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Patrick Gaffney is the answer for Week 406 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country. Watch each day for another clue.
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Monday: Chose the name for a town
Tuesday: Was the town's first postmaster
Wednesday: Also had a ranch
Thursday: Came from a pioneer family of Clearwater County
Friday: His son was the first one to graduate from the town's school.
Saturday: His son was the only one to graduate that year.
Monday: He was a restless prospector.
Tuesday: He ventured to Honduras seeking gold.
Wednesday: Was born in Ireland
Thursday: He married a seamstress, also from Ireland.
Friday: He married Bridget in 1866 in San Francisco.
Saturday: The young couple came to Pierce with their seven-month old son.
Monday: They lived at Barclay Gulch and he continued mining.
Tuesday: He owned a butcher shop in Pierce.
Wednesday: He and Bridget had six children all together, one that died in infancy.
Thursday: Until there was a school in Pierce, they paid for a private tutor for thier older children Frank and John.
Friday: As his family grew, he became less nomadic and lived the rest of his life in Clearwater County.
Saturday: Though they were not related before their marriage, they both had the same surname.
According to the Clearwater County History Series by John Bradbury, Patrick Gaffney was born in Silgo, Ireland in 1835. He worked in brewery as a youth. After emigrating to the U.S., he went to California in 1858 and worked in the gold mines.
After hearing about new strikes in the Clearwater region in 1861, he came here and mined for a few months, but he was a "restless prospector" and soon after went to Florence when gold was discovered there. From there it was on to Virginia city. He was one of the original explorers of Yellowstone Park who after that venture returned to California. It was during this trip back to California that he married Bridget Gaffney who had the same surname, but was not related. She was a seamstress who had also emigrated from Silgo to Boston and eventually made her way to San Francisco. It was January 1866 when they married and their first son, Frank, was born in October of that year.
Bridget and Patrick traveled with their seven-month old son to Pierce first by steamboat and then on horseback. They settled in Barclay Gulch and Patrick continued mining. He also owned a butcher shop in Pierce. Son John was born in 1868; Thomas who died as an infant, was born in 1870; William in 1873; Mary in 1874 and Robert in 1876. Despite his nomadic early life, Patrick would spend the rest of his life in Clearwater County. Bradbury speculates that it may have been because Bridget put her foot down.
Until there was a school in Pierce, they paid miner Edward "Ned" Hammond to teach Frank and John.
The Gaffney ranch on the prairie became a small trading center. When Patrick became the first post master, the town needed a name and he was the one who chose Weippe, which was how the area had been identified by the Nez Perce in 1863.
Bradbury says that by 1890 Weippe had 156 residents. Five years later, the residents built a schoolhouse and by 1900 there were 18 students. Patrick and Bridget's son Frank was the first student to graduate from the school.
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