|The town of Bovill was named for Hugh Bovill, who, upon seeing the Idaho territory during a cattle drive from Colorado, vowed he would one day return. And return he did, in 1899, with his wife and two daughters. They purchased a homestead and proceeded to ranch over 550 acres. As more homesteaders, timber crews and sportsmen moved into the area, the Bovills decided to open a store and lodge instead. The town was incorporated in 1907 and Hugh was appointed its first postmaster. The Bovills left town in 1911 as it got too busy and uncivilized for them.
Two fires threatened to destroy Bovill in its early years. First, in 1910 a large area north of town burned, but the town was spared. Then in 1914, a fire destroyed the lower west end of Main Street. Suspicions of arson as a means of concealing a mugging and murder arose when the remains of a man who had withdrawn $1,450 from the bank two days earlier were found in the ashes.