1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Idaho

IDAHO (see 14.276). In 1920 the pop. was 431,866 as against 325,594 in 1910, an increase of 106,272, or 32.6%. The rural pop. in 1920 numbered 312,829, or 72.4% of the total, and the urban 119,037, or 27.6%, both increasing at nearly the same rate. The average number of inhabitants per sq. m. increased from 3.9 in 1910 to 5.2 in 1920. Boise, the capital and the largest city, had in 1920 a pop. of 21,393 (17,358 in 1910). The pop. of the other chief towns was as follows: Pocatello, 15,001; Twin Falls, 8,324; Idaho Falls, 8,064, and Nampa, 7,621.

Agriculture continued after 1910 to be the principal source of wealth, despite rapid developments in mining and the lumber industry. The most significant growth came in the portions of the state south of Salmon river. In northern Idaho, although the value of farm crops showed an increase in 1910-20, the total acreage remained about the same. The following table indicates the extent of agricultural development at the last three census periods:—

1900 1910 1920
 Number of farms 17,471  30,807  42,106
 Acreage (improved) 1,413,118  2,778,740  4,511,680
 Average acreage (total)  183.4 171.5 198.9
 Value of farm property   $67,000,000   $305,000,000   $716,000,000 

In 1920 15.7% of the land area of the state was in farms and 53.9% of the farm land was improved. Nearly two-fifths of all farms were in the group containing between 100 and 174 ac., but this group was declining in favour of larger and smaller holdings. The average value of land and buildings per farm was $13,811 as compared with $7,955 in 1910. The number of mortgaged farms nearly doubled in the 10 years. Tenant farming was not a serious problem, for nearly 63% of all farms were operated by their owners. There were 41,598 white farmers and only 508 coloured farmers. Of the former, 35,284 were native born. The value of all crops for Idaho in 1919 was $126,459,766 as compared with $32,880,915 in 1909. Although the total value of cereals in 1919 ($43,118,428) showed an increase over 1909 ($16,026,676), it was not so marked as the increase in the value of hay and forage crops (1919, $50,807,437; 1909, $12,101,239). In the same decade the value of the potato crop increased 755.5% and of the sugar-beet crop 236%. With the increased acreage there came a decline in the average yield per acre of such crops as oats, wheat, barley and potatoes. Horticulture was important in the fertile valleys of the N. as well as in the irrigated districts of the S. and E. The production of strawberries in 1919 was 494,818 qt.; apples, 3,648,640 bus.; peaches, 279,101 bus.; plums and prunes, 485,325 bushels. Although Idaho is still important as a stock-growing state, the growth of this industry has not kept pace with the development in crop raising. The table in opposite column indicates comparative gains during the decade ending 1920.

Construction of large-scale irrigation projects received a set-back during the World War. About half the farms in the state were under

irrigation in 1920. In 1909 the total acreage actually under irrigation was 1,430,000, though existing projects were capable of putting water on a total of 2,388,000 acres. In 1920 over 2,000,000 ac. were under irrigation. Incidental to irrigation has been the construction of a number of drainage projects costing (1920) $1,706,462, and providing drainage for 55,732 ac., less than one-tenth of 1% of the area of the state.

1910 1920

 No. of horses 189,322  293,123 
 No. of cattle 404,518  714,903 
 No. of sheep 1,012,431  1,654,771 
 Production of milk (gal.)   30,981,341   52,365,498 
 Production of wool (lb.) 16,377,265  17,860,962 

Mining.—Mining continues to rank second in economic importance. The following table shows the value of the mineral production in alternate years since 1910:—

Gold Silver Lead Copper Zinc

1910 $1,018,000  $4,268,000  $10,761,000  $    753,000  $     33,000 
1912 1,432,000  5,011,000  13,233,000  1,224,000  1,127,000 
1914 1,286,000  7,412,000  13,426,000  2,166,000  685,000 
1916 1,061,000  8,013,000  25,111,000  12,633,000  2,190,000 
1918 750,000  8,709,000  22,368,000  1,278,000  4,212,000 
1920 459,000  8,379,000  22,292,000  491,000  1,785,000 

The total value of the mineral production in 1920 was $33,557,708. Lead is first in importance. The most important lead mines are in the Coeur d'Alene district of the Panhandle, including the Hercules, the Tamarack and Custer, Hecla, and Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines. The mines of central Idaho are again becoming important after the lapse of half a century, and successful developments of lead-silver and lead-zinc ores have been made in Lemhi and Custer counties in the east-central part of the state. The extraction of silver is in most sections of the state incidental to lead mining. The most striking developments in the years just preceding 1921 were in the mining of zinc. The Interstate-Callahan mine in the Coeur d'Alene is probably the third largest producer of zinc ore in the United States. Other properties in the same region have shown good yields in the past few years. Some zinc also is produced in central Idaho. The copper resources of the state, while widely distributed, are only in the first stages of exploitation, due largely to the inaccessibility of the best ores. The largest copper-producing area is in Custer county, though some development has been made in Lemhi, Shoshone and Adams counties. The Seven Devils range in Adams county is one of the most extensively mineralized copper belts in the west. Gold is produced in northern and central Idaho partly by milling quartz ores and partly by dredging. One concern, operating in central Idaho, has produced by dredging as much metal-bearing material in a year as all the lode mines in the state combined. The latter are chiefly found in the Coeur d'Alene. Tungsten in increasing amounts is being mined, chiefly in Lemhi county, which contains a more complete variety of precious, useful, and rare minerals than any other county in the state. In south-eastern Idaho are great quantities of phosphate rock, of which 30,000 tons were mined in 1920. Low-grade coal is being developed in small quantities near the Wyoming line, and there has been some prospecting for oil.

Manufactures.—Although Idaho is by no means a manufacturing state, there has been a marked growth during the past decade both in the number of establishments and in the value of their products. The following are the chief industries, in order of importance: lumber, flour and grist mills, car and railroad shops, printing and publishing. Over 98% of the employees are males over 15 years of age; 71% of the establishments are owned by individuals or firms and 27% by corporations. The total value of all manufactured goods in 1914 amounted to $28,453,000. Of this 47.7% was represented by lumber products. The cuts are chiefly of soft woods, 40% being white pine. Idaho contains the largest body of standing white pine in the world.

Government.—The Legislature of 1919 completely reorganized the state civil administration in so far as the limitations imposed by the state constitution permitted. The Administrative Consolidation Act abolished some 46 boards, commissions and offices. The resulting changes gave Idaho a consolidated form of state government, or, as it is locally called, a cabinet or “commission” form of government, with the governor at the head, assisted by nine departmental “commissioners.” These nine departments are: Agriculture; Commerce and Industry; Finance; Immigration, Labor and Statistics; Law Enforcement; Public Investment; Public Welfare; Public Works; Reclamation. Each commissioner, salary $3,600, is appointed by the governor and, except “those under the constitution who are appointed for specific terms,” may be removed by him at his discretion. The Act further provides that in certain departments designated officers shall be appointed by the governor, but these are comparatively few in number, and on the whole the organization within each department is under the control of the commissioner. This consolidated form of government concentrates authority in the hands of the governor to a marked degree. The law provides a budget system for the state, to be prepared by the Commissioner of Finance.

There were in 1920 45 counties in the state. During the 1921 session of the Legislature an effort was made to secure favourable action on a resolution to divide the state and to permit the creation out of northern Idaho, with eastern Washington and possibly part of western Montana, of a new state of Lincoln, should Congress permit the admission of the same to the Union. There was considerable agitation for this step.

Education.—In 1917-8 there were 131,845 pupils enrolled in the common schools of the state, as compared with 62,728 in 1905-6. The school buildings were rapidly increasing in number and in quality. In 1918 there were 1,703 school-houses valued at $9,591,609. The law permits the formation of consolidated school districts, of which there were 17 in 1918. The state university comprised in 1920 four colleges: Letters and Sciences, Agriculture, Engineering, and Law; and three schools: Forestry, Mines, and Education. The total enrolment was over a thousand. In 1917-8 the state normal school at Lewiston had an enrolment of 507; the state normal school at Albion, 403; the technical institute at Pocatello, 563.

Finance.—The total state tax levy for 1919 amounted to $3,795,059 on an assessed valuation of $486,759,104. The total expenditures in the same year for cost of government amounted to $3,405,929. The Financial Statistics of States, issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, gave a total net debt at the end of 1919 of $2,403,218. The outstanding bonds and interest-bearing warrants carried interest at 4.5, 5 and 6%.

History.—In the World War Idaho furnished 19,016 men, representing 26 to 30% of the total number of men examined for military service. Men from Idaho made part of the 41st National Guard Division and the 91st National Army Division. The 41st landed in France in Dec. 1917 and the 91st in July 1918. The 91st, though it spent but 14 days in active sectors, gained a total of 34 km., or 4.35% of the total ground gained against the enemy. There were 1,390 battle deaths in the 91st and 5,106 wounded. Idaho over-subscribed each of its Liberty Loan quotas. The governors of the state were: James H. Brady, Republican, 1909-11; James H. Hawley, Democrat, 1911-3; John M. Haines, Republican, 1913-5; Moses Alexander, Democrat, 1915-9; D. W. Davis, Republican, 1919-

Bibliography—For the early history and exploration of Idaho, see Dale, 'The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the Discovery of a Central Route to the Pacific, 1822-1829. There are several histories of Idaho: Brosnan, History of the State of Idaho (1918); Hailey, History of Idaho (1910); McConnell, Early History of Idaho (1913). Of the state publications the biennial reports of the Commissioner of Finance, the Board of Education and the Mine Inspector are among the most important. On mining developments the bulletins issued by the state School of Mines (Bureau of Mines) are also valuable.

(H. C. D.)