Collection: Illustrated History of the State of Idaho

Washington County Its Towns, Resources, Etc.

Washington County lies on the western border of the state of Idaho, and about five hundred miles from the Pacific coast. It contains a large area of land suited to various purposes. It has a population of over five thousand people. Its inhabitants are, generally speaking, enterprising and thrifty people, many of them having settled here in the early 6o”s and have remained ever since. The early settler devoted himself to stock-raising and placer-mining, and he thought that was all the county was fit for. But as the county began settling up it was soon found that anything which grew in a temperate climate would grow here. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now Washington County is now considered to be a kingdom within itself, as it produces everything necessary for comfort and happiness. Its resources are so varied that it would be impossible to mention all of them in this connection. Agriculture and kindred industries are pursued more at present than anything else. This in the...

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The Payette Valley, Its Towns

For the following graphic and ably written article in regard to the attractions of the Payette valley we are indebted to a souvenir edition of the Payette Independent issued in March, 1898: The Payette valley lies in the southwestern part of Idaho, with its upper and narrow end extending far back into pine-clad mountains and its lower flaring into broad, fertile fields, terminating at the banks of the Snake river, just across whose waters rise the mountain peaks of Oregon. Its length is upward of forty miles, its width varying from two miles at the upper point to eight where it merges into the larger delta of the Snake. On its northern side rise foothills which succeed each other with in-creasing height until they are lost in the great chain of the Seven Devils mountains: on the south a long, low line of hills divides it from its sister valley, the Boise; and through it from end to end the Payette river, broad, deep, perennial, threads its way around innumerable islands. At its mouth, its gateway and outlet, within half a mile of the confluence of the Snake and Payette rivers, is the flourishing town of Payette: midway in its length, on its mesa or bench lands, is New Plymouth, a new community established on the co-operative principle: still farther up the valley is Falk’s Store, which in an...

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Prominent Cities and Towns of the State

Boise, The Capital City The following descriptive article is an excerpt from the souvenir edition of the Boise Sentinel, issued in June 1897: So much has been said and written and sung of “Boise, the Beautiful,” that the task of saying any-thing new seems utterly hopeless; and of this there is little need. While those who have made their homes here from the beginning, and those who from year to year have come to stay, might naturally be expected to be most fervent in their praises, they have not always been the happiest in laying appropriate tributes before the shrine of the object of their love and admiration. Strangers and transient visitors have often been more fortunate in their offerings. Perhaps the first question that arises in the mind of a stranger in regard to this locality is why was it so named. After more than a third of a century has passed since the first human habitation was erected on the present site of the town, and after the story has been so often repeated in print, the inquiry continues to be daily made. Why Boise? Briefly, this is what the ancient chroniclers tell of the origin of the name: In the summer of 1834 a party of French Canadian voyagers, belonging to the expedition of Captain Bonneville (whose explorations and adventures were afterward immortalized by the pen...

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Bingham County

While not one of the most populous nor one of the most wealthy counties in the state, Bingham county does not by any means stand at the foot of the list. In 1891 the Idaho Register, published at Idaho Falls, in giving a description of Bingham County, stated that it was the largest county in the state. Its length was one hundred and seventy-six miles, its width ninety miles, and it contained about fourteen thousand square miles, or about eight million acres of land; it extended from the Montana line on the north to within about twenty-one miles of the Utah line on the south. By an act approved March 6, 1893, a strip of about fifty-six miles was taken from the south end of the county and a new county formed, called Bannock county, and by an act approved March 4, at the same session of the legislature, a strip of about seventy-five miles was taken from the north end, forming a new county, called Fremont. This left Bingham county about ninety miles east and west and about forty-five miles north and south. The central portion of the county is traversed by the Snake River, and what is known as the great Snake River valley composes a large part of the central portion of the county. It is a very fertile section of country. The most extensive yield...

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Political, Resumed

In 1890 there were two important supreme-court decisions rendered which were of popular interest. The legislature remained in session for a time beyond the sixty-day limit prescribed by the constitution, and the question was raised as to the validity of the laws passed after that limit was passed. The supreme court of the state decided that they were valid, and this decision was finally affirmed by the supreme court of the United States. The other decision concerned the great Mormon question and the test oath so stringently adopted by the early settlers of the territory. The territorial statute provided that no person should be entitled to vote who was a “member of any order, organization or association which teaches, advises, counsels or encourages its members, devotees or any other person to commit the crime of bigamy or polygamy, or any other crime defined by law, as a duty arising or resulting from membership in such order, organization or association, or which practices bigamy, polygamy or plural or celestial marriages as a doctrinal rite of such organizations.” To enforce this provision it was further en-acted that every person applying for registration should take a stringent oath, known as the “test oath,” to the effect that he “does not and will not practice bigamy or polygamy, and is not and will not be connected in any way with the Mormon organization...

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Idaho In 1890

The officers for the territory and state of Idaho for the year 1890 were: Governor George L. Shoup, Republican; secretary of state, Edward J. Curtis; treasurer, Charles Himrod; comptroller, James H. Wickersham; attorney general, Richard Z. Johnson; superintendent of public instruction, Charles C. Stevenson; chief justice of the supreme court, James H. Beatty; associate justices, Willis Sweet and Charles H. Berry. November 1, 1890, the following state officers were declared elected by the state board of canvassers and soon thereafter assumed office: Governor, George L. Shoup; lieutenant governor, Norman B. Willey; secretary of state, A. J. Pinkham; auditor, Silas W. Moody; treasurer, Frank R. Coffin; attorney general, George H. Roberts; superintendent of public instruction. J. E. Harroun; justices of the supreme court, Isaac N. Sullivan, Joseph W. Huston and John T. Morgan. Justice Sullivan drew by lot the shortest term and thereby became the chief justice. The population of Idaho in 1890 by counties was: Ada 8,368 Alturas 2,629 Bear Lake 6,057 Bingham 13,575 Boise 3,342 Cassia 3,143 Custer 2,176 Elmore 1,870 Idaho 2,955 Kootenai 4,108 Latah 9,173 Lemhi 1,915 Logan 4,169 Nez Perce 2,847 Oneida 6,819 Owyhee 2,021 Shoshone 5,382 Washington 3,836 Total for the state 84,385 Increase since 1880 51,775 The total indebtedness of the counties in 1890, when Idaho became a state, was $1,320,795, of which $858,700 was bonded. The state debt October 1, 1890, was:...

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Idaho Since 1890, Political

Late in June 1891, the state supreme court rendered a decision pronouncing the act of 1891, purporting to create the counties of Alta and Lincoln out of the counties of Alta and Logan, to be unconstitutional, on the ground that the state constitution forbids the division of a county and the attachment of a part thereof to another county without a vote of the people in the portion to be separated. State Attorney General Roberts returned the following opinion to the state superintendent of public instruction: Women possessing the constitutional and statutory qualifications can vote at all school elections; but to vote upon the proposition as to whether a special tax shall be levied women must possess, with male suffragists, the additional qualification of being “an actual resident free-holder or head of a family.” On May 5, 1892, the Republicans held a state convention at Pocatello, and a nominating convention in August following, at which they advocated the free and unlimited coinage of silver, the creation of a federal department of mines and mining at Washington, protection of labor and capital, prompt action in allotting lands in the Nez Perce Indian reservation, certain amendments to the immigration laws, and holding the Democrats responsible for the crippling of western industries. For the state ticket they nominated, in August, W. J. McConnell for governor, Frank B. Willis for lieutenant governor, James...

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Internal Improvements

In 1892 twenty thousand dollars was voted by congress for the improvement of Snake river, and one hundred thousand dollars for the Boise public building. The river and harbor appropriation bill, passed by congress in April, 1896, carried twenty-five thousand dollars for the improvement of the Clearwater River, and five thousand dollars for the Kootenai between Bonner’s ferry and the British boundary. The appropriation for the Boise public building was increased from one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to two hundred thousand dollars and a building site was selected which cost seventeen thousand and five hundred dollars. Of the special land grants to the state by the national government, aggregating over six hundred thousand acres, only one-sixth remained to be settled in 1897. Assessed Valuation of Property The total assessed valuation of the state in 1894, exclusive of railroad property, was $22,942,910, which was about fifteen per cent, less than that of the preceding year. The railroad assessment was about eight million dollars. The assessment of the main lines of all railroads for this year was fixed at six thousand and five hundred dollars a mile, including rolling stock; branch lines at five thousand dollars a mile, and narrow-gauges at four thousand dollars a mile. The assessment on telegraph lines was at the rate of fifty dollars a mile for poles and the first wire, and twelve dollars and...

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Idaho

The following record is contributed by one who stands high in the councils of the church and in the civic affairs of the state, and the article merits a place in this history, as representing an element which has a distinct place in the annals of Idaho and which is contributing to her welfare and stable prosperity: The remarkable journey of the Mormon people from the borders of civilization to the wilds of the western wilderness, in 1847, is now a matter of history. The pioneer camp of that exodus comprised one hundred and forty-three souls, and was led by Brigham Young, the president of the church, and afterward governor of Utah. This advance colony reached Salt Lake City on the 24th day of July 1847. Almost immediately after planting crops sufficient for bread-stuff for these colonizers, Brigham Young fitted out several companies, under the supervision of men of indomitable courage, to explore the contiguous territory, in order to provide for the establishment of the immense immigration of the main body of the church, which, in the few years following, found its way to Utah. One of these companies went south to Provo valley, and another went to Davis County, on the north, settling what are now known as Kaysville and Centerville. Soon after this another colony settled in Ogden valley, and this was followed by the settlement of...

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Bear Lake County

Bear Lake County is the smallest in Idaho, yet one of the richest, and one of the very few counties comparatively free from public indebtedness. The natural wealth of the little domain is about as happily diversified as its residents could wish. It has mountains on either side rich in minerals, timber and building stone, which have recently been developed to a greater extent than during all the years of its settlement. The county was settled by Mormons in the year 1863, and for a number of years afterward their residence continued under circumstances of the most forbidding and discouraging nature. The county is perhaps the highest altitude that is cultivated successfully in the world, the altitude being about six thousand feet, and the early settlers, being unaccustomed to the frosts and the storms of these high altitudes and the different methods of raising crops by irrigation, were for several years compelled to haul their flour and other necessaries over the rugged mountains from Cache valley, Utah, a distance of seventy-five miles, the roads being mere trails, rocky, sidling, and without bridges over the wild, swift mountain streams. To settle such a county, none but the strongest and most determined could accomplish; so bleak and sterile was the country that the shade and fruit trees first planted refused to grow. All this is changed by the labor and perseverance...

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Various Subjects

Presbyterianism In Idaho The history of Presbyterianism in Idaho embraces three separate histories: that of the work among the Nez Perces, that of the work among the whites in the Panhandle, and that of the work in the southern section of the state. The work among the Nez Perces had its beginning in 1836, when Rev. Henry H. Spalding, the friend and companion of Marcus Whitman, established a mission station at Lapwai on the Clearwater, twelve miles above the present city of Lewiston. When the Whitman’s were massacred in 1847 Mr. Spalding and his wife were also marked as victims, and though they escaped with their lives they were shut out from work in that field until 1871. In that year Mr. Spalding was allowed to return and spent three busy years among the people from whom he had been separated for almost a quarter of a century. The seed sown with weeping so long before had not perished, and he was permitted to gather in his sheaves with rejoicing. During the last three years of his life he was permitted to baptize six hundred and ninety-four Indian converts. One year before he died two women of heroic spirit, educated, consecrated, and in every way fitted, came to his help. They were the Misses Susan and Kate McBeth, whose names are now household words in Presbyterian homes. Miss Susan...

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Discovery Of Gold in Idaho

It is reported that gold was discovered by a French Canadian in Pend d’Oreille river, in 1852. Two years later General Lander found gold while exploring the route for a military road from the Columbia to Fort Bridger. The earliest discoveries of which we have any authentic record, however, were probably made by members of the party with that veteran pioneer and path-finder, Captain John Mullan, the originator of the now famous Mullan road from Fort Benton to Walla Walla, a distance of six hundred and twenty-four miles. In a letter dated Washington, D. C, June 4, 1884, to Mr. A. F. Parker, of Eagle City, he says: I am not at all surprised at the discovery of numerous rich gold deposits in your mountains, because both on the waters of the St. Joseph and the Coeur d’Alene, when there many years ago, I frequently noticed vast masses of quartz strewing the ground, particularly on the St. Joseph river, and wide veins of quartz projecting at numerous points along the line of my road along the Coeur d’Alene, all of which indicated the presence of gold. Nay, more: I now recall quite vividly the fact that one of my herders and hunters, a man by the name of Moise, coming into camp one day with a handful of coarse gold, which he said he found on the waters of...

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The Tip-Top Mine

The Tip-Top Mine is a gold property. It is situated twelve miles west of Hailey, Blaine county, in the center of what is known as the gold belt. The mine is thoroughly developed by an inclined shaft three hundred feet in depth, passing through three levels, from which project several wings. The ore is obtained to the extent of five hundred feet, with an average width of the tunnel from five to six feet. The ore consists of gold in iron and copper pyrites. The value of the gold is one ounce to the ton. A twenty-stamp mill is in process of construction at the mine, which will probably be completed and running before the publication of this volume. A four-inch water pipe two miles in length supplies the mill with water, which has to be raised nine hundred feet. The ore is treated by running it from the battery over copper-silver plates, where one-half is amalgamated. The remaining gold is concentrated by twelve frew runners and other concentrating machinery, which work can be effected with the result of a high percentage. The outlay in developing the mine to its present stage and in erecting the mill is about one hundred thousand dollars. The plant is owned by John O. Packard, of Salt Lake City, and H. E. Miller, of Bellevue, a thoroughly practical mining expert. The work is under...

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Pierce City Gold Camp

Pierce City Gold Camp is now attracting considerable attention from capitalists. Ohio parties have purchased an interest in the Golden Gate Mining Company’s property, and are now carrying on work there. The Milling & Mining Company also have a five-stamp mill on their property three miles from Pierce City, have begun the milling of ore, and good results have been obtained. Some sixty thousand dollars in gold has been extracted by a three-stamp mill owned by the Dunn Brothers on adjoining property. The character of the ore in this camp is mostly free milling gold quartz. The Chapman group of gold-quartz claims on the Oro Grande creek, fifteen miles northeast of Pierce City will be worked in 1890. The showing is one hundred thousand tons of ore in sight, free milling, with assays, from seven dollars and forty-five cents to fifty-six dollars per ton. A contemporary publication in an article headed “The Free Milling Gold Belt of Idaho.” gives the following: “The Western Mining World’s correspondents in Idaho exhibit a well founded enthusiasm over the mineral outlook in that state. In writing from Pierce City one gentleman refers to the fact that mining men seeking investment have a natural preference for free-milling propositions, the great advantage being that the ore requires no shipment from the mine, but is milled on the ground by stamp mills. An-other advantage is that the...

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The Silver King Mining Company

The Silver King Mining Company was organized under the laws of New Jersey, by Philadelphia parties, with Henry Tevis as president. They have two groups of mines. The Davitt, a silver-lead property, is located on Deer creek, a tributary of Wood River. The ore occurs in a granite formation. A large and continuous seam has produced a great deal of silver and lead. It was operated with a shaft; but a snow-slide ruined the hoist and operations were abandoned. The company also owns the Silver King, a group of four claims located four miles above Sawtooth on the Salmon river, in a granite formation and quartz, being very rich in silver, with sulphur, antimony, a sulphide of iron and zinc. Gold has been found in the iron to the amount of twenty-four dollars. The silver Values have been very high, averaging at times three hundred ounces, with sometimes as high as fifteen hundred ounces, and many shipments running to four, five and even six hundred ounces. Major Hyndman had a lease of the property for three years and paid the company in one of the years ten thousand dollars on a fifteen per cent, royalty; but little other work has been done on it. At length he acquired an interest in the enterprise and finally became half-owner, and was leasing the property in 1892 when the saw-dust covering of the...

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