Among the leading merchants of eastern Nez Perces County we mention R. H. Renshaw, who is one of the partners of the firm of Renshaw Brothers & Johnson, which does a general merchandise business in Kamiah, also handling a livery stable in the same town. In both lines of business they are reaping the reward of industry and wise business methods, being favored with a very lucrative patronage, which is handled in a commendable manner.

Robert H. Renshaw was born in Lane County, Oregon, on October 23, 1853, being the son of Robert H. and Nancy J. (Stowell) Renshaw. The father was born in Tennessee, on September 6, 1818, near Knoxville. He crossed the plains in 1851, locating six miles south from Eugene, where he farmed until his death, on April 4, 1883. The mother of our subject was born in Tennessee, on July 27, 1824 and is now living with her son in Spokane. Her parents were natives of Virginia and descended from an old English family of note.

Robert was raised and educated in Oregon, completing his training at Forest Grove University, where he paid his expenses by his own efforts. Three years were then spent in Washington, three more in Oregon and four in Modoc County, California, various employments engaging him. Then a trip was taken to Montana and mining was his labor until 1889. Thence he went to Washington and filed on a homestead in Stevens County, where he farmed and did dairying until 1900, at that time selling twenty-five cows and three hundred and sixty acres of land.

He came to Kamiah and bought the interest of C. J. Lester in the mercantile establishment of Renshaw & Lester. The firm style changed to Renshaw Brothers & Johnson. Mr. Renshaw has five brothers and one sister, Baxter, a paint and oil man in Spokane; Moses A., a dairyman in Spokane; John D., a large stockman in Stevens County, Washington; Henry, partner of our subject; Harvey H., farmer on Camas prairie; Bell, wife of E. Kinnear, a merchant in Rossland, British Columbia. Mr. Renshaw is a member of the I. O. O. F., Clearwater Lodge. No. 68, at Kamiah; and of the Maccabees, Kamiah Tent, No. 10. He is a Democrat and interested in good government.

On February 28, 1884, in Modoc County, California, Mr. Renshaw married Miss Laura, daughter of M. and Harriet (Briggs) Thacker, natives of Spam and New York, respectively. The father is deceased and the mother lives with her son, Stephen D., fruit grower at Payette, Idaho. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Renshaw. John H, George W., Winnie W., Emera H. and Helen.

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