Camas County, Idaho

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Camas County, Idaho
Camas County Courthouse, Fairfield, Idaho, USA.jpg
Seal of Camas County, Idaho
Map of Idaho highlighting Camas County
Location in the state of Idaho
Map of the United States highlighting Idaho
Idaho's location in the U.S.
Founded February 6, 1917
Named for Camas root
Seat Fairfield
Largest city Fairfield
 • Total 1,079 sq mi (2,795 km2)
 • Land 1,074 sq mi (2,782 km2)
 • Water 4.5 sq mi (12 km2), 0.4%
 • (2010) 1,117
 • Density 1.0/sq mi (0/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Camas County is a county in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,117[1] making it the second-least populous county in Idaho. The county seat is Fairfield.[2] The county was created by the Idaho Legislature on February 6, 1917, by a partition of Blaine County. It is named for the camas root, or Camassia, a lily-like plant with an edible bulb found in the region, which was used as a food source by Native Americans and settlers.

Camas County is included in the Hailey, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area.

U.S. Highway 20 runs east-west through the center of the county, at an elevation of just over 5,000 feet (1524 m) above sea level. State Highway 46 runs south to Gooding, connecting to US-20 four miles (6.4 km) east of Fairfield.

The Soldier Mountain ski area, opened in 1948, is 12 miles (19 km) north of Fairfield, in the Soldier Mountains of the Sawtooth National Forest.


When the cavalry was stationed at Fort Boise the southern portion of the Camas Prairie was an important feeding ground for their horses. In 1869, a treaty ratified by the US Senate provided a portion of the "Kansas Prairie" instead of the "Camas Prairie" to be retained by the Bannock Indians. The error may have made by the person who transcribed the treaty. Since there was no "Kansas Prairie" in Idaho, the treaty rights of the Bannocks were ignored. When they found a few settlers were allowing their hogs to feed on the Bannocks' traditional food source, the camas root, they objected (without results), which was a major cause of the Bannock War of 1878.[3] Development of the region was slowed by the heavy snows of winter and the Bannock War, but farmers and rancher soon found good water, timber, grass, and an abundance of fish in the streams. Soldier was the first town established on Camas Prairie located about four miles northeast of Fairfield. When the railroad was built across the county it bypassed Soldier and when Camas was organized as a county Fairfield became the seat and most of the population moved there. The Lava mining district lies a few miles southwest of Fairfield, which attracted miners in the 1880s, but the main attraction of Camas County has always been its agricultural lands.[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,079 square miles (2,790 km2), of which 1,074 square miles (2,780 km2) is land and 4.5 square miles (12 km2) (1.0%) is water.[5] The highest point is Camas County Highpoint at 10,337 ft (3,151 m), on the county's northern border with Blaine County.

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 1,730
1930 1,411 −18.4%
1940 1,360 −3.6%
1950 1,079 −20.7%
1960 917 −15.0%
1970 728 −20.6%
1980 818 12.4%
1990 727 −11.1%
2000 991 36.3%
2010 1,117 12.7%
Est. 2014 1,039 [6] −7.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 991 people, 396 households, and 287 families residing in the county. The population density was 0.8 people per square mile (0.3/km²). There were 601 housing units at an average density of 0.6 per square mile (0.2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.16% White, 1.21% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.91% from other races, and 2.22% from two or more races. 5.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.5% were of German, 18.1% American, 15.4% English and 7.4% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 396 households out of which 30.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.20% were married couples living together, 4.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 22.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 27.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 104.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,167, and the median income for a family was $40,156. Males had a median income of $30,500 versus $21,563 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,550. About 7.20% of families and 8.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.20% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ *Fisher, Vardis; Federal Writers' Project (1938). Idaho Encyclopedia. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, Ltd. pp. 249–251. OCLC 962624. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Coordinates: 43°28′N 114°49′W / 43.47°N 114.81°W / 43.47; -114.81