History Index


Ron Rekow, cutting hair on Main Street since 1941 (at KBOI2 news)
WWII German POW Camps, including Emmett. Thank you Gordon R. Peterson for digging out this information!
"Three generations of bullfighters" - Curley, Eddie and Matt Heath (Abstracted from the Messenger Index, July 31, 2013)
Governor Frank W. Hunt (1861 - 1906) on South Fork Companion blog
Andy Little & Little Mansion at boise architecutre
   " Andrew Little's sheep ranch in Idaho was so famous that a letter addressed simply 'Andy Little, USA' found its intended recipient." - Ferenc Morton Szasz, "Scots In the North American West, 1790 - 1917"
Jay Sisler (1926 - 1995), Dog Trainer for Disney (off-site)

Emmettsville's merchants from Langley's 1876 Business Directory
Early Settlers profiled in "The Village That Grew" by Ruth B. Lyon, 1979
Gill Family Establishes Way Station by Meg Davis, Director/Curator
First Gem County Officials
"Sixteen Postmasters, Twelve Different Locations", November 17, 1938
Gem County Sheriffs 1915-1993

"History of Idaho, The Gem of the Mountains," Vol. III. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago, 1920.

On-line at google books - This is 900 pages of biographical sketches. Gem County entries include many familiar names: Alsagar, Burkhard, Cronk, Cruickshank, Davison, Hartley, Kesgard, Kessler, Knox, Morehouse, McCrossin, McKay, Pugh, Riggs, Werle, and Wilhelm, to name a few.

Wake Island Civilian POW's

Marvin Gross (1902-1982)
Emmett Newell (1919-1987)
Glen Newell (1921-2014)

Other known Gem County men on the captured Morrison-Knudsen construction crew include and Gross' uncle Leroy Cramer. Leroy Cramer died on the hospital ship on the way home. He is buried at Ola. Bill Charters was also in that crew. For more information, see Wake Island on historynet.com.

Clippings shared by the extended Gross family
Prisoners released     Gross-Morris return; "The Bull" Sentenced


Known Gem County Civil War Veterans
Veterans buried in Emmett's Riverside Cemetery
Veterans buried in Bramwell Cemetery
Veterans buried in Sweet-Montour and Ola Cemeteries
WWII Memorial, at tank, in front of courthouse
Memorial, WWI, Korea and Viet Nam at tank, in front of courthouse
John McLean Tribute, First Gem County WWI casualty, June 27, 1918
George Hall, Spanish-American Vet's Body Moved to Sweet Cemetery, November 16, 1930

To contribute to Gem County Veterans Project, contact Gem County Veterans Project or Janie Schaut
Janie Schaut wins Idaho State Historical Society's 2013 Esto Perpetua Award Messenger-Index and histor-e.


Nathaniel Martin House by Director-Curator, Meg Davis; includes history of Martin Ferry
What's in a Name?, (Emmettsville and Emmett Cahalan) by Director-Curator, Meg Davis
Gem County Post Offices and Postmasters
The Marsh-Ireton Ranch, by Nellie Ireton Mills, "The Emmett Index," April 22, 1948
Sweet Methodist Church (on historical register)
Gem County Buildings on the National Register (off-site)
Pickett's Corral Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, No. 253


Pearl, excerpt from Merle W. Wells -- Gold Camps & Silver Cities/Nineteenth Century Mining in Central and Southern Idaho. Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Mines & Geology, Moscow, Idaho, 1983. (p. 73-74)
1899 Mining Report
Pearl in the early 1900's
W. C. Emke Mines at Pearl Sold for $25,000, January 13, 1903
Great Pearl Mining Camp, April 30, 1903; lists mines and owners
1904 Mining Report, Pearl District
Pearl on westernmininghistory.com (off-site)

General History and Historic Newspaper Articles

The Emmett Index, January 21, 1898
The Emmett Index, February 6, 1913
Railroad Reaches Emmett, April 1902
Fifty-five Carloads, Mining Machinery for Thunder Mountain, June 19, 1902
The Fourth at Emmett, July 1902
Emmett Red Birds Cover Themselves with Glory, Other News, Dissolution Notice, July 10, 1902
W. C. Emke Mines at Pearl Sold for $25,000, January 13, 1903
Farmers' Co-Operative Irrigation Co. Plans, January 13, 1903
Great Pearl Mining Camp, April 30, 1903; lists mines and owners
Liberty Mine Sold, October 1929
Ekekiel Sweet's Experience as a Postmaster, February 1931
Martial Law Declared, August 1931
"Progressing with Gem County", "Scenic Idaho, Winter 1954

When Col. Dewey bought the Caswells' Thunder Mountain claims (east present-day Valley Co.) in late 1900, the rush was on - much of it through present-day Gem County. Ads from "Thunder Mountain News," April 22, 1905, courtesy of Steven Harshfield - Thank you, Steve, for sharing!

    Boise & Pearl Stage, T. B. Walker, Prop.
    Millers, Ola & Miller's Store at Thunder City
    Plowman's, Montour
    Sults' Ola, Thunder City, Vanwyck Stage
    Taylor House, Sweet, W. Taylor & Sons, Props.

Off-Site Sources

"WPA Project Built a Home for Justice in Gem County" (courthouse history)
History news articles at the Messenger-Index
Arthur Hart at the Idaho Statesman

July 29 - Traveled nineteen miles today, reaching the Boise River. It was easily forded, and always muddy owing to the placer mines at its headwaters where gold is washed. . .

July 30 - This morning go into the City which is only a city in name, just a small mining town the people mostly transient keeping all manner of supplies for miners, and the emmigration to Oregon, at very exorbitant prices. Our roll of 'Greenbacks' which had been tucked away for three months because there was nothing to buy, was now brought forth. We however had more flour than we would use, sold it in exchange for gold dust receiving for it $16 hundred. One of our party sold a featherbed for $1.00 per lb. his wife refused for awhile to give up her feather bed but they must have something to eat and money to pay ferriage, so the feather bed went

July 30 - Camped on 'Dry Creek' last night and would be glad to remain here to day (Sunday) but for lack of grass and good water must move on. At night reached the Payette River. A beautiful stream and abundance of grass and wood. . .

Aug 2nd - Still going down Payette river. Met to day a circus from Oregon going to the mining towns." -- Harriet Loughary, 1864 -- "Covered Wagon Women, Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, 1862-1865", edited and compiled by Kenneth L. Holmes; University of Nebraska Press, 1989.

If you know of a Gem County-related link that needs to be included here, or if you find a broken link, please contact Sharon McConnel,

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Unless otherwise attributed, all photos and text are the property of Gem County Historical Society

Serving Gem County since 1973.

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