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The Cursde of Idaho

The Cursde of Idaho

Posted: 1301784201000
Classification: Query
*Crossposted from "Unknown" "Ada County" and "Gooding County" forums*

OK, it's probably not Idaho's fault, but in actuality, I have two people in my tree (brothers, to be exact) who both left Kentucky and moved to Idaho and I don't know why. One died within a year of moving out there. Almost exactly 30 years later, the other one did, too. And I don't know why. And, on top of all that, it would seem their father went out there first prior to 1910 and, guess what? I don't know why! :)

So, I'm wondering a few things about Idaho and what happened to my family out there. First, let me give a little information.

In 1900, my gggf, a widower named James Gibson Crooks, was living in a boarding house in Kentucky with his older son (Richard Earl Crooks - 17 at the time) and working as a team driver. His younger son (Charles Gibson Crooks) was living with his maternal grandfather and his two sisters. Both boys were born in Colorado when their father moved out there to try to make his fortune in the Colorado Silver Boom. He had an adventurous spirit, I suppose.

Some time between 1900 and 1910, James moved to Casey, Blaine County, Idaho. Richard was still living in Kentucky with his wife, Jennie, and three daughters, Margaret, Georgia, and Dorothy, working as a blacksmith at a steel mill. I don't know why, but at some point between mid 1910, when the census was taken, and January, 1912, Richard moved to Idaho and was working as a teamster. I'm not certain yet if his family was with him. On Feb. 1, 1912, Richard died in Boise, Ada County, Idaho.

After Richard's death, James moved back to Kentucky, where, by 1920, he lived with his son, Charles (still unmarried) in the house of his daughter's father-in-law. In 1927, James died. Some time between then and 1941, Charles moved out to Idaho where he died as well on Jan 3, 1941, in Wendell, Gooding County, Idaho. Richard and Charles were both buried back in Kentucky.

So, my questions are as follows:

1) What was going on in Idaho in the early 20th Century that could have drawn a teamster/miner/adventurous spirit such as my grandfather and one of his sons out there, and why again in the late 1920s/1930s for the other son?

2) When did he go out there?

3) When (specifically) and why did Richard go to Idaho and was he alone or with his family.

4) How did Richard die?

5) When and why did Charles go to Idaho?

6) How did he die?

The first question is what I'm really bringing to this forum. Given that, I could probably start piecing together the rest. However, if anyone has any insight on the rest, I would appreciate it, as well.

Thanks in advance,

Mark Songer

Re: The Curse of Idaho

Posted: 1301946838000
Classification: Obituary

CROOKS - R. Crooks, aged 28, died at a local hospital yesterday. He leaves two brothers in Boise and a father, who will arrive from Kentucky this evening, he having been notified of his son's serious condition on Sunday. The young man worked for McVickers at Barberton, and was injured in a runaway, fracturing both legs. The body is at Schreiber & Sidenfaden's, pending funeral arrangements.

Idaho Weekly Statesman
Boise, Idaho
2 Feb 1912
p. 2

Re: The Curse of Idaho

Posted: 1301947255000
Classification: Query
I hit post too quickly!

It doesn't seem that he had his family with him in Idaho, but newspapers did make mistakes.

Barber was a township east of Boise. Now, it's part of Boise. I believe Barberton is another name for it.

Re: The Cursde of Idaho

Posted: 1301948475000
Classification: Query
"1) What was going on in Idaho in the early 20th Century that could have drawn a teamster/miner/adventurous spirit such as my grandfather and one of his sons out there, and why again in the late 1920s/1930s for the other son?"

Gold & Silver mining was the big draw at the beginning of the century. Idaho was growing quickly, with a lot of opportunity for enterprising individuals. My family moved to Blaine county permanently at that time, although they had also been here in the early 1880's. My grandfather had worked in the gold fields East of Boise in the 1890's, and moved to Blaine county to work in the Silver mines here.

Re: The Curse of Idaho

Posted: 1301951890000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1301951997000
Wow! Thank you so much! That is a huge help to figuring out this part of the family puzzle! I really appreciate it!.

However, I only know of one other brother. Now I get to figure out who they were talking about! :)

Re: The Cursde of Idaho

Posted: 1301952110000
Classification: Query
Thank you! Gold and silver is also what took them to Colorado a few decades before, so this doesn't surprise me. I guess I get to track down mining camps, claims and tax info now :)

Re: The Cursde of Idaho

Posted: 1301953942000
Classification: Query

Your ancestor may have also been involved with the construction of Arrowrock Dam (see link above)

Re: The Cursde of Idaho

Posted: 1301961848000
Classification: Query

Don't see any Alturas County (predecessor to Blaine) mining claims for your family. (By the way, the Richard Crooks that comes up is completely different fellow from Idaho County in the northern part of the state - son of Jacob Crooks and Victoria Chamberlain.) However, I don't know the coverage for the database.


It does seem that James G. Crooks claimed some land in Blaine County. (Those search results will also show you Charles Crooks, but he also seems to be of the Idaho County Crooks, not your family.)

Re: The Curse of Idaho

Posted: 1301965144000
Classification: Query
You're right, the Richard and Charles are not of my family, but the James definitely is! I'm kind of shocked that this claim was made only a few months after the death his son, Richard.

This is my first foray into land deeds. I'm interested in finding out what happened to the claim and the land itself. Thank you so much for this head-start!


Re: The Curse of Idaho

Posted: 1301967743000
Classification: Query
Hi Mark.....I live in Blaine County. If you give me the location of the land you are curious about, I'll take a look to see what is there now.

mary lou
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