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Looking back: Man killed by father-in-law, kids asked to chase rats and Pocatelian mistakes coconut for time bomb

Sarah Allen Ricks, circa 1890’s. | Courtesy photo
IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of March 20 to March 26 in east Idaho history.
1900-1925
RIGBY — A man was shot to death by his father-in-law, the Sugar City Times wrote on March 26, 1914.
G.T. Parks, of Jefferson County, was killed at his home three miles south of Rigby, by George Askew “over the possession of some property.” Askew admitted he shot and killed Parks, and claimed it was in “self-defense.”
“The quarrel, which resulted in the fatal ending, was the result of a divorce suit which was tried at the recent term of the district court in Jefferson County,” the local paper said. “Mrs. Parks (was) suing for divorce, which was denied.”
After the trial on March 25, 1914, Parks and Askew “had some words” with each other. The details regarding the possession of property issue were not clear in the article. What is clear, however, is after the two men got into a fight and shots were fired.
Witnesses claim there were three shots but only two bullets were found that fit Askew’s gun. He was “taken in charge by the sheriff” and was “being held.”
1926-1950
PRESTON — Kids in Preston were invited to participate in a “big drive to eradicate the area of rats,” according to The Preston Citizen’s March 21, 1946, newspaper.
“The climax for the kids will be the big matinee Saturday, March 30, when admission will be one rat tail,” the article noted.
Prizes offered by the Junior Chamber of Commerce included a bridle for the boy who got the most rats and a hunting knife for the boy who placed second. The girl who turned in the most rat tails would receive a nylon hair brush and the second-place girl would be awarded personal stationery. The prizes were going to be on display in the window at J.C. Penney throughout the week.
“The red squill which is used for bait is available to all but must be obtained by adults only,” the paper mentioned. “The bait will be free.”
C.P. Maughan, state sanitarian, explained that each rat is “capable of destroying many hundreds of dollars of property each year.”
“The extent of propagation already reached in this county has made them a menace,” The Preston Citizen stated.
The city of Preston was “studying the plan of segregating wet and dry garbage that is picked up” so that it wouldn’t be “placed on the city dump to feed these rodents.”
“Among the dread diseases spread by rats are typhus and bubonic plague,” The Preston Citizen said. “If the current campaign is successful, and the new litters are killed before favorable weather permits their escape to the fields, a big step in whipping this problem here will have been taken.”
1951-1975
SODA SPRINGS — Roughly 75 pounds of dynamite was taken from four kids around the age of 10, the Caribou County Sun reported.
The paper, dated March 21, 1957, said Deputy Sheriff Herb Walters received a phone call from a man that said he saw the boys playing with the dynamite.
“The boys told Walters they found the dynamite … under the bridge on the road to the Fowler Market’s slaughterhouse,” the article reads. “They opened one case and had peeled the paper off one stick.”
The paper said there were no caps with the dynamite.
1976-2000
POCATELLO — A coconut from Puerto Rico was mailed to a Pocatello man, according to the Idaho State Journal.
On March 25, 1976, the Journal explained James Reddy, 88, found the coconut on his porch. Neither him or his daughter, Jeanne, knew what the object was, but it had his name and address painted on the outside of it.
“Unlike the grocery store variety, this coconut still wears its normal husk,” the paper pointed out.
It was eventually put together that James’ granddaughter, Julie Wallace, mailed the coconut. Wallace taught school in Puerto Rico.
“Ms. Reddy said her father at first thought the large, oval object was a time bomb,” the Journal stated.

Jeanne Reddy holding the coconut that was sent to her dad, James. | Courtesy the Idaho State Journal
The post Looking back: Man killed by father-in-law, kids asked to chase rats and Pocatelian mistakes coconut for time bomb appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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