a part of the IDGenWeb & USGenWeb Projects
About Clearwater County
In 1860 todays Clearwater County was a part of Washington Territory. After the discovery of gold in 1860 and a rush of people to the area, Pierce was made the county seat of a vast Shoshone County in 1861, two years prior to the establishment of the Idaho Territory. The Pierce Courthouse , erected in 1862, is Idaho's oldest public building . The county seat was moved from Pierce to Murray in 1884 and then to Wallace in 1898 to better serve the majority of the county's population. Until December 1904 Shoshone County included present-day Clearwater County to the south of the Wallace mining area. The population of the southern area increased with homesteading in the Fraser and Weippe area in the late 1890's. The vast distance and time required for travel to Wallace from the Clearwater River area prompted the move of the southern portion to Nez Perce County. That portion was annexed by Nez Perce County in December 1904 and remained for several years before being established as Clearwater County February 27, 1911.
Clearwater County was named for the Clearwater River whose name was translated from the Nez Perce term, Koos-Koos-Kia, meaning "clear water". In September 1805, Lewis and Clark followed an old Indian trail between the north and middle forks of the Clearwater River and met the Nez Perce near the present site of Weippe on the Weippe Prairie. Although no doubt known to the Nez Perce Indians for many years, gold was first "discovered" in 1860 by Elias D. Pierce and Wilbur F. Bassett along a creek christened "Oro Fino Creek" meaning "fine gold".
All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use or distribution, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.
Created & Designed by Jill Nock ©2011