Harriet Reece is the winner.
Frank Gaffney, Sr. is the answer for our 43rd week of Orofino History Trivia.
According to Patrick and Bridget Gaffney and Their Descendants by Virginia E. Bird, Francis (Frank) Gaffney was born Sept. 17, 1866 in San Francisco, CA.
He was recognized in the 1903 North Idaho History as being a leading citizen in what was then known as Shoshone County. He came to Pierce in his mother, Bridget Gaffney’s arms when he was nine months old. At age 26 he was elected to the state legislature and was always a staunch Democrat. The Populist movement brought that to an end and he was later defeated by only five votes in his run for commissioner.
He married Belle Steele Sept. 24, 1895. She was born and raised in Kentucky and had come west to teach, first in Washington, then Lewiston and finally Weippe. The couple had eight children, Frank F., John Patrick, Fay Steele, Clyde Andrew, Earl, Fredrick, Elmore Fry (Mac) and Walter Kenneth.
His son, John, wrote that Frank worked with his father and was an early day freight hauler from Lewiston-Kendrick-Greer to Pierce and Weippe. When he was of age, he homestead 40 acres in the center of the Weippe Prairie and then purchased more adjoining land.
Frank was appointed a deputy sheriff when he was only 19 in 1885. Five Chinese men had been convicted of murder in Pierce. One morning he and a helper had the Chinese men in a wagon headed for Wallace and jail. About three miles out of Pierce a posse of men stopped them, told Frank and his helper to go back to Pierce which they did. The posse proceeded to hang the prisoners.
In the early 1900s when Jack McDonough was murdered on his farm, Frank was again appointed deputy to investigate the incident. No trace of the murderer was every found, though it was believed to be Frank Peter.
In addition to running his own property, he ran a freight lines and was on the Weippe School Board for several years. He also operated a store in Weippe and moved from the ranch to a house by the store. During that time he had a house built at Weippe on two acres of the Patrick Gaffney estate. He helped organize the Weippe Cemetery on what was part of the Patrick Gaffney estate and his mother-in-law was the first person buried there. He also helped organize the Weippe Creamery Co., according to John. When Clearwater County was organized in 1911, he was the first auditor. There is some confusion about whether Frank or Belle was involved in establishing Weippe High School. Nonetheless, it came to be.
John said that from 1911 to 1919, the family lived in the house at Weippe so all the children could go to school. Frank died Aug. 18, 1917 and was buried in Weippe Cemetery.
Photo: Frank Gaffney, Sr. (Photo and biographical information courtesy of Clearwater Historical Museum)
Monday: This person filed a homestead claim on the Weippe Prairie at the age of 21.
Tuesday: This person was entrusted with prisoners, but did not successfully deliver them to their destination.
Wednesday: This person was nine months old when brought in their mother's arms to Pierce.
Thursday: This person helped organize the Weippe Cemetery on part of what was their father's homestead.
Friday: This person was a "staunch" Democrat, but political winds did not always blow his way. He was defeated in a tight race for county commissioner by only five votes. He lost a legislative race due to the Populist movement.
Saturday: This person successfully farmed, raised stock, ran a freightline and was on the Weippe school board for a number of years. He and his wife were instrumental in the establishment of Weippe High School. He was also Clearwater County's first auditor after it formed in 1911.
Monday: He and his wife, Belle, had eight children. He died in 1917 and was buried at the Weippe Cemetery which he helped to organize. His mother-in-law as the first person buried at the cemetery.
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