Idaho Governor C.C. Moore, quoted in the June 30, 1923 edition of the Idaho Statesman, said, “President Harding is a bigger man than many give him credit for being.” This was probably not a reference to his size, as Governor Moore seemed to admire him for other qualities. “He is a careful thinker, not hasty in action and when he makes a decision sticks to it.”
Harding was a popular president while he was in office. It wasn’t until after his death that several scandals surfaced, including Teapot Dome. An extra-marital affair also came to light. Nowadays, he usually ranks down toward the bottom on the presidential most-admired lists.
One noteworthy event—as judged by a writer always on the lookout for oddities—took place when Harding spoke from the back of the train in Pocatello. You can see a horseshoe in his hand in the photo below. No, he wasn’t promoting the pastime of pitching horseshoes. He had been presented with this special object to commemorate his visit.
T.J. Atkins, a farrier from Boise, had forged the shoe using metal from a clevis arrangement that had been used to hitch oxen together. This particular hunk of metal had been used on oxen on an Oregon Trail emigrant train which was attacked by Indians in 1857 near Sinker Butte in what became Owyhee County. The hardware had been found by Atkins and some of it given to the Idaho State Historical Society.