Idaho History June 5, 2016

The McCoy’s of Yellow Pine

Yellow Pine 1931


photo credit Jim McCoy
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Myron McCoy

My father, Myron B. McCoy served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He was a Seabee and served in the Pacific.

Below is a picture of his headstone which is located in the Emmett, Idaho cemetery.


In Duane L. Petersen’s book “Three ‘R’s’ the Hard Way, One Room Schools of Valley County” there are pictures of the Yellow Pine students standing in front of the first school tent in 1920-21 and additional pictures of them in front of the school building that replaced that tent. Myron McCoy is listed by name and can be seen in five of those photos.

In “Yellow Pine, Idaho 100 years of History 1900 to 2000” compiled by Betty Lou Britton, my father Myron McCoy is also listed as attending Yellow Pine school during the 1920-21 year.

As a side note, in this same book my grandfather Archie (Bert) McCoy is named as opening and operating the first bar & café in Yellow Pine.

Not in any of those publications, but my father had a couple of nick-names, and some people better knew him as ‘Skook’ or ‘Buster’.

by Jim McCoy
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“The first school to be held in Yellow Pine was conducted in a tent in the year 1920 by a teacher identified as Miss Smith, and who taught a total of eight children. They were identified as George McCoy, Doris Edwards, Leslie McCoy, Verna McCoy, Ted Abstetn, Helen Trinler, Myron McCoy and Gil McCoy. A photograph of this group submitted by this writer, also shows the first log school house and the teacher’s cottage… These structures were built in 1922, and the village showed little growth up to that time.”

by Earl Willson published in The Idaho Statesman, December 26, 1962

source (with lots of history!): Valley County GenWeb
[h/t SMc]
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The First School in Yellow Pine


Pictured, back row from left: Eva McCoy, Miss Letha Smith (teacher), Students: Helen Trinler; front row left: George McCoy, Verna McCoy, Doris Edwards, Myron McCoy, Ted Abstien, Leslie McCoy, Gil McCoy

Unpublished photo by Aloha McCoy courtesy Jim McCoy
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McCoy – Not Hollan or Holland

Note: The name “Hollan” and “Holland” was given in some stories and photo captions about the McCoy children. Here is the story from Jim McCoy:

… the mystery is about to be solved. This is the story from the “horse’s mouth” so to speak:
Starting with the name Holland (they never used the name Hollan). Holland is an alias. See, as I understand it, when my grandfather left Montana in a hurry with some units of transportation (that would be horses) that he did not have title to, or bill of sale for those valuable means of transportation he decided that the family would for a short time travel under the name of “Holland” until the other gentlemen with the rope and legal title to those horses gave up the search. After that the boys seemed to like to alternate names whenever they were about to do something questionable, at least that is the family lore. My dad used to get a sheepish grin on his face anytime anyone happened to mention the Holland brothers.
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Myron and Aloha McCoy

Before WWII my parents, Myron McCoy and Aloha McCoy, worked on some trail work for the Forest Service and also spent a lot of time working and living on Lookouts reporting fires. During the war while my dad was in the Navy, my mom worked at Gowen Field in Boise packing parachutes. After the war they moved to McCall and dad worked in the woods for a year or two and then went to work in the sawmill where he stayed until he retired. A couple of years after that they moved to Emmett where they bought a five acre place where they could again have some horses and cows.


Myron and Aloha April 1936


Myron and Aloha McCoy Rush Creek Point LO


Aloha McCoy Chicken Peak LO


Aloha McCoy 1940 on Windy Ridge between Lookout Mtn and Headquarters


Myron McCoy and Cubby on Cabin Creek
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Les McCoy

Another one of my uncles, Les McCoy worked in Stibnite during WWII. I spent a good bit of time with Les doing some assessment work on some mining claims near Big Creek when I [was] a kid.

by Jim McCoy
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Gil McCoy

There was a McCoy Ranch on Holy Terror Creek, where it flows into Monumental, 5 miles below Roosevelt.

Gil McCoy 1933


photo by Johnny Warren [via SMc]
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Info from Kathleen McCoy:

Blanche J. Willey, b. 1905; -m. A. Gilbert McCoy, May 5, 1926, Valley Co., (

Eva [McCoy] married Earl Wilson in April of 1921. She died in 1929.
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McCoy Ranch

“… We rode up the Lick Creek Trail to Cougar Basin, camped for the night, then to the old abandoned McCoy Ranch on Monumental Creek for the second night, then to Roosevelt Lake and up Mule Creek to the abandoned Sunnyside Mine on Thunder Mountain for the third night where we stayed in one of the old cabins.”

Link: “Tales from the last of the Big Creek Rangers” by Earl Dodds
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Bert McCoy

My grandfather [Bert McCoy] made the booze in a Maytag washing machine … the wooden (oak) paddles improved the flavor!

from Pat McCoy

August 11, 1931 – “Yellow Pine residents caught on booze charges and in jail in Cascade are Roy Elliott, Charles Carwater, Bert McCoy, Mike Smith, Morris Corbett, Wayne Shapply and Mrs. Shapply, Rose Pigg and Leroy Parker.”

– Warren Times (Helmer, Cheryl. — Warren Times/A collection of news about Warren, Idaho. Henington Publishing Company, Wolfe City, TX., 1988 )

source: Back Country History Project (broken link)

[many thanks to Jim McCoy and Sharon McConnel for all this info!]

page updated May 9, 2020