Perhaps no man in the vicinity of Chesley is better acquainted with the country in Nez Perces and adjacent counties than the subject of this sketch, who is a man of integrity and substantial qualities and has made a good home on the land acquired from the wilds of nature.

Smith Rupe was born in Montgomery County, Virginia, on April 5, 1853, being the son of William and Catherine (Carl) Rupe. The father was born in Germany in 1795 and died in 1886. He was a pioneer in Virginia and the mountain districts of Kentucky. He was a carpenter and farmer. The mother was born in Virginia in 1814 and died in 1879.

The family came to the mountain districts of Kentucky, when Smith was a small boy and there he grew to manhood and received his educational training. In 1882 he moved to Livingston County, Missouri, and there farmed for ten years, doing well. His next move was to Farmington, Washington, where he did a thriving garden business until the reservation opened, when he made settlement on his present place, two miles northeast from Chesley. He has a well improved place and a fine bunch of cattle.

On August 30, 1877, in Kentucky, Mr. Rupe married Miss Lizzie, daughter of David and Frances (Montgomery) Traylor, natives of Kentucky. The father enlisted in the Mexican war, but it closed before he got into action. He is now deceased, but the mother is still living. Mrs. Rune was born in Menifee County, Kentucky, in 1861 and has three brothers, James R., George R. and Wiliam A. Mr. Rupe has the following brothers and sisters: Mary M., F. Marion, Oscar H. and John M. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rupe: Sarah F. Simmons, in Chesley: Louise J. McBride, at Farmington; Ida M. Herman, at Chesley, Idaho: Eva, Marion, Lloyd, and an infant unnamed, all at home.

Mr. Rupe is a member of the M. W. A., at Melrose, and his wife is a member of the Methodist Church. He is a Democrat in politics and is intelligent in the questions of the day. Mr. Rupe does a general farming business, raises the cereals and stock and is prosperous. He is an advocate of good schools and a progressive and good citizen.

Mr. Rupe’s maternal grandmother was captured by the Indians and held a prisoner until she made her escape.

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