The Surridge Brothers, of Bridgeport, Idaho County, came to the territory of Idaho in June 1876, and are numbered among the most enterprising and progressive citizens of the community in which they make their home. They are both natives of London, England, sons of John and Mary (Cochran) Surridge, who emigrated to America in 1859, bringing with them their three children. They located at Milan, Monroe County, Michigan, where the father improved a good farm and spent his remaining days. Mr. Surridge died in 1898, at the age of seventy-two years, and his wife is still living, in 1899 at the age of seventy-three. Five children were added to the family in Michigan and all the sons and daughters yet survive.
James Surridge was born July 3, 1847, and Thomas Surridge in October 1849. When they became young men they went to California and thence removed to Camas prairie, where they now reside. They took up government land and successfully and extensively engaged in stock raising, being the first to introduce Clydesdale horses and Berkshire hogs into this section of the county. They also graded their cattle with the Durham breed, and thus did much to advance the interests of the stock-raisers of Idaho by improving the grade of cattle, horses and hogs raised. They have become large landowners, their possessions aggregating two thousand two hundred acres, of which fifteen hundred and sixty acres belong to James, while six hundred and forty acres belong to Thomas. The land lies on the south fork of the Clearwater River, at the old Jackson bridge, and there they have platted a town site of forty acres, which they have named Bridgeport. It is on the Clearwater River twelve miles from Grangeville and on the road between Elk City and Newsom creek. The business lots are twenty-five by one hundred feet and the residence lots fifty by one hundred feet, with an alley in the rear. The town site is a beautiful one, being located on high ground adjoining the river. There is fine water-power and two quartz leads on the property, with a five foot vein at the surface and ore which shows fifty dollars per ton at the shaft. There are also a schoolhouse, store and other buildings on the town site, and the Surridge brothers, being men of the highest integrity of character, will spare no pains to make it for the interest of people to join them in making Bridgeport one of the most thriving towns in the county. They conduct a stage line and have the mail contract from Grangeville to Elk City. Their business interests are. varied and comprehensive. They own eight hundred head of cattle, one hundred head of horses, and they pack from seventy-five to one hundred head of hogs annually. Their brand is “70,” and they brand all of their products. They supply the miners with beef and pork, and thus add materially to their income. They are both men of great industry and enterprise, and their keen sagacity, judicious investments and capable management have brought to them splendid success, which they well merit.
In 1876 Thomas Surridge was united in marriage to Miss Julia Pequay, a native of Rutland, Vermont, and they have four children: May, Katie, John and Georgie. In politics the brothers are both stalwart Democrats and James has served as justice of the peace in his township for a number of years. They also belong to the Masonic fraternity and are active and valued members of the order. In 1877 James Surridge made a trip to the east and was absent at the time of the Nez Perces war, but Thomas volunteered and served as a scout and guide. They also participated in the Bannock and Sheepeater Indian wars, doing guard duty and performing all the service necessary in the protection of the, fort at Mount Idaho. They are very widely and favorably known throughout Idaho and are held in high esteem by all with whom they have come in contact. Their efforts have been attended by a most creditable success, and their business policy has ever commended them to the confidence of those with whom they have had dealings.