Lynda Campbell Clark is the author of Nampa, Idaho: A Journey of Discovery, published in 1985 during Nampa's centennial celebration. She also has edited a compilation of oral history interviews for Nampa's People: Discovering Our Heritage (1986) and contributed a monograph to Religion and Culture (Richard W. Etulain and Raymond M. Cooke, editors; Albuquerque, NM: Far West Books, 1991). She taught as an adjunct professor for Boise State University and Northwest Nazarene University. Clark recently retired as Grant Writer for the City of Nampa. She served for over 13 years as a member of the Nampa City Council, including several years as President of the Council, and has been heavily involved in many community organizations. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Community Board for Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Nampa and is on the Board of Directors for the Nampa Public Library Foundation. Clark received a B.A. from Northwest Nazarene University, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Idaho, and completed additional graduate study in American Studies at Washington State University.
Idaho’s past is full of colorful events and people, such as Colonel William H. Dewey. Using photos, Clark presents the story of his life. He was involved in mining and railroading in Southwest Idaho before the turn of the century. Reckless and flamboyant, Dewey made and lost a fortune at least three times during his lifetime. In 1902, Dewey built the Dewey Palace in Nampa, a quarter-million dollar structure that rose like a castle in the midst of sagebrush desert. The Dewey Palace exemplified the boldness of a man who took advantage of the untamed landscape of the West.
Why did settlers come to Southwest Idaho? What was life like in this isolated sagebrush region? In this slide presentation, Clark examines the factors that made settlement possible in the barren sagebrush desert of southwest Idaho. She also looks at some elements of the early culture of this region. Is the stereotypical image of “Wild West” based in myth or reality? Did early Idaho settlers tolerate drinking, gambling, and prostitution? What influence did women and ethnic groups have in the development of these early towns?