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Canyon County Archives

Welcome to the Canyon County, Idaho GenWeb Project!

The Canyon County, Idaho GenWeb Project is part of the USGenWeb Project! We are a group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free genealogy access for everyone.

If you have any Canyon County related data, photos or web sites that you would like to have added to this site, please contact me. If you have access to records for the Canyon County area and can perform lookups by request, we need you! Contact Virginia Vaught, Canyon County Coordinator.

Dewey Palace Hotel in Nampa, Idaho

The photograph above was taken during the construction of the Dewey Palace Hotel in Nampa, Idaho. It was built by Colonel William Dewey, a silver mining baron, in 1902 for $250,000. Colonel Dewey died in the hotel the next year. The hotel was located on 2nd Street between 11th Avenue South and 12th Avenue South. The hotel survived the great Nampa fire of 1909 but was razed in 1963. It was replaced with a bank and a tire store.

Pioneer Certificates (NEW)

Do you have ancestors that lived in Idaho prior to Idaho Statehood, 3 July, 1890? If so, you qualify for an Idaho Pioneer Certificate.
Pioneer certificates are issued to direct descendants of persons who lived in Idaho before Statehood, 3 July 1890. More information is available on the Idaho Genealogical website.

Canyon County Historical Background

Canyon County was created from Ada County on March 7, 1891 with the county seat at Caldwell.

"Canyon County was named for the small canyon through which the Boise River flows near Caldwell. What is now Canyon County played an important part in the early history of Idaho. Efforts to establish post at the mouth of the Boise River in 1812-13 and in 1819 were not successful. The Hudson Bay Company established Fort Boise in 1834 near what is now Parma and it was abandoned in 1855. Emigrants traveled through Canyon County on the Oregon Trail, and in 1854, twenty-one persons were killed in the Ward Massacre south of Meridian. The early settlers located farms along the Boise and Snake Rivers, and population quickly expanded when the Oregon Shortline crossed the county in 1883. Caldwell was platted in 1883 and incorporated in 1889. Nampa was incorporated in 1890 and the College of Idaho was founded at Caldwell in 1891." -- Idaho Almanac, 1977 Edition, State of Idaho.

"County seat is Caldwell. Created from a portion of Ada County by an act of the State Legislature 7 March 1891. Located in SW Idaho, with the Snake River as its western and southern boundary. The Boise River furnishes irrigation water throughout the central and southern portions. Owyhee County lies to the South; Ada County to the East; Payette and Gem counties to the North; Oregon to the West. Current sources attribute the name to the canyon o f the Boise River near Caldwell. However, both John Rees and Vardis Fisher believed it was named for the Snake River Canyon, which forms a natural boundary for the county." -- Idaho Place Names, A Geographical Dictionary by Lalia Boone, 1988.

Canyon County Formation Maps

Cities and Towns in Canyon County

Historic Post offices

* * * 1940 Census Images Are Available * * *

1940 Census for Canyon County are now searchable!

On April 2, 2012, NARA released the digital images of the 1940 United States Federal Census after a 72 year embargo. These census images will be uploaded and made available on

National Archives

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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.

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