The History of Idaho, The Gem of the Mountain, by James H. Hawley, Volume I, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1920:

The Counties of Idaho, intro, A-B

"In January, 1858, while Idaho was a part of Washington Territory, the Legislature of that territory created the county of Shoshone, which included all that part of the present state of Idaho north of the Snake River. On December 20, 1861, two more counties—Idaho and Nez Perce&mdashwere erected by the washington Legislature and embraced all the territory between the Snake and Clearwater rivers. At the next session (1862-63) Boise County was formed from part of Idaho, including within its limits the Boise Basin mines.

"Idaho Territory was created by act of Congress, approved on March 3, 1863, and the first territorial Legislature was convened on the 7th of December following. That Legislature readjusted the boundaries of Boise, Idaho, Nez Perce and Shoshone counties and created the counties of Alturas, Oneida and Owyhee, all within the {present limits of the state except the eastern part of Oneida, which extended into what is now the State of Wyoming. At that time Idaho embraced. most of the present states of Montana and W'yoming and the first Legislature also erected ten counties east of the Rocky Mountains. These counties, with their county seats, were as follows: Beaver Head, Bannock City; Big Horn, county seat to be located by the county commissioners; Choteau, Fort Benton; Dawson, Fort Andrew; Deer Lodge, Idaho City on the Cottonwood Fork of the Deer Lodge River; Jefferson, Gallatin; Madison, Virginia City; Missoula, Wordensville; Ogallala, Fort Laramie; Yellowstone, county seat to be located by the county commissioners.

"All these counties were in Montana except the last two, which included all that part of Wyoming east of the Rocky Mountains, Oneida County extending to the summit of the Continental Divide and embracing nearly one-fourth of what is now Wyoming. The original counties of Alturas, Boise, Idaho, Nez Perce, ' Oneida and Shoshone have been divided and subdivided until at the end of the Fifteenth Legislature there were forty-four counties in the state, viz: Ada, Adams, Bannock, Bear Lake, Benewah, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Butte, Camas, Canyo , Caribou, Cassie, Clark, Clearwater, Custer, Elmore, Franklin, Fremont, Gem, Gooding, Idaho, Jefferson, Jerome, Kootenai, Latah, Lemhi, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Oneida, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Shoshone, Teton, Twin Falls, Valley and Washington."

ADA COUNTY

"Ada County, located southwest of the center of the state in the beautiful Boise Valley, includes within its boundaries the upper part of the Boise Valley. It was created by an act of the second territorial Legislature, approved on December 22, 1864. The boundaries as defined by that act were as follows: "Commencing at the point where Grimes' Creek forms a junction with the Boise River on the westerly line of Alturas and on the easterly line of Boise County, and running thence in a northwesterly direction to a point on the Payette River known as Picket's Corral; thence due north to the south line of Idaho County; thence west along said line of Idaho County to the middle of the channel of the Snake River; thence up the middle channel of the Snake River to the point where the westerly line of Alturas County intersects the same; thence in a northerly direction along said westerly line of Alturas County to the place of beginning."'

"As thus established, Ada County included the present counties of Canyon, Payette and Washington, and the greater part of Adams and Gem counties. The county is now bounded on the north by Gem County; on the northeast by Boise; on the east by Elmore; on the south by Owyhee, from which it is separated by the Snake River; and on the west by Canyon County. In the northern and eastern sections the surface is somewhat mountainous, but the land there is well adapted to stock raising, the fine pasturage supporting animals for about nine months out of the year without feeding.

"Boise City was named as the county seat in the act creating the county. Except the residents of the city the original settlers of the county were farmers and for the first few years barely made a living while putting their land in good condition for the production of crops. Irrigation had not been introduced, seed grain had to be brought from Oregon at considerable expense, none could afford to hire help, and it was not an uncommon occurrence for an Ada County farmer to go to some mining district and work a while for wages to buy the necessities of life for himself and family. Those who possessed cattle or sheep had better success, as the stock ranges were good and mutton and beef found a ready market in the mining camps. In fact the market was so good that quite a number of the farmers sold all their live stock to the butchers and left the country.

"The early records of the county are incomplete. but early in January, 1865, J. C. Geer was appointed sheriff; A. G. Cook, probate judge; L. D. Montgomery, auditor and recorder; A. G. Redway, treasurer: S. L. Carr, county clerk; William Law, Jr., clerk of the district court; S. S. King and Charles H. Warren, county commissioners—the records do not show the name of the third commissioner. In March, 1865, David C. Updyke succeeded Mr. Geer as sheriff; John T. H. Green's name appears in the records as treasurer; and Robert S. Gillespie succeeded A. G. Cook as probate judge. These officers served until the election in August, 1865.

"During the first ten years of the county's history the question of taxation and public expenditures caused considerable anxiety. County warrants were issued in payment of claims and these warrants were often sold for forty or fifty cents on the dollar. The Ninth Territorial Legislature, which met on December 4, 1876, passed an act providing that 35 per cent of all revenues collected in Ada County should be placed in a "Redemption Fund," to be used in paying outstanding warrants, and the other 65 per cent should be called the "Current Expense Fund," to be used in defraying the current expenses of the county. Under the operations of this act the outstanding warrants (about $80,000) soon went to par and in a few years the county was practically on a cash basis. The present courthouse, on the northeast corner of Sixth and Jefferson streets, was built in 1884.

"Ada County is the wealthiest and most populous county in Idaho. The United States census for 1910 gives the population as 29,088, and in 1918 the assessed valuation of property was $33,116,680. It is watered by the Boise River, the valley of which comprises the greater portion of the county. The great Arrowrock dam, the highest dam in the world, completed in 1915, is located in the eastern part of the county. This dam insures the successful cultivation of 240,000 acres of land, the greater part of which is in Ada County. Thousands of carloads of live stock, farm and dairy products and fruits are shipped out of the Boise Valley every year. The main line of the Oregon Short Line Railroad crosses the central part of the county from southeast to northwest, and a branch of the same system connects Boise, the county seat and capital of the state, with the main line at Nampa, so that the transportation facilities are above those of the average Idaho county. The principal railroad stations are Kuna, Owyhee and Mora on the main line, and Boise, Beatty and Meridian on the branch."

ADAMS COUNTY

"This is one of the new counties of Idaho, having been created by the Act of March 3, 1911, from the northern part of Washington County. It is bounded on the north by Idaho County, on the east by Valley County; on the south by Gem and Washington counties; and on the west by Washington County and the State of Oregon, from which it is separated by the Snake River.

"The county is irregular in shape and being at a comparatively low altitude, with considerable rainfall, the sheltered valleys are particularly adapted to agriculture and fruit growing. Some of the largest apple orchards in the Northwest are in the Weiser Valley in this county. The southern part of the mountain range called the 'Seven Devils' extends into Adams County. In this section large deposits of copper ore exist, but there has not been sufficient development of them owing, chiefly, to the lack of transportation facilities, the nearest railroad being the Huntington & Homestead branch of the Oregon Short Line, west of the Snake River in Oregon. The central part of the county is traversed by the Pacific & Idaho Northern Railroad, the northern terminus of which is at New Meadows, in the northeastern part of the county, and this affords an easy method of transporting to market the products raised. The Adams County stations on this line going north) are: Goodrich, Vista, Council, Mill Creek, Fruitvale, Hot Springs, Glendale, Evergreen, Woodland, Tamarack and Rubicon.

"The act creating the county assigned it to the seventh judicial district and designated the town of Council as the temporary seat of justice, the location of a permanent county seat to be decided by the people at the general election of 1912. At the election a majority voted in favor of Council on account of its central location and railway accommodations.

"As Adams County was not created until after the census of 1910 was taken, its population at that time was included in Washington County and cannot be given. In 1918 the property of the county was valued for tax purposes at $4,561,445. The Oxbow power plant, one of the great electric power developments on the Snake River, is in this county."

BANNOCK COUNTY

"The county of Bannock, named for the Indian tribe once so numerous in Southern Idaho, was created by the Second State Legislature, the act being approved by Governor McConnell on March 6, 1893. The boundaries as defined by that act were as follows: 'Commencing at the intersection of the township line between townships 4 and 5, south with the Snake River; thence down the Snake River southwesterly to the mouth of the Port Neuf River; thence up the Port Neuf to what is known as the point of the mountain, about four miles northwest of Pocatello; thence southerly in a straight line to the top of the range; thence along the crest of the mountains below Malad and Marsh valleys to a point on the top of the range, due west of a point one mile south of the present southern boundary of the toWnsite of Oxford; thence due east to the Bear Lake County line; thence northerly and easterly along the line of Bear Lake County to the line of the State of Wyoming; thence north to the intersection of the township line between townships 4 and 5, with the line of the State of Wyoming; thence west along said township line to the place of beginning.'

"Bannock was taken from the southern part of Bingham County and as originally created included a portion of Power County. The act creating the county assigned it to the fifth judicial district and designated Pocatello as the county seat. It is one of the elevated counties of the state, no point within its boundaries having an altitude less than 4,200 feet above sea level. Farming and stock raising are the principal occupations, about 200,000 acres being under irrigation.

"Old Fort Hall, established in 1834, was within the limits of the present Bannock County and near Pocatello have been discovered the remains of some old Indian fortifications constructed of earth and bowlders. The mouth of the Port Neuf Canyon was formerly the favorite winter quarters of freighters and cattlemen on account of the good feeding ground. Around the post at Fort Hall a considerable settlement grew up and cultivation of the land was commenced, but the modern settlement of the county dates from the building of the Oregon-Short Line Railroad in 1882. Since then the population has gradually increased until Bannock is the second county of the state in population and third in wealth. The census of l910 gives the number of inhabitants as 19,242, and the assessed valuation of property in 1018 was $18,038,226.

"Pocatello, a historical sketch of which is given in another chapter, is the second city of Idaho and an important railway center. Other thriving villages in the county are Alexander, Bancroft, Downey, Grace, Lava Hot Springs, McCammon, Marsh Valley and Swan Lake. These places are all on the railroad lines and are shipping points for the surrounding agricultural districts. Grace is the terminus of a branch of the Oregon Short Line railway system which connects with the main line at Alexander. It is located on the Bear River and is said to have the largest hydro-electric plant west: of the great dam across the Mississippi River at Keokuk, Iowa. At Lava Hot Springs, which are owned by the State of Idaho and leased under state control, a health resort is growing up which is becoming more notable every year."

BEAR LAKE COUNTY

"On January 5, 1875, Governor Thomas W. Bennett approved an act of the Legislature creating Bear Lake County, with the following described boundaries: 'Commencing at the twenty-third mile post on the boundary line between Utah and Idaho territories; running thence northerly along the summit of the range of mountains between Cache Valley and Bear Lake Valley to the corner of townships 9 and 10 south, range 41 east; thence east twelve miles; thence north to the summit of the divide between the waters of Bear River and the waters of the Blackfoot River; thence easterly along said last named summit to the line be tween Wyoming and Idaho territories; thence south on said last named line to the southeast corner of Idaho Territory; thence west to the place of beginning.'

"The above described boundaries are those of the present and until the creation of Franklin and Madison counties in 1913 Bear Lake County enjoyed the distinction of being the smallest county in the state, as well as one of the richest in proportion to area. It was named for the lake on the southern border, about one-half of which lies in Idaho and the southern half in Utah. This lake, which is one of the most attractive in the Rocky Mountain region, is about twenty miles long by eight miles wide, with an elevation of 5,900 feet, is fed by the mountain streams and abounds in fish of various kinds. Its outlet flows north into the Bear River and its shores are of sand or gravel, affording a clean and easy approach to the water's edge. Some years ago an effort was made to ascertain its depth near the center, but the sounding line ran out to 900 feet without touching bottom.

"All through the Bear Lake Valley are mineral springs, the most noted of which are the soda springs, in Caribou County, and the hot springs on the shores of Bear Lake, where a stream of water, almost boiling hot, flows from the side of the mountain. These waters contain niter, sulphur and other ingredients, which make them of great curative value in ailments of a rheumatic nature and when they become well known they will rival the famous hot springs of Arkansas as a health resort.

"The first settlements in the county were made in the fall of 1863 and the spring of the following year, at Paris and Montpelier, and are described in connection with those places in the chapter on 'Cities and Towns.' Charles C. Rich, the founder of the settlement at Paris, was a native of Kentucky, where he was born in 1809. When about twenty years of age he went to Illinois, where in 1832 he joined the Mormon Church and in March, 1849, was ordained one of the twelve apostles. In 1857, when Col. Albert Sidney Johnston led the expedition of United States troops into Utah, the Mormons, expecting Salt Lake" City to be destroyed, organized for defense and Mr. Rich was elected colonel in the Utah forces. He was afterward prominent in locating new colonies and when the land in Bear Lake came into market he acquired a half section, which he developed into a fine farm. One of his sons, Joseph C. Rich, was at one time judge of the Fifth Judicial District of Idaho, and another son, Samuel J. Rich, assisted in building the first roller flour mill in Bear Lake County. Mr. Rich at his death left fifty-two children, living, many of whom were afterwards prominent in public affairs.

"In the mountain valleys the precipitation is great enough to enable the lands to be cultivated without irrigation, but in the lower altitudes much of the land is irrigated. Dairying is becoming one of the leading industries of the county, some of the'finest dairy herds in the state being found here, and the cheese making industry, especially, having assumed great proportions. The Caribou forest reserve, the headquarters of which are at Montpelier, contains 718,000 acres; most of it lies in Bear Lake County and afiords good grazing. The greatest deposits of phosphate in the world have been found in the county and have been held in reserve by the United States until recently, when an order was issued by the Government for their development.

"In 1910 the population of Bear Lake County was 7,729 and in 1918 the assessed valuation of the property was $8,260,218. The main line of the Oregon Short Line Railroad runs through the county from southeast to northwest and a branch runs from Montpelier to Paris, the county seat. Besides Montpelier and Paris, the principal railroad stations are Border, Dingle, Georgetown, Manson, Nounan and Ovid. Bloomington, a few miles south of Paris, Geneva in the eastern part, St. Charles on the shore of Bear Lake, and Sharon in the western part, are thriving villages not on the railroad."

BENEWAH COUNTY

"By the act of January 23, 1915, Benewah County was erected from the southern part of Kootenai County and St. Maries was designated as the county seat. The county is situated in the part of the state known as the 'Panhandle,' and is bounded on the north by Kootenai County; on the east by Shoshone; on the south by Latah; and on the west by the State of Washington.

"Pursuant to the provisions of the act creating the county, Governor Alexander appointed the following county officers, to take office on February 10, 1915, and serve until the next general election: John Skelton, Charles Wells and J. L. Moran, commissioners; Charles W. Leaf, sheriff; W. T. Shepherd, auditor and recorder; E. M. Davis, treasurer; C. R. Reynolds, assessor; Edward Kolman, probate judge; L. E. Purvis, surveyor; C. J. Kinsolving, coroner; Edward Elder, prOsecuting attorney; Ruth E. Gerhart, superintendent of public instruction.

"Farming, fruit growing, lumbering, dairying and raising poultry are the leading occupations. There are no large towns in the county, the largest being St. Maries, the county seat; St. Joe, near the eastern boundary; Fernwood, in the southeastern part; Plummer, on the main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul R. R. in the western part; and Emida, Desmet and Sanders in the southern portion are the others. The St. Joe River flows through the northern part of the county and down the valley of this river runs the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul R. R., a branch of which leaves the main line at St. Maries and runs up the valley of the St. Mary's River to Elk City, Clearwater County. A line of the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Company runs across the northwest corner, so that all parts of the county are provided with transportation.

"In the United States census for 1910 the population of Benewah was included in Kootenai County. The assessed valuation of property in 1918 was $9,649,759."

BINGHAM COUNTY

"The County of Bingham was created by the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature, Governor Bunn approving the act on January 13, 1885. The original boundaries, as described in that act, were as follows: 'Beginning at the point where the northern boundary of Idaho Territory intersects the western boundary of Wyoming Territory; thence running westerly along the northern boundary of Idaho Territory to the northeast corner of Lemhi County; thence along the eastern boundaries of Lemhi and Alturas counties to the Snake River; thence down the Snake River to the mouth of the Port Neuf River; thence up the Port Neuf River to what is known as the point of the mountain, about four miles northwest of Pocatello; thence southerly in a straight line to the top of the range; thence along the crest of the mountains between Malad and Marsh valleys to a point on the top of the range due west of a point one mile south of the present southern boundary of the townsite of Oxford; thence due east to the Bear Lake County line; thence northerly and easterly along the line of Bear Lake County to the line of Wyoming Territory; thence north to the place of beginning.'

"As thus established, Bingham County included the present county of that name, Bannock, Bonneville, Clark, Caribou, Fremont, Jefferson, Madison and Teton counties, and portions of Butte and Power. J. M. McCollum and Charles Bunting were appointed commissioners to ascertain the indebtedness of Oneida County (from which Bingham was taken) and apportion that indebtedness between the two counties.

"Blackfoot was named in the act as the county seat, and on January 29, 1885, the Legislature passed an act authorizing the county commissioners to build a courthouse and jail at Blackfoot, for which bonds to the amount of $20,000 might be issued by the county. Before the adjournment of the Legislature the commissioners reported that Bingham County's portion of the debt was $70,000 and on February 4, 1985. the governor approved an act authorizing the county commissioners to issue bonds to that amount for the purpose of funding the debt.

"The eastern end of the county is mountainous and well timbered; the central part lies in the Snake River Valley, a rich agricultural section; the western part is adapted to dry farming; and there is some lava desert that can be classed as waste land. A large part of the Fort Hall Indian reservation lies in this county. Bingham is an agricultural county, the principal crops being alfalfa, sugar beets, potatoes and cereals. At the little village of Springfield, on the American Falls Canal west of Blackfoot a number of people are engaged in growing alfalfa seed for the United States Government. Some fine orchards are also in this county.

"Among the first settlers in the county was Frederick S. Stevens, who established a ranch where the City of Blackfoot now stands in 1866. William E. Wheeler, a native of Vermont and a veteran of the Civil war, came to Blackfoot while that place was still in Oneida County and on July 1, 1880, began the publication of the Register, which was afterward removed to Idaho Falls. George H. Storer, another pioneer of Bingham County, arrived at Blackfoot in 1879 with only 50 cents in his pocket. He was a member of the democratic state central committee in the first campaign after Idaho was admitted into the Union and in 1896 was elected state treasurer. Theron J. Smith came to the county about the time it was organized and was made immigration agent of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, in which capacity he induced a number of people to become residents of the county. Henry W. Curtis came about the same time and in 1885 opened the first hardware store in Blackfoot.

"The Oregon Short Line Railroad follows the Snake River through the county. At Blackfoot a branch leaves the main line and runs to Mackay in Custer County, and at Moreland Junction on this branch connection is made with another branch that runs to Aberdeen in the southwest corner of Bingham County. These lines afford transportation to all parts of the county except the mountains and timbered portion in the east end.

"Blackfoot, the county seat, is the only city in the county. Shelley, in the northeastern part, and Aberdeen, in the southwest corner, are important towns. and there are several small villages scattered over the county. In 1910 the population of Bingham County was 23.306, but since then the counties of Bonneville, Butte and Power have been created, which took part of Bingham's population. The assessed valuation of property in 1918 was $13,698,200."

BLAINE COUNTY

"The history of Blaine County really begins with the erection of Alturas County by the first territorial legislature. the act creating it having been approved on February 4. 1864. Alturas County embraced all the present counties of Custer, Blaine, Elmore. Gooding. Camas. Jerome and Minidoka and part of Power. The settlement of this part of the state is due mainly to the discovery of leadsilver mines in what is called the 'Wood River country.' It is said that the first mineral found in this section was on Warm Spring Creek, near the town of Ketchum, by Major Cavanah and Doctor Marshall. but the discoverers located no claims. During the years 1879–80 a number of prospecting parties visited the Wood River region and filed on claims. The first settlement was made at Bellevue, shortly followed by a mining camp at Ketchum.

Blaine County was created by the act of March 5, 1895. which abolished the counties of Alta and Logan, the new county embracing all the territory in the two counties thus abolished. It was named for James G. Blaine, who served for many years as a representative in Congress from the State of Maine, and who was secretary of state in President Benjamin Harrison's cabinet. The act creating the county [provided that the following county ofiicers (made up from the officials elected in Alta and Logan counties at the preceding election) should serve until the next general election: Sidney Kelly, Israel T. Osborn and Fred W. Gooding, commissioners; H. H. Clay, treasurer and ex-ofiicio public administrator; Joseph J. McFadden, probate judge and ex-ofiicio superintendent of public instruction; Frank J. Mandell, surveyor; Andrew J. Dunn, coroner; and for the offices of sheriff, assessor and clerk it was provided that the official elected in one county should be the principal and the one from the other county the deputy for one year, and then exchange for the remainder of the term.

Since the erection of Blaine County its area has been reduced by the organization of Butte, Camas and Power counties. It is now bounded on the north by Custer County; on the east by Butte and Bingham counties; on the south by Power, Cassia, Minidoka and Lincoln counties; and on the west by Camas County. A large part of Blaine lies in the Sawtooth national forest, one of the best grazing sections in the west, and as many as three thousand carloads of sheep have been shipped from this range in one season. The valleys of the Big and Little Wood rivers and the Carey Valley are well adapted to agriculture, either by means of irrigation or dry farming methods.

The main line of the Oregon Short Line Railroad touches the southern part, near the Snake River, and a branch of this system runs to Ketchum, in the northern part of the county. These roads pass through the most thickly settled parts of the county and afford transportation facilities for the grain, hay, wool and live stock, which are the leading products. Hailey, the county seat, is situated on the branch railroad, northwest of the center of the county, and on the same line are the stations of Balaam, Bellevue, Gannett, Hay Spur, Ketchum and Picabo. On the main line of railroad are the stations of DeWoff, Hawley, Wapi and Yale. From each of these places large shipments are made every year.

A short distance from Hailey are the Clarendon Hot Springs and at Ketchum are the Guyer Hot Springs, both'noted camping places for sportsmen who visit the sawtooth reserve for big game. In 1910 the population of Blaine County was 8,387, and 1918 the property was assessed for tax purposes at $6,188,023."

BOISE COUNTY

"Boise was one of four counties created by the First Territorial Legislature by an act approved on February 4, 1864. The original boundaries, as described in that act, were as follows: 'Beginning at a point on the Snake River in latitude 44° 30' north; thence in a due eastern direction to longitude 114° 30'; thence in a southwestern direction on the dividing ridge between the waters of Moore's Creek and the North Fork of the Boise River, following said divide to the confluence of Grimes' Creek with the Boise River; thence in a southerly direction to a point on the Snake River opposite the mouth of Goose Creek; thence down the center of the channel of the Snake River to the place of beginning.'

By tracing these boundaries on a map of the state, it will be found that Boise County included all the present county of that name, as well as Ada, Canyon, Gem and Payette counties and the southern part of Washington. The Boise News of February 27, 1864, announced that the governor had appointed the following county officers: John C. Smith, Frank Moore and Henry I. Crow, commissioners; Sumner Pinkham, sheriff; Daniel McLaughlin, probate judge; Washington R. Underwood, auditor; Charles D. Vajen, treasurer. The following justices of the peace were also appointed: Charles Walker, Idaho City; J. H. Johnson and C. W. Depuy, Centerville; T. H. Stringham and Charles Woodbury, Placerville; and Daniel S. Holton, Boise City. The first term of the district court in the county was held beginning on Tuesday, February 23, 1864, before the county officers were appointed, Judge Samuel C. Parks presiding.

The first white men came into the Boise Basin in 1862, attracted thither by the hopeof finding gold—a hope in which they were not disappointed. Among the first to arrive were George Grimes, John Reynolds, Joseph Branstetter, Moses Splawn, D. H. Fogus and a few others, who made the wonderful discovery that led to the settlement and organization of Boise County two years later. Within a few months after the first discovery, several hundred men were prospecting all the valleys and gulches of the Basin. Idaho City, afterward the county seat of Boise County, Centerville, Placerville and Pioneer City were all thriving mining towns in 1863 and 1864, estimating their population in thousands. Late in the year 1862 and the early part of 1863 some of the most active pioneers were Marion Moore, David Alderson, Ralph Bledso, C. C. Higby, William Ritchie, John Hailey, Henry Greathouse, Ben Wilson, Wm. Lynch, George Thatcher and Capt. 'Jeff' Standifer. Hailey and Greathouse were the proprietors of the first stage coach lines in the Basin, and Standifer commanded the first volunteer company when an Indian outbreak was threatened in the spring of 1863.

For twelve years the population of Boise County exceeded or equalled the population of the rest of the territory. Boise County had until 1873 four members of the Upper House of the Legislature and eight members of the Lower House, and from 1873 to 1880 had three members of the Upper House and eight of the Lower House, the total membership during that time of the entire Legislature being thirteen in the Upper House and twenty-six in the Lower House.

In 1868 the votes for the democratic candidate for delegate in Congress, upon which the delegations from the several counties were apportioned, were greater in Boise County than in all of the other counties of the state. In fact, the influence of Boise County in political conventions of both of the great parties was commanding until 1878, and the county took the lead in all political and business matters.

The second session of the Territorial Legislature cut off the southern and western parts of Boise County to form the County of Ada. Since then the boundary lines have several times been changed, and in 1917 the northern part of the county was taken to form the new County of Valley. Gem County in 1915, having already taken a part. This left Boise County only a fraction of its original size, bounded on the north by Valley County; on the east by Custer; on the southeast and south by the counties of Elmore and Ada; and on the west by Gem County.

Although Boise was the second county in the state to be permanently settled, it was the last county to have a railroad. In 19I2 the Oregon Short Line branch following the Payette River to Lakeport was completed through the county and gave a new impetus to agriculture, fruit growing and stock raising. On this railroad the stations of Banks, Gardena, Horseshoe Bend and Montour are the principal shipping points for the rich agricultural district of the Payette Valley. Away from the railroad the leading villages are Idaho City, the county seat, Centerville, Placerville and Quartzburg. A number of the old mining camps are still standing, with their deserted log cabins, and there are some who hope to see a revival of the mining industry, which would make a local market for the products of the farms that are being developed along all the streams.

The population of the county in 1910 was 5,250, a large part of which is now in Valley County, and in 1918 the valuation of property was $3,327,532, only three counties in the state showing a smaller valuation, viz.: Butte, Camas and Teton."

BONNER COUNTY

"On February 21, 1907, Governor Gooding approved the act creating Bonner County from the northern part of Kootenai County, with the following described boundaries: 'Commencing at a point where the township line between townships 53 and 54 north intersects the boundary line between the State of Idaho and the State of Washington; thence east on said township line to the northeast corner of township 53 north, range 3 west; thence north on range line between sections 36 and 31 to the northeast corner of section 36, township 54, range 3; thence due east six miles to the northeast corner of section 36, township 54, range 2 west; thence south along the range line between ranges 1 and 2 to the northeast corner of township 52 north, range 2 west; thence east on the township line between townships 52' and 53 to the present county line between Kootenai and Shoshone counties; thence north along the west boundary line of Shoshone County to the northwest corner thereof; thence in an easterly direction along the summit of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains to the west line of the State of Montana; thence north along the boundary line between the states of Idaho and Montana to the international boundary between the United States and Canada; thence west along said international boundary to the northwest corner of the State of Idaho; thence south along the line between the states of Idaho and Washington t0 the place of beginning."

The boundaries as above described included the present County of Boundary, which was cut off from Bonner by the act of January 23, 1915. Bonner County was named for Edwin L. Bonner, who established a ferry across the Kootenai River in 1863, where the Town of Bonners Ferry now stands. The act creating the county fixed the temporary county seat at Sandpoint, the location of the permanent seat of justice to be decided by the voters of the county at the general election in 1908. At that election a majority of the votes were cast in favor of Sandpoint and a courthouse was soon afterward erected.

Lake Pend d'Oreille, one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the Northwest, lies in the central part. Through this lake flows Clark's Fork, and the western part is drained by the Priest River. In the valleys of the streams and along the shores of the lake are the richest agricultural lands in Northern Idaho, where the rainfall is sufficient to carry on farming without the aid of irrigation. Heavy forests of pine, fir, hemlock and tamarack originally covered a large part of the county and lumbering is an important industry. Excellent transportation facilities for the products of the farms and sawmills are afforded by the Northern Pacific, the Spokane & International and the Great Northern railways, which center at Sandpoint and radiate in all directions.

Sandpoint, the county seat, located on the north shore of Lake Pend d'Oreille, is the principal city, though there are a number of villages in the county, with a population of from 100 to 400 each, to-wit: Albany Falls, Cabinet, Clark Fork, Colburn, Elmira, Harlem, Hope, Kootenai, Laclede, Ponderay, Priest River, Sagle, Severance, Valley and Westmond. Most of these villages are on some of the railway lines and are shipping points of greater or less importance. In 1910 (before Boundary County was set off) the population of Bonner County was 13,588, and in 1918 the assessed valuation of property was $16,261,681."

BONNEVILLE COUNTY

"Bonneville County was created by the act of February 7, 1911, from the northern part of Bingham County, and was named in honor of Capt. Benjamin L. E. Bonneville, who visited the Snake River Valley in the early '30's and in the fall of 1833 established his winter quarters at the mouth of the Port Neuf River. The county is bounded on the north by the counties of Jefferson, Madison and Teton; on the east by the State of Wyoming; on the south by Bannock and Bingham counties; and on the west by Bingham. The act creating the county assigned it to the sixth judicial district and the fifth senatorial district, and designated Idaho Falls as the county seat.

The first permanent settlements were made near the Snake River, first at the Eagle Rock Ferry, which was established by Harry Ricketts in 1864 near the present northern boundary, and second where the City of Idaho Falls now stands. A wagon bridge over the Snake River at this point was built in 1865-66 by J. M. Taylor and Robert Anderson and a settlement soon afterward began to grow up about the bridge. James M. Taylor and his cousin, Samuel F. Taylor, came to this section of Idaho while it was still a part of Oneida County and the latter was elected sheriff of that county in 1884. Then Bingham County was created and he was elected to represent the new county in the council in the last Territorial Legislature. Mr. Taylor was also one of Bingham County's delegates to the constitutional convention in 1889.

Other early settlers were James Thomas, who was ordained bishop in the Mormon Church in 1885, and who was one of the first merchant tailors and clothing dealers in Idaho Falls; Carlyle J. Pelot, a man of French extraction, who brought a drove of horses from Wyoming and opened the first livery stable in Idaho Falls in July, 1879; and Addison V. Scott, a real estate man, whose wife was the first woman to be elected to the office of justice of the peace in Idaho.

Idaho Falls, the county seat, is at the junction of the main line of the Oregon Short Line Railroad from Salt Lake to Butte and the Yellowstone branch of the same system. The principal railroad stations in the county are Ammon, Coltman, Iona and Ucon, and there are a number of small villages farther inland away from the railroad.

Grain farming. raising sugar beets and fruit, dairying and stock raising are the leading industries. Two national forests—the Caribou and Palisade—have an area of 467,352 acres in Bonneville County and furnish excellent grazing for the stock raisers near the Wyoming line. Heise Hot Springs, about twenty-five miles northeast of Idaho Falls, near the Jefferson County line, are rapidly growing in favor as a health and pleasure resort. Bonneville County is proud of its good wagon roads and its annual fair and 'War–Bonnet Roundup,' which is held in a park of sixty acres just south of Idaho Falls.

In 1910 the population of Bonneville County was included in the census enumeration of Bingham County. The assessed valuation of property in 1918 was $13,961,919, only nine of the forty-one counties of the state showing a larger property valuation."

BOUNDARY COUNTY

"This is one of the new counties, created by the act of January 23, 1915, from the northern part of Bonner County and takes its name from the fact that it is the most northern county of Idaho, extending to the international boundary. The boundaries of the county, as defined in the organic act, are as follows: 'Beginning at a point on the state line between the states of Idaho and Washington where the same is intersected by the north line of township 63 north, range 5 west, Boise meridian; thence running east along said north line of township 63 north, ranges 5 and 4 west, to the range line between ranges 3 and 4 west, Boise meridian; thence south along said range line to the southwest corner of township 60 north, range 3 west; thence east along said south line of township 60 through ranges 3, 2 and 1 west and ranges I, 2 and 3 east to the state line between the states of Idaho and Montana; thence north along the said state line to the international boundary between the United States and the Dominion of Canada; thence west along said international boundary to its junction with the state line between the states of Idaho and Washington; thence south along said state line to the place of beginning.'

"These boundaries were so arranged as to leave Priest Lake all in Bonner County. By the provisions of the act the county seat was located at Bonners Ferry, the county was assigned to the eighth judicial district, and the governor was authorized to appoint oflicers within thirty days. Pursuant to the last named provision, Governor Alexander appointed the following county officers, to assume their respective duties on May 8, 1915: Don C. McColl, James Deyol and H. L. Shively, commissioners; J. V. Stanley, clerk of the district court; J. A. Worley, sheriff; James C. Bush, assessor; W. B. Hawkins, treasurer; Charles O'Callaghan, probate judge; Charles C. Heighton, prosecuting attorney; J. H. Cave, surveyor; C. E. Moore, coroner; Margaret Moore, superintendent of public instruction.

"The first settlement in the county was made at Bonners Ferry, an account of which is given in connection with that town in Chapter XXXV. The Kootenai River flows in a northwesterly direction through the county, and through the valley of this river runs the Great Northern Railroad to Bonners Ferry, where the main line turns to the south and a branch follows the river into Canada. The Spokane & International Railroad also traverses the county, passing through Bonners Ferry. The principal villages along these railway lines are Copeland, Eastport, Lenia, Moravia, Naples and Porthill, and there are several minor stations hardly entitled to be called villages.

"Farming and lumbering are the chief occupations. This section of the state has sufficient rainfall to enable the farmers successfully to follow their calling without the aid of irrigation. Stock raising is yet in its infancy in Boundary County, there being only 2,887 head of cattle and 12,159 sheep reported in 1917. And in 1918 the total valuation of property was $6,569,662."

BUTTE COUNTY

"On February 6, 1917, Governor Alexander approved an act of the Legislature erecting the County of Butte out of parts of Blaine, Jefferson and Bingham counties. The county is bounded on the north by Lemhi and Fremont counties; on the east by Fremont, Jefferson and Bingham; on the south by Bingham and Blaine; and on the west by Custer County. By the provisions of the act the county was given one senator and one representative in the State Legislature; the county seat was located at Arco until the general election of 1918, when the voters were to determine the location of the permanent county seat; the county was assigned to the sixth judicial district; and the governor was authorized to appoint county officers to serve until the next general election.

"Governor Alexander appointed the following officers: R. W. Ferris, James King and Clarence King, commissioners; John T. Welch, auditor and recorder; William Matthews, assessor; Alexander Macbeth, sheriff; Freda Hein, treasurer; L. M. Bresnahan, prosecuting attorney; Gus Bertsch, probate judge; Earl W. Fox, coroner; Louisa Pratt, superintendent of public instruction. These officers assumed their duties on May 14, 1917, from which date the organization of the county was considered completed.

"The Big Lost River flows through the central part of the county and farther east, between the Big and Little Lost River mountains, is the Little Lost River. Some fine farms are located in the valley of the Big Lost River, where irrigation has been introduced. Through this valley runs the Mackay branch of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, along which are the only towns of consequence, viz.: Arco, Darlington, Moore and Pioneer. Bernice, Howe and Sweet Sage in that part taken from Jefferson County, and Martin in the western part are small villages that serve as local postoffices and trading centers. In 1918 the village of Moore entered the contest for the county seat, but was defeated at the election by Arco, which was then made the permanent seat of government by the voters of the county. Butte County reported the smallest assessed valuation of property of any county in the state in 1918, as shown by the report of the state board of equalization—$2,549,080."


Source: The History of Idaho, The Gem of the Mountain, by James H. Hawley, Volume I, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1920:
"History of Idaho" at archive.org and Google Books

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