Originally a part of Nez Perce County, Latah (pronounced Lay-tah) County became official on May 14, 1888. According to the county government website, Latah County has the distinction of being the only county in the United States created by an Act of Congress. In 1887, Idaho’s delegate in Congress introduced a bill for the creation of Latah County, designating the boundaries and county seat as they are today. The bill passed Congress and president Grover Cleveland approved it in 1888. “Latah” is a combination of two area Native American names. The first being the first syllable of La Koh, meaning “pine trees” and the second part being the first syllable of Tah-lo, derived from “stone from which are made pestles.” Thus, Latah means the pine and pestle place.
Above is the Latah County Courthouse soon after it was constructed in 1889. This building stood until 1958. Below is the same building in 1948, without the cupola and chimneys.
And the courthouse shortly after it was built in 1959 and as it still looks today.
From the top: PG 5-001-11a, PG 9-01-08r, PG 99-012-41.