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

"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."

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