In the 1916 election for governor of Idaho, both candidates were foreign-born. Democratic Gov. Moses Alexander, a clothier and former mayor of Boise, was born in Germany. He narrowly defeated banker D.W. Davis, a Republican from American Falls who was a native of Wales.
Quack medicine ads appeared regularly in the Idaho Statesman in the 19th century, often over the name of a Boise drug store where they could be purchased without a prescription. Myers & Boomer and John F. Ridenbaugh had Main Street drug stores that advertised regularly. Others cure-alls advertised could be ordered only by mail.
The year 1893 was an important one in the history of Idaho medicine. The Idaho Statesman wrote on Aug. 31 that year: “The Doctors to Meet. Idaho State Medical Society to be Organized. A Crusade Against Quacks.”
University of Idaho is once again conducting a summer urban archaeology dig in Boise. Last year, the team focused on the River Street neighborhood in Boise. This year, the focus is the former parade grounds at old Fort Boise. The public dig seeks to retrieve anything of historic value from the ground before a parking lot covers it up forever.
An online exhibition of garments and other textiles will go live shortly before the Idaho State Historical Museum reopens to the public after a $17 million renovation in 2017. The exhibition represents a first-ever partnership with the Idaho Visualization Lab at Idaho State University, as well as a new, accessible and interactive way to feature a diverse and dazzling collection
Butch Cassidy’s foray into Idaho to rob the bank at Montpelier in 1896, with the help of local boys Bob Meeks and Elza Lay, made him a part of Gem State history, and like other Western states, we are quick to claim anybody that famous as one of ours.
Sharing a common language and customs was important to people far from the land of their birth, and the Germans, never more than a small percentage of Idaho’s population, are a good example of those who formed organizations to keep their culture alive.
An Idaho Tri-weekly Statesman correspondent wrote from Idaho City in May 1866, “Idaho is daily greeted with new faces; strangers arriving on every stage and from all parts of the world in search of that article generally called ‘root of all evil,’ which abounds in large quantities in every gulch and in every hillside.”
The mad rush to Boise Basin in 1863 following the discovery of gold there on Aug. 2, 1862, created an immediate need for hotels, restaurants, retail stores of every description and, of course, lots of saloons and a brothel or two.
The golden age for building public libraries came to Idaho in the early 20th century. Multimillionaire Andrew Carnegie, through his foundation, had offered grants for that purpose since 1883, and a total of 1,689 Carnegie libraries had been built in the United States by 1929. Idaho towns received grants of $138,000 between 1901 and 1914.
Reported the Idaho Tri-weekly Statesman on June 20, 1872: “General Cartee’s grounds and improvements surpass anything this side of California.” Idaho’s surveyor general was then building a large stone cellar above ground in the rear of his house for storing some of his nursery stock and vegetables.
Lafayette Cartee was one of the most remarkable men in the history of Boise and of Idaho, credited by our late State Historian Merle Wells with making “several diverse but important contributions to the physical development and beauty of Boise.” Cartee did even more for Idaho Territory by quite literally “putting Idaho on the map” after his appointment as surveyor general in 1866.
Boise has long been called the “City of Trees,” but in 1863, when the town was platted on a dry sagebrush plain between the newly established military post and Boise River, the nearest trees to be seen were cottonwoods and willows along the river and pines and firs miles away, high on mountain ridges to the north and east.