U.S. Census, 1860

Original Census Map
Created by Elaine Johnson © 1998

In 1860 U.S. Census, Oregon Territory changed its status to statehood when it was admitted into the Union on February 14, 1859 leaving the territory of Washington with most of the land that it originally was a part of Oregon. This enumeration was conducted in Oregon, but for some reason Washington Territory was not included or didn’t get their enumeration submitted; other than they had a territorial census that year, which didn’t include Spokane County that span over the eastern half of the territory into the panhandle of present-day Idaho, and perhaps into the region that later became Missoula County (now Montana) because their legislature entered that region in December 1860, while the rest of the land remained unorganized, and no census enumeration of that area until 1863.

Map of Washington Territory, ca. 1863

Of course, history will change the landscape of the territories when Idaho Territory will have entered as an incorporated territory leaving the entire

western borderline from Canada down to Nevada as the new boundaries. In the meantime, there has been many historical indications that were found in Idaho.

Fort Boise and Fort Hall were a couple of those historical indications. These two forts were located near where the present-day city of Boise is, but Originally Fort Boise started further down the Boise River before the troubles with the Indians in the area in the 1850s cause them to closes its doors. Fort Hall was forced to close because of the illegal sale of firearms to the Indians. However, after the statehood of Oregon, Fort Boise re-established itself further up the Boise River and in the same proximity of the newly formed Boise City.

A Historical Perspective:
Fort Boise (1)     Fort Boise (2)

The Oregon Trail continues to be the main highway to any parts of those coming west. Along the way, many pioneers stopped, either for the winter or for other reasons, began to establish themselves in new communities. One such location was near the Black Bear Lake area, which later changed its name to Bear Lake. This location is in the very far most corner of present-day Idaho near the Utah Territory, and before Wyoming became a territory. A former family historian indicated that this county was enumerated into the 1860 census under Cache County, Utah Territory. Unless you have ancestors from there and were a part of the early history. There no way to know for certain as that census didn’t list any township or communities it recorded. Several other places began to get established by mining camps or small towns throughout the present-day Idaho land. By 1863, the Washington Territorial Legislature named four counties into its territory that later became organized into the new territory of Idaho.

Last of all, the facts remained that Idaho became the next best place to find gold as many new mining districts and camps through the region became flooded with prospectors and placers. To read more …

Idaho’s Gold Rush Days

Original Works © Elaine Johnson 1996-1998 Historical Works © Matthew D. Friend 2017