This esteemed gentleman is one of the first of that worthy band of pioneers who came into this country when it was wild and inhabited only by savages, and here he has done excellent labor for the opening up of the resources at hand, the development of the country, the advancement of good government, and the establishment of free institutions of civilization.
George W. Underwood was born in Middlesex, Yates County, New York, on October 9, 1839, being the son of Adams and Mahala (Aldrich) Underwood. The father was a farmer and was born on January 7, 1803, in Vermont and died in 1843. He was a highly educated man and had taught school for nineteen winters in one place. The mother was born in New York, on May 18, 1804, and died in August, 1885, in Middlesex. New York. Our subject remained at home after the death of his father, laboring with an older brother and attending school.
Before he became of age, he went west to Michigan and Illinois and one year later returned to his home. He had learned the wagon and carriage maker’s trade and at that time worked for a carriage maker. It was in i860 that he came west via New York and Panama, to San Francisco and thence to Douglas County, Oregon. The next spring he came to Walla Walla and thence in 1861, to Lewiston. He went into the mines and worked summers with William Stevenson, his partner. They did carpenter work thus until 1873, and then located on his present place, twenty miles southeast from Lewiston, and with Mr. Stevenson went into the stock business. Before this Mr. Underwood had worked some as wagon and plow maker at the Indian department at the Lapwai agency.
In July, 1883, Mr. Underwood married Tillie (Giles) Yane, daughter of Shovel and Caroline (Short) Giles, natives of New York, and born respectively in 1835 and 1844. The father lives in Oregon and the mother is dead. Mrs. Underwood was born in New York in 1858 and has two brothers, James and William. Mr. Underwood has one brother and one sister, Adams, and Lucy J. Adams, both in New York. They have one child, Ora, daughter of Mrs. Underwood by a former marriage.
Mr. Underwood is a member of the blue lodge, the chapter, and Commandery of the Masonic order. He is a charter member of the Nez Perces Lodge at Lewiston, and he is also a member of the Pioneers’ Association of this County. Mr. Underwood cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and has voted for the Republican candidates ever since. Mr. Underwood is still in the stock business and is a substantial citizen.
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