Samuel O. Isaman

Samuel O. Isaman

This gentleman is one of the successful men of Nez Perces County. He is an influential factor in the political world and has done commendable work in this line. In 1882 he was elected city treasurer of Lewiston, and did creditable service for three years. In 1884 the people chose him for the territorial senate and there he succeeded in connection with Mr. Moody in getting a memorial to congress for the annexation of the Panhandle in Idaho to Washington. In 1888 Mr. Isaman was chosen County superintendent of public instruction. In 1890 he was chosen to this office and also that of probate judge. At the expiration of these terms, he retired from politics for a time, but his fellows would have him brought forward and accordingly in 1898 he was called to the important office of County commissioner. He has served several times as chairman of the central committee. In all this long and responsible service, Mr. Isaman has so conducted himself that he has ever increased in popularity with the people and is held in high esteem.

Reverting to the early life of our subject, we note that he was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on August 26, 1849, being the son of Samuel and Mary (Grim) Isaman. The father was a shoemaker, born in Pennsylvania in 1812 and is still living in Iowa, aged ninety. The mother was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in 1814 and died in 1895. The family came to Ohio in 1853 and thence they went to Iowa, bought land and settled in Henry County. The father worked at this trade and the boys handled the farm.

Our subject went to the common schools and when the war broke out, the two older boys enlisted to save the nation while Samuel and a brother fourteen years old were left to handle the farm and consequently they had hard work. At the age of nineteen, our subject went to work for himself and earned money to attend a private school in Mount Pleasant; he then took a course at the Agricultural College at Ames.

When twenty-two he met with an accident that crippled him. While attending school, Mr. Isaman taught and soon he became a first class educator, and in this line he has had brilliant success. He holds a life certificate from the state of California. When twenty-four, he went to Butte County and taught school there and in other portions of the state for five years. Then he came to Rosalia, Washington, and took land. In 1880 he came to Lewiston and in 1889 he purchased his present place, three and one half miles east from Lewiston. He has thirty acres of fruit and his farm is one of the many fine ones of the county.

In the spring of 1887, in Oregon, Mr. Isaman married Miss Emma Reynolds, daughter of A. V. and Harriett Reynolds, natives of New York. The father was a contractor and builder. Mrs. Isaman was born in the vicinity of Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1855, and had a good high school education. She has seven brothers, R. P., Lemuel, Justus, George, Almos, Charles and Robert. Mr. Isaman has the following named brothers and sisters: Benjamin, Franklin, Lafayette, David, Kate Deeds, Leah Beach and Vina Ferree. Mr. and Mrs. Isaman have been blessed by the advent of the following children: George, Harry F., Kate, Roy and Charlie, all at home.

Mr. Isaman is a member of the I. O.O. F., and the A. O. U. W. His wife is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Isaman had two great uncles killed in the Revolution. It is with pleasure that we are enabled to record that Mr. Isaman has always been an advocate of good schools and has done a great deal to promote such here.

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