Monday, January 22, 2007



ca. 1832

  • John R. Wilkins born, Annapolis, Reserve Township, Parke County, IN

November 27, 1835

  • Laura K. Smith born, Bangor, ME, of Samuel B. Smith and Elvine Savage


ca. 1849

  • Samuel B. and Elvine Savage Smith family move from Bangor, ME, to Fort Madison, Lee County, IA (Laura 14 years old)


ca. 1851

  • Samuel B. Smith and wife (Elvine Savage?) from Fort Madison, Lee County, IA, to Oregon


  • John R. Wilkins (21) and Laura K. Smith (17) married, Fort Madison, Lee County, IA

March 1853

  • J.R. and Laura Wilkins start west to Oregon

October 1853

  • J.R. and Laura Wilkins arrive in Oregon City, OR

November 29, 1853

  • Elbert P. Wilkins born, Oregon City, OR

ca. 1854/55

  • To Jacksonville, Jackson County, OR

September 22, 1855

  • John Elville Wilkins born, Jacksonville, Jackson County, OR

May 15, 1857

  • Katherine Caroline Wilkins born, Jacksonville, Jackson County, OR


ca. 1862

  • Jacksonville, Jackson County, OR, to California (with Samuel Smith and wife?)

May 28, 1861

  • Samuel B. Wilkins born, Placerville, El Dorado County, CA

July 30, 1865

  • Samuel B. Smith dies, age 63, Visalia, Tulare County, CA; buried Visalia Cemetery; will probated August 4, 1865, Probate Court, Tulare County, case no. 62, type E


  • J.R. Wilkins from Sierra Vista, CA, to establish store in Asby (Silver City), Owyhee, ID


  • California to Florence, ID; Laura Wilkins first woman in Florence


  • Florence, ID, to Pataha City, Garfield County, WA; J.R. Wilkins builds first house in Pataha City; Kitty to school at St. Vincent’s Academy, Walla Walla, WA

October 1867

  • Laura K. Wilkins buys of G.W. Allen, Washington Territory, eight milk cows with money bequeathed by father Samuel Smith in will, Probate Court, Tulare County, Visalia, CA, case no. 62, type E, August 4, 1865


  • Pataha City, Garfield County, WA, to Boise, Ada County, ID; house where First Presbyterian Church is located


  • In Union County (LaGrande), OR?

May 28, 1868

  • Laura K. Wilkins has notarized and filed Record of Married Women’s Separate Property, Union County, OR


Thursday, January 6, 1870

  • J.R Wilkins’s City Market, Boise, ID, burns in Boise’s second major fire (12 businesses destroyed, from Wollstein’s to Stephenson’s; started in Lamkin’s, Main Street, near Eighth); selling meat in Brigg’s Livery Stable


  • Boise, Ada County, ID, to Tuscarora, Elko County, NV

early 1870s

  • Kitty to school at Sacred Heart Academy, Ogden, UT, where learned to play piano (and recommended Adelaide Turner go there)

ca. 1875

  • Kitty to school at Notre Dame convent, San Jose, CA

May 17, 1878

  • E.P. Wilkins, Tuscarora, and Inez Mason, Elko, married, Elko, Elko County, NV


  • Wilkins Hotel burns down (second time in a decade J.R. Wilkins lost a business); moved to Bruneau Valley, Owyhee County, ID



  • Price first to file on Hot Springs; disappears


  • Hot Springs occupied by Sommercamp outfit

May 7, 1881

  • Laura Wilkins buys town lot, Main Avenue, Challis, ID, of O.E. Penwell, for $300

July 13, 1884

  • John E. Wilkins buys stallion Waterloo Junior from Hiram Rice, Hailey, Alturas County, Idaho Territory, for $1,000

June 20, 1885

  • J.R. Wilkins acquires Wilkins Hot Springs/Kitty’s Hot Hole; 120 acres on Robinson’s Fork (Jarbidge River) of the Bruneau River, 100 yards from Sommercamp house; filed and notarized by William Schenk, Justice of the Peace, Bruneau Precinct, Owyhee County, Idaho Territory, February 1886; headquarters for range on Wilkins Island, land between West and East Forks of Jarbidge River

January 1, 1886

  • Walter Frank Parsons born, Utah (WWI Draft Registrations)

January 1, 1887

  • Walter Parsons born; d. Nov. 1965 (Social Security Death Index)

January 1889

  • Walter Frank Parsons born, Utah (1900 Census)

November 23, 1886

  • John Wilkins, Bruneau Valley, and Rose/Rosa Lee Wayame/Woyame, Boise, married, Boise, Ada County, ID

June 28, 1886

  • People vs. J.R Wilkins and Mrs. J.R. Wilkins; Three Creek Rancher G.W. Moore challenges Wilkins’s right to Hot Springs at Summer Camp (Sommercamp) on East Bruneau (Jarbidge) River; William Schenck, Justice of the Peace


  • Rosa Lee Wilkins vs. John Wilkins (divorce suit), District Court, Second Judicial, Idaho Territory, Ada County; claimed mistreatment by Wilkinses; kept against will at horse camp on Island near Hot Hole


  • Kitty and John E. Wilkins at Palace Hotel, San Francisco; interviewed


  • Territory of Idaho vs. J.R. Wilkins, District Court, Second Judicial, Idaho Territory, Ada County; John McCoy sued for assault with deadly weapon



  • Kitty Wilkins in Sioux City, IA; interviewed by Sioux City Journal


  • Kitty Wilkins in Omaha, NE; interviewed by Omaha Daily Bee


  • Kitty Wilkins in St. Louis, MO; interviewed by St. Louis Post-Dispatch

December 13, 1896

  • Samuel B. Wilkins (35), Three Creek, and Elizabeth A. Walters (19), Three Creek, married, Salt Lake City, Utah


  • J.R. and Laura K. Wilkins give daughter Kitty power of attorney


October 4, 1900

  • Bert Wilkins dies; buried Mountain View Cemetery, Mountain Home, Elmore County, ID

January 9, 1904

  • J.R. Wilkins dies, CA (San Francisco?/Los Angeles?)

March 16, 1909

  • Joseph Pellessier, Kitty Wilkins’s foreman, killed by Ray Williams, employee of sheep man Skillern; James Henry Hawley, who defended Diamondfield Jack Davis, the Prosecutor; Williams acquitted


  • Kitty Wilkins buys Joseph Pellessier’s 159-acre ranch on Snake River, with Craster’s Ferry, near Glenns Ferry, Owyhee County, from Richard Pellessier, administrator of Joseph Pellessier’s estate


January 17, 1910

  • Laura Wilkins names William L. West as agent to look after rights to Wilkins Hot Springs, to remove intruders and prevent intrusions

March 12, 1910

  • Laura Kitty Wilkins v. C.C. Logan, Owyhee County Probate Court (stipulated to Canyon County District Court, Caldwell, ID)—ejectment suit; Logan denied Wilkins’s possession; squatted and built tent boarding house there after discovery of gold in Jarbidge in 1909; all freight ended at Hot Hole and had to be taken by pack train up Crippen grade, over Wilkins’ Island, and into Jarbidge


February 12 and 13, 1921

  • Laura Wilkins dies, Glenns Ferry, Elmore County, ID; buried Mountain View Cemetery, Mountain Home, Elmore County, ID

February 13 and 16, 1921

  • Emma Footman Turner dies at home of daughter Adelaide Hawes (Mrs. John E.), 1811 Washington Street, Boise, Ada County, ID; buried Bruneau, Owyhee County, ID


January 1 and 4, 1931

  • Sam Wilkins dies, 1005 Michigan (residence), Boise, Ada County, ID; buried Morris Hill Cemetery, Boise, Ada County, ID


  • Kitty Wilkins guest of honor at Boise Centennial celebration

September 18, 1936

  • John Wilkins dies, St. Alphonsus Hospital, Boise, Ada County, ID; buried Mountain View Cemetery, Mountain Home, Elmore County, ID

October 8 and 12, 1936

  • Kitty Wilkins dies, Glenns Ferry, Elmore County, ID; buried Mountain View Cemetery, Mountain Home, Elmore County, ID

Friday, January 19, 2007

I have been interested in Kitty Wilkins for some time. My mother’s grandparents, Charles Henry and Ella Yates Jewett and Lewis Albert and Cynthia Ann Converse Conway, were all early settlers of Bruneau and of Three Creek, and my mother grew up at Three Creek near Murphy’s Hot Springs, previously owned by the Kitty Wilkins.

Lewis and Cynthia Conway were also friends of the Walters family, whose daughter Lizzie was Kitty Wilkins’s brother Sam’s first wife. Kitty gave the Conway’s son Paul his first horse.

So my family were acquainted with Kitty Wilkins and lived in the same circles.


Welcome to my Web log Queen of Diamonds! It is the log of my research of the biography of Owyhee County, Idaho, horse dealer Kitty Wilkins--Queen of Diamonds: Kitty Wilkins, Horse Queen of Idaho, and the Wilkins Horse Company.

No scholarly biography of Kitty Wilkins has been written, and it's time someone did so. I've decided to create this blog to share my research and thereby to encourage other researchers to share theirs with me. Scholarship is collaborative. If someone beats me to an academic study of Kitty Wilkins and the Wilkins Horse Company, so be it. The biography of Kitty Wilkins is too important to keep hidden behind a shroud of jealousy.

As I post my research notes and photographs, I hope other researchers will comment or e-mail me.