IDAHO, a western state of the United States of America, situated between 42° and 49° N. lat. and 111° and 117° W. long. It is bounded N. by British Columbia and Montana, E. by Montana and Wyoming, S. by Utah and Nevada, and W. by Oregon and Washington. Its total area is 83,888 sq. m., of which 83,354 sq. m. are land surface, and of this 41,851.55 sq. m. were in July 1908 unappropriated and unreserved public lands of the United States, and 31,775.7 sq. m. were forest reserves, of which 15,153.5 sq. m. were reserved between the 1st of July 1906 and the 1st of July 1907.
Physical Features.—Idaho’s elevation above sea-level varies from 738 ft. (at Lewiston, Nez Perce county) to 12,078 ft. (Hyndman Peak, on the boundary between Custer and Blaine counties), and its mean elevation is about 4500 ft. The S.E. corner of the wedge-shaped surface of the state is a part of the Great Basin region of the United States. The remainder of the state is divided by a line running S.E. and N.W., the smaller section, to the N. and E., belonging to the Rocky Mountain region, and the larger, S. and W. of this imaginary line, being a part of the Columbia Plateau region. The topography of the Great Basin region in Idaho is similar to that of the same region in other states (see Nevada); in Idaho it forms a very small part of the state; its mountains are practically a part of the Wasatch Range of Utah; and the southward drainage of the region (into Great Salt Lake, by Bear river) also separates it from the other parts of the state. The Rocky Mountain region of Idaho is bounded by most of the state’s irregular E. boundary—the Bitter Root, the Cœur d’Alene and the Cabinet ranges being parts of the Rocky Mountain System. The Rocky Mountain region reaches across the N. part of the state (the Panhandle), and well into the middle of the state farther S., where the region is widest and where the Salmon River range is the principal one. The region is made up in general of high ranges deeply glaciated, preserving some remnants of ancient glaciers, and having fine “Alpine” scenery, with many sharp peaks and ridges, U-shaped valleys, cirques, lakes and waterfalls. In the third physiographic region, the Columbia plateau, are the Saw Tooth, Boisé, Owyhee and other rugged ranges, especially on the S. and W. borders of the region. The most prominent features of this part of the state are the arid Snake river plains and three mountain-like elevations—Big, Middle and East Buttes—that rise from their midst. The plains extend from near the S.E. corner of the state in a curved course to the W. and N.W. for about 350 m. over a belt 50 to 75 m. wide, and cover about 30,000 sq. m. Where they cross the W. border at Lewiston is the lowest elevation in the state, 738 ft. above the sea. Instead of being one plain formed by erosion, this region is rather a series of plains built up with sheets of lava, several thousand feet deep, varying considerably in elevation and in smoothness of surface according to the nature of the lava, and being greater in area than any other lava beds in North America except those of the Columbia river, which are of similar formation and, with the Snake river plains, form the Columbia plateau. Many volcanic cones mark the surface, but by far the most prominent among them are Big Butte, which rises precipitously 2350 ft. above the plain (7659 ft. above the sea) in the E. part of Blaine county, and East Butte, 700 ft. above the plain, in the N.W. part of Bingham county. Middle Butte (400 ft. above the plain, also in Bingham county) is an upraised block of stratified basalt. The Snake river (which receives all the drainage of Idaho except small amounts taken by the Spokane, the Pend Oreille and the Kootenai in the N., all emptying directly into the Columbia, and by some minor streams of the S.E. that empty into Great Salt Lake, Utah) rises in Yellowstone National Park a few miles from the heads of the Madison fork of the Missouri, which flows to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Green fork of the Colorado, which flows to the Gulf of California. It flows S.W. and then W. for about 800 m. in a tremendous cañon across southern Idaho; turns N. and runs for 200 m. as the boundary between Idaho and Oregon (and for a short distance between Idaho and Washington); turns again at Lewiston (where it ceases to be the boundary, and where the Clearwater empties into it) to the W. into a deep narrow valley, and joins the Columbia in S.E. Washington. Practically all the valley of the Snake from Idaho Falls in S.E. Idaho (Bingham county) to the mouth is of cañon character, with walls from a few hundred to 6000 ft. in height (about 650 m. in Idaho). The finest parts are among the most magnificent in the west; among its falls are the American (Oneida and Blaine counties), and the Shoshone and the Salmon (Lincoln county). At the Shoshone Falls the river makes a sudden plunge of nearly 200 ft., and the Falls have been compared with the Niagara and Zambezi; a short distance back of the main fall is a cataract of 125 ft., the Bridal Veil. Between Henry’s Fork and Malade (or Big Wood) river, a distance of 200 m., the river apparently has no northern tributaries; but several streams, as the Camas, Medicine Lodge and Birch creeks, and Big and Little Lost rivers, which fail to penetrate the plain of the Snake after reaching its border, are believed to join it through subterranean channels. The more important affluents are the North Fork in the E., the Raft, Salmon Falls and the Bruneau in the S., the Owyhee and the Payette in the S.W., and the Salmon and Clearwater in the W. The scenery on some of these tributaries is almost as beautiful as that of the Snake, though lacking the grandeur of its greater scale. In 1904 electricity, generated by water-power from the rivers, notably the Snake, began to be utilized in mining operations. Scattered among the mountains are numerous (glacial) lakes. In the N. are: Cœur d’Alene Lake, in Kootenai county, about 30 m. long and from 2 to 4 m. wide, drained by the Spokane river; Priest Lake, in Bonner county, 20 m. long and about 10 m. wide; and mostly in Bonner, but partly in Kootenai county, a widening of Clark Fork, Lake Pend Oreille, 60 m. long and from 3 to 15 m. wide, which is spanned by a trestle of the Northern Pacific 8400 ft. long. Bear Lake, in the extreme S.E., lies partly in Utah. Mineral springs and hot springs are also a notable feature of Idaho’s physiography, being found in Washington, Ada, Blaine, Bannock, Cassia, Owyhee, Oneida, Nez Perce, Kootenai, Shoshone and Fremont counties. At Soda Springs in Bannock county are scores of springs whose waters, some ice cold and some warm, contain magnesia, soda, iron, sulphur, &c.; near Hailey, Blaine county, water with a temperature of 144° F. is discharged from numerous springs; and at Boisé, water with a temperature of 165° is obtained from wells.
The fauna and flora of Idaho are similar in general to those of the other states in the north-western part of the United States.
Climate.—The mean annual temperature of Idaho from 1898 to 1903 was 45.5° F. There are several distinct climate zones within the state. North of Clearwater river the climate is comparatively mild, the maximum in 1902 (96° F.) being lower than the highest temperature in the state and the minimum (−16°) higher than the lowest temperature registered. The mildest region of the state is the Snake river basin between Twin Falls and Lewiston, and the valley of the Boisé, Payette and Weiser rivers; here the mean annual temperature in 1902 was 52° F., the maximum was 106° F., and the minimum was −13° F. In the Upper Snake basin, in the Camas prairie and Lost river regions, the climate is much colder, the highest temperature in 1902 being 101° and the lowest −35° F. The mean annual rainfall for the entire state in 1903 was 16.60 in.; the highest amount recorded was at Murray, Shoshone county (37.70 in.) and the lowest was at Garnet, Elmore county (5.69 in.).
Agriculture.—The principal source of wealth in Idaho was in 1900 agriculture, but it had long been secondary to mining, and its development had been impeded by certain natural disadvantages. Except for the broad valleys of the Panhandle, where the soils are black in colour and rich in vegetable mould, the surface of the state is arid; the Snake river valley is a vast lava bed, covered with deposits of salt and sand, or soils of volcanic origin. And, apart from this, the farming country was long without transport facilities. The fertile northern plateaus, the Camas and Nez Perce prairies and the Palouse country—a wonderful region for growing the durum or macaroni wheat—until 1898 had no market nearer than Lewiston, 50-70 m. away; and even in 1898, when the railway was built, large parts of the region were not tapped by it, and were as much as 30 m. from any shipping point, for the road had followed the Clearwater. In the arid southern region, also, there was no railway until 1885, when the Oregon Short Line was begun. Like limitations in N. and S. had like effects: for years the country was devoted to live-stock, which could be driven to a distant market. Timothy was grown in the northern, and alfalfa in the southern region as a forage crop. Even at this earliest period, irrigation, simple and individual, had begun in the southern section, the head waters of the few streams in this district being soon surrounded by farms. Co-operation and colonization followed, and more ditching was done, co-operative irrigation canals were constructed with some elaborate and large dams and head gates. The Carey Act (1894) and the Federal Reclamation Act (1902) introduced the most important period of irrigation. Under the Carey Act the Twin Falls project, deriving water from the Snake river near Twin Falls, and irrigating more than 200,000 acres, was completed in 1903–1905. The great projects undertaken with Federal aid were: the Minidoka, in Lincoln and Cassia counties, of which survey began in March 1903 and construction in December 1904, and which was completed in 1907, commanding an irrigable area of 130,000-150,000 acres, and has a diversion dam (rock-fill type) 600 ft. long, and 130 m. of canals and 100 m. of laterals; the larger Payette-Boisé project in Ada, Canyon and Owyhee counties (372,000 acres irrigable; 300,000 now desert; 60% privately owned), whose principal features are the Payette dam (rock-fill), 100 ft. high and 400 ft. long, and the Boisé dam (masonry), 33 ft. high and 400 ft. long, 200 m. of canals, 100 m. of laterals, a tunnel 1100 ft. long and 12,500 h.p. transmitted 29 m., 3000 h.p. being necessary to pump to a height of 50-90 ft. water for the irrigation of 15,000 acres; and the Dubois project, the largest in the state, on which survey and reconnaissance work were done in 1903–1904, which requires storage sites on the North Fork of the Snake and on nearly all the important branches of the North Fork, and whose field is 200,000—250,000 acres, almost entirely Federal property, in the W. end of Fremont county between Mud Lake and the lower end of Big Lost river. A further step in irrigation is the utilization of underground waters: in the Big Camas Prairie region, Blaine county, water 10 ft. below the surface is tapped and pumped by electricity generated from the only surface water of the region, Camas Creek. In 1899 the value of the crops and other agricultural products of the irrigated region amounted to more than seven-tenths of the total for the state. In 1907, according to the Report of the state commissioner of immigration, 1,559,915 irrigated acres were under cultivation, and 3,266,386 acres were “covered” by canals 3789 m. long and costing $11,257,023.
Up to 1900 the most prosperous period (absolutely) in the agricultural development of the state was the last decade of the 19th century; the relative increase, however, was greater between 1880 and 1890. The number of farms increased from 1885 in 1880 to 6603 in 1890 and to 17,471 in 1900; the farm acreage from 327,798 in 1880 to 1,302,256 in 1890 and to 3,204,903 acres in 1900; the irrigated area (exclusive of farms on Indian reservations) from 217,005 acres in 1889 to 602,568 acres in 1899; the value of products increased from $1,515,314 in 1879 to $3,848,930 in 1889, and to $18,051,625 in 1899; the value of farm land with improvements (including buildings) from $2,832,890 in 1880 to $17,431,580 in 1890 and $42,318,183 in 1900; the value of implements and machinery from $363,930 in 1880 to $1,172,460 in 1890 and to $3,295,045 in 1900; and that of live-stock from $4,023,800 in 1880 to $7,253,490 in 1890 and to $21,657,974 in 1900. In 1900 the average size of farms was 183.4 acres. Cultivation by owners is the prevailing form of tenure, 91.3% of the farms being so operated in 1900 (2.3% by cash tenants and 6.4% by share tenants). As illustrative of agricultural conditions the contrast of the products of farms operated by Indians, Chinese and whites is of considerable interest, the value of products (not fed to live-stock) per acre of the 563 Indian farms being in 1899 $1.40, that of the 16,876 white farms $4.67, and that of the 23 Chinese farms intensively cultivated and devoted to market vegetables $69.83.
The income from agriculture in 1899 was almost equally divided between crops ($8,951,440) and animal products ($8,784,364)—in that year forest products were valued at $315,821. Of the crops, hay and forage were the most valuable ($4,238,993), yielding 47.4% of the total value of crops, an increase of more than 200% over that of 1889, and in 1907, according to the Year-book of the Department of Agriculture, the crop was valued at $8,585,000. Wheat, which in 1899 ranked second ($2,131,953), showed an increase of more than 400% in the decade, and the farm value of the crop of 1907, according to the Year-book of the United States Department of Agriculture, was $5,788,000; the value of the barley crop in 1899 ($312,730) also increased more than 400% over that of 1889, and in 1907 the farm value of the product, according to the same authority, was $1,265,000; the value of the oat crop in 1899 ($702,955) showed an increase of more than 300% in the decade, and the value of the product in 1907, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, was $2,397,000.
More than one-half of the cereal crop in 1905 was produced in the prairie and plateau region of Nez Perce and Latah counties. The production of orchard fruits (apples, cherries, peaches, pears, plums and prunes) increased greatly from 1889 to 1899; the six counties of Ada, Canyon (probably the leading fruit county of the state), Latah (famous for apples), Washington, Owyhee and Nez Perce had in 1900 89% of the plum and prune trees, 85% of all pear trees, 78% of all cherry trees, and 74% of all apple trees in the state, and in 1906 it was estimated by the State Commissioner of Immigration that there were nearly 48,000 acres of land devoted to orchard fruits in Idaho. Viticulture is of importance, particularly in the Lewiston valley. In 1906, 234,000 tons of sugar beets were raised, and fields in the Boisé valley raised 30 tons per acre.
Of the animal products in 1899, the most valuable was live-stock sold during the year ($3,909,454); the stock-raising industry was carried on most extensively in the S.E. part of the state. Wool ranked second in value ($2,210,790), and according to the estimate of the National Association of Wool Manufactures for 1907, Idaho ranked fourth among the wool-producing states in number of sheep (2,500,000), third in wool, washed and unwashed (17,250,000 ℔), and fourth in scoured wool (5,692,500 ℔). In January 1908, according to the Year-book of the Department of Agriculture, the number and farm values of live-stock were: milch cows, 69,000, valued at $2,208,000, and other neat cattle, 344,000, valued at $5,848,000; horses, 150,000, $11,250,000; sheep, 3,575,000, $12,691,000; and swine, 130,000, $910,000. According to state reports for 1906, most of the neat cattle were then on ranges in Lemhi, Idaho, Washington, Cassia and Owyhee counties; Nez Perce, Canyon, Fremont, Idaho, and Washington counties had the largest number of horses; Owyhee, Blaine and Canyon counties had the largest numbers of sheep, and Idaho and Nez Perce counties were the principal swine-raising regions. The pasture lands of the state have been greatly decreased by the increase of forest reserves, especially by the large reservations made in 1906–1907.
Mining.—The mineral resource of Idaho are second only to the agricultural; indeed it was primarily the discovery of the immense value of the deposits of gold and silver about 1860 that led to the settlement of Idaho Territory. In Idaho, as elsewhere, the first form of mining was a very lucrative working of placer deposits; this gave way to vein mining and a greatly reduced production of gold and silver after 1878, on account of the exhaustion of the placers. Then came an adjustment to new conditions and a gradual increase of the product. The total mineral product in 1906, according to the State Mine Inspector, was valued at $24,138,317. The total gold production of Idaho from 1860 to 1906 has been estimated at $250,000,000, of which a large part was produced in the Idaho Basin, the region lying between the N. fork of the Boisé and the S. fork of the Payette rivers. In 1901–1902 rich gold deposits were discovered in the Thunder Mountain district in Idaho county. The counties with the largest production of gold in 1907 (state report) were Owyhee ($362,742), Boisé ($282,444), Custer ($210,900) and Idaho; the total for the state was $1,075,618 in 1905; in 1906 it was $1,149,100; and in 1907, according to state reports, $1,373,031. The total of the state for silver in 1905 was $5,242,172; in 1906 it was $6,042,606; in 1907, according to state reports, it was $5,546,554. The richest deposits of silver are those of Wood river and of the Cœur d’Alene district in Shoshone county (opened up in 1886); the county’s product in 1906 was valued at $5,322,706, an increase of $917,743 over the preceding year; in 1907 it was $4,780,093, according to state reports. The production of the next richest county, Owyhee, in 1907, was less than one tenth that of Shoshone county, which yields, besides, about one half of the lead mined in the United States, its product of lead being valued at $9,851,076 in 1904, at $14,365,265 in 1906, and at $12,232,233 (state report) in 1907. Idaho was the first of the states in its output of lead from 1896, when it first passed Colorado in rank, to 1906, excepting the year 1899, when Colorado again was first; the value of the lead mined in 1906 was $14,535,823, and of that mined in 1907 (state report), $12,470,375. High grade copper ores have been produced in the Seven Devils and Washington districts of Washington county; there are deposits, little developed up to 1906, in Lemhi county (which was almost inaccessible by railway) and in Bannock county; the copper mined in 1905 was valued at $1,134,846, and in 1907, according to state reports, at $2,241,177, of which about two-thirds was the output of the Cœur d’Alene district in Shoshone county. Zinc occurs in the Cœur d’Alene district, at Hailey, Blaine county and elsewhere; according to the state reports, the state’s output in 1906 was valued at $91,426 and in 1907 at $534,087. Other minerals of economic value are sandstone, quarried at Boisé, Ada county, at Preston, Oneida county, and at Goshen, Prospect and Idaho Falls, Bingham county, valued at $22,265 in 1905, and at $11,969 in 1906; limestone, valued at $14,105 in 1905 and at $12,600 in 1906, used entirely for the local manufacture of lime, part of which was used in the manufacture of sugar; and coal, in the Horseshoe Bend and Jerusalem districts in Boisé county, in Lemhi county near Salmon City, and in E. Bingham and Fremont counties, with an output in 1906 of 5365 tons, valued at $18,538 as compared with 20 and 10 tons respectively in 1899 and 1900. Minerals developed slightly, or not at all, are granite, valued at $1500 in 1905; surface salt, in the arid and semi-arid regions; nickel and cobalt, in Lemhi county; tungsten, near Murray, Shoshone county; monazite and zircon, in certain sands; and some pumice.
Manufactures.—The manufactures of Idaho in 1900 were relatively unimportant, the value of all products of establishments under the “factory system” being $3,001,442; in 1905 the value of such manufactured products had increased 192.2%, to $8,768,743. The manufacturing establishments were limited to the supply of local demands. The principal industries were devoted to lumber and timber products, valued at $908,670 in 1900, and in 1905 at $2,834,506, 211.9% more. In 1906 the Weyerhauser Syndicate built at Potlatch, a town built by the syndicate in Latah county, a lumber mill, supposed to be the largest in the United States, with a daily capacity of 750,000 ft. In Bonner county there are great mills at Sand Point and at Bonner’s Ferry. In these and the other 93 saw-mills in the state in 1905 steam generated by the waste wood was the common power. The raw material for these products was secured from the 35,000 sq. m. of timber land in the state (6164 sq. m. having been reserved up to 1905, and 31,775.7 sq. m. up to April 1907 by the United States government); four-fifths of the cut in 1900 was yellow pine. Flour and grist mill products ranked second among the manufactures, being valued at $1,584,473 in 1905, an increase of nearly 116% over the product in 1900; and steam-car construction and repairs ranked third, with a value of $913,670 in 1905 and $523,631 in 1900. In 1903–1904 the cultivation of sugar beets and the manufacture of beet sugar were undertaken, and manufacturing establishments for that purpose were installed at Idaho Falls and Blackfoot (Bingham county), at Sugar, or Sugar City (Fremont county), a place built up about the sugar refineries, and at Nampa, Canyon county. In 1906 between 57,000,000 and 64,000,000 ℔ of beet sugar were refined in the state. Brick-making was of little more than local importance in 1906, the largest kilns being at Boisé, Sand Point and Cœur d’Alene City. Lime is made at Orofino, Shoshone county, and at Hope, Bonner county.
Communications.—The total railway mileage in January 1909 was 2,022.04 m., an increase from 206 m. in 1880 and 946 m. in 1890. The Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, and the Oregon Railway & Navigation lines cross the N. part of the state; the Oregon Short Line crosses the S., and the Union Pacific, which owns the Oregon Railway & Navigation and the Oregon Short Line roads, crosses the eastern part. The constitution declares that railways are public highways, that the legislature has authority to regulate rates, and that discrimination in tolls shall not be allowed.
Population.—The population of Idaho in 1870 was 14,999; in 1880 it was 32,610, an increase of 117.4%; in 1890 it was 88,548, an increase of 158.8%; in 1900 161,772 (82.7% increase); and in 1910 325,594 (101.3% increase). Of the inhabitants 15.2% were in 1900 foreign-born and 4.5% were coloured, the coloured population consisting of 293 negroes, 1291 Japanese, 1467 Chinese and 4226 Indians. The Indians lived principally in three reservations, the Fort Hall and Lemhi reservations (1350 sq. m. and 100 sq. m. respectively), in S.E. and E. Idaho, being occupied by the Shoshone, Bannock and Sheef-eater tribes, and the Cœur d’Alene reservation (632 sq. m.), in the N.W., by the Cœur d’Alene and Spokane tribes. The former Nez Perce reservation, in the N.W. part of the state, was abolished in 1895, and the Nez Perces were put under the supervision of the superintendent of the Indian School at Fort Lapwai, about 12 m. E. of Lewiston, in Nez Perce county. Of these tribes, the Nez Perce and Cœur d’Alene were self-supporting; the other tribes were in 1900 dependent upon the United States government for 30% of their rations. Of the 24,604 foreign-born inhabitants of the state, 3943 were from England, 2974 were from Germany, 2528 were Canadian English, 2822 were from Sweden, and 1633 were from Ireland, various other countries being represented by smaller numbers. The urban population of Idaho in 1900 (i.e. the population of places having 4000 or more inhabitants) was 6.2% of the whole. There were thirty-three incorporated cities, towns and villages, but only five had a population exceeding 2000; these were Boisé (5957), Pocatello (4046), Lewiston (2425), Moscow (2484) and Wallace (2265). In 1906 it was estimated that the total membership of all religious denominations was 74,578, and that there were 32,425 Latter-Day Saints or Mormons (266 of the Reorganized Church), 18,057 Roman Catholics, 5884 Methodist Episcopalians (5313 of the Northern Church), 3770 Presbyterians (3698 of the Northern Church), 3206 Disciples of Christ, and 2374 Baptists (2331 of the Northern Convention).
Government.—The present constitution of Idaho was adopted in 1889. The government is similar in outline to that of the other states of the United States. The executive officials serve for a term of two years. Besides being citizens of the United States and residents of the state for two years preceding their election the governor, lieutenant-governor and attorney-general must each be at least thirty years of age, and the secretary of state, state auditor, treasurer and superintendent of education must be at least twenty-five years old. The governor’s veto may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the legislature; the governor, secretary of state, and the attorney-general constitute a Board of Pardons and a Board of State Prison Commissioners. The legislature meets biennially; its members, who must be citizens of the United States and electors of the state for one year preceding their election, are chosen biennially; the number of senators may never exceed twenty-four, that of representatives sixty; each county is entitled to at least one representative. The judiciary consists of a supreme court of three judges, elected every six years, and circuit and probate courts, the five district judges being elected every four years. Suffrage requirements are citizenship in the United States, registration and residence in the state for six months and in the county for thirty days immediately before election, but mental deficiency, conviction of infamous crimes (without restoration to rights of citizenship), bribery or attempt at bribery, bigamy, living in “what is known as patriarchal, plural or celestial marriage,” or teaching its validity or belonging to any organization which teaches polygamy, are disqualifications. Chinese or persons of Mongolian descent not born in the United States are also excluded from suffrage rights. Women, however, since 1897, have had the right to vote and to hold office, and they are subject to jury service. An Australian ballot law was passed in 1891. The constitution forbids the chartering of corporations except according to general laws. In 1909 a direct primary elections law was passed which required a majority of all votes to nominate, and, to make a majority possible, provided for preferential (or second-choice) voting, such votes to be canvassed and added to the first-choice vote for each candidate if there be no majority by the first-choice vote. The right of eminent domain over all corporations is reserved to the state; and no corporation may issue stock except for labour, service rendered, or money paid in. The waters of the state are, by the constitution of the state, devoted to the public use, contrary to the common law theory of riparian rights. By statute (1891) it has been provided that in civil actions three-fourths of a jury may render a verdict, and in misdemeanour cases five-sixths may give a verdict. Life insurance agents not residents of Idaho cannot write policies in the state. Divorces may be obtained after residence of six months on the ground of adultery, cruelty, desertion or neglect for one year, habitual drunkenness for the same period, felony or insanity. There are a state penitentiary at Boisé, an Industrial Training School at St Anthony, an Insane Asylum at Blackfoot, and a North Idaho Insane Asylum at Orofino. The care of all defectives was let by contract to other states until 1906, when a state school for the deaf and blind was opened in Boisé. No bureau of charities is in existence, but there is a Labor Commission, and a Commissioner of Immigration and a Commissioner of Public Lands to investigate the industrial resources. The offices of State Engineer and Inspector of Mines have been created.
Education.—The public schools in 1905–1906 had an enrolment of 62,726, or 81.5% of the population between 5 and 21 years of age. The average length of school term was 6-8 months, the average expenditure (year ending Aug. 31, 1906) for instruction for each child was $19.29, and the expenditure for all school purposes was $1,008,481. There was a compulsory attendance law, which, however, was not enforced. Higher education is provided by the University of Idaho, established in 1899 at Moscow, Latah county, which confers degrees in arts, science, music and engineering, and offers free tuition. In 1907–1908 the institution had 41 instructors and 426 regular and 58 special students. In 1901 the Academy of Idaho, another state institution with industrial and technical courses and a preparatory department, was established at Pocatello, Bannock county, to be a connecting link between the public schools and the university. There are two state normal schools, one at Lewiston and the other at Albion. The only private institution of college rank in 1908 was the College of Caldwell (Presbyterian, opened 1891) at Caldwell, Canyon county, with 65 students in 1906–1907. There are Catholic academies at Boisé and Cœur d’Alene and a convent, Our Lady of Lourdes, at Wallace, Shoshone county, opened in 1905; Mormon schools at Paris (Bear Lake county), Preston (Oneida county), Rexburg (Fremont county), and Oakley (Cassia county); a Methodist Episcopal school (1906) at Weiser (Washington county); and a Protestant Episcopal school at Boisé (1892). The Idaho Industrial Institute (non-denominational; incorporated in 1899) is at Weiser.
Finance.—The finances of Idaho are in excellent condition. The bonded debt on the 30th of September 1908 was $1,364,000. The revenue system is based on the general property tax and there is a State Board of Equalization. Each year $100,000 is set aside for the sinking fund for the payment of outstanding bonds as fast as they become due. The constitution provides that the rate of taxation shall never exceed 10 mills for each dollar of assessed valuation, that when the taxable property amounts to $50,000,000 the rate shall not exceed 5 mills, when it reaches $100,000,000, 3 mills shall be the limit, and when it reaches $300,000,000 the rate shall not exceed 11 mills; but a greater rate may be established by a vote of the people. No public debt (exclusive of the debt of the Territory of Idaho at the date of its admission to the Union as a state) may be created that exceeds 11% of the assessed valuation (except in case of war, &c.); the state cannot lend its credit to any corporation, municipality or individual; nor can any county, city or town lend its credit or become a stockholder in any company (except for municipal works).
History.—The first recorded exploration of Idaho by white men was made by Lewis and Clark, who passed along the Snake river to its junction with the Columbia; in 1805 the site of Fort Lemhi in Lemhi county was a rendezvous for two divisions of the Lewis and Clark expedition; later, the united divisions reached a village of the Nez Perce Indians near the south fork of the Clearwater river, where they found traces of visits by other white men. In 1810 Fort Henry, on the Snake river, was established by the Missouri Fur Company, and in the following year a party under the auspices of the Pacific Fur Company descended the Snake river to the Columbia. In 1834 Fort Hall in E. Idaho (Bingham county) was founded. It acquired prominence as the meeting-point of a number of trails to the extreme western parts of North America. Missions to the Indians were also established, both by the Catholics and by the Protestants. But the permanent settlements date from the revelation of Idaho’s mineral resources in 1860, when the Cœur d’Alene, Palouses and Nez Perces were in the North, and the Blackfoots, Bannocks and Shoshones in the South. While trading with these Indians, Capt. Pierce learned in the summer of 1860 that there was gold in Idaho. He found it on Orofino Creek, and a great influx followed—coming to Orofino, Newsome, Elk City, Florence, where the ore was especially rich, and Warren. The news of the discovery of the Boisé Basin spread far and wide, and Idaho City, Placerville, Buena Vista, Centreville and Pioneerville grew up. The territory now constituting Idaho was comprised in the Territory of Oregon from 1848 to 1853; from 1853 to 1859 the southern portion of the present state was a part of Oregon, the northern a part of Washington Territory; from 1859 to 1863 the territory was within the bounds of Washington Territory. In 1863 the Territory of Idaho was organized; it included Montana until 1864, and a part of Wyoming until 1868, when the area of the Territory of Idaho was practically the same as that of the present state. Idaho was admitted into the Union as a state in 1890. There have been a few serious Indian outbreaks in Idaho. In 1856 the Cœur d’Alenes, Palouses and Spokanes went on the war-path; in April 1857 they put to flight a small force under Col. Edward Tenner Steptoe; but the punitive expedition led by Col. George Wright (1803–1865) was a success. In 1877 the Nez Perces, led by Chief Joseph, refused to go on the reservation set apart for them, defeated a small body of regulars, were pursued by Major-General O. O. Howard, reinforced by frontier volunteers, and in September and October were defeated and retreated into Northern Montana, where they were captured by Major-General Nelson A. Miles. Occasional labour troubles have been very severe in the Cœur d’Alene region, where the attempt in 1892 of the Mine Owners’ Association to discriminate in wages between miners and surfacemen brought on a union strike. Rioting followed the introduction of non-union men, the Frisco Mill was blown up, and many non-union miners were killed. The militia was called out and regular troops were hurried to Shoshone county from Fort Sherman, Idaho and Fort Missoula, Montana. These soon quieted the district. But the restlessness of the region caused more trouble in 1899. The famous Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines were wrecked, late in April, by union men. Federal troops, called for by Governor Frank Steunenberg, again took charge, and about 800 suspected men in the district were arrested and shut up in a stockade known as the “bull-pen.” Ten prisoners, convicted of destroying the property of the mine-owners, were sentenced to twenty-two months in jail. The feeling among the union men was bitter against Steunenberg, who was assassinated on the 30th of December 1905. The trial in 1907 of Charles H. Haywood, secretary of the Western Federation of Miners, who was charged with conspiracy in connexion with the murder, attracted national attention; it resulted in Haywood’s acquittal. Before 1897 the administration of the state was controlled by the Republican party; but in 1896 Democrats, Populists and those Republicans who believed in free coinage of silver united, and until 1902 elected a majority of all candidates for state offices. In 1902, 1904, 1906 and 1908 a Republican state ticket was elected.
|William H. Wallace||1863|
|W. B. Daniels, Secretary, Acting Governor||1863–1864|
|C. de Witt Smith, Secretary, Acting Governor||1865|
|Horace C. Gilson, Secretary, Acting Governor||1865–1866|
|S. R. Howlett, Secretary, Acting Governor||1866|
|David W. Ballard||1866–1870|
|E. J. Curtis, Acting Governor||1870|
|Thomas W. Bennett||1871–1875|
|D. P. Thompson||1875–1876|
|John B. Neil||1880–1883|
|John N. Irwin||1883–1884|
|William M. Bunn||1884–1885|
|Edward A. Stevenson||1885–1889|
|George L. Shoup||1889–1890|
|George L. Shoup, Republican||1890|
|Norman B. Wiley, Acting Governor||1890–1892|
|William J. McConnell, Republican||1893–1897|
|Frank Steunenberg, Democrat Populist||1897–1901|
|Frank W. Hunt, Democrat Populist||1901–1903|
|John T. Morrison, Republican||1903–1905|
|Frank R. Gooding, Republican||1905–1909|
|James H. Brady, Republican||1909–|
Bibliography.—The physical features and economic resources of Idaho are discussed in J. L. Onderdonk’s Idaho: Facts and Statistics (San Francisco, 1885), Israel C. Russell’s “Geology and Water Resources of the Snake River Plains of Idaho,” U.S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 199 (Washington, 1902), The State of Idaho (a pamphlet issued by the State Commissioner of Immigration), Waldmor Lindgren’s “Gold and Silver Veins of Silver City, De Lamar and other Mining Districts of Idaho,” U.S. Geological Survey, 20th Annual Report (Washington, 1900), and “The Mining Districts of the Idaho Basin and the Boisé Ridge, Idaho,” U.S. Geological Survey, 18th Annual Report (Washington, 1898). These reports should be supplemented by the information contained elsewhere in the publications of the Geological Survey (see the Indexes of the survey) and in various volumes of the United States Census. W. B. Hepburn’s Idaho Laws and Decisions, Annotated and Digested (Boisé, 1900), and H. H. Bancroft’s Washington, Idaho, and Montana (San Francisco, 1890) are the principal authorities for administration and history. The reports of the state’s various executive officers should be consulted also.
- Of these 80,000 acres are reached directly—72,000 N., and 8000 S. of the Snake river; and from 50,000 to 70,000 acres more are above the level of the canals and will have water pumped to them by the 11,000-30,000 h.p. developed.
- This disqualification and much other legislation were due to the large Mormon population in Idaho. In 1884–1885 all county and precinct officers were required to take a test oath abjuring bigamy, polygamy, or celestial marriage; and under this law in 1888 three members of the territorial legislature were deprived of their seats as ineligible. An act of 1889, when the Mormons constituted over 20% of the population, forbade in the case of any who had since the 1st of January 1888 practised, taught, aided or encouraged polygamy or bigamy, their registration or voting until two years after they had taken a test oath renouncing such practices, and until they had satisfied the District Court that in the two years preceding they had been guilty of no such practices. The Constitutional Convention which met at Boisé in July-August 1889 was strongly anti-Mormon, and the Constitution it framed was approved by a popular vote of 12,398 out of 14,184. The United States Supreme Court decided the anti-Mormon legislation case of Davis v. Beason in favour of the Idaho legislature. In 1893 the disqualification was made no longer retroactive, the two-year clause was omitted, and the test oath covered only present renunciation of polygamy.
- Governor Shoup resigned in December to take his seat in the U.S. Senate.