Learn About the Oldest Town in Idaho

Idaho was created in 1890, making it one of the nation’s oldest and most historic places. Even before becoming a state, it was home to Franklin, Idaho’s oldest town. Today, we’ll tell you about the rich history of one of Idaho’s oldest cities, as well as the people who live there and the creatures that make this ancient place home.

What is the Oldest Town in Idaho?

Learn About the Oldest Town in Idaho

The oldest town in Idaho is Franklin, which was established on April 14, 1860. It is a city in Franklin County with a population of 789 in 2010. Franklin is part of the greater Logan, Utah-Idaho metropolitan region.

The Founding and History of Franklin

Thomas S. Smart and a party of Mormon pioneers established Franklin in what was then part of Washington Territory. The settlement is named after Franklin Richards, a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Apostle. Life was complicated in those early years as the settlers became accustomed to the environment. There were numerous clashes with nearby Indian groups, as well as extensive violence.

Franklin is famous for being the first permanent European colony in modern-day Idaho. The village is around 4,500 feet above sea level. The city itself is quite small, measuring only roughly 1.29 square miles, 0.03 of which is water.

One of Franklin’s claims to fame is that it served as the location for a scene in the film Napoleon Dynamite. Specifically, the moments in which the protagonist worked on a chicken farm. That was at Ritewood Egg Farms, and the movie’s supervisor was roughly based on Marlow Woodward, a Franklin local.

Historic District

Learn About the Oldest Town in Idaho

Franklin is a small town with a historic district and a few interesting structures. One is the Franklin Cooperative Mercantile Building. One of the first buildings on Main Street, it is now a Mormon history museum.

Another notable structure is the Hatch House, which served as Lorenzo Hatch’s residence in 1872. He was a spiritual leader in the community and its first mayor. He became the state’s first Mormon politician. Visitors can explore both buildings.

Also, Read: The Oldest Cemetery in Boston, Mississippi is a Tribute to History

Who Lives in Franklin?

Franklin’s population has been relatively stable over the years. During the 2000 census, there were 641 residents but only 195 households.

Interestingly, the population did not change significantly at the 2010 census, when Franklin had 641 total individuals and 221 households. There are around 508 persons per square mile, and the town is currently 91% white, 0.5% African American, and a tiny mix of other races. 42.5% of the people have children, and little over 62% are married. At the time, the median age was slightly under 30 years old, with a gender split of roughly 50/50.

According to the most current census, there are 789 persons, thus the town has grown little, but it retains its pleasant and cozy small-town atmosphere.

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Interesting facts about Franklin

Learn About the Oldest Town in Idaho
  • Unemployment Rate – 3.1%
  • Median salary is $33,000.
  • Voting: 87.7% of Franklin inhabitants are Republican.
  • Average commute time – 16.7 minutes.
  • The median property price is $348,000

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Franklin, Idaho, holds a special place as the state’s oldest town, dating back to 1860. Its rich history, marked by clashes with indigenous groups, is preserved in a small historic district. The town’s population, maintaining a cozy atmosphere, reflects stability. Franklin’s notable structures, like the Cooperative Mercantile Building, showcase its enduring charm and significance.

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