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1913 ■ 1990 










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3 1404 00709 9903 


Preface * 

Acknowledgement "* 

Chapter Page 

1. Centennial Events, Idaho, Madison County, 

Rexburg, Rexburg City Hall, and Sugar City 01 

2. Teton Flood, Madison Library District, 
Tabernacle, Post Office, Schools, 

Religious Communities 10 

3. Clubs, Parks, Radio Stations, Airport, 

Transportation, Newspapers, Hospitals 1^ 

4. County, City, and State Officials 37 

5. Early Homes and Businesses 42 

6. Agriculture, Potato Industry ^ 

7. Food and Family Life, Social History 

of Sugar City • 53 

8. Century Farm List » ^ 

9. Maps ^1 

10. Illustrations ^ 




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The idea of compiling and printing the centennial yearbook of Madison County was 
conceived as a fund raising project and as a tribute to the people of the county. It was 
decided to highlight people and events in the first one hundred years of the current Madison 
County area. The funds from the sale of the book will be used in the restoration of the 
Madison County Courthouse. 

Construction on the courthouse was started in July of 1919. C. A. Sundberg was the 
architect and Charles Zollinger was the contractor. The courthouse was a beautiful building. 
No expense was spared in the decoration and furnishings. It was completed to the point 
that the county offices and records were moved into it by mid-December, 1920. In was not 
completely finished until 1922. 

The restoration of the courthouse would rescue one of the states distinguished buildings 
from further deterioration and misuse. It represents a period in our state's history when 
there was a tremendous amount of optimism and growth. It is one of the outstanding county 
courthouses in the state. So many of our buildings constructed in a bygone era have been 
destroyed and are gone forever. We would like to prevent this from happening to the 

This will be a lasting contribution to the Centennial of Idaho Statehood. It will be a 
tribute to the great men and women who struggled to provide opportunities for our 
generation and others that will follow. We hope it will stimulate pride in our people for the 
excellent quality of life which exists in Madison County and be a permanent reminder to 
those of the second hundred years, to cultivate the standard of living which we now enjoy. 

We would hke to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the following members 
of the Madison County Courthouse Restoration Committee for their dedication to this 

Madison County Courthouse Restoration Committee: 

County Commissioners: 
Doyle W. Walker 
Bruce B. Webster 
Moses Dell Barney 
Reed B. Sommer 

General Chairman: Mary Lee Wolf 


Keith L. Bentzen, PA 

Collared, Beyeler & Bentzen-Consulting Architect 

Kent Jolley, Fundraising Chairman 


Committee Cont. 

Randall D. Sutton, Fundraising Chairman 

Dick Davis, Construction Consultant 

James Long, Landscaping Consultant 

Alyn Andrus, Idaho State Centennial Representative 

Louis Clements, Madison County Centennial Rep 

Don Rydalch, Fundraising 

Richard F. Smith, Fundraising 

Lee Boyle, Fundraising 

Garth Flamm, Fundraising 

John C. Porter, Fundraising 

Richard Bird, Design Consultant 

T. L. Mcrae, Design Consultant 

Bernice Ricks, Centennial Yearbook 

Norman Ricks, Centennial Yearbook 

Brent Kinghom, Ricks College Community Affairs 

Judge Harold Forbush, Historical Consultant 

Brent Bell, Window Replacement Consultant 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 
Brigham Young University-Idaho 

Madison County Courthouse Restoration 

The idea to restore the courthouse evolved rather informally in a discussion one day. 
The more we talked about it the more enthusiastic everyone became. It was chosen as our 
Idaho Centennial Project because of its historical significance to the county and the state 
and timely need of repairs to the building. The building is one of the few historically 
sigoificant stnictures in Madison County. It is listed on the National Register of Historical 
Buildings. Studies have shown it is structurally sound and will continue to meet the 
functional needs of the county government way into the next century. 

A space utilization study was conducted by Keith L. Bentzen of the Architectural and 
Engineering firm, Collard, Beyeler and Bentzen of Idaho Falls. His opinion was that the 
building would meet the county needs now and in the future. He describes the courthouse 
as a "fine historical building" and suggests adjusting the work areas and reclaiming potential 
office space which is currently used as storage. This building will require higher 
maintenance and operation costs than a new one but, a new building alternative seems 
impractical with estimated construction replacement costs of 1.5 million dollars. 

During the first year of our project we "tested the water" by questioning different 
groups in the county about their support with both time and money. We felt a great deal 
of enthusiasm from young and old, clubs, private individuals, families, etc. This is a project 
that we, as citizens of Madison County, can all relate to. The courthouse belongs to each 
of us. We all have our own personal memories of the part the building has played in our 
lives. This project combined the efforts of all of the people of Madison County in a variety 
of activities to achieve a common goal. The money spent to restore the courthouse to its 
original beauty has certainly had a lasting benefit and permanent value to the county and 
the state. We would not only like the building to look nice, we would like people to feel 
they are in a special place when they come here. We would hope they would feel respectful 
and proud of their heritage. The courthouse restoration and maintenance is an ongoing 
project that will transcend our lifetime and be carried on by our children's children. 

The emphasis for the courthouse restoration project has been on the exterior of the 
building. The exterior is highly visible. We felt, if our efforts were successful, public 
support would be generated for further work on the interior. Funds were raised so the work 
could progress in a timely manner once we began. 

In the fall of 1990, Zundel Tree Service removed four large spruce trees from the front 
entryway of the building. Immediately following this, county work crews washed the building 
with high pressure hoses. We had been in contact with Lloyd Sorenson, a restoration expert 
from Sandy, Utah. He and his crew used a variety of chemicals to remove paint from the 
brick and clean it. Loose paint and grime were also cleaned from the masonry and terra 
cotta. This thorough cleaning brought out the beauty of the brick as it originally appeared. 

Work stopped for the winter while we made plans for the following year. In the spring 

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of 1991 Bowen Masonry repointed the brick at the top of the building. This was an 
extensive job as some of the brick had fallen off the chimney and were ready to fall off the 
walls. Lloyd Sorenson returned to stain the brick that couldn't be restored by cleaning. 
Dean Wilson Plastering and Drywall repaired the concrete cap at the top of the building 
and patched the foundation to prepare it for painting. The type and color of paint was 
chosen very carefully. We needed a tough coating that would wear well as well as look nice. 
A color sample was painted on one of the pillars as a final check before the application. 
Chappie Painting and Decorating worked with us to achieve a soft, monochromatic 
appearance reminiscent of the original building. 

Saurey Construction poured the footings and replaced the abutments on the sides of the 
steps. They were built with a cap on top like the originals. After the concrete work was 
finished Bowen Masonry cleaned and repointed the granite steps in front of the building. 
These steps had replaced the original ones at the time of the Teton Dam Flood. They are 
a different style than the originals but. the granite is very durable and expensive. We 
tried to achieve a pleasing proportion to the entryway by adding footings to the sides. We 
ordered decorative period style lights to replace the original ones that many of us remember 
on either side of the steps. These were installed in February, 1992. Leishman Electric was 
the contractor. 

The landscaping contract was awarded to Jerry Merrill of Merrill Quality Landscapes. 
He suggested plantings that would provide seasonal color and be in scale to the building 
when they reached maturity. The work included laying pavers by the steps and concrete 
edging around the beds. This was completed the summer of 1992. 

At this time the work in progress includes: replacing the outer windows, covering the 
sills and restoring the large leaded glass window at the front of the bmlding. 

Mary Lee Wolf 


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There are many events being sponsored around the Idaho Centennial theme. The 
following activities are the major events that happened or are happening in Madison County 
during the 1990, one hundred year, celebration of the founding of the State of Idaho. 

We have concentrated on "lasting legacy" events. These are events that will last far 
beyond the Centennial year. These projects are: Restore the Tabernacle Organ, Restore the 
Rexburg Carousel, and Restore the Madison County Courthouse. 

Other events include the Rexburg Post Office Stamp Cancellation, historical programs, 
Centennial Ball, Centennial Whoopee Days, Centennial Lion's Club Breakfast, and the Idaho 
IntJ'mational Centennial Folk Dance Festival. 

Idaho's birthday will be well celebrated in Madison County for many years to come. 

Louis J. Clements 

Madison County Centennial Committee Chairman 


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Idaho has a tremendous and diverse history. The very size and shape of the state would 
suggest a variety of histories in each area and would convey a more complete story than a 
general history would. However, this history is a preface to the more complete history and 
yearbook of Madison County and will, therefore, be general and brief. 

Idaho has had its share of Indian stories, mountain man adventures, lawmen and outlaw 
clashes, and pioneer building. From Lewis and Clark exploring in 1804-1806, to the first 
American Fur Post west of the Rocky Mountains at Fort Henry in 1810, to missionaries in the 
eariy 1830's, to the fur trapper rendezvous in Teton Valley in 1832, to the downfall of the fur 
business, to the first permanent settlers in Idaho in Franklin in 1860, to the discovery of gold in 
1861 in Northern Idaho, to the Nez Perce War with Chief Joseph in 1877, to the general 
settlement. We have had it all. 

There were three main reasons people came to Idaho after the fur trapping and exploring 
era. They were mining, religion, and farming. The miners came in 1861 beginning in Northern 
Idaho and also settling Western Idaho. The Mormons came from Utah to Eastern Idaho in the 
1880's in large numbers. The southern part of the state was settled in the eariy part of the 1900's 
when the Carey Act opened large areas of desert land for farming and supplied water for 


Idaho has a fascinating history. Many books have been written on the var)'ing aspects 
of the state. The reader is encouraged to search out the areas of interest to become more 
knowledgeable about our great State in its Centennial Year. 

Louis Clements 



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At the time Rexburg became a community, Madison County was a part of Oneida County 
which had been organized January 22, 1864, with Soda Springs as the county seat. Later the 
county seat was moved to Malad City. County business was conducted there until Bingham 
County was created on January 13, 1885, with Blackfoot as the county seat. The Rexburg area 
remained in Bingham County until March 4, 1893, when Fremont County was created. This new 
county embraced the territory which would subsequently be divided to form the additional 
counties of Clark, Jefferson, Madison, and Teton. 

Madison County was created by an Enabling Act of the Idaho Legislature on February 
18, 1913. It was the thirty-third county of the state. At the time of creation, its eastern 
boundary extended to the Wyoming line and included Teton Valley. The leading legislators 
agreed that the territory would be separated to organize Teton County in the next legislature. 
This was done in 1915, resulting in the present boundaries of Madison County. 

Though the legislature had passed the law providing for the creation of Madison County 
and the governor had signed the bill, the people needed to approve. Accordingly, an election was 
scheduled for November 7, 1913, to give the voters a chance of approving or rejecting what had 
been done. All of the voters of the then existing Fremont County were eligible to vote. The 
final vote was 1760 votes in favor of creating the county and 793 against. In Rexburg, 912 votes 
were cast and only seven voters disapproved of the creation of the county. 

On November 8, the day after the election, the governor had proclaimed the creation of 
Madison County. A big celebration was held in Rexburg. A program was held in the tabernacle 
and over five thousand people attended. A big barbecue was served and two steers, six pigs, six 
lambs, and two thousand loaves of bread were prepared for the activities. 

Governor Haines appointed the first officials of Madison County on November 14 as 
follows: John Taylor of Sunnydell, J. K. Orme of Sugar City, and R. G. Meikle of Clawson, 
County Commissioners; John Hegsted as auditor and recorder; Conrad Walz as assessor; Harr>' 
Randall as treasurer; Oliver C. Dalby as county attorney; I. N. Corey as sheriff; L. T. Perry as 
county school superintendent; and Ed W. Stacy as coroner. These officials entered in upon the 
performance of their duties on January 5, 1914. 

One of the first needs that faced the new county was to provide housing for the officials. 
Facilities were leased in the old Webster-Winter building on East Main (upstairs above the 
present day businesses of Bowen Music and the Subway.) A portion of the premises had been 
previously occupied by the Commercial Club. The old dance hall in the building was made into 
a court room and public and private offices were provided for all of the officers. A jail was built 
at the rear of the building with four cells. 

By December, 1920, the attractive and well-built courthouse seen today on the comer of 
East Main and Second East in Rexburg was finished. Charles J. Zollinger was awarded the 
contract for this structure which cost approximately one hundred twenty thousand dollars. 

The average elevation in the county is about five thousand feet. The county experiences 
cold winters with heavy snow. The summers are warm with cool nights and the fall season is 
an especially pleasant time. In 1920 the population of the county was 9,167 which was increased 
to only 9,186 twenty years later. In 1959 the number of families was 2,030 with a median 
annual income of five thousand, four hundred and seventy dollars. In 1960 there were 9,417 
people in the county. The 1970 census showed 13,452 residents in the county and in 1980 the 
census showed the population to be 18,667 in Madison County. 

Louis Clements 

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Rexburg observed her Centennial celebration in 1983, one hundred years after the original 
townsite had been surveyed by Andrew S. Anderson. This was seven years before Idaho was 
granted statehood. Rexburg was established by Mormon pioneers coming here from the Cache 
Valley area. Thomas E. Ricks was sent to colonize the new country by William B. Preston, his 
LDS Stake President. Details regarding the history of the Rexburg and Upper Valley settlement 
can be found in a number of history books. It is not the purpose of this report to get into 
detailed settlement history but instead to highlight the events that have made Rexburg the 
community it is today. The Rexburg community owes much to the spirit of cooperation that was 
evident when the first pioneers reached the valley. They banded together to build homes, 
business buildings, schools, churches, and irrigation systems. This cooperative spirit of 
successful Mormon colonial policy has continued throughout Rexburg's history and is still evident 

Rexburg was organized as a city on April 7, 1903. Henry J. Flamm was named the first 
mayor. He was succeeded two years later by John L. Jacobs. The new city administrations had 
the usual problems, streets needed to be built and maintained and law and order was a problem 
on Saturday nights when folks from the surrounding areas came to town and visited the three or 
four saloons. Also, stray animals roaming the town damaging gardens was a problem. The city 
fathers managed these problems rather well and they also planned for the future — in 1906 a 
proposal was put before the people to have the city install a centralized water system. This plan 
met with approval and that same year a bond to fund the water system was approved by the 
voters. Work was soon started to serve nine city blocks but before it was completed another ten 
blocks were added which would serve all the settled areas of the city. 

Rexburg has always been a progressive community. The first post office was established 
in 1894. Thomas E. Bassett was the postmaster. A sawmill was started in 1883 by William F. 
Rigby. The first bank was opened in 1901, by Ross J. Comstock and was called the First 
National Bank. Rexburg's J. C. Penney Store was opened in 1910 and it was the seventh store 
opened by Mr. Penney. 

Concrete sidewalks were first installed in 1913. The first paved streets were installed in 
1917 to 1919. The sewer system was installed in 1919. This progressive spirit has continued 
throughout the century. Today Rexburg has a population of 12,500 and is the tenth largest city 
in Idaho. The city has 50 miles of water mains. The sewer system totals over 35 miles and 
ser\'es all areas of the city. The city has three reservoirs with a storage capacity of 3.25 million 
gallons of pure water pumped from underground. The pumps have the capacity to pump 7.5 
million gallons daily. The waste water treatment plant can treat 5.5 million gallons of waste 
water per day. The city has forty miles of paved streets. 

Rexburg has 60 acres of developed parks providing a variety of recreational opportunities 
with picnic areas, baseball and Softball fields, soccer fields, football fields and tennis courts. The 
city also operates a heated swimming pool and water slide. The park system features a large 
Oirousel which has been designated as the Idaho Centennial Carousel. 

Two golf courses are operated by the city. The Municipal has nine holes and the Teton 
Lakes Course has 18 holes. A new park to be in operation this summer will feature walking and 



jogging paths, a natural fishing lake and picnic areas in natural settings. 

Agriculture is the economic base of the community with grains, potatoes, and livestock. 
Industry connected with agriculture is also important to Rexburg. There is a large Basic 
American Foods potato processing plant in the county along with a number of fresh pack 
operations. Louisiana-Pacific operates a sawmill in Rexburg using the Douglas Fir timber stands 
in the Targhee National Forest to provide dimension lumber products. 

Rexburg was the first headquarters for Diet Center, an international health and weight 
control franchise business. A mail order printing firm, Artco, is located in Rexburg and 
employees over 500 people. 

Unique to Rexburg is Ricks College. This two year college has an enrollment of 7500 
and is the largest two year privately owned college in the United States. It is owned and 
operated by the LDS Church. Its large campus features modem and well equipped teaching 
facilities including a large agricultural experiment farm. 

The city government of Rexburg is made up of a mayor and six councilmen. Through 
the years each administration has been progressive and active in improving the business and 
social life of the community. With the dedication of a new City Hall in 1985 the following code 
was adopted which has been followed since the city was founded. It follows: 

As an administration we strive for the following goals: 

1. To provide a city administration that serves all the people's wishes and reflects credit 
to the community. 

2. We will strive to promote public relations between the city government and the 
business people, civic groups, and individual citizens with full cooperation between these groups 
with elected officials and city employees. 

3. Provide a press relations program that keeps the public informed of city problems, 
projects and policies. This will enable citizens to provide informed advice to their city officials. 

4. Relations with adjoining cities and all other governmental agencies should be good. 
Cooperation is needed for maximum advantage and harmony to effect savings and planned 

5. City governments should follow a planned program that recognizes the limits of 
practical planning and zoning, yet which aims at balancing the city's needs with its land use. 

6. As a city administration we are ever aware that we are responsible for the well being 
of all the people who live in Rexburg, operate businesses, and above all, raise families. 

One other unique claim to fame for Rexburg is the fact that it is a "dry" city. It is the 
only city in Idaho with a population over 5,000 where liquor by the drink is prohibited. This 
makes us different. We are not prudes and we are tolerant of others, but we do take pride in 
being "Idaho's Dry City." 

Rexburg looks forward to the next 100 years. 

Mayor John C. Porter 

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Henry Flamm 1893 

Nathan Ricks 1895 

G. W. Woodvine 1896 

Jacob Brenner 1898 

John L. Jacobs 1899 

G. W. Woodvine 1900 

A. C. Hess 1901 

W. N. Stephens 1902 

Jacob Henry Flamm 1903 

Eli McEntire 1904 

John L. Jacobs 1905 

Hyrum Dewsnup 1906 

James W. Webster 1907 

Thomas E. Ricks 1909 

Robert G. Archibald 1911 

Nathan Ricks 1913 

Fred S. Parkinson 1915 

Nathan Ricks 1917 

John L. Bailiff, Jr. 1919 

R. G. Archibald 1921 

Lorenzo Y. Rigby 1923 

Peter Mickelsen 1927 

Arthur Porter, Jr. 1929 

Harlo B= Rigby 1935 

David W. Stowell 1937 

Joseph DeMott 1943 

Joseph M. Parkinson 1949 

Wayne M. Smart 1951 

J. Fred Smith 1953 

A. E. Archibald 1958 

Gilbert Larsen 1959 

Alois H. Brock 1966 

Henry Shirley 1970 

John C. Porter 1974 

Nile Boyle 1990 


A. L. Blackburn 1893 
A. M. Carbine 

A. M. Carter 1901 

George Emery 1904 

A. L. Blackburn 1905 

W. E. Gee 1909 

J. C Anderson 1911 

Albert Heath 1917 

Ray Gamer 1919 

George Liljenquist 1921 

James Blake 1927 

Tom Richmond 1933 

Edna S. Dietrich 1935 

Edna P. Hegsted 1937 

Gilbert McKinley 1946 

Loretta M. Rigby 1948 

Albert Smith 1965 

Beulah Johnson 1967 

Afton Anderson 1973 

Rose Bagley 1978 





The village of Rexburg was incorporated by the County Commissioners of Fremont 
County on July 11, 1893. The following were appointed as the first Board of Trustees: Henry 
Flamm, Chairman; T. J. Winter, Orson Wallman, Nathan Ricks, and James M. Cook. In 1903 
the village status was changed to a city with Henry Flamm elected Mayor. 

May 20, 1908, a committee was appointed to seek better quarters for the City Hall. They 
leased rooms under the First National Bank for two years. Early in 1909 a contract was awarded 
to build a new City Hall on North Center Street across from the new tithing office. 

The city canal was surveyed on March 15, 1883. By 1907 the City had established the 
first municipal water system with a well located at Second East and First South, A second well 
was put into operation in 1950 and in 1960 a third municipal well was drilled on the hill near 
the reservoir. By 1913 the City had ten miles of paved sidewalks which connected the main 
business houses and the residential areas. The Rexburg sewer system was laid in 1919. 

When the Post Office moved from the Grover Hemming building the City Hall moved 
to that location. After an explosion from a gas leak the City was forced to move to the Art 
Porter building. In February 1985 a new building was constructed on the old site where the 
present City Hall is now located. 

The first Fire Department was housed in a lean-to on William Bell's Blacksmith Shop 
property. When the City Hall moved into the Hemming Building the old City Hall was 
remodeled and made to house the fire station. 

Morgan Gamer 


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Sugar City was not settled in the typical way most other communities were in the area. 
Sugar City came into being because of an organized plan of the Idaho Sugar Company. The area 
that was to become the city had been homesteaded by Willard Ricks and C. B. Valentine. Most 
of the business in the area was conducted in Salem or Rexburg. 

In 1903 a group of businessmen in Salt Lake City, Utah, organized the Sugar City 
Townsite Company and purchased a plot of three hundred and twenty acres of land directly 
adjacent to that purchased by the Sugar Company. They then donated the land to the public for 
its use as a town. The plat for the Sugar City townsite was recorded on December 5, 1903. 

The sugar factory was completed and ready to receive beets in the fall of 1904. While 
the factory expanded with buildings the town was laid into block and lots. 

The LDS Church reported, "By the close of 1904, there were thirty-five houses, two 
stores, a hotel, an opera house, and several rooming houses; also, two lumber yards, a meat 
market, and a nine thousand dollar schoolhouse." 

Mark Austin supervised the planting of more than five thousand trees in the town during 
the first four years. A ten acre circular park was laid out for sports and other forms of 

Tlie Townsite Company built the first structure to be used as a public building in the 
center of the town. This building was called the Havemeyer Building and also the Opera House. 
It was a two story edifice with a department store and drug store facing the south and the 
telephone exchange and post office facing the east. The upper floor was occupied by an opera 
house, dance hall combination. The first and only newspaper, the Sugar City Times, was also 
in this building. 

The first store built was the Sugar City Cash Store in 1904. Violet M. Wallis was 
appointed postmaster on June 6, 1904, to become the first officially appointed postmaster in 
Sugar City, Idaho. The Fremont County Bank began in 1904 with a capital of ten thousand 
dollars. Shortly after the Sugar City Furniture Company was organized and commenced doing 
business in 1905. 

The town was incorporated as the Village of Sugar City on January 8, 1906. By then 
there was a magnificent school building built at a cost of ten thousand dollars and a beautiful 
stone meeting house and chapel at a cost of nine thousand dollars. 

The Sugar LDS Ward began in 1904. It was divided in 1935 to two wards which were 
reunited in 1945. In 1968 the ward was again divided. 

The Sugar Factory closed down in 1942 due to the decrease in beet acreage. Many of 
the buildings were torn down. In 1943 the old hotels which had been built by the company were 
used as a German Prisoner of War Camp. The camps closed in 1946. 

Of recent years, the erection of new public buildings and establishment of other city 
improvements, have demonstrated anew the deep and genuine civic pride which have 
characterized Sugar City during its history. City status was achieved in 1967. 

Louis Clements 

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Thomas Austin 


John Wilding 


Alfred Ricks 


Emery Thomas 


J. W. Phillips 


LaMar Banus 


Alfred Ricks, Sr. 


Glenn W. Dalling 


J. M. Smith 


Lawrence Grover 


Charles 0. Hamilton 


Lyle Moon 


Leffel A. Bean 


Rondo Barrus 


J. Kenneth Thatcher 



J. T. Worlton 


Henry Eddington 


Fred J. Heath 


Rondo Banus 


J. W. Stoker 


Margarita Ball 


Conrad Sorenscn 



Violet M. Wallis 


Christian Schwendiman 


Mons H. Anderson 


Ezekiel Holman 


Lavina A. Williams 


Lloyd Luke 


D. Rolla Harris 


Charlene McLain 



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The most physical devastation to visit Madison County in its short history was the 
collapse of the Teton Dam and the ensuing flood. 

There had been interest in using the Teton River Canyon for a power source and water 
storage beginning in 1904. Several sites were checked out but by 1962 the main emphasis was 
on the present location. Actual work began in 1972 with a 1976 finish date anticipated. 

The reservoir began to fill in the fall of 1975. The earth-filled dam was 1,690 feet thick 
and 305 feet high. At the top, it was 35 feet wide and 3,050 feet long. The reservoir was 17 
miles long and was almost completely full in June. 

On June 5, 1976, a leak was observed at 7:45 a.m. coming from the right abutment near 
the bottom of the dam. By 11:57 a.m. the dam was breached and the full force of the 80 billion 
gallons of water was unleashed upon the valley below. 

The official cause of the dam failure was the leakage of water through the canyon walls 
back into the interior of the dam causing erosion of dam material. This weakened the interior 
of the dam and allowed the pressure of the water in the reservoir to erode the dam further. When 
the dam was breached the reservoir water washed out the northern part of the dam clear to the 

bottom of the dam. 

Approximately 300 square miles of the valley was inundated. The waters flooded 80 
miles until it was contained by the American Falls Reservoir. There were eleven lives lost 
attributed to the flood. Major damage occurred in the towns of Sugar City, Rexburg, and 
Roberts. Between 16,000 and 20,000 head of livestock were lost. Thirty-two miles of railroad 
were damaged. Three thousand acres of farm land were destroyed completely. Property damage 
was estimated to run to nearly four hundred million dollars. 

Louis Clements 


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On September 22, 1920, a group of civic minded citizens met to discuss the establishment 
of a public library. John L. Bailiff, Mayor of Rexburg, was present and presided over thrs 
meeting. ^ original committee was made up of Mrs. S. H. Abbott, Mrs. L. F. Rich, Mrs. C. 
W Poole, Mrs. C. A. Walfrom, and Mrs. Parley Nelson. 

m County Commissioners gave the use of two com^ecting rooms in the Courthouse to 
be used for the library, Tl,e Commercial Club donated tables and chairs and the City Counc.l 
voted to donate $25.00 a month to be used for the Librarians salary. Schools conducted a book 
drive under the direction of Mrs. J. S. Webster. Books were inspected and catalogued. Mrs. 
Parley Nelson was appointed librarian. On December 28, 1921, with 500 books on its shelves, 

the library was opened to the public. 

With a growing number of books and growing use of the library, it was obvious a 
separate building was needed. The City of Rexburg donated a lot next to City Hall on North 
Center and on March 28, 1960, ground was broken for the new building. Ms building was 

dedicated February 22, 1961. , 

June 5 1976, this building was destroyed by the collapse of the Teton Dam. FoUowmg 

.he flood , library service was set up in the Ricks College Ubrary. In September, the library was 

moved to a remodeled room in the City Hall building. 

•n,e new and present library on the comer of 73 North Center was dedicated on July 27, 

1978. Since the construction of this building circulation has greatly increased as well as services. 

Morgan Gamer 




The idea for a tabernacle was presented to the Fremont Stake Presidency by a group of 
distinguished citizens in April, 1910. The proposal was presented at the Stake Priesthood 
Meeting, Saturday, April 9th and approved. There was a difference of opinion as to where it 
should be constructed but the present location was $4,000.00 less than a Main Street location so 
it was accepted. 

Contractors were requested to bid and when the bids were opened May 26th, F. L. 
McGrew of St. Anthony was the low bidder at $19,808.00. He was awarded the contract and 
began construction May 27, 1910. The contract called for construction to be of native stone. 
The building was to be completed by October 15, 1911. The funds for the building were 
provided by local donations. It provided a large meeting place for church, civic, educational, and 
community meetings. The basement was often used as a dance hall and/or banquet hall. 

The Teton Dam Flood ended the Tabernacle's use by the L.D.S. Church which sold the 
building to the City of Rexburg for $50,000. Again local donations plus a government grant 
provided funds to renovate and restore the building. Today it houses the Upper Snake River 
Valley Historical Society Museum in the basement and serves for community functions. In the 
renovation process the city was able to have the building listed on the National Register of 
Historic Places. 

Norman E. Ricks 




On April 1 1884, a Post Office was established in Rexburg. Thomas E. Bassett was the 
Postmaster. Prior' to this time the mail had been delivered to Egin and anyone passing there 
brought mail to friends in Rexburg. The new Post Office received mail directly from the tram 
at Market Lake and it was delivered by a pony express system from there. 

December 31, 1885, James H. Murphy was appointed Postmaster. November 9, 1886 
Walter Paul was appointed Postmaster. November 14, 1887, Mary M. Dye was appomted 
Postmistress and held this position for approximately five years. The Post Office was located 

in her home. , _ ^, . c^ ♦ 

In 1916 the Post Office was located next to Wrights Meat Market on East Mam Street. 
It was later moved to the comer of College and Carlson Avenue in the South East comer ground 
level of the Idamont Hotel Building. It then moved into the Grover Hemmmg buildmg on North 
Center Street present location of City Hall and then moved into the Dave Withers building on 
the comer of First North and 2nd East. From there it moved into the building they now occupy 
at 140 South Center in June, 1976. 

Morgan Gamer 


Thomas E. Bassett 
James H. Murphy 
Walter Paul 
Mary Dye 

Thomas E. Bassett 
Daniel Hopkins 

Dora Clegg 
Lorenzo Y. Rigby 

Samuel P. Oldham 
George A. Hoopes 

Willis J. Lyman 

Ephraim Willmore 

Paiiette W. Peterson 

Lorin Widdison 

Bill Scoutcn 

23 Jan 1884 Post Office was in his home. 
31 Jan 1885 Post Office was in his home. 
09 Nov 1887 Post Office was in his home. 
14 Nov 1887 Post Office with the school house, 

Mary lived in part of the school house. 
22 Apr 1893 Post Office was in his home. 

26 Apr 1897 Post Office established on Main Street, 

where Valley Bank is now. 
11 Mar 1901 Same building. 

27 Jan 1914 Post Office moved to Idamont Hotel building 

comer of College and Carlson Avenues 
30 Jan 1923 Same building, 
acting 24 Apr 1935, assumed charge 04 May 1935 

Same building, 
assumed charge 05 Aug 1949, confirmed 21 Dec 1950 

Post Office moved to North Center Street, 
assumed charge 31 Dec 1962 

Same building, 
acting 19 Jul 1963, confirmed 20 Dec 1963 

Same building, 
assumed charge 27 Jan 1967, confirmed 08 May 1967 

Post Office moved in 1975 to Second F>ast while the 

present post office was being constructed. The post 

office was moving in June 1976 when the Teton Dam 

07 Jan 1984 140 South Center. 





The intense bitterness that had developed between the Mormons and Anti-Mormons in 
Idaho in the 1880's caused the Saints to be unwilling to send their children to "gentile schools." 
As early as 1884, the L.D.S. people organized a private school in Rexburg where their children 
could be taught by their own people. Non-LDS, who did not want their children to attend these 
schools, had to send or take their children to one of the surrounding communities. 


On June 8, 1888, Wilford Woodruff, the Chairman of the Church Board of Education of 
the L.D.S. Church, recommended to the President of the Bannock Stake in Rexburg that a local 
Board of Education be formed for the establishment of a local Academy. Jacob Spori was the 
first principal of the school which opened in the First Ward Church Building on November 12, 
1888. It was called the Bannock Stake Academy. 

The Stake changed its name in 1898 to Fremont. The school's name was changed at the 
same time. Thomas E. Ricks passed away in 1901 and it was suggested by the First Presidency 
of the Church that the school be named after him. It was named Ricks Academy on March 5, 


The rock building (Spori) was completed in 1903 allowing the school to move from rooms 
in the community to the one central location. In 1915 college courses were added to the 
curriculum making Ricks Academy the first junior college in the Intermountain Region. 

Another name change came in 1918 when the school was known as the Ricks Normal 
School. The new gym building to the west of the existing rock building was dedicated on 

November 22, 1919. 

The Depression hit the Rexburg area hard. Financial woes caused the Church to abandon 
monetary support of Ricks in 1930 and brought an offer to give the school to the State of Idaho. 
This problem caused much concern to the community during the 1930's. The offer was fmally 


The future of the school was in considerable turmoil as it became a four year college m 
1948 and then went back to a two year school in 1954. In 1956 the Kirkham Auditorium was 

finished and put to use. 

In 1958 came the announcement that Ricks College would move to Idaho Falls. Not smce 
the offer to give the school to the State of Idaho had such a notice brought such an emotional 
response from the community. Utters and delegations were exchanged between the Upper 
Valley and the headquarters of the Church. Finally came the announcement in 1961 of a buildmg 
program to commence at the college property in Rexburg. This ended the attempts to move the 

school. . , . , u -jcnn 

Expansion continued periodically until the present campus was achieved with about 75UU 
students enrolled in 1990. 




Prior to the creation of Madison County in 1913, the schools were administered by 
Fremont County authorities. All of the small rural schools of this vast area of Eastern Idaho had 
an educational curricula which extended from first to eighth grades. 

Unlike most other school districts in Idaho, the Rexburg Class A Independent District No. 
1 (Madison County #321) did not have a graduating class of seniors until the spring of 1930. 
They did have a two year high school program beginning in 1923. The large number of Mormon 
families in the community took advantage of the Ricks Academy for their high school years. 
Students finishing the eighth grade prior to 1923 went directly to the Ricks Academy. After 
1923 they moved to the Academy after their tenth year. 

The phasing out of the juniors and seniors from the college began in 1927. This was the 
first year the school had football and the basketball team took the state championship being led 
by Conley Watts. 

The 1947 legislature of Idaho enacted laws to implement a state -wide program for the 
reorganization of the schools of the state. At this time there were four Independent districts in 
the county with three high schools and fourteen large and small common school districts. Two 
Class A School Districts were proposed for the county rather than a single county unit. This 
opinion was based on the conviction that a large majority of the people in the Sugar City area 
were for two independent districts. This plan was submitted to the state and they approved the 
creation of the two districts. 

The first business for the new District 321 was to build a new high school in Rexburg. 
They tried unsuccessfully during the early 1950's to pass a bond for the new building. It finally 
passed in October of 1953. The high school was dedicated in 1955 and consisted of fourteen 
classrooms, a library, a gym, and administrative offices. 

In 1960 additional classrooms were added linking the gym building with the classroom 
section providing badly needed classroom space and office facilities. In 1963 the Industrial Arts 
wing was added to provide badly needed classroom area. 

An attempt was made in 1966 to consolidate the Madison County and the Sugar City 
Districts into one unit. The proposal was presented to the voters in each of the school districts 
and at the polls. The Sugar City voters soundly rejected the proposition. 

As a result of the vote, the Madison School District took the initiative and purchased a 
thirty acre tract of ground adjacent to the northeast city limits of Rexburg. The voters of the 
district approved the issuance of bonds for the major portion of the cost of constructing a new 
high school in the spring of 1972. It was completed in the fall of 1973. 

Since this time there have been many remodeling projects in the district. Several of the 
elementary buildings have been added to. The roof of the Hibbard Elementary collapsed because 
of heavy snow and had to be replaced. The latest addition was to the high school. A new gym 
and several classrooms were added and put in use at the beginning of the 1989 school year. 

The ninth grade began school as a part of the high school in the fall of 1989. The 
addition of more classrooms to the high school began in the spring of 1990. 



The first students in the Sugar City and Salem area went to Salem to school as early as 
August, 1890. The Park School was erected in 1904 at a cost of $10,000.00. It was so named 
because of its location in the large park in Sugar City. It housed the first high school in the 
county. Enrollment was so high that by 1906 some classes had to be moved to a room in the 
bank building. 

There were schools in Moody in August, 1900, and at Edmunds in Februar>', 1986. In 
1908 a large rock building was built west of the railroad tracks. By 1914 it had reached the 
requirements of the State of Idaho to become a standard high school. The name given to this 
school was "Sugar-Salcm High School." It was this same year in which the first class graduated 
having completed a full four year curriculum. 

In 1916 the high school was moved to the upper floor of the Townsite Building. 
Eventually the high school occupied the whole building. During the years, improvements were 
made. A gymnasium was added. 

In 1939 an auditorium was bought for the high school for one dollar. It was the old bank 

In 1953 the Rock Elementary building burned down. The building was only partially 
covered by insurance but the community rose to the occasion to provide more classrooms. 

In 1966 a very modem elementary school building was built in the eastern part of the 
town. This building was destroyed in the Teton Flood in 1976. In its place was built the 
Thomas D. Kershaw Intermediate School dedicated in 1980. 

Added to the high school complex in 1967 were the bus shop and an industrial art 

Tremendous growth in the population of the schools in the 1980's created the need for 
more buildings. A new high school was dedicated on July 14, 1989 in the southeast comer of 
the town. 

Louis Clements 



L.D.S. (Momion) Church 

The Bannock Ward was created on December 18, 1882, as a part of the Cache Valley 
Stake. Thomas Edwin Ricks was chosen bishop. This was the largest ward in the whole Church 
at that time. The boundaries of the ward extended north, east, and west of the mouth of the 
Portneuf Canyon. 

The ward status was changed to a stake on Februar)' 4, 1884. Bannock Stake was created 
then with Bishop Ricks named as the Stake President. On April 27, 1884 the Rexburg First 
Ward was the first to be organized in the new stake. The following communities existed at that 
time and were made wards within the new stake: Lewisville, Menan, Lyman, Teton, Wilford, 
lona, Parker, and Salem. 

The Bannock Stake continued to grow and expand during the next decade so that by 1890 
there were twelve more wards and three thousand, eight hundred and sixty-one people in this 
stake of Zion. A division of the stake took place during the conference on June 9, 1895. The 
territory south and west of the forks of the Snake River was organized into the Bingham Stake 
leaving the northern part as Bannock Stake. 

The Bannock name was changed to Fremont Stake on August 6, 1898. The newly created 
stake south in Gentile Valley was to get the name of Bannock. The name Fremont came from 
the early explorer. The continued growth of the Church population in the Fremont Stake 
(Rexburg) resulted in further divisions with the Teton Stake being created on September 2, 1901 
and the Yellowstone Stake on January 10, 1909. 

A proposal to construct a tabernacle in Rexburg was made on April 7, 1910. The building 
was to be sixty by one hundred and twenty feet and would cost twenty-five thousand dollars. 
It was dedicated on January 7, 1912. 

Although the headquarters of the stake had always been in Rexburg, the name of the stake 
continued to be Fremont. This caused some confusion as the Fremont Stake was located in 
Madison County and not in Fremont County. To solve this problem the name was changed to 
the Rexburg Stake on June 23, 1935. 

Ten years later, on October 28, 1945, owing to an increased stake population, it was 
divided into the Rexburg and North Rexburg Stakes. Further divisions have created the Rexburg 
East Stake on June 1, 1975, the Sugar City Stake on May 4, 1980, and the Rexburg Center Stake 
on October 24, 1982. 

The above five stakes are the home to thirty-four wards of approximately four hundred 
persons each. There are also four stakes and thirty-three wards to serve the students of Ricks 

St. Patrick's Cathohc Church 

The St. Patrick's Catholic Church is loaited at 38 South Third West in Rexburg. In 
August, 1901, Samuel Ricks gave a portion of his property at the above address to the church 
and shortly after a building was erected. In 1967-08 the former church was torn down and 
immediately replaced with a new and attractive edifice located in the same place, llie church 
provides adequate facilities for the Catholic membership in the valley. 


Jehovah's Witnesses 

The Rexburg Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses was organized in the middle 1940's, 
when members from the counties of Teton, Fremont, and Madison commenced to meet at 
Rexburg. The site for a regular meetinghouse was acquired and a one room log structure was 
erected in 1954 on South Fifth West in Rexburg. Since then a modern building has been built 
in St. Anthony to serve the needs of the valley members. 

Rexburg Community Presbyterian Church 

The members of the Rexburg Community Presbyterian Church meet in a historical brick 
building located on College Avenue and First South. Reverend James C. Carver was appointed 
by Kendall Presbytery in November, 1910, to serve the area. There were enough community 
members in Thornton by 1917 that they decided to build a building there to hold Sunday School. 
The Thornton church building was used on May 25, 1919, when the Thornton Congregation met 
for organizing. On August 12, 1962, the two groups merged into the Rexburg Church. At 
present there is a move to have this building listed on the National Register for Historical Sites. 

Grace Baptist Church 

The Baptist Congregation started meeting in Rexburg in 1976. The first Pastor was Jerry 
James, Richard Hartman is the present Pastor and their services are held at 262 North Second 
West in Rexburg. 

Lutheran Church 

The Lutheran Church has been meeting for several years in the Catholic Church located 
at 38 South Third West in Rexburg. Reverend Ken Schaver of Ashton is in charge. 

Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church 

The Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church was started on the North Highway near Sugar City 
in 1987 by Reverend Randy Everett. 

Louis Clements 



Rexburg Lion's Club 

Fifty years ago the Rexburg Lion's Club was chartered. The date was June 20, 1940. 
Charter members were: Floyd L. Adams, Walker W. Admire, John M. Anderson, James D. 
Barrett, Eldred L. Braithwaite, Howard M. CuUimore, Louis J. Woolsworth, Coleman B. Ensign, 
C. S. Green, Ross Harris, Burt O. Howard, Dan B. Hoopes, Joseph H. Horkley, Robert M. Kerr, 
Jr., Howard L. Levine, J. Harold Matson, Arthur M. Morris, T. Ray Payne, Ralph Peterson, Dr. 
Blair C. Rich, O. V. Robinson, Henry M. Shirley, John J. Skelton, William Burton Smead, 
Roland G. Weiser, and Irving A. Woodmansee. 

This club has been a force in the development of many major community projects. Some 
of those which they initiated are fund raising for the Madison Memorial Hospital, the Rexburg 
Golf Course, the Rexburg Swimming Pool, shelters at the city parks and repairs and 
improvements to the rodeo grounds. They have raised countless amounts of money through their 
annual Lion's Club breakfast, Lion's golf tournament, and the various food booths at fairs and 
rodeos. They donate all money received to numerous community projects. Local projects of the 
Rexburg Lion's Club include: sight and hearing screening for school children; assist in or 
purchase of eye glasses and hearing aids for local residents; receive and donate eye tissue for 
cornea transplants and provide programs to schools such as "skills for adolescence" and 

Records indicate the following men have served as President: Burton Smead, Blair Rich, 
Coleman Ensign, Ferrel Nelson, Robert Archer, T. Raymond Payne, Roland Weiser, Edward L. 
Powell, Lavar Peterson, Rolland Lovgren, L. Eugene Peterson, Jesse Welker, Merrill Skinner, R. 
W. Punington, Volney Oldham, Joseph Horkley, Carl Smith, Roy Summers, Charles Beesley, 
Reed Bell, Bill Weber, John Hasley, Glen Wood, Clinton Hoopes, Frank Webster, Dave Hall, 
Rex Ard, John H. Smith, Earl Hoopes, Jim Woods, Garr Gibson, A. Lyle Smith, Darrell Bell, Jim 
Howe, Verl Wilding, Robert Carlson, Don Ard, Ralph Huskinson, Tom Crosson, Dell Reed 
Carlson, Thomas Ricks, Bryce Bell, Garth Flamm, Steve Nelson, Bill Murry, Robert Carlson, 
Thomas Ricks, Paul H. Drake. 

Five past presidents of the Rexburg Lion's Club have served as District Governors to 
Lion's International. They are: Roland G. Weiser, R. W. Purrington, Carl Smith, Rex Ard and 
Robert Carlson. 

There is a saying in Rexburg "if you want to raise money for a project, give it to the 
Rexburg Lion's Club." 

Rotary Club 

The Rexburg Rotary Club is a member of Rotary International. Rotary International was 
organized in Chicago in 1905 by Attorney Paul Harris with the lofty aim of bettering the world 
through weekly community meetings and discussions. 

Interest in forming a Rotary Club in Rexburg began in March of 1920 when Frank Turner 
and E. L. Walker were in Idaho Falls on business and unexpectedly met their mutual friend, M. 
B. Yeaman. Yeaman informed them that he was on his way to Boise to attend the Rotary 
Conference of District 20. He suggested that a club be organized in Rexburg and said that the 
matter could be presented to the Boise conference if they thought it was a good idea. Turner and 


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Walker were sure Rexburg wanted a club. 

Returning home they contacted Ross J. Comstock and the three of them set about to 
recruit a representative group of Rexburg businessmen for membership in a Rotary Club. 
Comstock called Joe T. Young at the Boise conference and informed him of what was being 
done and Young, Yeaman, and Joseph Cardon then presented the application for a charter to the 
District conference. The application was accepted and the charter was granted. 

The Rexburg businessmen who had expressed interest met and it was agreed that from 
them there be chosen 25 who would be charter members. This was done by picking the 25 who 
had been in business longest in Rexburg. The rest of the men were placed on a waiting list and 
were brought into the club, three each week, after the formal presentation of the charter. The 
group selected Ross J. Comstock as the club president and he held several meetings during the 
summer to discuss fundamental principles of Rotary in order for everyone to have an 
understanding of what Rotary was and what it stood for. 

The first regular meeting of the club was held on September 29, 1920, in the W.O.W. 
Hall. At this meeting the Rotary Clubs of Pocatello, Blackfoot, and Idaho Falls were present. 
The charter presentation was made by Joe T. Young, a former Rexburg man, who was the 
District Governor of Rotary at that time. Thus the Rexburg Rotary became Club #749 of Rotary 
International and the first ser\ice club to be organized in Rexburg. 

Over the years the Rotary Club has supported many good causes in the community. 
Annually they sponsor students to attend Boys and Girls State in Boise. They have donated 
money to health drives, restorations, community pride projects, the publication of the "History 
of Rexburg," as well as many other worthwhile projects. 

One of their most notable accomplishments was the purchase of the property for Beaver 
Dick Park and its original development in partnership with the Madison County Sportsmen 
Organization. They also have added to the Rexburg City Parks with the building of a picnic 
shelter on the North side of Porter Park in 1973; the building of the Rotary Kiddie Park in Smith 
Park in 1983; and the construction of the Rotary Gazebo, also in Smith Park in 1987. 

Rotary is a service organization whose reason for being is to provide substantive service 
in our communities and around the worid. The club motto is "Service Above Self." Current 
membership in the Rexburg club is 55. 

Charter members were: W. Lloyd Adams, attorney; John X. Anderson, grain elevators; 
Roscoe L. Bigler, druggist; Alfred E. Carlson, plumber; Ross J. Comstock, banker; Ralph J. 
Comstock; Haz C. Duffin, wagon & machinery; Henry J. Flamm, merchant & legislator; William 
E. Gee, banker; Victor W. Grace, garage; C. Arthur Harris, farm equipment; Ed J. Jacobs, 
contractor; Chris Jensen, general merchant 6i legislator; George R. Larson, music; Samuel P. 
Oldham, postmaster; Charles W. Poole, attorney; Hyrum E. Poole, oil business; Steve J. Skelton, 
meat market; Richard H. Smith, farmer, legislator; Clint Sundberg, architect; Abe M. Thorp, 
merchant; Ernest Thorton, car business; Esmond L. Walker, real estate; Joseph Walker, M.D.; 
James R. Young. 

Rexburg Soroptomist Clii!) 

The Rexburg Soroptomist Club was chartered on May 27. 1957. under the sponsorship 
of the Idaho Falls Soroptomist Club, with 19 charter members. Annette Porter was the first 
president. Club presidents through the years have included 10 charter members.* 


57-58 Annette Porter * 73-74 Donna Ellis 

58-59 Viola Dick * 74-75 Marilyn Sommer 

59-60 Yordis Wilding * 75-76 Darlecn HoUist 

60-61 Vera Larsen * 76-77 Betty Rowan 

61-62 Alice Tout 77-78 lola Jcppescn 

62-63 Ruth Henderson * 78-80 Marilyn Sommer 

63-64 Helen Bauer * 80-81 Ethel Mae Reese 

64-65 Edith Thompson Peterson * 81-82 Judy Davis 

65-66 Mildred Thompson * 82-83 Rose Bagley 

66-67 Maxine Prestwich 83-84 Colleen Roundv 

67-68 May Davenport 84-85 Marilyn Fife 

68-69 Yordis Wilding * 85-86 Mary Lee Hill 

69-70 Darlene Blackburn 86-87 Elizabeth Bossard 

70-71 Carma Bird 87-88 Bettyann Ostertag 

71-72 Cara Newman 88-89 Judy Eckman 

72-73 Myrle Engberson 89-90 Joyce McBride 

90-91 Patti Thibault 

Meetings were held in the basement of the "Rainbow Sport Shop" on Carlson Avenue. 
De Wayne and Yordis Wilding owned the building and the shop. In the Fall of 1968 the meetings 
were changed to the Idamont Hotel. Meetings were also held at Stockman's Cafe, Walker's, Me 
'N Stans and the Raintree. In the fall and spring following the flood of 1976, we held meetings 
in Mary Smith's office, brown bagging for lunch. 

While meeting in the Rainbow Sport Shop basement, the luncheons were prepared by the 
members. The meals cost $1.25 and these funds were put into the general fund to be used on 
service projects. The club purchased a piano, dishes, and silverware which were used for the 
meetings. The club has been meeting in a variety of places including Golden Corral, Frontier 
Pies, Me 'N Stans and the County Library. 

Service projects have been many, all of which include time, energy, and money given to 
the handicapped, the needy, the youth, and senior citizens. The first major project was a TV for 
Madison County Hospital. Other donations to the hospital included Christmas tree, Hoyer patient 
lift, refurnishing of foyer, $1000 for heart equipment, $500 for snack bar, and $200 to State 
Hospital in Blackfoot. 

Through the years Rcxburg Soroptomist Club has contributed to: Boise Childrens Home, 
Satellite Development Center, Opportunity and Retarded Schools, Madison Junior Miss Contest, 
Rexburg Senior Citizens, Ricks College Scholarship, Ricks College Student Loans, "Make it with 
Wool" Contest, Municipal Swimming Pool, Parties at Nursing Home. County and City sponsored 
Health Programs, Madison County Public Nurse Scholarship, BYU-Ricks Education Week, 
Madison High School signs and stage lights, Soroptomist Road Insignias in the city, record 
albums to schools. Crosswalk signs, Goodfcllow Project, Handicap Ramps, Safehousc for 
Battered Women and Children, Nampa School for Retarded, Public Library. Johnstown fltK^d 
victims, Musical Heritage Fund, The needy, Rapcline. Girls State. Fair Board. Merry-go-round, 
Beaver Dick Park. Jaycees. Rcxburg Chamber of Conmicrcc. "I'outh Traniing Center, and 
Centennial Carousel. 


Community projects to which we've donated include City-County Library, Bleachers at 
Madison County Fairgrounds, Little League Baseball, Jr. League Bowling, Girls State delegates. 
Teen Town, Deaf Blind School at Gooding. We have helped as a club in community projects 
such as immunization clinics, annual community Bar-B-Que, Harvest celebrations, Red Cross 
blood drive, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, CARE, Industrial Training 
School, and the Stella Bell School for the Handicapped in Rexburg. 

Each fall, about Christmas time, is the club's yearly efforts to administer, donate and 
receive donations for the Goodfellow Fund. The food, toys, and gifts donated or purchased with 
collected fimds are distributed to needy families in the county. 

From the first major project to the present, the club's activities and donations to the 
communit) projects have earned for them the reputation as an outstanding and effective service 

Each year a scholarship is given to an outstanding young man or women called the Youth 
Citizenship Award. Another scholarship is given to a woman who is seeking to further her 
education '::alled the Training-Re-Training Award. This award is given to older women who are 
going back to school and usually have a family to support. 

The Ways and Means projects have been numerous with the rummage sale being the best 
money maker. A spring luncheon each year, fashion show, bridal shows, concessions at fairs, 
chili cook-off, craft bazaar as well as other small projects have helped to generate funds. A 
major project is the highly successful Christmas Home Show. 

The Rexburg Soroptomist Club hosted the State meetings in 1964 and 1982. 

MadisoD Lions 

Madison Lions was chartered in August of 1983 by the Rexburg Lions Club and was 
originally planned to be Lions Monarch Club for those past Lions (and other members of the 
community) who are over the age of 60. While getting the members for the club it was learned 
that there were other people that would like to join. The charter idea was changed to have a 
morning club because it was a much more convenient time for members to get together. 

Presidents over the years include: J. D. Hancock, 1983-84; Ron E. Moss, 1984-85; Jim 
Sessions, 1985-86; Dave Pincock, 1986-87; Michael Rowberry, 1987-88; George Quarez, 1988- 
89; Richard Bird, 1989-90; F. Martell Grover, 1990-91. 

Projects that we have been involved in encompass Diabetic Screening, Miss Upper Valley 
Pageant, Picnic in Park, Fair Booth, Easter Hunt, Patriotic Essay Contest, Premier Movie Show, 
Building Stage at Tabernacle, Rexburg's 1990 Service Club of the year, and we also assisted with 
The Whoopee Days Parade, Red Cross Blood drawing, Goodfellows, Sight & Hearing Screening, 
and Radio Service for the Blind. 

Meetings are presently being held at Heritage Manor Lounge at 7:00 a.m. on the first and 
second Wednesday of each month with board meetings on the last Wednesday. 

Rexburg Kiwanis Club 

The Kiwanis Club of Rexburg, Idaho was chartered in November of 1958 with Richard 
L. Davis as its first president. Club presidents in the order that they served are as follows: 



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1959 - Richard Davis 1967 

1960 - Harold Hill 1968 

1961 - Gordon Thatcher 1969 

1962 - Weston Lawrence 1970 

1963 - Warren Porter 1971 

1964 - Tommy Miyasaki 1972 

1965 - Terrell Arnold 1973 

1966 - Blaine H. Passey 1974 

1983 - M. Rex Bennion 1986 

1984 - H. Brent Hill 1987 

1985 - D. Joshua Holt 1988 

Ross N. Reese 1975 

Barton Jensen 1976 

Kay W. Beck 1977 

Nile L. Boyle 1978 

Joe Sellers 1979 

Keith Larsen 1980 

Charles Grant 1981 

Ronald Fife 1982 

Dean Dalling 1989 
Randall D. Sutton 1990 

Jerry Merrill 1991 

Bill Jones, Alan Clark 

Alan Clark 

G. Farrell Young 

Gary Archibald 

David L. Crowder 

David Adams 

Kent Archibald 

Jeff Walters 

Ed Hill 

Brian Korth, David Taylor 

Jim Sipp 

In the tradition of service clubs, the Rexburg Kiwanis Club has been a great asset and 
contributor to the area with community projects and financial assistance to many projects over 
the years, including the following: Helping create the sportsman park West of Rexburg, Erecting 
basketball standards at both city parks. Horseshoe pits at Porter Park, Helped construct the new 
library before the flood, Painted and helped maintain the picnic area at Smith Park, Sent students 
to boys and girls state from both Sugar-Salem and Madison School Districts on an annual basis, 
and Sponsored Circle K and Key Clubs at Ricks College and Madison High School. 

Our current membership is 48 members. An interesting highlight during Richard Davis' 
administration (1959) is the fact that they were meeting at the old Idamonl Hotel dining room 
at the same time Eleanor Roosevelt was registered there for a speaking engagement and she very 
graciously came and spoke to the club. 

The Rexburg Jaycees 

Tlie Rexburg Jaycees was chartered on the 30th of August, 1948 as membership charter 
#2467. Jaycees was the shortened name of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce for 
young men between the ages of 21 to 36. In the seventies the age was changed from 21 to 18 
through 36. Along with the equal rights movement at this same time, women were admitted to 
the Jaycees. Jaycees helped to teach its members leadership skills through community action 
projects. As you can see from the list of past presidents they are the leaders of today. 

The following were 


The following were projects 

John A. Atkinson 


Scoreboard at Porter Park 

Howard Fritzpatrick 


Handicap Olympics 

Sterling Rich 



Jim Hadlock 


Jr. League Baseball 

Ben Shirley 


Jr. League Golf 

Jerald HoUey 


Jr. Miss Pageant 

Vein Liljcnquist 



Me/lin Liljenquist 


Radio Days 

Ted E. Ellis 


Back Stops at High School 

Robert Webster 


Fix up baseball dug outs 


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Terrell L. Arnold 


Farmer of the Year 

Ted Walters 


Educator of the Year 

Charles Zollinger 


Christmas Lighting Contest 

Keith Larsen 


Businessman of the Year 

Leon Scarle 


Bag of Oranges Sales 

Wallace Bell 


Drug Abuse Program 

Harry M. Brunson 


Bicycle Safety Program 

LeRoy Zollinger 


Built South Shelter at Porter Park 

Terry M. Brunson 


Roofing Library Building 

Frank Bell 


Miss Rexburg Pageant 

Stephen A. Smith 


4th of July Food Booth 

Ted J. Mortensen 


Back Stops at Parks 

Ron E. Moss 


Patriotic Program 

Ron Gibb 


1976 State's Best Club 

John H. Magleby 


Two Henry Giessenbier Memorial Awards 

Boyd H. Webster 


Haunted House 

F. Martell Grover 


Funds for NRA Rifle Range 

Larry Boehner 


Shopping Spree 

Ron Gibb 


One National Young Fainier Winner 

Albert Knutson 


Two State Young Farmer Winners 

J. D. Hancock 


Wendel Lewis 


Stephen R. Bryant 


Alan Gallup 


Craig Byington 


The charter was dropped in the summer of 1980 after 32 years of service to the Rexburg 
Community. Many great projects have been done by the Jaycecs through the years. Some of 
these are still here today. 

The Rexburg Civic Improvement Club 

The Rexburg Improvement League, now known as the Rexburg Civic Improvement Club, 
was organized on September 22, 1920. On that date Mrs. S. H. Abbott and Mrs. Sarah Ahlstrom 
Nelson, recognizing the great need for a public library in Rexburg, recruited a number of 
interested women to attend a meeting at Mrs. Abbott's home. The club was organized with the 
express purpose of working for "a library and other civic improvements." 

Mrs. S. H. Abbott, who became the first president of the club, had been a teacher before 
her marriage. She and her husband moved to Rexburg from Iowa and she soon became part of 
the community, working in the Presbyterian church as well as participating in civic affairs. 

Mrs. Sarah Ahlstrom Nelson had moved to Rexburg with her husband, a mcdiail doctor, 
from Manti, Utah, in 1918. She was a published poet and the recipient of several literary awards 
durinii her lifetime. With the establishment of the librarv the foUowinii vcar. Mrs. Nelson 
became the first librarian. 


Other charter members of the club were Mrs. C. W. Poole, Mrs. T. P. George, Mrs. C. 
A. Walfrom, Mrs. John Hunt, Mrs. John X. Anderson, Mrs. W. W. Barker, Mrs. J. W. Butte, 
Mary M. Corey, Mrs. Frand Davidson, Mrs. W. H. Faucette, Mrs. Bliss Gee, Margaret George, 
Mrs. George R. Larsen, Mrs. Nathan Levine, Mrs. John F. McMahon, Mrs. L. W. Nims, Mrs. 
Charles Proctor, Mrs. Homer Reed, Mrs. L. F. Rich, Mrs. H. A. Roemish, Mrs. Ray Tompkins, 
Mrs. P. 0. Thompson, and Mrs. Roy Yearsley. Joining within the year were Mrs. J. S. Webster, 
Mrs. E. O. Fitton, Mrs. O. M. Engdahl, Mrs. George W. Worthen, Mrs. W. H. Walker, and Mrs. 

Ed Ricks. 

The first library in Rexburg was formally opened on December 28, 1921. This was the 
begiiming of the work of the Civic Club. To add books to the library, each year they held 
cooked food sales, card parties, and in 1927 they started what became an annual rummage sale. 
This sale which lasted for a whole week became well known and was looked forward to by 
people in the community. It raised an annual income for the club of about $350 - pretty good 
for those days - and this money went to support the library. 

In 1928, the group voted to join the General Federation of Women's Clubs. This was a 
logical union as the General Federation has been responsible for the establishment of 75% of the 
public libraries in the United States. Having them as a parent organization helped the Rexburg 
club which continued for the next thirty years as the chief source of revenue and management 

for the Rexburg public library. 

In 1955, when it became possible to receive matching federal funds to build library 
buildings, the Rexburg Civic Club, under the chairmanship of Mr. K. S. (Lx)la) Webster, 
determined to raise the money to do this. For their efforts in this project, the club received 
national r(iCOgnition from the Federation. 

In fulfilling its two-fold purpose, the Rexburg Civic Improvement Cub has been involved 
in a great many projects for civic improvement, most notably the beautification of downtown 
Rexburg with planting of trees and flower beds. In 1978 they sponsored Mrs. LaMar (Ruth) 
Barrus as Idaho Mother of the Year, a contest which she won and in which she competed 
nationally. They initiated the writing of "History of Rexburg" by Dr. David Crowder in 1983 
and did much of the collecting of historical material that went into that book. They sponsor an 
annual Aj.1 and Poetry Contest in the local schools, giving many school children the opportunity 
to compete in a statewide contest. They have been active in services to the senior citizens as 
well as to the young people of the area and were co-sponsors and contributors to the shelter for 
battered women when it opened in Rexburg. 

In 1989-90, as a Centennial project honoring both the Idaho Centennial and the 
Centennial of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the Rexburg Civic Club has restored 
the vandalized pipe organ in the Rexburg Tabernacle Building at a cost of over $25,000.00. 
After being in storage since 1978, this fine instrument is once again in use in the beautiful and 

historic building. 

The Rexburg Civic Improvement Club is open to all women in the area. At present they 

have a membership of over 100 women. 

Terrell and Margaret Arnold 


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Past Presidents Include: 

Mrs. S. H. Abbott 
Sarah Nelson 
Floetta Webster 
Mary Corey 
Mabel Warner 
Lola Webster 
Elizabeth Poole 
Ann Graham 
Margaret Davis 
Mrs. C. L. Hi 11 man 
Adeline Levine 
Meriam Rigby 
Ivy Hoopes 
Margaret Payne 
Amy Hogge 
Mary Doherty 
Angie Lyman 

Annie Kerr 
Chloe Nelson 
Teddie Lou Wood 
Luceba Petersen 
Marguerite Hasley 
Mabel Jensen 
Thelma Potter 
Mae Huskinson 
Viola Porter 
Faye Clarke 
Karma Hoopes 
Geraldine Jacobs 
Ema Sellers 
Dawn Weick 
Lois Covington 
Sue Huskinson 
Sharon Hinckley 

Marilyn Hansen 
Oriole Beesley 
Elizabeth Lewis 
Norma Gam 
Belle Webster 
Raya Lewis 
Geraldine Jacobs 
Denice Rammell 
Ann P. Zollinger 
Lola Petersen 



Porter Park 

At a meeting of the Rexburg L.D.S. Stake Conference, Arthur Porter, Jr., Mayor of 
Rexburg from 1926 to 1932, heard the Relief Society president speak about the "disgusting 
condition" of the City Park. This park which covered Block 46 of the original townsite had been 
planted with poplars which were cotton bearing. Irrigation for the park was unsatisfactory which 
resulted in dust and cotton blowing about to the extent that the place was filthy to walk in and 
impossible to use for any other park activities. 

As a boy, Mayor Porter had worked in a nursery in Logan and he had a very great love 
for trees as well as a good idea of what would grow well in Rexburg. In his autobiography, he 
writes: "I visited parks in Salt Lake City and elsewhere and devised a plan for a new design and 
planting. . . . The council decided to adopt the plan. We decided to root up the trees (poplars) 
and plow up and re-level the east half to begin. Kenneth Webster agreed to remove the trees 
for $250.00 which we paid out of city funds. Most of the leveling was paid out of relief funds 
to men for whom we had to find work." 

"I wrote the state nursery and got plenty of shade trees of a better quality. These were 
free. They had maple, ash, locusts, some birches, Russian olives and pea trees available in ten 
or twelve sizes. The state was very cooperative and at the time had a pretty good selection 
suitable for public parks. We got plenty of evergreens of some varieties, but they were small. 
I wrote to several nurseries and offered to sell them advertising space in the Rexburg Journal in 
exchange for nursery stock. I obtained different varieties in this way and donated them to the 

"We bought lawn seed and planted lawns. The planting was done by relief labor. I got 
Alf Carlson to put in the sprinkling system. He donated much of the material also. He later 
contributed material and built some swings. He was very cooperative." 

"We built tennis courts, wading pool, and rest rooms mostly with relief labor. We had 
to buy some cement out of city funds, also some pipe. Some funds for material were contributed 
by service clubs, etc. The Utah Power and Light Company contributed the services of their 
surveyor to locate points or boundary lines. I spent much time at the park, super\ising all 
planting." In his statement on the condition of the City in 1930, Porter was very proud of the 
work that had been done in the park describing it as "a beauty spot that attracted the attention 
of everyone passing along the highway." 

In 1952 the carousel was added to the southwest corner and later the municipal swimming 
pool was put there also. Picnic shelters have been erected at both the south and the northeast 
corners. Bleachers and night lighting of the ball diamonds have added to the popularity of the 
park. TTie original design of the walks and plantings have remained as they were first drawn by 

In May, 1952. at the request of the Rexburg Civic Club, the Rexburg Lions Club and the 
Rexburg Planning Board, the city council passed an ordinance which designated this city park 
as the "Arthur Porter. Jr. Park." 

Smith Park 

Between Third and I'ourih East, just north of Main Street is beautiful Smitii Park. This 
block was originally owned b\ the L.D.S. Church and had been culti\ate(.i and fanned lor many 


years by rhe Rexburg First Ward or by people to whom they had rented it. In 1954 the Rexburg 
Plarming and Zoning Commission recommended that it be cx)nverted to a city park. 

With the cooperation of Bishop Russell Flamm and North Rexburg Stake President O. P. 
Mortenson, the offices of the L.D.S. Church in Salt Lake City were contacted. They approved 
the idea and made a gift of the entire block to the City of Rexburg. The Presiding Bishop's 
Office handled the transaction and a Quitclaim Deed was provided with the reservation that the 
property should be used solely as a park and that no organized games should be permitted on 

Mayor J. Fred Smith actively pushed the creation of the park, using city employees for 
much of the labor. A sprinkling system was put in and before the year was over grass had been 
planted and many trees purchased and donated by individuals. With combined efforts of 
employees and volunteer groups, lighted ball diamonds were developed on the north side of the 
park, plaj'ground equipment was installed and picnic shelters with fire pits were added. 

In 1962 an antique steam engine was placed in the park adjacent to Main Street. This 
engine was donated through the Rexburg Lions Club by Tom, Frank and Bill Webster. It had 
been owned by their grandfather, James W. Webster and was used on the Webster- Woodmansee 
fann in the early days of dry farming on the Rexburg Bench. 

Lighted tennis courts and basketball courts have been added to the park and in 1983 the 
popular Rotary Kiddie Park was built in the playground area. In 1987 the Rexburg Rotarians 
built a beautiful gazebo near the hill on the south side of the park. 

Because of the generosity of the L.D.S. Church in gifting the property, and through the 
activities of many individuals, groups, and service organizations, this park has become a valuable 
asset to the city. Its use continues to increase each year. 

Beaver Dick Park 

In the spring of 1960 the Madison County Fish and Game Association became very 
interested in establishing a park on the North Fork of the Snake River. The "Sportsmen," as the 
Association was popularly called, arranged to buy about 13 acres on the west side of the bridge 
on highway #33 from Alex Neiwirth and they needed help with the funding. The Rexburg 
Rotary Club was approached and agreed to join in the project. Legal work was done, and the 
park, to be known as the "Rotary-Sportsmen Park," became a reality. During the development 
of the park, the name was changed to "Beaver Dick Park" in honor of Richard Leigh, early fur- 
trapper of the region who had buried his entire family near the park in 1876 when they died from 

A cement boat dock was constructed, a well drilled, boat docks put in, and public rest 
rooms. Fireplaces were built from native stone salvaged from the Rexburg Third Ward and 
Lyman Ward church houses when these buildings were being demolished. Most of the labor was 
donated by service clubs and by the Sportsmen who held regular work nights every Wednesday 
evening. D. D. Wilding, who was president of the Sportsmen as well as a member of Rotary, 
supervised the project while his wife Yordis cooked meals for the workers. Some money from 
the improvements came from the Idaho Department of Parks as well as from private donations. 

In June of 1976 the Teton Dam flood completely inundated Beaver Dick Park destroying 
virtually all of the improvements. Kent Marlor of the County Civil Defense Committee was 
appointed by the commissioners to re-build the park. Working with the Comprehensive 
Employment Training people new boating facilities were built with restitution funds from the 


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B.O.R. and Waterways grant which was obtained. New grass was planted, picnic tables replaced, 
and fireplaces restored. In addition, the C.E.T.A. workers hauled in timber and built sturdy 
playground equipment, making the park more beautiful and useful than it had been before the 

flood. . 

As a result of having to restore this park at the same time as they were refurbishmg 
Quayle Lake Park and creating Twin Bridges Park, the county officers became aware of the 
importance of having a Parks Department. An ordinance was passed which created one. 

Quayle Lake Park 

Quayle Lake Park is situated on the northwest boundary of Madison County and contains 
a boat dock, rest rooms, and a pump house which operates a good sprinklmg system for watering 
the lawns. It was originally owned and operated on a limited scale by Fremont County. In 1977 
Madison County Commissioners under the direction of Chairman Keith Walker approached the 
Fremont County Commissioners with a proposition to join forces and upgrade the facilities, 
making it a first class park for the two counties. The suggestion was taken under advisement and 
Fremont Commission Chairman, James Siddoway, notified Mr. Walker that their decision was 
to offer the park to Madison County for the consideration of $1 and let them be solely 

responsible for it. 

Following transfer of the deed for the ground, Kent Marlor of the county civil defense 
office, coordinator for obtaining federal grants following the Teton Dam Flood, took charge of 
the renovation and upgrading of this park. Existing rest rooms were dynamited by county 
workers. New ones were built along with a pump house to take water from the lake and water 
lawns which were planted. A picnic shelter and boat dock were also built. Utah Power and 
Liglit assisted with bringing power to the park. All construction and landscaping labor was 
financed by the Comprehensive Employment Training Act of the federal government. A 
Waterways Grant provided funding. This made it possible to employ people who were unable 
to fmd work in Madison County as a result of the Teton Dam Flood Disaster. 

This park is a popular spot for summer recreation enthusiasts, particularly boaters and 

water skiers. 

Twin Bridges Park 

Twin Bridges Park is nestled on a 31 acre plot situated on the South Fork of the Snake 
River just west of Ririe Highway at the southern edge of Madison County. This pristine land 
is rich with wild life including ruff grouse, moose, deer, and elk. It is often used by scouts and 
by school units for the study of plant life native to this area. 

About five acres of the park have been developed with a well, camp sites, rest rooms, a 
covered picnic shelter, and a boat dock. A gateway with rock pilasters frames this section. 

This park came into existence following the Teton Dam Flood when the County 
Commissioners, under the direction of Chairman Keith Walker, authorized Kent Marior to seek 
federal funds for this purpose. The work was accomplished under his direction and with the use 
of workers paid from the Comprehensive Employment Training Act. These workers were mostly 
young people unemployed because of economic conditions brought on by the flood. The Bureau 
of l^nd Management gave the land to the county for the purpose of creating a park. 

Ann and Keith Zollinger 


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In 1950 a group of local men formed a corporation called Upper Snake River Valley 
Radio and Television Company, Inc., with the intended purpose of building a radio station in 
Rexburg. They were Seth Wood, Dr. M. F. Rigby, Russell Flamm, Edward Flamm, Dr. E. L. 
Soule, Tom Webster, and Howard Chapman. That these men were looking to the future is 
evident in their corporate name since there was no television in Eastern Idaho or, for that matter, 
in the entire state. A large building was erected on South Second East, high on the hill which 
was at the time a very remote site without a paved road. The building is now a student housing 
unit called The Chaparral. 

A 400 foot tower was built ... at least 200 feet more than necessar>'. The intent was to 
build both an AM and FM station. Thus the extra tall tower. They called it KRXK since they 
felt the "RX" sounded like "Rexburg." KRXK went on the air in Januar>' of 1951 with both AM 
and FM transmitters. At that time the only radio stations in Eastern Idaho were: KSEI and 
KWIK, both AM stations and both in Pocatello, and KID AM in Idaho Falls. KBLI AM in 
Blackfoot also went on the air in 1951 but it was later in the year. 

KRXK FM was not successful at that time primarily because it was too new an idea and 
there weren't more than a half dozen FM receivers in all of Eastern Idaho. When KRXK was 
sold to Alfred Eugene (Gene) Shumate in October of 1956 he immediately dismantled the FM 
equipment. In June, 1968, Shumate sold KRXK to an employee, Don Ellis. He sold the land 
and building separately so Ellis moved the station studios and office to a location on College 

By this time radio and television stations were abundant. KIGO AM had been added in 
St. Anthony, KZBQ AM in Pocatello, KIFI AM, KTEE AM and KUPI AM, all in Idaho Falls, 
and KBLI in Blackfoot. An interesting shuffling of stations in Idaho Falls occurred in 1965. 
Owners of KIFI AM built KIFI TV in 1961 and in 1965 they relinquished their radio frequency 
to KTEE AM who wanted to change their spot on the radio dial. They moved to the dial 
location formerly occupied by KIFI and KIFI ceased being a radio station. 

Following close behind the AM stations FM stations began to jump up like springtime 
flowers . . . most under the same ownership as the AM stations. 

KID TV was the first television station in Eastern Idaho followed by KIFI TV and KPVI 
TV. In Madison County an FM station, KADQ, owned by Ted Austin Sr., was built in 1975 and 
KRXK added its FM in 1986. In addition Ricks College installed its own FM Station, KRIQ 
which is a non-commercial station licensed by the FCC as a part of public broadcasting and, as 
such, is not allowed to sell advertising. 

The Teton Dam Flood wiped out KRXK. The station was rebuilt and back on the air in 
five days at its present location North of Rexburg on the Cemetery Road. KADO. which was 
in a second story location at the time survived. KADO FM is now at 90 South 1(H) West. 
currently under the ownership of Ted Austin, Jr. 

KIGO AM in St. Anthony is now off the air, probably never to return. Station KTEE AM 
in Idaho Falls also has recently gone "silent." Both KIGO and KITE were victims of the 
growing popularity of FM broadcast and the over saturation of broadaist stations in the valley. 

In October, 1981, KRXK owner Don Ellis sold the property to a Montana corporation 
called Tri County Radio, Inc. Tri County Radio operated the station until mid 1989 when Ellis 
again took over ownership. One of the first things Ellis did was request a call letter change for 
the FM, which was called KKOr FM. Flic I'CC appro\cd the request and now it is KRXK AM 
and KRXK FM. 

Don liiis 



The first airport was located on what is now Ricks College property. This was a 160 acre 
farm on the west side of Second East directly west of the current Rcxburg City Reservoir 
beginning at approximately Sixth South. This airport was established as near as we can 
determine in the early 1940's. There is still on this property a cinder block building which was 
the original hangar and the only one on the field. The runway began about 100 feet south of this 
cinder block building and ran to the southwest along the hill for about 1800 feet. Most of the 
time there was only about 1300 to 1500 feet useable, because of the weeds and rocks on the end. 
This was strictly a dirt strip with no gravel base, so it was used after it had dried out in the 
spring or in the winter for airplanes equipped with skis. 

Ricks College started using this field for training with two Ercoupe airplanes in the spring 
and summer of 1946. 

Most of the labor in keeping up the airport was done by volunteers. Airplanes began 
increasing in horsepower and number of seats so it was felt there was not enough room to expand 
at the present location. In 1948 a 40 acre farm on 7th West and Main became available so it was 
decided to move the airport to its present location on the west side of town, provided funds could 
be made available. The Rexburg Mayor asked Eldon Hart if he would approach the President 
of Ricks College, John L. Clarke, to find out if they would buy the old airport near the college 
at the price of $5,500.00. John L. Clarke agreed and the purchase was completed. 

The new airport was started by volunteers. The main grading was done by Lowell 
Barrick who owned Lobnitz Construction Company and was in the land leveling business. The 
first building on the new airport was built by Samuel Hollist of Teton, who was killed about one 
year later in an airplane accident in Montana. This is the present building being used by Merrill 
Christensen doing business as Rexburg Airservice. The next building, which at first was only 
two strong walls, was built by Eldon Hart furnishing all the materials and his masonry students 
doing some of the labor in 1948. 

In 1973 the airport received funds from the Federal Aviation Administration to improve 
the runway and put in lighting. Private individuals in the mean time had built their own hangars 
on the field. In October 1972 Ricks College decided they were going out of the aviation business 
at the close of school in 1973. Therefore, at the request of Henry Eyring, the president of Ricks 
College, Eldon & Julina Hart formed a non-profit corporation. Aero Technicians. Inc., to carry 
on the Ricks College Aviation Department. This required the construction of the present facility. 
Construction began in October 1972 and was used by Ricks College Januar>' 1st until May 15, 

The airport is currently operated by an airport board consisting of two members appointed 
by the county and two members appointed by the city and one member jointly appointed. 

Eldon Charles Hart 



In the nineteen twenties you walked to school. In the nineteen thirties you walked or rode 
a farm bus. Very few of these operated. One such bus was Walter Muir's bus. Taking his 
children to school he picked up everyone along the way. It was a made over sheep camp, having 
a stove for heat in the front and a bench on each side for students to sit. If you got on last you 
stood in the middle and in winter it seemed a long way from any heat. This bus was horse 
drawn with wheels in fall and spring and sleigh runners in winter. Several other farmers around 
the area would put a shell or canvas on their trucks and transport their children and neighbors 
to school. 

Wells Grover purchased his first school bus (Studebaker) in 1938. He continued 
purchasing buses until he owned all of the school buses for the Madison School District. He 
operated these buses for the school under contract until his terminal illness in 1974. 

By September 1947 Wells had bought his fifth bus. Students were brought to Rexburg 
from Archer, the dry farms, Sugar Cemetery section, Thornton, Burton and north of Rexburg. 
The total number of miles traveled each day by the buses was 314 and over 250 students enjoyed 
this service. 

Wells remembered the winter of 1949. That was the time he brought a bus load of 
Burton kids into a basketball game at Rexburg. The evening started out uneventful enough but 
during the progress of the game a wind came up and closed every foot of road between Rexburg 
and Burton. The youngsters were marooned in town for several days. Some of them didn't get 
home for five days. Four of them slept those nights on the floor of a bowling alley. 

By 1951 Wells had increased his bus fleet to sixteen buses. Fourteen were on regular 
school routes and two were reserved for charter service. The charter trips were contracted by 
Rexburg, Sugar Salem, St. Anthony, and Idaho Falls Schools. The school buses traveled over 
140,000 miles each year. 

In 1953 he purchased Teton Stage Lines. This would give him the permit he needed to 
take trips he wanted. He could travel in four states; Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. In 
the early 1960's he was able to purchase the Bear Lake Stage Lines. The Bear Lake Stages gave 
Wells the right to originate charters in any city served by that line. With the two permits. Wells 
was able to originate charters within a 50 mile radius to anywhere in the United States. 

Wells loved to travel and these charter trips became a major part of his bus business. He 
had this business until nine months before his death in 1974. At that time it was sold to Lvnn 
Williams. While Lynn Williams had the business, Madison School District had a special election 
and decided to acquire their own buses and to no longer let out contracts. 

Tlic bus business Wells had built up during thirty five years of operation is now non- 

Dean Grover 



Before Rexburg was planned, a Narrow Gauge Railroad had been constructed from Utah 
to Eagle Rock (Idaho Falls) and north to Montana. Rexburg was settled in 1883 by a group of 
Lattcr-Day-Saints from the Logan, Utah, area. Six years later a group of local citizens 
organized a Railroad Company, purchased a right-of-way, and constructed a Branch Line from 
Idaho Falls to Rexburg then on to St. Anthony and finally to Yellowstone Park. 

This Branch Line aided farmers by providing transportation to markets which before 
required a tedious trip west across the Snake River to Market Lake (now Roberts). By 1915 
Branch Lines were built across the valley on the east and west. 

Another transportation milestone was reached in 1913 when a group of citizens organized 
and prevailed upon the state authorities to extend a highway from Pocatello to Yellowstone Park. 
By 1930 this highway was oiled as far north as Sugar City. Today it has been improved to a 
freeway north from Idaho Falls through Rexburg and St. Anthony. 

Highway 33 connects Rexburg with the Atomic Energy Facilities (INEL) and is part of 
a system of State Higliways to recreational areas such as Sun Valley and Craters of the Moon. 
This is also a short cut to Boise. Extending east from Sugar City this highway forms the 
boundary between Madison and Fremont Counties for many miles. It also gives excellent access 
to Teton Valley, Green Canyon, Grand Targhee, and Jackson Hole. 

Within the county we have an extensive system of oiled farm to market roads serving 
every community in the county. This system serves the school bus system as well as commuters 
and farmers. 

Norman E. Ricks 


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Rexburg was fortunate to have a newspaper as early as 1887 when Phineas Tempest and 
Judge John Donaldson opened the Rexburg Press . After problems developed the Rexburg Press 
ceased and was followed by the Kaintuck Bugle published by Charles E. Amey. This paper 
lasted briefly and was followed by the Silver Hammer, published by Ben E. Rich. 

Another paper, Fremont County Journal , was begun in 1898 under editor Thomas E. 
Bassett. ITiis paper lasted until May 30, 1900. A short time later the Snake River Current, a 
Democratic paper was started. This paper soon joined with the defunct Fremont County Journal 
to become the Current Journal . In 1906 Arthur Porter, Jr. gained control of the Current Journal 
and in 1917 renamed it the Rexburg Journal . This Democratic paper was followed in 1907 by 
a Republican paper, the Rexburg Standard , published by the Adams family of Ogden, Utah. 

In 1905 Lloyd Adams started the Sugar City Times . In 1909 Lloyd Adams purchased the 
Rexburg Standard and consolidated the two papers. He built a modem plant where the Standard 
Journal is presently located. 

In 1942 John C. Porter purchased the Rexburg Standard and Arthur C. Porter purchased 
the Rexburg Journal . In 1953 John C. Porter purchased the Journal and since that time the two 
papers have been published in the Standard plant as a bi-weekly each Tuesday and Thursday. 
Rexburg is fortunate to have this excellent paper which carries county, regional, state and some 
national news. Roger Porter, son of John C. Porter, is the current Editor. 

Norman E. Ricks 


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A dear friend of Dr. Parley Nelson, Dr. Joseph Walker, wrote to Lloyd Adams, a lawyer 
in Rexburg, extolling what the doctors of Rexburg did for the people in the community and the 
outlying areas. He wrote this: "I want to mention the names of some unknown men who, for 
thirty years, have always been with you in the Upper Snake River Valley. They were there when 
trouble came. These men never promised you anything, except that if you were sick, weary, 
broken and with a heavy burden, they would be with you . . . they were the good doctors. They 
came even though dark the night and stormy; and they came also when the warmth and gladness 
of Spring beckoned them to more pleasant places." They are the men whom Robert Louis 
Stevenson spoke when he said; "When the final curtain drops on civilization and a wiser and 
juster one, looking over the rubble, chooses from it something worth remembering and 
cherishing, it will be the doctor." Dr. Walker was in medical school with Dr. Nelson. 

Dr. Lorin Rich came to Rexburg directly from medical school in 1902. Dr. Rich attended 
medical school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He sought further education at the Jefferson Medical 

Dr. Joseph Walker practiced in Rexburg and had a small hospital. He had purchased and 
converted the Sharp Residence on South Center into a hospital. Dr. Parley Nelson had been 
practicing with Dr. Walker who took over the hospital. Dr. Rich rented two rooms in the 
Graham Boyle building on East Main Street on the second floor. At that time, there were eight 
families living in small apartments on the second floor. Gradually, as the tenants moved. Dr. 
Rich would rent their space until he finally had the 19 rooms from which he made a small 

The country doctor had to be innovative, resourceful, and entrepreneurial in order to 
handle situations by themselves. They found a way to handle serious patients in a controlled 
situation. Thus, the small hospitals they devised served a purpose. Most babies at that time were 
delivered at home. Gradually, the need for more support of babies and mothers brought about 
the establishment of maternity homes. Again, suitable houses were purchased and the rooms 
made suitable for birthing care. These homes were generally run by a practical nurse. One of 
the early hospitals in Rexburg was called the Middlcton Nursing Home. 

Dr. William Sutherland came to Idaho in 1922. Two rooms above the Graham Boyle 
building on East Main Street were his first office. He and Dr. Rich worked well together sharing 
the work load and taking turns going on the emergency calls far out in the country. Just getting 
to patients became a challenge. Mrs. Sutherland had been taught how to administer ether by her 
husband and monitored the sterilization of equipment when in unusual places. The early 
physicians and their wives were masters of improvisation. When something needed to be done, 
they'd figure out a solution with whatever supplies were available. Dr. Sutherland rented some 
space above what is now Inkleys on Main Street and decided to make the whole upper area into 
a hospital, with a small surgery and an X-ray room. 

Dr. Harlo B. Rigby and his registered nurse, wife. Elsie, opened a six-bed hospital 
upstairs in the Porter Building on College Avenue in September, 1922. Six months later they 
opened a fine hospital at 118 College Avenue. This medical center pro\ided, after building 
expansion, a fourteen bed capacity, medical and surgical facilities, delivery room, and a small 
nursery. Dr. and Mrs. Kigby provided such service for nearly thirty years, until the county 
hospital opened. Dr. Kigby stated in 19-49 "We have been glad to do our part but the time has 
come when both Mrs. Rigby and myself feel that the responsibility of mnning the hospital is too 

much for us. We will be glad when the county hospital is built so that we wiU be relieved of 
our task. We hope that the hospital can be built in the not too distant future. The people need 
it." May 3, 1949, the Rigby hospital was 26 years old. There were appro.ximately 3500 babies 
bom at the hospital. The hospital averaged 425 patients per year for treatment. About half were 
surgical cases and the other half were medical or obstetrics. 

Dr. M. F. Rigby opened a maternity hospital at 156 East 2nd South in the early 1940's. 
Margaret Baker was the nurse that lived in the home and helped deliver the babies. The home 
was already at this location and is still at the same location. It is now used for college housing. 

The 32 bed Madison County Hospital located on East Main opened for service in 
December, 1951. The structure and furnishings were financed by taxation and donations at a cost 
of three hundred forty thousand dollars. The hospital was a county hospital governed by a board 
and an administrator. 

A new Madison County Hospital was built in 1978. This hospital has 54 beds and also 
serves the surrounding rural communities of Ashton and St. Anthony in Southeast Idaho. The 
growth of Madison Memorial Hospital has directly been due to the doctors who staff it. The 
interest they have shown in residing in Rexburg and in setting up their practices in Rexburg has 
spurred an increase in important health care facilities for the Madison County area. Previously, 
Rexburg or Madison County residents had to travel 30 miles or more to receive the proper 
specialized health care they needed. 

Specialized clinics such as orthopedics, podiatry, urology, dentistry, ophthalmology, ear- 
nose-throat, speech and hearing, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, 
pathologist and radiologist, as well as the general practitioners are now available in Rexburg. 

Bettv S. Johnson - Lola and Lester J. Petersen 

Following are the names of doctors who were practicing at the hospital in 1979: 

Steven L. Fielding 


Lester J. Petersen 


Mark 0. Gehmlich 


LaVar M. Withers 


Daniel A. Johnson 


Murland F. Rigby 


Orson H. Mabey Jr. 


Clifford B. Rigby 


Rex G. Mabey 


Aldon Tall 


Alden M. Packer 


Asael Tall 


Blaine H. Passey 


Doctors practicing 

in Rexburg in 1990: 

Hyrum Blackburn 


Michael J. Larson 


Stephen Cheyne 


Robert C. Lofgran 


Dave C. Crandali 


Gary L. LovcU 


Max J. Crouch 


Jud E. Miller 


Marc Engl is 

Ear,, Throat 

Lester J. Petersen 


Robert D. Gerrie 


Ann Reynolds 


Milton Goldman 


Newel K. Richardson 


Craig D. Heincr 


Bradley B. Spaulding 


Mahlon Hicstand 


LiiVar M. Withers 


C. Jcffcrv Zi^llinuer 




The lists of elected and appointed county and city officials were copied from Louis J. 
Clements and Harold S. Forbush's book, Pioneering the Snake River Fork Country. The recent 
names of officials since publication of the book were supplied by Marie Hoopes and others in 
the Madison County Courthouse. 

State Senators 

State Representatives 

Nathan Ricks 


William Taylor 


John E. Pincock 


R. S. Hunt 


W. Lloyd Adams 


Royal Gam 


R. S. Hunt 


Jacob Magleby 


R. G. Archibald 


Frank D. Turner 


I. N. Corey 


Lorenzo Jensen 


L. Y. Rigby 


Arnold Williams 


James W. Webster 


Arthur Porter 


George A. Hoopes 


Sterling Magleby 


L. Y. Rigby 


Ernest Blaser 


James E. Graham 


Peter J. Ricks 


J. Kenneth Thatcher 


Claude J. Burtenshaw 


Claude Burtenshaw 


Steve Meikle. Sr. 


Dick Smith 


Karl C. Klinglcr 


Ray W. Rigby 


Melvin Hammond 


Linden B. Bateman 


Dist. 31 

Legislative District No. 28 

John D. Sessions 


Pos. B 

Doyle C. Miner 


Pos. B 

Ray W. Rigby 


Richard Stallings 

1978, Pos. A, 31 

Dick Smith 


Rich E. Orme 


Pos. B 

Mark G. Ricks 


Linden Bateman 

1980. Pos. A 31 

R.L. (Dick) Davis 

19^. Pos. X 31 

Legislative District No. 31 

Cyril O. Burt 

1984. ] 

^os. B, 31 

Stan Hawkins 

1984, Pos. A, 33 

Richard E. Egbert 


Golden C. Linford 

19iU, I 

^os. B, 33 

William L. Floyd 


Kent Remington 

1986, Pos. A, 33 

Legislative District No. 33 

Dane Walkins 
Ann Rydalch 




First District 

Nahum Curtis 


Harry V. Graham 


James W. Webster 


Dick Smith 


Royal Gam 


Roy J. Summers 


Homer Reed 


Ray L. Pocock 


John Taylor 


Morgan K. Gamer 


Arnold Williams 


Keith Walker 


0. R. Anderson 


J.H. (Snuffy) Smith 


Vernon Mortensen 


Doyle Walker 


Lee L. White 


Deli Bamey 


Second District 

John K, Orme 


Lee L. White 


Alfred Ricks 


Emil Nef 


John E. Pincock 


Robert H. Frew 


Hiram Dille 


Farrell Rock 


Eph Peterson 


Grant M. Bowen 


John W. Hamilton 


Dean Ricks 


Martin L. Nave 


Mark E. Peterson 


John W. Hamilton 


Dell Klingler 


Ernest Blaser 


Bruce Webster 


Reed Sommer 


Tliird District 

John Taylor 


George Briggs, Jr. 


David Spaulding 


William I. Holley 


S. W. Hall 


Angus Peterson 


C. R. H;msen 


Lalovi Rigby 


Frank Spaulding 


John D. Parkinson 


Andrew A. Nelson 


Leo M. Smith 


James E. Graham 


Wayne Beck 


Tlieodoie Simmons 


Doyle Walker 







John Hegsted 


F. L. Davis 


Samuel P. Oldham 


Gilbert T. McKinlay 


John Hegsted 


Maxine Nave 


P. C. Winter 


Aurora Bumiell 


Jol-m T. Elliott 


NcUis Gamer 


Leland E. Raybould 


Marie Hoopes 


Beth Reese 



I. N. Corey 


E. A. Hansen 


Harry A. Munns 


Ford Smith 


Ursel H. Bigler 


Lionel Koon 


J. Harold Matson 



Harry Randall 


Don R. Grover 


E. W. Johnson 


Agnes Bird 


Eniogene Manwaring 


Joy Meng 


Jessie W. Smith 


Agnes Bird 


Edith Saurey Hoskins 


Jayne Green 



James A Berry 


A. J. Hansen 


Frank L. Davis 


Daniel Ricks 


Vernon C. Mortensen 


C. Marion Hacking 1962 

1971 changed to Magistrate Judge 

C. Marion Hacking 1973 

Harold S. Forbush 

Brent J. Moss 1985 


Conrad Walz 


M. G. Koon 


Jolm Blackburn 


Ephraim Willmorc 


Joim W. Clements 


Ben E. Summers 


Fred M. Fisher 


R. E. Hall 


L Y. Rigby 


Lyle Saurey 


Carl J. Johnson 




'^ '■ 



A. F. Rasmussen 
William B. Oldham 
Lottie Woithen 
Ametto Goodliffe 
D. W. Nelson 

Neil A. Anderson 
Clinton Sundberg 
N. A. Anderson 
Raymond Anderson 
D. R. Larson 
N. A. Anderson 
Neil Anderson 
Alvin E. Harris 


Willis G. Nelson 



C. Drew Cooper 



Willis J. Lyman 



Arthur Porter, Jr. 



(Office Discontinued) 


Dan Whittimore 



Marion Hacking 



Boyd Beckett 



A. E. Hams 



C. A. Powell 



Clayter Forsgren 



Richard L. Davis 



(Office Discontinued) 


0. C. Onrisby 


H. B. Rigby 


Joseph Walker 


W. L. Sutherland 


J. R. Supe 


0. D. Hoffman 


G. T. Parkinson 


Albert C. Truxall 


Parley Nelson 


Lester J. Petersen 
(Office Discontinued) 



James R. Young 


Russell Flamm 


John Phillips 


Victor S. Chandler 


James R. Young 


Kenneth Flamm 


John Phillips 


Victor S. Chandler 


W. L. Young 


Russell Flamm 


H. J. Flamm 


Edward Richardson 


F. Schwendiman 


Gray I. Clawson 


Vern Keller 


Rick Davis 


Jean A. Keller 




'tia;*5U"'' '"■■'8"^ 

^;a"-'' ' ■,. ujjt,. 

OiJ ■■i:- 


1 • -,• w ; 

1 *■ XT 


T. W. Smith 


Ray W. Rigby 


C. W. Poole 


J. Kent Jolley 


C. J. Taylor 


J. D. Hancock 


C. L. Hillman 


M. B. Kennedy 


C. W. Poole 


Brent J. Moss 


Leonard Kingsford 


Dale Thomson 



Sybil Smith 
Leone Weiand 
Goldwyn Wimmer 
Margaret Barnes 
Bemice Shirley 

Margaret Fillmore 
Esther Choules 
Carma Bird 
Jackie Cushman 


David P. Murray 


Harold Ball 


Delbert T. Bolingbroke 


Nile Taylor 


George Cleveland 


Frank Jacobs 


Gale Harding 



Roman Siepert 
William Ricks 
Alfred Bergcr 
Vernon Powell 
David Hunter 
Ray Kcle 

David Hunter 

Horton Row 

Vern Davidson 


1 aVar Pfost 


Roy Collier 

Dustin Cureton 



Cara Newman 


Edith Sue Wcighall 


R. Joyce Carnahan 


Kathryn Scott 


Phoebe Williams 


Cara Z. Newman 


Marlene Stegclmeicr 


Mary Ixc Wolf 


Cara Z. Newman 




Typical of the early homes in this area was the first log home of Neil Henry Anderson 
and his wife Emma Smith. They arrived in the Spring of 1885 and settled just west and south 
of Thornton. They had stopped near what is now Blackfoot for a few months and lived in a 
covered wagon. 

The logs were usually put up in one day with the help of family and friends. A mixture 
of clay, hay or grass and water was used to fill the cracks between the logs. The floors were 
hard packed dirt. Glass was scarce so there were few windows. The roof was also of logs or 
boards with dirt put on top. 

As the family increased and goods were more available; families added onto the first 
home or built a larger and better home. 

Henry J. Flamm 

The Henry J. Flamm home is located on First West in Rexburg. It was built before 1915 
and was one of the finest in the city when built. It is still in excellent condition. It and several 
homes built from the same local rock survived the flood in good condition. 

Mr. Flamm came with his father, Jacob Henry Flamm to Rexburg when 12 years of age. 
He has the distinction of being the first boy on the townsite in 1883. He was bom in Logan, 
Utah, July 14, 1870 and died in Rexburg in 1935. 

Conrad Walz 

The farm home of Conrad Walz was built in the country at Burton, west of Rexburg 
before 1915. This area was the center of one of the richest agriculture regions in the west. Mr. 
Walz was assessor of Madison County and Bishop of Burton Ward. His house was damaged in 
the Teton Dam Flood and now has siding over the brick. Rex and Dora Lcc Walz now reside 
in the home built by Rex's ancestor. 

John L. Jacob 

Another beautiful, early home is the one built by John L. Jacobs. He was the son-in-law 
of Jacob Henry Flamm. The house is on Main Street near the Flamm home. It is a beautiful, 
well kept home and l^uilt of local stone. 

Diet Center now owns the home and uses it for offices. 


Mark Austin 

The Mark Austin home is located on the comer of Main Street and First West. The 
Austin, Jacob and Flamm homes were all built before 1915 near each other. The same local or 
native stone was used in the construction. Mr. Austin was bom near London, England, in 1864. 
He was one of the people responsible for getting the sugar industry established in this area. His 
home is now used for Ricks College student housing. 

John Smellie 

John Smellie bought ZVi acres of land on the comer of 1st East and 1st North the day 
after he arrived in Rexburg in 1885. He grubbed the sagebrush and prepared it for cultivation. 
He planted potatoes. His first home was of logs with an earth roof but with boards under the 
earth. In 1886 he dug a well 33 feet deep and curbed it with red pine. There was only 3 or 4 
others in town at this time. John made some adobe bricks to build a better home but decided 
to wait until he could afford better. The summer of 1891 he began to gather rocks and lumber 
and built a 40 by 20 foot house. Tliey used the log cabin for a stable. He first worked in a log 
cabin store for Thomas E. Ricks, the ZCMI. He went into the sheep business, managed flour 
mills several times during his life, and also farmed. 

He sold his new home to A. S. Famsworth, a sheepman. He moved to Raymond, Alberta, 
Canada, in 1904 with his family. He was a son-in-law of Thomas E. and Tamar Ricks. This 
home is now owned by Pam and Stephen Blackburn. 

James W. Webster 

James W. Webster was bom in Franklin. Idaho on November 29, 1862. He moved to the 
Rexburg area in 1895. He and his wife. Mary, first lived in a log cabin in Piano. They later 
owned two lovely stone houses in Rexburg. The first was built in 1901 and was torn down and 
the second built on the same location in 1930 on the corner of 1st Nonh and 1st East. 

Dovle and Lola Walker now own and li\c in this home. 

Berniccc W. Ricks 


Wc are featuring some of the businesses that were established prior to 1920 that are still 
in the original family, on the original location, or have the original name. The first store in 
Rexburg was opened in 1883 by Thomas E. Ricks and William F. Rigby on the south side of 
Main Street facing where the courthouse now stands. This business ceased a few years later and 
was torn down. 

In the 1990 phone book there are over 400 Madison County businesses listed. 

Thompson Plumbing and Heating 

Thompson Plumbing and Heating was established in Madison County in 1901. The 
owners and partners in this business since being established are: P. O. Thompson I, 1901-28; 
P. O. Thompson II, 1928-58; Pump Thompson, 1928-56; Ralph Thompson, 1930-71; R. Larry 
Thompson, 1971-present. The goods and/or services offered include plumbing, pumps, sheet 
metal, heating, and air conditioning. 

As one of the oldest businesses in Madison County, the third generation owners are doing 
work for 5th generation customers. Early wells were hand dug and open not like the newer 
pumping wells of today. The first furnaces were one central vent type with no blower as 
compared to high tech gas heating and electrical air conditioning systems of today. Plumbing 
has advanced from outside privies to convenient fixtures inside the home today. 

J. C. Penney Co. 

J. C. Penney Co. was established in Madison County in 1910. The managers and partners 
in this business since being established are: Howard Gentles, Walt Ririe to 1963, Russ Latimer 
1963-68, Paul Carver 1968-89, and Ray Barber 1989-present. The goods and/or services 
offered include clothing, shoes, accessories, appliances, etc., and also catalog sales. 

The J. C. Penney that started in 1910 in Madison County was store #7 when it first 
opened. That store was destroyed by the Teton Dam Flood in 1976. Tne store then relocated 
to where the Roller Skating Rink is now. The store at the location they now are in, was built 
in 1978. 

Flamm Funeral Home 

Flamm Funeral Home was established in Madison County in 1888. The owners and 
partners in this business since being established arc as follows: Founded by Jacob Henry Flamm 
then operated by Henry's sons Henry J. and J. Daniel, in 1936 it was operated by Daniel's sons 
Russel and Edwin Flamm along with their brother Kenneth and in 1976 to present it is operated 
by Garth and Bert Flamm (Ed's sons). The goods and/or services offered include funeral 
services, monuments and markers and funeral pre-planning. 

Flamm Funeral Home began as a department of the H. Flamm and Company, a mercantile 
store, that was established in Rexburg in 1886. It was said in those early years that. "Tlamm's 
sold everything from a needle to a threshing machine and they could serve you from the cradle 


to the grave." The funeral home has been at several locations in Rexburg and the current Flamm 
Funeral Home building was built in 1967. Flamm Funeral Home is the oldest family operated 
funeral firm in the state of Idaho. 

Bell's Blacksmith and Ornamental Ironworks 

Bell's Blacksmith and Ornamental Ironworks was established in Madison County in 1888. 
The owners and partners in this business since being established are: William Alfred Bell, 1888- 
1934; William Vernon Bell, 1934-1963; and Robert Newby Bell, 1963 - present. The goods 
and/or services offered include horseshoeing, building of wagons, repairing of all kinds of farm 
equipment, and sharpening plow shares. W. V.'s long suit was forge work. Robert N. introduced 
ornamental ironworking as part of the business in 1951, making stairways, railings, spiral 
stairways, ornamental posts, etc. 

William Alfred was among the first pioneers to enter the Snake River Valley. He 
homesteaded 40 acres of land that included the present site of the fair grounds and land east and 
south of there. Bell's Blacksmith has moved four times in its history. Three shops were located 
on the north side of Main Street. One faced down College Avenue. W. V. built the shop that 
was located across from Rexburg Food Center in 1934. Robert Newby built the new shop that 
is located on Highway 191 South in 1971. Two shops were located in the area where the parking 
lot for Rexburg Food Center is located now. 

Anderson Photo Company 

Anderson Photo Company was established in Madison County in 1900. The owners and 
partners in this business since being established are: Stanley Anderson, Ralph and Elaine 
Anderson, Ralph and Joyce McBridc, and Jeff and Rosemary Smith. The goods and/or ser\'ices 
offered include portraits and all kinds of photography (weddings, commercial, etc.), camera photo 
supplies, accessory sales, camera repair, photographic copying and restoration, and film 


Anderson's began purely as a portraiture but later developed into a number of branches 
of photography with the development of technology in the field into all kinds of sale and 
services. Now it is basically a studio and camera store. Three generations of Andersons owned 
the business until the McBrides and Smiths purchased the business in 1983 - expanding the 
business into a new building and additional photographic services. 

Herdti Electric Company 

Herdti Electric Company was established in Madison County in 1918. The owners and 
partners in this business since being established are: R. G. Herdti, Steve Herdti. and Darnell 
Weekes. The goods and/or services offered include electrical contracting and related business. 

R. G. Herdti wired many of the houses and buildings in the area and was active in the 
promotion of Rexburg. 


Zollinger Construction Company 

Zollinger Construction Company was established in Madison County in 1914. The 
owners and partners in this business since being established are: Charles J. Zollinger, Charles 
W. Zollinger, and Jack T. Zollinger. 

Zollinger Construction Company was founded by Charles J. Zollinger in the early days 
of Rexburg. Its office has been located at North Center Street throughout its history. The 
Zollinger family was involved in building construction from the time they came to Rexburg in 
1883. Charles J. Zollinger studied carpentry at Ricks Academy and began contracting on his own 
in about 1914. His autobiography records that he hired carpenters to work for him that year and 
contracted to build a log bam on the Wilding Farm near the Sugar City Cemeter}'. That bam 
stood as a landmark until it was torn down after the Teton Dam Flood. 

In 1919 he was given the contract to build the Madison County Courthouse. This 
building was completed in 1922 at a cost of $150,000. It remains one of the finest buildings in 
the area. He also built the Farmer's Implement Building on East Main Street and in 1924 he 
built the Teton County Courthouse. 

The first bridge across Canyon Creek was built by the company in 1929. The road and 
grading was done by hand with scrapers and teams of horses. They contracted to build head 
walls and bridges on the road from Green Timber to Cave Falls in 1932, the first major 
improvements of this road. 

Over the years, Zollinger Constmction has built many homes, commercial buildings, 
schoolhouses, churches, and bridges, not only in Rexburg and Madison County, but also in many 
parts of the state. Charles W. Zollinger took over active management of the company with the 
building of the Rexburg Army Reserve Building in 1956. Charles J. Zollinger continued to work 
after his partial retirement, overseeing the remodeling of the Rexburg Tabernacle Building in 
1957. This was gratifying work to him as he had worked on the original building in 1911, had 
contracted to finish the basement in 1916, and had added the balcony in 1927. This building is 
now on the National Register of Historic Buildings. 

Zollinger Construction Company now includes the next generation of the family with Jack 
T. Zollinger as president and Thomas A. Zollinger in management. Charles VV. Zollinger remains 
active as secretary of the corporation. 

Sugar City Furniture and Hardware Company 

Sugar City Furniture and Hardware Company was established in Madison County in 1920. 
The owners and partners in this business since being established are: Lcffel A. Bean. Manager, 
with partners Harold Bean and Cleo H. Browning. Present owners are Melvin J. and Winona H. 
Bean and Dwayne Bean, partner. The goods and/or ser\-iccs offered include furniture, hardware, 
appliances, floor coverings, lawn and garden equipment, and supplies. They also furnish some 
building materials and paint related supplies. 

Lx:ffcl A. Bean started the business m 1920 with prominent men as stockholders. The 
business weathered slumps and depression and grew sometimes by sheer force of will and hard 
work. Lcffel finally obtained complete ownership by buying up the stock of other stockholders 
as they wished to sell and continued to manage and operate the business until 1958. At this time 
Melvin and Winona Bean became managers and owners of the business with their son Dwayne 
coming into the business as a partner in 1974. 


Porter's Department Store 

In 1916, as an adjunct to his publishing business, Arthur Porter bought Squires Bookstore 
from his old friend from college, Conley Squires. Porter had not planned on ever being in the 
retail business and probably would not have except for a rather unusual circumstance. 

He had stopped by the business owned by his friend to sell him an ad for the Rexburg 
Journal newspaper which he owned. One of Mr. Squires' creditors was in the store and was 
threatening legal action against him because of an unpaid bill for Valentine Merchandise. Mr. 
Porter remonstrated with the creditor to let the store have more time to settle the bill, but the 
creditor stated that the only way he would do so would be for Porter to sign on a note with 
Squires. Because of his long standing friendship with Mr. Squires, he did so. 

A few months later Mr. Squires told him that he had decided to move back to Logan and 
that he had not paid the note off that Porter had co-signed on. He further informed him that if 
he would be responsible for settling the note and for another small consideration in cash that the 
store would be his. Thus, Arthur Porter became a rather unwilling owner of a book store. 

He re -named the store Porter's Book & Gift Store and demonstrated his faith and 
optimism about the future of Rexburg by expanding his business into the retail selling of a 
variety of merchandise. By 1920 Porter's Book Store was one of the largest outlets for L.D.S. 
Church Books outside of Salt Lake City. When College Avenue was completed around 1918 the 
store was moved to that location in a small comer of what is now the present store. 

In 1947 Warren Porter purchased the store from his father and immediately began to 
expand the business. From its small beginning it has grown to a department store type operation 
and one of the largest stores of its kind in the area — encompassing most of College Avenue 
from Main Street to Carlson Avenue with a large parking lot and entrance on 1st East Street. 

Garth Flamm 



-J ciO (• 


was Darf^Onen! r "','''^°" ^"""'y »'^"^d ^' '^e time Rexburg was settled. In 1883, the area 
wa part of Oneida County, and later became Bingham County with Blackfoot as the county seat, 

was the n^lT^ ' ~ ^l ^"'""^ """« '^' ^"""'^ '''' - ^'' -^^^ished from what 

was the present day of Teton, Madison, Jefferson, Fremont, and Clark. Madison County 
as a separate entity, was first created in 1913 and included all of Teton County umil Teton 
Coun y became a separate entity in 1915. It was at this time that the physical boundaries of 
Madison County as we know them today were also established. 

Not many people lived in the Madison County area before 1883. By this year manv 
t^t'Z rT Z'^r- ''''''' "^^^ ^"^^*"S ''"^ '° "^^ -^"^"i'i^y °f '»d in tWs^ea a^d 
Iha, tolls. ^^ ^'' '"'"'^ "'"""'"^ ^'"^^ '^^^'"'P''' "'^""8 '«s opportunity in 

The geography of Madison County has three major divisions: (1) the flat furrow inieated 
tad adjacent to the overs; (2) the mild rolling bench ground; and (3) the forests above theTench 

ri,. ^--^".u ^V^"'' "^^^ *^ ^"^^ '° ^° '"'° agricultural production. Construction of the Rexburg 
Qty ditch, the first irrigation canal, was started on March 15, 1883. Canal companies were soon 
organized in every section of the valley between the forks of the Snake River By 1901 there 
were a Wta of seven canals in old Fremont County which represented 975 miles of total length 
Wi ard Ricks plowed the first ground in Rexburg on a tract lying just west of the Third 
Ward meeting house^ ITie record in 1884 showed 1,582 acres planned TWo years later this 

~Fork '"^ '° '''' '"''• ^' ''''• '-''' "'"P'^ ""^ "^'"S north of the Snake 

area is l!!!!^^? f '"'' Tu"^^ '''' '' "*'^'' '^^'''"^ "^ ">= "Sion or nation in which that 
area is located. In terms of background, the following dates are interesting to note: 

^''^^1 " New York State's first railroad 

^^^'^ ~ McCormick's reaper is invented 

^'^^'* ~ Mechanical threshers were developed 

^^^'s ~ Transcontinental railroad 

mid 1800's - Portable steam engines and steam tractors being used 

^-^1" Grain combines being used 

1912 - 1925 - First all purpose tractors suitable for use. 

„,,■ ^'"" K^^i" *''';.'"'' ""' ''• °"^ °f "'" mainstays of human nutrition, it was probably the 
main crop m Madison County. Sometimes we think of the 1880's as old and very primitive but 
there was probably no grain of any consequence that was cut by hand or threshed bv hand a^ the 
mdus rial revolution that affected agriculture was very much on the move during this pe^cxi Ae 
rtiga ed ground was usually plowed with one to three bottom plows pulled wifh hoRes and wa. 
later harrowed to fonn the seed bed and then sowed either bv hand or with a drill Neighbors 
were very good to share their machinery in (hose early days. i^cignoors 

In (he fall the grain was cut with reapers and put into bundles. The bundles were pitched 
m wagons and either stacked or taken to a mechanical thresher for threshing. TTieseThferers 


were powered by horses, that is by horses walking in a circular motion transmitting the power 
of that motion through a drive shaft to the threshers. Threshers were also powered by steam 
power. In 1893, there were 27 threshing machines operating in Fremont County. 

The initial source of fertilizer was cattle waste and legume rotations. Chemical fertilizers 
were developed during the decade between 1930 and 1940 and their use became firmly 
established during the 1950's. The main crops on the flat land were for flour production, hay and 
pasture for livestock, and rotation for better grain crops. By 1902, sugar beets were planted and 
the Sugar City sugar factory was built in 1904. With the production of the sugar beets, we see 
the first fieldmen working in conjunction with the farmers to promote more successful beet crops. 
These first fieldmen came from the sugar companies. 

The flat land was developed for crops during the 1880's and 90's with the mild rolling 
bench ground being used for pasture until the early 1890's, when it was broken out and put into 
wheat and barley production. In 1905, James W. Webster and Charles H. Woodmansee began 
operations on a big scale. They introduced modem machiner>' and scientific techniques, which 
established dry farming upon a permanent basis. For the first few years of farming on the bench, 
horses were the main source of power. However, steam engine tractors had their role from about 
1920 and continued through that decade. In the 1920's, gasoline powered wheel tractors were 
used on a limited scale on the bench but became established as the primary source of pulling 
power on the flat land in the mid to late 1930's. During the 1930's, diesel "caterpillar" truck type 
tractors became the popular tractor on the bench for the next 30 years or until about 1960. 
Plows, disc plow, harrows, rod weeders, and drills were the main implements for tilling soil in 
the dry land areas. 

The practice of summer fallowing was followed from the early 1890's up through the 
1970's and is still in use to a degree. The purpose of summer fallowing is to combine two years' 
rainfall into the production of one year's grain crop. By deep tilling in the fall after harvesting 
and tilling more shallowly in the following spring combined with two to three rod weeder 
operations during the intervening summer, the soil should nave a nice mellow tilt and be ready 
for seeding in the fall with sufficient moisture to germinate the seeds. Summer fallowing also 
helps to replace nitrogen in the soil and to distribute the labor load throughout the season. 

The grain combine was mostly used on the bench ground while the thresher was used on 
the flat ground from the early 1900's. These early combines were either pulled by horses or 
steam engines. The threshing mechanisms of the first combines were powered by pullies 
connected with the traction wheels. Later on, gas engines were used to power the separator. All 
the grain was put into burlap sacks at the thresher or combine and hauled to private bins and 
public elevators. It was not until the late 1930's that grain began to be handled in bulk, that is, 
stored in a bin on the combine until full and then augured onto a truck for transport to the 
storage facility. By the late 1930's, many trucks had hydraulic hoists. 

In 1938, the Massey self-propelled combine was developed and the pull type combine 
machines were totally replaced by the late 1950's and early 1960's. The big combines used on 
the bench were capable of harvesting 1500 bushels of grain per day. That production was not 
surpassed until the late 1960's or early 1970's when the self propelled combines became larger 
and more efficient. In the 1980's, due to improved threshing mechanisms, 4,000 bushels per day 
could be harvested per day per machine. 

In the late 1950's and early 1960's, irrigation wells were drilled which enable former 



dryland bench ground to become irrigated. Due to this development, old dryland yields of 30 
to 40 bushels per acre were improved to 80 to 100 bushels per acre. These improved yields were 
equal to the yield obtained on the flat ground. With the advent of irrigation on the bench ground, 
malt barley and potato cultivation were introduced to these areas. 

The Sugar Beet had a penod of glory in Madison County beginning in 1904 with the 
completion of the Sugar Factory in a newly platted community which became Sugar City. It 
ended shortly after 1942 when the factory was closed. For a few years longer beets were raised 
and shipped to the Lincoln factory but that also ended. 

The sugar beet was a cash crop for the farmer and a boon to the youth who earned money 
thinning, hoeing, and topping the beets. The by-products of pulp and syrup made excellent cattle 
feed and contributed much to the economy of the county. The operation of the factory was 
employment for many workers during the processing season. By the time the sugar beet went 
out the potato had filled its place. 

For a number of years seed peas were raised in Madison County. Pea houses were almost 
as plentiful as potato warehouses are today. The peas put nitrogen into the soil and fit into a 
rotation with sugar beets or potatoes. For farmers beginning with little machinery, peas were a 
crop that could be raised economically as a cash crop. As potatoes became more specialized peas 
faded away much as the sugar beet and about the same time. 

Presently corn fields are beginning to spring up around the county. It may be some time 
before the verdict on this crop will be in. The climate isn't always cooperative for a maximum 
yield but with study this may become a good feed crop partly replacing the by-products of beets 
and peas. 

The years during World War II saw many advances in technology and chemicals. Weed 
control before World War II was strictly mechanical. In 1947, 2-4D was introduced as one of 
the first herbicides used for control of broad leaf weeds in wheat. From that year until the 
1980's, a myriad of other chemicals were introduced to control weeds in grain, potatoes, sugar 
beets, peas, alfalfa, and to control wild oats in grain crops. During the 1940's and 1950's, 
chemical fertilizers began to be used more with phosphate and nitrogen being the main chemicals 

Bob Parkinson 



Potatoes have been an important part of the history of the Madison County area almost 
from the beginning. In the earliest days, potatoes were grown from seed brought from Utah. 
Everyone would save the peelings from their potatoes in the winter, and dr>' them in bags for 
planting in gardens the next spring. Only small tracts, usually less than one acre, were grown 
due to the intensive labor requirements. The first potatoes grown outside of individual garden 
plots were planted by dropping seed pieces in the furrow behind a walking moldboard plow. 
Hand weeding and irrigating during the growing season and then har\'esting by once again 
plowing the row with a handplow and picking the tubers from the dirt were all done by hand. 

The advent of the railroad opened the door for export of other high quality potatoes grown 
in the Upper Snake River Valley to the markets of the eastern United States. Potato acreage 
expanded rapidly as new equipment became available to make this expansion possible. The 
Hoover one row horse drawn potato planter increased the ability of Madison County farmers to 
do in a day what took several men a week to do. Also this same company manufactured the 
Hoover one row horse drawn potato digger. This machine was ground powered and pulled by 
four head of horses. It laid the potatoes on top of the ground where they could be hand picked 
into sacks for transport to the storage cellars. This all took place in the 1920's and early 1930's. 

Increased potato production brought a new industry to Madison County. The potato 
"Packer & Shipper." Some of the first to handle and ship potatoes to the East from Madison 
County were; H. W. Jacobsen at Rexburg, E. L. Peterson at Piano, and Harvey Schwendiman at 
Newdale. In these early times, these men not only provided a market for potatoes, but also 
provided community storage facilities where farmers could rent individual bins to store their crop 

until they were ready for market. 

All of the farming areas of Madison County were involved in potato production. Tlic 
sandy soil and "sub" irrigation of the Piano area made it the foremost potato production area of 
the county because of the case in which potatoes could be har\ested and the high quality of the 
crop. The first "Sackcr Combines" were used in this area. The loam soils of the Archer, Moody, 
and Newdale areas also produced high yields and high quality potatoes, but required surface 
irrigation. The Oat coumry (Burton, Hibbard, Salem, Sugar City, and immediately around 
Rexburg) made potato production more difficult due to the heavy and sometimes gravelly soil. 
But in all of Madison County potatoes were grown very successfully and fit into the alfalfa, 
grain, and sugar beet rotation. 

During the years of the second World War. potatoes were \ cry important, and again new 


and improved machinery allowed further expansion of potato acreage in Madison County. Potato 
harvesters called "Bulkers" that dug the potatoes and loaded them directly onto moving trucks 
were coming into use in the sandy and loam soil areas. However, harvesting by hand still 
prevailed in the heavy soil areas. 

At the end of the 1950's the potato industry took a dramatic turn in Madison County. The 
first deep wells were drilled on the Rexburg Bench, east of Rexburg. This dry farm area had 
been famous for it's high quality hard red winter wheat. Now irrigation made possible the 
growing of potatoes in this rich loam soil. The first well was drilled by J. Fred Smith, the Mayor 
of Rexburg, and his son John in 1958. In the next two years K. W. Huskinson & Sons, Summers 
Brothers, Bowen & Thomason, and Ed Parkinson all drilled wells. This was the beginning of 
the opening of thousands of acres on the Rexburg Bench from Newdale to Archer to potato 
production. This area has become famous all across the United States for its high quality fresh 

Modem sprinkler irrigation has taken the place of surface irrigation and in some instances 
in replacing sub irrigation. This has made possible the increase of potato acreage in the heavier 
soils and many of the farms that could not produce potatoes any more because of increased labor 
costs are now coming back into potato production. 

Increased acreage, not only in Madison County but in all of the neighboring areas, made 
it possible for new shipping facilities and processing plants to come into the eastern part of 
Idaho. In 1960, Rogers Brothers built a processing plant just north of Rexburg. This plant 
produces dehydrated slices, dices, and granules. Sun-Glo of Idaho has a plant near Sugar City 
that produces Frozen Baked Potatoes. This plant produces over 8 million pounds of frozen b:ikcd 
potatoes per year. They are shipped to every state and throughout the Eastern Rim Countries of 
the Orient. There are eight operating fresh packing plants in Madison County, shipping millions 
of hundredweight of Idaho Potatoes throughout the United States. 

In 1988 Madison County produced 9,583,000 hundredweight of Russett Burbank Potatoes. 
This amounts to almost 60 million dollars of income to Madison County agriculture. Potatoes 
have replaced livestock and grain as the most important crop in the county. In addition to the 
high cash value of potatoes at the farm, the processing, fresh shipping, and supplying the needs 
of the farm community has added greatly to the economy of the entire area. Madison County 
has become the hub for potato marketing for several Eastern Idaho Counties, and the potato 
industry is the chief source of income for many of the residents and businesses in the area. 

Dell Rasbould 



Food--the way it is purchased, the way it is prepared and the way it is consumed has 
changed, as much as any other commodity in this past century. Before the time of "Fast 
Foods" pre-packaged and frozen foods, meals, and all that we associate with "Family Dining" 
was, indeed, one of the finer arts of the time. Pride was taken in the way food was prepared 
and enjoyed and the time preparing it was of no essence. No long, white counters of pre- 
packaged meat can even come close to the satisfaction of stepping into the "old-fashioned 
butcher shop" with its aroma of smoked meats, the strings of fat wieners hanging from the 
ceiling, sawdust on the floor and an honest to goodness "Butcher" asking you how thick you 
would like your steak cut or your home-cured ham or bacon sliced, holding it up for your 
approval then wrapping it in butcher paper and handing it to you, along with a wiener, or 
a big fat dill pickle scooped out of his pickle barrel, to much on. 

I also think back when I look in the cheese section of a supermarket, at all the neat 
little square packages of cheese stacked according to type and weight and wrapped securely 
in cellophane casements, of the way cheese was selected and purchased in the earlier part 
of the century. A clerk would follow you to the cheese table where there would, generally 
be three big round wheels of cheese, mild, medium, and nippy. He would take a knife and 
slice off a sliver of each so you could decide which cheese you wanted, then he would cut 
a good sized wedge, weigh it, wrap it in wax paper and put it in your brown paper bag. 

Cheese was very inexpensive and people used a lot of it. A plate of sliced cheese 
was, usually, on every table with every meal without any thought of cholesterol or its fat 

The same with butter, my mother churned twenty-five pounds of butter a week, which 
we took to the local grocery store and traded for our weekly groceries. The butter, after 
being churned was tightly pressed into a one-pound mold, then wrapped in a parchment 
paper, called a butter wrapper. This had the woman's name printed on it. When you 
handed the butter to the clerk, he stacked it on the shelf of an old ice refrigerator with the 
woman's name facing the customer, so that you could choose the butter you preferred. 
There wa quite a difference in each person's butter according to the amount of butter 
coloring, salt added and the length of time the butter was churned. 

There was no label as to its' cholesterol content and there was certainly a very high 
fat content in each pound. It was not processed in any way for a long shelf life and had to 
be used in a short period of time before it turned rancid. But no packaged butter, 
margarine, or manufactured butter today, in their plastic tubs or cartons, can even come 
close, in comparison to the taste of fresh churned, sweet cream butter. 

Eggs, too, were taken to the store to exchange for groceries. Nearly every one had 
a small flock of chickens. They usually had some Rhode Island Reds, which laid brown eggs 
and were a better eating chicken, and white leg horns which were better layers of white 




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eggs. I remember, when I wanted a bag of candy, I would run to the "hen house" and grab 
several eggs to take to the store to trade. 

When I take my white eggs out of their styrofoam cartons today, I wish that I had a 
choice of white or brown. Brown eggs were always thought to be nicer for baking because 
the yolks were a deeper color. 

Even to this day, one of the things I dislike most about packaged foods are the 
cookies. I miss the cookie containers with glass lids set on wire racks. There were, 
generally, about twelve of them, each filled with delicious cookies. You could look through 
the lids at the coconut bars, the big round raisin ones, the chocolate covered marshmallow, 
the pink and white coconut. Fig Newton's and the new varieties that kept appearing, then 
make your selection. You could choose one of these, two of those, and soon you had a 
wonderful assortment in your brown paper bag. The clerk would carefully put them in so 
that there was no way you could sample one before you paid for them. Now you pick out 
one package, all of the same kind, sometimes they are fresh, sometimes not. But, always 
a poor substitute for the wonderful variety we knew, so long ago. 

Women, during the early part of this century, would never have thought of making 
a cake, pie, or biscuits from a package mix. That would have been a disgrace they could 
never have lived down. They took a lot of pride in their own recipes and when they finally 
achieved the perfect product through trial and error, that recipe was filed away in their 
memory or handwritten in a notebook and put in a secret place. They guarded their own 
creations jealously and enjoyed the prestige of hearing complimentary remarks about how 
good Mary's rolls were, or Eva's lemon meringue pie or Jane's watermelon pickles. 

Women were not the only ones who enjoyed the recognition of a fine meal. Men, 
also shared in this. It was indeed a status symbol to be able to set a fine table. I heard my 
father remark, once, about a certain man, "That he had never obtained much of a fortune 
but was known, throughout the valley, as setting as fine a table as you ever sat down to." 

Time meant little in food growth and preparation. Nothing was rushed, nothing was 
pushed along faster than nature could prepare it. Chickens, today are force fed to mature 
them and get them on the market in a hurry. Not so, during the earher part of the century, 
they were grain fed and each had its' own growth potential. Fryers were killed early, while 
they were young and 

tender. Stewing hens were fattened naturally, so that when you boiled them the broth was 
rich and yellow and the gravy made from it, into which home-made noodles or dumplings 
were dropped, was rich with flavor. 

Some of the chickens were raised for roasting hens and there was nothing better than 
one of these large chickens stuffed with home-made dressing (not the prepared package 
stuffing) but real sage dressing made with home-made bread crumbs. It was usually, about 
an hour from the time the chickens head was chopped off, the feathers scalded and plucked, 


■ 1rrrt>- ■ 

and completely cleaned until it was boiling in the pot, frying in the skillet or roasting in the 


Wlien I was growing up the term "fast foods" would have meant how quickly we could 
prepare a meal or put a sandwich together. Today it means how fast we can purchase it, 
put it on the table and eat it. It is a fast and busy world with very little time for the 
pleasure of food preparation and the leisure of eating it. In busy households, today, i is 
quite rare for a family to sit down together and enjoy their meal. Each member, generally 
eats at their own convenience and at various places. They grab a TV dmner, a frozen mea 
pie or a previously prepared plate and heat it in the microwave. Then eat alone in ^ont 
of the television, at a kitchen bar or on the way to a ball game. Occasionally, a family does 
sit down to the table together, but it is more like a marathon race with each one 
concentrating on finishing their own plate so they can get to a certam event at a certam 


They say this is the age of finger food, and silverware and china will soon be 
obsolete. The dinner generation is being replaced by the fast food and snacking generation. 
How different from the way each family dined in the early part of the century, when they 
aU assembled around the dining room table. It became a place of active conversations, 
where the events of each day were discussed by all present. It was a combmation of group 
therapy, a confessional booth, a history class, a critics forum, a travel agency and the 
supreme court. It is an accepted fact that the main reason for family problems and 
misunderstandings is because we no longer communicate with each other. Most family 
members have their own separate rooms, separate television, separate phones and separate 
cars It seems we all live in one house, but separately, and are only drawn together by the 
accident of birth. It all goes to show you how far we have pulled away from the big dimng 
room table where communication with each other was as natural as eating the good old 
fashioned meat, potatoes and gravy. 

Dawna R. Derr 



■^-*i -. y .- _ ,v . -* iji-^*--. 


The development of Sugar City was started in 1903 by the Sugar City Townsite 
Company of Salt Lake City, Utah. Nearly a whole section of land was purchased. The 
south half was to be used as a town site and on the north half a sugar factory was to be 
built. The land was purchased from the following people: Willard Ricks, Christian Johnson, 
Amos C. Jacobs, Conrad Miller, C.B. Valentine, Hyrum Bell and John Dalling. The laying 
of the cornerstone of the factory took place on December 8, 1903. It was laid by Joseph F. 
Smith, the company director. Idaho's Governor Morrison spoke at the ceremony. Once the 
factory was completed, the L.D.S. Church brought three men from Germany to teach the 
company workers how to make sugar. Mark Austin, considered the founder of Sugar City, 
was named assistant general manager of the sugar company. An interesting feature of the 
company charter is Article Twelve which states: 

"No intoxicated liquors shall ever be sold or otherwise disposed of, nor shall gambling 
or prostitution be permitted... " 

In April 1904, the Sugar City streets were graded and board sidewalks were built 
throughout the town. Buildings had to be at least 30 feet from the sidewalk line. When 
property was acquired there was a clause in the deed stating that "within so many days after 
the purchase and the completion of the house, a white fence had to be erected and ditches 
placed in front of the house." The only sugar factory house still standing today is the 
residence of Dewey Fumess located on North Fremont. 

Sugar City had some advantages when it started out. It was centrally located in the 
richest part of Fremont County; it was laid out beautifully; it was on the line of the Oregon 
Short Line; and, it was within a reasonable distance from many beautiful attractions. Yes, 
the sugar factory brought money into the city. Many sheep men came because of the open 
range and the beet industry made an animal feed called pulp, which was good for the sheep. 
Every year the sugar company would have a large number of cattle shipped in because the 
pulp also provided a good feed for them. 

The village board had its first meeting January 9, 1906. The first ordinances adopted 
outlawed disturbing the peace, which carried a $30 fine or a 50 day jail sentence; and, 
drunkenness, which was punishable by a $25 fine or 30 days in jail. Young men were 
required to spend two days a month working on city streets (one day with a team and horse) 
between April 1 and October 1 or they had to pay a delinquenc)' tax. Another ordinance 
prohibited "bikes, trikes or other equipment on the sidewalks." A 9:00 p.m. curfew was set 
for children under 14 years of age and a bell rang each evening at curfew time. Immoral 
dancing was also prohibited. Among the outlawed dances were: ragging, turkey trot, bunny 
hop, grizzly bear and the three-step. Violators faced a fine not less than $10 and not more 
than $60 or one day in jail for each $2 of fine. The first marshal of Sugar City was David 
Sanders. The jail house was located where the city pump house is today. 


Other community services included Dr. Shoup's eiglit-room hospital on Teton 
Avenue. In 1912 he had the first car in Sugar City. Anna Harris was the town nurse. A 
picture of a funeral in 1919 shows one white horse and one black horse pulling the funeral 
coach. This meant the deceased was not rich. Two white horses denoted wealth. In the 
early days of Sugar City much of the entertainment was provided at the Opera House. One 
of the groups that came to entertain was the E. Forest Taylor Company. Theatricals were 
also provided by the Community Drama Society. There were home parties, candy pulls, 
dances and hay rides. One lady recalled a Fourth of July celebration when her mother won 
the plump ladies' race and a dollar prize. Dancing was one of the main activities. Many 
were held at the Fremanida Dance Hall. In 1905 the Commercial Club was organized. In 
1906 the ball park was moved to the block directly adjacent to the northeast part of the city 

In 1908 the school had outgrown the building which was erected in 1904. It became 
necessary to build a much larger rock building west of the railroad tracks. The large rock 
building had two floors, large class rooms, an office and a central heating system. When this 
building was finished and ready for use a big celebration was had by all. It was in this 
building the school hot lunch program was started. Our P.T.A. president, Lottie Ricks 
Smith, would make hot soup and put it in a milk can. Then they would put it on a small 
wagon, or in the winter on a sleigh, and deliver it to the school. Each child had their owti 
soup bowl. Students liked to go to Harrison's Meat Market to buy big dill pickles for two 
cents, large chocolate bars for two cents or chunks of bologna for five cents. Some of our 
first teachers were Mrs. Luella McQuiston Garner, who taught for 43 years and who "wasn't 
scared of anybody or anything;" Henry Eddington, a one-armed teacher "who didn't have a 
handicap at all;" Jennie Waldram, a teacher and seamstress; and Agnes West was our music 
teacher. All of these teachers went the extra mile to help students. 

Sunrise stocking dances were held at the high school. Students wore mismatched 
socks to dance from sunrise unto school started. On January 22, 1921 a group of young 
Sugar-Salem High School students formed the Ladies Glee Club. Lorin Ricks, a student, 
played for them. They paid five cents monthly dues. This club continued singing for 26 
years. After their high school years were over they would meet at the home of Winiefred 
Ricks each Thursday at 5 p.m. 

The girls would met for just one hour and practice different songs. They put on 
concerts and took the money from the sale of tickets to buy instruments for the men in the 
service. At the time the Idaho Fails Temple was being built they put on musicals and used 
the money to buy furnishings such as: curtains, covers, etc., for the temple. 

Our first school paper was called "Commencement." It was dedicated to John K. 
Orme to show our love for him for the devotion he had for the students. He was also 
president of the Sugar-Salem School Board. The author of the following poem was Christi 
Schwinderman. He was a noted artist and writer. He came to Sugar City with his mother 
and brv)lhers from Switzerland in the early 1900's. The poem was written on the stair wall 


of our high school. It was destroyed along with the building at the time of the Teton Flood, 
but it will always live on in the memories of many of us who walked the halls of Sugar- 
Salem High School. 

School Creed: When A Man Is Really Educated 

He will know that success or failure in life is caused more by mental capacities. 

He will cultivate his manners as well as his brains. 

He will not think his diploma is his passport to success. 

He will appreciate the higher, finer things. 

He will not be a snob; he will be kind to a considerate of others, rich and poor. 

He will know the value of spare time for self improvements. 

He will be willing to take advice of the more experienced. 

He will control himself under provocation 

He will not always think of himself. 

He will know that it is more important to make a life than it is to make a living. 

The late Thomas C. Neibaur, a Sugar City resident, was the first Idahoan to be 
presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. The award is the nation's highest 
military honor. He was cited for bravery in the Battle of Argonne in World War I on 
October 18, 1918. General John J. Pershing, supreme general of U.S. forces in World War 
I, presented the medal to Neibaur and invited the young private to dinner. When he 
returned to Idaho, Neibaur received a hero's welcome. The state declared May 17, 1919, 
Neibaur Day. Neibaur died in a veteran's hospital in 1942. 

The Sugar Ward was created as a division of the Salem Ward on July 24, 19Q4. 
Victor Hegsted, the bishop of the Salem Ward, conducted the meeting. The Stake 
President, Thomas E. Bassett, and his counselor, James W. Webster, were present. The new 
bishop sustained that day was Mark Austin. J. B. Caddie and Alfred Ricks Sr. were 
sustained as his counselors with Hans M. Hansen as clerk. The membership of the ward 
was about five hundred at that time. For a short time the meetings were held in the Park 
School Building. A building project was started for a new meeting house. No financial 
assessments were made for the building fund. Each contributor was his own judge of what 
and how much to give. In eight months time the meeting house was completed and 
dedicated. The architect that drew up the plans for this fine building was Franz Salzner. 
He also built the Idaho Falls Temple. A pump organ was installed in the new church and 
a young priesthood boy was appointed to work the pump. Alfred Ricks Sr. succeeded Mark 
Austin as bishop. He served for 23 years. 

In 1979 a Maverick Gas Station opened for business in Sugar City. The business 
district consists of a grocery store, a post office, a hardware store, a real estate office, two 
gas stations and a number of potato based industries. A new park was built on the 
southwest of town, just west of the railroad tracks. It was completed in 1981. It has a 
double tennis court, two large lights for the baseball fields and a hill for the children to play 


on. The other city park is more for family picnicking and community parties. The 
population of Sugar City has increased with many lots for sale to be used for new homes. 
We have five new school buildings but still the schools say they are in need of more class 
rooms. On October 12, 1980, four new wards were organized in Sugar City making a total 
of nine wards in the Sugar City Stake. Sugar City looks forward to growth and prosperity 
in the future. 

Marjorie Ricks Romrell 

Excerpts from news article: "Residents Recall History Of 'Sweetest City, '" Laurie Luke and 

Faye Petersen 


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The following list was compiled from applications sent to 
Farms in Madison County. There may be others that did not apply 
but they are unknown to the Committee. 

Boise to qualify as Century 
which would also be eligible ■ 

Last Name/Business 


Address 1/Address 2 





Rco S. 

1421 North 1000 West 

Rcxburg, ID 



Brown's Land & Cattle Co., 


Randolph/MildredW. Theron 
6028 West 4000 North 

Re.xburg, ID 




James Ross 

8747 South 1600 F;ist 

Rexburg, ID 





1316 East 3500 North 

Sugar City, ID 




Robert Blair 
Todd Blair 

P.O. Bo.x 264 

Rcxburg. ID 



Hemsley, Jr. 

Mrs. Edward 

4042 West 6000 North 

Rcxburg. ID 




Maud M. 
James G. 

4795 North Salem Road 

Rexburg. ID 




George P. 
Faye Johnson 

4613 North 3000 East 

Sugar City, ID 




Ixiis L. 
Gaylcn S. 

3546 West 6800 South 

Rcxburg. ID 





3156 West 3000 North 

Rcxburg. ID 




Harold L. 

Vaudvs J. 

2234 West 2000 North 

Rcxburg. ID 





3276 West 4000 North 

Rcxburg. ID 




Sarah Eli/ahclh 

961 Fast 7800Souih 

Rcxburg, ID 




Paul C. 

Shirley M. 

4425 North 5631 West 

Rcxburg. ID 



1 Sutton 


578 East 7000 South 

Rcxburg. ID 




Lindd M. 
Jay R 


Boise. ID 



G.W. Ul.uicharJlnisl 

Wcstovcr/ H.ilhau.i\ 

489 West 1500 North 


Rcxburg. ID 




Millon S. 
Moii.t I'incock 

2<J36 Highway 33 

Siig.u Cit). ID 





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Early Main Street looking West 

Looking South on M.iin Street 1930 




Volunteer Fire Dcpartnieni I93() - Picture 
taken in fioni of the Stake OlTice Ihiikling 
that was next to the lahernaele 



Rcxburg Chamber of Commerce 1950 

County Officers being swoin in 




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Building the Tabernacle 


Tabernacle 1991 




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Main Street looking West 1991 

RcxburgCity Hall 1991 






Post Office Clerk Joe Barber Post Office Clerk Jesse Stephensen 

Postmaster Parlcttc Petersen third from rielil 




Madison County Library 1991 


Rcxbiirg Post Office 




Madison Memorial Hospital 1951 under 

Mailisoii Memorial Hospilal 



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WMBflW ^^^ HIV 9HB ^^^1 JIBBIHb WHiH< 


Fire Department Building 

M.iJison High Scliool 

'.». « t- "v 1 



Sugar City Furniture and Hardware 1991 

Sugar City Municipal Buikimg 


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t ' 


Sugar City Post Office 

Sugar City High ScHdoI 


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91 ^ 

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AiKkisoii I amilv IIvmiks mikc iS.S.^. 




The home built by Henry J. Flanun before 

1 he Rex and Dora Lee Walz home west ot 
Kexbiirg. It was built by Coiirail Walz about 



».«l— 1.1 

The home built for the John L. Jacobs family. 



The home built by Mark Austin It is acn)ss 
the stieel from the Jacdbs home 


The John Smcllic home built about 1891. The 
remodeled home below. 



IH— II— 'imi !■■ 

The John Smellie home 1991 

The Uoyle and Lola Walker home built by the 
lames Webster family. 




^. ""^ 

-%- 1.*'.*. -^1 



Flood Damage to Homes 1976 

> 4 

















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Mary Ann Felt and Josiah Hendricks, picture 
taken 1906 on Main Street where the 
Courthouse now stands 



I L'ym., 


Jim Wchslcr ami Will Walker 

I H 
















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PI 111 — IIIH> 


Th* binder, with it§ <low rerl and canvis convfyor, wn dg^lgntd (oTundle grain gently to avoid thirshinn pmnahirrlY 



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