Polly Bemis was a Chinese American pioneer in the rugged river country of North Central Idaho. Sold by her impoverished family in China and then later sold as a slave for $2,500 in San Francisco, Polly eventually found herself in the mining town of Warren, Idaho. An unlikely friendship emerged with saloon owner and fiddler Charles Bemis and the two created a long life together on the Salmon River. Her hospitality, determination, and creative spirit make her one of the most celebrated figures of the region.
Author Sister Mary Alfreda Elsensohn (1897-1989) was born in Grangeville, Idaho and she was professed as a Benedictine sister at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in 1916. She was educated at Washington State University, Gonzaga University, and University of Idaho. She was a teacher for 42 years and established the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude in 1931.