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The Emmett index. [volume] : (Emmett, Idaho) 1893-1925
Place of publication:
Emmett, Idaho
Geographic coverage:
E. Lorton
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 4, 1893)- ; 32nd yr., no. 9 (Nov. 5, 1925).
  • English
  • Emmett (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Idaho--Emmett.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226299
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 86091145
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The Emmett index. [volume] November 4, 1893 , Image 1


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Emmett Index

Permanent settlement of the Emmett area began in the 1860s, after gold was discovered in the Boise Basin. Emmett quickly grew to be Payette Valley, Idaho's biggest community. A ferry boat across the Payette River on the north side of town attracted people and business. In 1883, the town's first saw mill opened. Emmett was platted the same year and incorporated in 1900. With the building of irrigation systems around the turn of the century, the community saw rapid improvements. In 1902, the Idaho Northern Railway finished construction of a line from Nampa to Emmett. Union Pacific purchased a controlling interest in Idaho Northern Railway in 1910 and began constructing a line from Emmett to north Idaho. That same year, the Payette Valley Extension was completed, connecting Emmett to the Oregon Short Line at Payette. The railroad enabled Emmett's sawmills to transport timber on the railways instead of floating it down the river.

Ranching and farming have always been integral to Emmett's economy, and newly constructed rail lines enabled farmers and ranchers to ship their goods from Emmett to markets near and far. Newly constructed canals enabled farmers' success. They grew hay, beets, and dry beans, but Emmett became most well-known for its orchards. Prunes, cherries, apples, peaches and melons were some of the town's most popular exports. Emmett's ranchers were known primarily for raising sheep.

The Emmett Index was established in 1893 by Eugene Lorton. Money was scarce in the young community, so Lorton announced he would accept wood, hay, and anything else of value in trade for the newspaper. At first, the Index published weekly on Saturdays, with four pages. Lorton sold the Index in 1898. Over the next six years the paper changed ownership seven times. In 1904 Ed Skinner bought the Index and began publishing it weekly on Thursdays, with eight pages and six columns. The Index regularly featured editorials from larger papers, church notices, and local items like news of visitors and new construction. The recurring column "News of Two Counties" covered local news down to the neighborhood level. In 1926, Skinner acquired the Emmett Examiner and combined it with the Index. He published the Emmett Index-Examiner until 1930, when his sons took over the business. In 1957 the Index-Examiner was sold to the Emmett Messenger, and the titles were combined to create the Emmett Messenger-Index. The Messenger-Index is published to this day.

Provided by: Idaho State Historical Society