Cottonwood to celebrate 150th year in 2012, area history included
(History continued from last week)
As these days come and go I have been reminded of many old-timers who have left their mark in our area. As in the past 41 stories I can only answer the same way as before – Everyone having lived here, no matter how quiet a life, has left their dent in the memories of their neighbors and friends. I have been drawing on the memories of just a few old-timers who have celebrated their 90th birthdays and usually with some of these people, who I see from time to time, we kind of have an on-going :remember when.” I may also ask them about other old-timers and the mention of these names doesn’t always bring out ready answers right away but, the next time we hare a coffee pot the previous discussion will come up again and after some though, “I remember this-”
Two of my good sources have been Frances and Clarence Nuttman. Really great friends in their own right and good “I remember when” sources. Anyway I’ve been trying to identify some of the old buildings and home sites in Keuterville proper. Of course the Schmidts (relatives of Clarence) and Mike Geis (father of Frances) have come up as to when and where they lived at the time.
I’ve been poking around the area across the street and about due north of the Keuterville Pub & Grub where the Clem Nuxoll family residence now is and where the Dan Forsmann family residence now is. This is also the area where the Maag Hotel was built and stood a few years before being dismantled and moved out two miles or so on Moughmer Point where the Romains made it into a nice home. It was later moved by Gary and Marilyn Forsmann to a farm near Tolo Lake in the Grangeville country.
In back of the Dan Forsmann house (north) there is an interesting old house that sports a newer tin roof. Near as I can remember (and Clarence can recall) a couple of older men by the name of Boeckman (Ben, I think) and Jewitt (Bill?) lived there quite awhile in the early 1900’s. I remember years ago we used to call this house the “Keuterville Sentinel” house. Also, as this was the center of the homes in Keuterville, many of the early day settlers had houses in this area around the church. The main business district was mostly along the East-West road still used today. And, oh yes, still live in the home (last place on the left) going west!
I believe this used to be the old Sonnen place. The Nuttmans acquired this distinctive location in about 1910. At that time there were two smaller homes on the place. About 1935 the Nuttmans built the home that still stands on the place. Some time later Clarence and Frances were married and after a few years Clarence’s dad and mom moved into retirement at Lewiston and Clarence and Frances took over the family place here in Keuterville. We are lucky to have both of them here to share some of the memories and fill in the blanks in our “Remember When.” Having just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary they have good memories and have seen this area from front row seats for many years. All the best to you!
This past week we’ve had quite a change in the weather. The rain slowed down some and we’ve had some nice days. The crops look quite good and most spring and fall seedings are going great guns. From the road I don’t believe I’ve ever seen better. We hope for the good of everyone it turns out as good as it looks. The whole area really is a great “go see” under production like it is.
The 4th of July coming up means another big day in Greencreek. Their celebration, stating with breakfast and the usual programs for you to get in or just have a nice visit with family or friends. These folks have been doing a good job for years and the money they make is always used for community support.
Back through the years the Fourth of July has always been a big day for celebration in all of Idaho. Back at the turn of the century Cottonwood always had a parade, with a special flag raising ceremony followed by street sports and a dinner in the community hall. Then in the afternoon there would be a baseball game with a then whopping $250 winner take all jackot. And to top it all off there would be a dance again the village hall!
Even before this time Keuterville had several big celebrations where local people built a special outdoor dance floor and people even came from across the county to join in the fun. Now all this has passed on to Greencreek, Winchester and Grangeville and the roads and cars make it possible to be a part of all these!
Mixed in the memory of all these fun old times certainly has to be the local town teams and the great day it used to be, picnic and all, to go out and see your friends and neighbors tangle in a Sunday afternoon baseball game. Just to go to hear the hecklers was great fun in itself. I remember some of the shouting matches that caused a pause in the game and gave people something to talk about all week. The Wimers, Willenborgs, Schmidts, Baerlochers, Wessels, and many others spent many a summer entertaining their fans! And so it went for many years. Things have really changed with better roads and everyone has at least one car.
In a couple of months it once again will be Fair time and many of us have very happy recollections when it comes to the Idaho County Fair. It seems there was always something for everyone and usually it went on for three days and it has been going on for all these years! Every year we go to look see and the crowd is always there. Girls and boys from all of Idaho County showing their personal talent and show animals. Good show!
The trips to the cabins and the campers and tents are coming out of hibernation and “on the road again.” I just can’t believe there are that many special spots out there. Go to it you folks, you make the rest of us envious and we hope you and yours have a great summer out there where we used to be. And leave a clean camp!
At the last meeting of the 150 year group we were reminded that the Raspberry Festival is coming up  and it promises to be bigger than ever. Dr. Sam Couch promises another big show and a good time for all. We hope to have our ducks in order and be able to start the pre-sale of the books in the next two or three weeks. Deb and Betty Jane Clark passed around some samples of the books for everyone to look at and get and idea of what’s coming. We will keep you in touch.
In the remaining space this week let’s remember some of the things that give this area a reputation for its natural beauty – some of the things that compliment our wives and sweethearts! This time of the year we have so many wild flowers and wild bushes like the Camas (for which the Prairie got its name) the wild roses (in about 5 colors or blends) the fruit trees, the Syringa bush (found in almost all the water sheds throughout central Idaho), the “skunk cabbage” blooms (usually found in most pasture above 3,000 feet), the “bear grass” bloom (found usually at about 5,000 feet), as I’ve been admonished, “you won’t have room to mention half of ‘em.” For those of you really interested in all of these Sr. Alfreda put out a book to help identify “Wild Flora and Fauna Found in Idaho.” And our area has most of them. Of course this sort of thing stirs many past experiences. I remember six of us going out to the proms about sixty years ago and someone started with “I can’t make up my mind whether the flowers make the girls look good or whether the girls make the flowers look good.” Anyway the debate has been going on ever since. All I know is at my house a bunch of roses gets a lot better response than a new piece of clothing. To sum it all up our area boasts some mighty fine looking girls of all ages and I think we have the flowers for them!

The Clarence and Frances Nuttman home west of Keuterville. Photo by Don Hoene.

Martin Schaeffer Butte. Photo by Don Hoene.

The Ferdinand Post Office. Photo by Don Hoene.

The former St. Joseph’s Grade School and Prairie Elementary School building that is now closed. Photo by Don Hoene.

The current Prairie Elementary School which started life as Prairie School then was Prairie Middle School from 1970 until this past year after Prairie High School was moved to the former St. Gertrude’s Academy building. Photo by Don Hoene.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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