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Idaho Counties

There are forty-four Counties in Idaho. When Idaho became a territory in March, 1863, there were four Counties in existence: Boise, Idaho, Nez Perce and Shoshone. By the time Idaho became a state, there were 15 counties. The rest of the 44 Counties came into existence during the 30 years after Idaho became a state. Two of the former counties disappeared during this time. Alturas, which was created in 1864, was later divided into the many counties now found in central Idaho. Logan County was only in existence for six years, from 1889 to 1895. It was combined with Alturas to form Blaine County and Lincoln County, which was formed just two weeks after Logan lost its identity.

Idaho Counties: History and Information

Find a brief history of Idaho CountiesBrief history of Idaho Counties: Flags of Our Nation

The State of Idaho  is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States of America. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans." Idaho was admitted to the Union on 3 July 1890 as the 43rd state.

Humans may have been present in the Idaho area as long as 14,500 years ago. Excavations at Wilson Butte Cave near Twin Falls in 1959 revealed evidence of human activity, including arrowheads, that rank among the oldest dated artifacts in North America. Native American tribes predominant in the area included the Nez Perce in the north and the Northern and Western Shoshone in the south.

Idaho, as part of the Oregon Country, was claimed by both the United States and Great Britain until the United States gained undisputed jurisdiction in 1846. Between then and the creation of the Idaho Territory in 1863, parts of the present-day state were included in the Oregon, Washington, and Dakota Territories. The new territory included most of present-day Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The first organized communities, within the present borders of Idaho, were established in 1860.

When the Idaho Territory was created in March 1863, there were five original counties: Shoshone, Nez Perce, Idaho, Boise, and Missoula. Kootenai, Owyhee, and Oneida were created by 1865, Ada was created in 1866, and when the territory reached Idaho's present day dimensions in 1868, Lemhi was formed. By 1880, 13 counties were created. Ten years later, when Idaho became a state, 18 counties were created. In 1893, Fremont and Bannock counties were created. By 1900, Idaho had 21 counties. Ten years later, only two new counties were created. Between 1910 and 1920, 21 new counties were created, bringing the number of counties to 44, where it remains today.

After some tribulation as a territory, including the chaotic transfer of the territorial capital from Lewiston to Boise, disenfranchisement of the large Mormon minority and a federal attempt to split the territory between Washington Territory and the state of Nevada, Idaho achieved statehood in 1890. The economy of the state, which had been primarily supported by metal mining, shifted towards agriculture and tourism.

Defunct Idaho counties

  • Alturas County: A huge south-central Idaho county formed in 1864. Abolished in 1895.
  • Lah-Toh County: North Idaho county formed in 1864. Abolished in 1867.
  • Logan County: Formed by an 1889 partition of Alturas County. Abolished in 1895.
Find a brief history of Idaho Counties
County 2000
County Seat Created
Ada County 300,904 1,055 Boise 1864
Adams County 3,476 1,365 Council 1911
Bannock County 75,565 1,113 Pocatello 1893
Bear Lake County 6,411 971 Paris 1893
Benewah County 9,171 776 Saint Maries 1915
Bingham County 41,735 2,095 Blackfoot 1885
Blaine County 18,991 2,645 Hailey 1895
Boise County 6,670 1,902 Idaho City 1907
Bonner County 36,835 1,738 Sandpoint 1907
Bonneville County 82,522 1,869 Idaho Falls 1911
Boundary County 9,871 1,269 Bonners Ferry 1915
Butte County 2,899 2,233 Arco 1917
Camas County 991 1,075 Fairfield 1917
Canyon County 131,441 590 Caldwell 1892
Caribou County 7,304 1,766 Soda Springs 1919
Cassia County 21,416 2,567 Burley 1879
Clark County 1,022 1,765 Dubois 1919
Clearwater County 8,930 2,462 Orofino 1911
Custer County 4,342 4,926 Challis 1881
Elmore County 29,130 3,078 Mountain Home 1889
Franklin County 11,329 666 Preston 1913
Fremont County 11,819 1,867 Saint Anthony 1893
Gem County 15,181 563 Emmett 1915
Gooding County 14,155 731 Gooding 1913
Idaho County 15,511 8,485 Grangeville 1864
Jefferson County 19,155 1,095 Rigby 1913
Jerome County 18,342 600 Jerome 1919
Kootenai County 108,685 1,245 Coeur d Alene 1864
Latah County 34,935 1,077 Moscow 1888
Lemhi County 7,806 4,564 Salmon 1869
Lewis County 3,747 479 Nezperce 1911
Lincoln County 4,044 1,206 Shoshone 1895
Madison County 27,467 472 Rexburg 1913
Minidoka County 20,174 760 Rupert 1913
Nez Perce County 37,410 849 Lewiston 1864
Oneida County 4,125 1,200 Malad City 1864
Owyhee County 10,644 7,678 Murphy 1863
Payette County 20,578 408 Payette 1917
Power County 7,538 1,406 American Falls 1913
Shoshone County 13,771 2,634 Wallace 1864
Teton County 5,999 450 Driggs 1915
Twin Falls County 64,284 1,925 Twin Falls 1907
Valley County 7,651 3,678 Cascade 1917
Washington County 9,977 1,456 Weiser 1879

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