Valley County, IDGenWeb Project
Extracted from "The King's Pines of Idaho; a Story of the Browns of McCall" by Grace Edgington Jordan, Binfords & Mort Publishers, Portland, Oregon, 1961; p. 196f:
To the delight of Browns and many others, Grace McRae was nominated by Valley county as Idaho Mother for 1950. She had been a young teacher at Old Meadows in 1905 when she men Dan McRae. He ran a livery stable and. owned the townsite. He also owned the Sunnyside mine in the Thunder Mountain region and was a stockholder in the Independence—that was where he and Carl Brown first met. Even then Dan was "mining glad"— his wife's word.
They were married in 1905 and her livelier life began. She lived at mines and away from them, wherever circumstances dictated, but like Ida Brown, she was forever cheerful. Once she and Ida rode along a narrow lake road so slick with ice their wagon began to slide toward the edge. Because Ida was half ill Grace was driving, and she shouted desperately to the men ahead with the horses and packstock. They rushed back and held the wagon on the road until danger was past. But this slowed things down and that night the party camped in the snow. Ida, it was clear, was getting worse rather than better, but she had Grace to lean on and refused to turn back.
In 1908 Bob McRae was born, and when he was three, Grace went to Thunder Mountain to live, taking two days for the ride, holding the little boy in her arms all the way. At the mine they lived in a house built by the fabled Colonel Dewey of Nampa, which enjoyed steam heat from the mine—when the mine operated. When Bob was ready for his Three R's, his mother taught him. A second child, Marjorie, was born later.
In 1924-25 Grace McRae taught school in McCall, when two of her pupils were Dorothy and Margaret Brown, who loved her. During the Depression, the McRaes spent two years in Boise, then returned to Sunnyside for another ten years.
After 1945, Dan McRae was associated with the Bradley Mining company, and the family moved to Stibnite. Here Grace again taught for three years. Their son Bob, now a family man, was also employed by Bradley as chief metalurgist, and Grace had her own grandchildren in her school.
After Dan McRae's death in 1956, she moved to McCall to make her home. Strangers could hardly believe that this well-informed, carefully dressed woman had lived in isolated mine cabins, and knew the weary, sometimes dangerous trail. She was a genuine pioneer who didn't look like one.
That Mrs. McRae didn't win in the state Mother finals was a big surprise to McCall, but not a thing to grieve about. Her friends had had a chance to present her name and to dilate on her accomplishments and worth. If judges didn't realize her superiority over other candidates, that was their misfortune.
Daniel C. McRae, b. 1874, d. 1954, buried at Morris Hill Cemetery
Grace Carrie McRae, b. 1885, d. 1974, buried at Morris Hill Cemetery
Robert J. McRae, b. 1908, d. 1969, buried at Morris Hill Cemetery
Copyright © 2009 - Sharon McConnel. All Rights Reserved.