Looking back

100 years ago

The new year in New Sweden began with a Jan. 2, 1922 community rabbit drive in which 4,000 of the critters were clubbed and bagged. “(As) a result, the farmers in this vicinity will have less to contend with from this menace next year,” the Ogden Standard-Examiner reported. “Hot lunch was served to the hunters at noon, and the affair took on the nature of an enjoyable outing.”

75 years ago

Deputy Joe McNeil of the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Department was bound for Kingsville, Texas, this week in 1947 — and he might have been inclined to take his time, as temperatures in the Upper Snake River Valley plunged to minus 18 degrees Fahrenheit the morning of Jan. 2. McNeil was on a detail to retrieve Barbara Mulcahey, who was wanted on charges of stealing roughly $10,000 from Clifford McGinty at the Wayside Inn. McGinty told police that he was in Salt Lake City when Mulcahey, who worked at the club on Payne Road 3 miles north of Idaho Falls, disappeared with the money, which was kept in a metal box in a trailer house parked near the club. Nearly $9,000 was in $1 bills. There were $50 in $2 bills, nearly $500 in $20 bills and the rest in $10 bills. Mulcahey had signed a waiver of extradition, the Post-Register reported.

50 years ago

The suspect in a Dec. 9 robbery at the Idaho Falls Bank of Commerce pled guilty on Jan. 4, 1972. Vern Kush, 42, had been a law enforcement officer in Kansas and Wyoming but was most recently working as a heavy equipment operator in Big Piney, Wyo. In addition to stealing $12,500 from the Idaho Falls bank, he was also wanted on a similar charge out of Wyoming. At the hearing at which the plea was entered, newly appointed federal judge Blaine Anderson asked Kush if he had been down on his luck. “Not really,” Kush replied. “I decided I wanted that money.” Anderson ordered a pre-sentence investigation.

25 years ago

Idaho State University students began studying pygmy rabbits on the Snake River Plain in January 1997, to determine whether they might be threatened or endangered. If so, the U.S. Department of Energy would have to limit activities at Idaho National Laboratory that might have an impact on the population. The study might also determine whether the rabbits, a longtime food source for Native Americans, should continue to be hunted. Pygmy rabbits are about the size of guinea pigs and live only on the sagebrush plains of Idaho, as well as small portions of Montana, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California.

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

Recommended for you