(two photos at bottom left)
In 1865 William H. Murphy operated a toll bridge on the Portneuf River mainly used by miners traveling from Utah to the Montana goldfields. Murphy and his wife Catherine Scott Murphy hired Henry O. Harkness to assist with business operations. In 1869 Murphy died and Harkness and Catherine were married in 1871.
A year after Catherine's death in 1898, Harkness married Sarah Scott, Catherine's niece. Sarah and Henry had five children. He died in 1911, at the age of 77. Only remnants of the Harkness empire remain today.
Photo captions: Henry O. Harkness, one of the original western entrepreneurs, is also the remarkable story of McCammon, Idaho.
By 1882, the new Oregon Shoreline and Utah and Northern Railroads reached McCammon. Harkness, realizing the (sic) the new commercial opportunities offered by the railroads, expanded into ranching, lumber, milling, horse, sheep, cattle, and general merchandise sales.
(photo: top center)
The growth of the Harkness Ranch is McCammon included the establishment of a flour mill on the Portneuf River in 1891.
McCammon Opera House
(photo: middle center)
In 1905 the 600-seat McCammon Opera House was built by Henry O. Harkness for the community. It had a unique slanted floor that could be changed in 10 minutes to a level floor for dancing. Masquerade balls were very popular.
Harkness House Hotel
(photo: bottom center)
In 1903 Harkness constructed a new hotel to attract the new railroad traveling public. Fire destroyed the hotel in 1913.
(side-bar on the right side)
A railroad hub
In the mid-1800s, railroads were quickly being built across the country. McCammon's strategic location was confirmed by the new railroad activity.
By 1908 McCammon was incorporated. By 1910 the population of the community was estimated at 800-1,000 residents.
Photo captions: (top) Early McCammon train station; (middle) Oregon Short Line wreck, near McCammon, Idaho, October 1901. The engineer and fireman lost their lives.; (bottom) McCammon's early railroad yard.