Boise, ID

No, folks; the City of Boise is Not in Boise County

Stuart Gustafson

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It must be confusing for some people when they first move to Boise, Idaho. It is a great metropolitan city with plenty of arts, culture, entertainment, and it is the state’s capital city. That’s not the confusing part. What gets them shaking their head (SMH in texting lingo) is the fact that the city of Boise is NOT in the County of Boise.

Say that again!

The city of Boise, which happens to be the capital city of the Great State of Idaho, is in Ada County, not in Boise County. How about that for a JEOPARDY question?

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The state of Idaho has a total of 44 counties. They are

Ada

Adams

Bannock

Bear Lake

Benewah

Bingham

Blaine

Boise

Bonner

Bonneville

Boundary

Butte

Camas

Canyon

Caribou

Cassia

Clark

Clearwater

Custer

Elmore

Franklin

Fremont

Gem

Gooding

Idaho

Jefferson

Jerome

Kootenai

Latah

Lemhi

Lewis

Lincoln

Madison

Minidoka

Nez Perce

Oneida

Owyhee

Payette

Power

Shoshone

Teton

Twin Falls

Valley

Washington

We’ve already seen that there is both a city and a county named Boise, even though the city of Boise is not in the county of Boise.

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Yes, welcome to Idaho.

What other county names in Idaho also have a city with the same name? Actually there are a total of twelve of them

That reminds me of a story.

I live in West Boise, and our house is on the inside corner of a 90-degree turn from one residential street name to another. I was talking with the son of one across-the-street neighbor who I always knew by a given nickname. He then told me he was Steve, Jr.; his dad, of course, was Steve. I said, “That’s interesting. You’re a Steve, and so is your Dad. And then next door to you is a Steve with a son named Steve. And then across from us on the other way is another Steve.” He replied, “Yes. You see here in Idaho we are not very creative with names.”

Apparently that also holds for city and county names. We know there’s a Boise County and a Boise City that’s not in Boise County. What are the others?

There is a Franklin City that is in Franklin County, but Franklin is not the Franklin County seat. Why not? Franklin isn’t the county seat, but Preston is.

Continuing along alphabetically, there is a city named Gooding that’s in the county named Gooding, and Gooding is the county seat of Gooding. Yea, finally one that makes sense.

Next is Jerome, the city that is also the county seat for the County of Jerome. Alright -- two in a row.

The next county is Kootenai County. There is also a Kootenai city but it’s in Bonner County, while Coeur d'Alene is the county seat for Kootenai County. So much for that streak of two.

And then there is Lemhi County which happens to contain the city of Lemhi. But Lemhi is not the county seat of Lemhi County; Salmon is.

Well, we’re half way through the cities that have the same names as counties. By the way, here is a link to the list of Idaho counties.

Continuing on, our next county is Minidoka, which does have a town named Minidoka. is it the county seat? No; Rupert is the county seat of Minidoka County.

We have a little bit of a semantics issue here. There is a Nez Perce County and a town named Nezperce (no space). Well, Lewiston is the county seat of Nez Perce County, and the town of Nezperce is in Lewis County where it is the county seat there.

Coming back to sanity, we have the town of Payette that is in the County of Payette and it is also its county seat. Whew!

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Shoshone Falls that are not in Shoshone County, but in Twin Falls Countyvisitsouthidaho.com

Shoshone is the next county that also has a town of the same name. But this Shoshone (the town) is in Lincoln County and Wallace is the county seat of Shoshone County.

There is a Teton town and a Teton County. Are they related? No, that would be too easy. The town of Teton is in Fremont County and Driggs is the county seat of Teton County.

If you’ve been counting, then you know we’re getting to number twelve. And it’s Twin Falls. the city or the county? Both, actually. The town of Twin Falls happens to be the county seat for Twin Falls County. Finally -- it appears that sanity has been restored.

So be careful when someone asks you a question about the names of Idaho counties -- they might mean the city or town, not actually the county.

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Articles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday about travel, relevant local/regional items, some finance. Always with a slant to ask you to think.

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