Stevens County was named for Washington’s first territorial governor, Isaac I. Stevens. When the new Washington territory was formed on March 2, 1853, Stevens applied to President Pierce for the governorship. Pierce selected Stevens for the post which carried with it the title of Superintendent of Indian Affairs. For more information on Isaac I. Stevens, click here for a Wikipedia link about Isaac Stevens.
The Stevens Territory represented an area covering what are now 13 counties in eastern Washington, all of northern Idaho and much of western Montana. Click on this link to see the various changes of Stevens County boundaries thru the years. Before the advent of white settlement, Kettle Falls on the Columbia River was a gathering place for 14 tribes that fished there for salmon. In 1811, white explorers embarked downriver from Kettle Falls to what became the Fort Colville trading post. Established in 1825, it was the principal outpost for Hudson’s Bay Company operations stretching from the Mississippi River to the Cascade Mountains. For more information on the economic history of Stevens County, click on this link.
The current Stevens County Courthouse was completed in July 1939. The architect was G.A. Pehrson; the general contractor was Tri-State Construction Company of Portland, Oregon with the original cost of construction of $94,680.00. An addition and face-lift to the current Courthouse was completed in 1973 by the architect’s Barnard and Holloway of Spokane, Washington.