Sep 04 2012
How did Idaho get this way?
There’s no one reason, and historical trends have swept across Idaho like everywhere else, but the details easily might have been different. This book is about 100 people who, for better or worse, made Idaho much of what it is today.
Idaho might have been very different. What are now the Pacific Northwest states could have become part of British Columbia but for a few little-known early settlers (and at least one determined Native American). Idaho probably wouldn’t have its trademarked potatoes but for the imagination of one energetic potato farmer, or developed its unfortunate link to neo-Nazis but for a former aircraft engineer. Eastern Idaho’s population is strongly Mormon, and they vote strongly Republican; only a few pioneers directed both major trends.
Ever wondered who brought irrigation to the Magic Valley? You may assume that the road through Idaho to Yellowstone National Park has
always been there – but who was responsible for getting it built, and why? And, just HOW did a Michigan lumber company end up with owning so much of North Idaho?
The names of Cecil Andrus, Frank Church, J.R. Simplot, and Joe Albertson are familiar to Idahoans today, but the state’s direction was influenced as much by people like Frank Fenn, Tom Roach and Lafayette Cartee – names increasngly forgotten, that shouldn’t be.
In Idaho 100, Martin Peterson and Randy Stapilus, who between them have been studying Idaho history for close to a century, unearth the sometimes famous, sometimes infamous and often obscure people who most transformed Idaho, in ways large and small, to create what many people now take for granted. To a large extent, Idaho is the result of what these 100 people did.
You won’t see Idaho the same way after you’ve finished reading Idaho 100.
Order the book here:
We’ve scattered a batch of clues around Facebook, Twitter, our ridenbaugh.com website, and elsewhere (and will be reprinting them here). Each clue has a number attached – the place on the list of 100 for the person connected to the clue.
The contest is closed, but let us know what you think at [email protected].
Do it before the book is released (in late September), and we’ll send you a free copy of the book and a certificate attesting to your mastery of Idaho history.
38 – Decided to help transform Boise rather than the boundary disputes of Brazil.
82 – The governor whose specific mission was persecuting Mormons.
61 – For many years, he was Boise’s “Mr. Baseball.”
77 – Ran a newspaper in Eagle City about the time Wyatt Earp was a saloon keeper there.
12 – Personally founded Idaho’s largest company town.
26 – the best-known person buried at Whitney city cemetery.
35 – Called, by an Idaho governor, Idaho’s “philosophical ideologue, field marshal and guru”
23 – Got the second national bank charter west of the Rockies.
19 – Idaho Falls, not Pocatello, Blackfoot or Arco.
60 – “A crusty old freemarketer,” years before Ralph Smeed.
99 – A colleague of and also-successful counterpart of J.C. Penney.
30 – The governor who pushed through prohibition in Idaho.
69 – The father of the Lewiston Grade.
31 – A not totally loyal employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
16 – Pulled strings at the White House to keep Idaho in one piece.
37 – The common thread linking Idaho’s Owyhee mines, Swan Falls Dam, the Spindletop oil fields in Texas, Gulf Oil Company, Idaho Power Company and the Mellon family of Pittsburg. And the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
75 – A governor whose grandfather was a speaker of the House.
52 – Title of an essay about her: “The Woman Who Made Ladies and Gentlemen.”
4 – Father of Idaho Constitution, but lost two Idaho runs for the U.S. Senate.
84 – From shoe salesman to mayor to benefactor of Idaho’s alternative media.
22 – First, not the second, major political beneficiary of a 1966 plane crash.
64 – Idaho’s first liquor control operations director, a young woman from St. Anthony.
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