Idaho History January 15, 2017

Curley Brewer

Backcountry Pioneer and Mail Carrier

Idaho Historical Society Photo

“(FP December 26, 1901) Curley Brewer, of Warrens, is packing the mail into Thunder Mountain this winter, the miners paying him each two dollars per month for semi-monthly trips, and the Dewey company contributing enough to pay [him] $100 per month for the arduous task. He takes the old Elk Creek trail by way of Logan creek.”

[Note: see 1937 Big Creek Topo map link below to see this area.]
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Curley Brewer Cabin


A few miles below Elk Summit on the South Fork side stands the Smokehouse Cabin. Pioneer mail carrier Curly  [sic] Brewer built this cabin as a refuge against the severe winter storms.

sourceSouthern Idaho Ghost Towns By Wayne C. Sparling Publisher Caxton Press, 1974
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1937 Big Creek Topo Map zoomed to show “Smokehouse” on Elk Creek trail

1937bctoposmokehouse-a— — — — — — — — — —

Curley Brewer 1863-1933


Photo of headstone at the Yellow Pine Pioneer Cemetery by Sharon McConnel

Link to Yellow Pine Cemetery: at Valley County GenWeb
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Notes on Curley Brewer

[Abstracted by Sharon McConnel, used with permission.]

Excerpts from: Helmer, Cheryl. Warren Times/A collection of news about Warren, Idaho. Henington Publishing Company, Wolfe City, TX., 1988.

August 8, 1892 – Married at the C. A. Bemis residence in Warrens, August 8, 1892, Crosby “Curley” Brewer to Miss Georgia Ellen Smith.

June 14, 1899 – Georgia Brewer, after securing a divorce from “Curley” Brewer, was married on June 14, 1899, in Warrens to Joseph Henry Thomas, known as “The Englishman”, by S.W. Robbins, Justice of the Peace.

July 1899 – “Curley” Crosby Brewer, Theodore Van Meter etal, of Warren, sold Beaver Basin copper mine to Honest John Mining Co. for $60,000

June 29, 1900 – Hank Babendorf & Crosby Brewer make application for a toll bridge on the Salmon River 1/2 mile below the mouth of Elk Creek & a mile above where the old Warren-Alton trail crosses the S. Fork Salmon R.

Dec 26, 1901 – Curley Brewer of Warrens is packing mail into Thunder Mtn. twice a month.

January 23, 1902 – Jonas Lawerence of Grangeville came out of Thunder Mountain in good time. He and his partner, Jonas Fuller have spent the last three years in that country. He gives the actual times while on his trip out. He left Thunder Mountain on January 12 and made the 13 miles from the camp to Monumental copper camp in 3 hrs, 15 minutes. The 18 miles on to Big Creek Creek copper camp in 4 hours, 25 minutes. To Elk Creek Summit, 18 miles, 6 hours. . . . The mail carrier, Curley Brewer, is packing mail in from Warrens twice a month and has stations established at the mouth Elk Creek, Elk Summit, Monumental and Big Creeks and travelers can get plenty of accommodations for man and beast. He is also packing in supplies for 50 cents per pound.

Dec 17, 1908 – Curley Brewer & family moved to Emmett having sold ranch to family named Knox from Alabama.

Jan 7, 1909 – Brewer returns from Nampa to look after mining interests.

October 26, 1911 – Theodore VanMeter, Curley & George Brewer, etal, sold Ramey ridge copper camp for $100,000 to back-east investors.
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Metsker Atlas South Fork


This map shows Crosby (Curley) Brewer patented land August 13, 1918 on the west side of the South Fork of the Salmon River. (This area is where the bridge crosses the South Fork of the Salmon on the road from Elk Summit to Warrens.)

source link: Back Country History Project
[h/t SMc]
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1935 Idaho map zoomed to Yellow Pine area


source: David Rumsey Map Collection
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Full size map links (click to enlarge to full size):

1937 Big Creek Topo Map
1937 Yellow Pine Topo Map
Link to History Back Country Post Offices
Link to “Sheepherder” Bill Borden
Link: Thunder Mountain / Roosevelt History index page

page updated October 13, 2020