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Looking back: Broulim’s in Rexburg opens, man drowns in Snake River and Pocatellan on board hijacked plane

Looking Back

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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. 6 to Sept. 12.


BLACKFOOT— The Blackfoot school opened Sept. 6, 1904, with 400 students enrolled, marking the largest in its history for opening day, according to the Idaho Republican.

The seating capacity of the school at the time was 625. Students came from Colorado, Montana, Iowa, and various other states to attend the school.

The paper said, “The management of school work rests with Prof. Chas Johnson and a corps of 11 teachers.”

There was one teacher for grades primary through eighth grade and two teachers for high school.


REXBURG — The Rexburg Standard reported on Sept. 6, 1934, that the Broulim family opened a grocery store in Rexburg.

The Broulim brothers of Idaho Falls and Rigby opened their new grocery store on East Main Street where Mason’s Food Store was previously located, the paper explained. Rexburg local Mr. C. Stewart Mason was set to be the manager.

“The Broulim people operate thriving and successful grocery stores in Rigby and Idaho Falls and have announced that they are delighted to open a store in this territory,” The Rexburg Standard reported. “Broulim’s is one of the most attractive groceries in town.”


PRESTON — A former Preston resident, Harold Jens Poulsen, drowned in the Snake River during a tubing fishing trip, The Preston Citizen reported in its Sept. 8, 1966, paper.

Poulsen, 60, was on vacation with his son, Bart, and son-in-law, Darwin Jolley, when the accident happened. The family members were below a dam, tubing toward Massacre Rock when Poulsen drowned at Duck Point.

“According to a companion, the three men had individual tubes and considered the route as not dangerous,” The Preston Citizen wrote.

Poulsen was born July 8, 1906, in Preston to C.E. (Theodore) and Aldena Amy Swenson Poulsen. While living in Preston, Poulsen worked as a painter and contractor.

He spent four years in the Marine Corps, before serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southern States from 1935 to 1937.

He married Velma C. Keller on Dec. 22, 1937, in the Salt Lake temple. Poulsen left behind his wife, one son, three daughters and five grandchildren.


POCATELLO — A Pocatello father and mother learned that their 33-year-old son and his wife were aboard a KLM jetliner that was hijacked by three Palestinians while flying over France.

The Idaho State Journal reported on Sept. 6, 1976, that the hijacking happened over the weekend.

Mr. and Mrs. Ellwood J. Stephens told the paper that their son, Robert E. Stephens called on Sept. 6 to tell them that he and his wife, Vera, were unharmed. The couple was looking for a place to live in Monaco when the plane was hijacked.

The paper said the jet left Nice, France, and was taken over by the Palestinians who threatened to blow up the plane in midair unless the Israeli government freed eight prisoners. Robert told his parents that the passengers were held captive for 20 hours “but were well treated by the Palestinians.”

The hijackers eventually surrendered after the plane landed in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Robert was born in Pocatello and graduated from Pocatello High School. He studied for a year at Idaho State University and graduated from Brigham Young University.

The couple planned to return to Pocatello for a vacation later in September.