Herbert Lemp – Club First Vice President

History Minute

So, with a show of hands, how many here know that in the 1920’s Boise was the polo capital of the Pacific Northwest?

And along those same lines, how many of us have ridden a horse?

And how many of us feel we achieved some level of accomplishment at horseback riding?

Now, how many of us have ever ridden flat out, swinging a long handled mallet in a circular sweep over our heads, aiming at a relatively small ball, and managed to hit the ball, not the turf, not our horse, and hopefully not ourselves?

Yea, me either.

Well, this is exactly what Herbert F. Lemp, our club’s first vice president, did very successfully, for fun and competition.

Aside from being a native Boisean and a member of a well known family in the Capital City since pioneer times, Herbert F. Lemp was a director of the Pacific National Bank of Boise, the Idaho State Life Insurance Company, and the Boise Stone Company. He was actively and favorably known for his involvement with the livestock and cattle industry and many leading industrial establishments in Boise.

Mr. Lemp was a married man with two children, and was a Mason and an Elk as well as one of Boise’s first Rotarians.

Herbert Lemp was the captain of “The Four Horsemen”, Boise’s highly acclaimed Polo team. They were a civilian team that formed to compete with U. S. Cavalry troopers. Their polo field is now occupied by numerous buildings including The Boise Little Theater.

The Four Horsemen played teams from Seattle, Spokane, Portland and even Hollywood, who’s members were well known celebrities of the day.

At the age of 43, Herb Lemp was elected Mayor of Boise in 1927 and promptly challenged another polo playing mayor, Will Rogers of Beverly Hills. The Beverly Hills team was scheduled to come to Boise for the big northwest polo tournament when tragedy struck.

In a practice game, while riding a substitute pony named “Craven” Lemp was thrown and suffered a fatal head injury. Appearing to be on the road to recovery, he was sworn in as Boise’s Mayor while still in the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries just four days later.

I’m reminded of a story about a man’s grave stone, engraved upon it are his date of birth, a dash, and the date of his death. The dates are really not very important – it’s the “dash” that counts, and what you did with the “dash”.

Herbert F. Lemp’s “dash” was filled with accomplishment, compassion, charm, daring and service. That’s a “dash” to be proud of.

Copied from notes prepared by Cindy Conway & presented in 2008 or 2009