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Looking back: Failed kidnapping attempt and relatives die on way to grandpa’s funeral

The 1925 Bridge and Building gang of Pocatello. | Courtesy photo
IDAHO FALLS — is looking back at what life was like during the week of Aug. 29 to Sept. 4 in east Idaho history.
ST. ANTHONY — Three men who planned to kidnap a St. Anthony boy were arrested, The Rigby Star said on Aug. 31, 1916.
Marion A. Lufkin, David McLoy and Ralph Zufelt were going to kidnap Roland Harriman, son of Mrs. E. H. Harriman. The paper said they were going to “hold him for a ransom of $100,000, and in case his ransom was not paid, (they’d) blind the boy and otherwise disfigure him for life.”
“Three men … are now in jail charged with conspiracy to go to Island Park, where young Harriman is spending his vacation, kidnap him and hold him for ransom,” The Rigby Star wrote. “Two of the trio have made confessions to the officers.”
Lufkin was arrested in Island Park — where he was working as a ranch hand — on suspicion of “being implicated in a burglary here.” He denied the burglary but confessed he went to the ranch with the purpose of kidnapping Harriman.
“Later, the other two men were located in the northern part of the county in the mountains in the region of Kilgore,” the article explains. “McLoy also confessed. Zufelt denies being implicated in the affair.”
The men were found with guns and knives. Lufkin was responsible for notifying the others “when to come and carry out the plan under his direction.”
“His arrest prevented the completion of the plan,” the paper said.
REXBURG — Schools in Rexburg and Sugar City were going to have a school nurse, The Rexburg Standard announced on Sept. 2, 1937.
The local paper said Rosemary Patricia Simons, of Boise, was hired for the job. She had “special training as well as considerable experience in public health nursing.”
“She comes to us very highly recommended by Dr. J. W. Hawkins, state director of public health,” the article said. “We are indeed fortunate to secure a nurse of Miss Simons’ qualifications to work in our schools.”
SODA SPRINGS — A “ravaging hail storm” swept through the southeastern portion of Caribou County, the Caribou County Sun said.
In an article published on Sept. 4, 1958, the newspaper said there were “severe losses” in local barley and wheat crops.
The storm, which hit hardest in Eight-Mile Canyon and southeast of Soda Springs, was reported to have lasted for almost 45 minutes.
“(There were) hailstones an inch in diameter that burrowed a quarter of an inch into the ground when they hit,” the article reads. “Wheat and barley fields were flattened almost completely in some places.”
This was the second storm to hit the region in the past two weeks. The first storm left a “damaging wake” in fields north of Soda Springs.
PRESTON — Four relatives of a Preston man who died were killed in a plane crash while on their way to his funeral, The Preston Citizen wrote on Sept. 2, 1976.
The pilot was Dick Baker, of Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Also on board was the pilot’s brother, Bob, and Bob’s wife, Judy, and their “small son,” Marvin, of Emmett. They were on their way to George Baker’s funeral.
“The Bakers, grandsons of the late George Baker, were flying from Emmett when they apparently developed mechanical problems which forced Baker to land in a stubble field,” The Preston Citizen said. “After correcting the problem, Baker taxied the plane onto a roadway for takeoff but failed to clear high voltage power lines along the road.”
A witness said the plane touched one line, causing the aircraft to make a sharp turn. The witness said that as a result, the plane barely missed hitting a nearby house. As the plane was pulling out of that turn, it clipped the top wire on a 65-foot pole.
“The tail and the landing gear hit the hotwire. The plane burst into a ball of flames upon contact with the electric wire and crashed to the ground,” the article reads. “The four badly charred bodies could not be recovered for more than an hour.”
Relatives in Preston were expecting the four to arrive, and the funeral was delayed 15 minutes. It wasn’t until after the funeral the relatives, including the father, Ellis Baker, learned of the crash.
The post Looking back: Failed kidnapping attempt and relatives die on way to grandpa’s funeral appeared first on East Idaho News.

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