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Looking back: Body of Rexburg girl exhumed, train derails and Preston High receives gift from Chevrolet

Looking Back

EAST IDAHO — Every week, East Idaho News is looking back in time at what life was like during this week in history.

This week is Sept. 27 to Oct. 3.


ST. ANTHONY — The body of a six-year-old Rexburg girl was exhumed, The Teton Peak explained in its Oct. 1, 1903, newspaper.

It said Henry Rigby’s daughter died “as a result of an error upon whom no blame has yet been placed.”

“Her life has been cut off while in the bud through the carelessness of someone,” The Teton Peak stated.

After the girl was buried, the paper explained that “upon further inquiry, it became apparent that something serious had transpired.”

The body was exhumed and part of the girl’s abdominal organs were sent to Salt Lake City for analysis.


POCATELLO — A hearing was set to take place Oct. 1, 1948, to investigate the cause of an 18-car pile-up of a Union Pacific train, The Pocatello Tribune reported.

The pile-up happened days earlier on Sept. 28 near Wells, Nevada. A Pocatello crew manned the freight engine, according to the paper.

Crew members reported the train was derailed after leaving Twin Falls on its way to Nevada and that 18 freight and cattle cars “flopped over on their sides.” No crew members were injured.

The paper said those slated for the hearing included: the conductor T. W. Miller, brakemen M. P. Himes, E.W. McKelvey and V.H. Hunt, plus engineer G.L. Foster and fireman W. Eaton.


SODA SPRINGS — A second-grade teacher at Thirkill Elementary in Soda Springs died after open-heart surgery.

The Caribou County Sun said Mrs. Beatrice Carlson died Sept. 29, 1968, in a Boise hospital due to complications following open-heart surgery on Sept. 17.

“Supt. of Schools Ellis Williams commented that the faculty and students thought very highly of Mrs. Carlson and her teaching efforts,” the paper said.

Carlson left behind her husband, Rolland Carlson, two daughters and a son. Her funeral was held on Oct. 1 in Emmett.


PRESTON — The Preston Citizen announced that Preston High School received a truck as a donation from Chevrolet for automotive students to work on.

The paper explained there were “nearly 2,000 cars and trucks damaged by wrecks, floods, and other mishaps on the way to dealer showrooms, which have been given to schools and other institutions to help build automotive mechanical careers for young men.”

The Chevrolet donation program started in 1971. After five years of the program, damaged cars, trucks and tests cars had been given to schools and institutions in most of the 50 states, according to Chevrolet’s national director of service operations R. D. Good.

“(The donation program begun) in an effort to find a more useful purpose for the damaged units which previously wound up in the scrap crusher,” Good said.

Schools receiving vehicles had to sign an affidavit that they wouldn’t be driven. Donation tags were fastened to the vehicles and their identification numbers were removed by Chevrolet.

Preston High receives Chevy truck donation
Glade Larsen, assistant zone-manager for Chevrolet Motors from Salt Lake City (center, right) and a Preston High School graduate himself, presents a set of keys to George Wilcox, automotive instructor at PHS. Also looking on and participating in the gift of a $6,000 Chevy pickup to the automotive department are (from left) Dr. Orson Bowler, superintendent; Dick Pilgrim, owner of the Pilgrim Chevrolet in Preston who made the gift possible; and Bob Gaylord (second from right) sales manager at Pilgrim Chevrolet, and Principal Al Koch.| Courtesy The Preston Citizen
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