Peter Pence

New Plymouth Sentinel
Thursday, February 09, 1922

Pioneer Dies

Peter Pence, age 84, and a pioneer of the Payette Valley, died at his home in Payette last Friday, January 27, after a lingering illness. Mr. Pence was one of the early pioneers of Idaho, coming to this section in 1897 and is survived by four sons and two daughters, all of whom were with him at the time of his death. They are E. C. Pence, Boise, A. L., H. B., Walter G., Mrs. F. M. Satoris and R. D. Bradshaw, of Payette.

Payette Enterprise (Thursday, February 02, 1922)


Sadness again visited this community last Friday evening when it was announced that Peter Pence one of the early pioneers and highly respected citizens of this community had passed away at 8:30. While his death had been almost hourly expected for several days when the final message came that he had gone many hearts were saddened. Mr. Pence was a man whose advice in business and social affairs will be keenly missed. He was one of the sturdy pioneers who came to this state in the early 60's. He was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, October 2, 1937. At the age of twenty he went to Kansas where he engaged in freighting making three trips to Denver in 1861, and the following year crossed the plains with an ox team to the State of Oregon. Learning of the gold discovery in the Boise Basin he soon set out for that place where he formed a partnership with Samuel Kenny whipsawing lumber for use in the mining camps which brought as high as $300 per thousand.

During the year 1863 Mr. Pence devoted his time in hauling logs with an ox team for the building of the rapid growing town of Idaho City, and the following year packed and freighted provisions from Umatilla to Idaho City. In the early summer of 1866 he went to Portland where he purchased a threshing machine and after threshing for the early settlers in the Boise Valley, sold his outfit taking gold dust in exchange and on January 9, 1867, went to Walla Walla, Washington, where he purchased a herd of cattle and drove them back into the Territory of Idaho, landing at the mouth of Big Willow Creek, 10 miles southeast of Payette, where he purchased from a squatter, his right to what has since been known as the Pence ranch. These were the first beef cattle brought into the Territory of Idaho and the beginning of Mr. Pence's 50 years career in the stock business. In the 1872 he was married to Miss Anna Bixby who was also a pioneer of Southern Idaho, having crossed the plains in 1862 and who has passed to her reward 19 years ago. In the year of 1877 when the Indians made their second outbreak Mr. Pence was with General Howard in the Indian War and in 1878 was Captain of a band of Home Scouts.

In 1882 he moved with his family to Payette where he was elected the first Mayor of the town, and where he has been closely identified with Payette and vicinity in every way, commercially and socially, taking a deep interest in every enterprise for the betterment of the community. He was for many years and at the time of his death President of the First National Bank of Payette. He was a Charter member of the Masonic lodge of Payette and for many years a member and worker in the Methodist Church.

He is survived by four sons and two daughters they are; E. C. Pence of Boise, A. L. Pence, H. B. Pence, Walter Pence, Mrs. F. M. Satoris and Mrs. R. D. Bradshaw of Payette. He is also survived by one brother, Tom Pence of Weiser, one brother and sister in Pennsylvania, and one sister in Colorado, and also 15 grandchildren of which he was extremely proud.

The funeral Sunday afternoon at the Methodist Church conducted by Rev. Clyde L. Walker, pastor, was one of the largest in the history of Payette. The Masonic lodge attending in a body, many coming from a distance to pay their last sad rights to a brother Mason and beloved pioneer. At the grave in Riverside cemetery many people gathered to witness the solemn Masonic ceremony conducted by Dr. I. R. Woodward. the pall-bearers were: A. B. Moss, Jr., I. L. Thurston, E. H. Murphy, Frank Fuller, Paul Walker, James L. Edwards, Albert Hansel and Ross P. Mason, all being members of the Masonic order. There were also nine honorary pall-bearers who were E. T. Jewell of Los Angeles, Algert Jackson of Long Beach, Douglass Knox and John Davis of Emmett, John Bivens of Ontario, Jacob Stroup, Thomas Ranahan, A. J. McFarland and C. Johnson of Payette. Note: According to the Idaho Death Index, he was born 10-27-1837 and died 1-27-1922. ch