The History of Our City

From Adams County Records

The Village was recognized by Adams County on April 9th, 1912:


Be it remembered that on this 9th day of April A.D. 1912, being the regular April 1912 meeting of the Commissioners of the County of Adams, State of Idaho. S.M. Heigho and two hundred and one others presented their petition, praying for the incorporation into a Village under the laws of the State of Idaho, The Village of New Meadows in said Adams County, State of Idaho, wherein it is set forth the **** of the said Corporation, and the metes and bounds thereof, together with a prayer for the said incorporation thereof, together with the metes and bounds as hereinbefore set forth, and for the appointment of five qualified persons to act as trustees of **** Village, until their successors are elected and qualified:

Upon reading and the filling of the said proposed petition as aforesaid the said board of County Commissioners finds that said petition fully meets all requirements of the law, and that the territory proposed to be incorporated contains more than two hundred inhabitants, and that a majority of the inhabitants of the said proposed village have signed such petition;

IT IS THEREFORE HEREBY ORDERED, that the said Village of New Meadows in the County of Adams, State of Idaho, be and the same is hereby organized, and incorporated under the pursuant to section 2222 of the Revised Codes of Idaho, and all acts amendatory, or supplementary thereto, and that the name of the said Corporation shall be New Meadows.

That the metes and bounds of the said Village of NEW MEADOWS shall be as follows to-wit; Commencing at the S.W. Corner of section 24 twp 19 N.R.I east B.N. thence north along the west line of said section 4404.3 feet, thence east on a line conforming to the north side of McLain Street of the New Meadows townsite, 2675.7 fee, thence south 330 feet, thence west 100 feet, thence south 60 feet, thence east 100 feet, thence south 16.2 feet, thence east 1391 feet, thence south 3950.2 feet to the south line of said section 4119.2 feet to the point of beginning.

And it is herby further ordered that the following named persons residents of the said Village are hereby appointed as trustees of the said Village and to act as such until their successors are elected and qualified, in the manner provided by law: Lee Highley, Isaac Lee, James M. Hart, T.S. Martin and Don Mathias, all of New Meadows County of Adams, State of Idaho."

Historical Snapshots, Postcards & Photos

Now for the rest of the story....

Settlers began coming into the valley in the 1880's. Charlie and Caroline Campbell, who with their family built the 20,000 acre Circle C ranch were among the first in the valley. For several years this was the largest cattle ranch in the state.

The Pacific and Idaho Northern Railroad reached the site of New Meadows in 1911. Col. Edgar Heigho, president and general manager of the railroad, envisioned a planned community. He drew up a design that provided for an elegant railroad depot on the west end of town facing the palatial Hotel Heigho on the east end. Both of these structures became a reality with the hotel being built at Col. Heigho's command for the Washington County Land and Development Co. from July 1910 to February, 1912. The hotel contained forty-four rooms, a lobby, dining room and kitchen. Almost $12,000 was spent on mahogany furniture. Then in 1929 the hotel burned to the ground leaving only a cement curb. (Idaho for the Curious: a guide)

The railroad had a huge impact on the town of New Meadows and the surrounding area. This includes a lasting rift between the town of Old Meadows, its residents and anyone that broke a verbal agreement that called for a boycott of the railroad. As time passed people broke the agreement and were isolated from the rest of the community. As of March 5, 1981 in a local newspaper article by Dennis Setter it was stated that "To this day there is a club over here, a women's club, that if you live in New Meadows you can't be a member of it. This club goes back to the late 1800's." While the railroad created quite a rivalry between the two towns, it also has played a prominent role in several other events in the region. Elk from Yellowstone Park were brought into the valley in the early 1900's by way of boxcars and released to form a a herd in the valley. In 1978 the rail service was discontinued and the Union Pacific Railroad gave the depot to the City of New Meadows which in turn sold it to the Adams County Historical Society which has spent the past few years renovating the property and structure. In 1989 the townspeople celebrated the centennial of the depot and everything it had given to the community.