NEWS Looking back: Schools shut, farmers survive train crash and ground flight in ‘dense fog’

Oldest church in Rexburg looking back

IDAHO FALLS — is looking back at life during the week of January 16-January 22 in Eastern Idaho history.


Sugar Land— A local school was ordered to close until the board “provides enough purified water for drinking,” according to the Sugar Land Times.

A January 22, 1913 newspaper article explaining the order came after James H. Wallis, Idaho’s Sanitary and Purity Foods Inspector, visited “the school in Iona” Posted after.

“It seems that there is no water except the canal, and when the canal freezes, as it is now, about 200 children are cut off from water, which is not in compliance with the conditions approved by the authorities,” the article said.

It continued, “Schools were closed, children were dismissed and the trustees immediately took up the matter to provide adequate drinking water.”


UCON—— On January 16, 1933, the Idaho Falls Postal Register said a farmer in Ucon walked away with only a lump on his head after the truck he was driving was hit by a train.

The train was leaving Idaho Falls for Victor when the accident occurred. The train moved “very slowly” but managed to make a “complete U-turn on the road” of Frank Harris’ truck. Harris said the truck’s windows were frosted over and he didn’t see the train or hear the siren until he was about to hit the tracks.

“He was in reverse, but the engine was cold, it wasn’t working properly, and the engine stalled,” the local newspaper explained. “The front of the truck protruded just far enough onto the track to be grabbed by the locomotive.”


Pocatello — On January 16, 1956, the Idaho Journal reported that a car overturned and two police officers were injured in the second traffic accident within a week involving an emergency-calling police car.

Robert Dillon, 22, was the driver of the rollover. He was not injured in the crash but has been charged with failing to give way to emergency vehicles.

Officer Richard Raymond, 26, was driving the police car. He suffered back injuries and bruised legs. His partner, Officer LaMont Anderson, 24, bruised his knee in the accident but “returned to duty after receiving treatment.”

“Raymond told investigating officer WR Van Leuven that he was approaching an intersection with his siren on, red lights flashing, and Dillon’s vehicle colliding with the right side of the police vehicle,” the article read. “Van Leuven said Dillon told him he heard sirens as he entered the intersection, but he didn’t stop in time.”

Van Leuven estimated the police car was lost at $450.

1976-2000 The Idaho State Journal wrote on January 18, 1976, that a “dense fog” had forced the closure of airports in Idaho Falls and Pocatello.

The shutdown affects about 1,000 air passengers, according to the Wall Street Journal. A plane was able to leave Idaho Falls Airport early in the day before the closure.

“Dense fog reduced visibility to less than one-eighth of a mile and was expected to plague the valley Sunday morning,” the magazine explained. “It extended south into the Cache Valley in northern Utah and caused multiple crashes in eastern Idaho.”

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