John M. (Jack) Provost

Lewiston Morning Tribune
Monday, November 6, 1939

Death Calls Last of Warren Stage Drivers, Provost

John M. (Jack) Provost, 69, believed to be the last of the long line of stage drivers employed by the late Felix Warren in the formative days of Lewiston and central Idaho, died yesterday morning at 8:45 at his home, 419 Sixteenth avenue, from heart disease. His health had been failing for the last two years.

Born at Decorah, Iowa, June 6, 1870, he came to Lewiston Nov. 1, 1891, and his residence in Nez Perce county has been continuous. His first work here was as driver for Warren on the Mt. Idaho run in 1893 and 1894. Stages and pack trains furnished the only mode of transportation and Lewiston was the seat of operations. Central Idaho was experiencing rapid development, the mines of Idaho county in such famous camps as Florence, Warren, Dixie, Newsome, Elk City and Buffalo Hump among others attracting miners, prospectors and adventurers from many parts of the Unites States. The Pierce City region, then a part of Nez Perce county, was the mecca for hundreds.

Never Missed Mail

Felix Warren several years ago told of Provost being one of his best drivers, claiming he never failed to get through to his destination regardless of weather and road conditions. The stage driven by Mr. Provost was designated to carry mail to and from the mines and thousands of dollars in gold dust from the camps was part of his trust, old-timers relate. In the flood of 1894, when the Snake and Clearwater rivers went on a rampage and piled water several feet deep in Main street, Mr. Provost swam his horses to the postoffice at Fifth and Main streets to collect mail destined for mining camps, Mrs. Provost related.

He homesteaded a tract near Forest and later engaged in farming at Slickpoo and Gifford. For several years in partnership with Herm Lentz he operated a taxi line, retiring in 1937 because of ill health. In 1894 he was married to Miss Adena Nelson, Forest, who survives. Mrs. Provost was recently elected state president of the War Mothers.

Mr. Provost is survived by his wife, Adena Provost; two sons, Leo Provost, Salt Lake City, and Lester Provost, Ogden, Utah; two sisters, Mrs. A. Lyon, Clarkston, and Mamie Provost, Kellogg; four brothers, William Provost, Lewiston Orchards; Lewis Provost and George Provost, both of Clarkston; Michael Provost, residing in California; three grandchildren, Stanley Provost, Mary Adena Provost and Joan Provost, and his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Earl Provost, Washington, D. C.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow morning at 10 from the Vassar-Rawls chapel. Burial will be in Normal Hill cemetery.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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