Idaho is known for its potatoes, but it wasn't until the 1930s that potatoes became a major crop in the state. Before that, wheat was the primary crop grown in Idaho.
Oneida County, located in southeastern Idaho, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Shoshone and Bannock tribes, who used the region as a hunting and gathering ground. In the early 19th century, European fur trappers and traders began to venture into the area, establishing contact with the Native Americans and setting up trading posts.

In 1863, as part of the Idaho Territory, Oneida County was established. The county was named after the Oneida Native American tribe, a member of the Iroquoian language family. The area quickly saw an influx of settlers, primarily farmers and ranchers who were attracted by the fertile soil and abundant water sources. Agriculture became the backbone of the county's economy, with crops such as wheat, barley, and hay being grown, along with the raising of livestock.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Oneida County experienced significant growth and development. Towns were established, including Malad City, which became the county seat. Railroads began to connect the county to larger markets, allowing for easier transportation of goods and people. The establishment of schools, churches, and other community institutions contributed to the county's growth and stability.

In the present day, Oneida County continues to be primarily agricultural, with farming and ranching playing a central role in the local economy. The county also attracts outdoor enthusiasts with its scenic landscapes, including mountains, lakes, and rivers. Oneida County remains a close-knit community that values its history and heritage while looking toward the future.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Oneida County, Idaho.

  • 1864 - Oneida County is established on January 22 as a county in the Idaho Territory.
  • 1866 - The town of Malad City is founded as the county seat.
  • 1867 - The Idaho Central Railroad is extended to Malad City, promoting economic development in the county.
  • 1870 - The Oregon Short Line Railroad completes construction through Oneida County, further boosting the local economy.
  • 1873 - The Oneida Stake Academy, now known as Oneida Stake Academy Historic District, is built in Preston.
  • 1880 - The population of Oneida County reaches over 5,000 residents.
  • 1890 - The Idaho State Legislature designates the town of Preston as the new county seat.
  • 1984 - The National Register of Historic Places includes the City Building and Oneida County Courthouse in Malad City.
  • 2002 - The Malad Gorge State Park is established, showcasing the scenic beauty of the region.