Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bombs, Detectives and Miners: The Murder of Frank Steunenberg

I no sooner get home from the office wondering what, if anything, am I going to post about December 30th but find an article already waiting. 

Thank you Daryl Worthington for remembering this day—this piece of history.
Bombs, Detectives and Miners: The Murder of Frank Steunenberg

Monday, December 29, 2014

Clarence Darrow's Defense of Big Bill Haywood (1907)

A pretty good batch of mostly familiar photos along with a Darrow-ish voice over. Those receiving auto email notices will want to click on the blog title as you probably won't see the video image.

From YouTube
Published on Mar 11, 2014
A retrospective look at one of Darrow's first great defenses: the one that saved the life of labor leader and IWW founder William Haywood, accused of ordering the murder of Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg on December 30, 1905. Video assembled by Nina Barrett with assistance from Jeff Garrett in March 2014.

Sir, I met Clarence Darrow, I watched Clarence Darrow in the courtroom, I walked the Idanha Hotel & Penitentiary with Clarence Darrow, Clarence Darrow is a friend of mine! Sir, you are no Clarence Darrow!
OK, I can't act or debate and the voice over in the video is far better then I could do.  However, I have met the ultimate Darrow. 

Flashback November 2007
John (me) on the left and Gary Anderson (aka Clarence Darrow) on the right "loafing" at the Idaho Pen. It was both educational and a lot of fun to spend a little time with "Darrow." 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Tribute to Anthony Lukas and his book Big Trouble - A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America (1998)

If you are receiving this as an email notification, you may not be able to see the video below. Come to the blog for viewing.

This video is of a presentation that appeared on C-SPAN2's About Books program (better known today as BookTV) in honor of J. Anthony Lukas and his book Big Trouble. It took place in 1998 at a Barnes & Noble bookstore. At the time, various authors and writers were doing a tribute tour and promoting Big Trouble since Lukas was not around to do so. Tony had committed suicide on 6/5/1997 shortly before the books publication. The tribute tour, though certainly helpful and appreciated, was of rather short duration. Big Trouble sales no doubt suffered from not having Lukas available to promote his own book and to allow questions about his phenomenal years of research. He even traveled to Kingman, AZ to meet with my mother Brenda Steunenberg Richards. The program was recently posted to YouTube.

From GoodReads: Big Trouble - A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America (1998) by J. Anthony Lukas

Sunday, December 21, 2008
Blue Genes by Christopher Lukas
You may or may not know that depression and bipolar disorder permeated the Lukas family. Tony's mother had committed suicide when he and his brother Christopher were very young. You can read more about the Lukas family battle with these disorders in Blue Genes:A Memoir of Loss and Survival by his brother Christoper Lukas. The book is a quick read (compared to Big Trouble) and provides a great deal of insight into their personal struggles. Unfortunately, it cannot offer any easy solutions as sometimes even the best treatment cannot prevent a downward spiral from ending in tragedy.

From Second Read: Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families by J. Anthony Lukas.
Just this morning (12/28/2014), while watching Meet the Press, I was surprised but pleased to hear New York Police Commissioner William Bratton reference the book Common Ground by Anthony Lukas. Common Ground is a typical Lukas dissection of the issues of race relations and forced school busing in Boston during the 1960's/70s. Bratton's point was the book could just as well be applied to New York City (and other cities) today. In true Lukas fashion, it is a big, detailed, exhaustively researched look at the still challenging topic of race. A copy of Common Ground remains on my book shelf and, yes, it may be time for a "second read."

Monday, June 22, 2009
Next-up in the terrorist-battle™/James Carafano/ Washington Examiner

Saturday, January 26, 2008
Ready for Anti-Corporate Politics?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas 1905/2014

Tattered, taped, falling apart.
As you have perhaps seen before in previous years on this blog or read in Big Trouble....here is a favorite (but expanding) passage from chapter one which begins during the holidays in Caldwell, Idaho, December of 1905. Additional text/photos may be added over the next few days.

May you all have a peaceful and happy holidays with friends and family. The world sure needs more of the same.

From Big Trouble - A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America:

"The community's general air of well-being was reflected in the bustling jollity of Caldwell's holiday festivities, formally ushered in on Saturday, December 23, with Christmas exercises at three downtown churches. The most impressive were those at the Presbyterian Church, the house of worship that attracted many of Caldwell's leading citizens. Belle Steunenberg had stood proudly among its founders, a teacher in its Sunday School, a doyenne of the congregation, a community leader 'jeweled with Christian graces,' until her inexplicable defection to Caldwell's tiny eight-member Adventist Church when it was inaugurated a year before—an act of such breathtaking betrayal it had left a strong residue of resentment in the front pews."

     "To assuage some of the bitterness among Belle's former congregation, the governor still attended an occasional Presbyterian service, though without much enthusiasm. He once confessed to a friend that 'his church attendance, he feared, was prompted more by anticipation of an intellectual treat than spiritual improvements.' He had to concede that the Presbyterians knew how to put on a show. That Saturday, the adult choir's 'Joy to the World' had been followed by songs from the youngest congregants, including a solo by the governor's niece, Grace Van Wyngarden, still pale from her bout with typhoid; a 'Rock of Ages' pantomime by Mrs. Stone's class, the young ladies dressed as the heavenly host, all in gold and silver, with wings sprouting from their shoulders; and finally the smallest child of all, Gladys Gordon, singing a 'rock-a-bye' with the aplomb of a prima donna and 'a clear, sweet voice that sounded to the roof.'"

"Then a portly member, dressed as Santa Claus, pulled up in a sleigh and taking his traditional position in the choir loft, delivered a gay, bantering speech. 'Have all you children been good this year?' he asked to squeals of affirmation. Descending to the foyer, Santa opened his sack, tossing out green net bags tied up with crimson yarn, each containing candy, nuts, and a bright golden orange. All this in the glow of an admirable balsam—which the congregation's men had cut in the crisp air of the Owyhee Mountains—now dressed out in cardboard angels and colored balls and illuminated this year, for the first time, by genuine electric lights."

"For the next few days, he (Harry Orchard) tried to get a fix on the ex-governor's schedule. He didn't catch up with him until Christmas day, when he saw him with his family on his way to his brother A.K. Steunenberg's house for the holiday dinner."

“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.”

James & Estella Cupp Munro
"Although Frank, A.K. and their wives certainly ranked among Caldwell's first families, they were less self-assured than they appeared. In a town that had long cherished the notion of unrestrained opportunity, the uncomfortable specter of social class reared its head. When James Munro, a clerk in the Steunenberg bank, married Estella Cupp, the eldest daughter of the town's most prominent real estate broker, the Tribune called them 'the popular young society people'—a frank recognition that a 'smart set' was coalescing in this nominally egalitarian community. A Young Man's Dancing Club invited the socially active young people to occasional soirees at Armory Hall."

Washington DC Centennial
"Some of Caldwell's new elite never quite felt they belonged. During a prolonged stay in the nation's capital, Frank Steunenberg shied away from the fashionable dinner parties to which he was invited. 'Why,' he told a friend more eager than he to see how the smart set lived, 'to accept one of these invitations means the wearing of an evening costume and what a pretty figure I would cut!'"

"A.K. Steunenberg had a thick sheaf of credentials. But consider his reaction as a guest of Bob and Adell Strahorn, the most worldly members of Caldwell's inner circle, at their summer home in northern Idaho. 'You can imagine my consternation when I 'butted' into a regular dress suit card party,' A.K. wrote his wife. 'I was the only one who did not wear a white front and a claw hammer. And to make matters worse they played a game called 500 I think I had never played before. Being like a fish out of water anyhow that did not tend to give me any reassurance...I sailed in and got through without making any very bad breaks or spilling my coffee. The ladies were perfectly lovely and seemed to try and relieve my embarrassment and I guess the men did too...The main theme of conversation at the card party was the help problem...not being able to procure help of any kind.'"

"'After it got dark, I (Orchard) went up to his residence and took a pump shotgun with me and thought I would try to shoot him when he was going home...I was there an hour or so before I heard him coming home, and he come soon after I got up there but he got in the house before I got my gun together.'"

What we now know would be the final family gathering on Christmas that would include Frank, was fortunately not tainted by this bungled assassination attempt on Christmas day—yes, even the ex-governor walking home with his family on Christmas day did not dissuade the beast from trying to slay its pray. 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 until the tragic events on December 30th, 1905, when past assassination failures would finally end in a tragic and dastardly success.

 “None of these insecurities could be detected that Christmas afternoon as a gracious A.K. welcomed Steunenbergs the boisterous clan beneath his portico. No fewer than thirty Steunenbergs gathered around the heavily laden table, headed by 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.”

"The night before the governor's walk had witnessed the season's 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.'"

"Indeed, to Boone, his guests, and many others, that winter in Caldwell seemed a fine time and place to be alive. Despite its early dependency, there lingered in town a fragile sense of autonomy—the notion that its citizens controlled their own destiny....

"It began to snow just before dawn, chalky flakes tumbling through the hush of the sleeping town, quilting the pastures, tracing fence rails and porch posts along the dusky lanes. In the livery stables that lined Indian Creek, dray horses and fancy pacers, shifting in their stalls, nickered into the pale light. A chill north wind muttered down Kimball Avenue, rattling the windows of feed stores and dry goods emporia, still festooned for the holidays with boughs of holly, chains of popcorn and cranberries. Off to the east, behind the whitening knob of Squaw Butte, rose the wail of the Union Pacific's morning train from Boise, due into the Caldwell depot at 6:35 with its load of drowsy ranch hands and bowler-hatted drummers."

"Sounding up the slope of Dearborn Street into Caldwell's jaunty new subdivision of Washington Heights, the whistle brought an unwelcome summons to the former governor of Idaho, Frank Steunenberg, as he lay abed that final Saturday of 1905. The governor -- as he was still known, five years out of office -- had spent a bad night, thrashing for hours in sleepless foreboding. Now while the snow piled up beneath his cottonwoods, he burrowed deeper under the bedclothes."

"One of his favorite boyhood songs had evoked just such a moment: Oh, it's nice to get up in the morning, when the sun begins to shine / At four, or five, or six o'clock in the good old summertime / But when the snow is a-snowing and it's murky overhead / Oh, it's nice to get up in the morning, but it's nicer to lie in bed!' The Steunenbergs, though, were sturdy Hollanders imbued with a Protestant work ethic, and it offended the governor's temperament to idle away even a weekend morning. So he hauled himself out of bed and put on his favorite six-dollar shirt with its flowered design. When it had shrunk so much he couldn't fasten the collar, his sister Jo, in her motherly fashion, had cut a chunk out of the tail to expand the chest. She was still looking for matching material to repair the back, but the governor liked the cheerful old shirt so well he donned it that morning anyway, short tail and all. Then he went down to the kitchen and built a coal fire in the great iron stove."

"When his wife, Belle, joined him, she remarked that he seemed ill at ease. The good and evil spirits were calling me all night long,' said the governor, who sat for a time with his face buried in his hands."

Jumbo & Julian c 1895-7
Courtesy Albert Steunenberg 
Click link for "Peep Show" 
"'Please do not resist the good spirits, Papa,' his wife admonished. A devout Seventh-Day Adventist, Belle persuaded her husband, who generally eschewed such rituals, to kneel on the kitchen floor and join her in reading several passages from Scripture. Then they sang Annie Hawks's fervent hymn:

I need thee, O, I need thee!
Every hour I need Thee;
O, bless me now, My Savior!

I come to Thee.
When their devotionals were done, Frank set out across the barnyard -- joined by his white English bulldog, Jumbo -- to milk his cows and feed his chickens, goats, and hogs."

"The family's eccentric gray-and-white edifice, a hybrid of Queen Anne and American Colonial styles, bristled with gables, porches, columns, and chimneys. It was barely seven-eighths of a mile from Caldwell's center, but the governor, with one young hand to help him, maintained a working farm on the two and a half acres, replete with barn, windmill, well, pasture, livestock pens, and apple and pear trees mixed among the sheltering cottonwoods."

"After feeding his stock, he turned toward the house for breakfast with Belle and the children -- Julian, nineteen, on Christmas vacation from the Adventists' Walla Walla College in Washington State; Frances, thirteen; Frank Junior, five; and eight-month-old Edna, an orphan the Steunenbergs had adopted that year -- as well as Will Keppel, Belle's brother, who was staying with them for a time while working at the family bank. Their hired girl, Rose Flora, served up the austere breakfast prescribed by Adventists: wheat cereal, stewed fruit, perhaps an unbuttered slice of oatmeal bread (the sect believed that butter -- like eggs, bacon, other meats, coffee, and tea -- stimulated the 'animal passions')."
Frank W. & Frances


"Had the governor allowed his melancholy to infect the breakfast table that morning, it would have been out of character. With his children -- on whom he doted -- he generally affected a puckish humor, spiced with sly doggerel, such as the verse he'd composed a year earlier for his daughter: 'Frances had a little watch / She swallowed it one day / Her mother gave her castor oil / To help her pass the time away.'"

AK at the back window.
Not sure of the other.
"After breakfast came a phone call from his younger brother Albert --universally known as A.K. -- the most entrepreneurial of the six Steunenberg brothers and cashier of the Caldwell Banking and Trust Company, of which Frank was president. An important matter awaited the governor's attention, A.K. said: Edward J. Dockery, a Boise lawyer, a former Democratic state chairman, and now a business associate of the Steunenbergs, would be arriving in Caldwell later that day and expected to meet them at the bank. No, Frank said, he wasn't in the right frame of mind for such a meeting. He asked A.K. to tell Dockery he'd see him in Boise next week."

"In days to come, the governor's disinclination to do business that day was much remarked. Some said it was the weather, which by late morning had turned nasty, four inches of snow driven by blustery winds drifting along the roadways, temperatures plummeting toward zero. But Frank Steunenberg was still young (forty-four years old), husky (six foot two, 235 pounds), and healthy (an avid hiker and camper who scorned the big eastern cities, with their creature comforts, their smoke, noise, and dirt) -- in short, not a man likely to be intimidated by a little Idaho snowstorm."

NY Canal would flow into Lake Lowell
"Others said his reclusiveness that day was merely a bow toward Belle's Sabbath, which lasted from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Although Frank was by no means an Adventist, some believed that he was gradually accommodating himself to his wife's recent conversion. Others who knew him well insisted he was profoundly skeptical of Belle's piety and would never have canceled a meeting on religious grounds. He might well have been weary. For only the day before he'd returned from a strenuous trip -- by train, buggy, and horseback -- to his sheep ranch near Bliss, a hundred miles to the With his business associate, James H. 'Harry' Lowell, he'd also inspected an irrigation project along the Wood River. A. K. Steunenberg -- his brother's confidant -- believed there was a quite different explanation for Frank's behavior that day. Later he told reporters the governor must have received a warning late in the week, which would account for his "unusual" manner. On Friday afternoon at the bank, he'd walked the floor with a 'meditative and troubled expression' on his face."

"Whatever the reason, Frank clearly didn't wish to engage with the world that snowy Saturday. Toward noon, a young man called at the house, introducing himself as Theodore Bird of Boise, representing the New York Life Insurance Company. He'd come down from the state capital, he said, to renew the governor's $4,500 life insurance policy, which expired at year's end, barely thirty-six hours away. With some reluctance -- and only because the deadline was so close -- Frank agreed to meet Bird at the bank in late afternoon."

"Most of the day, as wind-driven snow hissed at the windowpanes, the governor read and wrote in his study. At four o'clock he put on his overcoat, a slouch hat and galoshes, but no necktie: he was known throughout the state for his stubborn refusal to throttle himself with those slippery eastern doohickeys. Some said the habit began in the governor's youth when he was too indigent to afford a tie. In any case, for the rest of his life he'd button the shirt around his neck, leaving the uncovered brass collar button to glint like a gold coin at his throat"

"On that snowy night of the governor's walk, Caldwell looked for all the world like the quintessential ninetieth-century American community, sufficient unto itself, proof against an uncaring world."

"Entering Sixteenth Avenue, he could see the lamplight burning behind the columns of his front porch, the warm glow filtering through the lace curtains of his living room, where minutes before Belle and their two youngest children had knelt at their evening prayers. He reached down and pulled the wooden slide that opened the gate leading to his side door. As he turned to close it, an explosion split the evening calm, demolishing the gate, the eight-inch gatepost, and nearby fencing, splintering yards of boardwalk scooping a shallow, oval hole in the frozen ground, and hurling the governor ten feet into his yard."

"At first, Belle thought the potbelly stove had exploded. But thirteen-year-old Francis, who was especially close to her father, had been eagerly glancing out the window, impatient for his arrival. Having seen the flash by the gate and watched Frank fall, she was at his side in a few seconds, joined almost immediately by Belle. For one terrible moment, mother and daughter stared in blank incomprehension at the governor, sprawled on his back, naked from the waist down, blood seeping from his mangled legs, staining the snow an ugly pink." 

"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."

"Julian Steunenberg (my grandfather) and Will Keppel (nephew of Belle/son of her brother Edward Keppel) came running. A sturdy youth with a shock of blond hair, strikingly like his father in face and figure, Julian had been particularly close to the governor. He and Will had been strolling two blocks behind him when they felt the explosion, then dashed with pounding hearts to Frank's side, where they were quickly joined by Garrit Van Wyngarden, the governor's brother-in-law, who lived two blocks west on Dearborn. Together the trio tried to lift the grievously wounded man, but as they did the flesh on his legs simply gave way. Finally, someone got a blanket, into which they paced the governor, managing to carry him that way into the house and lay him on a bed in his daughter's downstairs bedroom."

Will circa 1913 (courtesy
of Sharon 'Tipton' Conlin).
"Will Steunenberg had just eaten supper and was back at his store arranging a display of boots when the concussion spilled them on the floor. A minute later, Ralph Oates rushed in to say there'd been an explosion at Frank's house...When he reached the house, his brother had already been moved inside. Belle was lighting kerosene lamps to replace the electric ones, for the neighborhood's electric power had been knocked out by the blast. Windows on the north and west side of the house had been shattered, as had those in other houses for blocs around. Shards of glass littered the floors. A huge clock had toppled from its shelf, striking five-year-old Frank Junior, who'd been lying on the leather couch below."

"When Will entered the front bedroom, it was 'horrible': the governor writhing on the bed, his right arm hanging by a few shreds, his right leg mangled, both legs broken at the ankles. He kept asking to have his legs rubbed."

"Three of the town's doctors-John Grue, W.E. Waldrop, and John A. Myer—had arrived. There was nothing they could do."

Whitehead & Hoag
Pinback dated 1894, 96, 98.
"Just past 7:30 p.m., he gasped three or four times, like a man trying to catch his breath, and muttered something unintelligible. As Will leaned closer, trying to hear those last syllables, the governor sank back and died. "

"'Frank died in my arms', Will wrote a sister in Iowa, 'and I hope the fellow that killed him will die in my arms, only in a different manner.'"

Big Trouble - A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America by J. Anthony Lukas

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Unions in Idaho, Part 3 of 3


Unions in Idaho, Part 3: Economic fallout of right-to-work easy to measure 

Above is not the original link as was no longer functional. Same article found at another location.

The state's anti-union bill led to lower wages and benefits, even as job creation was solid.


(Online access will probably gray out after a few seconds unless you are a subscriber)

30 years ago, a new law heralded unions' decline - Part 2 of 3


30 years ago, a new law heralded unions' decline: Second of 3 parts

Idaho became a right-to-work state, and membership soon plummeted in the private sector.


(Online access will probably gray out after a few seconds unless you are a subscriber) 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The decline of Idaho unions - Part 1 of 3


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/12/12/3538029_the-decline-of-idaho-unionsfirst.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

The decline of Idaho unions: First of 3 parts

Small and quiet today, they were powerful in the state's early mining era.


(Online access will probably gray out after a few seconds unless you are a subscriber) 
Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/12/12/3538029/the-decline-of-idaho-unionsfirst.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, December 8, 2014

We will "Remember the Titans"!

From time to time I interject a little football, baseball or basketball action on to the blog. Usually it is historical and/or Idaho in nature but I have to deviate from the norm now and then. So if you are looking for Idaho history, come back later, as we are talking California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Football today, as we have a new football star in the family.

All over the country, and in CA and ID too, high school football teams have been competing in this annual ritual and many made it into a sometimes complicated process of playoffs.

We had a very exciting CIF Southern section title game Saturday night in Nipomo, CA, an unincorporated town in San Luis Obispo County. That is #62, our grandson Noah Gibbons, sophomore, 6' 2", 240 lb starting left tackle for the Nipomo Titans. Fun game to be at but a bit of a nail biter to the end. Click on the headlines below. 

The Tribune, 12/7/14

Nipomo football team wins first Southern Section title in school history

(the above link is through the SLO Tribune's Facebook page and should be accessible)

Balanced offense helps Titans down Arrowhead Christian in Northwest Division title game

jscroggin@thetribunenews.comDecember 7, 2014

Noah on the right. I call these the "BAD" boys!
This was nice to see as usually those backfield 
dwellers get all the glory!
And a couple days earlier.....

The Tribune, 12/5/14

Nipomo's offensive line paves the way for football success

Nipomo High’s offensive line has been cornerstone to the Titans’ winning season and their playoff run

(this link is not available through Facebook and is only on the SLO Tribune website. It will probably turn gray after a few seconds because they want your money)

If the link grays out, here is snippet:

"Gibbons has been a kind of diamond-in-the-rough find for the offensive line, as the sophomore started the year as a reserve linebacker and only moved to the offensive side once injuries started to plague the linemen.
'Coach asked me if I could step in and I really like it,' said Gibbons, who stands 6-2. 'We’re strong and big.'
Gibbons’ first game was against traditionally physical Lompoc, and Edwards said the newcomer held his own and has been progressing ever since.
In fact, Gibbons’ emergence has given the Titans an added surplus of capable linemen, with senior Donnie O’Henley — who was hurt and thus supplanted by Gibbons — back to 100 percent.
Since returning from injury, O’Henley has checked into games at tight end, ostensibly giving the Titans six offensive linemen on the field at one time."

Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/12/05/3384753_nipomos-offensive-line-paves-the.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Right after the game. I see Noah with a big grin just left of center. Smiles all around.

I hope you had some fun with you local high school teams this season too, no matter where you live. Win or lose, the kids always give it their best and hopefully learn the value of Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Excellence. TITAN PRIDE!

Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/12/05/3384753/nipomos-offensive-line-paves-the.html#storylink=cpy
Other Football:

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Bob Richards (AKA Ricciotti), Football & Nile Kinnick

Sunday, October 19, 2014
Addendum to Sunday, 9/28/2014 post about Bob Richards (AKA Ricciotti), Roman Catholic High School, Univ. of Iowa Hawkeye Football & Nile Kinnick

Saturday, January 16, 2010
College of Idaho Football Team circa 1908

And going back to the first month of this blogs existence, a little foster kid by the name of Noah was with us at our B&B near Sequoia National Park. He subsequently became an official part of the Richards' family but has grown up way too fast!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Happy New Year from the Richards Family!
And you have seen this in a couple of the posts above.

John circa 1969, #74, 6'4", Thousand Oaks High School Lancers, about 220 lbs. and also a left tackle. So I have a couple inches on Noah but he is catching up quick and has 20 lbs. on me even though I was a couple years older than he is now. We won't mention how many pounds I have moved ahead of him at my current age! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A date which will live in infamy

Some great photos published this week in the L.A. Times showing the devastation at Pearl Harbor.  Thanks to my brother Gary for bringing these to my attention. Click on the link below.

A date which will live in infamy
 Dec. 7, 1941: The destroyer Shaw's forward magazine explodes after being struck during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Other links:

Idaho Public Television presents The Idaho Homefront: World War II

Idaho Air Bases

WW II-era plane crash site rediscovered in Idaho 

First Japanese-American Labor Camp From World War II Unearthed in Idaho 

Monday, March 24, 2014 - Battleship Idaho Commissioned, Becoming the Navy’s Fourth USS Idaho [otd 03/24] (from our blog neighbor Revue Guru AKA Evan Filby over at South Fork Companion). 


"BIG SPUD"  The USS Idaho

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Flashback

Wishing everyone a peaceful Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends.

Many of you have seen this before, but here is a flashback to the 1890 Thanksgiving Proclamation by Idaho Territorial Governor George Shoup to legislator Frank Steuneneberg. It is a bit worn but has survived all these years. Click on the first link below.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 
Thanksgiving Proclamation November 1890

This one will take you to some turkeys at the Idaho Pen.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mining, mayhem, murder and more - Coeur d'Alene Press: Syd Albright

A familiar story that's still being told for well over 100 years now. Thanks to Syd Albright for writing this article.

Click the link below.

Mining, mayhem, murder and more - Coeur d'Alene Press: Syd Albright

Saturday, November 22, 2014

1900 Pinkerton US Detective Agency Badge : Old West Collectibles at GunBroker.com

DMZ_Collectibles_1945 on Gunbroker.com
Here is a little free advertising for this seller. A nice Pinkerton badge and documents. Although fakes and reproduction badges are common, this one looks to be authentic. I don't see these very often and for now will have to make due with just a photograph. Too rich for my wallet unless maybe it had James McParland's or Charlie Siringo's name on those documents. Nonetheless, a nice period piece directly connected to the Pinkerton's, the likes of which, with agents such as McParland and Siringo, played a major role in events depicted on this blog.

Go check it out. And let me know if you buy it!
1900 Pinkerton US Detective Agency Badge : Old West Collectibles at GunBroker.com

dick1l on Gunbroker.com

While I am browsing Gunbroker, I might as well add this nickel and gold Idaho 1911 that comes to us from a seller in Blackfoot, Idaho. 
Auto Ordnance NRA 1911 Idaho #2 (no longer an active link).

Goes nice with the badge!

(links will probably not be active for any extended period)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

More Early Caldwell, Idaho

Here are two Albumen Photos of Caldwell along with various detail scans. I will probably add a few more scans as I enlarge and study the photos. Let me know if anything particular you want me to zoom in on. The originals are about 8" x 10".
First photo shows the Western Bank Building circa 1906. ©JTR
Click here for Google street view today (we sure know how to ruin a nice building). Bottom floor left to right I see the following signs/window lettering: The Scenic, Rooms, Idaho Meat Co., Western Nation Bank, United States Depository, Pressary Clothes? (basement level), Meranda The Tailor, Dentist (can't make out the name) and The Ragket Store.
Top floor left to right: Walter Griffiths Lawyer, in the tower window I see a lady with one of those big hats of the period, Griffiths & Griffiths Law Office and *A Griffiths Lawyer (they seem to have a big chunk of the upstairs) and of course the kids out front.
The second photograph (below) is looking down a muddy Main St. from about Main & Kimball.
"T.K. Little bought the building in 1899 and added a second floor and the flat-topped corner tower."
Quote from Early Caldwell Through Photographs.

Steunenberg Block can been seen on the left along with the Saratoga Hotel at the intersection of 7th and Main. The train station would be to your right down 7th. Interurban coming at you. ©JTR
Click here for Google street view.

Steunenberg building left and Saratoga Hotel with the cone tower on the opposite corner of 7th St.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

Thank you to all of our Vets for your service to the country, including my brother Gary and other family members who have served previously or are doing so at the current time.

Fold3 Honor Wall - Walter 'Gary' Osborne

You will find my bro still living on the sea aboard the Sea Feather in Bocas Del Toro, Republic of Panama. Not in the Gulf of Tonkin anymore.

Previous related blog posts:
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Veterans Day 2013 - Fold3 Honor Wall 

Sunday, November 11, 2012
Veteran's Day....send your photographs

Friday, November 11, 2011
Veteran's Day 2011

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Veterans Day 2010 - Thank You for Your Service

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Caldwell Idaho and surrounding areas

From an old, non family, photograph album I recently purchased on eBay. No doubt a couple of fellow Caldwell fans out there are not happy with me as the bidding was spirited but not too pricey. I will always get items posted on here for all to see anyway. I just received the album and am scanning the pages this morning and posting without additional information or further research. Information and more photos will be added from time to time. All the pages with photos were already detached so I am getting them into archival covers. Most of the pages in the album were unused. The photos measure in the 2 1/2" by 1 3/4" to 2 3/4" by 4" range and are glued to the pages. Some of the images of buildings around town are well known already. Others have appeared as postcards. I will probably be updating and adding some individual images as I get the chance. Let me know if you recognize the homes, family, etc. Feel free to school me.
Know any of these Caldwell folks?
A piece of the Steunenberg house being moved?  Doubtful but the scene might have been similar. Gotta love those early steam engine tractors. They could pull a house!

We know all the places shown above & below...or do we?  Many are labeled. Take a guess at the others & email or comment. I have posted a couple of them already.
Looking at the intersection of 7th & Main. Of course that is the Caldwell Bank & Trust/Steunenberg block on the left, City Hall in the distance, Saratoga hotel on the right and, as indicated, the photo was taken from the train depot. Goggle street view today. City Hall and the Saratoga long gone. Steunenberg block and Train Depot remain. Below another bridge shot from the same page. I know a couple guys out there are bridge afectionados like I am.
And above we see the interurban depot at 501 Main St. Same building at this Google map link. 
Facade has changed but still has the chimney.
Someones kinfolk?
I do like these WWI vintage tanks. Looks like the town turned out for the show.
 Now that looks like a fun ride...as long as you don't fall in front of the tank!

Please feel free to email me at john.t.richards@sbcglobal.net or click on comments below to add information.

This photo of the Carnegie Library in Caldwell posted for Patricia. Click on comments below.
Click here where I found this photo for more on the Carnegie Library.
And here is a Google map view today at 1101 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell. I had to go around the corner to 11th street to get around those two trees still out front.