Purported Likeness of William Ide

19th Century Portrait This portrait, purported to be William Ide, was found in an album which first belonged to Jeanette Ide, who was the niece of William B. Ide. Her father, Daniel Madison Ide was the younger brother of William. When she was a child she lived in New England, and as an adult she was married and lived in Coffeeville Kansas.

Mr. Charles E. Fread of Soap Lake, Washington donated the Ide family album to the William B. Ide Adobe, State Historical Park. He received it from his mother Elsa G. (Ide) Fread when she passed on in 1971. Mr Fread recalled that his mother received the album from her Aunt Jeanette and that Jeanette was the sister of Elsa's father, James Albert Ide. Mr. Fread was unable to give any other information about the album or the portrait of William Ide.

The album contains some very old portraits which were done by a Mr. Hale on Washington Street in Boston, Massachusetts. After his adventures in California, William Ide returned to New England about 1849. If this is a genuine portrait of him, it was probably taken in Boston during that trip. Such a photograph could possibly have been given to William Ide's niece for her photo album since she was living with her family in New England after 1855. (Daniel Madison Ide had apprenticed with another brother, Simeon, and had then worked in Warren, Ohio for a time. In 1855 when Jeanette was a small child he returned to New England where family members may have had this portrait of their famous California relative.)

When this writer first inquired about portraits of William Ide, Robert Grace, Ranger at the William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park, and an expert on Mr. Ide, mentioned the photograph you see above and said that the California State Park System had not verified this as being his portrait. He said that many of the photographs had apparently been moved from what was probably their original position, based on the index at the front of the album and that this photograph should be described only as "purported to be William B. Ide."

Since William Ide's daughter was not aware of any photographs of her father, this album, from another branch of the family, is a very interesting find. Perhaps there are other Ide family albums in existence which might help establish the verity of this portrait.

This portrait and description are taken from the book   William B. Ide, The President of California   by George Kirov, the 1994 reprint, ISBN 1-885852-01-0, without permission.