Pioneer Walking Tour

Pioneer Cemetery
460 E Warm Springs Ave.
Boise, ID 83712 ( map)

Pioneer Cemetery has been in continuous use at this location since the area was settled in 1863.  It is one of the oldest and best-known cemeteries in the Treasure Valley. There are more than 1,796 people interred here.  The earliest recorded burial in Pioneer Cemetery was Carrie Logan, who died August 22, 1864, at 5 years of age.  Hers is the oldest legible marker in Pioneer, though others were buried before her. 

For over 150 years, Pioneer Cemetery has functioned as a final resting place for some of Boise's earliest and most prominent citizens.  Although the individuals featured on this tour are important to local and state history, so too are hundreds of others not mentioned. 

Boise's history is the cumulative result of the efforts and deeds of those who pioneered, homesteaded and worked hard to build what we now enjoy.  We hope this tour helps foster a greater appreciation for all of the people who helped shape Boise's history. 

Please remember that Pioneer Cemetery is fully operational and if you encounte a funeral in progress, bypass that area and visit another. Take care not to liter and to leave all plants and memorial items intact. Your assistance in maintaining the dignity of the grounds is appreciated.  

1. Governor Robert Smylie (2-58-1)
2. Cary C. Havird (2-19-5)
3. Orlando “Rube” Robbins (2-15-5)
4. Corilla Robbins (2-5-6) - Unmarked
5. Governor Edward J. Curtis (2-4-6) - Unmarked
6. Mayor John Lemp (2-8-4) - Unmarked
7. Mayor Thomas E. Logan (1-57-7)Civil War Memorial
8. John Hailey (1-55-1)
9. Mayor James A. Pinney (1-41-6)
10. Lafayette Cartee (1-25-7)
11. Fremont Wood (1-27-6)
12. Isham L. Tiner (1-32-5)
13. James Agnew Sr. (1-29-7)
14. Milton Kelly (1-21-5)
15. Governor Edward A. Stevenson (1-12-5)
16. Helen Coston (1-10-4)
17. Isaac Newton Coston (1-10-7)
18. Alexander Rossi (4-65-7)
19. Mayor Cyrus Jacobs (4-19-8)
20. Mayor Charles Himrod (4-32-3)
21. Joel B. Oldham (4-48-8)
22. Mayor Charles Bilderback (4-47-5)
23. Mayor Henry Prickett (4-51-3)
24. David Falk (4-60-6)
25. Mayor Peter Sonna (4-59-3)
26. Henry Branstetter (4-58-5)
27. Thomas Jefferson Davis (3-8-2)
28. Mayor Ephraim Smith (3-5-5)
29. William Bryon (3-4-5)
30. James Lawrence (3-36-3)
31. Jesus Urquides (3-55-1)
32. Mayor Solomon Hasbrouck (3-62-3)
33. Mayor Peter Pefley (3-34-3)
34. Nathan Falk (5-29-5)
35. Frank R. Coffin (5-16-3)
36. Senator George L. Shoup (5-15-6)
37. Governor Frank W. Hunt (5-10-5)
38. Leona Hailey Cartee (5-1-6)
39. Civil War Memorial


Born October 31, 1914, Marcus, Iowa          

Died July 17, 2004, Boise, ID 

Robert SmylieRobert Eben Smylie, graduated from high school in Cresco, Iowa in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression.   Because an uncle in Caldwell offered him a place to live, he came to Idaho to attend the College of Idaho (now Albertson College of Idaho).

He graduated in 1938, hitchhiking back and forth to Iowa in the summers. He then attended George Washington University law School, simultaneously clerking at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington Burling and working as a U.S. Capitol policeman. He received his law degree in 1942. While working in a Washington law firm after graduation, he met Lucille Irwin. They were married on December 4, 1943.

He later served as a lawyer in the Coast Guard, stationed in Philadelphia and the Philippines, during World War II. In 1946 he accepted a job as Deputy Attorney General of Idaho. When the incumbent attorney general died, Gov. C. A. Robins appointed Smylie to the position. He served another term when he was elected to the position in 1950.

Smylie was elected to the first of three terms as governor in 1954. During his terms as governor, the state gained a modern highway system, a state parks system, and adopted a sales tax. A state personnel system was established, as was the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho.

Smylie was defeated in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1966.  After his defeat, the Smylies remained in Boise and the former governor returned to the practice of law. He returned to his alma mater as a member of the College of Idaho board of trustees and served for a time as acting president. The archives at the college, where his own papers are housed, is named for him.

He received honors from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the Idaho Humanities Council, the Idaho State Historical Society, FUNDSY, and the state of Idaho, which has named the Department of Parks and Recreation's headquarters for him.

He donated much of his time in retirement supporting different charities, and worked on the Idaho Centennial Commission.  He volunteered at the Care Unit at Mercy Hospital and gave generously to the charities he loved.   Photo courtesy of College of Idaho


Born December 4, 1855 Quincy, Illinois     

Died November 20, 1928, Boise, ID

Cary HavirdCary Colwell Havird was elected sheriff in November 1887   On April 30, 1905, one of his appointed deputies,   Deputy Twogood, participated in a raid of a saloon running a gambling operation. 

Sheriff Havird relieved Deputy Twogood of duty shortly thereafter on May 8, 1905.  Deputy Twogood alleged that members of the gambling fraternity had urged Sheriff Havird to take the action due to his participation in the raid.

Further scandal arose when Mr. Twogood alleged that he had paid Sheriff Havird $300 for his appointment as deputy and that the Sheriff’s son, Harry, bookkeeper for the Sheriff’s Office, maintained two sets of books indicating that the Sheriff was collecting fees in excess of those report officially to the County.  The private book was eventually turned over to officials who then pressed for Sheriff Havird to resign.  

Initially Sheriff Havird refused to resign claiming innocence.  However, he subsequently resigned on July 21, 1905 on the advice of his attorney and retired to his ranch.  The remainder of his term was assumed by former Sheriff D.H. Moseley.   Photo courtesy of The Idaho Statesman 7/18/1905 Page 3


Born August 30, 1836, Phillips, Maine

Died May 1, 1908, Boise, Idaho 

Orlando Robbins"The Man most responsible for bringing law and order to the Idaho Territory" is how many of his contemporaries described Rube Robbins. Perhaps best known for his 25 years as deputy U.S. Marshal under several different marshals, he also was Boise Chief of Police and Sheriff of Ada County. 

Robbins served the Idaho State Penitentiary as warden, traveling guard, and was work foreman at the time of his death at age 71.

Leaving his Maine home at age 17 after a quarrel with his father, Robbins spent several years in the California gold fields before moving to Idaho after the discovery of gold in the Salmon River area. From there he moved south to the Boise Basin, and was soon appointed deputy sheriff by Sheriff Sumner Pinkham. After Pinkham was defeated in the following election, Rube went to work on John Hailey's stage line, riding "shot gun" to prevent robberies.

He became so adept at discouraging would-be robbers, and capturing stage robbers, bandits and miscellaneous unsavory characters over his long career, that William McConnell wrote of him in his Early History of Idaho: "He was feared, yet respected by every bad man and 'gun-fighter' who ever sojourned in Idaho, and it is doubtful if any officer made more arrests of that class than he."

Robbins achieved the rank of colonel in the Idaho Militia while serving as a scout during the Indian Wars of the 1870s. He was twice a member of the Idaho Legislature from Ada County. He owned a ranch where he raised cattle and race horses.

In 1882, Robbins married Corilla Brassfield, a widow with four young children.  She and two of her grandsons are buried beside him.

Photo courtesy of The Idaho Statesman 08/24/1913 Page 3

 4.   CORILLA  (TOLMAN) BRASSFIELD ROBBINS  (Unmarked, N of Orlando)

Born November 26, 1846, Border Plains, Iowa

Died January 11, 1927, Boise, Idaho

Corilla Robbins

Corilla Robbins is an outstanding example of the thousands of pioneer women who helped forge civilization in the western territories.  Corilla, her husband Walter Brassfield, and four children crossed the plains by oxcart in 1876 with a wagon train bound for Idaho. After Brassfield's death, she married Orlando "Rube" Robbins in 1882

Corilla pioneered the women's suffrage movement in Idaho. A forceful speaker, she presented suffrage planks to both the Republican and Democratic conventions in the early 1870's. 

The first traveling instructor in the state for the Rebekah Lodge division of the I.O.O.F, Corilla traversed the state, often at her own expense, to organize new lodges. Local newspapers of the time carried stories of her travels, while in other sections of the same newspaper would be accounts of her husband, a deputy U.S. marshal capturing stagecoach robbers. 

Corilla was president of the Boise branch of Florence Crittenden Home and often cared for orphaned children in her own home on Warm Springs Avenue.

Her interest in new inventions and a love of adventure prompted her to request, and be granted, rides in the first automobile and airplane to arrive in Boise. Hers was the first residential telephone in the city. 

Corilla is buried next to her husband, Orlando, whose grave is marked by one of the most imposing headstones in the Pioneer Cemetery. Her own grave is unmarked.

Photo courtesy of The Idaho Statesman 08/24/1919 Page 3

5.     GOVERNOR EDWARD J. CURTIS (Unmarked, S of son)

Born 1827, Worchester, Massachusetts

Died December 31, 1895, Boise, Idaho

Edward J Curtis

Although never appointed or elected governor of Idaho Territory, Curtis filled the office of territorial governor for more years than any other man. Of the 16 men who were appointed to the office by various U.S. presidents, four never came to the territory, one came and stayed a week, and two others served less than a year. Many others did not arrive in the territory until months after receiving their appointments. 

Curtis, appointed Idaho's first territorial secretary in 1869 by President Grant, became acting governor each time a vacancy occurred. He was reappointed
Secretary in 1885 by President Arthur and again in 1889 by President Harrison, serving until state officers were elected in November, 1890.  He was Adjutant General of Idaho for the first three years of statehood.

Curtis graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1848, and migrated to California the same year.  He served in California and Oregon legislatures, and established a law office in Virginia City, Nevada, before moving to Idaho.

After traveling to Washington, D.C., and securing an appropriation of $5,000.00, Curtis founded the Idaho Law Library.

 Curtis's funeral, under the auspices of the I.O.O.F. lodge, was attended by 100 lodge members, the Ada County Bar Association and the Zouaves, a military drill unit.

Curtis married Susan L. Frost in 1856, in Sacramento, California. They were the parents of four children.

Photo courtesy of

 6.     JOHN LEMP (Unmarked, SE corner inside border)

Born April 21, 1838, Neiderweisel, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany

Died July 18, 1912, Boise, Idaho

John Lemp

John Lemp arrived in the United States in 1852.  He made his way to Idaho in 1863. 

Mr. Lemp opened a brewery in the area in 1864 and was a significant landowner.   He was known as a generous philanthropist and was said to have personally paid for the burials of at least 20 area pioneers.   He was a great reader of history and was known for his unusual knowledge of historic facts. 

He was the president of First National Bank of Idaho for a time.  He served as a member of the constitutional convention and was a city council member for 20 years.  Mr. Lemp served as Mayor of Boise for one year. 

He died in 1912 at the age of 74 leaving an estate with an estimated value of $800,000. Lemp Street in Boise’s North End is named after John Lemp.  Photo courtesy of Boise City Dept of Arts & History


Born 1834, New York State

Died April 28, 1894, while traveling

Thomas Logan2

Thomas E. Logan and his wife, Caroline Leonard Ray, were married in the early 1860's in Wisconsin. The couple, with their son, Leonard, and daughter, Caroline, traveled to Boise in 1864. The little girl died 100 miles before they reached their destination. They later brought Caroline's body to Pioneer Cemetery for reburial. 

Within a month after his arrival, Logan became a partner in the Williams and Logan drugstore. He later formed a partnership with Gustav Bilick in a general store.  He was also a stockholder and director of First National Bank of Idaho.

Logan was Boise's first postmaster from 1869-1970, and he was Mayor of Boise from 1876 to 1878.  

Thomas Logan died on a train returning to Boise, from California, where he’d gone seeking medical treatment.  Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society


Born August 29, 1835, Smith County, Tennessee

Died April 10, 1921, Boise, Idaho

John HaileyOne of the best known of Idaho's pioneers, John Hailey crossed the plains in April 1853, driving a five yoke ox       team bound for the Oregon Territory. He arrived at his destination in October, just in time to participate in the Jackson County Rogue River Indian War. After the close of hostilities, he raised livestock and farmed. After his marriage on August 7, 1856, to Louisa M. Griffin, Hailey added the operation of a ferry across the Rogue River to his business ventures. The ferry operated until 1862.

In the spring of 1863, Hailey established a saddle and pack train route from the Columbia River to the Boise Basin mines. A year later he added a stage line over the same route.  In partnership with William Ish, he also opened a stage line, from Umatilla, Oregon to Boise Basin.  He and his family moved to Boise from The Dalles, Oregon in 1869.   He extended the stage line to Ogden, Utah then sold the business in 1870.

Hailey served two terms (1873-1875 and 1885-1887) as an Idaho delegate to the U.S. Congress. After his service in Washington he resumed farming, stock raising and mining.  In February 1876, he wintered as many as 8,000 head of sheep as his Dry Creek ranch.  He was appointed warden of the Idaho State Penitentiary, serving from 1899-1901. He became the first director of the Idaho State Historical Society in 1907, serving in the capacity until his death. At the urging of the Society and many friends, he wrote and published “The History of Idaho” in 1910. 

The City of Hailey in Blaine County is named for John Hailey.  John and Louisa had seven sons and one daughter.

Photo courtesy of “The State We Live In” by Byron Defenbach


Born September 29, 1835, Franklin County, Ohio

Died February 4, 1914, Boise, Idaho

JamesPinney.jpgJames A. Pinney, a pioneer resident of California, Oregon and Idaho, is sometimes called the "Father of Modern   Boise" due to the many improvements he introduced to the city during his three terms as mayor.  He served as mayor from 1882-1885, 1890-1893, and 1905-1907.

During Pinney's first administration, a brick two-story fire station, the first city-owned building was constructed on Main Street. While he was mayor, the city also purchased Morris Hill Cemetery and two toll bridges thereby eliminating tolls.  During his term, city boundaries were extended, adding parcels to the south and west of the city.

Between Pinney's last two terms in office, a tragic diphtheria epidemic emphasized the need for a sewer system. Captain Joseph R. DeLamar made available $90,000.00 for bonds to build a sewer system if Pinney was again elected mayor. Pinney was re-elected and this became his main objective during his last term. By the time he left office the first 10 miles of the sewer was in place.

In 1892, Pinney built the Columbia Theatre, the state's first opera house which opened its doors on September 17, 1908.  He constructed the five-story Pinney Theatre, which was made of stone, brick and cement. Both theatres were later demolished. 

Mr. Pinney became suddenly ill while working in his theatre office and died six hours later.  He and his wife, Mary Agnes Rogers Pinney, had five children, however, only three lived to adulthood.  Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society


Born December 2, 1823, Syracuse, New York

Died September 2, 1891, Boise, Idaho

Lafayette Cartee 2

Following the California gold rush in 1849, Lafayette Cartee moved to Oregon where he became superintendent and engineer of construction for a railroad line along the Columbia River. Before moving to Idaho in 1863, Cartee served in the Oregon Legislature, including two terms as speaker of the house.

In 1863 Cartee built Idaho's first sawmill, at Rocky Bar. That same year, and, in 1866, he was appointed the state’s first Surveyor General, serving about 14 years. Cartee purchased 24 acres of land between Grove Street and the Boise River where, for many years, he grew fruits and vegetables. He built the city's first greenhouse in 1871.

Cartee Home

Cartee married Mary Bell in 1855.  They became the parents of three daughters and a son. Mrs. Cartee died at The Dalles, Oregon, in 1862.  Cartee later sent his 14 year-old son Ross to bring Mary's body to Boise to be interred in Pioneer Cemetery. Photos courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society



Born June 11, 1856, Winthrop, Maine

Died December 22, 1940, Boise, Idaho 

Fremont Wood

Fremont Wood studied law in Maine before coming to Idaho in 1881. He served as Boise City Attorney, District Attorney and assistant to the U.S. Attorney for Idaho Territory. In 1889, he was appointed U.S. Attorney.

Wood prosecuted the miners involved in the 1892 Coeur d'Alene labor dispute as Attorney General. He was elected judge in 1906 for the 3rd Judicial District, which was comprised of Ada and Boise counties. He presided over the trails of William Haywood and George Pettibone, who were accused of participating in the assassination of former Governor Frank Steunenberg.

After resigning from the bench in 1911, Wood went into private practice with Edgar Wilson and Dean Driscoll. He also owned a fruit orchard and was president of the Idaho State Horticulture Society.

Wood married Lafayette Cartee's daughter, Carrie, in January 1885, and they became the parents of eight children. Photo courtesy of

12.      ISHAM L. TINER

Born July 10, 1827, Illinois

Died November 23, 1915, Boise, Idaho

Isham Tiner

He arrived in Idaho in 1862 with $1,500 his name.  He secured a mining claim in Placerville, where he extracted about $200 in gold per day and paid each of his five men $8 per day. 

He came to Boise around 1869 and subsequently served for a time as warden of the penitentiary. He was appointed sheriff when James Lawrence resigned. 

Based on a lack of news coverage, it appears that he served the remainder of the term quietly and without scandal. Photo courtesy of The Idaho Statesman 10/18/1914 Page 2



 13.    JAMES D. AGNEW, SR.

Born March 17, 1832, Bedford, Virginia

Died December 11, 1914, Canyon County, Idaho

 James Agnew came to Idaho in 1863. He is credited with helping survey the Boise town site.

 It is said that he brought the first load of passengers in a stage coach to Idaho City, driving the first stage over the hill on More’s Creek.  Because the grade was too steep on the other side, he lowered the coach down by ropes attached to trees while the passengers walked.

Agnew served as a representative in the 1865-66 Idaho Territorial Legislature and served one term as Ada County Sheriff in 1876.  In the early 1900's, he worked as a guard at the Idaho State Penitentiary.

On January 31, 1866, Agnew married Francis Anvilla Call, the daughter of another Boise pioneer, George Washington Call. While Agnew operated a livery stable, Francis ran a boarding house and raised five children: William B., Olive Elizabeth, James D., Laura, and Ella.

 14.      MILTON KELLY

Born September 9, 1818, Onadago County, New York

Died April 9, 1892, Boise, Idaho

Milton Kelly

Judge Milton Kelly is perhaps best known for the 17 years he was owner and editor of The Idaho Statesman newspaper. He was, however, a man of many interests and talents.

Before coming to Idaho in 1862, Kelly lived in Ohio where he worked in the mercantile business. He also studied and practiced law in Wisconsin.  In California and Oregon, he ran a string of pack animals which ultimately brought him to the gold mining area of Placerville, Idaho.

After passage of the Organic Act in 1863, and the creation of the Idaho Territory, Kelly was elected a member of the first session of the Idaho territorial Legislature. He was instrumental in helping draft a body of general laws for the territory.

In April 1865, President Lincoln in his last official act before his assassination appointed Kelly to a four-year term as an associate justice of the Territorial Supreme Court. He was reappointed by President Grant in 1869.

Kelly remained in office until he purchased The Idaho Statesman from James L. Reynolds on January 2, 1872.  He was sole proprietor of the newspaper until ill health forced him to sell in 1889.

Many of Kelly's contemporaries described him as temperamental, vindictive and an unlikable man. During his years as editor of The Idaho Statesman he engaged in vitriolic exchanges with irrepressible William J. "Old" Hill, editor of the Silver City Owyhee Avalanche.

During Kelly's many years as lawyer and judge he made many enemies, but was reputed to have been fair and often courageous in his rulings.

Kelly married Lois Humphrey in 1843.  She preceded him in death by one month. They were parents of one daughter. Photo courtesy of “An Illustrated History of the State of Idaho” Lewis Publishing Company, 1899


Born June 15, 1831, Lewis County, New York

Died July 6, 1895, Paraiso Springs, California

Edward Stevenson

Edward A. Stevenson, the only Democrat to be appointed Idaho territorial governor, was also the first resident of the territory to hold that office after President Cleveland announced his "Home Rule" policy for territories in 1885.

Before moving to Idaho, Stevenson moved from the East to California in 1848, settling near Coloma. He was appointed deputy sheriff, and later was elected to the state Legislature. He served four terms, one of them as Speaker of the House. In 1854 he was appointed agent for the Nomelacke and Nomucult Indian agencies in northern California.

While he was away from home on official business, hostile Indians attacked killing his wife and three children along with several agency employees. The bodies were mutilated and buildings burned. One employee lived long enough to identify one of the Indians as a young man whom Stevenson had taken into his home and raised with his own children.

Captured by the posse, the young Indian confessed to being a part of the atrocity, whereupon Stevenson marched him from the courthouse and, taking a rope from his saddle, personally dispatched the offender from a nearby oak tree.

Hiram French, in his History of Idaho wrote of Stevenson's action: "Unlawful this act may have been, but it was a fitting sequel to the awful events that had preceded it, and even the enemies of Colonel Stevenson never charged him with lack of justification for his part of the tragedy."

Stevenson came to Idaho in 1863, engaging in mining and farming until entering politics. While he was governor, a group of businessmen and politicians made an attempt to separate the northern part of the territory from the south and align with Washington Territory. Stevenson was instrumental in preventing the succession.

In 1859, at Red Bluff, California, Stevenson married Miss Anna D. Orr. Anna died the year following Stevenson's death. Their only child, Charles A. Stevenson, died in 1898 at age 36. All three are buried in Pioneer Cemetery. Their graves are marked by one of the most grandiose monuments in the cemetery. Photo courtesy of “The American Monthly Review of Reviews” by Albert Sahw


Born August 26, 1873, Boise, Idaho Territory

Died January 29, 1957, Boise, Idaho

One of five daughters of pioneers Isaac and Mary Coston, Helen lived all of her life in Boise. She was born in the Coston Cabin, which has been preserved in Julia Davis Park’s Pioneer Village.

Coston was the first graduate of St. Teresa's Academy in 1893, the first female probation officer in Ada County, and the first woman administrator of the Mother's Pension in the County. 

She was an outstanding educator, teaching in Lincoln, Old Central, New Central and Park schools. She served as teacher and principal of Washington School for 25 years.

A charter member of Ada Chapter No. 8 Order of the Eastern Star, she was a matron and past grand matron of the Idaho Grand chapter. She was also a member of Sons and Daughters of Idaho Pioneers.  A street in Northeast Boise is named for the Coston family.


Born September 22, 1832, Ithaca, New York

Died January 10, 1910, Boise, Idaho

Isaac Coston

Isaac Newton Coston traveled west in 1862, after being admitted to the bar in New York. Upon settling in the Boise area in 1865, he entered into a farming partnership with Frank C. Ghost and J.W. and Solomon Maynard. Their farm was located in the Barber Valley, which is now the home of Marianne Williams Park.

Coston's first wife was his partner's sister Wealtha Maynard. Five years after her death in 1867, he married Mary Drake. Both wives and three of his five daughters are buried in Pioneer Cemetery.

Between the years 1870-1888, Coston served four terms in the territorial Legislature, and was a member of the constitutional convention in 1889. Coston was master of the Masonic Lodge No. 2, active in Indian affairs, and served as a member of the board of trustees of the state insane asylum at Blackfoot. Photo courtesy of


Born March 10, 1828, Zybrechken on the Rhine, Germany

Died February 22, 1906, Boise, Idaho

Alexander Rossi

Alexander Rossi came to the United States in 1846 at the age of 18.  He remained on the East Coast until 1849, when he joined the ranks of "Forty-Niners" heading for the California gold fields. He later moved to Oregon, where he became a quartermaster for the Army during the Indian Wars of the mid 1850's.

Rossi moved to Idaho City, Idaho, in 1862. There he spent about three years in the lumber business. He became a resident of Boise in 1865, and established sawmills in the city under the name of Roby and Rossi. He was assayer in the U.S. Assay office in Boise. He planned and constructed the Ridenbaugh ditch.

In February 1873, Rossi married Adeline Mullen, a widow with two daughters.  This union produced two sons and a daughter. Photo courtesy of “History of Idaho Volume II” by Hiram T. French, 1914


Born December 22, 1831, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Died June 28, 1900, Boise, Idaho

Cyrus Jacobs 2

Cyrus Jacobs moved to Oregon with his parents in 1852. In 1858, he moved to Walla Walla, Washington, where he established a successful mercantile store. After the 1862 discovery of gold in Boise Basin, Jacobs secured a pack train and traveled with the earliest miners to what is now Boise.  He opened a store in a tent and continued to import merchandise using freight teams and pack trains to supply the needs of miners.

Jacobs worked with others to plat the city of Boise in 1863. He built the first flour mill in the valley and established a packing plant, brewery, and soap factory. He built the first brick home in the city, and one of the earliest brick stores.

 Jacobs was elected to a two-year term as Mayor of Boise in 1880, and later served on the City Council.

While still a resident of Oregon in 1856, he married Mary Ellen Palmer, daughter of Oregon pioneer, General Joel Palmer. Six children were born to this union. Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society


Born November 4, 1842, Burdett, New York

Died January, 26, 1920, Boise, Idaho

Charles Himrod

Charles Himrod was born on November 4, 1842, in Burdett, New York. Himrod came to Boise in 1864 while on an expedition headed by Captain Leroy Crawford. Himrod started out as a bookkeeper and clerk  Cyrus Jacobs, and eventually partnered with another local Boisean to open his own mercantile store.

Himrod served as Mayor of Boise from 1869 to 1870. When his successor, John Hailey, did not take office Himrod served in his place from 1871-1872. Himrod again served as Mayor from 1878 to 1879.  Himrod held many offices, including treasurer of Ada County, treasurer for the Territory, Registrar of the United States Land Office, Ada County Commissioner and Director of the Boise Independent School District.

His house was located at 1021 Jefferson St.  Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society

 21.    JOEL B. OLDHAM

Born May 26, 1832, Kentucky

Died June 18, 1896, Blackfoot, Idaho

Joel Oldham

Joel B. Oldham was born on May 26, 1832 in Kentucky. He made Idaho his home in 1865.  He lived in the Boise Basin and on the Wood River at various times but always considered Boise his home.  He served as sheriff three separate terms, being elected the last time in 1890.

Following his last term as sheriff, he became ill and was admitted to the State Hospital in Blackfoot where he later died. Photo courtesy of


Born January 20, 1846, Kentucky

Died August 10, 1917, Emmett, Idaho

Charles Bilderback

Born in Kentucky, Charles Bilderback came to Idaho on a wagon train when he was 18.

He served as the Postmaster of Boise City when Idaho was a territory.  Bilderback was elected to the Boise city council in 1879, and again in 1885. He served as Mayor of Boise from 1880-1881.  He moved from Boise to Emmett in 1891 where he eventually served two terms as mayor.

Charles Bilderback was a member of the Masonic order.  He was a charter member of the Emmett lodge as well as the Knights of Pythias. 

Bilderback died in Emmett of uremic poisoning at the age of 71.  He was survived by his wife, Hattie Bayhouse Bilderback and two daughters.  Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society


Born 1839, England

Died June 14, 1885, Hailey, Idaho

Henry Prickett

Born in England in 1839, Henry Prickett moved to the United States and practiced law in Wisconsin. In 1865, he moved to Idaho City and then to Boise where he practiced law and participated in local politics.

After several years of fighting the incorporation of Boise City, the voters approved a commission form of city government in 1867. Still there were leaders who refused to participate. When Mayor-Elect L.B. Lindsey refused to take the oath of office, Prickett was appointed in the chambers of Judge John Cummins on November 18, 1867.  He resigned two months later in January 1868 to resume private practice.

In 1876, he was the territorial appointment to the Idaho Supreme Court.

Prickett has mistakenly been considered the first Mayor of Boise; however, Dr. Ephraim Smith was elected and served as mayor from 1866 to 1867. Henry Prickett was the first mayor of the incorporated Boise City. 

He died in his sleep on June 14, 1885.

Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society

 24.     DAVID FALK                             

Born December 18, 1834, Eggenhausen, Bavaria, Germany

Died May 4, 1903, Boise, Idaho

David Falk Pioneer Cemetery

The first of the Falk brothers to leave Germany, David Falk settled in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1850.  He remained there until 1859, when he moved to the west coast via the Isthmus of Panama. He operated a mercantile store in Portland, and later The Dalles, Oregon, before moving to Idaho in 1864. Four years later, with his brother Nathan, he opened the D. Falk and Company Mercantile on Main Street. A third brother, Sigmund, joined the firm in the mid 1870's. The store name changed several times over the years, but remained continuously in operation until its closure in the 1980s under the name of Falk's Idaho Department Store.

A heavy investor in the mining industry, David built the first smelter in Idaho.

David returned to Germany in 1866 to marry Ernestine Well. They became the parents of four children. Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society

 25.     PETER SONNA

Born November 25, 1835, New York City

Died July 9, 1907, Boise, Idaho


Peter Sonna joined the trek west in 1849, traveling to Lewiston and the Idaho mines after the discovery of gold in that area. By 1863, he had moved south to Boise where he became a partner in a hardware and general merchandise store at Ninth and Main Streets. He sold the business to John Broadbent before building the Sonna block, which included a store and an opera house.

Sonna was appointed to the board of directors of the First National Bank in 1876. He was elected vice president of the board, a position he held until his death. He was one of the original investors in the Artesian Hot and Cold Water Company, served on the Capitol Building Commission, and was involved in bringing a railroad line to Boise. He was elected Mayor of Boise in 1893, serving one two-year term.

Sonna married Mary Anderson in 1870. They were the parents of five daughters and one son. 

Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society


Born January 5, 1837, Ray County, Missouri

Died November 11, 1922, Boise, Idaho

Henry Branstetter arrived in Boise in 1863.   In 1872, Branstetter made his home on the southeast corner of Sixth and Jefferson streets, where he was fondly referred to as "Uncle Clay Branstetter" by area residents. 

He was elected to two separate terms as Sheriff in Ada County, in 1869 and again in 1893. Branstetter served in the United States Land Office at Boise during Grover Cleveland’s first Presidential Administration from 1885-1871. Ada County elected him to the State Senate the first general election after Idaho was admitted to the Union in 1890 and for two years he remained a member of the Upper house of the general assembly.

On April 16, 1872, Henry married Mary Thews.  They had a family of five children.


Born January 2, 1838, Cincinnati, Ohio

Died June 10, 1908, Boise, Idaho

One of Boise’s “founding fathers” Thomas Jefferson Davis donated the land for the city’s first park in honor of his wife, Julia. 

In 1861, Davis joined a company of 75 men, including his brother Francis, and traveled west where he engaged in mining.  In 1863, seeing a need for fresh fruit and vegetables he acquired 360 acres of government land.  Among his first crops were onions, potatoes, and cabbage. He planted a successful fruit orchard the following year.

Davis and eight men met in a cabin belonging to Davis and William Ritchie to lay out the new town site on July 7, 1863.

Davis and Julia McCrumb were married in 1871. They became the parents of seven children.  Julia, who preceded her husband in death by nine months, is also buried in Pioneer Cemetery.


Born April 13, 1819, Meadville, Pennsylvania

Died November 4, 1891, Toledo, Ohio

Ephraim Smith

Dr. Ephraim Smith left Meadville, Pennsylvania for California in 1850.  He made his way to Lewiston in 1864 and arrived in Boise in 1865.  In Boise, he began the practice of medicine and operated both a drug store and a private hospital.

As a member of the first and second Legislatures, he was instrumental in moving the capital from Lewiston to Boise.

He became the first mayor of Boise in 1866 and served until 1867.  For years he was not recognized as the first mayor of Boise, despite a story that ran in The Idaho Statesman on June 14th, 1936, with his picture and the original Certificate of Election. Smith served as Territorial Treasurer from 1865 to 1867.

While visiting relatives in Toledo, Ohio with his daughter, Dr. Smith was run over by a streetcar traveling at 20 miles per hour.  He died 10 hours later at the age of 72.  He was survived by his wife and four children.

  Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society


Born November 4, 1833, Batavia, New York

Died July 26, 1918, Boise, Idaho

William R. Byron left his New York home at age 14 and worked his way west in search of gold.

He brought the first cattle into the Boise Basin in the fall of 1862. The herd of 400 was butchered when it was found that feed was too scarce in the mountains.  The meat was kept frozen until spring.   

Bryon served several terms as Ada County Sheriff, however the most notable election was in 1870 when election returns showed Lute Lindsey as the winner. However, thanks to quick court action, it was proved that the ballots of three black voters who had supported William Bryon, had been thrown away as well as ballots in which the voter had misspelled his last name. Once they were retrieved, it showed that Byron won the Sheriff’s post by two votes.

Mr. Bryon owned one of the first repeating rifles in the country and it is said he carried it with him from Winnemucca to Quartzburg for two years, 250 miles each way every 12 days.

At the age of 70, he hiked through the Dyea Pass to Dawson, Alaska,  in search of gold.  After a year, he returned to his home on North Eleventh Street having found no gold.


Born March 7, 1836, Coles County, Illinois

Died September 5, 1911, Ada County, Idaho

James Nelson Lawrence arrived in Boise in 1864. 

Lawrence was elected Ada County Sheriff in November 1882.  He resigned six months later in May 1883 citing insufficient pay. As Sheriff he received $1,000 per year, $2.25 per day when a prisoner was in jail and an additional $1.00 per day to cover board, clothing and medical attention for each prisoner.  

In addition to his short term as Sheriff, he served eight years as Ada County Commissioner.  

He died on his ranch in the Eagle/Star area at the age of 75.


Born January 18, 1833, San Francisco (then a part of Mexico) California

Died April 26, 1928, Boise, Idaho 

Jesus Urquides

Born to Basque immigrant parents in what is now San Francisco, Urquides became a U.S. Citizen in 1860. In 1850, at age 17, he began a pack-train operation in California, gradually expanding to a six-state area.  He carried food, clothing, and other supplies to large and many small mining operations in the western United States.

Urquides was the first packer to carry supplies to the newly discovered Thunder Mountain mine in the Owyhee Mountains.  He was also the first to take the hazardous trip through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Carson City and Virginia City mines in Nevada and one of the first to pack into what is now Montana.

One of Urquides's most challenging ventures was packing 10,000 pounds of copper wire into the Yellow Jacket mine for construction of the tramway out of Challis. It was necessary to get this wire to the mine without a break for a splice would have been too dangerous for use on the tram.  He wrapped the wire around the middles of 35 mules for the 70 mile trip up and down steep mountain terrain. Several times a mule would slip and tumble down the mountain side, taking the entire train along. This meant righting the mules and repacking, but he was successful in making the delivery.

In 1877, Urquides was contracted to bring supplies and ammunition to General Oliver O. Howard's federal troops during the Nez Perce Indian War.  On one of these trips, several of his mules were killed and he narrowly escaped with his life.

Urquides settled in Boise in the late 1860's He returned to California in 1877 to marry Adeida Camern. He built her a home at 115 Main Street, and later constructed a corral on the same property for his pack mules.  He built a storehouse for merchandise to be transported to isolated areas of Idaho.

Urquides built approximately thirty small one room buildings for use by his drivers. This became known as Urquides' Spanish Village. After retirement, many of these men remained in the houses until the death of Urquides’ daughter Lola Binnard in 1956. The houses were then condemned by the city and torn down. 

Of the seven Urquides children, only three lived to adulthood.

Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society


Born May 28, 1833, New York

Died September 7, 1906, Boise, Idaho

Sol Hasbrouck

Solomon Hasbrouck spent time in California and Idaho as a miner, and was elected a County Commissioner in Owyhee County.  

Around 1868 he again came to Boise where he served in various government offices, including Superintendent of Indian Affairs. He served on the Boise City Council and was later elected Mayor in 1885.  

For the 16 years preceding his death, he was the Clerk of the Supreme Court. 

Hasbrouck died September 7, 1906 at the age of 73.  Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society



Born June 6, 1830, Roanoke, Virginia

Died February 25, 1906, Lewiston, Idaho

Peter Pefley

Peter Pefley traveled from the east to Oregon in 1851. Pefley came to Boise in 1864. He established what would become a successful saddle and harness shop. 

In 1880, he was elected to the Territorial Legislature.  Pefley served as a City Council member, and as Mayor from 1887-1889. Pefley also served on the school board, and contributed to the consolidation of the smaller school districts into the Boise Independent School District.   

In 1889, he was elected to represent Ada County at the Idaho Constitutional Convention.  There Pefley delivered a scathing debate in opposition to the “guarantee of religious freedom” constitutional proposal.  The proposal sought to prohibit individuals who followed certain teachings of the Mormon Church from voting.  Pefley was the only delegate to vote against the provision and he refused to sign the Constitution at the completion of the convention.  He rejected any payment for his service as a delegate. 

He later became involved with a dishonest business partner, which resulted in the loss of everything he had.  With failing health, he moved to Lewiston where he died in 1906.  Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society

 34.     NATHAN FALK

Born July 12, 1848, Eggenhausen, Bavaria, Germany

Died, July 22, 1903, Hailey, Idaho 

Nathan Falk

Nathan Falk came to the United States in 1862 at the age of 15, following his brother to Boise two years later.

In addition to his lifelong dedication to the store, Nathan was a public-spirited man who served on the school board and was an active member of the Boise Chamber of Commerce. He served a term as president of the Chamber Board of Directors.

Like his brother, Nathan returned to Germany to marry, taking Rosa Steinmeier as his bride in 1878. Six children were born to this union. 

Photo courtesy of “History of Idaho: The Gem of the Mountains” by James H. Hawley, 1920


Born August 4, 1838, Parke County, Indiana

Died May 25, 1920, Boise, Idaho 

Frank Coffin

After working two years as an engineer apprentice on an Ohio River steamer, Coffin, at age 23, went to California on the overland route and settled in Yreka, where he worked as a tinsmith.

After hearing of the strike at Florence, Idaho, he followed the lure of gold. There he engaged in placer mining until moving to Boise in 1866. Coffin worked at George Twitchell's hardware and tin store until buying out Twitchell in 1873. Coffin operated the store until 1904, building it into one of the biggest in the state. 

Coffin served as Idaho's first Treasurer from 1891-1893, his only public office. He was one of the pioneers who started the Artesian Hot and Cold Water Company, served on the Boise City National Bank board of directors, and was president of the board at the time of his death.

Irene Quivey became Coffin's wife in 1873.  They were the parents of three daughters and a son.  Coffin, who died at age 82, was survived by his wife, children and his 100 year old mother.  Photo courtesy of


Born June 15, 1836, Kittanning, Pennsylvania

Died December 21, 1904, Boise, Idaho

George Shoup

Shoup was Idaho's last territorial governor, and, after Idaho statehood on July 3, 1890, the first state governor. He resigned that position to become Idaho's first U.S. Senator. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1890.

Shoup was a stockman in Illinois, wagon train captain in Denver, Colorado, a member of the Independent Scouts of Colorado, and a miner before moving to Virginia City, Montana, where he opened a general store in 1866. Later in that year he opened a similar store in Salmon City, Idaho. Salmon City became his permanent home the following year, and in 1868 he married Lena Darnutzer, a native of Switzerland. They became the parents of six children.

Shoup became a successful cattleman as well as merchant.  In the early 1870s, he befriended Tendoy, Chief of a mixed band of Shoshone, Bannock and Sheepeater Indians.  Thanks to this friendship, Shoup was instrumental in smoothing relations between settlers and Indians.

On January 15, 1910, a 12’(?) statue of the Honorable George Laird Shoup was erected in Statuary Hall in the National Capitol and still stands today.

A small settlement on the Salmon River is named for Shoup.

Photo courtesy of “Sketch of the Life and Services of the Hon. George L. Shoup, of Idaho, in the United States Senate” 1900


Born December 16, 1861, Newport, Kentucky

Died November 25, 1906, Goldfield, Nevada

Frank Hunt

Frank W. Hunt, the fifth Governor of Idaho, was the son of a U.S. Army officer and lived on numerous army posts during his childhood. As a young man he made his home in Montana where he worked as a miner. He continued to mine after moving to Gibbsonville, Idaho, in 1887 and he later mined in Lemhi County.

Elected to the State Senate in 1894, he was a driving force in enacting the passage of state mining laws.  Later he was as a First Lieutenant in the First Idaho Volunteers during the war with Spain. After serving sixteen months in the Philippine Islands, he was mustered out of the army with the rank of captain.

Ruth Maynard, granddaughter of a pioneer Boise family, married Hunt in December 1896 They were the parents of two daughters, all buried in Pioneer Cemetery.

At the age of 28, Hunt became the youngest man to be elected governor in Idaho history and served from 1901-1902. Retiring from public service, Hunt became president of the Idaho branch of the Werhenhoff Mining and Milling Company of New York. He homesteaded near Emmett, Idaho, and retained mining interests in Nevada. While on a business trip to Goldfield, Nevada, he was stricken with pneumonia, and died several days later.

Mrs. Hunt lived in Emmett until her death March 26, 1952. She was a leader in the women's suffrage movement and a civic leader in the city of Emmett where she continued her husband's business interests after his death.  (on Parks & Rec website walking tour)


Born December 30, 1874, Barber, Idaho

Died March 25, 1952, Boise, Idaho

Ruth Maynard grew up on a ranch outside of Boise.  Her family relocated to Warm Springs Avenue in Boise when she and her two brothers were of school age.  She became well known as a talented violinist. 

She married Frank Hunt in 1896 when he was a young senator from Lemhi County.   She was 26 years old when Frank was elected governor, the youngest governor in Idaho history, and they made their way back to Boise.

Because Idaho was one of the first states to give women the right to vote at the time, Susan B. Anthony and Carrie Chapman Catt invited Mrs. Hunt to speak at the National Convention of Suffragettes in Minneapolis.

In 1905, after the death of their 7-year old daughter, Elizabeth, and Frank’s retirement from public service, they moved to Emmett, Idaho.  She gave birth to the Hunts’ second child in March 1906.  

She was widowed in November 1906 when Frank died of pneumonia.  Mrs. Hunt was left with a number of mining stocks which were lost very quickly due to her inexperience in investments and the inability to travel from the remote location with an infant during the winter.  She fought, and won, nine lawsuits filed against the estate over the following year.

Mrs. Hunt passed away in 1952 and was survived by her daughter, Katherine.


November 26, 1861 (According to the headstone)

April 4, 1933, Alameda, California

Leona Cartee

The only daughter of pioneers John and Louisa Hailey, Leona worked with her father during the years he served in Washington D.C., as a territorial representative from Idaho.

She was one of the leading proponents in the organization of the Idaho State Historical Society. Formally the loosely knit Pioneer Society, a new organization known as the Historical Society of Idaho Pioneers was incorporated February 10, 1881. This group was only marginally functional, and Leona Cartee became the driving force behind the passage of an act creating a board of trustees to take over the society, and placing it under state supervision.

The act was passed on March 12, 1907, becoming effective sixty days later. Governor John Morrison appointed Mrs. Cartee, Hon. James A. Pinney, and Professor H. L. Talkington as the first Board of Trustees, and set aside a small room in the Capitol building as an office and museum. John Hailey was appointed the new society's first librarian.

Leona assisted her father with his History of Idaho, and was an early member of the Columbian Club.

The club earned its name in Chicago after the state of Idaho appropriated $50,000.00 for a state building at the Chicago "World Columbian Exposition" in 1893. The Columbian Club was instrumental in establishing the Idaho State Library and the Carnegie Library, now the Boise Public Library.

After her marriage in 1888 to Ross Cartee, the couple lived in Montana, Utah, the Philippine Islands, and California. They were the parents of three children. After her death her husband brought her back to Boise for burial.  Ross was buried beside her after his death in 1943.  Photo courtesy of


Civil War Memorial

A memorial to the men who died in the American Civil War was erected May 30, 1896, by Phil Sheridan Women's Relief Corps.

The obelisk stands in a circle of stones near the flagpole and bears the inscription, "To the Memory of the Unknown Dead, 1861-1865."

The monument, which cost $137, was unveiled on May 9, 1896.