Payette County

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 

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."

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