Good Old Days of Custer County

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Debra Bruno, elementary school secretary, with her oldest son Mike, a senior at CHS.

Bus driver Sally Moss with passengers, Nella Pewitt and Jimmy Murphy.


November 21, 1991

Once upon a time in America, going to the dump was part of a weekend ritual. You’d get to sit in the front seat with Dad and haul anything imaginable to the landfill, and without a second thought, throw it into the pit. Boy did it stink, and boy, wasn’t it great?

Times have changed. Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has come out with new landfill regulations, many Custer County residents won’t be going to the landfill. In places like Stanley, Pahsimeroi and East Fork, they’ll be going to the dumpster. Then the garbage will be trucked to Challis...

But maybe it won’t go to Challis. Our garbage may be heading to Idaho Falls. This all depends on whether Challis will qualify for a small landfill exemption and what the state decides on in its own set of regulations...

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Educational support personnel supplement school services

Wednesday, November 20, has been designated National Education Support Personnel Day. Education Support Personnel are all those people who assist in the education of our children, often behind the scenes and with little public recognition…

Sally Moss

In a rural district such as ours, the first school official seen each day by many students is their bus driver. If that driver is Sally Moss, your student is greeted each school day by a warm and smiling face...

The hardest part of Sally’s job is when “The roads are bad,” a not infrequent occurrence in our area. She’s justifiably proud of her accident-free record…

Debra Bruno

No school can operate without the office secretary that answers the phone that never stops ringing and the requests (demands?) of the interminable line of people, young and old, who appear at her window. Debra Bruno took on the position of Challis Elementary School secretary 11 years ago when her youngest son, Mark, started kindergarten...

The school secretary is often the person in the middle trying to please teachers, students, parents and administrators. A hectic pace…

Debra says, in addition, her role sometimes calls for a sympathetic ear and a Kleenex to soothe youthful feelings easily injured. The sympathy is easy but sometimes “not taking sides” is more difficult…

Judy Madsen

Judy Madsen has not only worked in the Challis District schools for 11 years, she was born in Challis and graduated from Challis High School. She began her employment with the district as an aide in the Patterson School and then transferred to Challis High School as a Special Services aide seven years ago...

Motivating students to keep working is the hardest part of her job according to Mrs. Madsen, but it’s counterbalanced when “I see improvement, sometimes two or three grade levels in a year’s time…”

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Becky Skeen, Challis senior, has the honor of being selected to play basketball with the NBC Girls Senior Tour Basketball Team ’92 and will travel to the British Isles next summer. She must raise $2,730 plus personal expenses.

… There are 17 other players selected from the United States…


November 24, 1966

An Open House is planned for the new Supervisor’s Office of the Challis National Forest.

Everyone is invited to tour the new building…

A short dedication ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. with a flag raising ceremony conducted by the Philip Kirk Post of the American Legion after which Forest Supervisor Wes Carleson will welcome the visitors and Russell Anderson will give a short address. Following this, Gordon Watts, Deputy Regional Forester, will dedicate the building.

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Mona Maag, two-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Maag, is expected to be able to return to her home sometime this week from the Salmon hospital where she was taken last Thursday after she was apparently run over by a pickup.

The driver of the pickup, Gregory Landon, 14, was backing out of the Maag private driveway and failed to see the girl.

She was taken immediately to the Salmon hospital for treatment.

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“Oh, it’s too early to be going anywhere,” complained the 13 girls aboard Betty Corrigan’s school bus Saturday morning at 4. The sky was dark so it was quite a peaceful trip to St. Anthony. There the Future Homemakers of America and their advisor, Mrs. Carlson, piled out for a fun, but busy day…

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November 26, 1941

Mike Hogan, aged 65 years, was found dead in his cabin home on Morgan Creek Monday afternoon… by L. B. Koch, forest ranger on the Challis forest.

… Ranger Koch left Challis… going up Morgan creek to the summit where he had some business connected with timber management to attend to.

On his way back down Morgan creek, he stopped at the Hogan cabin as has been his habit as he passed by. Upon knocking at the door and receiving no welcome, he opened the door. As he saw no one in the house Mr. Koch thought probably that Mike was away.

Before leaving, he started for the bedroom, to be sure there was no one at home, and was met by a dog which had been staying with Mike for some time. The dog showed signs of viciousness and as Koch looked in the bedroom he saw Mike laying on the floor in front of the bed… dead…

Mike Hogan was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1876 and came to New York with his parents when he was eight years of age… He later came west as far as Chicago…

From there he came on west to Montana, when he was a young man. He obtained employment as a cowboy. During the year of 1906 he drifted into the Thunder Mountain country, still punching cattle. Three years later he came to Round Valley and went to work for Joe Rodgers. He spent about a year here and then went to Salmon…

In 1918 Mike went to the Forney section where he homesteaded a piece of ground and resided there until 1924 when he became associated with Thos. S. McKenney and the two purchased ranch holdings on Morgan creek…

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Last Sunday afternoon as Dick Black, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Black, was standing in a room at the home of his parents holding a .22 single shot gun, he placed it on his foot, muzzle down, and pulled the trigger. Dick was of the belief that the firearm was not loaded and also believed that it was not cocked. But to his surprise as well as pain and shock he found the gun was loaded and cocked as the bullet pierced his foot. The bullet, it is understood, went through the fleshy part of his foot missing all the bones, and although Dick is laid up for a time, he is congratulating himself on being born under a lucky star and not being more seriously injured… Sunday night as the Black family and some friends returned to their home from the show they found their house was on fire. Evidently some ashes had been set on the back porch some time before and some of the hot coals became ignited with the wooden floor. By the time the family arrived the flames had started up the side of the wall and were burning at a good rate. Several younger members of the family were asleep in a back bedroom at the time. The fire was extinguished by members of the family and some neighbors. The ones who were asleep did not awaken until after the excitement was over. We wonder if that is to be termed a “lucky” or an “unlucky” day for the Black family?

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The Armour cream receiving station opened in the building which will be shared with the Cotana Truck Lines office, next to the Keyser Mercantile company, last Saturday morning and is under the management of Clark Hill.

The building has been remodeled to accommodate the receiving of cream from the ranchers in this section. The cream is weighed, tested and a check given right at the station while the patron waits. This will do away with the waiting for cans and checks for several days after the cream is shipped…


November 22, 1916

The $100,000 bond issue for building good roads throughout Custer county, which was voted on November 7th, received twenty votes over the necessary two-thirds...

Part of the money will be used in purchasing suitable road building machinery and the remainder will be used in constructing permanent roads throughout the county.

The two main arteries of travel in the county, one from Leslie to Ellis and the other from Stanley to Ellis, will be constructed to comply with the requirements of the State Highway commission which commission will accept one of the roads as a state highway, will reimburse the county one-third of the cost of construction and will maintain the same after its acceptance…

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When Mark Twain was editor of a weekly newspaper one of his subscribers wrote him that he found a spider in his paper and inquired whether it was a sign of good luck. The noted humorist replied that that the spider was simply looking the paper over to see which merchants were not advertising so he could visit them, spin a web across their door and live happy ever afterwards.

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Items About People You Know

Small Blaze—Last Wednesday evening at about 5:30 the fire alarm called out the fire laddies to the residence of George Coryell. The fire, which had started from a gasoline lamp, was entirely extinguished before the fire boys arrived.

Big Blaze—Fire completely destroyed the Pete McKinney farm house about four miles from town last Friday night. The place caught fire from a defective flue. Eveld Nelson was severely burned about the head while endeavoring to save the household effects from the flames.

Are We Glad?—Yes, the road bond issue carried and over two thirds of the people of the county are pleased at the result.

Judy Madsen

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