It will surely create a feeling of pleasure and stir to admiration the ones who read the items of the career of M. L. Goldsmith, since there is manifested the sterling qualities of faithfulness to friends, determination winch brings success in. labors, and integrity and uprightness which shine forth in each turn of his walk.
Martin L. Goldsmith was born in Sussex, England, on May 29, 1854, being the son of George and Jane (Wenham) Goldsmith. He was educated in his native land, and at the age of thirteen was apprenticed to a plumber and painter. Not being pleased with this work, after six months, he was released from that and given a position with a gas fitter, where he served until he was seventeen, gaining a perfect mastery of his craft. When sixteen, he joined the English volunteers and served until February, 1872. On the fourteenth of that same month, he embarked for America, having earned sufficient money for his own way. He was one of a family of eight boys and eight girls and early learned to make his own way.
On February 29, 1872, the youth landed in New York and after buying a ticket for himself and partner to Chicago, he had one dollar and eighty cents. This he divided with his partner and they spent fifteen cents before they got to Chicago. Arriving there he experienced the discomforts of a heavy snowstorm in a city ruined and piled with the debris of an awful tire. He met a new acquaintance and soon had a job in a blacksmith shop at nine dollars per week. The board for himself and partner was ten dollars per week and they steadily fell behind one dollar per week until the partner gained work. The good fortune of that partner was manifest in having such a warm friend to rely on as our subject. But this shows forth the qualities of which we spoke and this unqualified faithfulness is the one thing above all others that has wrought the brilliant success of Mr. Goldsmith. He worked on until July 7, and then went to gas fitting, which was a source of fine revenue until 1875. In September of that year, he came to Oregon, via San Francisco. He opened a blacksmith shop in Mohawk. Oregon, but was sick there from September, 1876, until the middle of 1877.
In October of that year he came to the Palouse country with a team, landing amid a blinding snowstorm, on November 24, 1877. On December 19, 1877 he located a homestead and timber culture, five miles north from Lewiston. For twenty-five years. Mr. Goldsmith continued in patient and successful toil on this place and still owns a quarter section there. After an absence of twenty-eight years, he returned to London to visit his parents who still live there, and about that time he sold his land north of Lewiston, one section being disposed of then, for nineteen thousand dollars.
Since then, Mr. Goldsmith has gone into the general merchandise business, being located now at Spalding, where he is doing a fine business. He also has nearly one thousand sheep, fifty or more cattle and is a partner of Mr. Wann in the ferry business at Spalding. Thus it is seen that Mr. Goldsmith is very active in business, and in it all he has displayed keen discrimination, excellent executive force and an energy and continuity that have well merited his brilliant success.
On August 3, 1873, Mr. Goldsmith married Miss Margaret, daughter of John P. Hall, who came from England in 1872. Her energy and faithfulness, coupled with good business ability, have won for her the highest esteem of womanhood as well as assisting in the financial success of her husband. Her parents have four children, Alice W., born in Chicago, on July 23, 1875, and is now postmistress in Spalding; George, born in Oregon, on April 6, 1878, and who was killed in 1890, by a horse falling on him: John, born near Lewiston on June 17, 1881, married to Daisy Shaefer in 1900, and now in the sheep business; Jane, born near Lewiston on October 30, 1883, and now assisting her father in the store. Mr. Goldsmith is a Republican and active in all the campaigns and intelligent in the issues of the day. He is a Knight Templar Mason and also a member of the I. O. O. F., and the Pioneer society, while Mrs. Goldsmith is Past Grand of the Rebekahs, Union Lodge, No. 100.
In addition to all his other property he has holdings in various other places and Mr. Goldsmith has the keen satisfaction of knowing that from the poor youth with less than a dollar in his pockets amid the snow of black Chicago, he has risen to his present commanding position of successful merchant, stockman and financier, through his own faithful efforts and commendable wisdom, having also maintained an unsullied reputation, and is today high in the esteem of all who know him, being a man of integrity, sound principles and intrinsic worth.
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Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903