ESTABLISHED December 22, 1864
Ada County is named for Ada Riggs1, daughter of H. C. Riggs, a member of the legislature which established the county. Fur trappers were the first white men in the area, in 1811. The U.S. Army's Fort Boise was established in 1863, and the city of Boise was established the same year. Boise became the territorial capital in December, 1864. During the mining boom in Boise Basin, Boise City was the distributing center for miners' supplies. As irrigation expanded, Ada County became an agricultural center. It is the most populous county in the state: is the site of Boise State University; has the largest civilian airport; is headquarters for several multi-billion dollar businesses; has numerous small industries; and is a center for state and federal governmental agencies. -- "The Idaho Almanac," 1977 Edition, State of Idaho." map   ~  Neighbors

Fort Boise/Boise Barracks
In 1863, the Fort Boise military post was established to protect the local mining industry and emigrants from Indian attacks. U.S. Army Major Pinckney Lugenbeel chose the site on July 4 of that year at the intersection of the Oregon Trail and the road to the mines in the Boise Basin. In 1879, although the facilities remained under the authority of the U.S. Army, the name "Fort Boise" was changed to "Boise Barracks". The Administration Building, which was constructed in 1886, served as the headquarters for the Boise Barracks." - Library of Congress ~ 1867 government land office survey plat   1981, GLO survey

National Register of Historic Places  Blacksmith and Carpenter shops

1895 Rand McNally map    ISU digital atlas   map of Boise 1917

Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78," Compiled By Henry G. Langley, Editor of the California State Register, Pacific Coast Almanac, San Francisco, 1875. Gazetteer and Business Directory of Idaho Territory: alpha index
•  Ada County
•  Boise City
History of Ada County, by James Hawley, 1920
History of Boise, by James Hawley, 1920
Historic Postal Records
Boise's Oregon Trail Markers

Cities and towns in Ada County include: Boise,   Eagle,   Garden City,   Kuna,   Meridian and Star.

City of Boise, parks includes Fort Boise Military Reserve Cemetery, Morris Hill Cemetery and Pioneer Cemetery. Pioneer Cemetery Walking Tour includes many biographical sketches.
Other cemeteries include: Cloverdale Cemetery and Crematory,
Dry Creek Cemetery,
Idaho State Veterans Cemetery
Gowen Field Memorial

News and Clips
1864, Arabella Fulton, "Tales of the Trail," Boise
1864, Arabella Fulton, "Tales of the Trail," bedbugs
1890 Ad, Hay for Sale, by James Prout, Star
1901, Swan Falls Dam completed, provides power for Silver City mines
1912, Evening Capital News, Jury of Women, Chicken Thieves and the Spirit of Christmas
1919, Apr-Red Cross Nurse Nancy McConnel visits Uncle, C. S. McConnel
1974, The Idaho Statesman, Levy's Alley 'Lights Up' Again

1904, Burro train loaded with supplies for Thunder Mountain (Valley Co.) starting from Boise
1904, Horses and Wagon on Boise Ridge, Idaho City Toll Road
1905, Boise Valley Apples, Manville Fruit Company,
1906, 14th National Irrigation Congress, Boise; Idaho Exhibit, flickr
1907, Boise Street Scene
1907, Pack Train
1907, Barber Lumber Plant
1910, Dry Creek, Boise, Idaho, c.1910, Clyde Jaryor and another (
"c. 1910, Boise Farm" (
1910, S. T. Schreiber, Our 1st year in Idaho (
State Capitol Building by Walter Lubeken, 1910's, Walter Lubken (1882-1960), a Boise native, was an official photographer for the U.S. Reclamation Service. He took thousands of photographs documenting irrigation projects across the west. He also photographed nearby towns and farms. Picturing the Century at
1910's, Boise Main Street. "A big parade, probably the Fourth of July. Boise, Idaho." Otto M. Jones, photographer, between 1917 & 1920. Library of Congress.
1936, May. "Mowing Hay. Ada County. Arthur Rothstein, photographer. Library of Congress
1941, Farmers Market, Boise, Library of Congress
Christ Chapel, first known as St. Michael in honor of the Reverend Mr. Frackler. history

Basque Museum and Cultural Center, contains bios of many local people of Basque descent
Boise City Arts and History
Ada County Historic Preservation
Idaho Capitol Commission
Jesus Urquides: Idaho's Premier Muleteer, by Max Aaron Delgado, III; thesis paper, which was later published as a book.
"The other Idahoans: Forgotten Stories of Boise Valley" (BSU Scholar Works)
Ada Co., IDGenweb
Ada Co. USGenweb Archives


1 According the bio of H. C. Riggs in "History of Idaho: The Gem of the Mountains Vol. 2" by James H. Hawley 1920:

"In 1864 he (H. C. Riggs) was elected a member of the house of representatives from Boise county and introduced the two famous bills of that session. The first was a bill changing the capital of the state from Lewiston to Boise and the second was a bill creating a new county in the vicinity of Boise, with that city as its seat of government. After a hard fight both bills were passed and in appreciation of the great work he had done it was unanimously decided to call the new county Riggs. Not caring to be thus honored himself, Mr. Riggs suggested to his colleague to name the county Ada for his little daughter. At the time of the marriage of this daughter, in commenting thereon one of the local papers said in regard to the organization of Ada county: "Hon. H. C. Riggs and a Mr. Parkinson were but two of Boise county's numerous delegation in that session. Mr. Parkinson, of Boise, and the writer of this sketch, who then represented the great county of Shoshone, occupied the same table in the hall, when the question of naming the new county came up. Several names were proposed, those of Grant, Lincoln, Douglas being among the number. Some good natured sparring ensued, during which Mr. Parkinson whispered to his deskmate that Ada was a pretty name, and that as it was the name of his colleague's little daughter, he, Mr. Parkinson, would esteem it a personal favor if his friend from Shoshone would offer Ada as the name of the new county. This was done and the motion carried promptly and unanimously."

complete bio of Henry Chiles Riggs.

Ada (1856-1909) married John Riggs Coons and died in San Francisco in 1909 findagrave.

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