Gustavus P. Glenn knew an opportunity when he saw one. He was a freight hauler with teams of oxen and horses moving needed goods along the Kelton-to-Boise section of the Oregon Trail. Gus’ huge freight wagons were pulled in long trains with as many as twenty yoke of oxen per wagon. He moved along the Snake River Valley and the dusty desert in what became an almost continuous line of travelers. There were covered wagons, horseback riders, and stage coaches dropping off people and goods at places like Rye Grass, Bennetts Creek, Rattlesnake, Blacks Creek, and Boise.
In 1869 Gustavus Glenn built a ferry boat so that his wagons and others could cross the Snake River without the danger of driving horse and oxen teams through the treacherous waters. By this time traffic on the Oregon trail was heavy in both directions. His ferry crossed the Snake River about a mile down stream from where Glenns Ferry, the community, is today.
Gus was from an upstanding Eastern family. He came west as a single man, referred to in some texts as a “rover boy.” He came into Idaho at a time when white women were scarce and there were many single Native American women. In 1869 he married a Native American named Jenny Toms. Her loyalty to Gus is unquestioned. She stayed with him through many rough times and the couple had four sons and three daughters.
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