See the images:
The database contains images taken from the Idaho State University Library's Special Collections Department, the Bannock County Historical Society, and the South Bannock County Historical Center. It can be browsed and searched. To get started click the Bannock County image above.
About Bannock County:
R.L. Polk & Co., City Directory 1901-1902
Bannock County was created by Legislative enactment of 1893, with Pocatello as the county seat. It was created out of the southeastern third of Bingham County, itself a fragment of old Oneida County, which originally comprised the major portion of southeastern Idaho.
The northwestern corner of Bannock County is taken up by the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, which covers nearly one-fourth of its total area. About one-half of the said reservation will, however, soon be opened up to public settlement, the final Presidential proclamation being delayed only by the new nearly completed surveys.
The population of Bannock County comprises over 14,000 souls, something over one-third of which are located in Pocatello. This does not include the Indians, of whom there are some 1400 scattered over the Reservation.
The county abounds in rich agriculture valleys, the two principal ones of which lie along the east and west side of the Portneuf range of mountains....Gentile Valley, which lies on the east between Portneuf and Bear River ranges, is one of the richest agricultural valleys in the state. It was settled in the early seventies and is now occupied by a very prosperous community of farmers and stock raiders. The valley on the west, between the Portneuf and Bannock ranges is also rich and prosperous, but being less fortunate in the number and volume of mountain streams and springs than the valley on the east, its growth is somewhat checked awaiting the arrival of capitol to spread the life-quickening waters of the larger streams over numerous and now unproductive acres. Through the center of this valley runs the Oregon Short Line on its way from Salt Lake City to Butte, and along it many small towns are growing up, from Oxford on the South to McCammon on the north, at which place the Short Line's main line from Granger to Huntington, joins it, and the two run over the same track into Pocatello.
The principal towns of the county are Pocatello, Soda Springs, Bancroft, McCammon, Oneida, Downey, and Oxford, all of which are located along the Oregon Short Line system. The largest of these, outside of Pocatello is Soda Springs, which has grown into an important sheep and wool shipping point. Shearing corrals and dipping vats are located in the hills surrounding this place. Steam shearing corrals with as many as twenty-five clippers are found here.
At McCammon are located the famous H.O. Harkness roller mills, with a capacity of 175 barrels of flour per day.
Large modern creameries are operated at Oxford, Chesterfield, and Gentile Valley, and dairies are operated in various places during the summer months.
The county has 125 miles of railroad. It is divided into 42 school districts, with 65 teachers, and 4600 school children.
While Pocatello has labored during all the years of its existence under the most serious disadvantages it has improved those advantages it possessed to the utmost.
Bannock County Today
The Bannock County of today is substantially different from that described in the Polk Directory in 1902. The boundaries have changed considerably over time. Bannock County lost some land and communities in its eastern area to Caribou County in 1919 and again in the 1940s. Reservation land in the county was transformed when tracts were opened for white settlement in 1902 and 1904. In 1927, additional reservation land was ceded to the city for an airport.
Bannock County comprises over 1,100 square miles of land. The population in 2004 was 75,672.
About the project:
The Bannock County Images project contains digital images from the Idaho State University Library Special Collections Department, the Bannock County Historical Society in Pocatello, and the South Bannock County Historical Center in Lava Hot Springs. The project was funded in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council.
The database is intended to make available images documenting the history of Bannock County, Idaho to all interested users in a searchable manner. It is also intended to act as a predecessor to a possible statewide project of a similar nature, tentatively titled The Handbook of Idaho. Libraries, historical societies, and other cultural institutions across Idaho hold in their collections unique items that portray, in image and text, the history of our state. The Handbook of Idaho project has the goal of digitizing such materials, organizing them along with short, descriptive entries, and making them available to all citizens of Idaho and beyond via the Internet.
If your institution is interested in contributing images or texts from its collections to this project, please contact Ellen M. Ryan at the ISU Library at (208) 282-3608 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Collections Department
Eli M. Oboler Library
Idaho State University
Campus Box 8089
Pocatello, ID 83209
Bannock County Historical Society
3000 Alvord Loop
Pocatello, ID 83201
South Bannock County Historical Center
P.O. Box 387 - East Main Street
Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246