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UNITED STATES LAND OFFICE,
Blackfool, Idaho, August 19, 1889.

SIR: In response to your letter of August 12, 1889, we have the honor to furnish you with the following exhibit of business done by this office from September 8, 1888, to August 19, 1889:

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There are approximately 3,500,000 acres of surveyed lands in Blackfoot district, with perhaps one and a half million acres yet open for entry under the different land laws. The greater portion of these latter is susceptible of irrigation and cultivation, in addition to 5,000,000 acres of unsurveyed land, a preponderance of which could be irrigated and farmed to a good advantage under some such system as is talked of now. The necessity of creating reservoirs at suitable points along the Snake and Blackfoot Rivers is fast becoming obvious. During the high-water period in the early spring more water passes through these streams and practically goes to waste than would be required to irrigate all the lands referred to above. In seasons such as the one through which we have just passed great hardships and suffering are experienced by the settler, who depends on the waters of these streams for the irrigation of his crops and for water with which to supply his stock. This arrangement leads also to endless litigation, and parties who for years have been undisturbed in the use of water are almost universally plaintiffs or defendants in suits now pending to determine the right of one party or the other to the water.

We can not impress upon you too strongly the necessity of commending this matter of reservoirs to Congress and to the honorable Secretary. We reiterate the recommendations of our predecessors relative to opening up as speedily as possible the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, comprising 1,300,000 acres of the choicest and most available agricultural lands in the Territory. Each head of a family should be allotted 320 acres and the balance thrown open to settlement. Your attention is also called to the necessity of extending the public surveys in this district, particularly in the Teton Basin, where there has been a large settlement of late, and the parties are anxious to procure their titles. This is the case throughout the northeastern por ion of Bingham County generally. Congress, last winter, cut off a large tract of the Fort Hall Reservation south of the town of McCammon, which is quite largely set: led and has been for years, and these settlers are desirous of perfecting titles to their lands, which in some cases they have lived upon for upwards of twenty-five years. We earnestly request your favorable recommendation of these much-needed surveys.

Very respectfully,

Hon. GEORGE L. Shoup,

Governor of Idaho, Boisé City.

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I am informed that fully one-third of the surveyed lands not patented or filed on can not be classed as agricultural lands, being too broken or mountainous for agricultural purposes. Many of the surveys are defective, in some localities townships being only surveyed in part.

There should be larger appropriations made for the survey of public lands in Idaho. Hundreds of settlers have spent half an average lifetime upon their farms; have erected valuable buildings; have constructed irrigating canals at the cost of thousands of dollars; have connected their farms with the towns by grading excellent roads and building bridges, and yet they can obtain no legal title to the lands which they have made of the greatest value. They are still" squatters" tolerated by the Government, their rights subject to dispute, and not transferable in any valid manner. The pioneers of Idaho do not deserve such treatment. They have helped create wealth which is a part of the riches of their country; under the greatest difficulties they have upheld American institutions, established American schools, and cultivated loyalty and love of freedom and justice; they have obeyed the laws and defended them-the General Government ought to touch them with a father's hand, and make them welcome to the benefactions of their father's house.

It is absurd to apply rules of survey to Idaho which were constructed for Iowa and Kansas. The Department should provide pay and appliances demanded by a mountainous country. The survey should not only be a surface measurement of land, but it should also be a mineral and a geological survey; it should be an assistant in our irrigation system, and a chart for forests and streams.

President Grant years ago challenged the attention of the world to "the strong box" in the mountains, wherein is locked the treasures of the land. The surveyors of the United States should not lag twenty years behind our poineers-rather the surveyors should themselves be the pioneer corps to open to universal knowledge the wealth of Idaho. Every consideration of justice, every sound business principle, every thought of loyalty to our own land and people should prompt Congress to make the most generous provision for a complete topographical survey of the unsurveyed portions of this entire Territory.

RAILROADS.

By virtue of a law enacted by the fourteenth legislative assembly, the governor, controller, and treasurer constitute a board of equalization, whose duty it is to place a valuation per mile on each line of road pass ing through more than one county. This valuation so made is certified to the clerks of the boards of county commissioners, through which such

lines pass, and the number of miles and valuation are placed on the assessment books of these counties.

Oregon Short Line Railway.-This road passes through the Territory from east to west, entering the Territory from Wyoming and passing thence through the following counties to Huntington, in Oregon:

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A short distance after entering the Territory this line passes through Montpelier, a thrifty town of 1,200 inhabitants situated in the Bear Lake Valley. Cattle, horses, and sheep are shipped from this town in large numbers; the tonnage in grain is also large.

The town of Soda Springs is noted for the large shipment of stock, and is a favorité summer resort for tourists. The great Soda Springs at this place are not equaled in any country; car loads of this mineral water have been bottled and shipped to points east and west this season. The trout fishing in the mountain streams near by can not be excelled.

McCammon, at the junction of the Utah and Northern Railway, is on the Portneuf, a stream noted for its beautiful scenery and superb trout. From McCammon to Pocatello there are three rails, the Utah and Northern Narrow Gauge running on same road-bed.

Pocatello is in the heart of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, and would be one of the thriftiest towns in the Territory if the Indians were allotted lands in severalty, and the remainder of the reservation opened for settlement. The Utah and Northern Railway leaves the Oregon Short Line at this station, running northerly to the Montana line.

Twenty-six miles west from Pocatello are the American Falls on Snake River, and on the line of the Indian reservation. The fine water power at these falls must, in the near future, attract capitalists.

Shoshone is a prosperous town on the great Snake River plains. At this point the Wood River branch leaves the Oregon Short Line Railway and bears a northerly course to Bellevue, Hailey, and Ketchum. Each of these towns is sustained largely by the mines in their immediate vicinity. Bellevue has also a good ranch and grain trade; Hailey is a prosperous county seat, and Ketchum is the shipping point for the large Custer County traffic. About twenty miles from Shoshone are the great Shoshone Falls on Snake River, with which it is connected by stage line. A company is now engaged in surveying a route for a railroad to these falls, which are second to Niagara only in volume of water, but for their graudeur can not be excelled.

Glenn's Ferry and Mountain Home are growing towns. Mountain Home is the main distributing point for the Upper and Lower Bruneau, Castle, and Catherine Creek valleys of Owyhee County. Large shipments of wool, horses, cattle, and sheep are made from this locality to INT 89-VOL III-22

the eastern markets annually; and when the country surrounding these localities, much of which is arid land, is reclaimed by the proper distri bution of water, they will become towns of great importance.

Nampa, 19 miles from Boisé City, is the junction of the Idaho Central Railway with the main line. Its commercial interests with Owyhee County are large.

Caldwell, situated on the Boisé River, is one of the most prosperous towns on the line of this road, being situate in the center of a fine agricultural and grazing district. Its volume of business is increasing rapidly, and it is an excellent shipping point for wool, grain, and livestock.

Payette and Weiser are growing towns, and as the country becomes settled will be places of much importance.

Utah and Northern Railway.-This road runs from Ogden, in Utah, to Garrison, on the line of the Northern Pacific, in Montana. It enters Idaho near Franklin, and is narrow gauge to Pocatello, 77 miles, where it crosses the Oregon Short Line Railway. From Pocatello north it is standard gauge, of which 129 miles are in Idaho.

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The principal towns situated on this line are Franklin, Pocatello, Blackfoot, Eagle Rock, Camas, and Beaver Cañon.

Blackfoot lies on the northern border of Fort Hall Indian Reservation and is the county seat of Bingham County. It is surrounded by an extensive agricultural and grazing district and is growing rapidly. The Blackfoot United States land office and Territorial insane asylum are located at this point.

Eagle Rock is one of the most progressive towns on this line, with a vast extent of farming lands tributary thereto.

Camas is a supply and shipping point for the extensive silver and lead mines on Lost River and the Birch Creek mining districts. Large quantities of ores are shipped from this place.

Beaver Cañon, at the foot of the mountain, is the center of lumbering interests of great importance and value. National Park tourists leave the railway at this point.

Idaho Central Railway Company.-This road leaves the Oregon Short Line Railway at the town of Nampa, and runs easterly to Boisé City, the capital of Idaho.

Length of road, 18 miles. It is operated by the Union Pacific Railway Company and is doing an excellent business.

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Northern Pacific Railway Company.-This road enters the Territory from Montana at the town of Heron, and passes through Hope, Sand Point, Granite, and Rathdrum, the county seat of Kootenai County. On the route it sweeps around three sides of the beautiful Pen d'Oreille Lake.

Length of road, 88 miles.

The company claims an exemption from taxation, by act of Congress, as long as we remain a Territory. Its rolling stock is valued for taxation by the county authorities.

Washington and Idaho Railway Company.―This is a part of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company's system, and now leased to the Union Pacific Company. Its line starts from Farmington, Wash., and runs east through the Cœur d'Alene Indian Reservation, up the valley of the South Fork of the Cœur d'Alene River, and over the Mullen Pass into Montana. It is standard gauge.

Its line has been graded through the valley of the South Fork, alongside the Cœur d'Alene Company's road, from Mission, in Kootenai County, to Wallace, in Shoshone County, a distance of 25 miles, and is now being graded and bridged to Mullen, 8 miles further east. The iron on this grade will be laid this year and trains running, it is said, by the first day of January, 1890. They have a line surveyed up the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River and its tributaries for a distance of 35 miles, which it is believed will be constructed next year.

Valuation.

County.

Right of way.

Shoshone

$20,000

Coeur d'Alene Railway and Navigation Company.-This line enters the Territory at the head of navigation of the Coeur d'Alene River, at Old Mission, in Kootenai County, and runs thence in an easterly direction, passing through the towns of Kingston, Wardner Junction, Osborne, and Wallace, ending at Mullen.

The road is constructed entirely on public lands. The company own only the necessary right of way. It has been extended 7 miles or more his season, to Mullen, and is narrow gauge.

This line is operated by the, Northern Pacific Railway Company, and it is reported that this company is surveying for an all-rail connection with its line from Cœur d'Alene City to Hauser Junction, in Kootenai County. When this connection is made the Cœur d'Alene road will be altered to a standard gauge, and it is likely will be part of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company's new through line to the East.

Shoshone County furnishes most of the freighting and carriage of passengers. The immense mining products of this county, consisting of gold, silver, and lead ores, are transported over this road. The freight traffic for this year is estimated at not less than 93,000 tons.

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