Twitchell to celebrate 90th birthday


The family of Orvin Twitchell, of Mud Lake, and the Mud Lake Historical Society is celebrating his 90th birthday with an open house from 5 to 7 p.m., April 12, at the Mud Lake Museum.

Twitchell was born in April, 1929 in Albion. As a teenager Twitchell worked with the sheep and cattle, and helped farm potatoes and sugar beets. He farmed around Burley until he was 19 when he enlisted in the United States Army. He was stationed in Europe for three years and after being discharged from the service, he moved to Roberts, Idaho. He farmed on various farms for two years. In 1955 he married Ruth Staley.

In 1960 they moved to Mud Lake and leased a farm from Bruce Mitchell. In 1965, they moved to Terreton where they leased a ranch from Judge Henry Martin. This ranch was 2200 acres with 900 acres being farmed. They had a 100 head dairy herd, about 75 brood sows, and 75 head of range cows to put the milk cow calves on.

After Martin died in 1978 the Twitchells moved to Monteview where they bought five acres of land. There was no home so they put a mobile home on it. They needed a place big enough to park their machinery. Orvin ran the Jefferson Irrigation Canal for two years and did custom work for farmers with the help of his family.

Twitchell is highly involved in the Mud Lake community. He has worked with the young people of the Mud Lake area for many years. He was a 4-H leader for 16 years, with all of his own children involved in 4-H clubs.

He has been active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post since one was formed in Mud Lake in 1972. During that time he has participated in the Honor Guard at more than 700 Veteran’s funerals all over Eastern Idaho, having as many as four funerals in one week. The VFW has worked with students in the West Jefferson and Clark County schools to participate in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship competition. He has been the District Voice of Democracy chairman for many years. The district encompasses 14 schools in eastern Idaho.

In the late 1990’s Mud Lake historian Mildred Staley recruited Twitchell to help her achieve her dream of forming a historical society and museum for the Mud Lake area. With Twitchell’s help, they pulled a committee together to formally organize the Mud Lake Historical Society and Museum in March, 1999.

The Twitchells have five children, Elnora, Jim, Leo, Bart and Patty.