Idaho County Histories

Idaho had four counties when it became a territory on July 4, 1863: Boise, Idaho, Nez Perce and Shoshone. By the time Idaho became a state 27 years later, there were 15 counties. The rest of the counties came into existence during the 30 years after Idaho became a state.

Flag of IdahoIdaho’s official nickname is the “Gem State”, because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found within its borders. In addition, Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets can be found in any significant quantities, the other being India. Idaho is sometimes called the “Potato State” owing to its popular crop.

After the Civil War, many Midwestern and Southern Democrats moved to the Idaho Territory. As a result, the early territorial legislatures were solidly Democrat-controlled. In contrast, most of the territorial governors were appointed by Republican presidents and were Republicans themselves. This led to sometimes-bitter clashes between the two parties, including a range war with the Democrats backing the sheepherders and the Republicans the cattlemen. That ended with the “Diamondfield” Jack Davis murder trial. In the 1880s, Republicans became more prominent in local politics.

After some tribulation as a territory, including the illegal and chaotic transfer of the territorial capital from Lewiston in December 1864 to Boise in January 1865 and a federal attempt to split the territory between Washington Territory which gained statehood in 1889, a year before Idaho, and the state of Nevada which had been a state since 1863, Idaho became the 43rd state on July 3, 1890.

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Collection Details

  1. LEM A. YORK, A HISTORICAL, DESCRIPTIVE AND COMMERCIAL DIRECTORY OF OWYHEE COUNTY, SILVER CITY: PR. OF THE OWYHEE AVALANCHE, 1898
  2. AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF NORTH IDAHO, EMBRACING NEZ PERCES, IDAHO, LATAH, KOOTENAI, AND SHOSHONE COUNTIES, STATE OF IDAHO. (3 VOLS), WESTERN HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1903
  3. WILLIAM J. MCCONNELL, EARLY HISTORY OF IDAHO, CAXTON PRINTERS, 1913
  4. HISTORY OF IDAHO, A NARRATIVE ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORICAL PROGRESS, ITS PEOPLE, & ITS PRINCIPAL INTERESTS. VOL 1
  5. HISTORY OF IDAHO, A NARRATIVE ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORICAL PROGRESS, ITS PEOPLE, & ITS PRINCIPAL INTERESTS. VOL 2
  6. HISTORY OF IDAHO, A NARRATIVE ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORICAL PROGRESS, ITS PEOPLE, & ITS PRINCIPAL INTERESTS. VOL 3
  7. HISTORY OF IDAHO, THE GEM OF THE MOUNTAINS VOL 1
  8. HISTORY OF IDAHO, THE GEM OF THE MOUNTAINS VOL 2
  9. HISTORY OF IDAHO, THE GEM OF THE MOUNTAINS VOL 3
  10. HISTORY OF IDAHO, THE GEM OF THE MOUNTAINS VOL 4
  11. PROGRESSIVE MEN OF BANNOCK, BEAR LAKE, BINGHAM, FREMONT AND ONEIDA COUNTIES, A.W. BOWEN & CO., 1904
  12. ARTHUR C. SAUNDERS, THE HISTORY OF BANNOCK COUNTY, POCATELLO, ID: TRIBUNE, 1915
  13. JOHN HAILEY, THE HISTORY OF IDAHO, PRESS OF SYMS-YORK COMPANY, INC, 1910
  14. TULLIDGE’S HISTORIES (VOLUME II), CONTAINING THE HISTORY OF ALL THE NORTHERN, EASTERN AND WESTERN COUNTIES OF UTAH;

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