Looking back

100 years ago

The trustees of the Swedish Mission Church in Bonneville County gave their word to the county council of defense that there would be no more preaching in German. “Many people did not know that Rev. B. Henry Leesman, Ogden preacher under investigation for attempted passing of a letter to an interned civilian enemy alien at Salt Lake City, was preaching here every other Sunday in the German language,” the Idaho Register reported. “He will do so no more, is the promise of the trustees of the church.” The Swedish Mission Church was being rented every other Sunday to the German evangelical church. Leesman was also said to have been conducting meetings at the York school. “(Trouble) of a serious nature may follow any attempt to use the language and services there,” the newspaper report said. “It is said here that Rev. Leesman is out on bail and that he is under government surveillance.”

75 years ago

Former Idaho Gov. Chase A. Clark was nominated this week to be U.S. District Judge for Idaho by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Clark, also the former mayor of Idaho Falls, had been defeated in his re-election bid in the fall of 1942 by C.A. Bottolfsen of Arco. He was at his home in the George Apartments when he was reached by a reporter from the Post-Register. “I’m happy that the president has nominated me to this important position,” he said. “All I can say is that I’ll give the position the best that is in me.” Clark’s nomination was quickly confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and he replaced Judge C.C. Cavanah, who had announced in 1942 he planned to retire.

50 years ago

All government offices from the federal to the local level were scheduled to be closed Thursday, Feb. 22, 1968, in observance of Washington’s Birthday. Post offices were to confine their services to distributing mail in boxes. Banks would be closed, “but stores generally will remain open, with places of business featuring Washington’s Birthday bargains,” the Post-Register reported. “Schools will be in session, with special programs being presented honoring ‘The Father of Our Country.’”

25 years ago

Bonneville County Prosecutor David Johnson told the county board of commissioners he needed to hire an additional deputy to keep up with a ballooning criminal caseload. Commissioners said they were concerned about costs and wanted to be sure all of Johnson’s deputies were competent before hiring another. The commission had cut Johnson’s staff from five to four when he took office in January.


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


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