Biography is becoming distinctly the literature of the day, and doubtless it is here to remain. It is fitting therefore that in the history of his County that the biographies of the leading men should appear and thus we place before our readers an epitome of this prominent gentleman, who has done a large amount for the advancement and progress of Culdesac, being at the present time one of the heavy real estate holders and also engaged in transferring real estate.

Joseph F. Edwards was born in Manitowoc City, Wisconsin, on November 4, 1858, being the son of John W. and Frances (Hunter) Edwards. The father was a carpenter and ship builder, born in Calais, Maine, in 1812, January 23, died on January 8, 1897. He participated in the Black Hawk and the Civil wars. In the latter he was orderly sergeant of Company K. Twenty-first Wisconsin Volunteers. He served under Generals Rosecrans and Thomas, and was in the battles of the Wilderness, Lookout Mountain and Vicksburg. The mother of our subject was born in Nova Scotia in 1822, and died on May 10, 1898. These people were pioneers to the vicinity of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1833.

At the age of thirteen Joseph started to sail on the lakes, and continued until he was twenty. He then came west to California and on September 28, 1878, he settled in Nez Perces County, in the vicinity of Genesee. For twenty years he farmed there, and in 1898 he came to Culdesac, locating the first store in a tent July 29, 1899. Prior to that time he had also been organizer for the W. of W. Soon he sold his interest to his partner, Mr. E. T. Brandon, and in November of the same year started a general merchandise store for himself. He continued that with the post office until June, 1901, when he sold out and erected several buildings in the town. He recently completed Magnolia hall, the largest two story structure in the town. Now Mr. Edwards is engaged in the real estate business.

On March 4, 1889, Mr. Edwards married Miss Ada V. Nelson in Latah County. Mrs. Edwards is the daughter of T. F. and Mary E. (Greer) Nelson. The father, a Baptist minister in Idaho County, was born in North Carolina and was a Confederate soldier. He has represented Idaho and Latah counties in the legislature and at the time Heitfield was elected Mr. Nelson came within two votes of being United States senator. Mrs. Nelson was born in North Carolina, as was also Mrs. Edwards. November 19, 1871. She has the following brothers and sisters: Thomas, Rosa Howton, Horace, Samuel, John and Gordon. Mr. Edwards has the following named brothers and sisters: Charles A., Margaret Spencer; George, Thomas and John, all deceased.

Mr. Edwards is a member of the W. of YV., the I. O. O. F., having passed all the chairs of the latter order, and past chancellor of the K. of P. He is also a member of the Rebekahs and the Women of Woodcraft, his wife being a member of these last named orders also. Mr. Edwards is an active and intelligent Republican. He is a committeeman of the Culdesac precinct. Mr. Edwards is always an advocate of good schools, and is a liberal contributor towards all institutions for the benefit of the community. He has assisted much in contributions toward the location of the new mill and other industries of the town. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, as follows: Mary Frances, Charles M., Everett W. and a baby which died in infancy.

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