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Looking back: Families surprised with Christmas dinner, father killed by ‘treacherous’ bull and Pocatello welcomes first 1952 baby

Sid Close, Charles Wood, Harry Dunn and Bill Hjort were cowboys in Rexburg and Egin in 1918. Hjort would go to Hollywood to be a stuntman for William S. Hart. | Courtesy photo
IDAHO FALLS — is looking back at what life was like during the week of Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 in east Idaho history.
BLACKFOOT — The “working force” at the county clerk’s office surprised families in need with a Christmas dinner, The Blackfoot Idaho Republican wrote on Dec. 27, 1912.
The employees collected “money all year in the form of tips” and at Christmas, they “found a way to make use of it.”
“Besides the tips in silver, they had tips in the way of information regarding four or five poor families where there might not be any Christmas dinner unless it was provided by friends,” the local paper explained. “They arranged to have things sent to these homes … and left as Kris Kringle leaves things.”
The Blackfoot Idaho Republican said “several good fellows” then got together to “play the part of associate charities” in case there were still poor families in need. It was determined that everybody in town “seemed to be provided for,” except for one family living 15 miles in the country who did not have much.
“The case was passed up because the father is reported to be well and strong and exceedingly lazy, devoting considerable time to reading Appeal to Reason (a socialist newspaper) and other similar literature,” the article states. “The committee was duly sorry for his family but did not feel it their duty to send them any chickens.”
MCCAMMON — A man was attacked and killed by a “treacherous Holstein bull,” The Pocatello Tribune reported on Dec. 27, 1927.
Fluett Simon came to McCammon 10 days before his death to take over the operations of the Nellie P. Bean Ranch. Simon went to the bullpen to move the bull to another area of the yard. Not long after entering the pen, the bull charged him and knocked him against the “heavy walls of the cow barn, which forms one side of the pen.”
“Two or three lightning-like lunges were made by the animal before the 16-year-old son of Mr. Simon’s could arm himself and rush to his father’s aid,” the article reads.
After a “severe clubbing,” the animal was “driven from the attack” while the teenager helped his father stand up. He walked to the house — about 350 yards — before he collapsed.
“Medical aid was immediately summoned, but the badly crushed and injured man died within an hour following the attack,” The Pocatello Tribune said.
Simon was a “comparatively young man of splendid reputation” who left behind his wife and their six children ranging in age from 2 to 16 years old.
This was the second time the bull attacked. The first time happened in the spring of 1926 when the bull went after his former caretaker, Lee Hansen. Hansen escaped after an employee armed with a pitchfork rushed over to help.
POCATELLO — The first baby born in a Pocatello hospital in 1952 belonged to a Rockland couple, the Idaho State Journal announced on Jan. 1, 1952.
Mr. and Mrs. J. Oren Spillett welcomed their third son on New Year’s Day at 4:37 a.m. Mr. Spillett, principal of the Rockland School, and his wife, had two sons ages 19 and 9.
“He smiled, gurgled and yawned for The Journal photographer before he was 5 hours old,” the paper mentioned.
The Spilletts received numerous gifts from Pocatello merchants to celebrate his arrival.
IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man was charged with first-degree murder after killing a 62-year-old woman with an ax.
On Dec. 26, 1976, the Idaho State Journal said Otto Miller, 57, was charged with killing Olga Thiele, also of Idaho Falls. Her decapitated body was found at her home.
Mrs. Thiele’s neighbor, Lori DePue, said Craig Thiele came to her door about 9:30 a.m. and said a man had ‘flipped out.’
“(DePue) said Craig told her a man had chased him around the house and hit him in the leg once with an ax, although he told her he wasn’t hurt,” the paper wrote. “Craig then told her the man ran into the house before police arrived at the home.”
The post Looking back: Families surprised with Christmas dinner, father killed by ‘treacherous’ bull and Pocatello welcomes first 1952 baby appeared first on East Idaho News.

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