Stevenson, though, had some qualifications. One of the forty-niners drawn to the West by gold, he had been a Justice of the Peace and a state legislator while living in California. He rose to be the Speaker pro Tempore in the legislature. He also served at one time or another as a deputy sheriff and the mayor of Coloma, California.
In 1863, Stevenson followed rumors of gold to Idaho, settling in the Boise Basin. The following year he was elected as a Justice of the Peace. He ran for the Idaho Territorial Legislature half a dozen times, winning half those races, and ultimately became Speaker of the House.
Having some solid political credentials wasn’t Stevenson’s only claim to fame. He was the first Idaho Territorial Governor who resided in the state at the time of his appointment. He was also the only Democrat to serve as governor of the territory.
Edward A. Stevenson probably gave some pointers about being a governor to his older brother, Charles C. Stevenson, who was governor of the State of Nevada from January 3, 1887, to September 21, 1890. The terms of the brother governors overlapped for a couple of years.