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About the Collection

The Clifford M. Ott Photograph Collection

Winter 1996 Issue : Towers (newsletter of Library Associates, University of Idaho Library)

The University of Idaho Library houses a collection of historical photographs donated by Clifford M. Ott in 1992. Mr. Ott was an avid amateur photographer who amassed over 10,000 slides, prints, and negatives spanning the years from 1883 to 1990. Ott compiled a selection from his collection into eleven albums containing a total of over 1,800 images of Moscow and surrounding Latah County. These scrap books contain photos as well as newspaper clippings, and historic footnotes. Clifford Ott used these scrapbooks, and other slides and negatives, to give talks to senior groups about Latah County history.

Clifford M. Ott was a Moscow resident for ninety years. He was born in Iowa Falls, Iowa in 1897. Mr. Ott's family relocated to Moscow in 1906. He attended school in Moscow until 1915. In 1916, Mr. Ott joined the Idaho National Guard, Company F in Lewiston. After service on the Arizona-Mexico border, his unit served in Washington State until it merged with the 116th Engineers and was dispatched to France where he served as a bayonet instructor.

He returned to Moscow in 1919, briefly working on the city survey crew. From 1920 to 1926, Clifford Ott farmed near Moscow. Then in 1927, he began working for the Washburn Wilson Seed Company as a warehouse foreman. After a 1945 fire, Mr. Ott was placed in charge of rebuilding the plant's processing and bean packaging machinery. During World War II, he helped produce C- and K- Rations at the seed company. Mr. Ott was made the manager of the Washburn Feed Store in 1952. He left the feed store in 1960 and went to work for the Idaho Department of Agriculture as a warehouse examiner. After retiring in 1967, he worked for the Aslin Finch Grain Company in Potlatch, Idaho. He remained at Aslin Finch until his second retirement in 1972. Mr. Ott continued to live in Moscow until his death on September 18, 1996, at the age of 99.

The photographs provide a careful documentary record of life, activities, and scenes in Moscow and nearby Latah County. Many of the images were copied from family photographs that would otherwise be inaccessible today. Researchers and students now have access to a remarkable historical record through Mr. Ott's generosity to the University of Idaho Library.

--Greg Schroeder, Contributing Writer.}

Questions? Comments?
Contact Devin Becker, digital initiatives librarian at dbecker@uidaho.edu.

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Ott Historical Photograph Collection

Historical Photographs of Northern Idaho Mines, Towns, and Scenery, 1894-1964 i

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Davids'. Moscow. (no image, typescript)
1976-09-06
In 1896 F.A. David rented a one room building with a 15-foot frontage on the west side of Main Street south of First Street and opened a store for the Spokane Eastern Trust Comapny to sell the stocks from a bankrupt Juliaetta store. Later in 1896 David bought the remaining goods with the aid of Frank L. White and named the store ""Badger"" as David was from Wisconsin, the Badger State. In 1898 the store was moved across the street to the Spicer Block where it occuped two rooms with a 25 foot frontage. In 1898 B.T. Byrne's brother-in-law Wellington Ely came to Moscow and bought an interest in the Badger store. The title ""Badger Store"" was abandoned, the firm being called David & Ely. In 1899 David & Ely purchased the Dernham & Kaufmann building at the southeast corner of Third and Main streets and opened its door as a full-fledged department store in 1900. Ely died in 1908 and B.T. Byrnes became an associate of David looking after the interest of Ely. In 1913 Byrnes disposed of the Ely interests to F.A. David, and his sons were made full partners in the store. The firm's name again was changed to F.A. David & Sons. At this time the name on the building was Davids'. In 1919-1920 all four stories of the building were modernized and remodeled. F.A. David died in 1919, and shortly after the store became known as Davids' Inc. The name on the building remained Davids'. In 1946 Davids celebrated their 50th anniversary as merchants in Moscow. When the David sons reached retirement age the store was sold in 1959 to Childers, a Spokane retail merchant. In 1976 Childers sold to Fargo Wilson Wells of Pocatello who was represented by Van Engelen. Fargo Wilson Wells went bankrupt and the store was vacated April 1970. The Davids' building is now owned by two Moscow attorneys, W.E. Anderson and Len Bielenberg. The above is from Homer David's Recollections, Business Saga, from the Spokesman-Review dated May 12, 1946 and the Idahonian dated September 6, 1979.