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Looking back: Woman and kids nearly hit by train, man fights off robbers and theater opens after flood

Looking Back

IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of Aug. 15 to Aug. 21 in east Idaho history.

1900-1925

LORENZO — A mother and her two children riding a horse and buggy had a “very close call” with a train, The Rigby Star wrote on Aug. 15, 1912.

Mrs. C.L. Bowan and her kids were crossing a railroad track south of Lorenzo when a “wild engine” came “whizzing by.”

“Hearing the noise, (Bowan) evidently became confused and looked toward the south, thinking perhaps it was a train from that direction,” The Rigby Star explained. “The engine struck one of the horses on its jaw, and also broke the tongue out of the buggy.”

The paper said if the team had been two feet further on the track, the horses and occupants would have been killed.

1926-1950

REXBURG — The owner of Mack’s Inn fought off three “thugs” who were apparently trying to rob him of financial receipts, The Rexburg Standard reported on Aug. 20, 1931.

“Doc” W.H. Mack was on his way from the company’s lighting plant to Mack’s Inn when the men approached him. The paper said Mack “showed spirit” when the three bandits ordered him to “stick ’em up.”

“He dealt one fellow a right sounding smack that sent him sprawling in fine abandon, and had he not been so outnumbered, would undoubtedly have been able to hold his own with the ruffians,” the local paper said.

The men struck Mack’s head before fleeing when Mack called for help. Three men came to the rescue but the robbers got away. The robbers left Mack in a “badly battered up condition” but his injuries were not serious, according to the article.

1951-1975

TERRETON — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was asking for “cooperation of business firms” after “bad check writing” reached “almost epidemic proportions” in the county.

On Aug. 18, 1955, The Rigby Star said the sheriff’s office was asking businesses that weren’t sure who the “writers of checks” were to call the sheriff’s office. From there, a “check on the bank and signature can be hurriedly done.”

“If the person who is asking that a check be cashed and is a stranger, the sheriff’s office suggests that you ask for the car license number and other identification,” the article mentioned.

The paper explained Elmer J. Park was brought in on a bad check charge upon complaint of J.F. Storer of Mud Lake. The check involved was for $102. Park was arraigned and told to “make the check good,” pay court costs of $13 and a fine of $10. Park was taken to the Jefferson County jail.

“The sheriff’s office points out that most of these checks are not for small amounts and that merchants should be extra cautious at this time,” The Rigby Star said. “Insufficient fund checks are becoming numerous.”

1976-2000

REXBURG — The Holiday Theatre was the first movie theatre in downtown Rexburg to re-open since the Teton Dam flood, according to the Idaho Falls Post Register.

In an article published on Aug. 16, 1976, the theatre’s manager Jim DeMordaunt said the building was “gutted by the flood waters.”

“Remodeling began after 11 feet of water was taken from the building,” the paper said. “The projection booth was above the water.”

The building, which first opened in February 1971, was re-furnished with 426 new seats, new carpet and draperies.

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