It is gratifying to us that we are enabled to chronicle the outline of the interesting career of the estimable gentleman whose name is at the head of this article, since he has done much for the building up of Nez Perces County, is one of its well to do and substantial citizens today and is a man of sterling qualities of worth and principle, always being allied on the side of right and wisdom. Mr. Heitfeld was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 24, 1804, being the son of Henry and Theresa (Winkelman) Heitfeld, natives of Germany, but immigrants to America in the fifties. They located in St. Louis and engaged in a shoe store, where the father continued until his death in 1868. In 1870, the mother with her children went to Kansas, where for thirteen years they farmed. In 1882, they removed to Nez Perces County where she died in 1892, being buried in the Catholic cemetery in Genesee.
At Seneca, Kansas, our subject received his first schooling and always remained with his mother until the time of her death. He formed a partnership with his brother Henry and together they own one entire section of land, all under cultivation and producing as high as twelve thousand bushels of grain in one season. They have also an orchard of ten acres, about the largest and finest in the entire locality. Mr. Heitfeld is one of the most enterprising agriculturists of Nez Perces County, is a man of broad experience and exceptional talent, and has always been dominated by keen foresight, acute discrimination and good wisdom, which account for the brilliant success” that he has had in the realm of agriculture and fruit raising.
The marriage of Mr. Heitfeld and Miss Frances A., daughter of Edward and Barbara (Henzel) Kempt, occurred in 1897, and they have been blessed with the advent of two children. Edward H. and Josephine J. Mr. Heitfeld is a member of the W. of W., Uniontown Camp, No. 207. He and his wife are devout members of the Roman Catholic Church.
It is of note that the subject of this sketch is a brother of Henry Heitfeld, his partner in the estate, who is also United States senator from the state of Idaho. Henry Heitfeld, now United States senator, was prominent in the political realm for his sagacity, sound principles, who in 1894 was nominated by the Peoples party, endorsed by the Democrats and elected to the position of state senator at Boise, by a handsome majority. In 1896, he was nominated again and again promptly elected by an appreciative people and during that term he was proposed for the United States senate against F. Duboise, silver Republican, and Heitfeld was elected, and in the capacity of senator from the state of Idaho he is doing faithful and capable work in Washington, D. C. More specific mention of him will be made in another portion of the work.
Source: An Illustrated History of North Idaho: Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone counties, state of Idaho; Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903