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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Boise County, Idaho.

It is not to be confused with the city of Boise in Ada County


The county was established on February 4, 1864, with its county seat at Idaho City. It was named for the Boise River, which was named by French-Canadian explorers and trappers for the great variety of trees growing along its banks in the lower desert valley. The county is one of four Idaho counties that also existed under Washington Territory. On January 12, 1863, The Washington territorial legislature established the county containing most of Idaho below 114° 30', excluding the territory lying west of the Payette River. They established its county seat at what later became Idaho City.

The Boise Basin, which contains Idaho City, was one of the nation's richest gold mining districts; gold was discovered in 1862, and more of it was pulled from present-day Boise County than from the entire state of Alaska. At its peak in the mid-1860s, Idaho City was the largest city in the Northwest, and it was this rapid population influx that led to the establishment of the Idaho Territory in 1863. The lower–elevation communities of Horseshoe Bend (Payette River) and Boise (Boise River) were staging areas for the Boise Basin mines.

The county's boundaries changed several times during Idaho's territorial period. Owyhee County (Idaho's oldest) and a portion of Oneida County were carved from the southern and eastern portion of the county as it existed under Washington Territory in late December 1863 and January 1864. When Idaho Territory established the county in February 1864, it contained all of present Ada, Canyon, and Payette counties. It also included most of present Boise and Gem Counties, the southern half of Washington County, and small portions of Adams, Custer, Owyhee, and Valley counties.

When Ada County was created in December 1864, most of that territory was transferred to Ada County, leaving only small portions of Custer, Gem, Payette, Valley, and Washington counties together with most of present-day Boise County. The Boise River portion of the current western boundary was established by 1866. The southern boundary common to present Ada County was defined the following year. The northern boundary was most volatile Between 1873 and 1887 with the boundary shifting further north into Valley County, back south below Cascade, and then again north to include the North Fork of Payette River Basin. The county obtained its current boundary after Gem County was created in 1915 and Valley County in 1918.

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Communities

  • Banks
  • Brownlee
  • Centerville
  • Crouch
  • Garden Valley
  • Gardena
  • Grandjean
  • Grimes Pass
  • Horseshoe Bend
  • Idaho City (County Seat)
  • New Centerville
  • Pioneerville
  • Placerville
  • Quartzburg
  • Washington Mill



Boise National Forest (part)

Sawtooth National Recreation Area (part)

Genealogy Trails


Genealogy Village