Hailey, Idaho, was a frontier town of about two thousand people when Ezra Pound was born there on 30 October 1885. His father, Homer Pound, ran the United States Land Office, a position which doubtless carried a certain prestige, but not (if we judge by the local newspaper) very much weight. When the poet's grandfather, Thaddeus Coleman Pound, arrived five months earlier on a tour of his mining properties, the Hailey Times of 20 May reported: ‘Thad. C. Pound, former Governor of Wisconsin, and father of Homer L. Pound, register of the U.S. Land Office here, found his mining interests in a bad way when he arrived in Hailey a few days ago. His claim, the Alturas, on Warm Springs Creek was jumped, ore and all, the morning he arrived, and on his claim, the Acme, in Smoky, there was a cross location saddled. He is disgusted.’ The same issue announced, much as if it were the date of the next council meeting, that horse-thieves were busy on Wood River. The general attitude of the population to the finer things of life, and the rollicking, back-slapping humour, are seen in an anecdote which Pound recalled for Ernest Hemingway in a letter of August 1955. After Homer Pound had built a house for his bride, they were joined by her mother, Mrs Mary Weston from New York. Finding no curtain in her attic window she hung up a fancy petticoat, which caused Homer to be inundated next day with inquiries about his female guest. It was some time before he lived it down.