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Looking back: Family of 6 dies in house fire, ‘rabbit drive’ held and $50 robbery at Rexburg business

The new members of the Jefferson County official family, sworn in last week are (left to right) Leland Call, chairman of the county commissioners, swearing in Robert J. Barnes, clerk and recorder, and Glen Scott and Raymond Lindstrom, commissioners. January 1975. | Courtesy The Rigby Star
IDAHO FALLS — is looking back at what life was like during the week of Jan. 1 to Jan. 7 in east Idaho history.
SALMON — A father, mother and four children died in a house fire in Salmon, The Rigby Star reported on Jan. 6, 1916.
The “terrible happening” involved Arch Eckersell and his family. The article said “word was telephoned here” from Salmon to Ad Eckersell informing him that his brother and his brother’s family died.
“No particulars were received other than the house, which was located in the outer edge of town, was seen to be on fire about 5 o’clock that morning,” the paper explained. “Neighbors hurried to the home, but too late to be of any use, as the floors had fallen in as well as the roof, carrying the members of the stricken family with them.”
It was believed the fire started on the lower floor because that part of the home “burned away.” The article said the fire dropped “the floor of the second story where the members of the family slept, into the flames, causing their death, provided they had not all died before the walls of the house fell in.”
“It was one of the coldest days of winter and as it is dark at that time of the morning, the fire was not noticed until too late for anyone to render any assistance,” the paper explained.
Ad was told the remains of the six members of the family were placed in one casket and would be taken to Rexburg, “the old home,” for burial.
REXBURG — A Rexburg business was robbed of approximately $50, The Rexburg Standard reported on Jan. 4, 1934.
The robbery happened at the Buick Company sometime between midnight on New Year’s Eve and 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Tools and small items from the stock room and office were stolen, as well as $2.50 was taken from the cash register.
“The thieves entered through the shop, broke a large plate glass window between the shop and the office and made off with the loot,” the paper wrote. “The padlocks on the front door and the tool box were stolen.”
The article said “the clues point to the work of amateurs.”
HAMER — A “rabbit drive” took place near Hamer where more than 5,000 rabbits were killed, The Rigby Star reported on Jan. 3, 1952.
“This was the sixth to have been held so far this winter,” the article stated.
Another drive was scheduled for that upcoming Sunday at the bird refuge near Hamer.
“Hot chocolate and doughnuts will be served to those participating,” The Rigby Star said. “Members of the Eastern Idaho Rabbit Control association expressed their appreciation to all who joined in the drive against the pests.”
POCATELLO — There were “numerous fender benders” in Pocatello due to blizzard conditions and one of the accidents involved an ambulance, the Idaho State Journal reported on Jan. 4, 1977.
The ambulance was en route to a call when the accident happened. The driver of the ambulance was trying to back up when the wheels went into ice ruts and hit a parked car. Damage to the car was minor, according to officers. The ambulance suffered roughly $200 worth of damage.
The post Looking back: Family of 6 dies in house fire, ‘rabbit drive’ held and $50 robbery at Rexburg business appeared first on East Idaho News.

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