Downey, Bannock County, Idaho Genealogy

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Downey Chamber of Commerce

City Hall

City of Downey
15 S Main St
Downey, ID
(208) 897-9904




The following are cemeteries in the vicinity of Downey. The principal cemetery for Downey is located within the city limits, but there are several small cemeteries in the rural area nearby.

Name of cemetery Location Records
Byington Family Cemetery
near Downey
Northeast of Downey Transcription in book form at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City; Index and photos of tombstones online
Downey City Cemetery Downey Index and photos of tombstones online
Grant Ward Cemetery near Downey List of individuals buried and photos of tombstones online
Marsh Center Cemetery near Downey
(Raymond) Pierce Headstone one mile east of Far West Truck Stop near Downey Photo of tombstone online
Red Rock Pass Cemetery About 10 miles south of Downey on Hwy. 91 Lists of known individuals buried here and Photos of existing tombtones online.
Woodland Cemetery 4 miles west of Downey Transcription in book form at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City; photos of existing tombstones online

Church History and Records

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- Downey Wards
310 East Center Street
Downey, ID 83234


Many of the original records of church units are in the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. Many of the membership records covering these units from the date of their creation to about 1948 have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or at its Family History Centers.  There are records of the Downey Ward (1907-1948) in this collection.


The Idaho State Archives has in its collections copies of city, county, state and regional directories.

Funeral Home

Marsh Valley Funeral Home
421 Center St
McCammon, ID 83205
(208) 254-3786
Horsley Funeral Homes
132 W 300 N
Malad City, ID 83250
(208) 766-4330


Downey is said to have been named for a Mr. Downey one of the directors of the Union Pacific Railroad, and the town dates back to the construction of the broad gauge railroad track through Marsh Valley. However, searches for any Mr. Downey, a director of the UPRR have had negative result.  Some of the old settlers have been noted as saying that the Mr. Downey was a track worker. William Alonzo Hyde was the first settler at Downey; he had a farm and store. His brother George Tilton Hyde joined him in 1895. The Hyde brothers built a hotel and a blacksmith shop and did a good business from the beginning. Irrigated farming not being promising, dry farming was commenced in 1894. The townsite was surveyed in 1894, which was enlarged in 1910. The total population in the Downey Precinct was 1,485 in 1930.

Numerous small communities in the near vicinity were flourishing prior to the actual founding of Downey.  Woodland, Cherry Creek, Cambridge (Nine Mile), Grant Ward, Zenda, Calvin, Chicken Flat, Virginia and Hog Holler were just a few which had their own local schools, churches and in some cases, mercantile and post office.  Early settlers in these communities settled prior to 1870, some as early as 1864.  The Woodland, Whitaker and Wakley families were known to have been in the area known as Woodland in April of 1864.  Several stage stops were established prior to the advent of the UPRR and freight and stage service supplied many of the needs for these small communities.  Downeys postal service now includes these outyling areas and the residents refer to themselves as "Downeyites".  The total population of the "Downey" area (prior to the establishment of Downey proper) in 1880 was slightly over 200 persons.  By 1900 the population had grown to 1100 with only a handful living within the city proper.

Additional history of Downey, Idaho and the early Mormon settlers there can be found in:
Andrew Jenson. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Company, 1941, p. 197.




Copies of several newspapers published in Downey are housed in the Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho. Among copies in that research facility are:

Downey comet -- 6 Jan. 1939 through 24 Nov. 1960
Downey comet and the Bancroft standard -- 22 Apr. 1938 through 29 Dec. 1939
Downey comet and the Bancroft standard -- 31 May 1945 through 12 Sep. 1946
Marsh Valley echo -- Dec. 1942 through Nov. 1945
Marsh Valley Junior echo -- 1945

School Records and Yearbooks

The Idaho State Archives in Boise has a copy of the 1957 school annual, the Marshopolitan, of North Marsh High School, which serves the cities of Arimo and Downey.



Societies, Libraries and Museums

Downey Public Library
18 N Main
Downey, Idaho 83234
(208) 897-5270