Saturday, May 31, 2014

Another 1907 Boise Idaho/Harry Orchard shootout

You all remember my recent post about that Harry Orchard card with the various "guards" standing in front of the Boise Courthouse: Saturday, May 3, 2014 Shootout over Harry Orchard

I was able to purchase that one to go along with another of the same handed down through our family. As I mentioned, the one on eBay was the the only time I had seen another over many years of searching. I was happy to add it to the collection.

Low and behold, what pops up on eBay within a couple weeks—another one! None seen for decades and then two within weeks of each other on eBay. Maybe this seller had seen what the last auction had fetched and decided it was time to sell.

This one purchased by the other guy.
This most recent card (shown here) did not attract as much attention but two of us seemed to be enough. I was certainly interested but wasn't going to set quite as high a snipe as the last go around. However, a third card would be nice and I wasn't going to let someone else pick it up for a song. I had noticed a familiar fellow collector (by way of eBay symbols and feedback #'s) known as I***N—who had been second in the running for the card I had purchased earlier. No doubt I***N wasn't going let me fetch this one too.

So  congratulations to I***N, as it was now my turn to come out #2 and I am content knowing both the cards have found good homes...but we sure made each other pay for it!
Photos from eBay auction 390845224956.

These eBay links won't last forever, but here are the two recently purchased cards.
The other one

There are often interesting little clues and tidbits of information on these cards and this one is no exception. Check out both sides and see what you can find.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The First Memorial Day Observance


Other Related:

FOLD3 Honor Wall

FOLD3 Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial

FOLD3 Interactive USS Arizona Memorial 

FOLD3 World War II Heroes


Although on this day we honor those who died in all our nations wars, we can't help but also be thinking of the victims of what sometimes seems like a war on our own streets. One of those killed in nearby Isla Vista was from right here in Los Osos and attended San Luis Obispo High School. Shooting Victim, Chris Martinez, remembered.

Flashback: Saturday, December 22, 2012
Post Sandy what do we do? (we haven't done much and remain a rather polarized populace and government when it comes to accomplishing meaningful change).

Monday, September 3, 2012: Dog Tags, Ribbons & Pins. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Uncovering Canyon County

The was a 1/2 hour KBOI TV 2 special sometime back so many of our Idaho friends have no doubt seen it. I was cleaning out some blog drafts and saw it never got posted. Nice history piece featuring the Canyon County Historical Museum and a segment on Frank's assassination and the Haywood trial beginning at 12.28 on the video.

If you are receiving this as an automatic email notification, you may not be able to see the above video. Click on the link and come to the blog for viewing. Idaho Meanderings

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day. We love you Mom.

Brenda Steunenberg Richards, 8/26/1918 - 3/21/2010.
Frazier Farmstead, Milton, OR
In Sunnyslope, Idaho. Not sure why or who lived there.
Mom in Roseburg, OR.
Not sure where but would be living in Idaho at that age.
Jefferson School, Walla Walla, WA circa 1924. Arrow points to mom.
A solemn faced Mom in Boise, perhaps for a family funeral, 1937.
John with Mom 1965. In town for a Steunenberg reunion.
John & Mom having fun in the snow.
Mom & John. A little squinty eyed on a bright sunny day at the Baywood Park, CA pier.

Related Blog Posts: 

The Cross Story-Frazier Farmstead Museum

Saturday, March 22, 2008 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday, August 30, 2008
Four Score Ten Years and Counting...

The offspring...L to R Beck, Gary, me sleeping and Kris.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Shootout over Harry Orchard

Repeat visitors are familiar with this postcard from the trial of Bill Haywood in 1907 showing Harry Orchard coming out of the Ada County Courthouse in Boise. The postcard belonged to my grandparents, Julian and Francis Steunenberg, was handed down to my mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards, and then to me. It has no postmark or writing on either side. A couple of my fellow Idaho collectors have asked about it in the past but they knew there was no point in making me an offer. I had never seen another but always figured a few more must be out there somewhere.
As stated elsewhere, the postcard is one of the few remnants of those events from my grandparents, as they rarely spoke of Frank's assassination, Haywood's trial, nor mentioned Harry Orchard. Rumor has it that grandpa and grandma did have more photographs related to the trial that were stored in a window seat. You can guess the next part—rain leaked in and ruined all the items. Not sure if true, but the story is consistent with the damage we see on the lower right corner of the postcard and similar to a few other items as if they got wet and were stuck together. One can only dream but no point crying over spilled water. 

Of course one of the questions about this postcard is who exactly in the photo are the outlaws?  Is it just old Harry or are the likes of Charlie Siringo, Robert Meldrum, Rudy Barthell, or maybe even Warden Whitney, on the right or wrong side of the law? There seemed to be plenty of guns for hire on all sides of the battle of Capital versus Labor. But seeing all these gunslingers, and the hardware we know is under those coats, would seem to give the advantage to the state and the mine owners.

Although the photograph is common in publications, I have never seen another one despite a search for many years, specifically intense over the past decade—until now. Quite to my surprise and pleasure, one popped up on eBay a couple weeks back with a starting bid of $5 bucks. What a bargain! Just the sight of it got my heart pumping and my sights zoomed in for the kill. After all, it had been a long search and I had to add this back up card to the collection. It would be an all out war with no prisoners taken.

I kept a daily watch on the postcard and right up to within a few seconds of the auction end it had a handful of bids and was still only $7.50. However, I could not be lured into any sense of easy pickings. Us Idaho collectors can catch each others scent and we all knew the others were lurking in ambush. I had predicted $200 as in the neighborhood of the probable purchase price, perhaps even higher if a couple or three of us got into our own labor war shootout.

Well, I must say the last few seconds, with about a 1/2 dozen of us quick draw snipers left in the fight, was pretty heart stopping. Bang, bang, bang bang!—just as if Siringo and Meldrum had really drawn on each other when they met up in the Idanha Hotel. When the smoke cleared, I saw my last shot, despite all the ammo fired off, had hit the mark. Yes, I had finally taken down Harry Orchard, Meldrum and Siringo and they were mine!

Above is the recently purchased postcard. As you see, it has no creases and none of the water type damage as my other one. However, it has a few more dings around the edges and a couple nicks on the photo itself. And Bob Meldrum, upon closer examination, looks like he put too much pancake on his cheeks that morning. He doesn't look so ghostly on my original card.

The card is addressed to a "Mrs. R. R. Bassett" in Aberdeen Wash. I am tracking some possible interests Bassett family members in WA and ID may have had in the trial. If you have any info in that regard let me know.

Each of the two postcards has its positives and negatives but both are in nice shape overall for being about 114 years old. An added bonus on this newly acquired card is the writing on the front, "Taken in front of court house" and postmark on the back, "Boise Idaho, SEP 12, 1907"—not even yet a couple months after the Haywood trial had ended.

How much did it cost?  $180.27 to be exact. So in the ballpark of what I figured to be possibly $200 but still pretty rich for my blood. I am always looking for trades and there is a similar postcard with the same carriage and driver, Whitney, Barthell, Ackley, Siringo and Ed Hawley, son of James Hawley, that I would like to acquire. Meldrum is not in this one. Again, the photo is in various publications, including Big Trouble by Lukas, but the postcard is rare. I have seen a couple over the years, got outgunned in bidding a few years back on one, and am still in the hunt. I will come loaded for bear next time and a prisoner card swap is always possible too.

To those other Idaho/Haywood trial collectors, you wounded me but the shootout was fun and no one was hurt. How high had I set my sniper shots? Well, I can't reveal the amount of ammo I was packing to all my Idaho collector friends. It was a fair fight and we were only firing dollars. We all live to face off another day—on the streets of Boise Idaho—1907.