Historian: Idaho governor's killer left wife, daughter behind

Historian: Idaho governor's killer left wife, daughter behind

Credit: wikepedia.org

Harry Orchard (left) was convicted in the 1905 assassination of then Idaho Gov. Frank Steunenberg (right).

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM

CALDWELL, Idaho -- The infamous killer of former Idaho Gov. Frank Steunenberg abandoned a family in Canada.

A College of Idaho historian in Caldwell has now chronicled the lives of Florence and Olive, wife and daughter of Harry Orchard left behind when he went south to kill Steunenberg.

Orchard's story is well-known: How he planted a bomb on the former governor's garden gate in Caldwell in 1905 -- and his last days tending to chickens in the Idaho State Penitentiary.

Less-publicized is the impact his crime had on his family.

College of Idaho archivist Jan Boles has produced a 24-page publication, "A Public Silence Broken: The Murderer Harry Orchard's Forgotten Family."

Orchard's descendants say his name was always taboo, a never-to-be-mentioned stain on the family honor that forged a lasting legacy of melancholy.

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