From the Kootenai County Biographies (on line):
JUDGE HENRY MELDER. This gentleman holds the position of deputy collector of customs at Bonners Ferry and is well known as a capable, thorough, upright business man and an honorable gentleman.
Henry Melder was born in Calmar, Sweden, on January 10, 1830. He came to America when a child, and received a high school education. At thirteen he took a position as cabin boy on a vessel bound for a three years cruise around the world. He spent two years in Peru and Chile and returned to New York in 1847. He next went to Vera Cruz and thence to Hamburg, Germany, taking there the examination in navigation, which gave him first mate's papers. Returning to New Orleans, he made the leading ports of the world and later coasted out of New York. In 1850 he started, via Panama, to California, arriving in San Francisco in April 1850. He sailed on the bay for a year, then bought a small schooner and operated it until 1854. Then, on account of sickness, he sold his property and went to Iowa. In the winter of 1854 he bought a hotel in Calmar, enlarged it, started a town site and did a big business until 1857 Then we see him in Freeborn County, Minnesota, where he bought a farm and was elected justice of the peace and tax collector. He had the first white child born in his family that was born in that county. In 1861 he was forced from that place by the Indians, and he went to Chicago and sailed on the lakes for three years. He enlisted in a company for the war, but was rejected on account of poor eyesight. In 1867 he went to Minnesota, sold his farm and the next year went to California. He was attorney and deputy county surveyor of Sonoma County for eight years, and in 1879 he came to Spokane. He practiced law there for a time, and in 1881 he came to Rathdrum and opened a law office. He practiced there with good success until 1898, when he received his present position and came to Bonners Ferry. He was the first probate judge of Kootenai County, was a member of the constitutional convention in 1889 and in 1892 he was nominated by his party, the Republican, for probate judge, but at that time the party was defeated. Judge Melder has the distinction of casting his first vote for Fremont and has staid with his party since that time.
In 1856 Mr. Melder married Miss Sarah J., daughter of Harris and Ledia (Lunt) Bloggett, natives, respectively, of Vermont and Maine. To this happy union there have been born the following children: Oscar F., married and living in this county; Henry L., single and living in Rathdrum; Fredrick E., married and living in Spirit Valley; Gustave E., single, living on Priest River; Minnie A., wife of Ed Rose, in Spokane; Clara H., wife of Robert Bragaw, at Priest River; Mary E., wife of A. J. Young, at Twin Lake.
Judge Melder is a member of the Masons, Coeur d'Alene Lodge, and No.34; of the I. 0.0. F., No. 36, and of the Rebekahs, No.43, both at Bonners Ferry; of the A. 0. U. W., Spokane Lodge, No. 16, of Spokane, being the organizer of this lodge in 1881; of the Rathbone Sisters. Mrs. Melder is a member of the Rathbone Sisters, at Rathdrum, Idaho, and of the Rebekahs, No. 43, in Bonners Ferry. She is also a member of the Presbyterian Church.