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Gooding County Roots and Branches Sketches

The following three sketches are from the book "Gooding County Roots and Branches," published in Gooding County in 1989 by the Gooding County Historical Society.

John Henry and Francis Parks Condit

John and Francis Condit came west from Little Sioux, Iowa by wagon train in the year of 1881. It took them five months to come from Iowa to Cougars Bend which was the name of the townsite that is now Hagerman. They stopped there for some time and helped put up hay on the O.P. Johnson ranch, the only ranch in the area, before going on to Puget Sound, Washington. Three years later they returned to Idaho settling at Malta for several years before coming back to homestead in the North Hagerman Valley near the Malad Power Plant were they lived for twenty seven years.

Grandpa Condit was a very interesting storyteller. Many enjoyable hours were spent listening to his wide range of experiences. He was a farmer, preacher, prospector, teacher - he even studied law at various times in his life. Grandma Condit was a very kind gentle woman and a very good neighbor to all. She was always ready and willing to help in sickness or trouble. The Condit home was always open to family, Friend, or stranger for a meal or a place to bed down for a while.

The Condits' children were sons Ervin, Elbert, Winfred, Guy and Silas. Daughters were Milla Condit Gilmore, Nettie Condit Dennis and Sarah Condit Keil.

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Ervin and Jennie Dennis Condit

Ervin Condit came West in 1881 at the age of eleven with his parents, John Henry and Frances Ezilka Parks Condit, in a large wagon train. There were six or seven wagons belonging to Condits. The family was bound for the Puget Sound in Washington. Some of the family stayed at Cassia Creek, later Malta. On reaching Hagerman Valley they spent two weeks while the father cut hay for the O. P. Johnson ranch. The hay was then hauled up Johnson Grade and sold to a stage station. The family went on and homesteaded 160 acres above Seattle at Stanwood. They spent three years there and decided to rejoin their family in Malta as the weather was too cold and damp for the father. As a youth, Ervin carried the mail from Malta to American Falls on horseback. He also hauled freight for a Malta merchant from Kelton, UT. He rode the range and herded cattle for the Bar Y outfit and his wages were $30.00 a month.

In 1892 he married Jennie Dennis, a school teacher at Rock Creek. Jennie Melvina Condit was born at Koxville Iowa in 1872. In 1887 she came to Idaho with her parents and settled in the Malta area. In 1893 they moved to Hagerman Valley and Ervin went to work on the Buckeye. Here he earned $1.25 for his 12 hour day. The first year they lived with an Aunt Sarah Secor, one of the valley's first teachers. They then homesteaded a place along the Malad River, north of Hagerman. The Condits had five children: Lloyd, Charlotte, May, Josephine and Florence, who died in infancy.

The couple were active in the Reorganized LDS Church. Ervin had joined at the age of fifteen and Jennie served as historian.

Ervin helped build many of the first roads into Hagerman. He also helped construct the first tunnel which brought water to the new town. He helped with the building of the first church. He was a member of the Grange and served as Master. For more than Thirty years he rode horseback in Hagerman's Pioneer Day celebration. He served on the school board a number of years and was a President of the Gooding County Cattlemen's Association.

The Condits contributed much to the growth of the community. When they arrived it was nothing but a post office, store, a few shacks and sagebrush. Jennie Condit died in 1953 and Ervin died in 1961 at the age of 90.

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John Winford (Win) Condit

It repeats what has already been said in the previous articles. He was born at Kents Prairie Washington. He was the first white child to be born there. They returned to settle in Hagerman Valley when he was ten years old. He helped operate the Condit-Dennis store in Hagerman in the early 1900's. He farmed for some time on the top of the hill above the Tupper Grade. He went to work for the Idaho Highway Dept about 1935. He bought the Motor Inn Garage and Motel and operated it until about the 1950's when his son Carroll took it over. He served on the Hagerman City Council for a number of years.

We all moved to the family home in Hagerman in 1930. There nine of we kids. Two are now deceased. We kids all grew up in Hagerman and attended school there. We scattered in several directions but Leonard and Eunice have returned to Gooding to retire. The living children of Win Condit are [as of 1989 when this was written]: Leonard, Sheldon, Clayton, Iona DeVries, Leona Storer, Edith Carney, Eunice Helterbran.

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