Established December 31, 1863 with its county seat at Ruby City. This was the first county to be established by the first territorial legislature. In 1867 the county seat was moved to Silver City and in 1934 to Murphy. Named for the river, mountains and mining area explored by Hawaiian fur trappers in 1819-1820. Hawaii and Owyhee are different spellings of the same word. Gold was discovered on Jordan Creek in 1863, and millions of dollars of gold and silver were taken from Silver City region until the industry declined in the early 1900s.