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Bingham County Idaho




Bingham County government offices are located at 501 North Maple Street, Blackfoot, ID 83221; phone: 208-782-3160.

Beginnings [1]

Bingham County was created and approved by an act of the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature on January 13, 1885. At that time, it included Bannock, Bonneville, Teton, Jefferson, Madison, Fremont, Clark, Butte, Power and part of Alturas County, which later became Blaine County. Bingham was the fourteenth county to be created in the state. The same act named Blackfoot as county seat.

Conflicting stories exist on how Bingham County was given its name. One version is that Bingham County was named for Henry H. Bingham, a Pennsylvania congressman and friend of Territorial Governor W.M. Bunn, who served in 1884. Another version suggests that Daph Jemmett, a Salt Lake Tribune correspondent, states that courthouse records indicate the name was determined by a race from Blackfoot to Boise between two citizens of Blackfoot and Eagle Rock (now Idaho Falls). The contender to reach Boise first in the race, the government officials had ordered, would have the honor of selecting the county seat and have the county named for him. The winner was Blackfoot's Elisha E. Bingham a native of Riverside, Utah who homesteaded in Blackfoot in 1883. Mrs. Ada Katseanes, a daughter of Elisha Bingham, recalls hearing her parents talk of the race having been made with a team of horses.

There are two major rivers running through Bingham County: the Blackfoot River and the Snake River. There are two major reservoirs: the American Falls Reservoir located in the southwestern part of the county and shared with Power and Bannock counties. The other is the Blackfoot Reservoir located near the southeastern part of the county and shared with Caribou County.

Bingham County soil mostly falls into three classifications: Sagemoor, Declo and Bannock. These are good soils, suitable for the major crops grown here. Alfalfa hay, sugar beets, oats, barley, wheat (spring and winter), mixed grains, potatoes and others such as rye, clover and corn silage.

Bingham County is known as the potato capital of the world. Its rich agricultural heritage continues to be recognized; however, new industry and technology are becoming increasingly important to the economy of the county.

  1. Bingham County Planning & Zoning/Building Safety, Bingham County Comprehensive Plan, 2005, www.co.bingham.id.us, accessed August, 2012.
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