Welcome to Lemhi County!

ESTABLISHED 1869
COUNTY SEAT Salmon
"Lemhi County is named for the Fort Lemhi LDS Salmon River mission. which was named for King Limhi in the Book of Mormon. Lewis and Clark were the first white men in what became Lemhi County. Fur trapping brigades traveled the area. Captain Bonneville camped north of the site of Salmon. Mormon missionaries in 1855 founded Fort Lemhi at what later became Tendoy, but in 1858 were forced to abandon it. Gold was discovered on Napias Creek in 1866, and a rush to the Leesburg placers began. The placers were said to have produced about $500.000 annually. In the late 1870's mining fever subsided, and permanent settlers began farming on the four rivers and their tributaries that drain the county. Livestock raising and agriculture became the mainstays of the county's economy, followed by mining, lumbering, and recreation activities." "The Idaho Almanac," 1977 Edition, State of Idaho.

map from almanac    Lemhi Co. ISU Digital Atlas    1895 Rand McNally map

"Captain B. L. E. Bonneville. - In 1832 Captain Bonneville, a soldier in the regular army, procured a leave of absence and led an expedition to Idaho. While he came as a traveller and itinerant fur-trader, it is now known that his mission, a sort of secret one, was also to furnish information relative to the Oregon country and the methods of the Hudson's Bay Company.

"Bonneville Across the Plains, 1832-1835 - With 110 men and 20 wagons drawn by oxen and mules Bonneville started from Independence, Missouri, May 1, 1832. He reached Pierre's Hole, Idaho, in September of that year. To Bonneville belongs the distinction of having been the first Western traveller to take wagons as far as Green River in western Wyoming. He was a pronounced success as an expedition manager, and reached Idaho without a single accident.

"Bonneville in Lemhi County. - Bonneville passed the autumn and early winter of 1832 at his temporary post situated at the mouth of Carmen Creek, a few miles north of the modern Salmon City. Numerous bands of friendly Indians soon visited the camp and destroyed the game and pasturage in the vicinity. Finding a new location necessary, the Bonneville party, in December, followed along the upper course of the Lemhi River, passed through the "narrow gorge" on Timber Creek, and established a second camp in the picturesque Swan Basin—"a perfect hunter's Elysium—locked up among cliffs and precipices." Here on Christmas Day Bonneville and his men were served an elaborate feast of bitter roots, venison, elk-meat, and mountain-mutton by the Nez Perce chief, Kowsoter. - "History of the State of Idaho," by Cornelis J. Brosnan, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, 1918; p. 74-. at archive.org - more on Captain Bonneville


History

1876 Langley's Directory
Leacock's Station, Big Creek
1917, Jan. 4: Butte Daily Post, One Dead from Explosion in Pittsburg-Idaho Mine
History by Hawley, 1920
Martial Law, 1931, "to prevent incenciarism;" in Idaho, Boise, Gem, Valley, Adams, Custer and Lemhi Counties
Post Offices

Links
Lemhi County at idahogold.net
Lemhi County at Western Mining History
Lemhi Co., IDGenWeb
Lemhi Co. USGenweb Archives

Photos
US Mail, Salmon 1910.
Salmon, about 1910


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Copyright © 2013 - Sharon McConnel. All Rights Reserved.