Owyhee County, an original county

"Owyhee County was named for the river, mountains and mining area explored in 1919-1920 by Hawaiian fur trappers from the then Sandwich Islands. Hawaii and Owyhee are different spellings of the same word. It was the first county to be established by the first territorial legislature in 1863. Gold was discovered on Jordan Creek in 1863, and a rush began to the area. The rich Poorman Mine was discovered in 1865 and and millions of dollars of gold and silver were taken from Silver City region until the industry declined in the early 1900s. Irrigation systems were built along the Owyhee and Snake Rivers and other streams in the county. Forage was excellent, and cattle and sheep raising which begain in the late 1860's was, after mining declined, the most important industry in the county. Mining in Delamar was revived in the mid-1970's, but agriculture remained the chief industry." - "The Idaho Almanac," 1977 Edition, State of Idaho."

1895 Rand McNally map  ::  almanac map  ::  ISU topo map  ::   location  ::  Neighbors

The first county seat was at Ruby City. In 1867 it was moved to Silver City and in 1934 to Murphy.

"Owyhee County was born December 31, 1863. Its limits were set forth in these words: 'That all that part of of said territory lying south of the Snake River and west of the summit of the Rocky Mountains shall be and the same is hereby organized into a county to be called Owyhee.' By 1879 it was reduced to its present limits, making it the second largest county in Idaho." - Mildretta Adams, "Historic Silver City/The Story of the Owyhees," 1969, Schwartz Printing Company, Nampa, Idaho.

The county seat is Murphy.
other communities include Bruneau, Givens Hot Springs, Grand View, Grasmere, Homedale, Marsing, Murphy, Oreana, Reynolds, Riddle, Silver City, and the Duck Valley Indian Reservation.

"the Elijah P. Utter wagon train was attacked by Indians on September 9 and 10, 1860. The two-day encounter resulted in the deaths of eleven emigrants and an estimated twenty-five to thirty Indians. The forty-four member train was composed of four families with twenty-one children, some single men, five recently discharged soldiers, and an army deserter. The first attack occurred on the high ground just west of Castle Creek when the Indians attempted to stampede the stock." continued. "When rescued by the Army 45 days later, only fifteen had survived the ordeal of hunger and deprivation. No other Oregon Trail wagon train suffered greater losses." - Highway Marker
Emeline L. Fuller's account - 30 pages.

Mining Gold and Silver in Idaho, 1865-1885, at accessgenealogy
J. Marion More (1830-1868)
Owyhee County, Langley's 1876 Gazetter & Business Directory of Idaho Territory; alpha index
Silver City, Owyhee County, Langley's 1876 Gazetter & Business Directory of Idaho Territory; alpha index
Silas Skinner's Owyhee Toll Road (off-site)
Owyhee County, by James Hawley, 1920
Historic Owyhee County Post offices
Col. Dewey Biography from "Illustrated History of the State of Idaho," Lewis Publishing Co., 1899
The Fabulous Col. Dewey, by Faith Turner, "Scenic Idaho," May-June 1953
Col. William H. Dewey (1823-1903), at findagrave, includes biography
"War Under the Mountain/Death and destruction in the gold mines at War Eagle Mountain", True West magazine (off-site)
Mail Robberies, by Arthur Hart
Walter's Ferry

News Items

Library of Congress, Chronicling America, includes Silver City newspapers -
1868, Jan. 11: Snake River Froze Over, Owyhee Stage returned to Boise, Idaho Semi-weekly world
1869 ad for Owyhee and Boise Stage Line
1877, Feb. 27:Jack Lloyd Killed, Well known express messenger killed; Idaho semi-weekly world
The Production of Silver City's Quartz Mines for 1895
1901, Swan Falls Dam completed, provides power for Silver City mines
1901, Work Begun on Mahogony Flat, Granville boarding house moved from DeLamar
1901, William H. Thomas petition for change of venue on manslaughter charge
1902 Ad For Christmas Ball, committee, Robert Leonard, Jr., R. S, Hawes, W. R. Hamilton
1908, Jan. 03, Owyhee Nugget,: First Woman Jury at De Lamar

US GenWeb Archives, Owyhee County
Owyhee Co. Genweb

Pack Mules, Silver City

Eight Horse Team and Freight Wagons, Silver City

(click for larger image)

American History and Genealogy Project

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