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Harkness, Henry O.

Among the men who played important parts in developing Bannock county, is the late Henry O. Harkness, who founded the town of McCammon, which formerly bore his name.
Mr. Harkness was born in Norwalk, Ohio, in 1838, and as a young man learned the trade of machinist. When the Civil war broke out, he enlisted in the Washburn Lead-Mine regiment and attained the rank of captain before he was honorably discharged from the service in 1865. The following year he left Atchison, Kansas, with an outfit of four wagons and ten oxen, and crossed the plains to the Madison valley in Montana. Here he engaged in stock-raising but a seven winter killed most of his cattle, and in the spring of 1867 he moved south into Idaho. He spent three years in the northern part of the state and in 1870 settled in the Portneuf valley, where he once more raised stock. He was a man of unusual business sagacity, combining shrewd foresight with an ingenuity that defied defeat, and he soon acquired both wealth and influence in the community. He was county commissioner of Oneida from 1874 until 1880. At the time of his death in 1911, his estate consisted in part of seventeen hundred acres of land near McGammon, sixteen hundred acres in the vicinity of Oxford, the large H. O. Harkness hotel at McCammon, which was a landmark in the county for several years but was destroyed by fire in 1913, the flour mill in McCammon, and several mammoth feed barns in the same town. Mr. Harkness was the first postmaster of McCammon and the first man in southern Idaho to own an electric light plant.

History of Bannock County, Idaho 1915, pages 139-140



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