T.E.PICOTTE, PUBLISHER

<>                   MARCH 22 1893  <>  FROM CAMAS PRAIRIE

The Masquerade Ball

A Grand affair

              A very enjoyable occasion
                 Other News items

  Soldier, Idaho, Feb. 19 1894
The Masquerade Ball, which took place St.Valentines eve, 13th was a very enjoyable affair.It was, by far, the grandest thing there has been on the Prairie this winter. There was an extremely large crowd, and every one seemed to have a good time. The music furnished by A.S.Chier and Lester Johnson, violinists, and Miss Blanche Finch, Pianist, was excellent. The following named are the maskers and what they represented:
Miss Lena McCann, a Japanese Lady. Miss Laura Taylor, Winter. Miss Lizzie Daugherty,Liberty.

Miss Francis D.Smith, a Cotton girl. Miss Mattie Abbott, Swiss Girl. Miss Chamberlin, Morning. Miss Johnson, Folly. Mrs. Stuart, Old lady. Miss Lulah Waring, Night.
Miss Atlanta Heath, Flower Girl. Miss Nellie Ekholm, a Nun. Miss Sadie Daugherty,Sailor Girl.     Charles Trader, Negro. James P. Campbell, Turk.
 Guy Heath, Old Man. Charles Abbott, Irishman. Malcom Stuart, a paper Man. Bert Abbott, an Indian. Earnest Heath, a Wall Street gold Bug.
A.S.Chier, Red, White, and Blue. Henry Clarke, Irish Gentleman. A number of the gentlemen were attired in pillow case and sheet, They were the following:
Oscar Perkins, Frank Peck, F.Dexter, James Finch, George Brooks, William Abbott, Preston King, Phillip Ballard, Gus Johnson and Dean Perkins. They did not disperse until four o’clock a.m. and were loath then.

     We were visited a few days past by a fearful storm, which continued three days. During that period about eighteen inches of snow fell, completely sponging the roads, which at present are nearly impassable. The mines at camp Breeze, three and one half miles above Soldier, are still showing signs of further improvement.


              WOOD RIVER TIMES

                   T.E.PICOTTE, PUBLISHER

                   JUNE 20 1883


                   SIX SHOOTER JACK

         Being Ordered to Throw Up His Hands

He Went For His Guns and Was Shot

Particulars of the Affair Verdict of the Coroners Jury.

General E.E.Cunningham arrived in town, late last evening, bringing the news of the killing of Sixshooter Jack, a noted highwayman and desperado, and the arrest of one of his accomplices.

     For some days past H.G.Valiton, of Montana, who has had several horses stolen by highwaymen, has been on the trail of Sixshooter Jack, whom he suspected of stealing the animals. Last Wednesday Mr. Valiton applied to Sheriff Furey for a posse, saying that his man was on Willow Creek. As this information was corroborated by a letter from Mr. Hutchins, the Bellevue Livery Stablekeeper, Sheriff Furey at once organized a posse composed of Deputy Sheriffs Cunningham and McCurdy, and of H.G.Valiton, County Jailor Campbell, H.Stevenson, Frank King, George Dyer, Al Theriot, Major Mensch and a driver of an express wagon which was taken along.

     The party left about nine o’clock Thursday morning, going by way of Croy’s gulch to Willow Creek, where they arrived about noon. There they learned that the highwaymen had started from willow Creek three and a half hours before, going west on the Boise Road. The posse followed in haste. About five o’clock Jones' was reached where the posse got supper and learned that the party was three quarters of an hour ahead of them. The posse then sent Frank King, a cowboy, ahead, to fall in with the thieves, scan them closely and examine the brands on the horses, to make sure that the parties were those sought.

     King overtook the highwaymen about six miles out, rode with them four miles and returned to report them camped near the next stage station west of Jones’ and about sixty miles west of Hailey, close to Grave Creek.

     The posse thereupon moved down the creek, and organized by electing General E.E.Cunningham commander of the party. This gentleman at once directed that the posse proceed until near the point where King had left the men; there they were to leave the team, wagon and horses, and a reconnoitering party was to go forward to discover the camp.

     Arrived at the place designated, Mr. Cunningham, McCurdy and Theriot went afoot to Grave Creek, about one mile away, and discovered the outlaws camp by moonlight, it being between eleven and twelve o’clock at night. The outlaws were in bed in the open air, in a small plot of ground half surrounded by brush, on the west side of the creek and just above the Boise Road. The stolen stock was found about half a mile up the creek.

     The reconnoitering party returned to the posse and adopted the following plan of operations. They were to surround the camp quietly each man taking the position assigned to him, and to remain there until the sights of their guns could be seen clearly.

At daylight General Cunningham was to call upon the camp to surrender, and at this call each man of the posse was to spring forward, cock and level his gun on the thieves camp and order the outlaws to throw up their hands.  In case of resistance General Cunningham was to fire, and at this signal the posse were to discharge a volley into the camp. Mr. Cunningham, McCurdy and Stevenson took the east side of the creek, within ten steps of where the outlaws laid, while the remainder of the party completed a circle around the camp. At daylight General Cunningham called upon the camp to surrender. McCurdy and Cunningham stood side by side and Stevenson a few yards below them on the creek. McCurdy and Cunningham leveled their guns upon the bed where Sixshooter Jack and Charley Warfield were lying. They were awake and had been talking a few minutes before. Each one of the posse sprang forward when Cunningham spoke and yelled “Throw up your hands.”

     Warfield raised up first and partly put up his hands. Jack raised immediately afterward, glanced at McCurdy and Cunningham and reached for his guns with both hands. Cunningham fired first, McCurdy following two seconds after, and the rest of the party discharged a volley into the camp. Jack was shot through and as he fell back he had a pistol in his right hand and discharged it. The rest of the party-five men-thereupon threw up their hands and were handcuffed. As with the exception of Warfield, they were evidently simply travelers who had joined the outlaws party, they were allowed to go.

     McCurdy now went to Jack’s bed where he found and possessed himself of six revolvers and in about five minutes Jack drew his last breath.

The wagon was now brought up, a man sent half a mile after a team, which Jack and Warfield had stolen in Montana, the other six horses feeding being claimed by the other members of the outlaws’ party and the posse, after breakfasting started on the back track arriving here about nine o’clock this morning.

<>     Sixshooter Jack was from Butte Montana where he was known as Loeb. He killed a man there some years ago and was sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary. After serving only twenty two months he was pardoned, and since then he had been a horse thief, brawler, and bad character, generally, and at times, while laying around Butte, would discharge two guns at once shooting the spots off of two aces every time. He was a great lover of fancy arms and always had three or four fine revolvers about him.


     Coroner Wheeler held an inquest over the remains of the dead outlaw. Today and the evidence being substantially, as above, the verdict of the jury was that deceased was killed while resisting arrest. He will be buried in Hailey Cemetery.  <>


   A Stage Coach Thrown from the Grade, and the Driver and Two passengers Hurt
     About twelve o’clock last night a horseman arrived from Ketchum for Dr. Miller and Brown, whose services were required at Ketchum, and Dr. Brown, with Mike Hynes as escort, started out.
     From the messenger it was learned that at three o’clock yesterday afternoon the Hailey and Sawtooth coach, which left Hailey yesterday morning, had, while descending the grade in the Sawtooth mountains from the Galena Divide to the Salmon River flat, upset and seriously injured the driver, Wes Grover, who had his right ankle broken and received severe bruises. A Chinaman passenger was seriously hurt, having his ribs broken, and it is feared received serious injury to the brain, while another Chinaman was badly bruised and shaken up. A packer named Clark, of Vienna, jumped from the coach in time to save himself. <>     The accident was caused by the breaking of the king bolt in descending a steep grade. The stage ran upon the wheelers and the lead bars ran upon the leaders, causing them to become unmanageable and break the lead bars and the pole and to swing the stage out of the track and over the grade. The driver jumped as the stage went over.
     Stage Agent Moore was notified, and brought Grover to Ketchum which occupied all yesterday afternoon and up to late in the evening. The mail was sent forward and Grover, also the latter, to the Miners’ Hospital this morning, where he is resting easy under Dr. Miller’s care. Agent Moore returned this morning to look after the Chinaman.



            AUGUST 5 1885 

             CAMAS PRAIRIE


  SOLDIER, Idaho July 30 1885 

     Yes, we have grown cucumbers here on Camas! Some think their grain will do to cut next week. Choke cherries and wild currants are a total failure, owing to the ravages of a tent caterpillar this spring, which eat all the foliage, tender shoots and flower buds. Every one on Camas ought to put out pie plant, gooseberries, currants and strawberries, as there is no discount on these, and they are far preferable to no fruit or buying.

     It is my opinion, based upon a two years’ residence, that if any one suffers from want on Camas Prairie, they are certainly to blame; for the soil is excellent, and the warm season long enough to raise lots of produce if we can’t raise pine apples and “sich”.

     There is a plenty we can raise and we can just beat the world raising small grain, potatoes and turnips and if we can’t have beefsteak and pork of our own, there is plenty of game.

     What has become of our Soldier gold excitement? You want to keep that booming. If you can get a few score of prospectors in here, perhaps we can sell a quart of milk or a pound of potatoes.

     Now, what would you think to hear that a five dollar gold nugget was only a gun cartridge. Sometimes they turn out so. (The nugget referred to is worn by Road Supervisor Samson as a scarf pin – Ed) But if these old hills are made of gold, won’t we all get rich?

     The most fertile valley in the world, and the richest gold mining region on the globe, would certainly be nice neighbors. Laying all jokes aside, I see no reason for there not being lots of paying minerals in the hills back of us, but I expect it will take time to develop.

     Uncle John Cross has lost ten head of horses from his band on the head of Soldier, and is considerably worried about them. He thinks they must have been driven off, as he has missed them for three weeks and can’t find them in the hills.

     The crack of the shotgun is quite frequent since the bird law is off; and no wonder, for the grouse is “mighty” fine eating, and the covies of young birds are so plentiful as to be an irresistible temptation to any one who can handle a gun.

     We frequently see deer from the house. If they only knew it, they are not safe in the valley, even if the game law is still in force.

     Who has been talking to you about Camas Prairie Now? Didn’t you know there were already some poor men on Camas Prairie who had breaking plows and teams, and who want all such work they can get at $4.00 per acre? I guess, if you or any one else would try to break prairie here now, you could soon be convinced that ground got too hard to break, even on Camas Prairie.

     And as to hauling poles and posts during the four winter months that the snow lays on, I guess all the ranchers in the valley would pour blessings innumerable on your head if you would only get some one to come and keep the roads open; but one man and common team can’t do it. In fact, as long as the snow falls as it had the past two winters, there ain’t men or teams enough in the valley to do it. There are more men now who want to get out fencing than there is money to pay.

     Wonder if it don’t hurt the Hailey merchants for the ranchers to sell their butter to the consumers instead of them? As for sweet California butter, I have yet to see the first of it. All I have ever seen or tasted was as ripe as an 18 months old cheese. But there are those who like strong butter as well as old Cheese.  



         JUNE 11 1884



     Camas Prairie is looking her best now. From the summit of any of the mountains, which command a view of that valley, the scene presented is lovely beyond description. There, stretching for sixty miles in an easterly and westerly direction, and fifteen to eighteen miles northerly and southerly, lies an almost level plane alive with flowers of varied hue, which make it look as if covered by an immense carpet. New houses – for the first settlement on the prairie, is scarcely three years old, are seen in every direction, usually on the edge of a piece of plowed ground, the coal black color of which indicates its exceeding fertility.

     But it is not its beauty as much as its productiveness that attracts settlers to Camas Prairie. Where ever the plow has scratched the surface of the ground, the earth has yielded more than enough to ten times reply the laborer for his work. The fertility of this soil is really wonderful, and although the experiments heretofore made, were on too small a scale to admit of averaging results, yet they sufficed to encourage the settlers to enlarge the scale of their operations. As a consequence broad fields were plowed this year where only small patches were broken last year.

     Camas Prairie is probably one of the largest valleys in the mountain region of Idaho, as it contains 270,000 acres of tillable land. Three years ago there were scarcely half a dozen settlers upon it; now there are over two hundred. While the entries at the Land Office indicate that many more have filed upon land there. Many have, however, filed under the preemption and homestead law, who have failed to establish their residence upon their land within the time required by law, and their claims will revert to the government. This may cause some litigation, but not for two or three years, as there is enough rich land on the prairie to supply all who will come to make a home there, within that period.

<><>The best land lies from a point about two and half miles east of Crichton to the new town site of Soldier. This creek seems to be the dividing line between the first class and second class land. That land lying east and north of Soldier is a rich, coal black loam which will require little or no irrigation at all; while that adjoining Soldier on the west and south contains many sand and gravel bars that will require frequent irrigation and much care to produce crops. Again, the black loam will produce anything that similar land anywhere in the same latitude will produce, while the sand and gravel bars will not be so prolific. Potatoes, it is said, will do better in the latter, while wheat will yield most abundantly in the black earth.

     Although there are few flowing streams to be seen on Camas Prairie in summer, there will probably be no trouble in securing enough water for all purposes, as one can hardly strike a spade down without water immediately filling the hole thus made. Good drinking water can be got at a depth of four feet, and when a depth of six feet is attained, further progress is greatly impeded by water.

     The area under cultivation has been small heretofore. Last year there were scarcely two hundred acres cultivated; this year there will be two thousand acres, at least; and next year, it may be depended on, there will be 20,000 acres.

     The mountains surrounding Camas Prairie abound in timber and game, and the streams with fish, while it is only 20 to 25 miles to a good winter range for stock.  

Taken altogether, it is doubtful if there is a region in existence that offers as many advantages to the immigrant, rich or poor as Camas Prairie does.




October 6 1883

Little Smoky

  It was the recent good fortune of a News Miner reporter to be invited to take a seat in Morrill's carriage and journey over toward Little Smokey. The County Commissioners Vanlandingham and Morrill, were on a tour of inspection over Captain Bledsoe's new wagon road to that famous mining district. As readers of the News Miner are familiar with the action of the County Dads in apportioning  $500.00 towards changing the trail into a wagon road to that portion of Alturas, it is not necessary to detail the facts, which led to the taking of this trip on the part of a majority of the board. Suffice is to say that with four heavy weights in a strong express wagon, drawn  by two light weight horses, we made the trip from Hailey via Armstrong's ranch, on Camas Prairie, to A. P. Minear's mines, three miles above Rives placers, on Little Smoky between the hours of 10:00 and 7 P.M. of the same day, and this time included stoppages of upwards of three hours. Hence we are prone to pronounce the road a good one for carriage or loaded team. The commissioners will report later, and they will be the first to find fault with the Captain's work, if fault is to be found at all.




T.E. Picotte, Publisher

December 12, 1883

Indian Fight Near Little Camas, Henry Barnard and Reese Crawford wounded, one red devil suns his moccasins and three wounded.

  A serious affray occurred near Little Camas prairie, last week between a renegade band of Bannock Indians and the prospecting party of Henry Bernard. The party was proceeding from Little Smoky to Hailey and were camped on Little Camas. A valuable mare belonging to Charles Whitmore; one of the party, was missing and was finally traced to an Indian encampment in the Long Tom Valley, just over the divide from Little Camas Prairie. The Indians became so abusive that Bernard, losing patience, struck a young buck a blow between the eyes, which felled him. The infuriated Indians instantly seized his revolver and fired. Mr. Bernard was shot through the left arm and one ball cut the skin in the left side of the abdomen. Bernard anticipated the treacherous savage, and a second later fired from a Winchester rifle. The ball caught the Indian square behind the ear, and he fell over without a word. The melee then became general, until at last the Indians retreated behind a bluff, from whence they continued to fire. One of the prospectors named Reese Crawford received a painful wound in the leg. Three of the Indians are known to have been wounded and one killed. The party returned the same evening to Little Camas taking with them the stolen animal. The many friends of Henry Bernard will be glad to learn that neither of his wounds are serious and hope to hear of him being around again shortly. Several similar affrays have occurred on Big Camas recently, in one of which four Indians were killed by a party of cowboys. Unless the Indians are retained on their reservation lively times may be expected on Camas, as the settlers are determined to resist the encroachment of these savages.