One of the first things I found was that the doctor did a little digging himself. In addition to his dental duties he was the president of the X-Ray Mine, eight miles from Boise in the Black Hornet mining district near the town of Pearl. In his vision the X-Ray would be a mile-and-a-half tunnel through veins of quartz that would make him fabulously wealthy. Others could buy into the mine for 25 cents a share in 1903. The Statesman reported on progress in the mine for a couple of years, and on the trial of a man who had shot the mine manager to death while the manager was walking to work. The stories petered out, much as the gold in the mines near Pearl did after a few years.
But there was more than mining to Dr. Friedline. He was also a local real estate developer. The Statesman reported in 1902 that he was building “a handsome row of houses” on the northeast corner of 14th and State in Boise. The eight houses were to be two stories in height, each having six rooms, with closets, pantry, storeroom, baths, etc. Each pair of houses, built with adjoining walls, would have neat porticos over their entrance. The whole block would be made of brick and stone.
What would be first known as Friedline Terraces, would soon become called Friedline Flats. Those buildings are still in use today as apartments, the western side of which are across from the Fanci Freeze drive in.
It was his dental practice that drew me into the story. The photo shows just how popular busy wallpaper was at the time, not to mention hardworking flooring and a ceiling that was positively hectic. Overlooking it all as if he had accidentally rammed his head through the wall and stayed there, stunned to stone by the decor, was an eight-point buck with a bandana tied around his neck. He may have been there as a reminder to patients under the drill at Denver Dental that things could be worse.
Dr. Friedline passed away in 1914 at the age of 66. His two sons, who had also become dentists, took over the practice.
Mrs. Friedline, a lovely woman, held a special place in her father’s heart. He was sure she would be a pal to him, so he named her that. Apal. Hugh Hartman, who generously supplied the photos for this story, was a friend of hers in later years. He remembered that when Apal was in her eighties she suddenly got a hankering for world travel. She asked him if he would take care of selling a 63-piece sterling silver service so she could take a spin around the globe. Hugh talked the manager of the Mode into putting the set in the popular department store’s display window, and soon Apal Friedline was seeing the sites she’d always dreamed of seeing. By all accounts, the deer stayed in Boise.
Dr. Abraham Friedline poses next to his patient chair at the Denver Dental office circa 1910.