Leona Hailey Cartee

Photo courtesy of findagrave.com

Born September 26, 1861, Oregon Territory
Died April 4, 1933, Alameda, California

The only daughter of pioneers John and Louisa Hailey, Leona Cartee worked with her father during the years he served in Washington D.C., as a territorial representative from Idaho.

She was one of the leading proponents in the organization of the Idaho State Historical Society.  Formally the loosely knit Pioneer Society, a new organization known as the Historical Society of Idaho Pioneers was incorporated Feb. 10, 1881.  This group was only marginally functional, and Leona Cartee became the driving force behind the passage of an act creating a board of trustees to take over the society and placing it under state supervision.

The act was passed on Mar. 12, 1907, becoming effective 60 days later.  Governor John Morrison appointed Mrs. Cartee, Hon. James A. Pinney, and Professor H. L. Talkington as the first Board of Trustees and set aside a small room in the Capitol building as an office and museum.  John Hailey was appointed the new society's first librarian.

Leona assisted her father with his History of Idaho and was an early member of the Columbian Club.

The club earned its name in Chicago after the state of Idaho appropriated $50,000.00 for a state building at the Chicago "World Columbian Exposition" in 1893.  The Columbian Club was instrumental in establishing the Idaho State Library and the Carnegie Library, now the Boise Public Library.

After her marriage in 1888 to Ross Cartee, the couple lived in Montana, Utah, the Philippine Islands and California.  They were the parents of three children.  After her death, her husband brought her back to Boise for burial.  Ross was buried beside her after his death in 1943.

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