Reflection on Local Wiki

Eric Schooley
19 December, 2012

My first project idea for the Boise Wiki was a history of a local ranch in the Lake Hazel area that has been sold and converted to a housing subdivision. A few weeks before the project was due, I spoke to the ranch-owner’s wife and got her permission to speak with her husband, as the ranch had been in his family for generations.

On the day he was available, two days before the wiki was due, he had suffered a change of heart. I approached him on the road and could tell from 20 yards off that something was wrong. His body language was defensive and he called to me too loudly. As I came up to him I smiled and put my hand out while I introduced myself and began to explain myself. He refused my handshake and cut my sentence short. Claiming, “I don’t wanna talk about that at all! We won’t even go there, and if I see my name in print, I’ll sue!” While I don’t think he’d have a case, I’d still like to respect his wishes, even if they were badly put forth.

For a variety of personal reasons, along with this major setback, I had to both request an extension on this project and find a new topic. I eventually started the AR project and got thoroughly distracted. So, I decided to combine my resources and focus on the Idanha Hotel. Since there was already a brief article concerning the hotel on the Boise Wiki, I added much more information, an anecdote and some citations.

Wiki Relflection

The first time I heard about Fort Boise Military Cemetery, I was told it was haunted. Around the time I had two friends that were interested in the cemetery. One that had watched too many episodes of ghost hunters and one that didn’t believe in anything of the sorts. I suppose I fell in the middle somewhere. The first time we tried to visit the location we couldn’t find it and ended up just going on a hike through the foothills instead. When we did find it however we were shocked at how small the cemetery was. It makes sense that some of the readings I did on the assignment called it Boise’s forgotten cemetery. I found the site to be incredibly interesting to my research on the topic because it was essentially digital history. The site is hoping to gather enough information to create an online database for those buried there. As it is now there are numerous unmarked graves. One thing I couldn’t find concrete information on was whether the location is a military family cemetery or just a veterans cemetery. I almost feel that the story has been exaggerated so the haunted stories can be more dramatized.  The story about seeing ghost children wouldn’t be as popular if there wasn’t also stories of children being buried there as well. There was a lot of information that I never even knew about the location before this assignment so I really liked researching something that I had personally experienced. I had also never heard of a cemetery being moved from one location to another, that was very interesting to me as well. I will admit that finding information about the cemetery was a little difficult because most of the information online has to do with the cite being haunted. There is a picture someone took claiming they captured an apparition at this site if anyone is interested In the times that I visited the location I never saw anything spooky, besides the regular spooky that all cemeteries are.

Boise Wiki Article – Reflection

​Although my topic is probably the most macabre of our class’s articles, I believe writing and publishing it on the Boise Wiki is a service to fellow Boiseans. There are too many extravagant myths surrounding what happened at 805 Linden and I want people to be able to access the truth as easily as they can access those myths. I first encountered the “Murder House” stories as a sophomore in college, soon after moving to Boise, by one of my friends. I love mysteries and took on the challenge of uncovering the truth by first speaking with an old boss of mine, a retired police officer who worked the case. Ever since then I have been rather interested in sharing the truth of the “Murder House” with other Boiseans. Given the task of writing an article for the Boise Wiki, I thought this writing on this subject would make a perfect piece.
​Since I could not really cite my discussions with my old boss, I first searched for Idaho Statesman articles written soon after the actual murder took place. Alas, I could not find any articles on the online Statesman database (offered through Albertson’s Library) and did not want to spend hours scanning through microfilm. After some more in-depth online searches I was able to find a few good sources—a more recent online article by KATU (channel 2 news) and the original court document related to Daniel Rogers case (the murderer). These two digital/digitized documents offered the facts I needed to write a truthful account of the murder that took place at 805 Linden.
​As I have explained, I wrote my article using facts about the murder, and I hope that my accompanying Wiki post remains factual. I would love to see my article grow, with fellow writers posting more photos and expanding the account I have given. However, as with any editable online article, I am afraid that others may not be as concerned with the truth as I am. I would hate to see my article become one of the extravagant urban legends that already occupy much of the online space pertaining to this murder case. Hopefully fellow writers will consider their sources before editing my article, and hopefully any personal future editing will be simple enough so that I can manage the factualness of my article. Further, writing about such gruesome events as the murder at 805 Linden in an online Wiki format will most likely bring outsiders (foreigners to Boise and the surrounding area) who enjoy reading and elaborating on murder stories. Hopefully, since my sources come from websites with open accessibility, those foreign readers—and possibly writers—will take the time to access similar (factual) sources.
​In order to create an interesting, but concise, Wiki article I had to account for only the most important details of my subject, which took some time during editing. For future Wiki contributors I would advise that editing an article before posting it is probably the most important step!

Officers’ Memorial on Boise Wiki

Idaho Peace Officers’ Memorial by Ryan Regis

The Idaho Peace Officers’ Memorial is a special place where friends, family, officers, and those who wish to pay their respects for the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice to help enforce and protect our freedoms that we have today. The memorial is found in Meridian, Idaho on the property of the Idaho State Police facility. The memorial is small in many elements but holds great volume in its message. I have found the appreciation for peace officers is low and almost non-existent in Idaho as well as most of the nation. I hope to change that and help others understand and know of the greatness and significance that it holds.

I chose this memorial site to be an important addition to Boise Wiki for a few reasons. As mentioned above, I think that the appreciation for law enforcement is almost non-existent in this state. New York holds great parades, ceremonies, and summer events for the family to help raise awareness to the men and women in blue. Here in Idaho, have see a memorial and have heard of a run or park event in Nampa annually. I have never actually seen the events or any advertisements to raise community interest. So I hope that my page will do just that.

I also hold a great passion in law enforcement and hope to continue my career after I have graduated. Most officers are seen as those bullies that pull you over or ticket you; not all officers are like that. Officers put their life on the line everyday and help to ensure that our rights are not oppressed or people are safe or being safe within any and almost all environments you can find yourself into. Regardless of the good or bad experiences that one has had with the law, is it really too much to ask for a little awareness about their job and what good they do for everyone?

With this start, this small blog and a few pictures of a memorial of the fallen I feel that it can become something big. I think that throughout the years, many people will start to understand and appreciate this work that comes with the badge. To see any addition for any source enhancing this page would really put a smile on my face. I welcome all to contribute to this page and add as much information as one possibly can. No matter how small the article or how small the picture, I really hope it helps everyone within the Boise community and those around to help increase this awareness and sell the compassion to those who appreciate warriors in their life.

Some advice that I will offer to those who want to be Boise Wiki contributors, I would say do your homework. Get involved with the project and don’t just visit a location you want to write about. I would suggest becoming a part of what you are writing about. Meet the people who run the location or contribute to the location itself. People are inspired by kind words and stories. It can be anything from a laundry mat to a memorial. Tell your story about how well the place is and the people that go there. When the public hears about the good environment, the good news will go viral and spread from one person to another uncontrollably, but it has to be believable. Any one can say that this memorial means a lot to some people and can be pretty in certain seasons, but more will be drawn to your location if you tell them the people you encountered, the history of the site, and the stories that were shared. Sell the story and don’t just show someone a place of interest, become involved and sell the site through stories. History is written by winners, those who are victorious with his or her involvement in a particular experience and its location. I challenge all contributors to write history about your own victory and the experiences that can come with it.


Boise Wiki Article – Linden Murder House

​If you have lived in Boise, especially southeast Boise, for a considerable amount of time you have most likely heard of the “Murder House”. Linden Street in southeast Boise, off the I-84 exit 54, is mostly a beautiful tree-lined street with well-kept homes—except for the house at the corner of Linden and Leadville. The house, a large craftsman style built in 1910, is the subject of many grandiose urban legends. There are legends of a crazed murderer who killed and dismembered numerous people in the house. A myth of the house being a fraternity house for Boise State University, with fraternity members telling of disembodied blood dripping from the basement walls. Also, a ghost story of a female apparition in 19th century clothes staring out the window at night. There is no evidence that 805 Linden was ever used by Boise State University as a fraternity house. The ghost story is a matter of personal belief, but the first rumor mentioned does have some truth to it.
​Regardless of the rumors, the truth of what happened at 805 Linden Street is probably one of Boise’s most grotesque murders. Court documents state that on the night of June 30, 1987 an altercation broke out between three men: Preston Murr, Daron Cox, and Daniel Rodgers—the owner of 805 Linden. Preston Murr was shot in the shoulder as a result of the altercation. Attempting to flee, Murr ran to nearby homes and pleaded at the doors for help, but before anyone opened their door Rogers and Cox retrieved Murr and dragged him back into Rogers’s house. Once inside, Murr was fatally shot by a bullet to the brain. Soon after the shooting a nearby neighbor—an owner of a house Murr ran to for help—phoned police and reported the suspicious activity, however the police did not respond promptly and the neighbor went to bed.
​Having murdered Murr, Rogers and Cox dismembered his body and placed the pieces into plastic bags. The bags were then placed into the trunk of a car and Rogers and Cox drove to Brownlee Reservoir, near Weiser, Idaho, to dump the body parts. The remaining evidence—gloves and the plastic bags—was thrown into a dumpster behind a Meridian, Idaho convenience store.
​In the morning police responded—after a second call by the concerned neighbor—and discovered bloodstains on the street and several neighboring doors. Police then attempted to contact residents inside 805 Linden, but after no response they received a search warrant and discovered the crime scene. Cox and Rogers were apprehended and charged with murder. After complying with police and giving a detailed account of the incident, Cox was given a lesser sentence—accomplice to murder—of which he served six years. Rogers, being found guilty of murder, is currently serving a fixed life sentence at the Idaho Correctional Center; he was denied parole most recently in 2005.
​So, Rogers is not a crazed killer who chopped up numerous victims in his basement. Blood does not spontaneously drip from the walls inside the house. And the accounts of a ghostly woman in the front window are unverifiable. It seems that this house—despite extravagant urban legends—is just the house at 805 Linden, where one of Boise’s most gruesome murders occurred in the summer of 1987.

Jon Agnew Reflection

History 381: Digital History

Fall 2012

Jon Agnew



I really enjoyed this assignment. At first I was nervous – like always – because I was not quite sure about how to write “good” wiki contributions. The largest concern was the language. I have lost myself quite a few times in the depths of Wikipedia, jumping from hyperlink to hyperlink. One thing I have noticed is that the pages that are trafficked the most, share common characteristics in how they are written. Some example characteristics in the writing are neutrality in tone, being written in the third person, and lacking a bias. These were hard characteristics to exemplify when writing my own contribution – as I will explain later.

I am now going to take up the issue of topic choice. After Philip Browning talked to our class about the project, I immediately wanted to choose a topic that was something food related. Food related contributions seemed quite prevalent when first looking through the wiki. I felt that the utility of the wiki – as it is not very large – was specific in nature. It appeared to me that food was that nature. There are numerous food related wiki contributions and I wanted to create a new food related page so that it would be useful to the current and future users of the wiki. I then started thinking about my favorite restaurants. I even wrote a list. When looking through the wiki, I noticed that most of my favorite places to eat had preexisting wiki contributions. With the exception of Tango’s Empanadas – which is an Argentine restaurant with great food and great service.

A couple of days later I was wandering the depths of Wikipedia. On my expedition I stumbled across the University of Oregon’s page. Something I found surprising on Oregon’s Wikipedia page was a contribution about their speech and debate team. Immediately I knew that I should write about the Talkin’ Broncos. This is something I am a part of and I feel needs to be recognized by my fellow Boiseans. Forensics is such a great activity and anything to increase its visibility is splendid in my book. So, I asked my coach if I could write on this topic. She gave me the go ahead. And alas, I wrote the article.  Afterwards, I asked her to read it over. I wanted to make sure the information was accurate and that the content was ok to publish. She gave me the second go ahead. And alas, I published the article. This brought me great pleasure. I had never posted anything to any wiki. I have surfed many wikis and forums, yet never – not even once – posted. I was so excited about my contribution. I still am. Like honestly, this assignment was awesome. The main reason why, reminds me of something that I heard at a strip club once. “You can look but you can’t touch”. This statement used to describe, quite intimately, my relationship with the numerous wikis and forums I surf. But after this assignment I finally got to touch. Being forced to sign up, read the rules, and educate oneself on the etiquette and ways of wiki contributions is something every college student should be forced to do. I finally made an account for a college debate wikicaselist, reddit, and Wikipedia. My future with wiki contributions looks bright. I have already decided two topics for the extra credit contributions – Tango’s Empanadas & Peter Cennarussa.

One last thing I would like to reflect on is adapting my writing and language to wiki style contributions. As mentioned prior, neutrality and bias are important characteristics of said wiki style contributions. I wanted to make sure that my close affiliation with the speech and debate team did not compromise my wiki contribution. When writing the Talkin’ Broncos blurb I tried to maintain neutrality throughout the whole article. This was difficult to do. I continually wanted to use the words “we”, “I”, “our” or “us”. One way I minimized these words was to edit my blurb multiple times. I not only had my coach read it over, but also my debate partner, and myself – multiple times. When they read it through, I mentioned neutrality and third person as important things to look for; both my peers and I had third person language in mind when reading through the article.

However, I did notice the difficulty in not sounding biased when I was writing about something I was a part of. Not just the word choice, but the tone and content. For example, the earliest draft of my contribution had the clause “The BSU speech and debate team is competitive at a national caliber”. This was a statement I felt was contingent on the reader’s opinion or background knowledge of national forensics competition. I then recollected back to my logic class where the argument was made, that contingent statements require implicit assumptions. And those implicit assumptions were made because of my bias. So, I edited out statements that appeared to be contingently true in nature. Another example of bias, which I did not edit out – whereas the statement did not appear contingent – was the sentence “The last two years BSU has placed in the top five, without even attending the tournament”. After writing and then reflecting on this statement I felt it appeared pompous and somewhat pretentious. But after recollecting back to logic class, I asked myself is their qualitative and quantitative evidence that explicitly makes the case that “The last two years BSU has placed in the top five, without even attending the tournament”? My answer was a definite yes. This meant the statement was not contingent. And thus it did not have implicit assumptions. So I kept this sentence in my final write up.

Essentially, I found it difficult to write wiki style contributions. I felt that if wikis are supposed to resemble encyclopedias. And encyclopedias do not write about themselves. Then writing about the speech and debate team would be difficult to do if I was trying to replicate encyclopedia style writing. Nonetheless, I felt I did a good job in exemplifying these difficult characteristics and I’m very proud of my work.

Wiki Article Reflection

By Nicole Bare Kinney

I wrote my Boise Wiki article on animals at the Idaho State Historical Museum.  I realized pretty quickly that I would have to think outside the box to find a subject that had not already been done.  Most basic Boise attractions are covered in the Wiki, which is a good thing.  I also had to find something about which I knew a substantial amount, and something about which I could easily access more information.  The history museum was a natural choice because I am there a lot for work.  I really like the stuffed animals at the museum and people are constantly asking if we still have the two-headed calf, so I chose to focus on that aspect of the museum.

One of the first challenges I faced was making sure that I could write about a slightly funny topic in a respectful but engaging way.  I hope I struck that balance.  Another challenge that arose quickly was the issue of taking photos. I emailed Sarah Phillips, one of the curators, and since the museum allows guests to take photos at the museum, I did not have to jump through any hoops to be able to post photos online.  That was a real relief, and I was not expecting it to be that easy.  The biggest problem I experienced was that I was not able to change my title after I started the article.  I really want to change it to “Taxidermy at the Idaho State Historical Museum” because “taxidermied” is not a word.  This was really frustrating for me.   A final challenge was balancing professionalism in my writing with making my article interesting.  I am not used to this type of writing so it took me several drafts to find a balance with which I was satisfied.

I tried to find good examples of this in other articles, but I found there to be a real spectrum of writing quality on the wiki.  Some articles were really dry, some were not well written, and some were quite excellent.  I think this is one of the main liabilities of writing a local history on a Wiki.  The goal is to make an engaging, interesting, and informative website, but when the editors cannot totally and completely control what gets posted, this becomes a difficult goal to achieve.  Another main liability is, obviously, accuracy.  Anyone can write what they want.  However, the fact that anyone can edit the page also means that if someone writes something inaccurate, another person can potentially catch that and correct it.  In contrast, if an author or journalist writes something inaccurate, readers can complain all they want but they cannot do anything about it.

Overall, I enjoyed this assignment, and I think if I were to continue contributing to the Wiki I would learn from this assignment and could probably do a better job next time.  I would at least make sure I liked my title before posting my article.  After doing this assignment I decided that a local Wiki is a good asset to a city.  If the overall goal is complete professionalism and accuracy, a Wiki will not achieve that, but it is a great tool to give people a feel for a city and a way to spark interest in the history of a city.

Boise Mexican Consulate Wiki Article—Reflection

On a personal stance, I find Boise lacking in culture and diversity. As a Latin minority (Guatemalan to be exact), I don’t really see my ethnicity represented aside from the Hispanic markets or restaurants, and yet these restaurants come from a very specific country. I wanted to research something that was genuinely racial, in the sense that the organization represented a single demographic even if it wasn’t mine, and thus I came upon the Mexican Consulate. I had very little knowledge of the Mexican Consulate, aside from seeing the consul and his assistant at various events such as the Civil Liberties Symposium and the Casasola Photography Archives of the Mexican Revolution.

My technological frustrations were quite minimal. Thankfully, all the sources I used for the wiki article were already digitized, which made the production of the article quite efficient. I actually began my article on a word processor, to check for any typos or major grammatical issues, and then copy-pasted the text into the page I created for the article on the wiki site. It was difficult to organize the text and make it look ordered without being too overcrowded, so it took several times of copying, deleting, and pasting before everything was in place. Uploading a photo was probably the most difficult, because the wiki site was not recognizing the picture I was uploading. I actually gave up loading the picture for a while before I tried once again, and miraculously the photos were ready. I don’t know how I overcame that hurdle, but I’m taking it as a gift.

While I was originally hesitant of writing an article for a wiki site, I found the experience fun and enjoyable. Everyone has unique interests and wiki sites provide an outlet to vent those interests to everyone and anyone who may also be potentially interested. In regards to the Mexican Consulate, I had no prior knowledge of its conception and influence and found the information garnered rather interesting. The fact that the article is written to the general public made the assignment less stressful while still maintain an aura of historical credibility. With that being said, it was difficult to change my voice as I was writing for a public instead of scholars. It would be interesting to see what changes occur with the article I presented and hope to see alterations whether they be small or grandiose. I hope that other Latinos feel that there is a section, albeit small, about them as well, as they see the article and are able to contribute to it.

The liabilities of writing local history on a wiki are that people may find offense to the article I particularly wrote about. While I attempted to maintain an unbiased voice, I’m sure there are users who will change the article greatly to ensure Idaho does not sound as racist as some of the primary sources implicitly and explicitly reveal. Other editors may alter information without looking up sources or attaching references, which hurts the credibility of the article. While I definitely do not believe I am now an expert on the Mexican Consulate, I did try to base my information on historical sources. My concern is that contributors will attack the writer as opposed to finding other sources that can counteract the information presented.

To other wiki contributors of local history, I urge them to be as honest and thorough as possible. While wiki sites are not scholarly sources and should not be used as references for historical papers, people trust wiki sites and articles. As a future historian, I hope that what I read on Wikipedia, even if I never source the information, holds some relative truth. People read wiki articles all the time to gather quick information and if we are not providing accurate history, we are aiding societal ignorance. I think it is a great responsibility to write a wiki article, and as a responsibility it should not be taken lightly. But it can still be fun!

Boise Wiki topic claims

Claim your topic in the comments!