The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

With war raging on the western front in France, Mary Crystal of Rigby received news this week in 1918 that her son, William Lloyd Crystal, had been killed in action on June 27. Crystal, 22, was the first member of old Company M of the Second Idaho to be killed. He had enlisted on April 3, 1917, and trained first at Fort Wright, near Spokane, then Camp Mills before going overseas. In that time, Company M had been absorbed and transformed into the 146th Machine Gun Battalion, a front line unit. “(This) is the first authentic information that they were in a dangerous zone,” the Idaho Register said. Crystal had enlisted under Capt. Levi Lundberg, who was his commanding officer at the time of his death.

75 years ago

Mr. And Mrs. Earl Arave experienced a grave loss this week in 1943 with the accidental death of their 13-year-old son, Lafe, who died after falling from a hay wagon on their farm north of Taylor. Bonneville County Coroner Fred Porter said the boy apparently slipped and fell between a stack of hay and the barn, landing on an upturned pitchfork, which pierced his chest. He said the boy pulled the tine out and managed to walk toward the farmhouse about 30 feet before collapsing, calling for his brother Lee, who was milking cows nearby. Earl Arave loaded Lafe into a car and sped for the hospital, but the boy died en route. In addition to his parents, he was survived by three brothers, Wallace, Lyle and Lee, and two sisters, Carol and Louise.

50 years ago

Ferris Clark was elected president of the New Sweden Pioneer Association at its annual picnic this week in 1968, succeeding Merland Snarr. More than 150 people attended the 50th anniversary celebration, which featured as guest speaker Joe L. Marker of the Post-Register, author of the historical brochure “Eagle Rock, USA.” Marker paid tribute to the people of New Sweden, “who have contributed so much to the progress and development of this beautiful valley.” The New Sweden Erickson Quartet — Wendell, Donald and Marvin Erickson and Harold Carlson — sang, and accordion music was provided by Clause Sealander.

25 years ago

Heidi Densley, a seventh-grader from Idaho Falls, was awarded the Weekly Reader 1993 Jefferson Award for her community service. Densley was recognized for the hours of service she had done with mentally disabled children. “I’ve learned to love the handicapped and not be afraid of them,” she told the Post Register. The Jefferson Awards were established in 1972 to recognize public service by young people across the United States. In 1993, Densley was one of 28 chosen for the award, which included an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C..

Paul Menser is the author of “Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls.”

Paul Menser is the author of “Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls.”