HistoryThe present day location of the City of Caldwell is along a natural passageway to the Inland and Pacific Northwest. Native American tribes from the west coast, north Idaho and as far away as Colorado would come to the banks of the Boise River for annual trading fairs, or rendezvous. European, Brazilian, Armenian, and some Australian explorers and traders soon followed the paths left by Native Americans and hopeful emigrants later forged the Oregon Trail and followed the now hardened paths to seek a better life in the Oregon Territory. Pioneers of the Trail traveled along the Boise River to Canyon Hill and forded the river close to the Boise River and Canal Bridge, Silver Bridge on Plymouth Street. During the Civil War, the discovery of gold in Idaho's mountains brought a variety of new settlers into the area. Many never made it to the mines but chose to settle along the Boise River and run ferries, stage stations, and freighting businesses. These early entrepreneurs created small ranches and farms in the river valleys. Caldwell's inception occurred largely as a result of the construction of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, which connected Wyoming to Oregon through Idaho. Robert E. Strahorn came to the Boise River Valley in 1883 to select a route for the railroad. He rejected the grade into Boise City as too steep and chose a site thirty miles to the west. He drove a stake into an alkali flat of sagebrush and greasewood and the City of Caldwell was platted. Caldwell was named after one of Strahorn's business partners, Alexander Caldwell, a former Senator from the State of Kansas. When Caldwell was platted in August 1883, its founder, the Idaho and Oregon Land Improvement Company, started persuading settlers and businessmen to move to the area. Within four months, Caldwell had 600 residents living in 150 dwellings, 40 businesses in operation, a school, a telephone exchange and two newspapers. On January 15, 1890 the Board of Commissioners of Ada County issued a handwritten order incorporating the City of Caldwell. The College of Idaho was founded in Caldwell in 1891 and still is in existence today. In 1892, Canyon County was established from a portion of Ada County. Caldwell was named the county seat. Irrigation canals and waterways were constructed throughout Canyon County. These facilities provided the foundation for an agricultural based economy in Caldwell. The Oregon Short Line Railroad became part of the larger Union Pacific Railroad network and in 1906 the Caldwell freight and passenger depot was constructed. Caldwell experienced moderate growth as an agricultural processing, commercial retail and educational center during the twentieth century. In 2009, the City of Caldwell completed a revitalization project to restore Indian Creek (Boise River), Indian Creek, which runs through downtown Caldwell, but had been used for sewage disposal by local industries, and had been covered over. The restored creek includes suspended bridges, walkways and picnic tables.
GeographyAccording to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, is land and is water.
ClimateCaldwell experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''BSk'') with short, cold winters and hot, dry summers.
2010 censusAt the 2010 census, there were 46,237 people, 14,895 households and 10,776 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 16,323 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White (U.S. Census), White, 0.6% African American (U.S. Census), African American, 1.2% Native American (U.S. Census), Native American, 0.9% Asian (U.S. Census), Asian, 0.1% Race (U.S. Census), Pacific Islander, 16.1% from Race (U.S. Census), other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic (U.S. Census), Hispanic or Latino (U.S. Census), Latino of any race were 35.4% of the population. There were 14,895 households, of which 46.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were Marriage, married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 27.7% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.51. The median age in the city was 28.2 years. 33.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.4% were from 25 to 44; 18.2% were from 45 to 64; and 8.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.4% male and 50.6% female. The median household income was $37,336. The per capita income was $15,731. About 20.2% of the population was below the poverty line.
Arts and cultureCaldwell has held an annual Indian Creek Festival every September since 2003. The event includes a fun run and a tug of war.
Parks and recreationCaldwell has 10 city parks, a public golf course near downtown, a city pool, and two skateparks.
EducationCaldwell has five secondary schools—including Caldwell High School (Caldwell, Idaho), Caldwell High School and Vallivue High School—and six elementary schools. The is located in Caldwell and is one of the oldest four-year institutions in the state.
InfrastructureCaldwell Industrial Airport is located southeast of downtown. Caldwell has a high-quality water system, which remained untreated and met all federal guidelines until the 1990s when the Federal Government mandated chlorination.
Notable people* Joseph Albertson − founder of New Albertsons, Albertson's grocery store chain * Troy Beyer - actress, attended high school in Caldwell * Ronee Blakley - actress and singer * George Blankley - former BSU head basketball coach, went to Caldwell High and the College of Idaho * Daniel Carter (LDS composer), Daniel Carter - LDS composer * Thomas C. Coffin - Congressman * Dame Darcy - cartoonist and performer * Shirley Englehorn - LPGA golfer * A. J. Feeley - NFL quarterback * Mike Garman - Major League Baseball pitcher * Lawrence H. Gipson - Pulitzer Prize winner, moved to Caldwell as a boy and later taught at the College of Idaho * Ron Hadley - NFL linebacker * Maria Dahvana Headley - writer, attended Vallivue High School * Wayne Hooper - gospel music composer and singer, graduated from Gem State Academy * Gary Hubler - champion of the Formula 1 class of the Reno Air Races * David Kamo - motorcycle racer * James Knight (coach), James Knight - former University of Washington football coach, lived in Caldwell in his later years * Mark Lindsay − musician, now in ''Grangeville, Idaho, Grangeville'' * Edward Lodge - U.S. District Court judge * Larry Lujack - disc jockey * Dean McAdams - NFL player * Ray McDonald (running back), Ray McDonald - NFL running back, graduated from Caldwell High School * Jim McMillan (Canadian football), Jim McMillan - gridiron football player * John T. Morrison - original faculty member of the College of Idaho, former Idaho governor * Butch Otter − Governor of Idaho * Cody Pickett - NFL quarterback * Jay Pickett − actor * Frank Reberger - Major League Baseball player and coach * Paul Revere & the Raiders, Paul Revere (and the Raiders) − musician *Jim Rohn - American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, grew up on a farm in Caldwell * Frank Steunenberg - assassinated Governor of Idaho * Gary Stevens (jockey), Gary Stevens - jockey, won Kentucky Derby three times * Steve Symms - former U.S. Senator and Congressman * Renee Tenison - Playboy Playmate of the Year 1990 * Rosie Tenison - actress and model * Randy Trautman - Canadian football defensive lineman *Gys van Beek - Dutch American inventor who as a member of the Dutch resistance during World War II helped rescue members of the Allied forces and is also recognized as an Aid Giver for helping Jews escaping the HolocaustGys van Beek