The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

Idaho Falls got news of its first Army fatality this week in 1918, though it happened on a base in Texas, not in France. Carroll Martin, 28, was reported to have died of injuries near Brownsville around 5 p.m. the afternoon of Feb. 25. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Dan G. Martin, there was no other news than that he had died at the base hospital. The Martins asked their son’s commanding officer that the body be sent home, and C.E. Dinwoodey, chairman of the Red Cross Society and secretary of the Council of Defense asked permission that the community might be permitted to pay tribute. “Idaho Falls and vicinity have contributed several hundred soldiers to the cause of humanity and democracy,” the Idaho Register said. “This is the first death.”

75 years ago

Warmer weather this week in 1943 brought relief from flood conditions east of Idaho Falls, where Sand Creek and irrigation canals had frozen. “Although some water covers roads and fields in the Iona, Lincoln and Ammon districts, traffic is not seriously hampered,” the Post-Register reported. Meanwhile, maintenance crews began clearing the icy mass on the Osgood-Roberts stretch of the Idaho Falls-Butte Road, which had been under water for more than a month but had begun to clear by late February.

50 years ago

The Idaho Falls City Council voted this week in 1968 to sign a 50-year lease agreement with local developers in the Airport Industrial Park, forming the basis for future construction at the site near Fanning Field. The lease, renewable at 10-year intervals for 50 years, was jointly signed by Mayor S. Eddie Pedersen, and by Robert Bauchman, Van Briggs and their wives, to construct a two-acre commercial-industrial building on four acres leased from the city.

25 years ago

Initiative 2000, a four-year plan to expand businesses and create jobs, made its debut at the regular meeting of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce this week in 1993. With $2 million in the bank, Post Register Publisher Jerry M. Brady told chamber members that Idaho Falls’ economic development efforts were in a position to surpass those of Coeur d’Alene, Pocatello, Sandpoint, Twin Falls and perhaps even Boise. Along with a small group of local business people, Brady spearheaded the effort in 1992, reacting to anticipated federal spending cuts and layoffs at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus and Commerce Department Director Jim Hawkins were slated to attend a kickoff breakfast for the Eastern Idaho Economic Development Council the first week in March.

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