Edward Osborn


It was a cold dreary day December 14, 1871 in Warrens, Idaho when a baby boy was born to William and Elizabeth Osborn. His name was Edward Osborn. The Osborn family spent four years in Warrens after Edward was born. These were hard years for the Osborns, so hard in fact that when Edward was four years old, they moved to Salmon River.

It was when they moved to Salmon River that a tragic thing happened to the Osborn family. It was June 17, 1877 that the Nez Perce Indians, who were half crazed with drink, descended upon the little settlement and killed Edward’s father, William Osborn. This happened near Whitebird. There were about five people, including Edward’s father, who were working on some placer claims located near Whitebird, Idaho. Whitebird at the time was nothing but a few log cabins.

Mr. Osborn, along with his three children and wife, and four other men were journeying to Whitebird one day and as they neared Whitebird they observed a large cloud of smoke. This, they later found out , was the Indians burning the cabins at Whitebird. When they found this out, they turned around and made for their home. The Indians saw them and came after them. “Big George” as he was known, was shot through the palm of the hand. Thus far he was the only one hurt. When they got home, they forded White Rock Creek—the men folk carrying the children. When they came to Salmon River, they crossed it in an old boat that one of the men owned. On this side of the river was where Old Man Baker lived. As they entered the house, Mrs. Osborn suddenly exclaimed, “Here they come.” At this, they all rushed into the house and barred the doors and windows.

When the Indians came, they started firing madly at the cabin. The first one to be hit was Mr. Osborn. The bullet went through his heart and he died instantly. (Mrs. Osborn and the children were under the bed for protection.) The Indians set fire to the cabin. When this did not bring them out, the Indians decided to break into the cabin. Chief Whitebird, who was commanding the Indians, let Mrs. Osborn and the three children (one of whom was Edward, who then was only 6 years old) go. They walked miles to a fort at Slate Creek, for protection.

In 1880 this unfortunate family moved to Meadows Valley. Their first winter in the valley was spent in Goose Creek cabin. The winter was a cold one and the fatherless family had a hard time. The next summer, however, they purchased the present home of Henry Clay from John Smith. This home they lived in until 1909. It was here that Edward, who had by this time become a young man, was married to May Taber.

When the Osborns first moved to the valley, there were but few families before them. The first permanent settler to come to the valley was Bill Jolley, who was a bachelor that came here in the spring of 1877. Shortly after this, Jim Croose and Wilson A. Williams, also bachelors, settled in the valley. In the fall of ‘77, the Whites, the first family to be permanent settlers, moved into the valley. Shortly after this Thomas Cooper, a bachelor, moved into the valley. Before he moved here he was a Pony Express rider between Olympia and Challous. (Both in Washington.)

For about three or four years after this, with the exception of Johnny Lions, Bill Warr, and Margue [?]Jones, those families comprised the community of Meadows Valley.

In 1880, the nearest railroad to New Meadows was at Kelton, Utah. All of the merchandise to be sold was hauled to Boise and then freighted to Kelton. This haul to Boise took many days and the families who went on the trip stayed all night at the most convenient place. This was usually along the road someplace. The trip usually took about ten days.

In 1909, Edward and his wife moved to their present home. It was here that their three children were born, Warren and Arthur. Warren and his son, Everett, are now running the ranch. Neil, Edward’s second son, died February 27, 1942 at the Osborn home site.

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