ISHS.

And here is another picture of Orchard in the doorway of his cottage that comes from The Man God Made Again. Maybe this is another door around back or there was more then one cottage?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


San Francisco Chronicle. June 29, 1899-"The next time that a mob attacks the Bunker Hill mill it will have a warm reception."
Click on the picture to enlarge for reading.

To see what had happened a few months earlier when the "mob" attacked, click on:
Insurrection Was Proclaimed. Sixty Rioters Arrested.


On The Trail of the Old Pump Organ

This is a sample of recent email back and forth I am having with John and Gabriele, the owners of the pump organ in last weeks post. We are still on the trail of its origins. If anyone has more thoughts or something to add let me know. I deleted a couple of phone numbers and email addresses out of respect for privacy. I stuck in a few more photos too.



Thank you for your efforts to track down more information. I have great fun and satisfaction with the many contacts I have made in recent years and new and surprising discoveries that show up from time to time. I enjoy the detective work!

Walla Walla/College Place played an important part in the early history of the family on the side of my grandmother, Francis Beardsley Wood Steunenberg. Her grandparents and great grandparents (Maxson-Wood) were Seventh Day Adventist and had a great deal to do with the settlement of the Walla Walla Valley and the early formation of Walla Walla College. They brought the first piano to the valley and taught music at the college and in local schools. My grandmother also played and taught piano to local school children.

Meanwhile, In Caldwell, ID, the Steunenberg’s (Hollanders) were migrating from Iowa and Michigan, with the boys coming first and settling in Caldwell looking to make their mark and their fortune. Frank Steunenberg quickly became involved in business and politics and rose to become governor in 1897. His wife was my great grandma Belle Steunenberg. Most of the families were Presbyterian but Belle, always somewhat on the outside of the usual family social circles, one day joined up with a small Adventist sect that was getting established in Caldwell. It raised a few eyebrows as generally the Adventists were viewed as somewhat “fanatical.”

Around 1904, my grandfather Julian, eldest son of the governor and Belle, had been sowing a few wild oats as he finished high school and, at Belle’s insistence, was sent off to the Adventist College in Walla Walla. Julian objected being sent to “that missionary college” but Frank Sr. supported Belle’s decision even though Frank himself had not followed his wife into the Adventist religion. Frank had many Presbyterian friends and as well as most of the family but was not a regular at church…much like me.

To make a long story short, it was in Walla Walla that Julian Steunenberg met up with Francis Beardsley Wood. After his father was murdered in December 1905, Julian tried but was never able to finish his studies. Later in 1906, Belle gave her blessing to his marrying Francis knowing it would help soften the blow he was feeling from the murder of his father. Julian and Francis moved around a bit between Caldwell, ID and Walla Walla and Medical Lake, WA, as there was lots of family in all those areas and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Frank Jr., the youngest son of Frank and Belle Steunenberg, who was only five or so at the time of the assassination, was also living in College Place and graduated from Walla Walla College in 1924. So he too was living there right around the time in question as related to the pump organ. Later in the 1920’s, Francis and Julian loaded up the kids (by mother being the youngest and was born in Caldwell) in the old Ford and headed for California. Hence, here we are!

My mother will be 91 in August and lives with by father not far from me here in San Luis Obispo County. They are struggling but maintaining some independence. I have many fond memories of our frequent visits and family gatherings with my grandparents Julian and Francis.

Regards, John

Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 11:22 AM
Subject: pump organ

Hello John,

Gabriele has informed you that I will get in touch with you.

As you know, we acquired the organ in Vernon, BC from the local well-established antique auction house. (Antique Imports - Chartered members of BC Auctioneers Association, 3021-29th Ave., Vernon, BC, 250-542-9119). The owner's name is Victor and he can be contacted. He's a great individual and has been auctioning estates for many years.

Meanwhile I searched for the name "Haines" and found approx. a dozen names in BC, in various places. Yesterday I was able to talk to a Mr. Doug Haines in Silvercreek near Salmon Arm. His telephone number is XXXXXXX. He is apparently 72 years old and lives on an acreage where the Haines' originally homesteaded. He inherited the place. He was kind enough to tell me about the Haines family history. Lyn Haines is buried there in Silver Creek. I asked him if he remembered a pump organ that his grandfather owned and he said: yes. Now, that does not mean that this is proof since we would have to show him pictures. Pump organs were not uncommon.

Apparently, the Haines family came originally from the northwestern US . Joseph Haines was a wounded civil war veteran. In the 1880's he took advantage of the Canadian settlement incentives and moved to Salmon Arm, BC as did many other Americans in those days. His son Lyn Haines took over the farm and stayed in Canada. Joseph Haines eventually moved with his wife back to the US since she was not too fond of the Canadian winter... :)

Doug Haines provided the first name of a couple of his cousins who live close to where we are located and I will try to contact them.

Will keep you posted John.

This is becoming a detective story.......


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A.B. Chase Pump Organ-Did it Belong to the Steunenberg Family?

I have had this pump organ over in the left hand margin of the blog where you might have spotted it already. The current owner has it for sale and it is advertised as previously belonging to Governor Steunenberg. A few kinfolk have heard from me individually and we have exchanged information and ideas regarding its origins. I am putting the organ up as a main post in a last effort to see if someone may be able to suggest or provide other information---be it family related, something about A.B. Chase pump organs and/or perhaps estimates of value.

This pump organ
may have belonged to Frank & Belle Steunenberg in Caldwell, ID and/or later one of their children. However, I have not been able to establish any provenance to the governor or Caldwell except what is written in the note below. The connection is a bit stronger to Walla Walla/College Place, WA. The forty-five year old note from a previous owner indicates the organ was purchased in or around 1920 from a relative of Governor Steunenberg that was living in Walla Walla at the time. Both Frank Jr. and Julian Steuneneberg, sons of the slain governor, were residing in Walla Walla during the early 1920's. A specific name of the "relative" is not given in the note. My mother Brenda has a recollection of the fun she had pushing down pedals on a piano or organ but does not remember where or when. She would have been only about two years old in 1920.

I suspect that the organ may have been acquired through my grandmother Francis, Julian's wife, as that side of the family was very involved in the early years of Walla Walla College and specifically with the music department. My grandmother Francis and her grandmother (Caroline Maxson Wood) played and taught piano and probably the organ too.

From the note that has been retained by the current owner:

"History of
this A.B. Chase organ, patented about 1878 made in the U.S.A. 1888. Once owned by the former governor of Idaho. Was bought in 1920 in College Place, a suburb of Walla Walla, Wash.; from a relative of ex-governor Frank Steunenberg. During a period of labor unrest between a mining union & mine and, about 1898 Mr. Steunenberg, then acting as governor of Idaho, was assassinated by Mr. Harry Orchard on Dec 30, 1905, as Mr. Steunenberg was taking a walk one summer (I believe that is what it says and of course it is incorrect as was winter with snow on the ground) evening outside his gate near his home. Mr. Orchard was tried, convicted & sent to a local penitentiary for life, but was later pardoned."
"July 4- '64

This organ was also owned until recently by
Lin W. Haines
R.R. 1, Salmon Arm, BC

If you have read or seen anything about a pump organ in the family or know something about A.B. Chase organs then please let me know. It may have been in Caldwell, ID (c. 1900) and more likely College Place/Walla Walla
, WA (c.1920). I have more pictures that have been provided by the seller but the main details are shown here.

Price: $10,000....well $9, 999.00 to be exact. Way out of my league but fun to speculate anyway.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Harry Orchard's Colt .45 Cal. Single Action Army Revolver

Harry allegedly carried a revolver, a Colt Single Action Army, that was sold at auction somewhere between 2000-2003 or so. While going through my stacks of papers, I ran across the listing in the upper left. The picture is from elsewhere on my blog and was shown at the Haywood trial and also published in Cabal of Death by Robert Grimmett. I have forgotten, and could not locate, the name of the auction house but will keep looking. I had seen this listing a few months after the gun had sold and did contact the auctioneer but was given no information.

I would like to get some information and pictures of Orchard's Colt and/or of any guns he might have owned. To the right is perhaps a similar model as in the auction listing. Click on the picture to be taken to the Wikipedia page on Colt Army Revolvers where this photograph is located. If anyone has one of Orchard's guns, or know who does, please let me know. Harry probably had several old revolvers as he used most of his guns as triggering mechanisms for dynamite bombs. Being strictly a coward, he was never one to get in a face to face gunfight. Harry preferred dynamite and to be a long distance away when his killings took place. If he ever had to use a gun, I am sure his preference would have been a shot in the back.

Picture below shows the twisted remains of one of Harry's revolvers used as a triggering mechanism in a dynamite bomb. This was not (see addendum below) the trigger mechanism used in the bomb that mangled and killed Ex-Governor Steunenberg at the gate of his home in Caldwell, ID.
Photo taken of a display at the Idaho Historical Museum in Boise.

3/8/09 - Addendum: The label in the photograph from the Idaho Historical Museum indicates "This damaged revolver was used by Harry Orchard to trigger the mechanism which killed Governor Steunenberg." Justice Byron Johnson has reminded me that the stated information is incorrect. I mistakenly perpetuated it by restating the same as fact. All of us that have studied these events know that the trip mechanism was a vial of sulfuric acid sealed with a cork. A pin was pushed into the cork and attached to the pin was a trip wire. Over the blasting caps in the bomb was a piece of cotton saturated with cyanide of potassium and sugar. When the governor tripped the wire, the cork was pulled from the vial, the sulfuric acid spilled onto the cotton and ignited the blasting caps, setting off the explosion of dynamite. Although Orchard did use parts of a revolver to fashion triggering mechanisms for some of his bombs, the one that killed Governor Steunenberg was not of that type. So unless the revolver parts just happened to be in the box containing the bomb, the pieces shown in the photograph above would have come from a different infernal machine.

I believe the Idaho Historical Museum is incorrect just as I was incorrect in stating it above. Evidence from some of Orchard's other bombs was brought to Boise for the trial and I believe that is the case here. I will research it a bit further as cannot immediately put my hands on the information this morning. When I find it, I will request that the Idaho State Historical Museum correct the label in their display of trial artifacts if they have not already done so.

Thank you Justice Byron Johnson for pointing out that error.

1906 Editorial on Gov. Frank Steunenberg

You will want to refer to the following post referencing The Idaho Magazine, Volume III, February 1906, Number 3 that I had purchased along with several other family related items. Click on the pages above to enlarge for reading and the link below for the earlier posting about this magazine.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Idaho Magazine 1906

The magazine has some moisture damage and I have used a very thin crafting spatula to separate the pages as best I could and archival document repair tape on damaged and torn areas. Once glossy magazine type pages get wet there is not a lot you can do to salvage the text and pictures except to separate as carefully as you can. Most of the text is pretty legible.

The post today is an editorial that I was not able to show in my December 2007 entry because the pages were too stuck together. It was written by James Browne, M.D.,LL.D. If anyone has information on this magazine, other copies, how long it was in business, etc. then please let me know. The Idaho State Historical Society says they have never seen it before so I am guessing it was short lived and probably not a lot of copies distributed. It is described as "An illustrated Monthly of Current, and Reminiscent, Thought and of Idaho--Historic and Actual." You can see the names of the editors and various contributors on the first inside page that is shown in the December 2007 posting. A lot of familiar names and some not. Your comments and help with identifying this magazine would be much appreciated.