Looking back: Earthquake felt, missing plane prompts search and pair leads police on high-speed chase - East Idaho News
Looking Back

Looking back: Earthquake felt, missing plane prompts search and pair leads police on high-speed chase

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IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of March 11 to March 17 in east Idaho history.


MCCAMMON — A young man died after being thrown off a horse he was riding, The Pocatello Tribune reported on March 14, 1900.

Guy Moss, who was “about 21 years of age,” was killed on March 11, 1900. He was on his way home from church with a few boys when they started to race.

“Guy was in the lead, and when going down a hill, his horse fell, throwing him under it,” the local paper wrote. “Albert Lewis was behind and being unable to stop, his horse also fell over the boy.”

Moss lived for about two hours after the accident. He was extremely bruised, broke two ribs and “apparently bled inwardly.”

Moss had only been home a few days from Logan, Utah, were he was attending school.

“He was a young man well thought of in the vicinity and had many friends who will be sorry to hear of his untimely death,” the article reads.


RIGBY — Eastern Idahoans reported they felt an earthquake in March 1934, The Rigby Star reported on March 15, 1934.

“This section of the valley, together with other parts of the country from Reno to Cheyenne and south to Salt Lake City, indulged in a slight earthquake Monday morning,” The Rigby Star explained.

The paper said electric light fixtures swung back and forth “in lazy fashion,” while there was rattling of dishes and slight movements of furniture reported in town.

“Agent Durham, at the depot, got up from his desk to see if another train was approaching, so pronounced was the shock at the depot,” the article states.


BURLEY — A plane scheduled to fly from Burley to Las Vegas disappeared and prompted a search, the Idaho State Journal reported on March 14, 1960.

The plane was carrying five members of the same family including West Stoddard, of Alaska, his wife, Helen, their 28-year-old daughter Mrs. Horace Cumbie and her 6-year-old son, Randy, and Stoddard’s aunt, of Arizona.

“Stoddard, his wife, daughter and grandson left Anchorage last Monday on a family visiting excursion,” the paper said. “Mrs. Lee, of nearby Heyburn, joined the family flight at Burley. They were eventually going to visit their mother and some brothers who live in Arizona.”

Stoddard was “an experienced pilot” who operated his own flying service at Merrill Field near Anchorage.

“He filed a flight plan for Las Vegas by way of Ely, Nevada, and took off from Burley at 9:50 a.m. Sunday but was never heard from again,” the Journal said. “He had six hours of fuel. His estimated flight time was three hours.”


CHESTER — A high-speed chase and a trail of money taken in an “armed robbery” in Chester led to the arrest of two people, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported on March 14, 1977.

Delbert Collett, 18, of St. Anthony, and a 17-year-old Salt Lake City, Utah, juvenile were in custody in the Fremont County Jail awaiting arraignment Monday morning on charges of armed robbery.

Fremont County Sheriff’s deputy Michael Matthews, who investigated the incident, said he received a call at 3:45 p.m. Saturday reporting the armed robbery of the Brown Country Store in Chester. Authorities were seeking two suspects.

Matthews headed in the direction the pair were reported to have fled. An Ashton officer, Gary Barnes, called Matthews and said he spotted the armed suspects and was giving chase.

“Barnes relayed that although he was unable to overtake the suspects, he was able to keep them in sight,” the paper mentioned.

Matthews said the pair “abandoned the chase and their vehicle in a snowbank” in Drummond, and Barnes began to chase the pair on foot. Matthews arrived at the scene minutes later and helped Barnes arrest one of the fugitives.

The other suspect was apprehended around 4:20 p.m. Saturday by deputies about one-eighth of a mile from the abandoned car.

“Deputies were aided in tracking the juvenile suspect by a trail of money — about $40 small bills — apparently thrown down intermittently by the youth in an attempt to divest himself of evidence tying him to the armed robbery,” the Post Register said.

The article continued, “The ‘gun’ used in the holdup was reportedly a wooden stick in Collett’s jacket pocket, pointed at store personnel. Deputies were not aware of how heavily ‘armed’ the pair was until after both were apprehended.”