Idaho History

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A Few Important Events in Idaho's History

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.

See Also

Back to Idaho Portal Page

External Links



  • Arrington, Leonard James. History of Idaho. Boise, Idaho: Idaho State Historical Society, c1994. (Family History Library book 979.6 H2a).
  • Beal, Merrill D., & Wells, Merle W. History of Idaho, 3 vols. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1959. Volume 3 has family histories -- an especially helpful source for studying the history of Idaho. (Family History Library book 979.6 H2b). 3 vols. 
  • Defenbach, Byron. Idaho: the place and its people: a history of the gem state from prehistoric to present day. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1933. (Family History Library book 979.6 H2d). 3 vols.
  • French, Hiram Taylor. History of Idaho: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests. Chicago: Lewis Pub., 1914. (Family History Library book 979.6 H2f). 3 vols.
  • Hailey, John. The history of Idaho. Boise, Idaho: Syms-York Co., 1910. (Family History Library book 979.6 H2hj).  
  • Hawley, James H., ed. History of Idaho the gem of the mountains. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub., 1920. (Family History Library book 979.6 H2h). 4 vols.
  • History of Idaho Territory: showing its resources and advantages, with illustrations ... from original drawings. San Francisco: W.W. Elliott, 1884.
  • Nelson, Milo G., & Webbert, Charles A., eds., Idaho local history: A bibliography. Moscow, Idaho: The University Press of Idaho, 1976 -- a bibliography of local histories for Idaho.