Tuesday, December 10, 2019

'Trial of Century' film debuts in Boise

 Article I ran across recently on a newspaper archive site. We have seen similar before except this one actually mentions me by name!

A nice flashback, now over twelve years ago, to a great production and a wonderful group of participants and supporters.   

South Idaho Press, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

"If the men now in jail are guilty, I hope they are hanged"—Julian Steunenberg

Stockton Daily Evening Record, Tuesday, May 14, 1907

Statement below is attributed to my grandfather Julian Steunenberg. It is cut from an article reporting on events at the Haywood trial. Julian was age 21 at the time.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Veterans Day 2019

Veterans Day
"The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.

The Service flag, also called the Blue Star Flag, was designed and patented by WWI Army Captain Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry who had two sons serving on the front line. The flag quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in service. 

President Wilson became part of this history when in 1918 he approved a suggestion made by the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defenses that mothers who had lost a child serving in the war wear a gold gilt star on the traditional black mourning arm band. This led to the tradition of covering the blue star with a gold star on the Service flag to indicate that the service member has died.

During WWII the practice of displaying the Service flag became much more widespread. Most flags were hand made by mothers across the nation. One of the most famous flags was that of the five Sullivan brothers who all perished on the U.S.S. Juneau.

The Blue Star Mothers was founded as a Veteran Service Organization and was part of a movement to provide care packages to military members serving overseas and also provided assistance to families who encountered hardships as a result of their son or husband serving in the war.

In 1960 Congress chartered the Blue Star Mothers of America as a Veterans Service Organization and in 1966, the Department of Defense revised the specifications for design, manufacture and display of the Service flag.

The Department of Defense specifies that family members authorized to display the flag include the wife, husband, mother, father, stepmother or father, parent through adoption, foster parents, children, stepchildren, children through adoption, brothers, sisters and half brothers or sisters of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. The flag should be displayed in a window of the residence of persons authorized.

The Service flag may also be displayed by an organization to honor the members of that organization serving during a period of war or hostilities.

The Service Flag is an indoor flag and should be flown facing out from the front window of the home or organization.

If the U.S. flag is also displayed with the Service flag, the U.S. flag should be of equal or greater proportions and should take the place of honor above the Service flag.

Each blue star on the flag represents a service member in active duty. A gold star is displayed if a service member is killed in action or dies in service. If several stars are displayed by one family the gold star takes the honor of being placed at the top. The gold star should be slightly smaller than the blue star to create a blue border surrounding the gold star.

Display of a Service Star Banner is done during times of war. Once again families are displaying banners at home. Blue Star Flags may be purchased through the internet, at stores, or made by hand."

Above from: https://www.bluestarmothers.org/service-flag

The flag below was displayed by my grandmother and grandfather, Julian & Frances Steunenberg, to signify two sons (Cal and Jule) serving in WWII and has an honored place among my family keepsakes. Symbolically it represents many other family members too.

THANK YOU to all who have or are serving on this Veterans Day 2019.

Thursday, October 3, 2019


In remembrance of Nine-O-Nine and those lost and injured. Please click on link below for previous post: 

Sunday, May 24, 2015 Memorial Day & visit to the Warbirds 

Friday, September 27, 2019

"Slayer of Ex-Governor of Idaho Gives Sermon in Boise"

The Minneapolis Star 4/16/1934. A few minor errors but overall a decent summary of events.


Below: Perhaps a mass murderer like Orchard should have taken his steps up to this pulpit at the Idaho Pen. Photo ISHS.

Orchard Dies at the Idaho Penitentiary at 88. From The San Bernardino County Sun 4/15/1954. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Photos from the Caldwell Public Library

A few Steunenberg related photos from the Caldwell Public Library online collection. I may add more and additional comments as time allows.
Caldwell Public Library (Flickr)

"Caldwell was designed to be a railroad center of commerce and banking was a big part of its early business. The towns second bank, the Commercial Bank, opened in 1894 with John C. Rice, president, and A. K. Steunenberg, cashier. This 1895 view of the bank at 707 Main shows it flanked by the Caldwell Club on the left and the Oakes Brothers Dry Goods Store on the right." -- Early Caldwell Through Photographs by Elaine Leppert & Lorene B. Thurston

Caldwell Public Library (Flickr)
"Commercial Bank Interior. The bank directors included John C. Rice, Jacob Plowhead, S.S. Foote, Robert Aikman, W.S. Bradley and A.K. Steunenberg, (cashier)."

Detail view of A.K. Steunenberg behind the "Cashier" window.

Caldwell Public Library (Flickr)
"The Commercial Bank built a new building across the street on the corner of Main and Seventh in 1903-1904. The old Danilson Drug building was simply moved over into the street to make way for the new structure and Greenlund's moved into new quarters. About this time the bank became known as the Caldwell Bank & Trust Co." -- Early Caldwell Through Photographs by Elaine Leppert & Lorene B. Thurston

JTR Collection

I am going to sneak in a couple of my own photos to help complete this series. They are also elsewhere on this blog as family related banking interests have been covered quite a bit. Above RPPC was mailed by Owen M. VanDuyn. It seems Owen is enjoying the extra office space he got after Frank's assassination almost exactly one year prior to his sending this card. We can see the drug store that had been moved over into the street is now entirely gone.

JTR Collection

JTR Collection

Above and link with more info: Automatic Recording Bank.

JTR Collection

Here is the main floor showing the cashier's cages inside the new Commercial Bank/Caldwell Bank & Trust. That is A.K. Steunenberg at the rear window and I believe L.S. Dille in the near window.

JTR Collection

On the back of the photo above this one. 
"Caldwell Commercial Bank about 1900" 
"Property of Carrie M Steunenberg", (wife of A.K.).
Caldwell Public Library (Flickr)
And before the bank: "Frank and A.K. Steunenberg bought the paper (Caldwell Tribune) in 1887. 'The aim of this paper, like all others, will be to furnish a readable re-hash of events occurring daily in our midst, and to educate the East, or a portion of it, to a proper conception of the manifold glories and advantages of Idaho in general and Caldwell in particular.'" --Caldwell Public Library

Caldwell Public Library (Flickr)
Also in Caldwell, Will Steunenberg's shoe shop. "Fitters of feet."

I believe this is an earlier photo of Will standing in the door window of the store. Not sure of the exact location in Caldwell.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Big Trouble: Scott Fife's Idaho Project

Just discovered the above video on YouTube of the exhibition. I saw it at the Boise Art Museum in 2007.

Additional still shots below from the exhibition book. 


Previous related posts:

Big Trouble-The Idaho Project by Scott Fife

Archival Cardboard, Wood Screws and Glue. The Idaho Project by Scott Fife-Part II

Scott Fife: Big Trouble - The Idaho Project - Exhibition at the Missoula Art Museum Oct. 2, 2009 - Feb. 10, 2010

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Flashback to the casting and sculpting of Frank's statue

Click this link to read article:   
A little slice of History: Of Statues and men by Rick Just, History Contributor to the Idaho Press

Thanks for the great article Rick!

John's Comments:
I have a minor correction to the above story. As indicated, Gilbert Riswold was the original artist who completed the clay sculpture. However, Guido Nelli did the bronze casting of my great grandfather Frank Steunenberg’s statue in October of 1927 at his California Bronze Foundry in Los Angeles. The location was incorrectly stated as San Francisco. 

Guido Nelli was a fine artist in his own right but casting was his specialty. I am including several photographs below from the USC Archives and other sources showing the casting process taking place at the foundry in Los Angeles. 

Related blog link:
Friday, November 5, 2010 
Original clay sculpture of Governor Steunenberg's statue

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Iowa Hawkeyes defeat Mississippi State 27-22 in Outback Bowl

We have posted some of this before but here is a flashback in light of today's Iowa Hawkeye bowl victory.

Of Course Frank Steunenberg attended the OTHER Iowa College in its early days as the Iowa Agricultural College in Ames. It later became Iowa State University (the Cyclones).  However, we always give a tip of the hat to the University of Iowa (Hawkeyes), our other Steunenberg and Keppel kinfolk living in that state, and of course to Nile Kinnick. In particular, we are doing so on this New Years Day (1/1/2019) after a victory over Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl. 

Iowa Farm Boy a few years before Idaho.

Cyclones ready for the big game against the Hawkeyes.

The all-time Iowa Hawkeye and WWII hero whose promising future was cut so short by the war. Nile Kinnick autographed this photo post card mailed from Iowa City in 1940 to my father (about age 14 at the time) in Philadelphia. PA.

My father's brother, my Uncle Bob, was an exceptional football player in his own right. Nile had been in Philadelphia to accept his Maxwell Trophy from the Maxwell Club where Bob, along with other local players, were awarded what are similar to today's Mini-Maxwell's. He met Nile (documented in news articles) at the awards banquet and I have a hunch (not documented) that he ask Nile to send his kid brother a signed photo.

Bob in the center (after all that was his position) 3rd from R or L. About 18 years old receiving his local area Maxwell award.

Bob (incorrectly written as Frank) Richards is listed in the final paragraph as a winner of the Maxwell Club luncheon award and "also were introduced to Kinnick." You will see that the article goes on to say Bob was "a member of the Zephyr team in the Pop Warner Conference." We know he was the only winner that was still high school at the time and not yet on a college team. He would later consider Villinova but WWII would intervene as it did with Kinnick. 

Here is an enlargement of that last paragraph.

Bob joined the U.S. Marine Corp. and served in the Pacific. After his 4 year commitment and the war ended, he would re-enlist and serve about 5 years with the U.S. Army in occupied Japan. Kind of brings us full circle as he would play football for Army in in the Rice Bowl on Jan 1st, 1950 against Airforce. Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium had been renamed by the occupying forces as...yep....Kinnick Stadium. 

Happy New Year 2019!

  Bob right square in the center of the center row.