Biography of John M. Haines

The wise system of industrial economics which has been brought to bear in the development of Boise has challenged uniform admiration, for while there has been a great advancement in all material lines, there has been an entire absence of that inflation of values and that erratic “booming” which have in the past proved the eventual death knell to many of the localities of the west, where “mushroom” towns have one day smiled forth with “all modern improvements” and practically on the next day have been shorn of their glories and of their possibilities of stable prosperity, so to remain until the existing order of things shall have been radically changed. In Boise progress has been made continuous and in safe lines, and this is due in no small degree to Mr. Haines and those with whom he is associated in the real-estate business under the firm name of W. E. Pierce & Company. To real-estate men, probably more than to any one else, is due the healthful development of the town, and Boise is certainly indebted to this firm for much of its substantial growth and improvement. It is there fore meet that its members be represented in the history of the capital city, and therefore with pleasure we take up the task of preparing the life record of J. M. Haines.

This gentleman was born in Jasper County, Iowa, January 1, 1863. and is of German and English extraction. Early ancestors of the family located in Pennsylvania at the time when William Penn planted his colony there, and were members of the Society of Friends, to which religious faith many of their descendants have since adhered. From Philadelphia representatives of the name removed to Maryland, where Isaac L. Haines, father of our subject, was born and reared. He married Eliza Bushong, a native of Ohio and a member of the Christian church, while he belonged to the Quaker church. He has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits, and is now living in Iowa, at an advanced age. His wife was called to her final home in 1893, at the age of sixty-three years.

John M. Haines was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in Penn College, of Oskaloosa, Iowa. In his twentieth year he secured a position as clerk in the Merchants & Farmers’ Bank, of Friend, Nebraska, where he remained until 1885, when he removed to southwestern Kansas and engaged in the real-estate business. He prospered in his undertakings there and did a large business in locating emigrants on government land. He also took an active part in the political affairs of that new and rapidly developing section of the state and was a member of the Republican state central committee. He was also deputy clerk of the court of Morton County, and in 1889 was elected register of deeds. For some time he was very successful in his undertakings, and accumulated considerable capital, but a season of “dry winds” came, the country produced nothing, and in the financial panic which followed he lost nearly all he had accumulated.

In the meantime the firm of Pierce & Company, of Boise, had been formed, the partners being W. E. Pierce, J. M. Haines and L. H. Cox.

They arrived in the city soon after the admission of the state to the Union, when Boise was a town of about three thousand. They at once took rank as the leading real-estate men of Idaho, a position which they have since retained. Their realty transactions amount to almost a million and a half of dollars. During the first three years they handled property to the value of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and since that time their sales have amounted to five hundred thousand dollars. They now own much desirable city property and have made many excellent improvements thereon, in which way they have added to the attractive appearance of Boise, as well as by planting beautiful shade trees. The\ have sold much property on the installment plan, thus enabling many to gain good homes of their own, and have been important factors in the growth and development of Boise.

In 1883 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Haines and Miss Mary Symons, a native of Jasper County, Iowa. They have a pretty home, surrounded by well-kept grounds, and in their residence are seen many evidences of the refined and cultured taste of our subject and his accomplished wife. In the affairs of the city Mr. Haines has ever taken a deep interest, and is now a member of the city council. He does all in his power for the advancement of the city in material, moral, educational and social lines, and is a most popular and highly esteemed resident.



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

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