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flag  History of Boise, Idaho, USA

Journey back in time to Boise, Idaho, USA

Visit Boise, Idaho, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Boise, Idaho, USA - Oregon Short Line Passenger Depot

Boise, Ada, ID

In Boise it’s technically illegal to ride a merry-go-round on Sunday. Luckily, it’s an old law that isn’t usually enforced.

Boise celebrates the New Year by dropping a 16-foot-tall steel-and-foam potato in the state capital.

There is MUCH more to discover about Boise, Idaho, USA. Read on!

Boise Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Oregon Short Line Passenger Depot
Boise, Idaho, USA

Oregon Short Line Passenger Depot
View from Water Tower
Boise, Idaho, USA

View from Water Tower
Ada County Court House
Boise, Idaho, USA

Ada County Court House

Discover Boise: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1863 - July 4 - Boise, Idaho founded
1865 - Boise became capital of Idaho webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ idtimeln.htm
1869 - February 19 - US Assay Office in Boise, Idaho authorized
1895 - Boise City
Boisé City, the capital of Idaho and of Ada co, is on the Boisé River, in a rich mining district at a terminus of a branch of the Union Pacific Railway System. It is about 300 miles S.W. of Helena, Montana. Lat. 43° 38' N.; Lon. 116°20'W. The city contains 8 churches, a prison, a United States assay office, 2 national banks, graded public and 2 private schools, and printing-offices from which are issued 2 daily and 3 weekly newspapers. This is said to be the only city in the world supplied with pure hot water from a flowing hot well. Pop, about 4500.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Another of the best business blocks of the city was threatened with destruction from a basement fire. It was the Odd Fellow block. A fire was started in some unknown manner in the basement under the Galbraith drug store. The basement was stored with chemicals and had the blaze gained enough headway to have set them off it would have been extremely difficult to save the building. The damage is estimated of [illegible] fully insured.

The fire was discovered by Henry Hart a clerk in the drug store, who was just going down into the basement. He ran back and gave the alarm and the chemical engine was sent for.

The fire was about 25 or 30 feet from the front of the basement, and the supply of chemicals was used up without putting it out. The basement was filled with smoke so dense that it was impossible for any of the firemen to remain below longer than a few seconds at a time.

When the chemical had exhausted its supply an alarm was sent to the Central station and the steamer... Read MORE...

1902 - Bold Holdup in Boise, Idaho
Boise, Idaho, Dec. 6 - A bold holdup was attempted this evening at the meat market and grocery store of Hyatt & Vickery, in the center of the business portion of town. Two masked men, each carrying two loaded guns, etnered the meat market about 9 o'clock, and while one held up George Ley, the other stepped in to the grocery and covered John Hyatt. The robbers seemed unaware of the presence of Thomas D Vickery, who was in the office of the grocery and were proceeding to gather in the money, when Vickery seized a pistol and opened fire. At the first shot one of the robbers fell. He quickly regained his feet, and, with his compainion, ran through the meat market, both men firing without effect at Ley as they left the building. No arrests.
The Spokesman-Review
Spokane, Washington
December 11, 1902
Boise, Idaho, Dec. 4. - The Central school building, temporarily occupied by the Idaho State School for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, was partially destroyed by fire early this morning. Forty children, inmates of the institution, were being marched to breakfast when the alarm was given and they were taken out of the building in perfect order. The loss is $10,000.
The Fresno Morning Republican
Fresno, California
December 5, 1908
Boise, the capital of Idaho and of Ada co., is on the Boise River, in a rich mining district, and on the Oregon Short Line R. Lat. 43° 36' N. ; Lon. 116° 12' W. The city, which is a military post, contains a prison, United States assay-office, United States land-office, and soldiers' home, and has various mills, a foundry, machine-shops, manufactures of wood and lumber, etc., and is a shipping point for wool, hides, and fruit. Pop. in 1900, 5957.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
1934 - Girl Killed By Her Pony
Boise, Idaho Oct 23 – AP – Helen Louise BECK, eleven years old, was kicked to death at noon yesterday at Mayfield school east of here by the saddle pony which had carried her from her farm home to the little country school for many years.

The girl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James O. Beck of Mayfield, left her classes at the lunch hour to find the horse fighting at the hitching rack behind the school with a saddle belonging to another pupil. Classmates said the girl walked up to her horse to quiet it and the nervous animal lashed out at her with one of its hind feet. Struck in the head, the child fell to the ground unconscious.

She was rushed to St. Luke’s hospital in Boise where she was found to have suffered multiple fractures of the skull. She died a short time later without regaining consciousness.

Friends of the girl said the horse was gentle and never before had given any trouble.
Reno Evening Gazette
Reno, Nevada
October 23, 1934
1953 - July 12 - KTVB TV channel 7 in Boise, ID (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
Boise (AP) - Fire burned off the roof and destroyed most of the top floor of the Mode department store building in the center of Boise's business district Wednesday night.

One man was overcome by smoke and was reported in fair condition Thursday.

WILLLIAM BATCH, store superintendent, estimated the damage at "least one million dollars."

Fire Chief STEVE TAYLOR said the fire originated in the basement of the two-story store, but its cause had not been determined.

Three men, two of them doing repair work on the mezzanine floor of the building, were in the structure when the fire broke out. Two escaped safely but the third, JERRY WARNER, 58, the store's night watchman, was hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation.
The Post Register
Idaho Falls, Idaho
June 19, 1958
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Boise:
Boise River Greenbelt:

Take a stroll or rent a bike and explore the scenic Boise River Greenbelt. It's a beautiful path along the river, perfect for a leisurely walk or a more active bike ride.

Downtown Boise:

Wander around downtown Boise and explore its vibrant atmosphere. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes to discover. Check out 8th Street for a variety of dining options.

Old Idaho Penitentiary:

Dive into Boise's history by visiting the Old Idaho Penitentiary. Take a guided tour to learn about the prison's fascinating past and the stories of its inmates.

Boise Art Museum:

If you appreciate art, the Boise Art Museum is a must-visit. It features contemporary and modern art, as well as regional and national exhibitions.

Idaho State Capitol:

Explore the Idaho State Capitol building and its beautiful surroundings. Guided tours are available if you want to delve deeper into the history and architecture.

Table Rock:

For a bit of a hike and a...

Discover MY Roots: Boise Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Boise, Idaho, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Boise.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

photo of James Sylvester BACKUSJames Sylvester BACKUS (15 October 1853, Albany, Linn, Oregon, USA - 25 November 1923, Boise, Idaho, USA)
female ancestorMargaret "Maggie" HAMILTON (16 May 1863, , County Donegal, Ireland - 10 December 1940, Boise, Idaho, USA)
female ancestorJemima Alice FURSEE (11 November 1866, Des Moines, Iowa, USA - 9 November 1936, Boise, Idaho, USA)
male ancestorHarry W MCDONALD (6 September 1869, , Indiana, USA - 20 June 1914, Boise, Idaho, USA)
male ancestorFrank Henry BARRETT (22 December 1871, , Missouri, USA - 21 November 1956, Boise, Idaho, USA)
female ancestorMae Belle DAVIS (24 December 1877, Comanche, Comanche, Texas, USA - February 1945, Boise, Idaho, USA)
female ancestorLaura Ellen WINCHESTER (14 February 1878, Fairview, Owyhee, Idaho, USA - 13 May 1956, Boise, Idaho, USA)
male ancestorFrank Augustus PURDY (3 August 1880, Benton, New York, USA - 14 February 1963, Boise, Idaho, USA)
photo of Charles Joseph FOSTERCharles Joseph FOSTER (18 February 1881, Windsor, Cowley, Kansas, USA - 17 January 1919, Boise, Idaho, USA)

Ancestors Who Were Married in Boise, Idaho, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Boise.

View Them Now

photo of Charles Joseph FOSTER Charles Joseph FOSTER (18 February 1881 - 17 January 1919) and photo of Mary Etta MOSS Mary Etta MOSS (25 September 1887 - 22 February 1945) married 11 October 1909
photo of Claude Edward CALVIN Claude Edward CALVIN (7/1/1891 - 3/1987) and female ancestorMary Louvisa BRIGGS (1/9/1893 - 6/14/1971) married 25 March 1915

Genealogy Resources for Boise

Idaho Newspapers

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Updated: 10/15/2023 10:32:04 AM