Homesteaders flocked to the Camas Prairie in the early 1900s. Lured by the rolling, fertile land, John, Jake, and Gib Eimers, brought their hopes and dreams to Grangeville from Albion, Illinois. Soon after, sisters Elsie Eimers Bunting, Helen Eimers Soltman, and Lydia Eimers Marshall joined their brothers in Idaho.
The Eimers siblings were active in business and in the social and political life of the community.
This park, named for the Eimers and Soltman families, is part of the original Jake Eimer's estate.
Born in 1876, John Eimers (upper left) drove west in 1904. After a short stay in Lewiston, he came to the Camas Prairie where he farmed, operated a hardware store, and worked as a cashier at the First National Bank and Bank of Camas Prairie. Over the years, John was a tireless public servant serving as the Postmaster, Idaho County Sheriff, Idaho County Auditor, and Idaho State Representative. He died in 1954.
Youthful and likeable Jake Eimers (top, center-left) joined his brother, John, on the Camas Prairie in 1905. He was active in the business and political life of the Camas Prairie serving as Grangeville Mayor, Idaho County Commissioner and Sheriff. At one time, he was a partner in Miller Hardware with Al Urbahn. Later, he ran insurance and farm implement businesses.
Gib Eimers (bottom left) came to Grangeville from Albion, Illinois in 1913. He owned and operated several businesses. A civic-minded politician, he served as an Idaho State Senator,, Idaho County Commissioner, City Councilman, and Grangeville Mayor. He also was a great supporter of school sports.
The spirited Lydia Eimers Marshall (top center) born in 1884, left her Albion, Illinois home in 1929. She first worked for a probate judge before taking a position in the Idaho County Treasurer's office. In 1946, she was elected Idaho County Treasurer, on office she held until 1954. She died in 1980.
Fashionable Helen Eimers Soltman (middle right, shown on the left) (1891-1986) worked at the bank and the courthouse before starting her own business in ladies' apparel. She was active in fundraising for the local hospital.
Elsie Eimers Bunting (middle right, shown on the right) (1882-1948). Elsie and her husband, Louis, drove a Reo touring car from Albion, Illinois to the Camas Prairie in 1919. They bought a home on "China Hill" near what is now Grangeville's Pioneer Park. They could see both the prairie and the mountains - a great change from the Midwest they had left behind. Elsie was active in civic and social clubs.