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White settlers are relatively new to this Idaho area originally limited to Nez Perce Indian tribes until 1895. Even after the reservation was opened up for exploration and purchase, it took two years before a white settler staked a claim. As the first non-native to the area in 1897, New Jersey emigrant Jacob Stites homesteaded a quarter section of land. Under pressure to sell in 1900, Stites sold 60 acres to a land developer with the understanding that he could name the new settlement. By late 1900, the site bearing Stites’ name was a growing community that also boasted an area post office. The town later became a stopping point for the Clearwater Branch of the Camas Prairie Railroad and aided in shipping timber from the Meadow Creek area.

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