Biography of Isham L. Tiner

This well known citizen and successful fruit-grower of Boise was born in Williamson county, Illinois, July 14, 1827, and is of Welsh descent, his forefathers being among the early settlers of Georgia and South Carolina. His ancestry, both paternal and maternal, was represented in the Revolutionary war. Richard Tiner, his great-grandfather, was a loyal soldier in the war for independence, and while he was absent in the army his family suffered an attack by Indians. His wife was shot through the right breast, their youngest child was ruthlessly beaten against a tree until its little life was ended, and a boy of five years and a girl of seven were carried away as captives. Another son, Isham Tiner, our subject’s grandfather, then a youth of sixteen, escaped the massacre, joined his father in the army and remained in the ranks until the close of the war. The wife and mother eventually recovered from her wound and some time afterward the captive children were returned to their parents. Isham Tiner, the grandfather, removed from Georgia to Illinois, becoming a frontier settler of the latter state. At the time of his removal to the prairie state his son Isham, father of our subject, was a small boy. When grown to manhood he married Miss Nancy Piett, who died at an early age and left three children, the youngest, Isham L., being an infant, and he alone survives. The eldest son, William, lost his life at the battle of Vicksburg, fighting in behalf of the Union. The father was a farmer by occupation and a man active in local affairs, for some years filling the office of county commissioner. He lived to attain the ripe age of seventy-five years.

Isham L. Tiner was reared to manhood on his father’s farm in Illinois, working hard in sum-mer and in winter attending the common school. At the age of eighteen he enlisted in Company B, Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for the Mexican war, and went at once to the front. He participated in the battle of Buena Vista and other engagements, through which he passed un-wounded. He remained in the army until the war was over. In 1851 he went to California, stopping at the mines on Pitt River. Later he engaged in the management of a ranch and in teaming from Red Bluff to Shasta and Yreka. In 1862 he sold his interests and with a capital of fifteen hundred dollars came to Idaho. At Placerville, where he was one of the first to locate, he secured a mining claim, from which, in company with five others, he took out about two hundred dollars of gold a day. He paid his men eight dollars a day and after he had taken out most of the gold, as he supposed, he sold his claim for five hundred dollars; but for some time thereafter it continued to yield the precious metal. Following his mining experience. Mr. Tiner was for a time successfully engaged in the bakery business at Placerville.

In 1880 he purchased six acres of land at Boise, now within the corporate limits of the city, and here he raises many varieties of peaches, pears, apples and plums, and in large quantities.

In 1865 Mr. Tiner married Miss Jane Baker, who was spared to him only eight brief years. Their only child died in infancy and thus he has been left alone, for he has never married again.

He is a member of the Masonic order, and politically he has always given his support to the Democratic Party. He has been honored with official positions, in each instance acquitting him-self most creditably. In 1865 he was elected a member of the territorial legislature of Idaho, and thus becoming connected with Boise he has since resided in the capital city. He has also filled the offices of county sheriff and warden of the penitentiary. In all the varied relations of life he has striven to do his whole duty toward his own community, state and country, and to put into daily practice the noble, helpful teachings of Masonry and brotherhood.


Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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