Ranches and Farms
|In 1879 Charles Black built a house on Spring Creek
and moved his family there the next spring. In the same year Joseph
Loving and family built a house on the ranch still known to
old-timers as the "Yank Robinson" Ranch. In the same year Isaac W.
Garrett located on Spring creek and filed on land that afterward be
longed to John Hailey. Mr. Garrett moved his family there on July 4,
1880. He was elected to the legislature in 1880 and it was due to
his efforts that a bill was enacted into law giving the citizens of
Alturas county the right to vote at a special election held on
September 12, 1881, to locate the permanent county seat of said
county. In January 1883, he accepted the office of deputy auditor
and recorder at Hailey.
Other settlers near the Charles M. Black Ranch were S. E. Stanton
and his son, Clark T. Stanton. Stanton Crossing was named for the
former. Both of these men afterward moved to Hailey and lived there
for many years. Other early settlers on Spring Creek were the Brown
brothers, John W. and Michael, who settled there in 1881.
Their brothers, Joseph and Peter, came later. In the spring of 1881,
Mrs. Lafe Griffin established a stage station near the base of
Timmerman Hill and conducted it until her death in the fall of that
year. John Redding kept a store close to this station in 1831 and
until he moved to Bellevue in 1882, where he kept store while he
lived. This station was on the stage line running from Hailey to
Goose creek in Cassia County, where it intersected the Overland
stage line running from Kelton, Utah, to Boise, Idaho. The stage
line running from Hailey to Boise intersected the branch of the
Overland stage line at the station at the base of Timmerman hill.
John L. Timmerman came to Wood River in July, 1880, and lived near
the Black ranch the first year. In the fall of 1881 he established
his residence on the northern slope of the hill which bears his
name, took up land there and continued to live there until the day
of his death on November 23, 1906.
The old Emigrant Road that crossed Snake River at Eagle Rock (Idaho
Falls) and came by way of Lost River and over Bradley Hill, north of
Carey, crossed Wood River about six miles south of Bellevue.
In 1881 a stage line was established between Blackfoot and Hailey
which came over Bradley Hill. Clark T. Stanton, the present probate
judge of Jerome County, Idaho, was a scout with Colonel Green during
the Bannack Indian War in 1878, when the Bannack of Fort Hall, led
by Chief Buffalo Horn, and the Pahute of Malheur, led by Chief Egan,
went on the warpath because the national government opened to
settlement Camas Prairie, which had been reserved to the Indians.
Colonel Green crossed Wood River where the old Emigrant crossing
was, went east to Lost River near where the town of Mackay is now,
and on to Challis, thence northeast to the old Lemhi Indian agency.
General Miles took up the trail there and Mr. Stanton returned by
way of the Salmon River, Cape Horn, Redfish Lakes, and down by
While writing of pioneers it may not be amiss to state that in 1824,
the Snake River expedition of 140 persons, led by Alexander Ross,
trapped the Lemhi and Salmon Rivers southward, thence to Lost and
Wood Rivers. But a trapper is not a pioneer. His aim is to leave the
country as he found it, except for the establishing of fur trading
posts. He makes no other improvements. He is opposed to any
improvements as that is inimical to his chosen calling. Webster
defines the word pioneer as, "One who goes before, as into the
wilderness, preparing the way for others to follow; as, pioneers of
civilization." The word trapper he defines as, "One who traps; esp.,
one who makes a business of trapping animals for their furs."
In the summer of 1879 Archie Billingsley drove cattle into Carey
Valley, and moved his family there the following year. He was the
first settler there. James Carey was the first postmaster and the
town derives its name from him. The Post Office and the first
schoolhouse in the valley were situated on his ranch. Other settlers
soon followed. The soil of the valley is very productive, a part of
which is watered by Little Wood River. The town of Carey has a grade
school and an accredited high school, a fine L. D. S. church,
stores, garages, etc. It is situated about eight miles in an
easterly direction from Picabo.
In May, 1880, Patrick McMonigle and Joseph A. Meadows settled on
Deer Creek and took up land. They were the first settlers there. On
October 4, 1880, L. C. Dorsey and wife settled on Rock Creek on the
ranch now owned by Rodney R. Brown. But the snow was so deep that
winter that they did not wait for it to leave but moved into Hailey
and bought a lot. The townsite of Hailey was being laid out at that
time in 1881. Mr. Dorsey lived here until his death in 1916. Mrs.
Dorsey still lives here and conducts a store.
Commodore Perry Croy was one of the earliest settlers near Hailey.
He filed on the land on which the Hailey Hot Springs are situated.
He and Geo. W. Edgington located the Jay Gould Mine at Bullion and
filed the notice for record June 4, 1880. Croy's Addition to Hailey,
Croy Street and Croy Gulch are named for him. Yet notwithstanding
all his activities, he was dissatisfied with the country and left
for the east in two or three years. William Quigley, after whom
Quigley Gulch is named, was one of the early settlers in this
vicinity. He filed on the land east of town long known as the Drake
Ranch, now owned by Mrs. Joseph Hunter. A part of the Hailey
Cemetery is situated on this land.
George H. Knight, present county commissioner of the Third District,
arrived in Bellevue in 1880 and moved to Hailey in 1881. In those
by-gone days he was a freighter. In the early eighties, he filed on
160 acres of land on Indian Creek and was granted a patent for the
same. Since disposing of this land, he has lived on a ranch he owns
on East Fork.
Herman Vorberg came to Wood River in 1880 and brought his family
here in April, 1881. He filed on the land about a mile west of
Hailey, which is known as the Vorberg Ranch, and received a patent
to it. The house that he built in 1881 is in a good state of
preservation and is occupied by two of his children, Herman J. and
Agnes T., who cultivate the land. Mr. Vorberg built a brewery on
this land and conducted it for some years. He lived on this land
until his death on February 16, 1907.
To these hardy pioneers of mountains and valleys, the present
citizenry of Blaine County owes a debt of gratitude. They came, they
saw, they conquered. It requires but little imagination to see them
with our mind's eye pitching their tents on the sagebrush plains,
building houses, fences, bridges, clearing off the sagebrush,
digging ditches to convey water on the arid soil, and thus
transforming the fields which had lately been sagebrush, under the
magic influence of water, into fruitful fields. They, as well as the
early merchants, had many hardships to undergo. Many luxuries were
denied them. Yet there was a certain glamour associated with pioneer
life. It has been said that "God made the country and man made the
town." Without either subscribing to that statement or taking
exception to it, it is a well-known fact that without developed
mines or country there would be no towns here, nor need of towns.
But with a productive agricultural, stock raising country, coupled
with mining, towns are indispensable.
In the early days, all goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, etc.
for Bellevue, Hailey and Ketchum were hauled in freight wagons drawn
by either horses or mules from either Blackfoot, Idaho, which was
about 135 miles from Hailey by coming over the Bradley Hill, or from
Kelton, Utah, which was about 150 miles away. All ores were hauled
to Kelton. The mail came by stage from Blackfoot.