The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

Idaho Falls residents learned this week in 1918 that a representative from the Internal Revenue Service would be coming to town for the first two weeks in February to help show them the ins and outs of the new federal income tax forms. “Few will be exempt from this tax now that the gross amount of revenue earned has been reduced to$1,000 for single persons and $2,000 for married persons and the tax applies to all people with an income of the amounts stated regardless of the character of the occupation,” the Idaho Register said.

The forms were intricate, the story warned, and the fines for failing to fill them out were sizable, which was why the representative was being sent. “This is the only visit to this community that will be made by the representative, and all those needing his services had better take advantage of the opportunity,” the paper said.

75 years ago

Idaho Falls Mayor E.W. Fanning announced this week in 1943 that traffic lights would be left on continuously “unless traffic should drop a great deal.” As an experiment to save electricity, the blinking green, orange and red lights had been turned off for a week in early December, but pre-Christmas traffic made it necessary to turn them back on. Although there had been no accidents, a few close calls were reported and “pedestrians were at the mercy of motorists,” the Post-Register reported. “Traffic was retarded because motorists on side streets were forced to wait long periods to drive onto arterial thoroughfares.”

50 years ago

Two young men were in Idaho Falls Police custody this week in 1968 after they were caught inside The Mart, 600 Northgate Mile, following an anonymous phone tip Jan. 5 at 12:56 a.m. Within minutes of the call the store was surrounded by police under the command of Lt. Stanley Ward, who reported a pile of firearms under a fence behind the building and one man trying to climb on the roof of the store. In a car near the building, police found more guns, as well as an assortment of tools, stereo tapes, gas cans, clothing, rope, tire chains and a length of garden hose. A preliminary estimate placed the value of the loot at more than $500.

25 years ago

Michael Book, 18, pleaded guilty this week in 1993 to a charge of second-degree murder in the June 1991 slaying of Danny Disney of Ammon. In pleading guilty, Book acknowledged aiding Jeannie Disney in the slaying of her husband. The slaying was staged to look like a suicide, but investigators learned the woman had promised to pay Book guns and money to kill him in exchange for the heinous deed. Book waived his right to withdraw his plea as part of an agreement with Bonneville County Prosecutor David Johnson.

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

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