Let’s start with a bit about Ella M. Farmin, courtesy of the book Idaho Women in History, by Betty Penson-Ward. Farmin was one of the earliest residents of Sandpoint, and is credited with civilizing the place a bit. At one time in the early days Sandpoint had 110 residents and 23 saloons, according to the book. Farmin turned one of those saloons into a Sunday School (at least on Sundays), and organized the Civic Club in town
Penson-Ward’s book is about Idaho women, so doesn’t mention Ella’s husband. The Farmins built the first house in Sandpoint, proving up their homestead in 1898.
I’m walking down this path with Ella Farmin, because in 1892 she was the telegraph operator who barely escaped an attack by “a crazy man.” The sheriff tracked the man to his cabin on the mountain where, as the story goes, he was “boiling cats for his dinner.” Pet cats had been going missing for some time and this seemed to explain that little mystery. Mr. Schweitzer was escorted to an asylum and disappeared from history, leaving only his last name behind to mark the mountain where he once lived.