ISU Digital Atlas, Shoshone County


Shoshone Co & neighbors

Bonner County
Kootenai County
Benewah County
Latah County
Clearwater County
Sanders Co., MT
Mineral Co., MT
Idaho GenWeb

GenWeb Archives

Welcome to Shoshone County!

Main Cities include:
Kellogg, Mullan, Osburn, Smelterville and Wallace (county seat)
Maps & Towns

Historical Background

"Shoshone County is named for a southern Idaho Indian Tribe. The county was originally created in Washington Territory in January of 1861 and included the Shoshoni Indian country in southern Idaho western Wyoming. Its present boundaries took shape in 1909 after a number of divisions. Mountain men travel through the county in the early 1800's, and Catholic missionaries were here in the 1840's and 1850's. Captain John Mullen constructed a road of sorts through the county in 1860-61. The discovery of lead, zince and silver in 1884 near present-day Kellogg drew a heavy population to the area. A narrow-gauge train was constructed to Wallace in 1887. Labor-management troubles flared in the Coeur d'Alenes in 1890's. Since the 1884 discovery, billions of dollars worth of minerals have been taken from Coeur d'Alenes, in which are the largest lead and silver mines in the United States." - Idaho Almanac, State of Idaho, 1977.

"Established 4 Feb 1864 with its county seat at Pierce. In 1885 the county seat was moved to Murray, in 1890 to Osborn, and finally to Wallace in 1893." - Robert Stach, former Shoshone County Coordinator

Anyone researching their ancestors in Shoshone County should be aware of the important connection between Shoshone County, Bonner County, Kootenai County, Spokane, WA and Rossland & Trail, B.C., Canada. To not look at these connections could mean missing your ancestor completely. Spokane, Rossland and Trail are all innerconnected to Shoshone County, particularly if your ancestor was in the mining industry. Miners came to Shoshone County from Rossland and Trail after the mines dried up in British Columbia. You can track your ancestors crossing the Canadian Border via films from the Mormon Library Family History Center, called the St Albans Border Crossing. If you suspect or know your was a miner, you can contact the Lei Roi Mining Museum in Rossland, B.C., to see if they have any records. Additionally, Spokane, WA was built by money from the Silver Valley Mining industry. Contact the Eastern Washington Genealogy Society in Spokane, WA to see if they have any information on your ancestor. Most miners made migrations through Bonner County, ID to get from Rossland to Shoshone, and many left Shoshone eventually to live in Kootenai County. The lesson here is to check all surrounding counties!

For vital records requests within the county, you can write to:
Shoshone County Clerk
700 Bank Street
Wallace, Idaho 83873-2348
Phone: (208) 752-1264
Fax: (208) 752-1264
Shoshone County website

Wallace, c. 1940's

Updated 15 December 2015, Laury Kenton, County Coordinator
Did your ancestors work in the Sunshine Mine? History/Sunshine Mine Disaster and Sunshine Mine Disaster Casualties

We would like to thank past coordinators Kelly Erickson, Robert Stach, Nancy Russell, Sharon McConnel, and Mary Ellis for all the work they did on this site.

Copyright © 2006 - The GenWeb Team. All Rights Reserved.

The IDGenWeb Project is a genealogical and resource collection for the state of Idaho and its counties. The state and counties has many volunteers who are dedicated to promoting free genealogical and research resources from the state's rich ancestral history.