Early Mayors of Payette

By Ron Marlow

A.B. Moss, born in Illinois in 1849, was a Civil War veteran, who was wounded in the "Battle of Shiloh." In 1881, at the age of 32, he arrived in the Payette Valley and, with his brother Frank, contracted with The Oregon Short Line Railroad to supply 250,000 ties for track construction. The hundreds of men employed needed supplies, so the Moss Brothers opened a department store.

Payette was chartered as a village of Ada County on July 16, 1891. The first village leadership was appointed by the county commission and consisted of four trustees. Moss was elected by them to serve as chairman. Succeeding years, the chairman varied and included Peter Pence, W. L. Rider, and Travis Brown. In the 1895-1896 elections, Moss was chosen as chairman again, but lost his bid as chairman each year from 1897 through 1901. The last village trustee election was on April 4, 1902 and F. M. Satoris was elected chairman. The board conducted a census on February 16, 1903 to determine if there were at least 1000 residents, so Payette could qualify for second class city status. There were a few more than needed, so on March 5, 1903, Payette became a city.

In 1898 Moss was a candidate for governor of Idaho. He played an important part in establishing the Payette Valley Railroad. For 10 years he was president of the Payette Valley Bank, five years as president of the Bank of Commerce, and three years as president of First National Bank. He was one of the original seven founders of the Idaho Canning Company, which became American Fine Foods, now Friday's Canning. He died on March 14, 1914.

Frank M. Satoris was born February 16, 1865, in Wisconsin. When his parents died, he and his sister went to live with an uncle in Metz, Alsace-Lorraine, located between France and Germany. When he was in his early twenties, he returned to live in the United States and found employment with the Union Pacific Railroad as a manager for several railroad-owned hotels. He moved to Idaho, married the daughter of Anna and Peter Pence, then in 1894 took over the management of the railroad hotels in Caldwell and western Wyoming.

After quitting the railroad, Satoris and his family moved to Payette where they owned a leather goods and clothing apparel store.

During Payette's first citywide election, held on April 8, 1903, Satoris was elected as the first city mayor. He sold out his store to H. J. Brannock, who also later became mayor.

Satoris was active in city projects, such as the water system. This Satoris family moved to Oregon then to California in the 1920s, returning to Payette in 1930.

After returning to Payette he was elected as the city treasurer and was serving his second term when he died on October 5, 1936. The Payette city council passed a resolution which said, "Satoris had a character untarnished and a reputation above reproach."

See a List of Payette City Mayors

Read More Articles by Ron Marlow Learn More about Mr. Marlow

© Independent Enterprise, Payette Idaho
First Printed in The Independent-Enterprise Newspaper, Payette, Idaho, Wednesday, July 25, 2001

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