Biography of Charles F. Leland

Charles F. Leland, coming to Lewiston in his boyhood, has spent almost his entire life in this beautiful and prosperous city of northern Idaho where he is now serving as general stage agent and also as agent for the Northern Pacific Express Company. He was born in Portland, Oregon, November 5, 1858, and in 1864 removed to Lewiston with his parents. His father Alonzo Leland, was born in Springfield, Vermont, July 12, 1818, and in the public schools acquired his education. At the age of sixteen he began to earn his own living by teaching, which profession he followed for two years, in the meantime doing what he could to fit himself for a higher education. He subsequently spent three years as a student in the New Hampshire State Academy, and for a similar period continued his education in Brown University, graduating with honor in the class of 1843. During the acquirement of his education he maintained himself by working during vacations at the carpenter’s trade. After the completion of his collegiate course he engaged in teaching in Maryland and in Massachusetts for a number of years, but becoming aware of the great possibilities of the growing west he resolved to try his fortune on the Pacific coast. By way of the isthmus of Panama he proceeded to Portland, Oregon, where he arrived in October, 1850, and having acquired a knowledge of civil engineering he was employed on the work of surveying and platting that city, which was then being builded in the bushes along the banks of the Willamette river. Subsequently he turned his attention to journalism and had the honor of establishing the first daily paper, the Portland Standard, in that then rapidly growing town. He was appointed and served as postmaster of Portland, and also held the office of judge of the probate court. In the meantime he had devoted much of his leisure time for several years to the study of law, and in 1861 was admitted to the bar. It was not long after this that discoveries of gold were made at Florence and Warrens, Idaho, and with the hope of more rapidly acquiring wealth Alonzo Leland made his way to the territory of Idaho, where for some time he was engaged in placer gold mining. In 1862 he opened a law office in Lewiston, and was prominently connected with the important litigated interests in those early days. In addition he was also connected with the Lewiston Journal and was the founder of The Teller, which he conducted as a neutral paper, devoted to the best interests of his town and surrounding country. He made this one of the leading journals of the state, and through its columns he advocated and promoted many movements of great public benefit. He continued to edit and publish this paper until 1891, when he sold out. His death occurred in October of the same year, and thus was ended an important life work. In early manhood he married Miss Rachel Bliss, a native of Springfield, Vermont, and to them were born five children, four of whom are yet living.

Charles F. Leland, the fourth in order of birth, was a mere child when his parents came to Lewiston. In its public schools he acquired his education, and in his father’s office he learned the printer’s trade, which he mastered, becoming an expert workman. He was admitted to a partnership in The Teller, and assisted in making it one of the most progressive and readable journals in this section of the state. In 1891 the paper was sold and he has since devoted his energies to other lines of activity.

Mr. Leland has been somewhat prominent in the public service, having for two years acceptably served as marshal of Lewiston. In politics he has been a lifelong Democrat and warmly espouses the principles of his party. Since June 1893, he has been general stage agent, and in May 1894, was appointed agent for the Northern Pacific Express Company, serving both the company and the citizens of Lewiston in a most satisfactory manner.

In 1892 Mr. Leland married Mrs. Helen Clindining, widow of John Clindining, a prominent citizen of Lewiston and a daughter of Joel B. Martin, a noted pioneer of Idaho. Mr. and Mrs. Leland now have one child, Evangeline Rudel. They have a delightful home in Lewiston and enjoy the esteem of many friends. Mr. Leland is an acceptable member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity, and is widely and favorably known in this community, where he has spent almost his entire life.



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

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