As Daniel Boone knew the country of Kentucky and followed the life of the typical pioneer, so has the subject of this article known the northern Rockies and has taken delight in the arduous and trying ways of the mountain hunter, trapper and miner, following this vigorous and alluring life for many years. Mr. Menges is an expert in his line and one of the best artists with the rifle and rope in this part of the country, while he is a man of integrity and sound principles.

Charles A. Menges was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 21, 1861, being the son of Charles and Harriet (Montgomery) Menges. His father was born in Germany, on April 15, 1825, and came to America in 1849. He was a soldier in the German army, a prominent Odd Fellow in Iowa, and a leading citizen of Des Moines and heavy property owner there, while he occupied the position of chief of police of Des Moines for many years. The mother of our subject was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1836, and died in 1868. She was of German descent.

Our subject left the parental roof at the early age of fifteen and made his way to Colorado, where he operated a steam engine in a saw mill near Manitou, with his brother-in-law, C. M. Elrick for three years. Then he made a move to the vicinity of Missoula, Montana, and prospected there and in the Coeur d’Alene country for ten years. During this time and afterward, Mr. Menges was engaged in trapping and hunting also, and was very successful. He also caught game, as mountain lions, cougars, bears, mountain sheep, and so forth, for zoological gardens, and his skill was so great that he had plenty of orders to fill. At the present time, Mr. Menges has a contract for furnishing the Lewis & Clark exposition at Portland with animals. In 1890 Mr. Menges settled to ranching and guiding hunting parties from the east. At the opening of the reservation, he took up land, cultivating; the same until July 1, 1902, when he purchased the hotel at Peck and is now devoting his attention to it. He is a first class and popular host and his patronage is increasing rapidly.

In 1890 Mr. Menges married Miss Elsie A., daughter of Bert Stark and Agnes (Kelley) Mayne. Her father was born in New Hampshire in 1860, being a grandson of General Stark of Revolutionary fame. The Stark family is well known all over New Hampshire. The mother of Mrs. Menges was also born in New Hampshire, being of Irish descent. Mrs. Menges was born in the same state in 1878 and has one half sister and one half brother, Pearl Cluff and Nora Cluff. Mr. Menges has one sister, Irena Hoffman, at Lake City, Colorado. To Mr. and Mrs. Menges there have been born four children: Margaret H., Charles M., John H. and Frank R.

Our subject is a member of the M. W. A. He established the Stark post office in Montana and was postmaster there for years. In political matters, Mr. Menges is a member of the Republican Party and is active in the conventions. In 1902 he was elected justice of the peace for Peck precinct. He is always found laboring for good schools, public improvements, and is a man of integrity.

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