Cassius W. Colby was born in Monroe County, New York, near Rochester, on January 7, 1850, being the son of Amos N. and Elvira (Willy) Colby. The father was born in New York in 1832 and still lives there. His father was born in Connecticut, married a native of that state and was colonel in the war of 1812. The mother of our subject was born in New York in 1835 and died in 1865. Her father, Sylvester Willy, was a captain in the war of 1812.

Cassius W. was a graduate of the Rockport state normal at the age of twenty and then went to Ionia, Michigan, where he entered the office of E. Colby & Company, lumbermen, as bookkeeper. Later he gained a position as partner, the firm being formed of his father, his uncle and himself. They did a good business and in 1873, on account of the panic, dissolved. Our subject came to Walla Walla in 1878 and associated himself with the well known Dr. Blalock as superintendent of his various enterprises. Later the firm of Blalock, Son & Colby was formed, and there Mr. Colby wrought in the construction of their flume that brought all kinds of timber products from the mountains to Walla Walla. Three years after this they sold out and Mr. Colby took a trip to the Sandwich Islands. On his return he acted as salesman for Stinehouse, in Walla Walla, for three years. Then he superintended the Small Brothers’ saw mill plant at Rathdrum for two years.

In 1886 he went to Cataldo, in the Coeur d’Alene mining district, and started a mill. Later Mr. Albert Small was partner and they worked up a fine wholesale trade, continuing for seven years. Then the panic of 1893 struck the country, and, with many another good firm, they went under. Mr. Colby then spent one year in Florida, after which he formed a company to manufacture fruit boxes, the plant being established at Harrison. His brother, Delwin S., and Mr. Small were with him in this venture. Three years of success here and they sold out. Then Mr. Colby located in Lewiston, where we find him today. He is secretary and stockholder in the Gold Bug Columbia Mining Company. He is interested with M. A. Snyder & Company, lumbermen at Melrose. Idaho. And in addition’ to this, Mr. Colby handles the books for the Small & Emory Lumber Company, of Lewiston.

On January 5, 1880, Mr. Colby married Miss Inez E. Small, daughter of David Small, a saw mill man and merchant. He was born in New Brunswick, as also his wife, and he died in Montana. Mrs. Colby was born in Maine in 185 1 and received a good academic education. She has the following sisters and brothers living: David Small, Albert, Ira, Lottie Sanborn and Sadie Potter. Mr. Colby has the following brothers and sisters: Delwin S., Virginia E., Lucy A. Wamboldt. To Mr. and Mrs. Colby there has been born one child, Ned W., ten years of age.

Mr. and Mrs. Colby are members of the Baptist Church, which they assisted to organize, and are active workers in it. He is a Republican and active in the realm of politics. He is an advocate of good schools and is always in the vanguard of advancement. ExGovernor Colby, of Connecticut, is a relative of the family.

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