|Birth: ||Feb. 22, 1858|
|Death: ||May 24, 1935|
(Published in History of Idaho: The Gem of the Mountains Vol. 2 by James H. Hawley 1920)
M. J. Devers is occupying a fine home in the Devers addition to Caldwell, which he platted. He has for many years been classed with the progressive farmers of his section of the state and has also been closely associated with the development of irrigation interests. He was born in Pennsylvania, February 22, 1864, and is a son of Andrew Devers, a native of Ireland, who came to the United States on a sailing vessel and was six months en route. He located at Scranton, Pennsylvania, and there passed away in 1889 at the age of sixty-nine years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Bridget Flynn, was also born in Ireland and they were married before coming to the new world. She passed away at Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1913 at the notable old age of ninety-four years.
M J. Devers attended the common schools to the age of twelve years and then decided to provide for his own support, first hiring out to carry water for contract laborers at twenty-eight cents per day. Later for a time he drove a mule team and subsequently became time-keeper for men who were working in the mines. He next went with a number of men who were making coal breakers, but after three days his mother had him discharged and, taking him home, started him again to school. The work of the school room, however, proved irksome and after a brief period he again abandoned his textbooks and secured a position as delivery boy in a general merchandise store. He later entered a wholesale store as shipping clerk and then became collector for the firm, remaining until 1886, when he came west with the intention of going to Alaska, but his brother, P. A. Devers, who was living in Caldwell, Idaho, persuaded him to remain here. His brother had preceded him to Caldwell several years.
In the spring of 1887 M. J. Devers went out with a surveying party that surveyed the Sebree ditch, now controlled by the Farmers Cooperative Ditch Company, of which he has become the president. He was in the clothing business from 1905 until 1914, conducting his interests under the name of the Caldwell Clothing Company, and was in the lumber trade under the firm name of the Idaho Lumber Company for a few years following 1910. He exercised his desert claim of preemption rights on four hundred acres at Ten Davis on the Oregon Short Line Railroad, which farm he still owns and operates, carrying on general agricultural pursuits and also raising sheep and cattle, but gives his attention principally to hogs. He takes great pride in his farm, which is a very attractive place, forming one of the most pleasing features of the landscape. The trees which he planted are now tall and stately, standing as silent sentinels to the march of time. In years gone by deer crossed his place in great numbers and there was every evidence of frontier life. He was the first to raise clover seed, which he threshed with a horse power threshing machine and sold for nineteen cents a pound in 1895, the yield being about six bushels to the acre. About one-half of this, however, was lost in the threshing. He has likewise been identified with real estate activity in that he platted the Devers addition in the northeast section of Caldwell, where he has since sold a number of lots. He now has a fine home in that addition, which is one of the attractive residence sections of the city.
Mr. Devers was united in marriage to Miss May E. Kelleher, a daughter of Daniel Kelleher. of Caldwell, who was living retired from active business at the time of his death, which occurred December 25, 1896. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Ellen O'Brien, is also deceased. Mrs. Devers was born in Joliet. Illinois, and by her marriage has become the mother of a daughter. Honore T., who is on the stage with a stock company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has also been in the movies. She was born on the ranch and is an ardent exponent of the virtues of Idaho and has a great love for the sagebrush country. She was fourteen years of age when her father took her back to Pennsylvania and showed her the district in which his boyhood was passed.
The experiences in the life of Mr. Devers have been indeed broad and varied. Dependent upon his own resources from an early age, he was as a boy a collector for an Insurance company in Pennsylvania who asked him to put up a bond, which he refused to do, whereupon they inquired if his parents would not put up a bond and Mr. Devers replied that he would not ask them to. Notwithstanding this, he was given the position and in this, as in every other relation of life, was most faithful and trustworthy. Throughout his entire career his word has been as good as any bond solemnized by signature or seal. He was the president of the American National Bank of Caldwell, which failed through the dishonesty of its cashier, but the stockholders, largely through the influence of Mr. Devers, saved one hundred per cent to the depositors. This one act is characteristic of his entire life. Men have come to know that what he says he will do; that his promise is as good as any written contract and that he values his own self-respect and the esteem of his fellowmen more than wealth or position. While he and his wife now reside in Caldwell, they have a deep seated love for the old home farm, which Mr. Devers says he will never let go out of the family. He is a fine, genial gentleman, always hospitable, always courteous and always loyal to any trust.
Reference provided by Amanda Fox, Findagrave member #47429422.
Andrew Devers (____ - 1889)
Bridget Flynn Devers
May Ellen Kelleher Devers (1863 - 1927)*
Canyon Hill Cemetery
Created by: Sue Ann Harfst
Record added: Mar 26, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87394694