Printed on: December 06, 2012

LOOKING BACK

Bryce Glenn
Post Register

100 years ago

Business leaders and the "better elements" of Shelley announced this week in 1912 their determination to take a stand against the illegal sale of alcohol in their community. Though nationwide prohibition was not yet in effect, residents of Bingham County had passed local-option laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol. But according to some, liquor was sold openly in Shelley, leading to "intoxication, assaults, drunken rows and arrests." No less an authority than John F. Shelley -- the city's founder -- wrote an open letter to his fellow residents asking them to help enforce the law. He urged them to "better our moral conditions in every way possible, so that we cannot only tell the people of the world of our enormous crops of potatoes, beets, hay and grain, but that our moral, social and educational conditions are equal to any place anywhere."

75 years ago

Twenty-five years after Shelley's efforts to clean up the town, representatives from Idaho Falls civic clubs, fraternal orders and churches met this week in 1937 to pledge support to a drive to combat juvenile delinquency. Many of the representatives stressed the need for more activities to keep boys out of trouble. Mayor Chase Clark applauded the efforts of the group but said he believed the more pressing problem was that too many youths were underfed and underclothed.

50 years ago

Blackfoot resident Robert Bishop secured the new No. 1 and No. 2 4B Idaho license plates this week in 1962 after hiring members of the Eastern Idaho Citizens Band Radio Club to help him in a 64-hour wait on the steps of the Bingham County Courthouse. Bishop and members of the club took turns waiting in two-man shifts. The Georgia transplant said getting the No. 1 and No. 2 plates for him and his wife symbolized their adoption of Blackfoot as their new home. In Idaho Falls, however, Bonneville County Assessor George L. Jensen took all of the suspense out of the race for the No. 1 8B plate, as he claimed it for himself for the 12th straight year.

25 years ago

Fred Keefer, who was born in Idaho Falls when it still was known as Eagle Rock, died at age 96 this week in 1987. Keefer was born in 1891 in his family's home on North Water Avenue along with his twin brother, Frank, who died in 1976. The two helped their father build the first dam on the falls of the Snake River. Frank Keefer served as Bonneville County deputy sheriff under five sheriffs and also as caretaker for Sportsmen's Park -- which he named himself -- south of the Broadway Bridge. He lived on Keefer's Island just south of the John's Hole Bridge from 1930 to 1950, using a rowboat to get to shore and back. He eventually sold the island to the city for $1 because he couldn't keep up with fees and vandalism.