Idaho History

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The following important events in the history of Idaho affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements.

1834: Fort Hall trading post was founded on the Snake River near the site of present-day Pocatello. During the 1840's and 1850's it became a major way station for those who passed through Idaho over the Oregon Trail.

1846: Oregon Treaty settled boundary.

1848: Idaho became part of the Oregon Territory.

1855: (July16,) Through the Treaty of Hell Gate the Salish and Kutenai (Kootenai) Indians ceded their lands.

1859: Idaho became part of the Washington Territory.

1860: The Mormon community of Franklin in Cache Valley became the first permanent white settlement in Idaho.

1860-1863: Gold discoveries in the river valleys of northern Idaho attracted temporary settlement.

1860-1880s: A series of Indian conflicts continued until the Indians were assigned to reservations.

1863: Nez Perce Indians ceded land.

1863: (March 3,) The Idaho Territory was created out of the Washington and Dakota Territories. In 1864, the Montana Territory was cut away from the Idaho Territory. In 1868, a small part of Idaho Territory was transferred to the new Wyoming Territory.

1865:(January) 224 Bannock Indians were killed when they were attacked by the U.S. army while they were camped at Battle Creek.

1865-1868: Indian Campaigns

1877: (June - October) Nez Perce Indians went to war with the United States. The war ended when federal troops captured Chief Joseph and evacuated the Indians to a reservation in Oklahoma.

1880's: Mining booms in the north and the coming of the railroads to the south brought new settlers.

1887: The Bannock Indians ceded land.

1890:(July 3,) Idaho became a state.

1895: The Bannock Indians left Fort Hall Reservation to hunt in Wyoming under the provisions of the 1868 treaty. The cavalry overtook them and escorted them back to the reservation.

1900-1910: Reclamation projects brought another wave of settlement to the former desert lands of southern Idaho.

An especially helpful source for studying the history of Idaho is Merrill D. Beal and Merle W. Wells, History of Idaho, Three Volumes. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1959; FHL book 979.6 H2b). Volume 3 has family histories.

A bibliography of local histories for Idaho is Milo G. Nelson and Charles A. Webbert, eds., Idaho Local History: A Bibliography. (Moscow, Idaho: The University Press of Idaho, 1976; FHL book 979.6 A3n).

Selected Biblography of Histories for the State:

History of Idaho: Merril D. Beal and Merle W. Wells, pub., 1959 New York
History of Idaho: Hiram T. French, pub. 1914, New York
History of Idaho: James H. Hawley, ed., pub. 1920, Chicago
Idaho: The Place and Its People: Byron Defenbach, pub. 1933, Chicago
Idaho Yesterday: H. J. Swinney, ed., pub. n.d., Boise
History of Idaho Territory;: W. W. Elliott, ed., pub. 1884, San Francisco