Cassia County, Idaho Genealogy
County CourthouseCassia County Courthouse
1459 Overland Avenue
Burley, ID 83318
Phone: (208) 878-5231
Some sources list both Owyhee and Oneida Counties as the parent county of Cassia. Owyhee County, the fifth county in the Idaho Territory, was created on 31 December 1863. Oneida was formed on 22 January 1864Owyhee County included
All territory lying south of the Snake River and east to the range of the Rockies, the southern boundary being the Nevada and Utah State lines. The width of Idaho Territory at its southern boundary was 397 miles. Of this distance, over 300 miles were in Owyhee County. 
Oneida County bordered Owyhee and Alturus Counties on the east and continued to the territory line. A Cassia County surveyor (November 2008) indicated that he has seen title searches in Cassia County that trace back to Oneida County. He suggested that it was probably due to a boundary correction straightening out the eastern border between Cassia and Oneida rather than large amounts of land taken from Oneida to create Cassia County.
A handwritten statement made sometime after 1917 on the front page of the Cassia County Transcript Book #1 states:
From Page 1 this Book to Page 56 both inclusive contains Instruments transcribed from Owayhee County to November 11, 1878 . Cassia County and Twin Falls County at above date was included in Owayhee County. Cassia County including Twin Falls County at that date was known as Cassia County and was sometime about the first of 1879 set off from Owayhee County to be known as Cassia.
Simon P. Weatherman, County recorder, traveled to Silver City, the county seat of Owyhee County, and transcribed all of the Owyhee County records which involved Cassia County residents. A photocopy of the Transcript Book is available to the public at the Recorder's office in the Cassia County Courthouse and the original book has been archived There are shelves of original books containing marriage records, some birth and death records, deeds, mortgages, etc. Court records are also available, though they have been archived and require the county officials to locate them.
The Old Oregon Trail, the California Cutoff, Hudspeth's Trail, the Salt Lake Cutoff and the Applegate Trail all went through the area. It wasn't until the early 1870's, however, that families began to settle here. Early settlers in Almo, Elba and Oakley areas were largely descendants of the Mormon Pioneers. The lands along the Wasatch Front were becoming "crowded" and many families moved northward, congregating along the streams where water was available for irrigation and the native grasses grew in meadows that could be harvested for hay. L.D.S. Church Branches were created, schools established, and a few stores opened.
The stage and freight trains passed through the Albion valley, and in the 1870's, some travelers decided that the mountain valley was a good place to settle. While there were members of the L.D.S. Church who settled there, a bustling town soon sprang up with shops, saloons, hotels, a Masonic Hall, and churches of various denominations. A teacher's college was established in 1894.
In the early 1900's, the Minidoka Project, a reclamation program, built dams on the Snake River, establishing a series of canals which opened thousands of acres of fertile land in the Magic Valley for irrigation. The influx of people coming to claim the land established the towns of Burley, Rupert, Twin Falls, Declo, etc. Many people found farming the fertile soil with plentiful water a much more profitable lifestyle than the small ranches scattered along the creeks of the west.
In 1904, the lower Minidoka Project area around the present cities of Burley and Rupert was a nearly uninhabited sagebrush desert with only a few scattered ranches. After construction of the initial phases of the project brought water to the land, giving opportunity for expansion, it became a prosperous, highly developed farm area. By 1919, 2,208 farms were in operation, there were 6 towns, and the total population was about 17,000.
Twin Falls County was separated from Cassia County on 21 Feb 1907.  Some websites suggest that Power County, which was created in 1913, included some land from Cassia County. This may have been due to boundary corrections.
Many of the older court, land, naturalization, probate, pension, and vital records for Cassia County have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and through their family history centers. They are also available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise. Details of the county records in these respective institutions can be obtained from their online catalogs or listings. Original records which have been microfilmed and more recent records are in the county courthouse in Burley.
CemeteriesThere are many cemeteries in Cassia County. For a list of those that have been identified, and links to transcriptions and/or photographs of tombstones, go to Cassia County, Idaho Cemetery Records.
For the cemeteries in or immediately adjacent to the cities, please see the city pages for the cities listed above.
For a summary of census records for the state of Idaho, see Idaho Census Records.
The 1890 federal census for Idaho was destroyed. However, the Idaho State Historical Society Public Archives and Research Library is creating a list of 1890 Idaho residents by indexing a variety of records, 1885-1894. This reconstructed list will substitute for the destroyed 1890 federal census. Cassia County is included in this reconstructed census.
Calvary Baptist Church
515 West 27th Street, Burley, ID 83318-2833
First Baptist Church
2262 Hiland Avenue
Burley, ID 83318
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
The following are local congregations (wards) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which existed in Cassia County, Idaho prior to 1950. Many of the original records of these 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 in any of its Family History Centers.
- Albion: Wednesday, 23 November 1887, " The Saints at Albion, Cassia Co., Idaho, were organized as a Ward of the Cassia Stake, Wm. T. Harper, Bishop". 
- Almo: Friday, 25 November 1887, "The Almo branch, Cassia Co. Idaho, was organized as a Ward: Thomas O. King, Bishop."
- Basin (Oakley): Tuesday, 22 November 1887, " At a special meeting held at Spring Basin, Cassia Co. Idaho, the branch of the Church previously established there was organized as a ward. Enoch R. Dayley Bishop."
- Burley 1
- Burley 2
- Burley 3
- Burley 4
- Burley 5
- Cassia Stake: In November 1887, Apostle John W. Taylor and Elder Seymour B. Young visited the early towns of Cassia County, organizing a new stake and creating wards from the existing branches. The Cassia Stake was organized on Saturday, 19 November 1887. The Cassia Stake Relief Society was organized the next day.
"At a special conference held at Oakley, Cassia Co., Idaho, Cassia Ward embracing the Saints who had settled in Goose Creek Valley and Vincinity, were organized as the Cassia Stake of Zion, Horton D. Haight, president."
The stake boundaries encompassed most of southern Cassia County and the stake leaders had to cross several mountain ranges on horseback or in buggies to visit the wards.
- Churchill (Oakley)
- Elba: Thursday, 24 November 1887, "The Elba branch of the Church, Cassia Co., was organized as a ward, Thos. Taylor Bishop.
- Marion (Oakley) : Tuesday, 22 November 1887, "The Saints residing northwest of Oakley, Cassia Id. were organized as the Marion Ward, Adam G. Smith Bishop."
- Oakley: Sunday, 20 November 1887 "Apostle John W. Taylor and Elder Seymour B. Young organized the Saints constituting the Oakley Branch, Cassia Co. Idaho as a ward. John L. Smith Bishop."
- Oakley 1
- Oakley 2
- Oakley 3
- Oakley 4
- Pella (Burley)
- Raft River Stake: "John A. Elison in April 1915 appointed president of the Raft River Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."  The Stake headquarters was located in Almo. President Elison and his family were called to leave their home in Oakley and move to Almo. When the Stake headquarters was moved to Malta, President Elison and other leaders were called to move to Malta.
- Springdale (Burley)
- Star (Burley)
- Unity (Burley)
- View (Burley)
Roman Catholic Church
Little Flower Church
1601 Oakley Avenue, Burley, ID 83318-2408
See Burley, Idaho Roman Catholic Churches.
County Commissioners' Records
The minute books of the County Commissioners contain interesting tidbits of history about the county as well as the names of individuals appealing to the County Commissioners for action on issues of concern to them. Minutes of those meetings were recorded from the formation of the county, for most counties. Some counties now post the minutes of current meetings online.
Most of these records have been preserved in the county courthouses of the State of Idaho. Few have been microfilmed. Contact the county clerk for information about years covered and availability.
Some of the early court records of Cassia County, Idaho have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho. The records filmed include civil suits, divorce papers, judgment dockets, etc. Copies of these microfilmed court records are also available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah or at any of the Library's Family History Centers. Additional court records and more recent records are housed at the Cassia County courthouse in Burley, Idaho, and can be accessed by making a visit there.
Some of the records of the courts of Cassia County that have been microfilmed include:
- Power of attorney, 1919-1961
Published historical works include: (See WorldCat for details on locations)
- Cassia County, Idaho : the Foundation Years, by Kathleen Hedberg
- Cassia County, by the Cassia County Historical Society
- A Lasting Legacy, by the Cassia Centennial Commission
- The First One Hundred Years, Cassia-Oakley Idaho Stake, 1887-1987, by Lyman and Eula Kimber
- A Flood Cannot Happen Here: The Story of Lower Goose Creek Reservoir by Kathleen Hedberg (Details the events of the 1984 Oakley Dam Flood.)
- Cassia and Minidoka Counties in the World War, by J R Conway
- Reminiscences of Early Days : A Series of Historical Sketches and Happenings in the Early Days of Snake River Valley, by Charles S Walgamott
- Historical Highlights of Cassia and Minidoka Counties, by Ralph W Maughan
A Cassia County History has been posted online by Cassia County.
Land and Property
Land and Property records are generally found in the county courthouse of the county in which the transactions took place, and can be accessed by visiting the Cassia county courthouse in Burley, Idaho.
The Idaho State Archives has microfilmed many of the Cassia County records which can be viewed by visiting the Archives in Boise, Idaho.
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah has also microfilmed the following Cassia County land and property records which can be accessed either in the Library in Salt Lake City or in one of their Family History Centers:
- Deeds, 1879-1902; general index, 1878-1901
- Homestead records, 1893-1915; general index, 1893-1915
- Marriage records, 1874-1934 Cassia County
- Transcript book of warranty deeds, execution of judgments, water rights, 1875-1880 Cassia County
- An 1895 map of Cassua and surrounding counties is available online.
- A digital Cassia County Idaho map is available online.
- Map of Cassia County, Idaho is available online.
Early migration routes to and from Cassia County, Idaho Genealogy for European and African American settlers included:
- Parting of the Ways: The main Oregon Trail followed the Snake River west from the Raft River
- Parting of the Ways: The main California Trail followed the Raft River southwest from the Snake River
World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Cassia County have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm number 1452213) and are also available online at Ancestry.com, for a subscription fee. The Cassia County GenWeb site also has these records online. The original cards are maintained in the Southeast Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in East Point, Georgia and have been microfilmed by the National Archives as their Microcopy M1509.
Often overlooked by the genealogist, this group of volumes may contain affidavits for citizenship, final disposition of estates, divorce decrees, and many other types of valuable documents. The content varies from county to county, year to year and from clerk to clerk. When the estate case files, civil or criminal files are not available or have been destroyed, you may find key documents recorded here. Most counties will have an index to this series and it is a must search if the information you are seeking is not found elsewhere.
Both the Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah have copies of the miscellaneous record of Cassia County. The originals are held in the Cassia County courthouse in Burley, Idaho and can be accessed by visiting there. Copies in the Idaho State Archives are available for viewing in Boise. Those held by the Family History Library can be viewed either at the Library in Salt Lake City or at any of its Family History Centers.
The Times News
230 East Main
Burley, ID 83318
The Idaho State Archives has microfilmed several Cassia County newspapers (available at their facility in Boise.)
Albion Nugget: 1914:03:13
Burley Bulletin: 1911:1:13-1959:12:23
Burley Bulletin: 1906:03:30
Burley Herald: 1919:8:2-1959:9:24
Busy Bee: 1894:3:29, 1894:11:15
Cassia County Courier: 1920:5:6-1922:10:12
Cassia County Times,1889: 1889:08:16
Cassia County Times,1892: 1892:1:22, 12:9, 12:23
Cassia County Times,1895: 1895:11:08
General News: 1898:11:18
Herald-Bulletin: 1959:12:24 -1967:10:31
Oakley Eagle: 1902:4:2, 1904:7:7, 1907:8:8, 1908:9:4
Oakley Eagle: 1905:9:14-1906:11:15
Oakley Herald: 1910:2:18-1961:2:9
Oakley News: 1975:10:16-1978:7:20
Oakley Star: 1893:05:11
Oakley Sun: 1896:1:30, 2:20, 1898:11:3
South Idaho Press: 1968:4:1-9999
Southern Advocate: 1913:3:21-1914:3:13
World: 1967:11:1-1968: 3:29
As of April, 2010, the earliest probate case files are found in the Cassia County Recorder's Office vault on the main floor of the courthouse located in Burley, Idaho. They have been removed from the old tri-fold metal boxes and put into six bankers boxes. No efforts have been made to unfold them but the packets have been put into alphabetical order. At that time, the staff were unable to find the probate proceedings or minute book series. One or two of the earliest dockets/registers are located in the main Clerk's vault but it appears that the series as a whole is not where one would expect. Researchers may locate files and registers for this county at the Idaho State Archives as records are being transferred on a regular basis.
Any existing tax assessment rolls for Cassia County should be in the courthouse in Burley and would need to be accessed by visiting there.
The Birth Registers for Cassia County, 1907-1911 have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Birth records, 1911 to present, for individuals born in Cassia County are included in and recorded at the state level. These records are restricted for a period of one hundred years from the time of the individual's birth but can be obtained by following the guidelines as issued by the State of Idaho. See the Vital Records section under the subject Idaho for more details.
Several libraries in the US have the book Marriage records of Cassia County, Idaho, 1879-1889 and 1887-1895.
The Death Registers for Cassia County, 1907-1911, have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. After 1911, deaths occurring in Cassia County are included in the state-wide registration program. These records are restricted for a period of fifty years from the time of the individual's death but can be obtained by following the guidelines as mandated by the State of Idaho. See the Vital Records section under Idaho for details.
Copies of death certificates from 1911-1954 are on microfilm and can be used at the Idaho State Archives Library in Boise, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, BYU-Idaho University Library in Rexburg and several other locations.
A state-wide index to Idaho Deaths, 1911-1956 is available online. Efforts to expand this index to 1960 are underway. Another version is Idaho Death Index 1911-1956.
There are 124 deaths from Cassia county available on line in the Idaho Vital Records Index.
Deaths from other sources
A significant source of death and related information for eastern Idaho families can be found at the following website Eastern Idaho Death Index.
Societies and Libraries
Many public libraries provide internet access to sites of value to the family historian. Some have special collections of historical and cultural interest, as well. The following libraries may have some resources of value, but use of some or all of them may require a visit to the library.
- Burley Public Library
1300 Miller Ave
Burley, ID 83318
Phone: (208) 878-7708
- Oakley District Library
185 E Main St
Oakley, ID 83346
Phone: (208) 862-3434
- Cassia County Historical Society & Museum
1142 Hiland Avenue, Burley, ID 83318
Family History Centers
- The Cassia County Idaho GenWeb Project, a member of The IDGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project
- Family History Library Catalog
- Cassia County, Idaho Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Powell, Verlene L. "A History of Albion Pioneers: They Did This For You." Manuscript. 2008
- Burley Chapter of the Idaho Writer's Guild. History of Cassia County and Burley. Revised 1952.
- Cassia County Transcript Book #1, 1878-1881. Transcribed from the Owyhee County records by Simon P. Weatherman, Cassia County Recorder in 1878.
- Conversation with the Cassia County Recorder's Officers, November 9, 2008.
- Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, Number 10, Counties and County Seats, Reissued July, 1991.
- census.gov - Idaho population by county, 1900-90 accessed 2009-05-03
- quickfacts.census.gov - Canyon County accessed 2009-05-03
- Jensen, Andrew. Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Kessinger Publishing 2004. books.google.com/books. P. 155.
- Hawley, James H. History of Idaho: The Gem of the Mountains. S.J. Clark Publishing Company. 1920. Vol. 3. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Feb. 1, 2008. books.google.com/books.
- Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map IV" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at http://www.oregonpioneers.com/OTMap4.jpg (accessed 18 July 2011).
- "Oregon California Trails Association" at http://octatrails.micromaps.com/ (accessed 18 July 2011).