Looking back

100 years ago

A story from Idaho Falls made the wire services from coast to coast this week in January 1921. It concerned a local woman, discreetly unidentified due to the nature of the story, which was printed on page one of the Deseret News and Sacramento Bee and ran as follows: “Clad only in her night dress, a woman said to be a teacher in the local schools walked down town in her sleep through the heaviest snowstorm of the season, Wednesday night (Jan. 19) about 11:30. Two men noticing her strange appearance stopped her and one of them touched her on the arm. She awakened immediately and with a scream dashed into the street, where she fell in a faint. She was carried across the street into a hotel, where she was cared for until she was able to go home. After recovering from the shock, she said she felt all right except for a bruise on her shoulder, received when she fell, and some cuts on her feet, sustained in walking barefoot on the icy walks. It is estimated that the somnambulist walked over seven blocks through the cold and snow.”

75 years ago

Tall, wiry 35-year-old Eddie Leishman, new pilot of the Idaho Falls Russets, breezed into Idaho Falls this week in January 1946, full of information about the upcoming season. “Leishman, who had put the Twin Falls Cowboys on the track to a Pioneer League pennant in 1939 before leaving to manage the Spokane, Wash., club of the Western International League, announced with his arrival here that the club has already signed 10 players,” the Post-Register reported. “We have several more lined up, but they are still in the service and we will not be able to contact them until they are discharged within the next few weeks,” he said. “The average age in the league will probably be a little older this year. Instead of 18 and 19 year olds, the league will probably be made up of 21, 22 and 23 year old players.” Spring training was to start around April 1 at Boyce Hot Springs, Calif.

50 years ago

Idaho Falls Police arrested five people this week in January 1971 on charges of counterfeiting. The suspects were being held in the city jail pending the arrival of Secret Service agents, Detective Ralph Hutchens reported. The five were identified as Clarence Hein, Thomas Layne, Doris Layne, George Heiser and Beulah Kessell. The bust took place at a local motel.

25 years ago

Better Business Bureau officials in Idaho Falls were warning locals against responding to letters from the Children’s Make a Wish Foundation of Atlanta soliciting help for a terminally ill 7-year-old named Craig Sherford. “If you get one, tear it up,” said BBB Spokeswoman Kathryn Jones. “Our files show this exact solicitation circulating in 1991, making the same claim for the same boy with the same name.” Jones said her office had seen four copies of the letter. As a footnote, there actually was a kid named Craig Shergold in England who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1989, whose mother thought it would cheer him up to receive cards from around the world. Shergold received more than 350 million cards and survived to attend college and become a comedian. He was diagnosed with another brain tumor in 2019 and died on April 21 after contracting the novel coronavirus.

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