In a new state like Idaho the really prominent men who are native to the soil are comparatively few, for the reason that few men are able to attain prominence young enough to take this distinguished position. James M. Stevens, junior member of the firm of Detrich, Chalmers & Stevens, of Blackfoot, one of Idaho’s law firms, has the distinction of being one of Idaho’s native sons. He was born January 30, 1873, at his father’s home on the bank of the Snake river, in what was then Oneida county, near where the city of Blackfoot has since come into being. He is of Scotch-English ancestry, and his forefathers settled early in New England, where four generations of the family were born, at Lynn, Massachusetts, and was there reared and educated. While yet a young man, he went to California. Not long after his arrival there, the war of the states being in progress, he enlisted in the United States army, with the expectation that the regiment would be sent south to take part in aggressive fighting. To the bitter disappointment of Judge Stevens and his comrades-in-arms, the regiment was, instead, sent into Utah to keep the Indians in subjection and defend emigrants and settlers against their attacks. At the expiration of his term of service he settled on a government ranch, which he improved and to which he added until he had one of the large and fine farms of the state, comprising five hundred acres, fitted up with first-class buildings and appointments. His home here is a beautiful one, and it was amid its refined surroundings that he reared his family. As a farmer he has given much attention to stock raising, which he has prosecuted with much success. He has been a lifelong Republican, stanch and active, and, in recognition of his effective work for the success of the party, was appointed by President Harrison postmaster at Blackfoot, a position which he filled four years to the entire satisfaction of every one concerned, and in any locality everyone is concerned in the local post-office and will criticize its management if there is any chance for criticism. Later he was elected judge of probate for his county, and filled that office six years, with credit to himself and honor to his fellow citizens. Judge Stevens married Miss Finnetta E. Garrett, a native of England. They had four children: Emma, James M., Abbie and Richard.
James M. Stevens was reared on his father’s farm and attended the public schools. He obtained his education in the law in the law department of the Leland Stanford University, California, and was admitted to practice by the supreme court of the state of Idaho, at Boise, and soon afterward became a member of the law firm of Detrich, Chalmers & Stevens, a very strong professional combination which has a wide reputation for honorable methods and substantial success. Mr. Stevens has proven that he possesses not only knowledge of the law but real talent for its practice. He is an honest advocate, respects himself and the court, and does credit to any cause with which he identifies himself. He is a Mason, a Modern Woodman of the World and an Odd Fellow, and has passed every chair in the lodge of the order last mentioned.