Gem County  ID GenWeb project


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Reading & References
Sharon McConnel,
Gem County Coordinator

Isaac Womack

From "History of Idaho, The Gem of the Mountains," Vol. III, pg., 876f. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago, 1920.

Isaac Womack, a pioneer of the Upper Payette valley living in the vicinity of Emmett, arrived in the territory of Idaho in 1870. A half century has since come and gone and great changes have been wrought. Mr. Womack bearing his part in the work of general development and progress. He removed to the northwest from Quincy. Illinois, being at that time a youth of thirteen years, and traveled to Idaho in company with his parents, Alexander and Phoebe (Perkins) Womack, and his brother, Asa Womack, who is fourteen months his senior, and five sisters, Matilda, Alice, Nora, Nellie and Nancy. The five sisters are all yet living but the brother passed away in Nevada. The father was born in Shelby county, Illinois, March 26, 1836, and was of Welsh descent on the paternal side, his father being Green Womack, the son of a Welshman. Alexander Womack learned the blacksmith's trade in early life and after coming to Idaho established a smithy in Emmett, then called Emmettsville, this being the first shop of the kind in the town and the only one for many years. The father thus early became identified with the industrial development of the region and his smithy was patronized by all the early pioneers of the district. Mr. Womack reached the advanced age of eighty-one years, his death occurring November 19, 1916, while his wife died March 4, 1914.

Isaac Womack has lived in Emmett or vicinity from the age of thirteen and early learned the blacksmith's trade under the direction of his father. He and a younger brother, William Womack, who now resides in Cascade, conducted the blacksmith shop at Emmett for many years, but finally Isaac Womack ceased work at the forge and turned his attention to other interests. For the past quarter of a century he has been ditch rider on the Last Chance ditch, which is the best and cheapest irrigation property in Idaho, it is believed, furnishing water to patrons for fifteen cents per acre. Mr. Womack has lived at various places in and near Emmett and his present home is a ten-acre fruit ranch two miles east of Emmett at the east end of Main street and right in the foothills. It is known as the Fair View Fruit Ranch and is located on the slope, where frosts seldom come.

When a young man of twenty years Mr. Womack was married. His birth had occurred in Clark county, Missouri, April 30, 1857, and on the 1st of August, 1877, he wedded Miss Purlia Cordelia Bradford who was born in Darke county, Ohio, June 30, 1862, and is a daughter of Ezra and Elizabeth (Beckelhammer) Bradford. She came to Idaho territory with her parents in 1871 and was then but nine years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Womack have now traveled life's journey happily together for forty-three years. They became the parents of two children: Ada, who passed away at the age of twelve; and Walter, who is living in Gem county. There are now two grandchildren, Elmer and Alfred Womack, who are the sons of Walter Womack and reside with their grandparents. They are now fifteen and twelve years of age respectively, Elmer having been born May 7, 1905, and Alfred, February 16, 1908. The Bradford family settled first on Eagle island, in the Boise valley, but later removed to Emmettsville and Ezra Bradford passed away February 18, 1909, at the age of eighty-two years, while his wife died October 24, 1911, when but fifty-two years of age.

Mr. Womack is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his political allegiance is given to the democratic party, but the honors and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him. Business interests and activities have claimed his attention and the thoroughness which became a habit of his youth when he was working in his father's blacksmith shop has been a dominant feature in his career and in the course of time has made him one of the men of affluence in his community. His Fair View Fruit Ranch is an excellent property and he also has an excellent income as a ditch rider. He is well acquainted with the history of this section of the state and his reminiscences of pioneer times are most interesting.




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