The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

Bonneville County Assessor J.J. Crowley reported this week in 1917 that there were 1,210 automobiles registered in the county to owners with Idaho licenses and a dozen or two more owned by people from other places. Crowley reported collecting $21,780 in taxes, 75 percent of which would be spent on county roads. In other automobile-related news, in Arco a number of cars were being reported stolen, although extra tires and parts were being reported pinched more often. “In one instance recently, upon finding a car locked and the extra tire chained on, the thieves became ‘peeved’ and set the car on fire, and it was with the greatest difficulty that the car was saved from total loss,” the Idaho Register reported. “Officers of Arco and Butte County hope to be able to put a stop to the depredations soon and make horrible examples of the culprits.”

75 years ago

The American Legion Bonneville Post voted this week in 1942 not to donate its World War I cannon, part of the memorial on Memorial Drive, to the war effort until every last piece of scrap metal in the county had been rounded up. “There are countless tons of usable scrap metal on the farms of this county which have not been turned in, and until such time as this scrap has been used we feel it is unnecessary for us to donate the only relic of the World War in this county,” Post Commander J.D. Armstrong said. The Legion’s action came following the County Commission’s receipt of a letter from the U.S. Army office at Fort Douglas, Utah, suggesting that all ornamental cannon, cannonballs and iron fences around displays be donated for scrap metal.

50 years ago

A 68-year-old Irwin woman died this week in 1967 while apparently carrying belongings from her burning cabin the night of Sept. 7. Mrs. Coral Weeks was found dead outside the cabin of which she was the sole occupant. Bonneville County Deputy Sheriff Les Poole said they were still trying to determine what might have caused the blaze. A Rigby native, Weeks was the daughter of Richard and Mary Ann Profet Later. After graduating from school in Rigby, she moved with her parents to Swan Valley, where they operated the old Half House near the river bridge. She was married twice, in 1917 to Joseph Jones and, following his death in 1951, to Abram Weeks in 1954. He died in 1963. She was survived by two children and eight stepchildren, 57 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, two brothers and a sister. She was preceded in death by both husbands and a son.

25 years ago

Opponents of the St. Anthony Work Camp asked the Idaho Supreme Court to reverse lower court decisions and close the camp as the court convened in Idaho Falls this week in 1992. In 1989, the State of Idaho and the city of St. Anthony had agreed to a lease of the old Fremont General Hospital in St. Anthony. Neighbors sued, claiming city officials failed to give notice and hold public hearings before doing the deal. Seventh District Judge Ted Wood ruled in their favor, but afterward the city amended its ordinances to change the zoning, no longer requiring hearings or public notice. Wood then ruled in 1991 that the city had complied with his requirements. Meanwhile, other residents brought a class action suit challenging the new zoning ordinance. District Judge Grant Young dismissed that case, claiming Wood’s ruling had settled the issue.

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

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