This week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

With the draft expected to begin in June, Army recruiters in eastern Idaho were looking to places outside Idaho Falls to fill their quotas in mid-May 1917. Sergeant Canfield told the Idaho Register he’d recruited eight men and sent them to Salt Lake City. From Challis, he had enlisted Frank Cates, Frank Pfeiffer and Arthur McGowan. From Driggs, he had enlisted Leland J. Aland, Dewey Hillman, Jas. A. Smith, Elmer L. Reynolds and Vern C. Bills. “(Men) with clerical and stenographic experience are wanted and can soon qualify for quartermaster sergeants, which is a very desirable berth in the army, giving the men a great deal of liberty and work of a clerical nature,” the newspaper said.

75 years ago

More than 1,500 people visited the newly opened LDS Nurses Home this week in 1942, a reception so enthusiastic that Hospital Superintendent J.H. Traynor scheduled a second one for May 17. “Idaho Falls citizens and visitors were pleasantly surprised at the many ultra modern features which place the beautiful new building among the top nurses homes in the entire west,” the Post-Register said. Miss Sadie Windmill had been appointed matron of the home. Nurses and hospital executives were expected to take up residence in about 10 days.

50 years ago

After several weeks of campaigning, Diana Fisher was hailed this week in 1967 as Idaho Falls’ “Baseball Queen.” This title was granted annually to the girl who could sell the most advance baseball ticket books for the Idaho Falls Angels of the Pioneer League. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Fisher, Diana was a student at Skyline High School. The announcement came at a luncheon in the Rogers Hotel. The attendants, also present, included Michelle Bowen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Grayson; Tricia Gagon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley A. Gagon; Judy Taysom of Shelley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maynard Taysom; and Mary Scafe of Ashton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Scafe. Diana received a $250 cash scholarship, a wardrobe and personal and household items. The attendants also received cash and prizes.

25 years ago

Eastern Idaho was looking at a dry summer in 1992, with projections painting a situation similar to 1934, when the National Guard was called upon to put locks on canal head gates. Minidoka Irrigation Project Supervisor John Dooley characterized 1934 and 1992 conditions as almost identical. In addition to being skimpy, the snow pack was melting 30 to 40 days ahead of schedule. May 1 flows at Heise were 48 percent of normal. “Even if we receive 150 percent of normal precipitation, the forecast would still be only 59 percent of normal runoff,” said Earl Corless, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.


Paul Menser is the author of “Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls.”