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Fascinating early Idaho letter sheet, promoting the newly formed town of Caldwell, Idaho, published by its promoter, the Idaho & Oregon Land Improvement Company.

The lettersheet provides a brief description of the location and advantages of Caldwell, with the map showing its strategic location as a center of commerce.

During the Civil War, the discovery of gold in Idaho's mountains brought a variety of new settlers into the area. Caldwell's inception occurred largely as a result of the construction of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, which connected Wyoming to Oregon through Idaho. Robert E. Strahorn came to the Boise River Valley in 1883 to select a route for the railroad. He rejected the grade into Boise City as too steep and chose a site thirty miles to the west. Caldwell was named after one of Strahorn's business partners, Alexander Caldwell, a former Senator from the State of Kansas.

When Caldwell was platted in August of 1883, its founder, the Idaho and Oregon Land Improvement Company, started persuading settlers and businessmen to move to the area. Within four months, Caldwell had 600 residents living in 150 dwellings, 40 businesses in operation, a school, a telephone exchange and two newspapers. On January 15, 1890, the City of Caldwell was incorporated. The College of Idaho was founded in Caldwell in 1891 and still is in existence today.


Transcription of Letter:


Caldwell Nov 29 1883


A.L. Richardson. Clerk of Court




Your Subpoenas for J. Richardson, J.B. Wells, Wm. Smith, Fuller Tilden, George Kennedy, George Buiford and H.G. Wallace has only rec. today at 11 o'clock and all has been served except Buiford and Richardson as both of these men are in Boise City. You can have them served there. H.G. Wallas has gone to Hailey and I don't know when he will return.


J.B. Wells


Dept. (Deputy?)

Condition Description
Size for letter sheet.