That was how Lorenzo Firth did it, though having a town named after him probably wasn’t his goal. He was a homesteader who had come over from Wakefield, England as young boy. He liked to tell the story about how he and a friend about his age were captured by Indians, who tied them to wild ponies and poked and prodded the horses to make them run and buck. The boys thought they were going to be killed, but the Indians turned them loose after they’d had their fun.
Firth worked on a ranch near Rock Springs (now Wyoming). It was there that he met and became friends with noted mountain man Jim Bridger.
Firth married Dorcas Martin in 1873 in Uinta, Utah Territory. They moved to Basalt, Idaho Territory in 1887. It was there that he homesteaded, with their land bisected by railroad tracks. The Oregon Shortline Railroad built a small depot near the Firth place and people began to call the stop Firth. When Lorenzo donated land for a school and town site, that sealed the deal. In 1905 the fledgling community was dedicated as Firth.
Pictured is the Lorenzo Firth homestead in 1894. Left to right in front are daughter Mabel Firth, son Thomas on the rocking horse, Marion Firth in the arms of her mother Dorcas, Lorenzo Firth, and his daughter Emma. Holding the horse team are Nels Fred Nelson and Mary Ann Firth Nelson. In the spring wagon is “Auntie Karr and daughter and person unknown.” The photo is courtesy of Marlene Reid from the book she and husband Wallace edited to celebrate Firth’s centennial in 2005.