Samuel Blackham is the senior partner in the firm of Blackham & Judd, proprietors of the Rocky Mountain Livery & Garage at Evanston. He was born December 23, 1860, at West Elizabeth, Pennsylvania.
His father, the late Samuel Blackham, was a native of England and came to America at the age of twenty-one years. He established his home in Pennsylvania, where he resided until the latter part of 1861. The year 1862 witnessed his arrival in Utah and in 1868 and 1869 he was employed by the Union Pacific Railway Company on the construction of its line through Echo canyon. On the 2d of October, 1870, he removed with his family to Evanston and was employed at the trade of stone mason and plasterer in connection with the construction of the Union Pacific roundhouse at Evanston. He was also engaged for many years in the contracting business in the construction of homes, doing the masonry and plastering work, being a pioneer in that line of activity in Evanston, which was a tent city at the time of his arrival. He built many of the city's best homes and was actively identified with the improvement and development of the city and surrounding country. His political allegiance was given to the democratic party in his early life, but later he affiliated with the republican party and gave to it his stalwart support. His religious belief was that of the Episcopal church, in the faith of which he passed away in April, 1913, when seventy-six years of age. He remained an active factor in the business life of Evanston for a considerable period but spent his last ten years in retirement, enjoying a rest which he had truly earned and richly deserved. His wife bore the maiden name of Mary Ann Lamb and was a native of London, England. She came to America with her mother, who crossed the Atlantic to join her husband. Mrs. Blackham was at that time a maiden of fifteen years and on the 1st of March, 1859, in St. Joseph, Missouri, she became the wife of Samuel Blackham. She still survives and yet makes her home in Evanston, where she has resided from early pioneer times. She has become the mother of twelve children, four sons and eight daughters. Of this number four have passed away, three of them dying in childhood, while one son reached young manhood, being twenty-four years of age at the time of his demise.
Samuel Blackham, the eldest of the family, was educated in the public schools of Evanston and in night schools. His opportunities, however, for attending school were somewhat limited and it has been by reason of study, observation and experience that he has become the well informed man that he is. At the age of fifteen he started to work in the shops of the Union Pacific Railroad Company with a view of becoming a machinist and boiler-maker. He served for two and a half years and then took up firing on the railroad, spending three and a half years in that connection, after which he was promoted to the position of locomotive engineer and was thus in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company for nineteen years save one month. Ambitious, however, to engage in business on his own account, he severed his connection with the railroad company and established a livery and garage in 1907. This was before he left the railroad service and for a time the business was conducted by his brother-in-law, Mr. Judd. At first only a livery business was carried on, but after several years the scope of the business was extended to include the sale of the Maxwell and Carter cars and automobile supplies, gas and oil. Mr. Blackham now conducts the leading garage and livery barn in this section of the state. His building is seventy-five by seventy-five feet, two stories in height. It is a solid concrete structure and was erected in 1908 at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars, being built especially for the purpose for which it is used. Mr. Blackham now devotes his entire time and attention to this business and his concentration of purpose and indefatigable energy have been salient features in his growing success.
On the 1st of March, 1886, Mr. Blackham was married in Granger, Wyoming, to Miss Lottie Walton, a native of Utah and a daughter of the late Darwin Walton, who passed away in August, 1917, at the age of eighty-seven years. He was a pioneer in the states of Utah and of Idaho and for forty years was a resident of Cleveland, Idaho, there remaining until called to the home beyond. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Lottie O'Neal, is still living. To Mr. and Mrs. Blackham have been born three daughters and a son: Lydia; Alfred Samuel, who is now a sergeant in Company E of the Wyoming National Guard; Bessie, who is a teacher in the public schools of Evanston; and Olive, who is attending school. The three eldest children were born in Utah and the last named in Evanston.
Mr. Blackham is a stalwart republican in his political views. He served as deputy assessor for three terms and as assessor for one term. He has also been a member of the city council of Evanston for twelve years and has ever been active in public affairs and civic matters, his influence always being on the side of progress and improvement. As a public official he has exercised his prerogatives in support of many plans that have been of great benefit to the city. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonging to the lodge, chapter, the Knights Templar and to the Mystic Shrine. He is also an honorary member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. His religious faith is that of the Episcopal church and its teachings have guided him in all of his life's relations, making him a man whom to know is to esteem and honor.