Good Old Days of Custer County

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Jared Stebly in Mrs. Simmons’ first grade class signs “I love you.” This was his first lesson in sign language.

Bonnie Hansen I don’t like it. The days are too long anyway.

Brad Harris I like it. It makes for long summer evenings.

Sue Mecham I can’t find any good use for it.


April 16, 1992

At the Stanley City Council meeting April 7, the council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting Governor Cecil Andrus’ Sockeye Recovery Plan. Andrus’ plan calls for drawdowns on four dams in the Lower Snake River, which will increase streamflows to aid salmon passage.

Charles Ray, a spokesperson for Idaho Rivers United, was ecstatic about the council’s vote. He said that no other council in a river corridor community had adopted the resolution, a resolution that Ray wrote and has been pushing hard the past few months…

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No good news on the 1992-93 budget greeted District 181’s school board on their meeting Monday, April 13. Due to a marginal state increase and decreased student enrollment, the district is looking at a minimum $44,000 shortfall next school year…

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A five-year-old child, after browsing a Sesame Street Magazine, took the sign letter “L” to her kindergarten show and tell. Before you could fingerspell “good idea,” sign language was brought to Challis Elementary twice a week.

On the other side of the county, Stanley school children have been receiving sign language instruction twice a week since late February.

Second cousins Mary Watkins and Renee Pickett are volunteering to teach Custer County youngsters signing. Renee teaches in Stanley, while Mary just started instructing in Challis.

Both Mary and Renee were motivated to learn sign because of friendships with deaf women. Mary also had a nephew who was losing his hearing and she wanted to assist him in future communications. Renee worked with emotionally disturbed boys and found uses for sign with non-verbal clients. Signing has been a skill they’ve continually found a use for, the latest being in District 181 schools…

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Valley Voices

“What do you think of daylight savings time?”


April 20, 1967

The Squaw Creek Cooperative Agreement and Management Plan has been signed by the Squaw Creek Cattle Association permittees and Challis National Forest Supervisor Wes Carlson.

This was the result of much thought and planning on the part of the association members. Several joint meetings were held during the winter to work out an agreeable and workable plan for both parties. A Management Plan will be written for each National Forest Allotment. The objective of these plans is to properly use the watersheds in balance with other uses and produce more forage for wildlife and livestock. The Squaw Creek Management Plan and Agreement is the first to be approved on the Challis National Forest.

The members of the association present for the signing of the agreement were Lawrence Bradbury, president; Doyle Leuzinger, secretary; Frank Maraffio, Fabio Cominotti, C.A. Polson, Selby Hansen and John Birney, representing Norman Vogt. The Forest Service was represented by Supervisor Carlson and District Ranger Marvin Larson.

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Mackay High School band director Kit McBride had arranged a Bandarama for Mackay to be held Saturday, April 22, when bands from Butte, Challis and Salmon high schools will join with the Mackay band.

The groups will practice Friday and Saturday, and Saturday night at 8 will present a concert in the Mackay High School Auditorium.

David Smythe, music director at Challis High School, will play a clarinet solo with the band, and Lawrence Beach, music director at the Butte school, will play a flute solo. Mrs. Helen Cannon is the director of the Salmon music department…

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Philip Kirk Post 109, The American Legion, has received the first contribution for the Veteran’s Memorial Building Fund.

The Post wishes to publicly thank the Mission Church for their generous contribution of $103.54 derived from the proceeds of the Easter breakfast sponsored by the Mission Church. The breakfast was served at the Legion Hall Easter morning.

The Post is planning to build a new building which will accommodate large banquets, dances, and other community functions. The cooperation and support of the entire community will be necessary and appreciated to see this project completed.

The Post Building Committee is working diligently on the project. For further details Post Commander Harry James, Post Adjutant Bill Ebberts, or members of the building committee which is composed of Vernon Winter, Don Frost, Dr. V.A. McGowan and Dick McDowell, may be contacted.


April 22, 1942

Practically all of the necessary supplies for the registration of sugar users of Custer county have been received according to Frank Burstedt, custodian of supplies for the registration, which will start next Tuesday and continue on Wednesday. The second registration will be on May 4, 5, 6 and 7…

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Commencement exercises for the graduating class of 1942 will be held in the high school gym at 8:00 o’clock on Friday evening May 1.

A program appropriate for the occasion has been arranged with Mr. R.H. Snyder, president of Albion Normal as the appropriate speaker.

The county superintendent, Mrs. Florence Rowles, will take charge of the first fifteen minutes of the program to deliver the eighth grade diplomas…

Following is a list of the high school graduates:

Lois Clark – Valedictorian, Ethelella Bishop – Salutatorian, Mary Millick, Lois Mulkey, Doris Mulkey, Helen Markle, Charles Hoelzle, Rex Andrews, Jack Keyes, Dane Stevens, Lyle Nanson, Jack Clark, Glen Salisbury, Dow Dean.

Those graduating from the eighth grade are Thomas Mackley, Everett Baxter, Darryl Ebberts, Avon Friday, Mary Lou McKenney, Stella James, Gladys Pfeiffer, Mildred Bradbury, Gene Gordon, Gene Doffing, Betty Mae Bishop, Neal Smith, Buck Allen, Alice Bennetts, Dorothy Leeper, Thelma Jose, Ida Fay Hessen and Herman Loewen.

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Dr. Herbert J. Schwartz states that he has received a supply of woodtick serum and is now ready to give inoculations against this seasonal disease. More information regarding the serum may be had by contacting Dr. Schwartz at the Challis General Hospital.

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The war production board has ordered all production of oil burners and coal stokers for residences to stop after May 31. The orders will save large quantities of vitally-needed ferrous and electrical materials…

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The fourth registration of manpower in the United States will take place next Monday, April 27th, when all men from 45 to 64, inclusive, will register at the same places as the last registration took place. In Challis all registrations will be made at the Local Draft office in the Court House…

…it is compulsory that every man between 45 and 64… make their appearance at the registration… However, it is not expected men in this registration will be called for active duty.


April 18, 1917

Last week while the County Commissioners were in session, the Board of Directors of the Custer County Fair Association appeared before that honorable body and requested county financial aid in conducting the county fair this fall.

The commissioners, realizing the great good derived from such an institution in the way of furthering the production of better stock, hay, grains, fruits, vegetables, etc. granted the request of the petitioners for any sum not to exceed $400…

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That the people of Custer county are enjoying prosperity is evidenced by the fact that the county has the distinction of being the only county in the state which does not have a single delinquent tax notice to be published.

The law provides that he county clerk cause to be published an alias summons requiring the delinquent tax payer to appear and satisfy the amount of the tax levied against his property, and upon failure to do so, the property is advertised for sale by the sheriff, the proceeds of which go to cover all costs together with the tax lien.

Custer county is fast becoming one of the richest counties in the state. New residents are moving into its broad confines daily and the results of work and close attention to business brings a golden flow of prosperity as a reward.

Here we raise beef, sheep horses, grains, hay, vegetables, fruits, poultry, and our hills, rich in mineral wealth and scarcely yet touched, produce immense quantities of copper, gold, silver and lead. The market price for everything produced in Custer county is high—then why should we not soon become the richest county in the state?

Yes, Custer county is about the best place in the world to live in.

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