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Ross, C. Ben (21 December 1876–31 March 1946), rancher, politician, and governor of Idaho, was born Charles Benjamin Ross in Parma, Idaho, the son of John M. Ross and Jeannette Hadley, ranchers. His parents were pioneers who went west from New York by way of Cape Horn. Ross’s first American ancestors emigrated from Scotland in the 1740s. His great-grandfather fought in the American Revolution, and his father went to sea as a young man, eventually following the gold rush to California. After marrying in 1864, his father abandoned the uncertain life of a prospector and purchased a homestead in what is now Canyon County, Idaho. The town of Parma, which sprouted nearby when the railroad went through in 1883, became the Ross family home....

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Vallejo, Mariano Guadalupe (07 July 1808–18 January 1890), soldier, rancher, and elected official, was born in Monterey, California, the son of Ignacio Alvarado Vallejo, a soldier, and Maria Antonia Lugo. Vallejo grew up in Monterey in an elite family. His parents encouraged his schooling, and the young man’s reading tastes ran to Enlightenment literature, some of it forbidden by the church. He once smuggled into California a small library of prohibited books, an offense for which he was briefly excommunicated. Vallejo followed in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the military. In 1828 or 1829 the young ...