Biography of William F. Schmadeka

This gentleman has been such an important factor in the upbuilding of Grangeville that his life record forms a part of its history, and no work purporting to give an account of the growth and improvement of Idaho and her towns and cities would be complete without an account of his life. He has always resided in the northwest, his interests are centered here, and he has labored untiringly for the best interests of this section of the country.

A native of Lane county, Oregon, he was born on the 5th of September, 1860, and is a son of George Schmadeka, one of the honored pioneers of northern Idaho, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Our subject was educated in the public schools of Oregon, and also continued his education in Grangeville, whither he came with his parents when sixteen years of age. He entered the Grangeville Academy, and prosecuted his studies under the direction of Judge Hall. He entered upon his business career as a farmer and stock-raiser, and, owing to his capable management and wise business policy, met success in his undertakings. He had been a resident of the county only a year when the Nez Perces Indian war broke out, at which time he was on the ranch with his brothers, George, John and Henry, and his sister, Caroline. While they were loading up a wagon in order to make their escape to Mount Idaho they were joined by some freighters, who had been attacked by the Indians and had cut their horses loose from the wagons and ridden them to the Schmadeka farm. They all made their way together to Mount Idaho, the Indians following them almost to the town. At Mount Idaho our subject and his brothers assisted in fortifying the place and remained there for twenty days. After returning to their home, in connection with other settlers of the locality, they built a strong stockade, formed of logs sixteen feet long, imbedded in the ground five feet. There were three thicknesses of logs. In the center of the stockade was the Grange Hall, the second floor of which was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers, and they fortified the upper room by piling sacks of flour on the inside of the walls. The fort at Mount Idaho was built of stone, and Mr. Schmadeka took an active part in preparing these places of safety and stood on guard many a night on the hill near by, in order to give the warning in case of attack.

He has long been prominently identified with the business interests of the city, having for twelve years conducted a meat market, after which, in 1893, he established his present general mercantile store. He erected a brick building, fifty by eighty feet, which is filled with a large and well selected stock of dry goods, groceries, men’s furnishing goods and millinery. He receives a liberal patronage and is conducting a profitable and constantly increasing business. He is also accredited with having erected more buildings in Grangeville than any other man. He put up the first brick block and the second two-story building, the first being the Grange Hall, and all these substantial structures, erected through his efforts, not only stand as monuments to his enterprise and business ability, but have also proven of material benefit to the town.

On the 10th of May 1893, Mr. Schmadeka was united in marriage to Miss Lorena Harmon, the wedding ceremony being performed by the Rev. W. A. Hall, his friend and former teacher. Their union has been blessed with one son, whom they have named Edmund Carlisle. Theirs is one of the most beautiful homes in Grangeville, surrounded by extensive and well kept grounds, and its hospitality makes it the center of a cultured society circle.

In his political views Mr. Schmadeka has always been a Democrat, and active in support of the party. He served as deputy sheriff of the county under T. J. Rhodes, and was a member of the first board of trustees of the town of Grangeville, being appointed to that position by the board of county commissioners. He was afterward elected to the same office and discharged his duties in a most prompt and able manner. He was also at one time an active worker in the Grange, and has ever been regarded as one of the most progressive and publicspirited citizens of his town and county.

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