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Kooskia ( KOO-skee) is a city in Idaho County, Idaho, United States. It is at the confluence of the South and Middle forks of the Clearwater River, combining to become the main river. The population was 607 at the 2010 census, down from 675 in 2000.
Chief Looking Glass lived in a village a short distance above what is now Kooskia with his band of Nez Perce. This regular home was well within the boundaries of the reservation created in 1863, but just before the Nez Perce War an American General was sent to arrest Chief Looking Glass and all other Nez Perce with him. When trigger-happy militiamen opened fire into the village, many Nez Perce died and their village was destroyed in the scuffle. Because of this incident, Looking Glass joined with the Nez Perce for the Nez Perce War.
The name of the town is likely a contraction of the Nez Perce word "koos-koos-kia," a diminutive which refers to the Clearwater River, the lesser of the two large rivers in the vicinity, the other being the Snake. The town was first named Stuart, after James Stuart (1863–1929), a Nez Perce surveyor and merchant. The railroad arrived in 1899 and named its station "Kooskia," because there already was a railroad station named "Stuart" in the state. The town went by both names for the next decade until it was formally renamed in 1909.
Kooskia is within the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.
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