Saturday, April 16, 2011

Steunenberg Memorial Booklet

Here is an item that is not widely available, as a rather small number were printed by the Capital News Publishing Company that was housed in the Union Block Building. It is the Steunenberg Memorial booklet published in 1929 to document the December 11th, 1927 dedication of the Steunenberg Statue that sits across from the capitol building in Boise. From the forward.... "The monument was completed and dedicated December 11, 1927, with appropriate ceremonies, the oration on the life of Ex-Governor Steunenberg being delivered by Ex-Governor James Hawley. This book contains the complete dedicatory ceremonies, the oration delivered by Senator William E. Borah at the funeral of Ex-Governor Steunenberg, memorial services held by the legislature at its session following the tragic event, and the Final Report of the Association to the Governor."

The booklet has a faux alligator skin cover and is twenty-nine pages in length. For purposes here, I am providing only the text of the oration by Ex-Governor James Hawley. Interestingly, he not only eulogized the all too short a life of Ex-Governor Steunenberg, but gave an overview of the mining riots of 1899, the miner's unions, confession of Harry Orchard and the Haywood trial. No doubt Hawley, then some twenty years after the trial, still felt a bit of the sting from that verdict in 1907. If folks are interested, I will try and scan the rest of the booklet sometime soon. Click on the pages below to enlarge for reading.


Not alone upon th'incarndine stage
Of brazen war and carnage gory
In born the theme for history's page,
Is found the ground for glory's story

The poet too his song shall sing,
The artist weave the colors bright,
The plaudits of the throng shall ring
For this sequestered martyred knight ;

The sculptor too his name shall grave
On shaft of majesty and beauty ;
Peace hath, not less than war, its brave―
A hero he, who dies for duty.

--Byron Defenbach (original poem recited by its author at the dedication. Defenbach was a writer and historian who in 1933 published the three-volume work, Idaho: The Place and Its People).

The two photographic panels are on a textured photographic paper with each protected by an overlay page.

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