Mayor Peter Pefley

Photo of Peter Pefley
Photo courtesy of The Idaho State Historical Society

Born June 6, 1830, Roanoke, Virginia
Died February 25, 1906, Lewiston, Idaho

Peter Pefley was born near Roanoke, Virginia in 1830, and in 1851 he traveled to Oregon. Pefley came to Boise in 1864. He established what would become a successful saddle and harness shop.

In 1880, he was elected to the Territorial Legislature. Pefley served as a Boise City Council Member and served as Mayor from 1887-1889. Pefley also served on the school board and contributed to the consolidation of the smaller school districts into the Boise Independent School District.

In 1889, he was elected to represent Ada County at the Idaho Constitutional Convention. There Pefley delivered a scathing debate in opposition to the “guarantee of religious freedom” constitutional proposal. The proposal sought to prohibit individuals from voting that followed certain teachings of the Mormon Church. Pefley was the only delegate to vote against the provision and he refused to sign the Constitution at the completion of the convention. He rejected any payment for his service as a delegate.

He later became involved with a dishonest business partner, which resulted in the loss of everything he had. With failing health, he moved to Lewiston where he died in 1906.  His body was brought back to Boise and buried in the Pioneer Cemetery.

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