Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
October 10, 2012     The Adams County Record
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October 10, 2012

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Page 6 Wednesday, October 10, 2012 The Adams County Record The History Corner Robert White By Dale Fisk 253-4582 In 1914, Hiram T. French published a big book called "The History of Idaho: It was mostly a collection of biographies of pioneers or movers and Shakers in various Idaho communities. What follows is the story of Robert White, found on page 800 of this volume. Typical of the romanticized style of the day, White is made out to be quite a hero and the truth is stretched a little bit. I've put my comments and additions within brackets. "Uncle" Bob White. To no one in Washington county, or indeed in this section of Idaho can the sight of the above name bring anything but a warmth to the heart, for there is probably no more beloved character in this district than "Uncle" Bob White, one of the first settlers in this part of Idaho. Not only is he loved for what he has done in years past, though the tales of kind and generous deeds that he performed during those day's of hardship and privation make a part of the family history of many of the families in these valleys, but because of his kindly presence here among his fellow citizens of Council. He is now 85 years of age. The people of Council, in particular, have an especial affection for him, for he it was who first settled on the site of their growing little city, and it was about his house that the little settlement grew up." [Don't take this too literally.] "Uncle" Bob White was born in Arkansas, on the 14th of August, 1827. The lad grew up in the frontier settlement in Arkansas, and it was not until after the Civil war had been concluded that he came across the plains to Idaho. He had his family and his household goods loaded on wagons drawn by ox-teams, and accompanying him was George Moser, with his family. It was in 1876 that the little party set forth on the long journey that was to take them twelve months. They were more fortunate than many travelers across the plains at this period, for they had no trouble of any kind from the time they started until their arrival .in Idaho and their settlement in Council. The two families were the only settlers in this section for many months, but gradually others began to drift in and finally a little settlement was started. [Actually the Mosers went on to the Council Valley in 1876 while the Whites spent that winter at Boise.] At the time of the arrival of the Whites and the Mosers an Indian council composed of the three Indian tribes then living in the valley was being held on the site where Uncle Bob White afterwards located, and so the settlement that grew up heron was called Council. [Once again, liberties were taken with the facts here. No natives were "living in" the valley; they camped here for certain periods and moved on. There were more than three tribes who met here, and it had little, if anything, to do with council meetings. The Whites didn't settle on the spot where the Indians met.] After the naming of the little village, Uncle Bob was appointed postmaster and later he erected the first real building in the town. [The Mosers actually erected the first building in what is now Council.] Thus it was that the town had its very humble beginnings. The father and protector and angel of mercy, not only to those settlers who had erected their homes in Council, but also to the ranchers and trappers of the whole surrounding district, was "Uncle" Bob White. The only mail in those days was received from Indian Valley by pony express, and on a certain day every week the settlers would congregate at the postoffice to wait for the news from the outside world. [Edgar Hall, plodding along leading a packhorse to deliver the mail was hardly what we think of as the Pony Express.] Mr. White married Miss Ellen B. Parnell in Arkansas in 1868 and Mrs. White is still living in Council. They became the parents of five children, three of whom are deceased. Robert and Della are deceased, also a baby who died in infancy. [Four-year-old Harriet died from drinking bad water on their first attempt to come West in 1873.] William H. White, who 'makes his home in Montana and Thomas ]. White are the two living children. [Bob White was not overly ambitious. He homesteaded one hundred sixty acres, but farming wasn't successful for him. He was a story spinner and an easy-going dreamer. He was a justice of peace for several years. Robert and Elenor moved to Weiser for a time. Bob did some work with his team of mules, such as plowing gardens and fiauling wood from the nearby hills. They finally moved back to Council.] [After Bob got too old to work, he and Elenor, affectionately known to all as "Mammy White;' were put on the county dole. They lived in a small house near the present high school. Valley residents contributed farm produce and shared special foods with them, making the county's burden of support quite small.] [Bob died March 11, 1915. "Mammy" continued to be loved and cared for by friends until her death July 26, 1923. Robert, Elenor, Robert It., and Della are buried in the I.O.O.E Cemetery.] A few weeks ago, David MacGregor was in Council trying to identify people in old logging picturesi This one shows a big load of wood logs that was auctioned off in Council as part of a U.S.O. "scrap rally" in 1942. One source says the logs came from Lick Creek, and another says Crooked River. The load was said to'be 30" long and 20" high. The truck bunk was 10" wide in those days. The logs brought a total of $840 for the U.S.O. A Mrs. Nickels (Nichols?) won a portion of the wood, but kept only the four bunk logs. Various other people and organizations won bids on other amounts of the load. The remaining logs went to Andy Anderson for $340. He owned the truck and ran the logging crew. There are differing opinions as to who the men are in this photo. Paul Phillips identified them, left to right, as: Unknown, Luther Taylor (scaler), Owen Smith, Art "Curly" Smith (driver), Andy Anderson, Pug Bowman (top loader), Charlie Fr Paul Phillips. The names that David MacGregor has on his copy of this photo has these names, left to right:. Ray Plumber (Plummer?), _?_, Curley Smith, Harry March, Bill Wortman, Pug Bowman, Jim Fry. If anyone can shed some light on the discrepancies between these names, please let me know. Big City Selection All At One Location Rowland Auction Service _  -   COTTTONWOOD, IDAHO (208) 962-3284 Sales are Fridays at 12:30 PM. Dennis Rowland. Owner Cet 208-983-7400 Brent Rowland - Rep. 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