The Emmett index, August 31, 1922 - Highlights

First Annual Meeting of Payette River Pioneer Society Brings Together Large Gathering and Calls Out Many Reminiscenses of Early Days.

The first annual reunion of the Payette River Pioneer Society, held in Dewey grove Sunday, brought together for the first time in the history of this valley the pioneer men and women who by their courage, foresight, persistence and industriousness laid the foundations for the spiendid development and advantages which this section of Idaho enjoys today. The event was a happy one. Gray-haired men and women—the pioneers of the '60s—together with those who came in the '70s, numbering nearly 150 all told, met again for the first time in more than a quarter of a century in many instances and talked over the experiences of those early days—days that tried men's souls and fused in the hot fires of adversity and trials and privations the strongest bonds of friendships and devotion.

The comfort and pleasure of the pioneers were splendidly provided for. Shortly after noon the attendants were seated at long tables placed beneath the trees and partook of a most elaborate picnic dinner. Following the dinner, the crowd assembled in the pavilion and enjoyed the two-hour program. Frank Knox presided in a happy manner. Seated by his side on the platform was Boise G. Riggs, Sr., the first child of the Emmett valley colonists to be born here. "America" was sung with zest and Mrs. Susan Barrett offered a prayer.

Chairman Frank Knox then read a letter from ex-Governor James H. H. Hawley. (see The Emmett index, August 31, 1922 for text)

The most interesting feature of the program was the address of Mrs. W. W. Parrish on "First Things in Emmett." given below. The address as printed is not complete, however as the speaker frequently wandered from her text and by happy allusions to early day events and sly quips at this one and that one of the pioneers provoked frequent outbursts of applause and merriment. For instance, she requested John Johnson to rise to his feet, and then she told how her mother, Mrs. Douglas Knox, had made for him the first pair of pants, and the workmanship was so thorough and the quality of the materials used was of such superior quality that she presumed he was still wearing them. At her request, Mr. and Mrs. John F. T. Bane and their children stood up — the only pioneer family with the " family circle unbroken:

First Things in Emmett

The earliest settler in the Payette valley, now living, was Charles Randall, commonly known as Uncle Charlie. He arrived in 1862.

The next now living was J. F. T. Basye, coming in 1867. His is the only pioneer family who are all living, and all of them are present here today.

Douglas Knox came next, arriving in 1864 and settling on a homestead one mile west of Emmett, now owned by the Boise Payette Lumber Co.

The first sawmill was erected in 1870 by John Basye, father of J. F. T. Basye, on the river bank near the present site of the Boise Payette Lumber Company's retail office.

He also constructed the first grade over Freezeout Hill. Previously there was a road going up the hill just east of the present grade, but it was too steep and dangerous. Mrs. J. F. T. Bayse took the first ride over the new grade after its completion.

The first schoolhouse was built in 1874. The building is still standing where it was built 48 years ago and is used as a barn and is in very good condition. Douglas Knox was the prime mover in the erection of this building.

(C. C. Havird of Boise says the first schoolhouse in this portion of the valley was a "blockhouse" and was located on the Dr. Burdge ranch west of town. It was built in 1871. The first teacher was William Cavanaugh, and the pupils were John Davies, Mrs. Nora Goodsell (then Nora Burdge), Mrs. Alma Yergenson (then Jennie Dobbs), Sheridan Anderson, Martha Larson, Mary Portlock, Charles Burdge, and Carey C. Havird, now a resident of Boise.—Editor)

Among those who attended school in the old schoolhouse from 1870 to 1885 were Mrs. Anne Freeman, Mrs. Ellen Davies, Mrs. Katie Monroe, Mrs. Ella Parrish, Mrs. Lenora Goodsell, Mrs. Lizzie Womack, Mrs. Emma and Mrs. Mary Durham, James Fuller, John Davies. George Burdge, John Hall, C. B. Knox, Walter Knox, Alf Portlock.

The next schoolhouse was what is now known as the Longfellow building and was considered a mighty fine schoolhouse in those days. It was built in 1885.

The first hotel was a log building, which in later years was known as the Murray Hotel, John Brown was the landlord.

The first blacksmith was Alex Womack, and the oldest building in town now standing in Emmett today is the Womack residence, now known as the Dietz building, in West Emmett, across the canal.

The first postoffice building was erected by William Hammersley in 1882 or 1883. and was also used as a hotel. Douglas Knox was postmaster in the early '70s, the postoffice being at his home west of town.

A stage line operated between Placerville and Falks Store until the railroad came to Caldwell, when a stage was put on between Caldwell and Emmett, and the stage to Placerville soon after was discontinued.

The first store was opened in 1881 in a building just west of the Emmett Garage and was owned by a Mr. Johnson. The stock consisted of a few bolts of calico and muslin, overalls, thread, needles, pins, tobacco, nails, a keg or two of sugar, some candy hearts and gum drops, soda and cream of tartar.

The first meat market was opened by W. O. Williams in the same building a few years later, about 1883.

The first church was erected by the Episcopalians, abut 1884, and is still used for worship. Though nearly 40 years have passed it is in fine condition. Rev. Crook was the pastor. Mrs. Douglas Knox made the first subscription to the building.

The first church wedding was in this church, with Ella Knox as the bride and W. W. Parrish as the groom. Rev. Crook officiated.

The first Sunday school was organized and held in the old schoolhouse in 1884. John Bane was the superintendent. The first Methodist minister stationed here held meetings in the old schoolhouse. I cannot recall his name; but he was nicknamed "Brick Top," having red curly hair, and he was generally known by that name.

The first funeral held in Emmettsville was that of Mrs. James Wardwell, mother of Mrs. E. K. Hayes, in 1873. She was buried near the school house formerly spoken of. Mr. Kelley father of Jason, was the first to be buried in Riverside cemetery, in 1879.

Emmett has the honor of having for one of her splendid citizens the first child born in Boise City, in 1865. He is Boise G. Riggs, Sr.

However, I beat him to it, as the first high chair shipped to Boise was purchased for me in 1868. The furniture was a tent and as my brother John Davies carried the chair down the street it created quite a bit of curiosity.

Clint Brown was the first undertaker.

Other Speakers

Robert Mobley of Boise who came here in 1864 with H. C. Riggs, Sr., was the next speaker. The party, he said which left Corvallis, Ore., in June 1864, was composed of Mr. Riggs, his son Henry C. and daughter Ada, and arrived in Boise valley the following month. He said these reunions should become an annual affair He had met on this occasion more old timers than he had met in 20 years before.

Willtam Coughanour of Payette followed with reminiscences and a glorious tribute to the pioneers. He spoiled his otherwise interesting address by dipping into politics.

James Agnew of Boise said he had spent his boyhood days the Emmett valley and had waded the swamps and gone in swimming with many of his audience . . .(see The Emmett index, August 31, 1922 for text)

A paper entitled "A Tribute to the Pioneer," written by Mrs. G. B. Mains, was read by Mrs. William Womack. It follows:. .(see The Emmett index, August 31, 1922 for text)

The Registration Book

It is estimated there were 150 of the pioneers present. The registration book showed that 39 of the number were born in Idaho and most of them in the Emmett valley. To three of the oldest women was tendered an ovation, when, after the program, they were seated in rocking chairs just outside the pavilion. They were Grandma Wilson, aged 90 years, mother of Marion and Conda Wilson, who came here in 1874; Grandma Kesgard, aged 86 years, mother of James and Chris Kesgard, who came here in 1868; and Mrs. John C. Bane, aged 79 years, who came in the '70s. Another old couple was William Fuller and wife, who came in 1864. Samuel Ireton, now living in Boise, aged 89 years, was also present, looking as vigorous and almost as young as his son Charles Ireton.

The registration book contained the following names with the year each came to Idaho:
1863— John B. Johnson.
1864— W. L. Fuller, Douglas Knox, Robert Mobley, I. B. Giles.
1866—Boise G. Riggs (born in Idaho.)
1866— C. C. Havird, G. A. Davis.
1868— Ella Parrish (bom in Idaho), Estella Hartley.
1869— Elizabeth Womack.
Conda Wilson, 1876; J. D. Agnew, 1870; Chris Hanson, 1887; Jos. Degen, 1876; Emma Newman, 1874; C. L. Anderson, 1883; Lula Anderson, 1887; Cora Wilhelm, 1887; Charles McNaughton, 1873; Edwin Reese, 1881; Gus Runzler, 1884; Mary Reese, 1893; John Newmsn, 1876; Herbert S. Basye, 1876; Peter Reis, 1888; Mrs. Joseph L. Reed, 1874; Mrs. Norman Nelson, 1887; D. W. C. Brown, 1873; Joathan Moulton, 1884, Susan Hazelton, 1877; Henry Carsten, 1883; H. A. Stalker, i884; Charles Kingman, 1886 Mrs. Sarah A. Coates, Bertha Case, 1883; J. H. Howick 1888; A. F. Steinbower, 1891; Steinbower, 1898; W. H. Yergenson, 1890; Margaret Martin, 1888; Ella Bradford, 1883; Alice Riggs, 1873; Elizabeth Russell, 1868; Emmaroy Carpenter, 1878; Nephi Yergenson, 1888; A. Yergenson, 1888; A. F. Magill, 1882; Allene Folsom, 1888; Andy Rasmussen, 1870; Alvin Myers, 1883; C. B. Knox, 1870; Frank Knox, 1878; John Ireton, 1879; Walter Knox, 1873; Samantha Knox, 1884; Eva Knox, 1894; J. C. Mills, 1874; Samuel Ireton and son Charles, 1873; Mary Basye, 1872; Maude Little, 1880; Will Womack, 1879; James Vanderdasson, 1882; W. H. Coughanour, 1870; W. O. Weiss, 1877; Dan Hanson, 1882; T. J. Coonrod, 1890; Mrs. Williams, 1874 Conda Wilson, 1880; W. W. Parrish, 1883; J. C. Bane, 1879; Minnie Murray, 1884; G. E. Overholser, 1898; Martin Murray, 1888; Wm. Bower, 1890; Mrs. John Leonard, 1890; L. D. Owen, 1886; Mrs. Owen, 1879; Emma Hawkins, 1876; W. H. Hall, 1885; Ada Killoran, 1883; Maude Riggs, 1884; Carrie Knox, 1884; C. A. Danielson, 1890; Ethel Hazelton, 1899; Nellie H. Whiteside, 1897; Ora F. Hayes, 1889; Rene Hazelton, 1877; C. J. Killoran, 1888; Mrs. Lenora Hollister, 1886; R. M. Downey, 1874; Minnie Downey, 1874; Martha Wilson, 1874; Mrs. Melissa Lehew, 1874; D. B. Coates, 1882; W. H. Basye, 1872; S. P. Pointer, 1886; J. M. Starr, 1873; Geo. F. Church, 1880; Laura W. Kelley, 1873; Ida Cahalan, 1879; J. W. Cahalan, 1877; Lee Young, 1873; Chas. L. Martin, 1877; Henry Ashcroft, 1874; W. H. McGuffin, 1881; W. M. Wilson, 1874; Elizabeth Vanderdasson, 1887; Mrs. J. P. Johnson, 1887; Ross Groves,1884; S. D. Riggs, 1875; Mrs. May Nesbitt, 1880; J. F. Nesbitt, 1874; Adam Klingback, 1882; Maggie Murray, 1876; Dan Woody, 1886; Mrs. Ella Reed, 1884.

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