Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
MAJOR JAMES P. BLAINE is better
known as "Apache Jim" in Crowford's poems. He figured quite extensively
in the trouble with the Indians in the southwestern part of the United
States. Mr. Blaine is at present doing a fine business in assaying
at Chesaw, Washington, where he has been engaged for some time and where
he is well known through out this section, not only as a first class assayer
but also as an expert and skillful mining man.
James P. Blaine was born in Franklin county,
New York, on January 18, 1853, the son of Robert E. and Agnes (Harvey)
Blaine, natives of Franklin county also. The father was of Scotch
descent, and his father, the grandfather of our subject, located the old
homestead in New York, where his son, Robert E., resided until his death,
and where the brother of our subject, Alexander D., now resides.
The father died in 1887, aged seventy-six. The grandfather fought
in the Revolution. The mother died six years ago in her eighty-ninth
year. Her father, John Harvey, was in the war of 1812, and her grandfather
fought for American Independence in the Revolution.
James P. is one of six children named as follows:
Alexander W., John H., George, deceased, Mrs. Agnes Mitchell, Mrs. Jeanette
Kent and our subject. He left home at the age of thirteen, and lived
with his brother, Alexander, of Marshall, Michigan. He was fairly
well educated, and at the age of twenty went to Hillsborough, New Mexico
and took up mining and assaying, having become skilled in that art during
his days of study. He was superintendent of the Chloride Mining and
Reduction Company and led the party who made the locations for this company.
He was quite successful in his work, then lost all. Later he made
more money and on November 20, 1886, at Chloride, he married Miss Jennie
C. Hart, who was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, August 24, 1854.
Her parents were Nathaniel and S. (Coz) Hart, natives of New Jersey.
The father was a civil engineer and held a first lieutenancy in the Civil
War in which he was killed. In 1895, Mr. Blaine started from Chloride
with his wife and five children in a wagon, determined to make his way
to the north country. He had an assaying outfit with him and did
work from New Mexico to Lake Chelan, taking two years to make the trip.
He resided at Lake Chelan for a year doing assaying, and in the spring
of 1898, came to Chesaw. Two years later he brought his family here
to reside. The first assaying done in this section of the country
was by Mr. Blaine, on April 10, 1898. He now owns a good residence,
office, and other town property, and is doing a good business. He
is superintendent of the Opan Gold Mining Company and owns a large share
of the stock. The company has fine property, and has done about ten
thousand dollars worth of development work, which shows a large ledge of
good gold value. They have a large amount of ore on the dump and
will soon begin shipping. Mr. Blaine also owns an interest in the
Ben Harrison Mining Company, besides other mining property.
Fraternally, he is associated with the Eagles.
He is an active Republican in politics and was county commissioner in New
Mexico, and justice of the peace at Lakeside. He has always labored
for better educational facilities and is a progressive man. To Mr.
and Mrs. Blaine have been born these children, Georgia E., Agnes J., Albert
C., Anna H. and Mabel M.
In the Apache wars in the southwest, Mr. Blaine
enlisted as Captain in the Third New Mexico regiment. He was soon
promoted as major of the regiment. They chased the Indians and fought
all through New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Old Mexico. Previous
to this enlistment he was a scout under General Buell, and was associated
with the noted scout poet, Captain Jack Crawford, and here is where he
received his soubriquet, "Apache Jim," and was known as a very successful
and daring man. One day while sitting on a ledge with Mr. Crawford
and others in the Black range discussing the proposition of sinking a shaft,
Mr. Blaine jumped to his feet and assuming a dramatic posture cried, "to
sink or not to sink, that is the question," which so impressed Mr. Crawford
that be composed a poem known as "The Prospector's Soliloquy. In
this he refers to Mr. Blaine as a warm personal friend and the one largely
responsible for the production. Mr. Blaine is a man of practical
experience and has shown himself to be progressive and public minded.