Thursday, April 4, 2013

T. F. McElroy, Territorial Revenue Collector, arrives in Lewiston

On April 4, 1863 (150 years ago today), according to a correspondent to the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, “The U. S. Revenue Collector for this region, T. F. McElroy, arrived here on Saturday, and entered upon his duties of taking “notes” – legal tender notes – in exchange for licenses … ”

At this point, the new Idaho Territory had no government, so Washington Territory retained responsibility for collecting license fees from merchants, saloon keepers, professional offices (doctors and lawyers), and other businesses.

Born in Pennsylvania, in 1825, Thorton F. McElroy emigrated to Oregon in 1849. He relocated to what became Washington Territory in late 1852. In a letter to his mother dated July 19, 1863, from Olympia, he noted that he had just recently returned from Lewiston, and that he had been “absent from home near three months.” McElroy later served a term as Mayor of Olympia.

References: “Letter from Lewiston,“ Evening Bulletin, San Francisco, California (April 21, 1863).
Olympia Mayor – Thornton Fleming McElroy, City of Olympia, Washington (2010).

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