COUNTY SEAT Payette Payette County was named for Francois Payette, a fur trader and first postmaster at old Fort Boise, which was built in 1834. Fur trappers traveled the county and explored the Payette River early. Miners passed over the county en route to the diggings in the Boise Basin, and one of the first settlements was a stage station founded by David Bivens in 1862. Homesteaders began settling the county in 1863 and irrigation quickly followed from the Payette River. Indian up-risings caused the establishment of Fort Jefferson near the Bivens stage station in 1866. Nathan Falk opened a store at the station in 1876. Boomerang was constructed as a railroad camp in 1883, when the Oregon Short Line came through, and later the name was changed to Payette. Agriculture is the chief industry of the county, but it also has some small manufacturing plants. -- "The Idaho Almanac," 1977 Edition, State of Idaho."
Historic Postal Records
BIG WILLOW 1907-1916 established November 29, 1907, Katherine P. Gess Jennie Shivers, June 3, 1908 Anna Moore, July 25, 1910 discontinued June 30, 1916, mail to Payette. FALK 1910-1922 established October 7, 1871, as FALK'S STORE renamed FALK December 15, 1910, John L. Hoagland Edward T. Hoagland, January 28, 1911 John S. Babcock, October 19, 1912 Alvin N. Andrews, August 7, 1914 John G. Julien, October 15, 1918 discontinued May 23, 1922, mail to New Plymouth FALK'S STORE 1871-1910 renamed FALK established October 7, 1871, Gustaine(?) Kohlbey (?)** James W. Patten, June 20, 1874 Charles A. Geistner, December 24, 1877 William R. Cartright, October 11, 1881 Abraham Frank, December 13, 1886 Josiah Cave, July 30, 1891 Frank L. Williams, September 22, 1900 George H. Jacobs, March 8, 1902 Edward T. Hoagland, February 28, 1904 John L. Hoagland, September 9, 1907 renamed Falk, December 15, 1910 on Payette River, 3 m. SE of New Plymouth Section 7, T7N, R3W **James L. Huntley, in "Ferry Boats in Idaho," Caxton Printers, Caldwell, 1979, identifies this postmaster as Gustavus Kohlberg. "In 1866 the Bluff Station Ferry began operation near here, about one and one-half miles from Payette." He further writes: In 1862 David Bivins established a stage station, later known as Falk's Store, on the Payette River about thirty-five miles from Boise on the Boise-Walla Walla stage road. On the river near here, Jacob E. Fouts (Foutz) was granted a one-year license to run a ferry on the Payette River above Falk's Store. . . . The ferry was known as Fouts Ferry and was in R3W, T7N Rates of Toll given: one wagon and single span of horses or oxen $1.00 each additional span .50 one saddle horse and rider .37 1/2 each pack or loose horse .12 1/2 footman .12 1/2 FRENCH 1907-1935 established April 2, 1907, John Syme Joseph O. Tunnell, April 2, 1918 Ira A. Corbit, January 5, 1921 William E. Stern, February 26, 1923 Mrs. Hazel A. Coates, May 21, 1926 FRUITLAND 1910-Date established January 15, 1910, Eugene A. Stegner Ursula A. Robinson, April 16, 1915 Jen C. Stegner, November 11, 1918 Iona Johnson, December 22, 1921 Mrs. Iona Anderson (wed) August 2, 1925 Laura S. Enberg, March 16, 1926 5 m. NW of New Plymouth, 5 m. SE of Ontario, Oregon Section 34, T8N, R5W NEW PLYMOUTH 1896-Date established April 13, 1896, Joseph H. Shanhan Edward E. Compton, April 14, 1898 Emma Veasey, August 4, 1900 Frank Stevens, February 15, 1902 Hugh H. Hamilton, November 23, 1921 20 m. NW of Emmett, 22 m. NW (sic) of Ontario, Oregon PAYETTE 1883-Date (county seat) established April April 20, 1883, William F. Masters David S. Lamme, May 5, 1885 George P. Johnson, February 18, 1889 William A. Coughanour, April 17, 1893 Timothy Driscoll, January 4, 1897 George P. Johnson, May 3, 1897 Burt Venable, February 26, 1903 E. T. Boraman, December 16, 1915 Albert E. White, June 1920 on UPRy. 15 m. SE of Weiser, 7 NE of Ontario, Ore. on Snake River, Section 33, T9N, R5W PAYETTE STORE 1872-1881 established January 9, 1872, Andrew J. McFarland Murphy C. Fleck, March 12, 1879 discontinued April 26, 1881 PAYETTEVILLE 1864-1877, 1877-1878 established July 8, 1864, Madison Clahoun George Coggan, January 12, 1865 George W. Hunt, December 8, 1866 discontinued January 29, 1877 re-established October 16, 1878 WASHOE 1873-1875, 1885-1898 established September 23, 1873, John Hanity (?)*** discontinued September 27, 1875 re-established December 9, 1885, Alexander Rossi Harlan P. Pomeroy, October 4, 1895 Mrs. Esther M. Saling, April 6, 1897 discontinued June 16, 1898, mail to Payette on Snake River, 2 m. SW of Payette Section 5, T8N, R5W**James L. Huntley, in "Ferry Boats in Idaho," Caxton Printers, Caldwell, 1979, identifies the 1873 postmaster at Washoe Ferry as James Harrity. He further writes: The location was given as between the mouth of the Malheur River, entering the Oregon side, and the mouth of the Payette River, entering from the Idaho side. In 1863 the ferry was established by two brothers name Stewart. There is also mention of man named Bryant. The ferry at this time was a rendezous for an organized band of horse thieves. . .
History of Post Offices in Idaho. U.S. Post Office; Gem County Historical Society and Museum collection, 501 E 1st Street, Emmett ID 83617. Also available at Idaho State Archives, 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd., Boise, Idaho.
Mark Metkin, Idaho post offices, writes: "The names and dates were transcribed from the postmaster appointment records that were maintained by Post Office Department until the 1930's. The records were handwritten and are not always easy to decipher, so errors are possible."