William Henry Thomas Photographs, 1911-1919

Overview of the Collection

William Henry Thomas Photographs
1911-1919 (inclusive)
27 black and white photographs
Collection Number
PG 74
27 black and white photographs of the Marble Creek, Idaho homestead area, taken by William Henry Thomas
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

William Henry Thomas (b. January 29, 1874 - d. 1922) was a miner, lumberman, and photographer who was born in Scott Bar, California and died in Blackfoot, Idaho. "Will" settled on a homestead of white pine on Marble Creek (out of St. Joe and St. Maries) in 1908. While waiting four years to "prove himself" so he could log the homestead, he worked as a miner and photographer. Will was Superintendent of the Clear Grit Mine near Delta until 1912, when he started successful logging operations. He worked mines during the winters for the Hecla Mining Company, but it is not currently known which mines he specifically worked at. Will was instrumental in building bridges for the pack horses across Marble Creek and in his spare time he took photos of the homesteaders, surrounding towns, and interesting historical places. Each 4th of July the homesteaders of the area would gather for a picnic and Will took their photo as a group. Many of these photos are around because each settler was given a copy. Names are recorded on some copies. Will's forest land was almost seized by "the government" and he went to court as his own lawyer and won his case. The property he owned is now almost the only land in the area that does not belong to the National Forest, as it is owned by Bunker Hill.

William moved his family to Blackfoot, Idaho in 1920 due to poor health from his mining activities. He bought a farm and his wife's family lived there. He died in 1922 at the age of 48. William's photos are valuable because many of the places that he documented are gone - either from fire, flood, or neglect.

The photographs in this collection are not the originals - they are reprints/photocopies of the original photographs taken by William Henry Thomas.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[description of item/folder], PG 74 (William Henry Thomas Photographs), Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Arrangement reflects original order.

Acquisition Information

Source of acquisition is unknown.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 group photo of the Marble Creek settlers (men, women, and children) during a 4th of July picnic
Some of the known names: Daniel D. Thomas (front with beard), Martha Thomas (wife of William H. Thomas), the A.W. Nystroms, the Hubbels, the August Hansons, probably Dave Dollar (he had a logging camp nearby), the Ole O'Deans.
July 4, 1913
1/2 man standing on a log
Man in photo referred to as "A Sniper" - one who trims up the trees ready for the trip down the river.
circa 1916
1/3 view of Snowstorm Mine and Boarding House covered with snow, Mullan, Idaho
Written on verso: Closeup of this beautiful boarding house can be seen in the book "Mining Town" at the Wallace Museum.
circa 1911
1/4 boats and people at boat dock at St. Maries, Idaho
St. Maries Hotel in background.
circa 1912
1/5 the Thomas homestead
1/6 cabin, meat and supply shed, bunkhouse and tent for loggers on the William H. Thomas logging camp and homestead along Marble Creek
circa 1916
1/7 men standing on stacked logs with caption "building a bridge over Marble Creek"
Bridge was for the pack horses.
circa 1912-1914
1/8 logs and logging operations on the Thomas homestead on Marble Creek, Idaho
circa 1916
1/9 crew of the Clear Grit Mine standing near an ore car and an entrance way in Delta, Idaho
Information on back of photo: William H. Thomas (front) was Superintendent of the Clear Grit Mine from 1909 to about 1912. Clear Grit Mine had one tunnel approximately 2000 feet long and was a lead and silver mine. R.B. Bohannon was manager of the mine and owner of R&G Mining Company. In 1910, President Bohannon was awarded a gold medal for the best display of ore and mining display at the Spokane Interstate Fair.
1/10 R.W. Nystrom homestead on Marble Creek, Idaho
circa 1912
1/11 bunkhouse and cook shack at the Dollar Logging Camp and homestead of Dave Dollar
circa 1911
1/12 portrait of William H. Thomas
1/13 horses skidding logs at Marble Creek, Idaho
"Poker Dave" was supposed to be in the photo, but his head did not get in the picture.
1/14 men standing on finished bridge over Marble Creek
circa 1912-1914
1/15 log flume along Bussell Creek and into Marble Creek, Idaho
Bussell Creek ran along the edge and through a corner of the William H. Thomas homestead on Marble Creek.
1/16 the Rutledge log flume on Bussell Creek, Idaho
circa 1919
1/17 town of Cornwall, Idaho with the Standard Mine and houses in view
The Standard Mine is labeled on the right and was torn down in 1985 and relocated.
circa 1911
1/18 view of Gorge Gulch in Burke, Idaho
The Hecla Mining Company building is in the far right middle of the photo. The photo was taken from high up on the mountain at the bottom of the gulch.
circa 1912-1914
1/19 town of Gem, Idaho
circa 1911
1/20-21 Hecla Mine in Burke, Idaho
Written on back of photo: image from "Mining Industries of Idaho". Development: principally by a 4-compartment vertical shaft, which is 2800 feet deep, and a 3-compartment vertical shaft from the 2000 foot level, which is 800 feet deep. Mine: 2 electrically driven I-R compressors, totaling 7500 cubic feet housed in steel and concrete buildings; one of the largest, most complete and modern mine plants in the U.S.; 2 electrically driven hoists, the main one being driven by a 2100 h.p. motor. Mill: 900-ton concentrator, including flotation. Lead, silver, and zinc mine. Average of 491 men employed.
circa 1912
1/22-24 Hecla Mine base in Burke, Idaho
circa 1912
1/25 town of St. Joe, Idaho covered in snow
circa 1912
1/26 town of St. Joe, Idaho covered in snow
This is west of photo #25, around the curve of the St. Joe River. Hospital is in the lower right corner. Pilings (posts) outline the St. Joe River.
circa 1912
1/27 town of St. Joe, Idaho covered in snow
Around the next bend of the river from photo #26, featuring the logging and lumber mills part of the town. Boats docked at the building in the lower right corner - sign on the building reads, "Red Collar Inn - Boats leave." Boarding house is in lower left corner.
circa 1912

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Frontier and pioneer life
  • Logging
  • Mines and Mineral Resources

Geographical Names

  • Idaho Panhandle (Idaho)
  • Idaho Panhandle (Idaho)
  • Idaho--History