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Looking back: Man murders roommate, boys forge check and ABC TV makes its way to Pocatello

Looking Back

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EAST IDAHO — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back in time at what life was like during this week in history.

This week is Dec. 13 to Dec. 19

1900-1925

IDAHO FALLS — A man killed his roommate with an ax before escaping with his money, the Blackfoot Idaho Republican reported on Dec. 18, 1908.

Waldo H. Schlag, who had been working in Montana, came to Idaho Falls with a man who murdered him in their room at the old Eagle Rock Rooming house. The paper said the men arrived on Dec. 11, 1908, and the murder happened the following night.

“Neither of them was acquainted in Idaho Falls, and nobody knows where the murderer went after committing the foul deed, but the officers have a good description of him and it is likely they will run him down,” the Blackfoot Idaho Republican stated.

The two men went to bed “rather early” Saturday night and the next morning, groans were heard coming from their room.

“Those who heard them supposed it was from some drunken man and made no investigation until afternoon when the door was broken in and the man was lying on the bed in a pool of blood, still alive but unconscious,” the article reads.

Schlag had five gashes in his head from a small ax and, “most of the brain substance had run out on the bed.”

The paper said he lived for about an hour after being found. Papers in his clothing showed he must have had about $500, and he was in Idaho to buy land.

It was later reported that Neil McMillan of Idaho Falls captured the man who was with Schlag in Idaho Falls. McMillan found him in Lima, Montana.

Schlag had a brother in Judith, Montana, who took the remains and shipped them to Ohio, where he had relatives.

1926-1950

RIGBY — An eight- and nine-year-old boy shoplifted and tried to cash a forged check, The Rigby Star said in its Dec. 14, 1950, newspaper.

The boys went up to the counter at Finer Foods Cafe and asked Dick Flood to cash a five-dollar check. Flood was “suspicious of the transaction” and told the boys to wait a moment.

“In the meantime, he dashed out the back door to the bank, where the check was quickly declared a forgery on a prominent farmer,” The Rigby Star said.

Flood returned to the cafe and around the same time, an officer was coming down Main Street. The officer put the boys in his car, and while doing so, J.L. Bingham crossed the street and said he recognized the boys as the ones who stole a toy train from his store.

“The boys were told the errors of their ways by Manager Bingham followed by a lecture by Judge Larsen, relative to youths of such tender age forging checks and shoplifting,” the article states.

1951-1975

POCATELLO — It was announced on Dec. 13, 1973, that ABC TV would soon be “in operation” in Pocatello, according to The Rigby Star.

A spokeswoman for Channel 6, ABC TV, Lorrain Kaay, said the tower for the new station was complete.

“Pocatello’s Idaho State University Public Service Station, Channel 10, serves this area and the new station will also reach this area,” Kaay explained.

This would mark the first ABC affiliated station in this area, the paper noted.

1976-2000

SODA SPRINGS — A man charged with assault with a deadly weapon to commit murder was found guilty of a “lesser charge,” The Caribou County Sun said on Dec. 15, 1977.

Gary Black was charged with aggravated assault which carried a maximum three-year sentence. The charge against Black was from an incident on May 5, 1977, at the Stockman’s Lounge in Soda Springs.

“Black and his wife were at the lounge when Everett Vic Atkins came in,” the paper said. “A fight developed between the two, eventually leading to the stabbing of Black’s wife.”

Black then followed Atkins outside and stabbed him. Atkins plead guilty to an aggravated assault charge earlier and was set to be sentenced on Dec. 16, 1977.

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