Idaho History February 26, 2017

Albert C. Behne

Founder of Yellow Pine

1902 – Albert Behne arrived in Yellow Pine basin with his belongings in a one-wheeled cart. (Withers in Sumner, p 13) He built a cabin, papered it with the Sunday, New York Times (Fuller)
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Albert C. Behne (1854-1945) homesteaded in the Yellow Pine Basin in 1902.

The 1910 census, (called the Roosevelt precinct) location “Yellow Pine Trail”, lists Albert C. Behne, age 52, prospector

source: Valley County GenWeb
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Albert Behne and sluicebox

source: Yellow Pine Museum
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Yellow Pine

Yellow Pine began as a settlement on the Johnson Creek flat, about 1/4 mile upstream from the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. In 1906, Albert Behne established the first Yellow Pine post office and mail service. Behne had a dream. A grower of roses who loved classical music and opera, he envisioned a thriving city complete with street cars. In 1924, he received the patent on the 47 1/2 acres where the village presently exists, joining the Absteins and the Calls as property owners. In 1930, at the age of 76, he platted the present day Yellow Pine town site.

source: “Yellow Pine Cooks!” Community cook book organized by Y.E.S. (Yellow Pine Enhancement Society)
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Yellow Pine in 1931

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photo credit Jim McCoy
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Yellow Pine Maps

1930 Yellow Pine Plat Map
1930ypplatbk1p62
(click on map for larger size)

source: Back County History Project, complied by Sharon McConnel
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1940 Metsker Atlas
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(click on map for larger size)

source: Back County History Project, complied by Sharon McConnel
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Yellow Pine Post Office

“Mr. Behne and Mrs. Abstein were instrumental in getting a post office by writing letters — to prove the need for a post office. Mr. Behne established the post office in 1905.”

source: “Idaho Mountains Our Home” by Lafe and Emma Cox – Copyright 1977 by V.O. Ranch Books
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Yellow Pine Post Office 83677

established Oct. 5, 1906, Albert C. Behne.

The first post office is possibly the one known briefly as Morrison.

Morrison

Post Office established April 5, 1904, Albert C. Behne
discontinued September 29, 1906, mail to Knox.

source: Valley County GenWeb

[h/t SMc]
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First Post Office (Known as Morrison)

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(click image for larger size)

Yellow Pine, Idaho. First post office; burned 1905 or 1909.
Photo dated 1904
Earl Willson Collection. Copyright Idaho state Historical Society
photo source: Idaho State Historical Society
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Second Post Office


(click image for larger size)

Yellow Pine 2nd post office 1912 with Ray Call, (?) Smith, Theodore VanMeter and Albert C. Behne, postmaster and founder.
Photo dated 1912
Earl Willson Collection. Copyright Idaho state Historical Society

source: Idaho State Historical Society
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Albert Behne First Postmaster

… photo of Yellow Pine’s first postmaster, Albert Behne, at the facility he built. To the right of him is his sometime mining partner Ray Call.

source: Yellow Pine Museum
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Early Yellow Pine

by Earl Wilson

When this correspondent first entered Yellow Pine in 1907, accompanied by his father, the late “Profile Sam,” there were only three cabins – the first to be built in the area was unoccupied, and the other two were inhabited by the late Theodore Van-Meter and the late Albert C. Behne who finally became the postmaster, mining recorder, justice of the peace and the founder of Yellow Pine.

Contrary to some people who connect Yellow Pine and its later business and social activities with the Thunder Mountain era, may we set the record straight by saying that it was many years later before a few scattered log cabin homes were erected, or any places of business opened up in Yellow Pine – in fact not until the Bradley mining operations at the Yellow Pine Mine seemed permanent, that the hamlet even reached the proportion of a village. Then its fatherly founder, Mr. Behne, who had applied for a post office in 1905, carried his own mail from the, Johnson Creek bridge (now known as ‘Twin Bridges’) for at least once a week until finally the Roosevelt-Thunder Mountain route was abandoned and in turn rerouted to Yellow Pine about the year 1909.

source: Valley County GenWeb
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Yellow Pine Pioneers

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Left back: Charles Ellison, Red Metals Mine owner; Fred Holcomb, ranch owner; Henry Abstien, Mining man/horticulturist; Earl Willson, son of Profile Sam.
Left front: Albert Behne, founder of Yellow Pine; Albert Hennessy, miner; Sam (“Profile Sam”) Willson, miner; Bert McCoy, packer; Jimmie Edwards.
Photo courtesy of Long Valley Preservation Society, via Ron Smith

source: Valley County GenWeb

[h/t SMc]
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Albert C. Behne

“That fall Lafe stayed with Mr. Behne (pronounced Bee-nee), the founder of Yellow Pine, so he could attend school. Lafe developed great respect for this gentleman. Mr. Behne was a well educated man who had been a telegraph operator. He said he came from the East, but otherwise rarely talked of his past. He did a great deal of reading, especially the New York Times, to which he subscribed. He looked forward to the papers coming each week on the dog team mail deliveries.”

“At night, Mr. Behne would go down to Homer and Sadie Levander’s place to listen to the “Amos and Andy” show on the only radio in Yellow Pine. He always asked Lafe to go with him to guide him back to his shack, as his eyesight was poor. He wore really thick glasses.”

source: “Idaho Mountains Our Home” by Lafe and Emma Cox – Copyright 1977 by V.O. Ranch Books
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Death

In 1945 Mr. Behne, the founder of Yellow Pine passed away at the age of 91. The funeral was held in the school, on a day in August. A lady evangelist named Edna Abstein Lister, who formerly lived in the basin, returned to deliver the service to the crowded room. It was a very warm day and her service was quite lengthy. It was not the type of sermon the miners, bar operators, pioneers and other natives were accustomed to hearing. During the service one individual, with perspiration flowing from his forehead, became very perturbed. The evangelist had just told the mourners to look out the window as she waved her silk scarf in the air. She said, ‘Watch Mr. Behne’s spirit drifting in the air!’ At this point the disturbed fellow jumped up and shouted, ‘I can’t see a ___ thing!’ he stormed out of the room. The evangelist cut the sermon short, finishing with sweet words of praise and respect for our dear friend.

Mr. Behne’s body was laid to rest near his home, which was against his wishes. Lafe and many others collected money, a task that took about three years, and got permission to move his body to the proper Yellow Pine Cemetery, next to his friends.”

source: “Idaho Mountains Our Home” by Lafe and Emma Cox – Copyright 1977 by V.O. Ranch Books
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Albert C. Behne (1854-1945) Yellow Pine Pioneer Cemetery

courtesy Sharon McConnel
source: Valley County GenWeb
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page updated Nov 18, 2019