Biography of Thomas T. Redsull

Great, indeed, have been the changes that time and man have wrought since Thomas T. Redsull landed on the Pacific coast. California yet belonged to Mexico, and much of the land, especially in the southern part of the state, was divided into large estates, owned and occupied by Spanish families. Mr. Redsull was then but eleven years of age, yet had started out to make his own way in the world. He was born in the County of Kent, England, on the 15th of November, 1827, a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Goymer) Redsull, both of whom were natives of England and representatives of ancient families of that country. They were both members of the Episcopal Church, and the father was a collector of excise for the government. He departed this life in 1858, at the age of fifty years, and his widow is now living at the age of one hundred and three years. They had seven children, but only three are now living.

Mr. Redsull of this review acquired his early education in England, and when only eleven years of age was bound out as an apprentice to the Hudson’s Bay Company, and in their service came to the United States in 1838, landing in California. He is consequently one of the oldest pioneers of that state. The same year he also went to Oregon, and therefore can claim the honor of being a pioneer of that state, too. He made his home at Vancouver and was for twenty years a pilot on the Columbia River at Multnomah.

On Multnomah island, May 4, 1854, Mr. Redsull was united in marriage to Miss Amelia Spence, a native of Canada, and their union has been blessed with six children, five of whom are living, namely: James Spence, a resident of Owyhee County, Idaho; Elizabeth, wife of George B. Pinkham; Emma, widow of Charles H. Tegaskis; Caroline, wife of W. H. Bailey, of Hailey; and Sarah, who is at home with her parents.

During the mining excitement in this state Mr. Redsull removed to Idaho City, where he engaged in placer mining, taking out considerable gold. He was a soldier in the Cayuse war, and was on the field at the massacre of Dr. Whitman and his family. In 1863 he was one of the organizers of a company formed for the purpose of checking the Indian depredations. This company was commanded by Captain Jeff Stanford, and they came upon the Indians at the crossing of Snake River on the Weiser. They were sent there to protect the emigrants and had several little encounters with the red men continuing the organization for two and a half years, during which time some eight or ten of the volunteers were killed, and also several Indians; but the habit of the Indians in carrying off their dead made it impossible to determine with accuracy just how many of the red men were slain. In 1878 Mr. Redsull volunteered to aid General Howard and continued with him until the close of hostilities, when the Indians surrendered. He then located in Boise and was engaged in freighting for four or five years. On the expiration of that period he went to South Mountain, and on to Tuscarora, Nevada, where he conducted the Grand Prize Hotel, at the Grand Prize mine.

There he remained until 1881, when he came to Bellevue, being one of the first settlers of the town. Since that time he has been prominently associated with its development and up building, and for seventeen years was honored with the office of justice of the peace. In 1898 he was elected judge of the probate court of Blaine County and is now acceptably serving in that capacity. What higher testimonial of his ability, trustworthiness and fidelity to duty could be given than the statement that he served in one office for seventeen consecutive years? His official record is above question and is indeed creditable to himself and his constituents. He became a Republican on attaining his majority, and now votes the “silver” Republican ticket. He has passed all the chairs in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is probably the oldest representative of the order in the state, having been identified therewith for forty-eight years. He joined Pioneer Lodge, No. 1, of Idaho City, and his name is now on the roll of Bellevue Lodge, No. 9. He is also a member of the Sailors’ Benevolent Society, and his wife belongs to the Episcopal Church. They have a beautiful home in Bellevue, which he erected in 1892. During the sixty-one years of his residence on the Pacific coast he has seen the formation of territories, their development into states, the establishment of villages which have become thriving cities, and the introduction of all the lines of business known to civilization. The rapid and wonderful development of the northwest is a matter of marvel, and it is a glorious thing to have been a part of it as Mr. Redsull has been. He has through more than six decades watched the march of progress and well deserves mention among the honored pioneers.


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

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