Idaho History

Idaho History

Hall of Fame pitcher got start in Idaho striking out Dudes, Beet Diggers

Some of the most famous baseball players of all time played for Idaho teams before going to the major leagues, where they had long and impressive careers. Two of them were pitchers with outstanding won-lost records but with very different public images. Walter Johnson, who played for Weiser in 1906-07, was always popular, but Carl Mays, who pitched for Boise in 1912, was disliked by most and even detested by some. We’ll tell his story in a later column.

Idaho History

Prohibition kept Boise law enforcement officers busy

Prohibition had no sooner gone into effect in Idaho in 1916, and in the rest of the country in 1920, than a significant part of the population began to look for ways to get around it. The demand for liquor was so great that tens of thousands of Americans who had never before broken any law now figured that making and selling illegal liquor was worth the risk. The Idaho Statesman reported regularly on those who got arrested for trying.

Idaho History

Forming Idaho’s 44 counties took more than half a century

After the Idaho Territory was created in 1863, 13 new counties were formed, and after Idaho became a state in 1890, the process continued. In 1892, the Legislature authorized a local election to see whether those affected were in favor of dividing Ada County to create a new county in the west. The desire to be as self-governing as possible would lead prominent citizens in larger Idaho towns to lobby the Legislature to allow such a vote to create a new county, with their town as county seat. Probably no new county was born with as much excitement and celebration as was Canyon County in 1892.

Idaho History

Japanese workers instrumental in building of Northwest railroads

The Alien Contract Labor Law passed by Congress in 1885 banned the importation of foreigners and aliens under contract to perform labor in the United States. That the law had not been strictly enforced was revealed in the 1890s in the Pacific Northwest when railroad companies, in urgent need of manual labor, spurred the massive importation of Japanese crews under contract, in direct violation of the 1885 law.

Idaho History

Captain Bonneville led a life of adventure while exploring the West

Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville was born near Paris in 1796, the son of publisher Nicolas Bonneville and his wife, Marguerite Brazier. The family moved to the United States in 1803 when Benjamin was 7. Their passage was paid by English-American Thomas Paine, who had lived with the Bonneville family in France and was godfather to Benjamin and his brothers Louis and Thomas. Paine left most of his estate to Marguerite Brazier Bonneville, who cared for him in his last illness.

Idaho History

Horse thieves were universally detested in early Idaho

In an age when Idahoans relied on horses for transportation, for hauling freight and for every kind of farm work from plowing to haying, horse thieves were despised. Their victims felt the outrage people feel today when a thief steals the automobile they rely on to get them back and forth to work, to do their shopping and to handle a dozen other chores.

Videos

More Videos

Official trailer for A&E's 'The Lowe Files' 1:35

Official trailer for A&E's 'The Lowe Files'

Paul Ryan protest in downtown Boise 2:08

Paul Ryan protest in downtown Boise

For Idaho couple caught in Medicaid gap, life is about just ‘hanging on’ 2:41

For Idaho couple caught in Medicaid gap, life is about just ‘hanging on’

Watch the sun go out in Stanley, Idaho -- and come back again 0:15

Watch the sun go out in Stanley, Idaho -- and come back again

This astrophysicist finally got the chance to see an 'indescribable' eclipse of a lifetime in Idaho 1:26

This astrophysicist finally got the chance to see an 'indescribable' eclipse of a lifetime in Idaho

Time lapse shows sun tracking as it is eclipsed at Boise Depot 0:39

Time lapse shows sun tracking as it is eclipsed at Boise Depot

Tour a Micron clean room under construction 3:35

Tour a Micron clean room under construction

How to Make a Pinhole Projector to View the Solar Eclipse 1:06

How to Make a Pinhole Projector to View the Solar Eclipse

Indulge Boise Food Tour gives you a takes you taste Downtown dining, history 2:31

Indulge Boise Food Tour gives you a takes you taste Downtown dining, history

This Boisean is blind, but she saw the solar eclipse anyway 2:10

This Boisean is blind, but she saw the solar eclipse anyway

Columnist Arthur Hart says people will always enjoy history because it's about people

Arthur Hart shares his love for history as a teacher, museum director and in his columns found in the pages of the Idaho Statesman.
Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com
Columnist Arthur Hart says people will always enjoy history because it's about people 3:00

Columnist Arthur Hart says people will always enjoy history because it's about people

Expert tips: Storing historic clothing 2:12

Expert tips: Storing historic clothing

Expert tips: Preserving old quilts 1:08

Expert tips: Preserving old quilts

Meridian student proves cyberbullies wrong: She's succeeding 1:44

Meridian student proves cyberbullies wrong: She's succeeding