John F. Powers has been a resident of Nez Perces County since February 5, 1902, at which date he purchased his present farm, four miles southwest from Melrose. But he has lived in the west all of his life, and a large portion has been spent in the vicinity of Nez Perces County. He was born in Saltese Junction, Washington, on December 19, 1874, being the son of William L. and Rebecca (Davis) Powers. The father was born in Pike County, Illinois, in 1842, and now lives on the Sound. The mother was born in Iowa in 1844. In 1853 the father came to the Willamette valley and seventeen years later removed with his family to Saltese, in the Palouse country. Our subject was born there, being the first white child born in the northern part of Whitman County. The father did merchandising and was one of the most successful salesmen in the entire eastern part of the state. He and his brother, John G. Powers, now of Palouse City, were wealthy and influential merchants and were partners for years. The father retired from the store and dealt in timber and later went into the stock business extensively. In 1896 he sold out and went to southern California for his health.

Our subject remained at home in attendance at school and assisting his father until of age, and then started for himself. He went to southern California with his father, but after three years in the vicinity of San Diego and tiring of the country, he returned and settled in Palouse. Later he came to Nez Perces County, as noted above.

On June 5, 1895, Mr. Powers married Miss Mary Bures, in Palouse. Her parents died when she was an infant. Mrs. Powers was born in Bohemia, on September 22. 1874, and came to the United States in 1878. She has one brother, Benjamin Bures, in Spokane. Mr. Powers has one sister and three brothers, Benjamin, Clifford, William and Annie Kincaid. To Mr. and Mrs. Powers there have been born two children, Delmar and Nelson. Mr. Powers is a member of the W. of W. In political affairs he is an active Republican, attending the conventions and caucuses. He has been clerk of the school board for some time and he is always on record for good schools and the betterment of educational facilities.

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