The Nitz Family in the Elk City – Red River Area
George Conrad (“Con”) Nitz was born 20 April 1888 near Leigh, Nebraska. His father was George Christopher Nitz, who came to the U.S. from Germany in 1870. His mother was Emma Schmidt Nitz, born in Iowa. Con was only thirteen when he left home. While still a teenager, Con drove cattle from Nebraska to Walla Walla and traveled to Bonners Ferry. He finally came to Elk City in 1908, when he was 20 years old. This was during the quartz-mining boom in Elk City, and Con worked in the Buster Mine, the American Eagle Mine, and the Black Pine Mine (later called the “Mary K”).
Violet Brooke Supplee [pronounced suh-PLEE'] was the only child of Hunter and Camilla Supplee, of Pennsylvania. Her dad was a mining engineer and one of the partners who owned the Black Pine Mine. Violet had been born 13 Dec 1894 in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, which is now part of Philadelphia. She met Con when she arrived at the Black Pine in 1913. They were married 15 Jan 1914 in Spokane. Later, after the snow melted, a reception was held for the couple at the Black Pine Mine.
In 1922, Con Nitz homesteaded 160 acres on the west side of Erickson Ridge, running down into Little Elk Creek. (T29N, R8E, B.M. – SESE of Sec. 3, E ½ NE of Sec. 10, and NWNW of Sec. 11) He built a little cabin for his family down near the creek. The cabin is still there, accessible along the creek from the bottom of the “S-curve” where Elk Creek Road starts up Erickson Ridge.
By 1926, Con had sold this property and moved his family to the large Bar-N Ranch on Red River, north of Cartwright Creek. Con built the 11-room ranch house himself in 1932, and for years it was a landmark along Red River. In 1958, Con and Violet moved to Grangeville and were renting the ranch house when it burned to the ground in December. The land was later sold, and is presently the Little Ponderosa Ranch, owned by the Idaho Fish & Game Commission.
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