Board of County Commissioners

The records of the first Board of County Commissioners of Alturas county, now in the fireproof vault of the Blaine County Court House, and which are as legible today as the day they were written, namely, April 4, A. D. 1864, show that the Board consisted of Samuel Stover, chairman, Robert A. Sidebottom and John Roach. Their Clerk, who was also Auditor and Recorder, was Charles Woodbury Walker. The Sheriff was John G. Howell. All these officers were appointed by William B. Daniels, Acting Governor of the Territory of Idaho. The Board, after approving the bonds of said officers, took a recess until 2 o’clock P. M. The minutes disclose that “pursuant to adjournment the Court convened at 2 o’clock.”

Whereupon the following order was made and entered: “It appearing to the Court that, whereas the first session of the legislature located the county seat of said county at a place known as Esmeralda in said county, and whereas it seems impossible for this Court, as required by law, to provide proper offices, and procure stationery, lights and fuel for said offices at said Esmeralda, therefore, it is ordered that the county seat be, and the same is hereby transferred from the said Esmeralda to the town of Rocky Bar, on Bear Creek, in said county of Alturas, Idaho Territory.” Here is presented the unique spectacle of a quasi-judicial body overruling an Act of the legislature which had been duly approved. No appeal was taken and Rocky Bar remained the county seat until after the special election in September, 1881.

 The removal of county seats have often engendered a great deal of ill feeling, and, at times, the shedding of human blood. This was a notable exception.

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