|Serving as the seat of Idaho County, Grangeville’s first record of habitation dates back to the flood of miners entering the area during the Pierce gold rush. The town’s official establishment, however, dates back to the 1863 arrival of cattlemen, Aurora Shumway and John Crooks. Settling on Three Mile Creek, the gentlemen remained in the area even when all the miners left and the area showed little potential for the development of a thriving community. Forming alliances with other area homesteaders and with the help of Lapwai missionary, Hart Spalding, the men helped organize Charity Grange No. 15 in 1874. Crooks willingly donated land for a building site for the fraternal order, hoping that the construction would spur future growth. Crooks’ plan worked, and Grange Hall led to the development of this community. In 1876, a post office was established, as was a flourmill and gristmill. The hall served as a community events center for many years and, enclosed by a stockade, provided a sanctuary and temporary hospital site during the Nez Perce War.
Since then, Crooks’ hope for the future has proved itself over and over. Grangeville continues to thrive to this day despite disastrous fires and floods that ripped through town during the early twentieth century.
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