Biography of Solomon Hasbrouck

One of the best known pioneer settlers of the state of Idaho is Solomon Hasbrouck, who is now serving as clerk of the supreme court and is accounted one of the leading and influential citizens of Boise. He is numbered among the sons of the Empire state, his birth having occurred in New Paltz, Lister County, New York, on the 30th of May. 1833. He is a descendant of Holland Dutch ancestry, and at an early period in the history of the state the family was founded within its borders. Solomon P. Hasbrouck, the grandfather of our subject, was a prominent lumber manufacturer and merchant and carried on business in such an extensive scale and employed so great a force of workmen that he was called the “king of Centerville.” His son, Alexander Hasbrouck, father of our subject, was born in Centerville and there spent his entire life, passing away in 1894, at the age of eighty-six years. At the age of twenty-three he married Miss Rachel Elting, a native of his own County, and after that conducted a farm about three miles from Centerville for twenty-five years. He then moved to New York City, where for five years he was in business in Washington market. Then he came to Idaho and lived with his son Solomon until his decease. He and his wife were valued members of the Methodist church and were held in the highest regard by all who knew them. She departed this life when our subject was but five years of age.

Our subject is now the only survivor of the family, his only sister having also departed this life. He was reared on a farm at the place of his birth, and during the summer months assisted in the labors of field and meadow, while in the winter season he attended the public schools. At the age of sixteen he secured a clerkship in a store, serving in that capacity for four years. In 1854 he sailed from New York to San Francisco, by way of the isthmus, and engaged in mining at Nevada City until 1860. He made considerable money for a time, but afterward sunk it in other mining ventures. He next went to Santa Barbara, California, where he secured a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, but finding this mostly worthless he never perfected a title and it returned to the government. In 1861 he went to Portland, Oregon, where he met an old friend, R. E. Halleck, with whom, in the spring, he traveled from Eugene City, Oregon, to Granite creek, the journey being made with pack animals.

Mr. Hasbrouck engaged in mining on Granite creek until June 1862, when he removed to Owyhee County, Idaho, and mined on Jordan creek for a year. In the winter of 1863-4 he was appointed one of the County commissioners of that county, which was at that time created, and in the fall of 1864 he was elected a member of the territorial legislature, which convened at Lewiston, and was the second session ever held. During that time the act was passed whereby the capital was removed from Lewiston to Boise. On the close of his legislative service, Mr. Hasbrouck returned to Portland, and the following May again went to Owyhee County, coming thence to Boise. In the capital city he was employed in the internal revenue service under John Cummings, the first internal revenue collector in the territory. In 1866 Mr. Cummings was appointed one of the judges of the territory and he appointed Mr. Hasbrouck clerk of the court.

In 1867, thirteen years after he had left New York, Mr. Hasbrouck visited his native state, and there married Miss Ann Eliza Van Wagenen, a friend of his childhood and a schoolmate of his youth. Theirs has been a happy married life, in 1868 they left the east for their new home in Idaho, and were soon comfortably located in Boise. Four children have been born to them: Edward Hallock, the eldest, has followed mining principally: Raymond DeLancy, the second son, is now acting chief engineer on the United States steamer Puritan; Elizabeth M. is the wife of Charles D. Shrady; and Van Wagenen is deputy clerk of the supreme court, and makes his home at Lewiston. He is a lawyer, and has been admitted to practice in all of the courts of the state.

Upon his return to Idaho, Mr. Hasbrouck was reappointed clerk of the district court, and also of the Supreme Court. At the same time he was ganger in the internal revenue service and clerk in the office of the superintendent of Indian affairs.

In the meantime he studied law, was admitted to practice in the district courts, and in 1871 was admitted to practice in the supreme court of the territory. He formed a law partnership with Henry E. Prickett, under the firm name of Prickett & Hasbrouck, a connection that was continued until Mr. Prickett was appointed district judge, when Mr. Hasbrouck turned his attention to merchandising, which pursuit he followed for twelve years in Boise and Weiser. While in the latter place a disastrous fire occurred, which almost wiped out the town, and he thereby lost everything he had. Soon after this Judge J. H. Beatty, now district judge of the federal court, appointed him clerk of the district court. A year later Idaho was admitted to the Union and an independent supreme court was created, of which he was appointed clerk, a position which he has since acceptably filled. During his long term in this office he has discharged his duties in a most prompt and capable manner, winning the commendation of the bench and bar and the regard of the public. He is a very agreeable and obliging official and has thereby won a host of friends throughout the whole state. In politics he is a “silver” Republican, and in religious belief he and his family are Episcopalians. Perhaps no one in the state has been more continuously identified with its public service through a longer period than Solomon Hasbrouck, who has borne no unimportant part in shaping the policy of Idaho and advancing its interests. He may well be numbered among its honored pioneers, and his life history deserves a prominent place in its annals.



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

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