Lincoln County Town's
Shoshone located on the Oregon Short line Railroad is one of the oldest towns in the Magic Valley, and has had several different names, known as Big Bottoms by cowboys who drove cattle from the Wood River country to the Snake River plains, In 1881 as a little settlement located on the Little Wood River it was known as Naples or Junction City and later named Shoshone (meaning "Great Spirit" in the Indian language.) The growth of Shoshone grew in 1878 and 1879 when silver and lead was discovered. Following on February 7 1883 construction of the railroad and a telegraph was also implemented into this little town which led Shoshone to grow and prosper, In 1883 "The Shoshone Rustler" newspaper was printed. The first permanent jail was built in the late 1890's. Shoshone became the County seat and their court house was built in 1904 which still serves the county.
Early Churches- Episcopal Church constructed in 1902, Roman Catholic Church began building in 1885, Baptist Church organized in 1896 and dedicated in 1901, Methodist Church organized in 1883.
Early businesses (Partial)- A.S. Senter Clothing Store built in 1899, Boston Cafe, C. F. Borden Lumber Company, Columbia Hotel built in 1895, Dewey House Hotel built in 1884, Dr. Charles Dill Hospital, McFall Hotel, Purdum & Purdum Livery and Fee. Shoshone Laundry, Roessler Drilling, Stock Growers Mercantile, Shoshone Livery Stable, Wernicke Hardware Store.
Ranches sprung up consisting of cattle and sheep which brought in many cowboys and Basque sheep herders. Miners would pass through on their way to the Wood River Mines. The railroad also brought in workers which all helped the economy of this small town.
Dietrich town site plat was filed with Lincoln county in 1909, named after Frank S. Dietrich a prominent attorney who later became a judge. The 25000 area tract was to be irrigated by canal water from the Magic Reservoir which caused speculators to jumped at the chance to buy land to farm. The Idaho Irrigation Company promoted the Dietrich Tract and began building a Hotel consisting of 45 rooms and a model farm next to the railroad tracks. In 1910 the small town was booming with lumber yards, livery stables, mercantile stores and fuel and ice companies. A community water system and water tower with fire hydrants had been constructed. A lava rock three story school was completed in 1913.
Farming the Dietrich area was hard and many crops failed due to the dryness of the climate, droughts and inefficient surface irrigating. Crops were eaten by jack rabbits and farmers often held a jack rabbit drive killing hundreds. Many residents gave up and moved to other locations. Finally sprinkler irrigating technology arrived so farming became productive and profitable.
Richfield (earlier named Alberta in June 1907 changed to Richfield in Oct 1, 1908 ) Richfield was incorporated in 1909 and in 1913 a city well was dug. The town consisted of five dwellings, Alberta Hotel, the Burton livery, two stores, shacks for the lumber yard, the bank and office building. The first school was opened in the fall of 1907, In 1912 enrollment was 85 pupils and hot lunches was offered in 1913. In 1911 horse racing on the streets was halted and in 1914 speed limit for motor vehicles was 12 miles a hour.
Early Churches- Catholic Church later became the Community Church in 1912, Methodist Church organized in 1909
Early businesses (Partial)- General store, Alberta Mercantile Co., Lemmon Bros. Hardware established in 1910, Blacksmith shop, First State Bank.
Partial list of early settlers- Anderson, Baugh, Burkette, Ballinger, Bowler, Bernard, Beriochoa, Borne, Borden, Brown, Crane, Connels, Crawford, Clinger, Darrah, Dexter, Dill, Erpelding, Emerson, Frees, Finlayson, Faught's, Fields, Findelo, Green, Gilmore, Goodwin, Gossett, Gooding, Gomes, Hilton, Hanafin, Haddock, Holden, Haak, Johnson, Kunz, Ketron, Kelly, Landsborough, Lemmon, McIntosh, Mulliners, McFall, Myers, McClusky, Murphy, Mabbutt, Nebekers, Novinger, Poteet, Paulson, Rowe, Rands, Springer, Smock, Soloaga, Sims, Sant, Strunk, Senter, Towne, Thomason, Thatcher, Turnbull, Wheeler, Wallaces, Wayment, Wernicke, Werrys, Webb, Zugg.