Here is what I know about the Willmorths in Ada County. They settled on Eagle Island, Ada County, somewhere between 1863 (when gold was first discovered in Idaho) and 1864 (when another branch of my family arrived on a wagon train from Missouri and settled nearby). The family consisted of Francis M. Willmorth, his wife Hannah Bacon Willmorth, children Mary Alice and John Homer, and, possibly nearby, Hannah Bacon's grown or nearly-grown daughters, Lide and Margaret Brannon. They are there for the 1870 Idaho census--the first territorial census.
In 1871, my grandfather, Francis Marion Willmorth Jr. was born in Boise. John and Mary Alice had been born in Iowa, where they had lived before starting West to the Alder Gulch gold mines in Montana.
They were living in Boise when Frank 1 traveled back to Illinois, where his brother George had died of sickness incurred during the Civil War. He returned to Idaho with his sister-in-law Mary Holden Willmorth and her children Charles Franklin, William Lewis, and Sarah Bertha. By 1880, Mary had remarried, and she and her children appear in the census in Boise with her new husband, whose name has escaped me at the moment. Frank and Hannah and their children are also in the Boise census, living on Grove Street, and Hannah's daughter Lide Noyes lives next door.
In 1879, Frank 1 established the first inn and livery stable in the new mining town of Galena, Blaine Co, ID. The town was built on Galena Mtn, which has a summit of 8701 feet. The family lived there in the summers, but continued to spend their winters in Boise, when the roads to Galena were impassable. In the 1880 census, his occupation was given as teamster, and hers was Innkeeper.
Galena is the source of family stories about Grandpa Frank Jr's carrying the mail over the summit to the Sawtooth Valley below, and other adventures. Frank 1 died either from an accident or from a heart attack while washing a wagon in the creek near Galena in 1890. He is buried in the pioneer cemetery on the side of the mountain. Hannah and Frank Jr. left Idaho and went to live in Heppner, Morrow Co OR, where Mary Alice and her husband Billy Ruark were living. Hannah died there in an influenza epidemic in 1891. Frank must have continued to live there, because his signature appears on an application for Veterans' widow's benefits for Mary Willmorth dated 1895.
He was a gyppo cattle buyer, roaming Oregon and Washington, when he met Nellie Fulton, and they were married at Twisp, Okanogan Co WA July 4, 1899.
This is some of the information I should have been sending you all along, but it is in bits and pieces all over the house, and not organized the way I would like to have it. I will try to get it in a more official format to send you soon. Perhaps you'd be interested in the family genealogy that my cousin Dr. John Willmorth compiles for every family reunion.
How is your book coming? I have the feeling I am the one who's holding it up! Hope not, for I'm really looking forward to seeing it.
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