Saturday, July 25, 2009

Caldwell Commercial Bank/Bank & Trust Co.

You have probably seen other posts and pictures with the Caldwell Commercial Bank (a short time later changed to Caldwell Banking & Trust Co.). Here is additional information, some photos I have moved up from the un-archived section of the blog and an excerpt from Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas.
 The original bank building before it was extended to the left to form the "Steunenberg Block." We can see that it actually had three floors, two above ground level and one below. The lower floor is no longer visible today.
After the building had been extended to form the "Steunenberg Block."

The "Steunenberg Block" in Caldwell, Idaho
Looking toward the intersection of 7th and Main Street with the bank building in the background and the Saratoga Hotel on the corner across the street.
 The main floor showing the cashier's cages. That is A.K. Steunenberg at the rear window.
At the near window I believe that is L.S. Dille.
Written on the back of the previous photograph. This was an original photo from the family that somehow ended up on eBay. I was able to rescue and bring it home. "Caldwell Commercial Bank about 1900. Property of Carrie M. Steunenberg." Carrie was A.K.'s wife and quite active in Caldwell, ID social circles.
The bank building as it appears today, home of the Acapulco Restaurant upstairs and I believe still vacant downstairs. You can see that the arched widows and other architectural features have (unfortunately) been considerably modified. However, the rest of the Steunenberg block to the left retains its original architectural integrity. The Mexican food is pretty good at the Acapulco, staff are friendly, and if you can get that front corner booth you will be sitting in Frank's office.
"The governor had good reason to be proud of the bank he and his brother (A.K. Steunenberg) had erected the previous year at a cost of $20.000. Seeking something very distinctive, the Steunenbergs had turned to Idaho's preeminent architects, J. E. Tourtellotte and Company of Boise, who produced a structure quite unlike anything in town--a graceful building, perhaps a bit eccentric, but right up-to-date in the commercial style...Two stories high, the bank's red-brink facade was broken by rows of great white arches framing the windows. On the Main Street side, a stairway led down to Hart Norman's popular O.K. Barbershop, while a Romanesque doorway opened on a marble stairway leading up to the bank proper. The high ceiling main banking room presented a row of ornate brass tellers' cages across the rear wall and desks for junior officers up front; to the left and up a steep stairway was the Steunenberg brothers' three-room executive suite. Clerks filled the first room. As befitted a former governor, Frank occupied the spacious corner office, bathed in light from the arched windows. A.K., the adjacent room, overlooking Seventh Avenue. Office space in the rear was rented to John Rice and the Rocky Mountain Bell Telephone Company. All the offices, and the connecting hallway, were lined with polished oak wainscoting, lending those chambers a sobriety distinctive in that raw town-scape."--From Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas

Click here for all Caldwell Bank & Trust related blog links. 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

11/12/1890 - State of Idaho - Thanksgiving Proclamation - By the Governor

In 1890, Frank Steunenberg had been elected to the first Idaho Legislature. Here is an old memento of that period that has been in the family for almost 120 years now. A proclamation from then Idaho Territorial Governor George L. Shoup to the Honorable Frank Steunenberg (courtesy of John Sr. & Brenda Richards).

"To Hon. F. Steunenberg
With Complements of
Geo L. Shoup

Friday, July 17, 2009

Furlough Friday

Today is another "Furlough Friday" in California. I don't think the Terminator is searching for John, as he sent me home today without pay. However, he is searching for an elusive CA budget and has both Democrats and Republicans mad at him. The thrust of my career as a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is to help Californians with medical, psychiatric and learning disabilities, high school special education students, parolees from prison, recovering drug and alcohol abusers, etc. become productive employees--a major goal of economic recovery. I am pretty good at it. A extra day off is always nice but I have no shortage of work to do for the people of CA. We definitely need to make cuts, but more desperately need to overcome the ongoing political malaise on all sides that results in government stalemates and inaction.

Currently we are closing our offices three days per month but the demand for services only increases. The State actually loses out on the 77% federal matching funds that go toward our departmental budget. We are doing our part, cutting office costs, service expenditures and about 15% of our salary at this point. A budget will be signed but the deeps cuts, furloughs and budget woes for CA will remain. I am fortunate and happy to have a job but happier when I can be doing my work and contributing even more to the solution. I wonder what Governor Steunenberg would do (making my historical connection here)? Maybe call out the troops like he did in the Coeur d'Alenes, but in this case to surround the Capitol and let no one leave until a budget is signed? Or perhaps erect some "bull pens" in Capitol Park and herd State Senators into one, Assemblymen/women into another. What do you think Arnold?

That's my "meandering" off the beaten path for today. I try to avoid editorializing on this particular blog but just couldn't help myself there for a moment. Too much unpaid furlough time on my hands. John

Julian Steunenberg riding in a carriage going to...?

That is a young Julian Steunenberg (my grandfather and eldest son of Governor Frank Steunenberg) sitting up on the front seat as a passenger. I finally determined that the church in the background is St. David's Episcopalian, finished in 1896 at 1001 Main in Caldwell (see photo to the left or page 21 in Early Caldwell Through Photographs). We can see that the photograph from Early Caldwell is some years later, with paved streets, sidewalks, curbs and mature trees. Julian would probably not have been at this particular church for any services other then passing by or picking up a passenger. I have wondered if it might be part of the processional on its way to Canyon Hill Cemetery to his father's funeral? It was made up of similar carriages with family and dignitaries. The card is postmarked March 25th, 1909 which is of course several years later. No message other then neatly typed on the back "Mr. Julian Steunenberg." This came from my mother and grandmothers photo album. Looks like my grandmother made the notation on the front. Let me know if you recognize anyone else in the photo or have more information.

" Early records show that the Episcopalians were holding church services in Caldwell as early as 1884; thy met
whenever a priest, usually one on horseback or by stage, came through town. Services were held at the school, the city hall, the College of Idaho Academy or other churches until 1896 when St. David's, a brick building with stained glass windows, was finished at 1001 Main. A large wood stove to the right of the sanctuary heated the church and the first seats were boxes. A resident priest came in 1888; 'missionary boxes from the East' supplemented his salary. The church was taken down to make way for the Tenth Street overpass. A new church was completed in 1956 at Arlington and Pine using all of the original stained glass windows."
--From Early Caldwell Through Photographs
compiled and written by Elaine C. Leppert and Lorene B. Thurston

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Harry Orchard - Before and After

Seems like the food at the Idaho Pen must have been pretty good in those days. Nicely tailored suit too.

You can see the full page and read the news article by going to my footnote Spotlight at: 6/12/1907 - Before and After of Harry Orchard

Friday, July 10, 2009


Western Federation of Miner's Poster after the arrest of Haywood, Moyer & Petibone (facsimile I obtained of the original). Excerpt below from THE TRIAL OF WILLIAM "BIG BILL" HAYWOOD by Douglas O. Linder With Orchard's confession in hand, McParland proceeded to devise a plan to arrest the three members of the WFM inner circle, all living in the WFM's headquarters city of Denver, and transport them to Idaho for trial. McParland wanted the arrest and trip north to be so surreptitious and swift that the men would have no opportunity to obtain the assistance of lawyers who might prepare legal challenges to extradition. In effect, what McParland proposed was a kidnapping under the barest color of state law. McParland and Idaho state officials succeeded in convincing the governor of Colorado to issue warrants for the arrest of the the three men (codenamed Copperhead, Viper, and Rattler) on February 15, 1906, though both the warrants and the planned arrests remained a closely guarded secret until the night of February 17, when the three were rounded up (Moyer was arrested after boarding "the Deadwood Sleeper" which was to take him to South Dakota on the first leg of a probable planned escape to Canada; Haywood was arrested while having sex with his sister-in-law). Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone were placed for a few hours in the city jail, denied permission to call family or lawyers, before being hustled in the early hours of the morning to the Denver depot and placed on a special train with orders not to stop until it crossed the Idaho border.

Not long after the special train departed the Denver station, Edmund Richardson, the longtime attorney for the WFM, boarded another train to Idaho and began the legal battle to free the three leaders. Richardson filed petitions for habeas corpus, arguing that their forcible removal from Colorado without an opportunity to legally challenge their arrest and extradition in Colorado courts violated the Constitution. The prisoners' arguments lost both in the Idaho courts and the United States Supreme Court, which in December of 1906 in the case of Pettibone v. Nichols, ruled that a prisoner was "not excused from answering to the state whose laws he has violated because violence has been done to him in bringing him within the state." Justice McKenna was the sole dissenter, writing: "Kidnapping is a crime, pure and simple. All of the officers of the state are supposed to be on guard against it. But how is it when the law becomes a kidnapper? When the officers of the law, using it forms, and exerting its power, become abductors?"

--The Trial of William "Big Bill" Haywood by Douglas O. Linder

Thursday, July 9, 2009

THE GATE ON WARM SPRINGS ROAD (Idaho Penitentiary, Boise, Idaho)

A few more pics and post cards deleted from the unarchived items at the end bottom of the blog and brought up here.

The entrance gate on Warm Springs Road (now Avenue) to the Idaho Penitentiary. Unfortunately the stone gate was torn down.

On the back:: "This is the Gate-Way to where we keep the Wild Colo Boys when they get to (sic) mean to live in the hills and this is also where Moryar (sic), Haywood & Pettibone lived while they made a visit to this town."

This is a real photo card picture taken down Warm Springs Avenue in Boise toward the Idaho Pen Entrance. In the far distance we see the penitentiary gate shown below in the picture with Harry Orchard. Can anyone give me more information on this shot? I assume it is taken from the direction of Boise and the bluff we see in the far horizon is part of Table Rock?


Harry, "behind bars" at the Idaho Pen.
From a Life Magazine, March 13, 1950 in my collection.


Idaho State Historical Society

Old Idaho State Penitentiary

Audio file: "Dynamite Harry" by Bona Fide (you will need Windows Media player or something similar).

Click here for more Bona Fide, Frozen Dogs, Buckhorn Mountain or whatever band reincarnation occurs of Gary, Rue and the rest of the boys. 

ALMOST FREE...but never going to happen. Click the image for a clearer reading view.

This letter was written by Harry Orchard to Charles "Peter" Steunenberg. Pete would have preferred to see Orchard swinging from a rope but he did continue to oppose any commutation of the sentence. Letter courtesy of College of Idaho archives.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


You can see a rather large size crater was left where the bomb had been placed. Click on the newspaper article to enlarge for viewing.

Publication Title: Fort Wayne News
Content Source: Allen County Library
State: Indiana
City: Fort Wayne
Short Description: "The Washington Post" published its first four-page newspaper on December 6, 1877. The historical issues at Footnote begin in July 1904.
Year: 1907
Month: May
Day: 6
Page Number: 1

See my Footnote SPOTLIGHTS for the full article and many others.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A New Headstone at Missouri Veterans Cemetery

My Uncle Cal's headstone is now in place at the
Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield, MI

Photo courtesy of Sheri Steunenberg Beersman, Cal's granddaughter.

Click on the photo to enlarge and on links below for related posts.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sergeant Cal Steunenberg, 40th Infantry Division, 185th Infantry, 2nd Battalion

Monday, May 25, 2009

"CQ,CQ,CQ, this is W6WFV....William 6, William, Frank, Victor...CQ, CQ, CQ" ...Memorial Day 2009...and "dits" and "dahs"

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Passing of my Uncle Cal Steunenberg