Biography of Lafayette Knowlton

The related occupations of dairying and farming occupy the subject of this article, and his family home is two and one-half miles southeast from Lewiston, where he has a farm, well improved and which he makes the headquarters of his dairy. He is a man of reliability and integrity, well spoken of by his neighbors and of untarnished reputation in the community.
Mr. Knowlton was born in Benton County, Oregon, on June 20, 1854, being the son of George and Susanna (McKee) Knowlton, the father is a farmer and harness maker, also a successful school teacher, born in Vermont, in 1826, and now living in Spokane. The parents of Mr. Knowlton were also Vermonters. The mother of our subject was born in Ohio, in 1830 and died in 1874. Lafayette was called to mourn the death of his mother when he was twelve years of age and then he lived with a neighbor for four years, after which his father married and he returned to his home. The father had crossed the plains in 1832 and in 1862 he was led to the Salmon River mines through the gold excitement. He packed a sack of flour into Florence clear from Lewiston and at Florence he was offered one hundred dollars for it.

Our subject went to raising horses in Oregon when he became of age and remained there until 1885 when he came to the vicinity of Ritzville, Washington, and bought a section of land and continued in that industry. The great depression in the price of horses in the nineties and the panic at the same time caused a financial failure on the part of Mr. Knowlton and he lost about eight hundred head of horses. In 1897 he came to Lewiston and took up dairying. He took a claim in the County where his son now lives and he has continued in this line since.

On February 14, 1877, Mr Knowlton married Miss Alice, daughter of Thomas and Louisa (Reddick) Kendall, natives of Ohio. Mrs. Knowlton was born in Bloomington. Illinois, in 1858, and she has one brother and one sister; Homer and Lena O’Hara, both in Oregon. Mr. Knowlton has the following named brothers and sisters: Frances M., in Spokane County, Washington; Emma Jackson, at Priest River, in this state; Mary Jamieson, in Spokane; James E., in Okanogan, Washington; and Grant, George and Susana, by his stepmother. To Mr. and Mrs. Knowlton there have been born six children: Dallas M., in Melrose, this County; James E., attending normal: Nellie G., Mabel M., Mary L., and Verna V.

Mr. Knowlton is a member of the M. W. A., at Melrose and his wife is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Knowlton had a number of uncles in the Civil war. In political matters, he is an admirer of Roosevelt, but not partisan. He is a warm advocate of good schools and labors always for their betterment.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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