Biography of Isaac W. Pfost

The Virginians have given to nearly every state in the union much of the good blood and good citizenship, for, wherever his lot is cast, the Virginian is patriotic and does honor to his environments. Idaho has many well known citizens of Virginian birth, but not one who is more highly regarded for integrity and perseverance and all the other qualities which make for real success than Isaac W. Pfost, of Boise, who, having been born in Virginia prior to its division, is literally a native of the Old Dominion.

Isaac W. Pfost, proprietor of the Bancroft Hotel, Boise, Idaho, was born in Jackson County, Virginia, January 21, 1846, a son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Rader) Pfost. His father and mother were likewise natives of Virginia. Abraham Pfost died at the age of sixty-two. Their son, Isaac W. Pfost, was reared and educated in the county of his nativity. In the fall of 1865, when he was nineteen years old, he went to Cooper County, Missouri. A year later he went to Bates County, in the same state, where for two years he was engaged in farming. He then removed to Henry county, Missouri, where he became the owner of a farm, which he operated successfully until 1876, when he sold it and engaged in the grocery business at Montrose, Missouri, in which enterprise he prospered until, out of the kindness of his heart and with the motive of helping others, he became security on financial paper which he was forced to redeem and which caused him to lose nearly everything he had accumulated. He managed to pay all his obligations, however, and then, declining proffered assistance to engage in business again at Montrose, he thanked his well-meaning friends and announced that he had taken the advice of Horace Greeley as his guide, and was determined to “go west and grow up with the country.” Accordingly, in the spring of 1878, he crossed the plains with a team and arrived at Boise July 16. Until 1883 he was engaged in freighting between Kelton, Utah, and Boise. He drove a twelve-horse, four-wagon team and often transferred more than twelve tons of freight at a time. In 1883 he located on a farm ten miles from Boise, and lived in that vicinity until the fall of 1898. As a farmer he ranked with the most progressive and successful in Ada County, improving his place constantly and adopting the most advanced methods in every department of his work. In 1898 he sold his farm for a good price, and, moving to Boise, he purchased the Bancroft Hotel with its fixtures, furniture and stock. This hotel has a history which dates back to 1893. It is a history of success, to which Mr. Pfost is adding with every passing month. The Bancroft Hotel is a three-story brick structure, containing forty rooms, and its conveniences are modern and complete. Mr. Pfost, who is a Mason, an Odd Fellow, a Pioneer of the West, a Good Templar and an influential Democrat, is keeping an up-to-date hotel, and through his numerous fraternal connections and wide acquaintance is drawing to it an extensive patronage, and it is deservedly popular with the traveling public.

December 13, 1866, Mr. Pfost married Miss Margaret Koontz, who died in Ada County, Idaho, December 27, 1885, leaving seven children: Mary (now Mrs. S. M. Burns), John A. James E., Effie (now Mrs. Boyd Burns), Otis, Charles L., and Daisy. Mr. Pfost’s second marriage was with Mrs. Rebecca (Curl) Brown and was celebrated December 4, 1890. Mrs. Pfost died May 30, 1891, and February 7, 1892, Mr. Pfost married Mrs. Mary Pullman, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Hugh and Amanda Baker, prominent among the wealthy citizens of Appanoose County. By her former marriage Mrs. Pfost has one son, Carl D. Pullman, whose father, Edward Pullman, a druggist at Centerville, died January 16, 1890, when Carl was only six days old. By his present marriage Mr. Pfost has three children: Merle, Robert and Montie D. Mrs. Pfost first came to Idaho in 1885. Here she taught school three terms and then returned to Iowa, where she lived until she came back to Idaho in 1891. She is a member of the Odd Fellows auxiliary order, the Daughters of Rebekah, and is interested in all the good work carried on under its auspices and in all of the local work of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which she and her husband are members.



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

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