A letter written to the Editor and Publisher, S. D. Taylor, of the Bonners Ferry Herald, written by Bartlett Sinclair

Recalls Early Days

Stiles, Idaho, Oct. 22nd, 1908.

My Dear Taylor; —

My campaigning brought me to this bustling mountain town. One of the men to call on me was Captain Wooden one of the earliest settlers of Bonners Ferry. He was at the Ferry in 1880 and managed the trading post there for Dick Fry. Previously he was in charge of Dick Fry’s post at some other point in Kootenai County. He informed me of much early history of the Kootenai  Country, all of which was extremely  interesting. No doubt Captain Wooden will be remembered by the old timers,  prospectors, trappers, etc. Martin Fry, George Fry will recall him. He is one of the few earliest white settlers of the  Ferry now  living and a most interesting gentleman. He  tells me he fought in seven Indian campaigns before going to the Ferry. He is a native of Oregon and I would say is upwards of 70 years old.

The value of furs purchased at the Ferry those days was very large and with eastern buyers considered the choicest on the markets. He recalled many of the old Kootenai Indians and manifested great surprize when I related the wonderful progress now to he seen, at the Ferry mills, factories, fine homes, etc.

Captain Wooden is now residing at Elk, Idaho County, and is a neighbor of our old friend John Massam. I was  gratified to learn that John and his brothers are playing in great luck. They have a number of fine claims, one bonded
at $60,000, which in all probability will be taken. Other claims of apparent value he controls all over the Elk District. Elk city is about 50 miles from here and I would have had my itinerary include that point had I known of the whereabouts of these historic characters.

It would have to be traveled by
stage but I am now hardened to this means of transportation through mountains and over muddy prairie roads.

To change the subject: I can see no reason whatever to doubt a big Republican majority in Latah, Nez Perce and Idaho counties. Here and there friction and discord may hurt a little—but very, very, little. The state ticket will win out handsomely. I have had a splendid trip, although transportation to some of the points in  the route has been tedious. I have  addressed some 12 or 15 meetings and everywhere (particularly in the mining sections) have received a most cordial and enthusiastic welcome.  I am rather sorry to see the trip coming to a close. I will be at home Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Bartlett Sinclair.

Captain Wooden Recalls Early Days
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