Monday, January 18, 2010


From a University of Idaho Ph.D thesis by Stanley Stewart Phipps, 1983, and book published in 1988 by the same title and author: From Bull Pen to Bargaining Table. The Tumultuous Struggle of the Coeur d’Alenes Miners for the Right to Organize. 1887-1942. The poem (song lyrics?) below attributed to “a Coeur d’Alene Miner”, from Freeman’s Journal, June 8, 1900. This item was brought to my attention by our friend Gary Eller.

From Gary's website: The Old Bull Pen (Mrs. Mary Cleopatra Robinson? Auntie Rhodes? 1899). Lyrics for this song were found in the University of Idaho Ph.D. thesis by Stanley Stewart Phipps (1983). Most likely this is the song of this name that is mentioned in an aside in Way Out in Idaho. In other places, there is a suggestion that it was written by Mrs. Mary Cleopatra Robinson, “the nearly blind poetess-laureate of the Couer d’Alenes.” A melody has not been found, but a plausible air is the classic Irish protest song “Wearing of the Green”.

--Gary Eller

Be sure to check out Gary's "The Idaho Songs Project." I wonder if a recording session and setting these lyrics to a melody is in our future?

I have added a photograph of Governor Steunenberg and General Merriam from a previous blog post. See another related blog post, Insurrection is Proclaimed/Sixty Rioters Arrested.

Here is an article from my site that is related to the bull pens: 3/15/1900 - Discarded His Army Button


The old bull pen is empty now. There are no prisoners there no more.

The miners are all turned out, and the warden has closed the door.

In eighteen hundred and ninety nine, this famous pen was built.

And numerous were the prisoners, there without one stain of guilt.

Brave me that fought in ’61 to break slavery’s cruel chains,

Were guarded there by Negro brutes, in that bull pen in the Coeur d’Alenes.

It was one despot Steunenberg that built this Siberian pen.

And Merriam with his Negro brutes and bayonets herded us in.

From May until December they kept us in that pen,
And treated us like savages instead of working men.

There liberty once found a home, but you can now look for her in vain.

For martial law and bayonets rule in the once fair Coeur d’Alenes.

Hundreds of us lived within those dark and gloomy walls.

One small window in the gable to furnish light for all.

“No mercy to those cowards show” one haughty captain cried.

“No more than a snake you know” a Negro fiend replied.

If I were guilty of a crime a trial we justly claimed.

And a removal of troops and bayonets from our homes in the Coeur d’Alenes.

We were herded just like cattle, and formed all in a line.

And with bayonets drove to dinner each day just like so many swine.

Sour was the bread they gave us, and rotten were the “spuds”.

With coffee black as midnight made by a scab called Tubs.

Our table was old Mother Earth, our chairs were just the same.

Now that is how the miners lived in that bull pen in the Coeur d’Alenes.

Permits they would not give us, yet they made us work each day,

For the Standard Oil monopoly, for which we got no pay.

At last we tried to escape, and tunneled underground.

But when thirty feet from liberty, some of our plans were found.

Brutal Captain Edwards, in command, soon this information gained.

And gave us inhuman treatment in the bull pen in the Coeur d’Alenes.

They fed us on bread and water till nine long days had fled.

And before our eyes they burned the straw from our impoverished bed.

For seven long, weary hours each day they stood us bareheaded in the sun.

And if one faltered in his track he would be braced up with a gun.

The Spokesman Review these facts would hid; but its lies were all in vain.

For the world now knows the truth, of that bull pen in the Coeur d’Alenes.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

College of Idaho Football Team circa 1908

Since I am on the topic of the COI (see previous post), might as well move this photo up from the unarchived bottom section of the blog that I am slowly trying to clear out.

Another early photo of the College of Idaho 1908 State Champions Football Team that I found and purchased. The student second from left on the middle row is James Boone, son of college president Dr. William Judson Boone. One of James' touchdown end runs stood as a record for many years. James went on to a career in law, including the presentation of a case before the US Supreme Court. 

I need to see if Jan Boles, COI Archivist, can identify some of the other players. Anyone else know any of these players/coaches? 

I have donated this original photo and it is now the property of the COI Archives.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sterry and Blatchley Halls-College of Idaho-circa 1910

Sterry Hall on the campus of the College of Idaho. Today, this is where you would go to visit the COI Archive and find Jan Boles hanging out (well, at least some of his time) and watching over our Steunenberg family documents. I don't believe "the hat" would have been built yet, but this picture would have been taken from out near Cleveland Blvd. about where it is located. See Interurban post below. Once Jan gets back to work, I am sure he can shed more details on the construction and history of Sterry Hall. Anyway, this photo postcard will be heading for the archives if Jan wants it. Otherwise, I will keep it in the personal collection as it is a great old picture. and enlarge it and then see if you can tell what any of those reflections are in the windows, particularly the lower ones.

This card is indirectly Steunenberg related since the governor & the family were quite involved with COI through the years and friends with the Boone's and Blatchley's. This was just a nice early view and I am giving it to Jan for the college archives. Look at the desolate land around the home in those days. Hard to imagine it if you go to Blatchley Hall today. Following information from Jan Boles, COI Archivist: The identifications are, left to right: Mr. and Mrs. Montie Gwinn, Margaret “Babe” Boone (the little girl), H.D. Blatchley (Henry), Sarah Boone, Mrs. H.D. Blatchley (Carrie), James Louden Boone, Marie Boone, Mrs. William Judson Boone (Annie). The photo was made by Dr. William Judson Boone, husband of Annie, father of Babe, Sarah, Marie, and James, and first president of The College of Idaho. Carrie Blatchley and Monte Gwinn were sister and brother. Both Montie and Henry were Caldwell merchants in the early 1880s. They were movers and shakers for the creation of The C of I in 1891. Montie and Henry were early trustees. In later years Henry served as college librarian. Montie was instrumental in the creation of the first paved highway between Idaho and California. Carrie was on the early faculty, teaching art history. Babe Boone became a professor of English at the C of I; she was my favorite professor (1963-1965). The building is the Blatchley home, constructed in 1910. It was donated to the college in 1918, becoming Blatchley Hall. It was first used as the president’s home. Later it became the home of the music department. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Thanks, Jan B (This pic is now the property of the COI Archives, jr)

'The night before the governor's walk had witnessed the seasons grandest dinner party, cohosted by Caldwell's social arbiter, Queen Carrie Blatchley; William Judson Boone and their spouses for a group of refined young couples, including two attorneys, an insurance agent, a pastor, and the manager of a lumber company. "Very pleasant," Boone recorded in his diary. "Fine time."'

"The next evening...The Reverend Mr. Boone and his wife had been entertaining their closest friends, the Blatchleys, when they heard a "terrific" noise. They thought something had fallen on the roof."
--Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas

Bank Note from the First National Bank of St. Anthony & signed by A.K. Steunenberg, Pres.

I am tossing a few items up on the blog this morning that I have been holding off on with the intent to include more details and facts. However, the demands and stress of work, my mothers illness and other life issues have drained my time, focus and energy a bit. As I have been doing recently, I will post these items and come back and fill in more details later as time allows. Click on the pictures for enlarged and clearer views.

Saint Anthony, ID - $10 1882 Brown Back Fr. 490 The First NB Ch. # (P)5764
A very scarce bank which issued large notes only, with this $10 Brown Back new to the census. It's quite well worn, but fully intact, with decent color for the grade and clear pen signatures. Any Idaho Brown back is a rare item indeed (the census lists just six $10 Brown Backs extant from the whole state, with this the first reported from St. Anthony), and, despite its Very Good grade, it should realize somewhere in the neighborhood of...

--From Heritage Auctions

It sold for$4887.50 in 2005.

I posted a small pic of the above note over in the left hand column sometime ago but want to get this larger version posted too for better viewing. This was courtesy of our friend Greg Davis and his very interesting website, Idaho National Bank Notes. No, this one is unfortunately not in Greg's collection but he has a scan of it from the online catalog of Heritage Auctions. The above example was the first bank note that I had seen with A.K. Steunenberg's signature. We often talk about the Caldwell Bank & Trust founded by A.K and Frank Steunenberg but have not explored to any great degree the other banks in which the brothers, and mostly A.K., had a hand. This one comes from The First National Bank of St. Anthony.

Al Steunenberg (grandson of A.K. Steunenberg) has a $5 bank note, also from the First National Bank of St. Anthony and signed by A.K. It is stored away in a box and we are going to see if we can't rustle it up sometime soon and get a few scans. I will probably be urging Al to get the note out of the cardboard box, conserved, maybe have Greg give us an appraisal and get that baby locked away in a a nice big safe! The best I can do now is this old photocopy below that was recently found among Steunenberg papers at the COI Archives.

From Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas
Continuing on page 38….
“In 1894 as well, A.K., with John Rice, James Ballantyne, and others, founded the Commercial Bank. A decade later, when Frank was brought in as president, it became the Caldwell Banking and Trust Company. Spurred by A.K.’s zeal, the brothers established other banks in St. Anthony, Paris, and Glenn’s’ Ferry, Idaho and in Wallowa and Vale, Oregon, which eventually yielded the governor banking stock worth $12,000.”
--Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas

The McDaniels moved to Ontario in 1904 but came back to Wallowa to establish a bank . He was associated in business with Ex Governor of Idaho Frank Steunenberg of Caldwell (my understanding is that A.K. served as bank president. jr). Mr. McDaniel was the cashier and the bank was chartered and opened on November 23, 1905. It was called the Stockgrowers and Farmers National bank. It had an original capital of $20,000, but soon acquired a surplus of $60,000 making it the largest bank in the county.
From Wallowa County, Oregon (C.T. McDaniel)

Caldwell-Boise Interurban under construction

The is an early picture of the Interurban under construction. It served the region well until the automobile became widely available and the interurban could no longer stay profitable. These days we wish it was still here what with gas prices rising and freeways becoming increasingly jammed between Boise and Caldwell. Click on the pic for a clearer view.

Boise Valley Streetcars & Interurbans
Looping the Loop
The Hat
Valley Loop Study
Electric City

1930 Census - The Crookham, Steunenberg & McClain Family Connection

Click link to view census record. George Lenox Crookham married Jennie "Grace" Steunenberg on 10/10/1900 in Caldwell, ID. Their two children listed on this census were George Lenox Jr., & Frank Brobst. A son Horace, DOB 11/3/1901, had died on 7/26/1917. Their daughter, Edith Josephine, DOB 1/27/1904, was probably living elsewhere by 1930. Edith married Donald Elwood McClain. Their children are Malcolm Elwood and John Orin McClain. I am sure some of my Crookham/McClain kinfolk can shed light on Edith's whereabouts in 1930.

Clicking on the image will take you to my viewer where the image can be enlarged and navigated. The Crookham family is on lines 78-81.

Click here for more on the Steunenberg/Crookham connection and the Smylie Archives at the College of Idaho

Friday, January 1, 2010

I.O.O.F. Oct. 7, 1889 Grand Encampment of Idaho held in Caldwell

Something for the IOOF fans. October 7, 1889 Grand Encampment of Idaho held in Caldwell. Both AK and Frank Steunenberg were active members in the IOOF. AK more so perhaps then Frank. AK held various positions in the IOOF and was serving as Grand Scribe at the time of this encampment. Just let me know if you would like to see more of what is inside or are looking for particular names. Great old piece in rather fragile condition. Note printers inscription on the front "Caldwell, Idaho: Steunenberg Bros., Printers 1890

Albert Keppel "AK" Steunenberg, born 9/11/1863 and died 3/16/1907

The biography below comes from The Illustrated History of The State of Idaho, published in 1899 while Frank Steunenberg was governor of Idaho. This biography is about the governor's brother and business entrepreneur, AK Steunenberg. In this instance, AK seemed to be getting the more in-depth biography as opposed to the entry written about Governor Steunenberg.

Numbered among the successful and representative citizens of Caldwell, Canyon County is Albert K. Steunenberg, brother of the present governor of Idaho. He is cashier of the Commercial Bank of Caldwell, which institution was established in January, 1894. During the five years of its existence the bank has flourished, largely owing to the fine executive ability and genius as a financier which are marked qualities of Mr. Steunenberg. The capital stock of the bank is twenty-five thousand dollars, and an annual dividend of ten per cent is paid to stockholders. The volume of business transacted has materially increased from year to year, and entire satisfaction has been expressed by every patron of the bank with the manner in which their affairs have been handled. The bank transacts a regular banking business, and sells exchange throughout the United States and Europe. The organizers of the Commercial Bank were John C. Rice, W. S. Badley, S. S. Foote, Robert Aikman, Jacob Plowhead, S. F. Chancy and A. K. Steunenberg. The officials of the bank then elected and still serving in their respective capacities were J. C. Rice, president; Jacob Plowhead, vice-president, and A. K. Steunenberg, cashier.
The subject of this article is a native of the state of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Knoxville, September 11, 1863. His parents, B. and Corinne (Keppel) Steunenberg, were both natives of Holland, and were married in that land of dikes and windmills. The father was a shoemaker by trade and worked at that calling for several years. He enlisted in the United States service during her war with Mexico, and has always been a loyal citizen of the land of his adoption. For some years he lived in Holland, Michigan, and later he made his home in Keokuk, Iowa, and Knoxville, Iowa. He is still a resident of Knoxville, and has attained the seventy-fifth year of his age. His wife died many years ago, in June 1876, when she was forty-six years old. Their ten children all survive and are occupying respected positions in the several communities in which they dwell.
After he had completed his public school education in Knoxville, his native town, Albert K. Steunenberg began learning the printer's trade, as did also his brother Frank. At the end of four years of persistent labor, during which period he had occupied the various positions in the office and had become fairly familiar with every detail of the business, he started out as a journeyman, and in May 1886, came to Caldwell. Here he purchased the Tribune press, type and equipments, and, aided by his brother, Frank, whom he sent for, he resuscitated the newspaper and made a successful and representative journal of the same. The brothers are both practical printers and men of sound judgment and business ability, and during their partnership they were instrumental in bringing Caldwell to the front as one of the live towns of the state in the estimation of the public. Though they were affiliated with the Democratic Party, personally, they edited the paper as an in-dependent journal. For the past five years, as previously stated, our subject has given his chief attention to the duties which devolve upon him as cashier of the Commercial Bank of Caldwell. He has never craved public office, and has served as a member of the city council and as a school trustee merely because strongly urged to do so for the benefit of the town.
For the past twelve years Mr. Steunenberg has held the honored position of secretary of the grand lodge of the state of Idaho in the Odd Fellows society. He is an active member of the local lodges of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias.

In 1890 the marriage of Mr. Steunenberg and Miss Carrie Coulter, a native of his own state, was solemnized at Des Moines, Iowa. A little son and daughter brighten the home of our subject and wife, they being named, respectively, Bess and Ancil K. Mrs. Steunenberg is a member of the Christian church.
--Illustrated History of the State of Idaho
See the following related blog posts:
Commercial Bank of Caldwell
Christmas Day 1905
Automatic Bank Teller
7th & Main Street, Caldwell, ID
1880 Census-Steunenberg Family
Idaho State Historical Society