Captain William H. Gess, father of Lucinda Gess Wisdom, was born in Kentucky, and was of Scotch-Irish parentage. He married Sallie A. Hulen, of English ancestry, who was born in North Carolina. Captain Gess' grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Captain Gess led the company who drove the Mormons out of Missouri. Thomas Barnes Wisdom [pictured below]







was a member of the company and assisted in the captureof Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. Captain Gess at the outbreak of the Civil War was very wealthy, owning large tracts of land, all of which was under cultivation and stocked with fine horses and cattle. He also had a large number of slaves, all of which were confiscated. These slaves were so well treated that they wanted to stay on the plantation after they were freed, but were forced by the Federals to leave. Captain Gess, like many others, in order to protect his life, was forced to leave. He went to Illinois, where he was taken with smallpox and died. G.W. and T.B. Gess, sons of Captain Gess, reside in Boise, Idaho. G.W. for years conducted the largestbutcher business in that city. He also engaged in the farming and stock-raising business. He owns several hundred acres of good land, which is under cultivation and yields him a substantial annual income; is said to be worth a half million dollars. T.B. owns a fine home in Boise and has been postmaster of that city. He was also elected county treasurer of Ada County, Idaho.

At the time of his death he was clerk of the circuit court, which position he had held for years.T.B. Gess was foreman of the jury that tried Wm. Hayward, of the famous Hayward-Moyer-Pettibone dynamiting case in Boise, Idaho, pertaining to the killing of Governor Stunenberg.

Click Here for More on the
Boise Meat Company



"Genealogy of the Wisdom Family" by Francis Torrence Wisdom Branch"





"Genealogy of the Wisdom Family"
by Francis Torrence Wisdom Branch.

"Lucinda Gess Wisdom, wife of Thomas Barnes Wisdom, was an amiablelady, a devout Chrsitian of the Baptist Church, a devoted wife, and a loving, intelligent mother. She was very fond of her family and had many friends. She died February 05, 1865, at Wingville, Baker County,Oregon, and her death was a great shock to the community. "To add torture and sorrow to our long and tedious journey, my two youngest sisters, Anna and Ada, aged four and two years respectively, were taken from us and laid to rest on the wild plains of the West, where nothing could be heard but the whistling of the winds or the howling wolves and occasionally the Indian warwhoop. The youngest was buried where the flourishing city of Boise, Idaho, now stands; the other was buried somewhere on the Payette River, the exact place being now unknown. ..., Then death came knocking at the door and stole from him my mother, Lucinda, also my sister, Armilda Elizabeth; their deaths being only five days apart. ..., Of my dear mother, Lucinda Wisdom, it can be truthfully said that in crossing the plains to Oregon she willingly sacrificed everything, except her love for her husband and children. She was in every respect truly his helpmate. By her bouyant disposition she aided him in making financial losses incentive to new efforts and reserves by her sympathy and encouragement. There never was a braver, nobler, or better woman; nor truer, more devoted, or more helpful wife. A trip across the plains at that particular time was full of danger and peril; none but the bravest heart could endure. She only lived about two years after reaching the great West. She was taken violently ill and passed to the great beyond, and was laid to rest near Wingville, Baker County, Oregon, under the green fir boughs at the foot of the Blue Mountains, bordering on the Powder River Valley, where she now peacefully sleeps, beside her daughter, Armilda Elizabeth."

*Excerpt taken from John Wisdom's book ...
I returned to Powder Valley a very sick boy but managed to procure necessary feed. I then collapsed ... typhoid fever had me in its clutches. Having been the victim for several days before reaching the ranch I was delirious for several weeks. About the time I became concious, my dear Mother and Sister were stricken with it and in a short time both died. Oh! no one knows what suffering that brought on to me as I felt I was to blame. May the good Lord bless their souls.




"John William Wisdom, Pioneer"
by Sen. John Wm. Wisdom and completed by his daughter,
Miss Loy Winter Wisdom


"My father's name was Thomas Barnes Wisdom who was born in Fayette, Kentucky. My mother was Lucinda Gess, born in Farrell County, Kentucky. Our farm adjoined that of my maternal grandfather, Captain William Gess, who went to fight the Indians in northern Missouri and then settled there. He had been a slave owner in Kentucky but left his slaves and plantation to move to Missouri. Stories told to me by my grandparents did not give such a glamourous picture of plantation life. "I put in much time with my grandfather as he seemed to be interested in me. He was a great admirer and owner of fine horses. One was a thoroughbred stallion named Uncas in which he took great pride. One of my chores was to ride Uncas to the creek to wash and bathe his legs. The first time I rode him to the water hole he seemed to enjoy it hugely. He would paw the water and stick his nose down in it nearly to his eyes. Then to my great surprise, down he went covering himself in the water. Maybe I wasn't frightened but you can guessthat I remained on top. When I returned to the stable, Grandfather had a big laugh. He said "now you will have to rub him dry", but he helped me as I could not reach up very high (I was only six years old). After that Mr. Uncas never got the chance to go down any more while I rode him."




"Genealogy of the Wisdom Family"
by Francis Torrence Wisdom Branch

"G.W. and T.B. Gess, sons of Captain Gess, reside in Boise, Idaho.G.W. for years conducted the largest butcher business in that city. He also engaged in the farming and stock-raising business. He owns several hundred acres of good land, which is under cultivation and yields him a substantial annual income; is said to be worth a half million dollars."..., "Thomas Barnes Wisdom, the compiler's father, with his family crossed the plains with a wagon train (ox teams) in1863. The company under the leadership of G.W. Gess, son of Captain Wm. Gess, left Missouri, April 10, 1863, and reached Baker County,Oregon, October 25, of that year. This was one of the best equipped wagon trains that ever crossed the continent. It consisted of 100 wagons and 150 men well armed. They also had plenty of food and ammunition. Mr. Gess was a brave, bold and daring man with nerve and decision, yet he was always prudent and conservative." ..., "Mr. Gess, his family and a number of the emigrants stopped at Boise, Idaho."




"History of Idaho"
by Hiram T. French, M.S.,
(excerpts only)

"George W. Gess" ... The death on January 12, 1913 of George W. Gess, at the home of his son at Long Beach, Calif., recalls one of the lives, the record of which Idaho citizens should always cherish in their historic memories."..., "The Gess family have been pioneers for several generations. Mr. Gess himself was born in old Howard county, Missouri....," "George William Gess was born in Howard Co., Missouri, April 12, 1833, ...,""His parents were William and Sarah (Helen) Gess, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter a native of Ohio. The father was born in 1798 and died in 1865, while the mother was born in 1797 and passed away in 1857." ..., "It was in 1863 that he left Missouri determined to test the material possibilites of the new West. He found a company which had been formed to migrate in the Boise Valley Basin and on the fifth day of May the party started overland by way of wagon across the plains."...,"Mr. Gess, by early associations and by the subsequent exercise of his own judgment, was always a Democrat in politics, and through out his career in Idaho took an impartial interest in public affairs."..., "his fellow-citizens several times chose him for positions of services and honor, in particular in 1872 he was elected county commissioner of Ada County, and it was during his term in this office that some of the country roads were constructed."




The following excerpts are taken from
"The History of Idaho"
by HiramT. French, M.S.

"Thomas B. Gess. The late Thomas B. Gess, an Idaho pioneer since 1865 and for nearly forty years associated with the life of Boise, was a man of distinction in this locality and has been greatly mourned since the time of his demise. He was a native of Randolph Co., Missouri, and a son of William and Sarah Helen Gess, of that community, wherethe father was a prominent stock raiser. The parents were, respectively, of Tennessee and North Carolina nativity, although both died in Missouri. In the county of that state where they had established their home the birth of their son, Thomas B. Gess, had occurred on Oct. 05, 1841." ..., "The object of this return trip was his marriage to Miss Ann Crews, of Stewartsville, Missouri, a daughter of Harley and Mary (Lee) Crews and a descendant of General Lee of Virginia. Her family were of Puritan as well as of Cavalier connection and two uncles on her mother's side served in the Revolutionary war and that of 1812." ..., "A Democrat of staunch principles, Mr. Gess was at various times called upon to give civic service in one capacity or another. He had also gained considerable prominence through having served on the Hayward jury, of which he acted as foreman. In 1886 he had been made postmaster of Boise and had ably discharged the duties of that office. As a resident of Boise, his ability and his leisure made him particularly eligible for the office of assessor, which he filled for two years. After giving up that office his interests again turned to stock raising which he continued until his death. Mr. Gess was survived by his estimable wife and by an admirable group of children and grandchildren. The eldest child of Thomas and Anna Gess was a daughter, Lulu, who is now Mrs. Mark, of Denver, Colorado, and who is without children. The only son is William Gess, who married Miss Katherine Porter and whose four children are named as follows: Gerald, Elouise, Thomas Benton and William H., Jr., all of whom are yet in school. The youngest of the children who were born to the subject of this review and his wife is adaughter who is well known in Boise as Mrs. James Stevenson. Her only son, James Stevenson Jr., met an accidental death by drowning, in June of 1903, at the age of four years. Not only by his loving family is Mr. Gess mourned, but by many devoted friends, including his brother members of the Christian church, as well as his comrades in the order of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, in which he was a member both of chapter and blue lodge. His is one of the beneficient memories gathering about the personalities of Boise citizens who have lived and left the impress of their thoughts and deeds among us. He passed from this life, February 9, 1910, at his home in Boise, leaving to the world the bequest of his worthy descendants and to them the influenceof an unpretentious but estimable life." * (to insure complete accuracy I have typed quotes "exactly" as they appeared in their original text. Therefore, errors in such case will be repeated by the typist. Such is the case with surname, Stevenson. The correct spelling should read; Stephenson.)*




"The Founding Fathers of Boise,"
by Hugh H.Hartman
Thomas Benton Gess was one of the early pioneers of Idaho, arriving in1865, and for over forty-five years was associated with the good life of Boise City. Mr. Gess was born on October 5, 1841 in Randolph County, Missouri. He was the son of William and Sarah Helen Gess. William Gess was a prominent stock raiser in that community. Thomas was raised and educated in the public schools of Randolph County. He followed in the footsteps of his father and took up the vocation of stock raising. He left home during the Civil War, and spent one year in Bloomington, Illinois. In the spring of 1865, he organized a wagon train to cross the plains to Boise City. Many bands of hostile Indians were encountered on the trip, but fortunately they came through without any serious loss. Mr. Gess claimed a ranch near Boise City, and after eight months of getting set-up, returned to Stewartsville, Missouri. The reason for this return trip was to marry Anna M. Crews Heidelsine. Anna was the daughter of Harley and Mary (Lee) Crews. She was born in 1841 at Lafayette, Missouri. She had two children by her first marriage, they were Louella Heidelsine, who was born in 1862 in Missouri, she married a man by the name of Mark; Samuel L. was born in 1863 in Missouri. Thomas and Anna had two children, they were: William H. and Alice "Nellie." William was born at Boise City in 1866, and married Katherine Porter. Alice "Nellie" was born at Boise City in 1869, and on April 2, 1897 married James Stephenson, Jr.The bridal trip of Mr. and Mrs. Gess was the journey westward to Boise City. From Stewartsville they traveled by rail to the end of the railroad at Green River. They took the stage to Salt Lake City, thence coming by the Wells Fargo system to Boise City. Mr. Gess was a staunch Democrat. He gained considerable notoriety having served as jury foreman at the "Big Bill" Haywood trial. He served the office of Ada County Assessor for two years. Mr. Gess was a member ofthe Christian Church and the order of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. Gess operated his stock ranch near Boise until 1890, at which time he sold the ranch and relocated in Boise City at 1517 North Fourteenth Street.Thomas B. Gess died at his residence in Boise at Fourteenth and Eastman Streets on February 9, 1910. He was interred at Pioneer Cemetery, Boise. His wife, Anna, died on August 25, 1924, and was also buried in Pioneer Cemetery. The same book, on p. 24 shows that John Gess owned two city lots on Market Street very near 10th Street in Boise City.




1998 Roxann Gess Smith
All Rights Reserved

Return to Olden Daze Genealogy