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 has taught as an adjunct professor for Boise State University and Northwest Nazarene University. Currently, she is Development Officer for Northwest Children's Home in Nampa and is President of Nampa City Council. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Mercy Medical Center, Boys and Girls Club of Nampa and Nampa Council on Aging. Clark received her B.A. from Northwest Nazarene University, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Idaho; and additional graduate study at Washington State University.
Idaho’s past is full of colorful events and people, such as Colonel William H. Dewey. Accompanied by illustrations, Clark presents the story of his life. He was involved in mining and railroading before the turn of the century in Southwest Idaho. Reckless and flamboyant, Dewey made and lost a fortune at least three times during his lifetime. Indians killed his mining partner. In 1902 Dewey built the Dewey Palace in Nampa, a quarter-million dollar structure that rose like a castle in a barren waste. 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 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?