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Preston, Idaho

Preston, Idaho
Franklin County Courthouse, Preston, Idaho
Franklin County Courthouse, Preston, Idaho
Location in Franklin County and the state of Idaho
Location in Franklin County and the state of Idaho
Preston, Idaho is located in USA
Preston, Idaho
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Idaho
County Franklin
 • Mayor F. Lee Hendrickson
 • Total 6.66 sq mi (17.25 km2)
 • Land 6.65 sq mi (17.22 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 4,715 ft (1,437 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 5,204
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 5,145
 • Density 782.6/sq mi (302.2/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 83263
Area code(s) 208
FIPS code 16-65260
GNIS feature ID 0398011

Preston is a city in Franklin County, Idaho, United States. The population was 5,204 at the 2010 census.[4] The city is the county seat of Franklin County.[5] It is part of the Logan, Utah-Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
    • Festivities 1.1
  • Festival of Lights 2
  • Geography 3
  • Climate 4
  • Demographics 5
    • 2010 census 5.1
    • 2000 census 5.2
  • In film 6
  • Notable citizens 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The Matthias Cowley House is one of four sites in Preston listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Bear River Massacre occurred in 1863 at a point a few miles northwest of Preston. The Bear River Massacre Site is a National Historic Landmark.

In 1866, Latter-day Saint (LDS, or Mormon) pioneers arrived in the northern end of the Cache Valley, stretching across southeastern Idaho and northeastern Utah. They founded a community in that location and named it Worm Creek, but in 1881 changed it to Preston because leaders of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City objected to the name "Worm Creek" being part of any church congregation's name.[6][7] The name Preston was suggested by a local member to honor William B. Preston, who at the time was president of the LDS Church's Cache Stake.[6][7]

It was not until the 1880s while William C. Parkinson was serving as the bishop of the Preston LDS Ward that a regular townsite was laid out.[8]


For several years the city held a "Napoleon Dynamite Festival" in the summer. Many of the featured festival themes related to events occurring during the film. For example: Tetherball Tournament, Tater Tot Eating Contest, Moon Boot Dance, Impersonation, Look-A-Like Contest, Football Throwing Contest and more. In 2004 there was a single day event that drew approximately 300 people. Although this was not a large crowd, it did help raise $1,500 for the Preston School District Education Foundation. In 2005 an estimated 6,000 people attended the event, but that number dropped to an estimated 400 people in 2006. The 2007 and 2008 event was held along with the 'That Famous Preston Night Rodeo' in Preston. There are no plans for reviving the event. 'That Famous Preston Night Rodeo' is usually held in late July, along with the Franklin County parade. The rodeo's name ('That Famous Preston Night Rodeo') comes from it being the first rodeo held during night time. It includes many events such as bull riding, barrel racing, and other popular events. The Franklin county parade includes floats and advertisements of local businesses. The rodeo and parade remain one of the towns most popular local events and traditions.

Festival of Lights

Each year Preston holds the "Idaho Festival of Lights",[9] which starts the day after Thanksgiving and goes until December 31. The festival was started by two local business men (Wayne Bell and Walter Ross) along with many other community organizations to help celebrate Christmas within the community. The festival consists of a lighted parade, fireworks, and displays in the city park. The merchants along the main street of Preston have their store fronts decorated with Christmas lights during the festival.

A key event of the festival is the International Bed Race, which is held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving on the main street of Preston. Additional events are a kid's parade and free movie.


Preston is located at (42.095160, -111.875330),[10] at an elevation of 4,715 feet (1,437 m) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.66 square miles (17.25 km2), of which, 6.65 square miles (17.22 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[1]

Nearby is the Cub River Canyon, which is a popular recreation area.

Within Preston itself, U.S. Highway 91 is the main north-south street, State Street. By taking US-91, it is possible to travel to Preston from Logan, Utah. Oneida Street, also State Highway 36 is the primary west-east road. Preston is a brief drive from Interstate 15.


Climate data for Preston, Idaho
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 58
Average high °F (°C) 31
Average low °F (°C) 14
Record low °F (°C) −25
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.51


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 5,204 people, 1,751 households, and 1,327 families residing in the city. The population density was 782.6 inhabitants per square mile (302.2/km2). There were 1,873 housing units at an average density of 281.7 per square mile (108.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.7% White, 0.2% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.3% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.5% of the population.

There were 1,751 households of which 42.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 24.2% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.43.

The median age in the city was 31.7 years. 33.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.1% were from 25 to 44; 19.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

2000 census

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 4,682 people, 1,529 households, and 1,200 families residing in the city. The population density was 701.0 people per square mile (270.6/km²). There were 1,640 housing units at an average density of 245.6 per square mile (94.8/km²).

The racial makeup of the city was 95.22% White, 5.04% Hispanic or Latino, 0.09% African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.12% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races.

There were 1,529 households out of which 44.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.2% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.5% were non-families. 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.50.

In the city the population was spread out with 35.3% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 15.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,204, and the median income for a family was $39,537. Males had a median income of $29,247 versus $20,652 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,751. About 5.9% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

In film

Much of the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite was shot in the city of Preston, including at Preston High School, located several blocks from U.S. Highway 91. Several area landmarks can be seen throughout the film. Preston is the home of the film's creators, Jared and Jerusha Hess, Preston being where Jared went to high school.

Notable citizens

U.S. Army Medal of Honor displayed with a light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "Quickfacts: Preston, Idaho".  
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ a b Baltzar W. Peterson, Historical Scrapbook of Preston and Vicinity (Carnegie Library: Preston, Idaho).
  7. ^ a b Clarence G. Judy, "A History of Preston, Idaho" (Brigham Young University: MA Thesis, 1961) p. 36.
  8. ^ Andrew Jeson, Latter-day Saints Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. 1, p. 307.
  9. ^ "Festival of Lights". Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  14. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott (November 19, 2011). "Unsung war hero's medal now preserved at Church History Library". Church News. 

External links

  • Official site
  • Preston's Festival of Lights
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