Monday, March 30, 2020

Medical Researcher and St. Luke’s Chief Surgeon Warren Springer [otd 03/30]

Dr. Springer. J. H. Hawley photo.
Eminent Boise physician Warren David Springer was born March 30, 1864, near Toronto, Canada. He received a college degree and then went on to medical school at Trinity College in Toronto. After graduating with his medical degree, he took additional courses at the College of Physicians of Ontario.

Springer ran a practice near Toronto for a time and then moved to Ogden, Utah. After a relatively brief stay there, he opened a Boise office in 1892. Noted for his skill as a surgeon, Springer developed a thriving practice in Boise. According to Hawley's History, "He was, moreover, a close and discriminating student of the science of medicine and kept in touch with the latest researches and discoveries."

That interest worked both ways. Several Boise doctors, including Springer and his partner, are collectively credited with the first written, clinical description of "rocky mountain spotted fever." [Blogs, Aug 21 and Oct 16.] The reports detailed the typical symptoms: crushing headaches, “grievous” joint and muscle pain, and the characteristic red spots.

The physicians described the course of the disease, which can last up to two weeks after the appearance of the first definitive symptoms. In severe cases, convalescence may take weeks or months. They reported fairly low fatality rates among Idaho sufferers, perhaps due to mis-diagnosis. The symptoms resemble the more common typhus and not all patients develop the distinctive spots.

Overall, spotted fever killed as many as 25-30% of those infected before antibiotic treatments became available. (Fatalities still run 3-5%, being highest for older patients.)

Besides his private practice, Dr. Springer served as one of the physicians for the Idaho Soldiers’ Home [blog, May 23] in Boise. In 1898, Springer volunteered for service during the Spanish-American War. As regimental surgeon, Major Springer served in the Philippines with the First Idaho Regiment. Like the regiment, he returned to Idaho in September 1899.
St. Luke's horse-drawn ambulance. City of Boise.

Some time in 1900-1902, the Right Reverend James B. Funsten, Episcopal Bishop of Idaho, began to promote a new medical facility in Boise. Dr. Springer, “a close personal friend,” helped found St. Luke’s Hospital, which opened in 1902 as a modest cottage with six beds. Springer became the hospital’s Chief Surgeon, a position he held at the time of his death.

Dr. Springer served as Secretary of the Idaho Board of Health for a time, and belonged to several national, state, and local medical societies. In 1903, he helped found the Boise Medical Association, an affiliate of the American Medical Association, and became its first Vice President. Springer was also elected to a term as Ada County Coroner. And, when the Boise City Council created the position of City Physician, they selected Warren to fill that slot (Idaho Statesman, September 11, 1900).

In 1907, Warren’s younger brother, John Scott Springer, joined his practice. John, also born in Canada, had practiced for a year in Emmett, Idaho, before spending eight months in an internship in Chicago.

Unfortunately, the brothers had little time together. In October, 1909, Warren died a day or so after suffering a major heart attack. The death of the relatively young, well-liked doctor prompted an outpouring of shock and grief. The Statesman noted (October 23, 1909) that “The casket … was literally buried in flowers.” Physician friends came from all over southwest Idaho and “The nurses of the city attended in a body.”
References: [Brit], [French], [Hawley]
“Boise (Idaho) Medical Association,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 41, No. 11, American Medical Association, Chicago (Sept 12, 1903).
James F. Hammarsten, “The contributions of Idaho physicians to knowledge of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,” Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, Vol. 94 (1983) p. 27–43.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Prominent Attorney and Exposition Secretary George Huebner [otd 03/29]

Attorney George C. Huebner was born March 29, 1879 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. (Older records show the name as Huebener.) After graduating from high school there, George apparently worked at a store his father owned in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the same time, he attended the University of Minnesota Law School.

He received his degree in 1903 and moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the following spring. He was quickly admitted to the state bar and practiced in North Idaho for about a year. In 1905, Governor Frank Gooding appointed him Chief Clerk of the Idaho State Penitentiary, so he moved to Boise.
Harry Orchard.
University of Missouri Archives.

In his position as Chief Clerk, Huebner recorded the official transcript of Harry Orchard’s confession to the assassination of ex-Governor Frank Steunenberg [blog, Dec 30]. Later, George also recorded the confession of Steve Adams, an alleged accomplice. Although his testimony concerned other crimes, Adams also implicated the Western Federation of Miners in the assassination. In his words, “they wanted to ‘get’ Steunenberg.”

Huebner filled the penitentiary position until April 1909, when Governor James H. Brady selected him to be Secretary of the Idaho Commission for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Earlier that year, the Governor had urged the legislature to correct the oversight of the previous session, which had failed to provide funds for an Idaho exhibit at the Seattle event.

The Expo was scheduled to begin in June, so Brady recommended quick action to create "an exhibit that will be a credit to our state." The legislature complied and preparations hurried forward, including the selection of Huebner. Right away, Brady led the Commission on a trip to Seattle to select a suitable location on the Expo grounds for the Idaho exhibit.

Exposition leaders soon discovered that commemorative “days” – dedicated to various groups, products, and so on – seemed to greatly enhance attendance. Thus, “Military Day,” “Spokane Day,” and “Swedish Day” were all well attended. Idaho had its chance to shine with (obviously) Idaho Day, along with Lewiston Day, Boise Day, and a day for three silver-mining towns. (The potato was not yet, in 1909, a major product, so there was no “Spud Day.”)
The Idaho Building.
University of Washington, Special Collections.

Overall, despite the short notice, the Commission made an excellent showing, with an entire building dedicated to the products and prospects of the state. The Expo ended in mid-October. Huebner’s tenure as Secretary ended with his compilation of a final report. Commenting on the report, the Idaho Statesman (December 1, 1909) said, “The impossible has been accomplished.” The exhibit actually made a profit, so “… a balance of $739.80 which will be turned back to the treasury.”

When James Brady was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1913, Huebner served as his private secretary for most of 1914. He then returned to private law practice in Boise.

In 1917, George moved his practice to Emmett. He retained a number of business interests in Boise, however, and was often listed as a visitor there. In 1934, Huebner ran unsuccessfully for judge of the district that includes Gem County. (Emmett is the county seat.) Two years later, he was a candidate for the state Senate, again unsuccessfully.

George became City Attorney for Emmett in 1938. He did not retire from that position until 1963, when he was 84 years old. He passed away in November 1972.
References: [French], [Hawley]
“Adams Told of Trade in Murder,” The New York Times (February 24, 1907).
"Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (1909): Special Days," Essay 8461, (January 17, 2008).
"Biographical Note," George Huebner Collection, MS 773, Idaho State Historical Society.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Governor Issues Proclamation to End Owyhee War [otd 03/28]

Idaho Governor D. W. Ballard issued a proclamation on March 28, 1868 to halt a shooting war near Silver City. The statement said, in part, "the lawless proceedings of the parties referred to must cease and peace and order be restored, and to that end the whole power of the territory will be used."
Mine and mill buildings on War Eagle Mountain, 1866.
Historical ... Directory of Owyhee County.

The conflict, now known as the "Owyhee War," occurred between two competing mining companies: the Ida Elmore and the Golden Chariot. Both had claims on War Eagle Mountain, 1-2 miles southeast of Silver City.

The lode that developed into the Ida Elmore had been discovered in the summer of 1863. Within a few years, mining investor J. Marion More and a partner gained control of the mine. More had arrived early in the northern mining regions, and then got in on the ground floor in the Boise Basin. By the mid-1860s, he was one of the wealthiest capitalists in the Territory, and well known in Western mining circles.

Prospectors also found several other likely veins in War Eagle Mountain, one of the most promising being the Golden Chariot. By the end of 1867, owners had shipped or stockpiled over 350 tons of valuable ore.

Registration records for the claims showed that they overlapped on a two-dimensional map. However, no one paid much attention to this commonly-occurring feature; the respective veins were at quite different depths within the ridge. Developers assumed – in perhaps a bit of wishful thinking – that the two lodes did not connect deep below ground.

That turned out to be an incorrect assumption. When their tunnels met, the confrontation escalated into an underground shooting war. To make matter worse, partisans for both sides flocked to the area from other mining districts.

The first deaths occurred on March 25 and 26, when one man on each side was killed. Soon, the exchanges became extremely heavy, and included blasts with “giant powder” and fire bombs. A later investigator observed that one 15-inch supporting beam had been "nearly cut in two" by bullet impacts.

The same day as the proclamation, the Owyhee Avalanche, in Silver City, published (March 28, 1868) an overview of the dispute. The article concluded, “As there are, at least, fifty men armed to the teeth, on each side, we are prepared, at any time, to hear of a bloody battle.”

Aside from such reports, the governor had been forced to act by wide-spread rumors claiming many battle deaths and secret burials. (Later, investigators were unable to substantiate any of the wild claims.)

J. Marion More, ca. 1864.
Idaho City Historical Foundation.
The proclamation was delivered by a Deputy U.S. Marshal, who rode straight threw from Boise in six hours. News that soldiers were being dispatched from Fort Boise to restore order bolstered his authority. These measures led to an uneasy truce. But bad feelings remained, and opposing viewpoints exchanged hot words.

As usual in such affairs, what happened next is highly muddled. A Chariot supporter shot J. Marion More, supposedly because More was about to brain him with a rough walking stick. An Elmore partisan then shot the Chariot man in the arm.

J. Marion died soon after the shooting. The Chariot man survived an amputation but died from gangrene several agonizing weeks later. Expressions of regret over More's death poured in, for he had friends all over Idaho. His body was returned to Idaho City for burial with full Masonic honors.
References [B&W], [Illust-State]
Dale M. Gray, “War on the Mountain," Idaho Yesterdays, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Winter 1986).

Friday, March 27, 2020

Stage Line Operator and Coach Driver Charles Haynes [otd 03/27]

Long-time stagecoach driver Charles C. Haynes was born March 27, 1837 in Liverpool, Ohio, about thirty miles south of Youngstown. Before his twenty-first birthday, he had accumulated years of experience driving stagecoaches in Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa.
Took a top driver to handle a 6-horse hitch. Library of Congress.

Railroads were supplanting stage lines there by 1857, so he moved west. The following year he began driving stagecoaches in Missouri and Kansas. Thus, for two years, Charlie staged in and out of Topeka. During the Civil War, he drove along the lines between Atchison, Kansas and various Rocky Mountain destinations. After that, Haynes moved even further west. He staged for a few months across eastern Idaho between Salt Lake and the Montana gold camps before heading for the West Coast.

Haynes spent nearly two years driving stage in California for the Wells-Fargo Express Company. He then returned to the Montana route out of Salt Lake. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 relegated Western stage lines to local and regional routes, usually carrying passengers, mail, and light freight to and from major railway stations.

For a year or so after the transcontinental line was completed, Haynes staged in central California and western Nevada. He often found himself moving on because railroad service had overtaken the stagecoach. Thus, in late 1870, Haynes became division agent for the stage line between Elko and Boise City. Two years later, he took charge of a route from Kelton, Utah to Boise City. After three years in that position, in returned to California to oversee routes there.

After about 1877, Hayes briefly ran his own stage lines, first into the Tuscarora, Nevada mining region and then in the Wood River area of Idaho. In about 1880, he retired to a ranch on Goose Creek in Cassia County. (The 1880 Census shows him there with wife Nancy and two stepsons.) In the mid-1880s, he served as Deputy U.S. Marshall, a position he held again in 1891-1893. He also served as a constable in Shoshone and as Lincoln County sheriff.
C. C. Hayes, ca. 1895.
Photo from Root-Connelly reference.

He still owned the Cassia County ranch in 1890, along with other property in Shoshone. However, the Shoshone hotel he purchased in 1889 burned down in November 1890. After that, Haynes spent his time overseeing his various other properties and transporting tourists to see Shoshone Fall.

Haynes transported the tourists in his own old Concord stagecoach. Observers noted that the “vehicle is a little marred by the Indians’ bullets and arrows” but was in fine shape otherwise. No less a personage than renowned orator and Presidential hopeful William Jennings Bryan affirmed that old "Uncle Charley" could still "finger the ribbons" with the best at the age of sixty. Bryan's 1897 letter to the Shoshone Journal said, in part, "Our driver, Capt. C. C. Haynes, was so experienced, and his horses so fast, that the twenty-five-mile coach ride across the lava-covered plain was made in less than four hours, and was neither tiresome nor unpleasant."

In the Haynes biography recorded in 1914, H. T. French wrote, "it has been his privilege to witness events that have made history, and he has played no small part in shaping the destiny of the great Northwest."

In early February, Uncle Charley went to visit old-time friends in Boise. He passed away there about two week after suffering a severe stroke. In reporting his death, the Idaho Statesman (February 21, 1914) said, “He is well known to the old residents of southern Idaho.”
References: [French]
Frank A. Root, William Elsey Connelley, The Overland Stage to California, Nabu Press (1901, facsimile 2010).

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Freighter, Stagecoach Driver, and Eagle Developer John Carpenter [otd 03/26]

John R. Carpenter.
J. H. Hawley photo.
Pioneer John R. Carpenter was born March 26, 1846 near Albany, New York. In 1859, John helped his father drive a covered wagon to California while his mother traveled by ship around Cape Horn. After mining and ranching in California and then Oregon for awhile, the family moved to Idaho in the spring of 1863.

John and his father hauled logs and carried freight for several years. On one early trip to procure supplies in Oregon, highwaymen attacked and robbed them. During the altercation, John received a wound in the hand and wrist. He never regained the use of two fingers on that hand.

Life in Idaho City during that period was wild and dangerous. Carpenter later said he had seen as many as four dead bodies on the streets at one time, and sometimes you could hardly move through all the crush of wagons and teams. Demand for goods was so great that nothing of value could be left unattended for fear of thieves. A story went around about a luckless crook who made off with two hundred pounds of flour. Then he came to a steep hill and had to split his load and carry only half to the top. But when he returned for the other half, another thief had already stolen it. So he trudged back to the top of the hill, where he found that that too was gone.

John worked full-time for his father in farming and ranching for about two years. He then began hauling freight by pack train and wagon, and drove the Idaho City to Boise City stage for awhile. John apparently worked part time at his father’s ranch until 1876, when his father sold out and retired back to the East. Later, John hauled freight from Kelton, Utah to Boise City, and drove stage routes all over southern Idaho

During the Bannock War of 1878, Carpenter served as express messenger and scout for Federal and local troops. Because of his knowledge of the terrain, leaders sometimes sent him out to find and repair breaks in government telegraph lines. On one repair trip, he barely avoided being attacked and killed by Indians.

On another occasion, he carried a message from Boise City to an Army column on the Camas Prairie, far east of Mountain Home. The commander was reportedly “dumbfounded” that he had avoided the numerous hostile Indian bands that then infested the countryside.

After the tribes had been suppressed, John went back to hauling freight and driving stage. For several years, he drove stagecoaches in the Wood River area for stage line tycoon John Hailey. Despite his impaired hand, “Carpenter was known as one of the best stage drivers in the United States.”

In 1895, he homesteaded in the area that became Eagle, about 8-9 miles northwest of Boise City. Eagle Island had been settled over thirty years earlier [blog, Dec 21], but the area had grown very little. Within a few years after John settled there, another major landowner promoted a bridge to the island and the Eagle community began to expand.
Odd Fellows Hall. Eagle Historical Museum.

Carpenter joined forces with the developer, selling fifteen acres as a town site. In 1902, he also donated land for an Odd Fellows Hall. Carpenter continued to encourage development of the town for many years. The biography in Hawley’s History, published in 1920, said, “There is no phase of the state’s development and upbuilding with which he is not familiar.”

John lived in Eagle until his death in March, 1936.
References: [Hawley]
Laurie Baker, “The City of Eagle: Yesterday and Today,” City of Eagle, Official Website (May, 2007).
John Hailey, History of Idaho, Syms-York Company, Boise, Idaho (1910).

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Gutzon Borglum: Sculptor of Gigantic Figures, Including Mount Rushmore [otd 3/25]

Gutzon Borglum, ca. 1925.
Library of Congress.
Gutzon Borglum, who created the Mount Rushmore monument, was born March 25, 1867 in St. Charles, Idaho, near Bear Lake. "The best archival research" indicates that the family moved to Los Angeles in 1884 and Gutzon stayed there when the rest moved on.*

Borglum began his artistic career as a painter, studying first in California. There he met divorcée Lisa Putnam – a well-connected painter – who became his mentor, manager, and eventually his wife (she was eighteen years older than her protégé).

A year after they were married in 1889, the couple moved to Paris. There, Gutzon studied at several prestigious art schools and studios, and branched out into sculpture. Borglum earned praise, and commissions, for both his painting and sculpture, but he soon began to concentrate on the latter. He completed several important commissions in Europe before returning to the U.S. in 1901.

With a base in New York City, Borglum established a major reputation as a sculptor, aided by his outstanding talent and his persistent cultivation of the media – then the big metropolitan newspapers and national magazines. He attained celebrity status when he began producing out-sized works of art, such as the 40-inch-high bust of President Lincoln displayed in the U. S. Capitol building.

This and other huge works led to a commission for what … eventually … became the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. The project backers initially envisioned “simply” a giant carving of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the granite face of Stone Mountain.

Borglum fell in love with the notion of carving a whole mountain. He proposed a project to honor a host of Confederate heroes: Lee, Jefferson Davis, and something like seventy officers from all the Confederate states. Of course, his concept proved far too costly and leaders cut it back substantially. Some preparative work began in 1916-1917, but the advent of World War I halted the project.

Work resumed after the war, leading to a huge splash of publicity in early 1923. The item in the San Francisco Chronicle (February 18, 1923) was fairly typical: “The huge figures will be visible for miles. They will make a work of sculpture which will rival the famous Sphinx of Egypt and dwarf the pyramids.”

The following year, all that ballyhoo about the proposed project attracted the attention of the South Dakota State Historian. The Historian approached Borglum with a rather modest notion of carving The Needles – a forest of granite spires – into giant statues of western heroes. Borglum had a more grandiose idea: Not obscure Westerners most people had never heard of, but true national figures ... and on a colossal scale.

Planning for a national-scale monument began almost immediately. Thus, when major disagreements arose between Borglum and the Stone Mountain backers in 1925, he abandoned that project altogether. (Almost a half century passed before Atlantans dedicated their memorial.)
Mount Rushmore National Monument.
National Park Service.

Rock-work began on Mount Rushmore in 1927. They completed Washington’s head three years later. With the stock market crash and Great Depression, the second head – Jefferson’s – was not unveiled until 1937. Lincoln’s followed a year later, and Roosevelt’s two years after that. The final carving was not completed until October 1941. Borglum himself did not live to see the completion: he died in March of that year.

* It's somewhat unclear when this move actually happened because, like many celebrities, Borglum "tinkered" with his biography over the years.
References: [Brit]
Richard J. Beck, Famous Idahoans, Williams Printing, (© Richard J. Beck, 1989).
"Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941)," The American Experience, Public Broadcasting System (1999-2000).

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Battleship Idaho Commissioned, Becoming the Navy’s Fourth USS Idaho [otd 03/24]

On March 24, 1919, battleship BB-42 – the USS Idaho – was commissioned into the Navy under the command of Captain Carl T. Vogelgesang.

BB-42 was actually the fourth Idaho to sail for the U.S. Navy: predecessors included a wooden sloop-of-war, a motor launch, and an earlier battleship, BB-24.
USS Idaho, BB-24, ca 1909. Library of Congress.
Launched in late 1905, BB-24 followed a design that was a compromise between fighting prowess and cost. As a result, a new generation of battleships soon made that USS Idaho obsolete. She was decommissioned and turned over to Greece in 1914.

Battleship BB-42 had been christened not quite two years before commissioning, in June 1917, by the granddaughter of Idaho Governor Moses Alexander [blog, Nov 13], who was also in attendance.

This USS Idaho had the latest design for the time, with a battery of twelve 14-inch guns. She played a significant role in American naval activity. After shakedown and training in the Atlantic, she transferred to Pacific waters. Her early duty was off the coast from California to Alaska, with occasional voyages as far south as Chile.

In 1925, the Idaho performed exercises near Hawaii, and then sailed to Australia and New Zealand before returning to the West Coast.
USS Idaho exiting Pearl Harbor,
DT-2 torpedo plane overhead, Sept 1925.
Naval Historical Center photo.
From then until 1931, the Idaho was based at San Pedro, California, engaging in fleet readiness maneuvers off the coast and in the Caribbean.

The Idaho spent 1931-1934 on the East Coast undergoing an extensive modernization refit. A modified turret design greatly increased the range of her main battery, and some smaller guns were replaced by an array of anti-aircraft weapons. Her deck and hull were also clad with more armor. These additions, plus changes to her higher superstructure, greatly increased her displacement (overall weight). However, installation of a new, more efficient power plant actually increased her top speed.

After a stint in Pacific waters, she returned to the Atlantic. She was stationed in Iceland on December 7, 1941. Two days after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Idaho left Iceland to join the Pacific Fleet.

The USS Idaho participated in many of the great World War II Pacific operations, receiving seven battle stars, including: the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

In April 1945, the Idaho steamed toward a special date with history, but was denied. In a desperate, suicidal throw of the dice, the Japanese Imperial command sent their superbattleship Yamato to try to break up or delay the attack on Okinawa. The American commander, Admiral Spruance, countered first with his battleship bombardment group, including the Idaho. However, they were “demoted” to a contingency force, and a carrier air strike sank the Yamato instead.
USS Idaho bombarding Okinawa, April 1945.
Naval Historical Center photo.

A sailor on the Idaho wrote, “There was a show of disappointment among the crew that we didn't get our chance at them, but on the other hand, had we met with this force, for sure, some of our ships would have taken a shellacking from the Yamato's 18-inch guns long before we would have come in range.”

She suffered battle damage from a kamikaze off Okinawa, but returned to action after quick repairs in Guam. On September 2, 1945, the Idaho was anchored in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender ceremony. After over a quarter century of service, the battleship was decommissioned in 1946 and then sold for scrap in November 1947.
References: Dylan J. McDonald (Ed.), The Moses Alexander Collection, Idaho State Historical Society, Boise (2002).
James A. Mooney (Ed.), Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Dept. of the Navy (June 1991).
William Schumann, The Big Spud: USS Idaho in World War II, The Merriam Press, Bennington, Vermont (© William Schumann, 2008).