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Osburn

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Statistics & Facts

The population of Osburn is approximately 1579.
The approximate number of families is 744.

The amount of land area in Osburn is 3.468 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0 sq kilometers.
The distance from Osburn to Washington DC is 2144 miles. The distance to the Idaho state capital is 269 miles. (as the crow flies)
Osburn is positioned 47.50 degrees north of the equator and 115.99 degrees west of the prime meridian.

 

The Founder

     The town of Osburn was named after Stephen Osburn. Osburn was one of the colorful early day pioneers of the Coeur d' Alene Mining district
    When gold was discovered in the Prichard Creek Osburn was in Butte, Montana. Osburn had moved from the Black Hills of South Dakota to Butte seeking riches. When news reached Osburn about the Prichard Creeks discovery he wasted no time in loading his pack horse and heading toward the new gold strike in North Idaho.
    Osburn traveled to Frenchtown , Montana on the Mullan Road where he and John Lafevre met up and continued together. They arrived at the spot where the city of Wallace now stands on May 8, 1883. Osburn crossed the swamp for that is the way Wallace was then described, on the long corduroy bridge that in places was floating on water and that started about where the White & Bender Building now stands and ended by the present Wallace High School. He and Lafevre camped that night at historic "Swingdoor Cabin," about a mile and a half below town.
         When Osburn recalls the early days he talks of coming over the summit from Thompson Falls, Montana where the snow was 32 feet deep. He said he put snowshoes on his pack horse and got along all right until he began climbing the mountain. When it became clear the horse could not go any farther he sent it back with about 50 or 60 other gold seekers from Frenchtown who had accompanied him and some of them wanted to give up and return. From there Osburn continued on with about 75 pounds on his back.
       When Osburn arrived in Evolution ( west of present day Osburn) founded by Andy Prichard he took the Evolution Trail. At the time Osburn traveled the Evolution Trail there was no trail. He crossed the divide to Delta, followed Beaver Creek down to the North Fork of the Coeur d' Alene River and then went of the hills to Eagle City because the river was to high to ford. 
       Osburn reported that the gold hunters came to Prichard and tried to get him to show them the place where he had discovered gold. He told the miners that to his discovery was use less at that season of the year because the snow hadn't melted yet. The miners still insisted he show them for they said this could be no worse than the one they had taken to reach Eagle City and so he took them. When they reached the spot it was covered with snow so deep that no prospecting could be done.
        The gold-hunters became angry and reportedly threatened to lynch Prichard, but Osburn later claimed that he told the miners they had come to the country against Prichard's wishes. that they had been accommodated by him, and that they were utterly without excuse for a display of anger or violence. They were thus persuaded against any further threats on Prichard's life, Osburn said.
       After the discovery of lead-silver ore on the south side in 1886, he secured the beautiful tract of land where the town of Osburn now stands. He built a hotel that became a stopping place between Wardner and Murray. Murray was the county seat at that time.
        From that date the fame of Bill Osburn grew and his circle of friends included people from all parts of the district. his ambition was to make Osburn the county seat of Shoshone county and he made a fight all the way to the end. The county seat remained at Murray but a few years later the fight to bring the county seat to the south side was taken up again. The people of Wallace compromised with Bill Osburn which resulted in that ambitious town remaining out of the race and the county seat was brought to Wallace in 1898.
       In 1914 Osburn sold his Osburn estate, reserving a small tract for his home  where he lived until his death in 1919 at the ripe old age of 87. His funeral was at the Wallace Elks Lodge, which was filled to capacity.

Osburn Economy
    Osburn like the rest of the Silver Valley is mostly supported by mining. That is what much of its  history is based on. The mines of the Silver Valley have a rich history that sadly does not exist anymore. Although there are still a few mines running they are only a small portion of what used to be.  Osburn is also home to many small businesses. loggers, doctors, teachers and many others in numerous professions call Osburn their home.  

This is the Coeur Mine at Osburn, owned by Silver Valley Coeur, a unit of Coeur d' Alenes Mines Corporation, is the newest mine in the Silver Valley.

    

This is the Osburn Post Office located on the main street of Osburn.