Billy Rhodes

Lewiston Teller
Lewiston, Idaho, July 28, 1887

Death of Billy Rhodes.

In October last Billy Rhodes, a Mr. Crane and a brother in law of J. Risse took winter's supply of provisions started into the Bitter Root mountains intending to spend the winter in prospecting a quartz mine, discovered by Rhodes some months before. After leaving the settlements nothing was heard from them up to July, when friends made up a party and with a guide who was out with Rhodes when he made the discovery, and they started determined to go to their camp and ascertain whether they were alive. A party of eight or ten started early in July, and proceeded with a guide to their camp over the snow, and found that Rhodes had died on the 13th of June and his companions had buried his body in the snow, and had repeated the burial as the snow melted and left the body exposed. They could not reach the earth to dig a grave, till alter the arrival of the rescuing party, and then a grave was dug in the earth. The depth of the snow at their camp bad been forty-three feet during a portion of the winter. The two others were found in good health, having had plenty of provisions to last them during the winter, but they had not been able to do much towards prospecting the mine by reason of snow. The rescuing party, about the middle of July en route to the camp, encountered seventeen feet of snow. Two of the party returned to Mt. Idaho on Monday night, Ezra Baird and A. D. Green, and brought this news, which was received by us through the Mt. Idaho stage driver, O. K. Ben, on Tuesday evening. Rhodes died from the bloody flux, which baffled the skill of his companions, while exposed as the party were in the mountains. Thus ended the life of one of the oldest prospecters in Idaho. He was with Capt. Pierce when he discovered the Oro Fino district in the fall of 1860.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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