Printed on: November 22, 2012

LOOKING BACK

Bryce Glenn
Post Register

100 years ago

A pair of Bonneville County attorneys expressed outrage this week in 1912 after the board of control at the State Industrial School for youths in St. Anthony voted not to take action against the school's leadership in the wake of severe beatings of students. An investigation of the school -- whose population was made up mostly of disadvantaged youths -- was ordered during the summer after an 11-year-old boy who was beaten "near death" with heavy straps escaped and sought refuge with Idaho Falls law enforcement. The attorneys -- Harry Holden and W.P. Hanson -- demanded that the superintendent, assistant superintendent and headmaster all be dismissed, but the investigating board declined to do so. A school employee, however, was charged in the beating and sentenced to 60 days in jail. The attorneys insisted the matter was not closed and vowed to push for a legislative investigation.

Meanwhile, reports surfaced of several families being sickened after they retrieved cans of spoiled food that grocery boys had been discarding in city dumping grounds. The grocery boys were reminded of a state law mandating that cans of food be opened and coal oil be poured on them before dumping.

75 years ago

The Post-Register paid tribute to its oldest living subscriber -- Jake Keefer of Idaho Falls -- this week in 1937 in a front-page story. Keefer, whose age was not given, was the second person to subscribe to the Idaho Register when it first came off the press in 1880. The original subscriber had passed away a few years earlier but reportedly read the paper daily up to a few days before his death. Keefer said he hadn't missed an issue in his 57 years as a subscriber and insisted the paper became better every year.

50 years ago

A 32-year-old Florida man who escaped three times from eastern Idaho jails and was thwarted during a fourth attempt was sentenced this week in 1962 to up to three years in the Idaho State Prison. A week earlier, Robert Thomas Bailey -- who was originally jailed on a forgery charge before his three jailbreaks -- was foiled in his fourth attempt at the Fremont County Jail. Bailey -- confined to a cage made of a network of 3-inch iron bars -- pried clamps used to hold the cell toilet to the wall for tools. Using one for a chisel and the other for a hammer, Bailey managed to cut the bolts from the hinges of the door to the cell. Free of the cage, he next pried a board from a table top in an outer room and used it for a battering ram to smash two window panes. He had just begun working on the window bars when jail authorities arrived, alerted by other inmates who had heard the commotion.

25 years ago

Hundreds of people attended a "Not In Our Town" rally this week in 1987 at the Idaho Civic Center, where a host of speakers promoted positive community values and lectured against the evils of pornography. William Swindell of Scottsdale, Ariz. -- president of Citizens for Decency Through Law -- said pornography must be fought through education, economics and legal means, stressing that the public must be educated that the First Amendment did not protect all pornography. He said Idaho Falls -- and the country -- could not afford to let the porn industry gain a stranglehold. "Not in our town," he said. "Not in America."

Meanwhile, TCP/IP networks were expanding across the nation at universities and research sites, and commercial ISPs began to emerge -- leading to further commercialization of what we, and the porn industry, now like to call "the Internet."