Q: Who was the founder of Hagerman?

A: Herbert A. Stroud, president of the Stroud Realty & Trust Co. in Hagerman, “in a period of three years, laid out and built up the thriving town of Hagerman,” reported the Denver Post on March 15, 1910. He also had a farm south of Hagerman.

“Hagerman is situated, as to altitude and fruit growing conditions much as is Palisade, Colo.,” said Stroud. “It is right in the center of the biggest irrigation district in America — the Twin Falls district. Besides our splendid fruit growing region, I may add that our district is the greatest in the known world for alfalfa and other feed grasses and our power from the falls in Snake River, four miles from Hagerman, will produce 200,000 horsepower.” He secured the Upper Salmon Falls for power.

A new railroad entered the Idaho field when articles of incorporation were filed in the office of the secretary of state by the Hagerman Valley & Western Railway Company. The corporation will construct, acquire, lease and purchase, hold and operate lines of an electric line extending from Tuttle to Hagerman, and on to Buhl and Castleford.

Stroud was one of the “directors and heaviest holders” along with William L. Coltharp, another founder, reported the Idaho Statesman on Sept. 8, 1910.

In 1911, he was the general manager of the Orchard Investment Company in Hagerman.

“H A. Stroud, one of Hagerman’s leading business men, the founder of that town, and a member of the company now promoting the electric road from Buhl to Gooding which is to traverse the Hagerman Valley…” reported the Idaho Statesman on Sept. 21, 1912.

On June 2, 1913, Stroud wrote the editor of the Idaho Statesman endorsing the Old Oregon Trail for a state auto road writing it was better and more scenic than the northern route from Twin Falls, and shorter in mileage. He wrote “we are putting our road in first class condition from Twin Falls to Buhl Thousand Springs and Bliss via Hagerman.”

By 1914, Stroud was pushing an interurban feeder for the Oregon Short Line.

Idaho Governor John Haines appointed Stroud to represent the state at the 1914 Farmers’ National Congress in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1915, Stroud was appointed a delegate representing Fairfield at the International Irrigation Congress in the Sacramento Valley, Calif.

While residing in Picabo, Stroud was a well-known town site man, who handled the Gannett town site in 1916, located eight miles southeast of Bellevue.

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Stroud was a county agricultural agent in Arco, Butte County in 1919. He was born in England about July 1863-64. He married Emma L. Dixon in 1889. Stroud died in 1936. He is buried in Crestview, Florida.

“Stroud was one of the pioneers in the Grand Valley, and was the leading merchant of De Beque, Colo., until a couple of years ago, when he went to Idaho. He has been one of the chief promoters in the Hagerman Valley, and is enthusiastic over the prospects for that section,” reported the Denver Rocky Mountain News on March 16, 1910.

In the same paper, one of the leading real estate dealers of Hagerman and Twin Falls,

Stroud said “…many Colorado people are coming out to Idaho and are helping make our country.” One of his fellow Coloradoans and friend was John D. Nims, founder of the North Side News in 1908. Stroud was also a silent partner when the North Side News was established, and he occupied office space in Jerome.

A 1900 U.S. Federal Census states Stroud was living in De Beque, Colo. He resided 20 years in De Beque, Colo., where he was engaged in the mercantile business. Stroud was a delegate for Colorado’s Republican Convention in 1902.


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