Long before the county was established, emigrants crossed through the area while heading west to the gold rushes of California. Humboldt dates back as an official county to 1856, when it was created as a county by the Utah Legislature. Humboldt County was first created by an act of the Nevada Territorial Legislature in November of 1861, three years prior to statehood. Humboldt is the oldest county in Nevada. The first district to organize in the area was the Humboldt District in 1860. Between 1861 and 1862, discoveries were made in the areas of Unionville, Star Canyon and Dun Glen. These towns are now located in present day Pershing County. Humboldt County was originally over 23,000 square miles. For reference, Nye County is currently the third largest county in the country at a little over 18,000 square miles. The legislature created Lander County in 1862 and ceded a portion of the County to Lander. Humboldt County land was again ceded to Churchill County in 1869 and to Lander County in 1873. The first county seat was Unionville in 1861. Winnemucca gained the county seat in 1873 and is still the county seat today. Pershing county was created in 1919 and was formed out of land from Humboldt County. Cattle ranching and mining are still two of the major industries in the county. The current population is estimated at a little over 17,000 residents according to the 2020 U.S. Census. Humboldt County still maintains the ranching and Buckaroo culture of Northern Nevada. The New West and the Old West crashed head on in Humboldt in 1981. A man named Claude Dallas came to Nevada to buckaroo on the big ranches of Humboldt County. He eventually began running trap lines and living off the land. He was running a trap line through Northern Nevada, into a small portion of Southern Idaho on the Owyhee. He was confronted by Idaho Game Wardens Bill Pogue and Conley Helms for game violations. A gunfight ensued and Dallas killed both Game Wardens (RIP). A large manhunt ensued for 15 months before Dallas was finally caught in Paradise Valley. He was convicted of Manslaughter in Idaho. This was made into an episode of the FBI Files. A movie was made and books were written about the incident. Legendary western artist Ian Tyson also wrote a song about it. See below.