ISU Owyhee Co. map

neighbors -
Owyhee Co & neighbors Canyon County
Ada County
Elmore County
Twin Falls County
Elko County, NV
Malheur County, Oregon



The first settlers came to the Bruneau Valley in the 1860s because of the availability of water and the hot springs in the upper part of the valley.

The Bruneau Valley provides fertile soil for farming and access to the large rangelands nearby, which provide grazing for livestock. In the 1860s and 1870s, cattle drives brought large herds from California and Texas. Many of the people who came with those herds stayed to establish homes in the area.

The first store and saloon in Bruneau was built in 1884. Stores in Bruneau by 1898 included a general store, hotel, post office, blacksmith shop, and saloon.

In 1912, the Owyhee Nugget newspaper moved from Silver City to Bruneau and continued there until 1940, when it moved to Marsing.

By 1929, the town had grown to a population of 800 and had a hotel, store, post office, bank, and several other businesses.

Bruneau also had several social organizations, including the Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, Modern Woodmen, and Royal Neighbors.

The area today utilizes the hot springs to produce warm water fish and to grow hydroponic vegetables year-round. 1


1898 Directory of residents and businesses2

Robert Adams, rancher
Antone Avetore, laborer
Chris Balzer, (Mitchell & Balzer)
John Benhan, rancher
Richard Benham, rancher and miner
Samuel B. Bieroth, rancher and stock raiser
Franklin G. Black, rancher and stock raiser
James H. Black, rancher and stock raiser
J.F. Black, rancher and stock raiser
John S. Black, rancher and stock raiser
Joseph R. Black, rancher and stock raiser
Ben M. Buncell, rancher and blacksmith
John M. Cook, laborer
William M. Custer, laborer
J. Davis, ranch
Dow Dunning, rancher
A.J. Harley, rancher and stock raiser
W.L. Harley, rancher and stock raiser
George Harvey, (Harvey Bros.)
Joseph Harvey, (Harvey Bros.)
Samuel Harvey, (Harvey Bros.)
B.F. Hawes, rancher and stock raiser
Fletcher Hawes, rancher and stock raiser
Fred Hiller, rancher
Charles E. Holverson, rancher and stock raiser
Henry Holverson, real estate
Barney Horn, proprietor T ranch, residence California
Abner J. Hosmer, real estate
M.E. House, blacksmith
John G. Howard, mail carrier
David B. Hyde, postoffice, Justice of the Peace, hotel and ranch
Joyce Bros., ranchers and stock raisers
Ray Loveridge, laborer
Isaac J. Leabo, laborer
John McVann, rancher and stock raiser
John Mitchell, (Mitchell & Balzer)
Chris M. Nicely, rancher
Samuel P. Noble, wool grower
Jackson Ornby, manager Davis ranch
J. Owens, laborer
Francis M. Pennington, laborer
Charles Pollard, rancher
John Portlock, rancher and stock raiser
H.S. Portlock, rancher and stock raiser
P. Ramsey, laborer
M.F. Richardson, laborer
William S. Sears, ranch hand and miner
William C. Schenck, rancher and miner
Eugene V. Stone, rancher
R.B. Stone, rancher
Frank O. Tremmell, laborer
James A. Tucker, saloon
John Turner, rancher and stock raiser
Joseph White, manager T ranch
J.B. Whitson, (Whitson Bros.)
Jeff D. Whitson, (Whitson Bros.)
John E. Wilkins, rancher and stock raiser
Miss Kittie Wilkins, (Wilkins Horse Co.)
Samuel B. Wilkins, rancher and stock raiser
H. Wilson, rancher and stock raiser
Ida Wilson, school teacher
V.H. Wilson, miner


Harvey Bros., rancher and stock raiser
Mitchell & Balzer, General Merchandise
Whitson Bros., ranchers and wool growers
Wilkins Horse Co., stock raisers


The following cemeteries at or near Bruneau have been identified by the Idaho State Archives Bruneau, Hot Springs (south of Bruneau), Nit Creek (by Strickland's Old Place on Nit Creek), and Old Knighton Farm (at Split River Ranch near Bruneau).


1 Idaho's Owyhee: Snake River Country - An Auto Tour. Souvenir Edition. [n.p., c1987]

2 A Historical, Descriptive and Commercial Directory of Owyhee County, Idaho, January 1898. Silver City, Idaho: Press of the Owyhee Avalanche, 1898.

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