By Kelley Moulton
The Constitution of the State of Idaho was signed on July 3rd, 1890 following the first Constitutional Convention, held in August of 1889. Representatives from across the state came together in Boise to hold a discussion on every important topic covered by the Constitution.
Of these members, there were four members representing Alturas County. Alturas would later be split into Elmore, Logan (which would also disappear), Lincoln, and Blaine counties between 1889 and 1895.
One of these Republican delegates was James W. Ballantine of Muldoon is pictured in this portrait. Ballantine, the Superintendent of the Little Wood River Mining and Smelting Co., was a Registrar for Muldoon, and he would also take interest in ranching and merchandising. He was joined by fellow Republican delegates James H. Beatty of Hailey and A. Joseph Pinkham of Ketchum.
The Democrat delegates consisted of Orlando B. Batten of Ketchum, Patrick McMahon of Ketchum, and Lycurgus Vineyard of Hailey at Convention representing Alturas County. Colonel Ballantine would be a popular politician, securing numerous nominations for public offices but refusing many due to his desire to focus on his own business. He would be elected the Mayor of Bellevue several times and was just 8 votes shy of being a United States Senator. He would later die in 1907 of heart failure.
To learn more about Idaho’s Constitution, please visit The Community Library and see Creating and Conserving the Constitution. This touring exhibit was created by the Idaho State Historical Society and will be hosted at The Community Library until June 25th, 2022.