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Idaho Deed History

Idaho is the 43rd state and was admitted to the Union as such on July 3, 1890. From 1843 to 1849, Idaho was under the jurisdiction of the Provisional Government of Oregon, which was the elected government in Oregon Country. Oregon Country consisted of land in the following areas: present-day British Columbia; all of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho; and parts of Montana and Wyoming. After Oregon became a state, what is now Idaho was in what was left of the original Oregon Territory that was not part of the new state and was designated as the Washington Territory. The Territory of Idaho was established in 1863 and existed until Idaho was granted statehood.

There are 44 counties in Idaho. Three of the 44 were first designated by the Washington Territorial Legislature in 1861; they were re-designated as Idaho counties in 1864. The first three counties are Shoshone, Nez Perce, and Idaho County. The first attempts at organized communities within the present borders of Idaho occurred in 1860. In 1861, Lewiston was established as the first substantial incorporated community.

The first county clerk in Nez Perce was most likely in 1863, when E.C. Mayhew was appointed to the position. When the county was formed, officials were nominated in 1862, but it is unlikely that they served, as the county was populated mostly by gold seekers who did not care to serve in or have a county government. When Idaho was first settled, land was administered by the federal government through local land offices. After the available land was surveyed, it could be transferred to private ownership.