The First Five Years

J. N. Larsen

Bungalow style houses were being built from 1916 into the ‘20s.

What was happening in Preston during the 1910-1920 Decade?

Andrew Carnegie

 What was happening in America during 1910-1920, the decade the library was built?


Franklin County Citizen, February 12, 1914, p. 1
        It is understood that the new Carnegie library which was given to Richmond by Mr. Andrew Carnegie after certain conditions had been complied with, is now completed.   It is a beautiful $10,000 structure and is a great credit to the town and will materially help in the advancement of the enterprising community on the south.
         Why should Preston be behind in this matter? The environs are ten times greater than our sister city, and the need of an excellent library is a crying need.   The most that a people can be taxed for library purposes would be one mill. But with the assessed valuation of this city, a one-half of one percent tax would be more than enough to keep up such a building and with such a showing, it may be possible to get a $20,000 building in this city!
         We understand that the church would be willing to give a plot of ground for the site, and all it needs is our sympathy, our energy, and a disposition to keep it up when once established with the addition of some books from time to time.
          A committee of individuals has been working on the matter and the question now up to the people is how strongly do we wish a $10,000 or $20,000 library building?
          The Carnegie Library Corporation has written asking the city how much it will guarantee as a yearly fund to maintain such a one if established.  A plan has been suggested by the committee that the people of Preston petition the city council to make an appropriation for the maintenance the mill in the next appropriation of funds. 

         The first step taken toward building a library in Preston was in February 1914, when a public meeting was called following Sunday church meetings at the Isis Theater, Joseph S. Geddes, President of the Oneida Stake of the LDS Church, took charge and was given assurance that the people were in favor of such a movement.  He encouraged the bishops to support the movement in their respective wards, and the church donated the land for the building.
        The city council guaranteed to carry out the construction and operation of the library.  Application was made to the Carnegie Foundation in New York City for funding.  Andrew Carnegie, steel magnate and philanthropist, gave $10,0000 toward the construction with the provisions that the building bear his name.  The balance of the funds were supplied by the city council upon the request of Mr. J. N. Larsen, mayor.  The library was financed by an appropriation of the city council and was governed by a library board of five members.  The library was established in 1914 with the understanding that the people were to be assed one mill each year to maintain it.  The building was built in 1915 and dedicated in 1917.  The first librarian was Ella Stuart [also spelled Stewart].

Southeastern Advocate, February 18, 1914, p. 1
        Sunday at-11 o'clock several of the citizens of Preston in connection with the parents'

class held a mass meeting in which they discussed the advisability of making a form of

application for a Carnegie Library. Several prominent citizens addressed the Assembly

which closed with an open discussion from the floor.
        The sentiment was overwhelmingly in favor of securing such an institution.  It will

be educational and resourceful for the habitual reader and also a help and resort for the

pool hall man who from force of circumstances is driven to the less desirable place. Petitions
are being circulated addressed to the city council for ordinance to cover the needed annual

assessment for upkeep. The theory of the Carnegie Library system is for the Carnegie people

to provide a suitable building and some books and the beneficiary is to look after the expenses

of maintenance. 

Franklin County Citizen, February 26, 1914, p. 8
        The city council has signed the request of the library committee. It is an institution we so

much need in the city.

Southeast Idaho Advocate, March 11, 1914, page 1.
        The population 3,500. Immediate surrounding district 5,500. The towns and hamlets

surrounding and depending upon Preston, 17.  County seat of Franklin County. Has 15 miles

of cement sidewalks. Has a $7500.00 water system owned by the city. 35 new homes will be

built this spring, already contracted for.  Has 40 mercantile blocks. 

        Four new ones building.  Has two newspapers, Franklin County Citizen, and Southeastern

Advocate.  Sewer system is contemplated in the spring.   A $55,000.00 public school nearly

completed.  The old school building, $20,000.00, inadequate, now houses 900 pupils.  We are

on the Auto Trail between Salt Lake and Boise and Yellowstone Park.   O.S.L. terminal on through

to Bancroft now building.  Preston is outlet for Gentile Valley, a rich farming district including

towns of Bancroft, Cleveland, Lago, Grace and Thatcher.  Preston and district are about the
richest farming and-agricultural district in the west.   Same valley as Logan, where the Utah

Agricultural College is situated.
        The $350,000.00 Oneida Irrigation District canal waters thousands of acres of rich land,

and other systems will no doubt do about the same service for the east side of the valley.   

We have a High School property valued at about $75,000.00 which had an enrollment last

year of over250 pupils.  The interurban railroad building from Salt Lake through Ogden, Logan,

Smithfield, Richmond, Franklin, Lewiston, Fairview to Preston is now completed to Smithfield. 

​          The Utah Power and Light Company furnish us with heat, power and light and has a

$7,000,000.00 power plant near, which supplies Salt Lake, Ogden and other cities, including

mining camps of Park City, Bingham, Garfield, with their power and light.  Our section is a

farming community where crops never fail.  The dry land farms yield from 30 to 50 bushels of

wheat to the acre.  

The South-Eastern Advocate, March 25, 1914, page 1
        Word has been received from the Carnegie Library Association that they will give $10,000 to the city of Preston for a Library.  This will go a long way toward erecting an up-to-date Library, but the city council, commercial club and promoters are asking for still more, hoping to receive as high as $20,000. The mayor is writing an official letter, so also is the commercial club addressing one, as well as V. W. Fairbanks, who has been doing the principal corresponding.

Franklin County Citizen, March 26, 1914, page 3

       Word has been received that the Carnegie Institute of New York had passed, upon the application of the people of Preston for a library, and so have set aside $10,000 for the erection of the building.  Negotiations however, are pending to see if the appropriation cannot be increased in view of the fact that $1,500 has been set aside for the maintenance.  However, as soon as the property has been transferred, and the final touches to the negotiations have been made, work on the building will commence.  In the meantime, there Is a movement on foot by various appointed committees to plat and landscape garden the square, so that it will be "a thing of beauty and a joy forever.”

World War I began in July of 1914 and continued until November of 1918.

Henry Ford started producing Model T Fords in 1908.  The one pictured above was photographed in 1910 in Salt Lake City.

Items from the Preston Carnegie Library.  The oak card catalog holder (center) was obtained second-hand from Twin Falls Library in 1983.

NOTE:  The library did not start taking/saving their minutes until 1946.  The current library does not have a complete set of minutes even after 1946 – several gaps exist.  Therefore, the early history of the library comes from the local newspaper – The Franklin County Citizen, which was later renamed The Preston Citizen. It should also be noted that in the early years, the library was run by a stake committee from the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

Franklin County Citizen, February 25, 1915, page 4
        Come you gentlemen of the free library commission, when are you going to commence operations?  Oh, by the way, we take that back, because we have just been informed that notices are already out for bids.  But we should get busy and push it along anyway.

Franklin County Citizen, March 4, 1915, p. 7
        Notice is hereby given that the Carnegie Library Committee, (J. N. Larsen, Chairman, Preston Idaho) also Monson

and Price, Vermont Building, Salt Lake City, Utah will receive sealed bids on the Carnegie Library Building to be erected

at Preston, Idaho.  Bids will be received until March 1st at 8 p. m.  The board reserves the right to accept or reject any and

all bids.   A bond of 10 percent of the bid must accompany each and every bid handed in.          V. W. Fairbanks, Clerk

​Editorial Page
Bid Award
Franklin County Citizen, March 11, 1915, page 2
        Christensen and Gunderson were awarded the contract for the new library- Mr. Scow of Richmond was low bidder, but it seems that his bid was not considered a competent one. The building will be commenced in the very near future and Is to be completed about July 1st.   We are certainly glad that these two gentlemen have received the contract for this beautiful building, because we know that it is in safe hands and that the work that will be put on the structure will bring out the best in the gentlemen named.

Preparatory work, Architects and Contractors
Franklin County Citizen, April 1, 1915, p. 10
        Trees have been hewn down preparatory to the excavation work for Ihe new library building on the north side of the square.  The library will be a handsome structure when completed, having a large lecture room in the basement, besides boiler rooms and other compartments, while the upstairs will be used as library and reading room. The plans which have been drawn by Monson & Price, architects of Salt Lake City— have an imposing appearance The contractors are Christensen & Gundersen of this city. 

Steel Shipment
Franklin County Citizen, April 29, page 8
        Christensen & Gundersen received a carload of steel this week for the new library building.

Building Progress
Franklin County Citizen, June 24, 1915, p. 10
        The new library building is gradually drawing up to the square, and it begins to assume imposing proportions.

Steps and Columns
Franklin County Citizen, August 19, 1915, page 8
        The casting of the big concrete steps at the front of the New Library has been made, and it promises to be an excellent piece of work, the entire steps and pillars being cast out of solid block.  The library building will be a credit to any town of 50,000 inhabitants.

Building Almost Finished
Franklin County Citizen, September 23, 1915, p.

        The Preston Library is almost finished, and it certainly is an ornament to the city. And it might be said without any equivocation that forty years hence it will be one of the city’s valuable assets.

Franklin County Citizen, October 14, 1915, p. 7
       Contractor Joseph Monson was in Preston last Saturday inspecting the new library building which is nearing completion.

Franklin County Citizen, December 9, 1915, page 4
       Andrew Carnegie has given away $350,000,000 and is rapidly approaching the poverty stage.  He has but $60,000,000 left.   If Andy Carnegie is pining to get rid of that remaining $60,000,000 in order to die poor, all he has to do is to trot right along to this little burg.  We’ll receive him with open pockets and nary a chirp about tainted money.


Franklin County Citizen, May 25, 1916

       On the public square in a handy place for the public stands a very beautiful Carnegie Library building.  It is built of dark red brick and is a splendid bit of architecture.  It will open for the use of the public as soon as the building is accepted by the architect.

Franklin County Citizen, October 5, 1916, p.8
        When will the new Library open?  We want to recommend holding a book shower social.

Franklin County Citizen, December 28, 1916, p. 1
       We hope the public library book committee will select such a variety of reading that will satisfy the public and not follow the suggestions of any clique or organization.  A public library belongs entirely to the public and should not be run in connection with similar organizations of an exclusive nature.

Franklin County Citizen, December 7, 1916
      A library committee has been appointed in the city council consisting of the following gentlemen:

John Johnson, chairman; V. W. Fairbanks, A. C. Smith, H. R. Merrill, Jesse Rich, J. W. Condie, Mrs. Louis Ballif, Mrs. Junius C. Jensen, and Mrs.  J. W. Olsen.

Franklin County Citizen, January 18, 1917, p. 8
       Book collectors are around with their smiles and blandishments—however in a good cause—seeking to build up the insides of the new library.  By the way, have you any books that you care to give to a good cause?  Mrs. Floe Hale and Mr. Eugene Jensen and players will present a play in the near future for the benefit of the Carnegie Public Library.  The name of the piece is “Tennessee's Partner."

Franklin County Citizen, February 15, 1917, page 1

        The library committee met the other night and decided that the new Carnegie Library should be opened on the first day of March.  They passed a resolution commending to the city board that a librarian be appointed at once and asked to go to Logan and Salt Lake to learn of library ways and the method of handling books.  A committee was also appointed to select and buy the library furniture in order that everything might be in readiness for the opening.
        The committee bought an excellent library from Dr. Bland the other day.  This with what books they will be able to get from the people and will be able to purchase will make a big enough collection to begin with.  Quite a number of the very best American magazines for old and young, have been ordered , and should be here sometime this week.
      One of the main features of the circulation of books is what is known as the “Ten Cent Collection.”   A collection of the best and latest fiction, as in other libraries, is to be arranged.  This is composed of the latest and the best books of fiction and a nominal fee of ten cents is charged for the withdrawal of books in this collection.  After the books have been read a number of times, they are put on the “free shelf”
and the money obtained from the reading of these books is used to buy the latest works on fiction in circulation as published.

Fund Raiser for Library
Franklin County Citizen, February 15, 1917, page 8
        One of the most delightful dancing socials of the season was given by the Golden Hour Club at the Blue Villa Hall on February 5th.   The husbands of the members and many friends enjoyed the jolly party.  Sandwiches and coffee were served.  The club’s colors of white and yellow was carried out in the luncheon service.  The proceeds of the party will be used by the ladies for the benefit of the public library. 

Franklin County Citizen, March 1, 1917

       At a meeting of the library committee last Tuesday night, it was decided that the Carnegie Library would be opened March 10th.  It was hoped by the committee that the opening might take place earlier but owing to some work that had to be done, the formal opening could not take place until the tenth.  A reception committee is hard at work arranging for the opening.  It is hoped that all of the patrons of the library will be present.  The hours will be from one until five in the afternoon, and from seven until nine in the evening.  During those hours punch and wafers will be served free of charge.  It was thought at first that a book shower would be held but the plans were changed later.  The committee of men of the different wards are now expected to gather the available books and take them to the library before the opening.  Mrs. Ella Stewart has been selected as librarian.  She is preparing herself to take charge of the library.  The very latest methods will be used.

Franklin County Citizen, March 8, 1917, p. 8
      The library committee hereby acknowledges the receipt of a magnificent gift of books, consisting of a 60 volume set of “The Nations of the World," by the Preston Furniture Company.  The two young men Ephraim and Brigham Bosworth comprising the firm are both magnanimous and progressive and are sure to attract favorable attention by their up-to-date methods of doing business.   When asked to
contribute to the library they did not hesitate to outdo almost every other donor.   They left it to the choice of the committee to take a splendid number of books, or to choose several pieces of furniture. Here is a worthy example for others to emulate.   Success to the boys.

Franklin County Citizen, March 22, 1917, p. 8
     Last week the name of Mrs. A. C. Smith was omitted from the names of the library committee.  We are informed that she was one of the most ardent workers, and she placed her household furniture in the library building to take care of the public.  Whether we are to blame for this oversight or not, we apologize to the good lady.
     The library is pretty well patronized, the little ones seem to like to go there.  And speaking of the little ones, books suitable for their study should be purchased.  The books that are already there are a little too advanced for their youthful minds, and juvenile stories are the ones which are now so much needed in the library.
        Mr. H. J. Hansen of the Hansen Jewelry Company, made the library a present of senator Henry Cabot Lodge’s “Harvard Classics.”   This is a magnificent set of 56 volumes and Mr. Hansen is to be complimented for his generous donation.

Franklin County Citizen, March 29, 1917, p. 12
      The library is being well used.  Supplies have not yet arrived, therefore it is impossible as yet to lend the books, but the magazines are all in use. Books may be read during library hours.
      [The meeting room in the basement was used on a regular basis by the Amalgamated Sugar Co, meeting about the building of the sugar factory;  the Golden Hour Ladies Club, and for Red Cross work.]

Franklin County Citizen, May 10, 1917, p.  8
       Mr. F. O. Hales made a splendid gift of a number of volumes of fiction to the public library.  His assortment was made up of Kippling, London, and a number of miscellaneous works.  Mr. Hale’s gift will be especially appreciated by the young people as the books which he presented will be popular with the reading public Related item, p. 7: [This] last week a consignment of new books from A. C. McClurg and Company was received at the Carnegie Library.   Many of them are reference books and represent the best there is on their particular subjects.  Several books of short stories and fiction have also been added.

Franklin County Citizen, June 7, 1917, p. 10
        The library is now open to the public, and is ready to loan books; hours from 1 p.m. to7 p.m.  All books on the shelves are free and may be kept out for two weeks and if you cannot read them in that time, you may have them rechecked for two additional weeks.  A fine of 5 cents a day is charged on books kept out overtime.  We do not loan our dictionaries and encyclopedias. We also have twenty-five books of the latest fiction which may be read for 10c per week, until they are paid for, when they will be put on the free shelves.  Following is the report for the month of May 1917:  

Volumes on hand, June 1st…..                     1,434
Membership, June-lst…..                                 306
Books loaned for month of May…..              582
Fines collected on overdue books…..            $1.10
ELLA STUART, Librarian

Franklin County Citizen, August 30, 1917
        A new Old Glory was seen over the Carnegie Library and on ascertaining we found that our enterprising townsman, W. R. Smith, of the City Grocery had donated the shimmering stars and bars which constituted the flag of our country.  Let us all join in together and thank Mr. Smith for the kindly act.

Franklin County Citizen, July 12, p. 7
        The Preston Library June report shows the condition as follows:
Vols. on hand July 1st…..                                                 1511
Vols. added during month of June…..                          77
Members registered…..                                                     82
Books loaned month of June…..                                   538
Fines collected month of June…..                                  $3.00

The following gifts were received during the month of June:  Twenty-eight vols. By Dr. A.R.Cutler and family, nineteen volumes by Foss Bros., twelve vols. by Mr. Joshua Rallison and family, five vols. by Mrs. S. Tucker, three vols. by Golden Hour Club, two vols. by Mrs. Geneva Jones, one vol. each by Irene Patterson, Leo Peterborg, Dencil Peterborg, Mrs. Arba Lane and one vol. in Preston Public Library. One of the splendid gifts to our library during the month of June was Webster's New International Dictionary, on a neat stand.   It has over 2,600 pages and is fully illustrated-- something useful as well as ornamental and was the gift of The Golden Hour Club.

Franklin County Citizen, September 20, 1917, p. 3
      The following is the report of the Carnegie Library for the month of August:
Volumes on hand, Sept. 1st. ...   1528
Volumes added during Aug…..        17
Members registered …                     49
Books loaned .....                              451
Fines Collected …..                            $2.65
Books donated …..                               5
“Pearls From Many Lands," donated by Mrs. T. Shuttleworth; "Abner Daniel," "The Battle Ship”, “Boys First Step Up," "The Boy Allies in the Trenches," "Our Young Aeroplane Scouts in Turkey," donated by Glen E. Beckstead; 12 volumes of “Luther Burbank, His Methods and Discoveries.”
ELLA STUART, Librarian

Franklin County Citizen, October 4, 1917 p. 1
        The following is the report of the general library for the month of September up to October 1st.
Volumes on hand, October 1st,…..                                              1,579
Volumes added in September…..                                                     51
Members registered …..                                                       37
Books loaned…..                                                                                    351
Fines collected …..                                                                                   $1.90
New books donated:
10 volumes, "Seeing Europe With Famous Authors,” Geo. E. Crockett; "With Lee in Virginia", Emma
Crockett; "The Sun Trail," H. R. Morrill; "Teachers Bible," James E. Johnson.  Other new books:
20 volumes “Worlds Great Masterpieces," besides 17 books of new fiction.
ELLA STUART, Librarian

 In 1917 the old library committee was released and a new committee called.[1]
During 1917-18 the library meeting rooms were used by the Amalgamated Sugar Co, for meetings concerning the building of the sugar factory; the Golden Hour Ladies Club and for Red Cross work.

Franklin County Citizen, March 21, 1918, page 8
        The furniture for the Preston Athletic Club will be placed in the elegant quarters sometime this week.  The club room is situated in the basement of the Carnegie Library.  Also a nationwide book drive is being conducted to find books for the soldiers.  Books can be donated to the Carnegie Library.

Franklin County Citizen, May 9, 1918, p. 1
      The following is the report of the Carnegie Library for the months of February, March and April:
Volumes on hand, May 1…..                         1690
Volumes added since February 1…..             53

Members registered since Feb. 1…..            107
Books donated since Feb…..                             19
Books loaned since Feb 1…..                        2249
Fines collected…..                                            $12.95
ELLA STUART, Librarian

Franklin County Citizen, September 2, 1918, p. 17
      Sealed bids for cement work to be completed at the Carnegie Library, Preston, Idaho, will be received up until Monday, September 23, at 2: o’clock, p.m.  Plans of work maybe received from the mayor. 
Mr. Nephi Larsen, Mayor

Franklin County Citizen, September 19, 1918, page 5
Gift from N. G. Peterson, jeweler     Mr. N. G. Peterson, the wide awake and popular jeweler of Preston,

has recently presented the Carnegie Library with a beautiful large regulator clock.  It is a magnificent

piece of time mechanism and Mr. Peterson deserves credit and praise for his liberal contribution, and in

behalf of the Preston public, the Library Committee extends their sincere thanks and wish the jeweler a

prosperous and happy business career.    THE LIBRARY COMMITTEE

Franklin County Citizen, October 30, 1918, page 4
       Recently there passed from this sphere of action—a whole-souled sympathetic gentleman. 

That man was Andrew Carnegie, steel king, philanthropist, and education savior of many who could

not have secured an education in any other way than the one he sponsored.  Through his vast system

of public libraries, many a man and woman, many a boy and girl, has received educational enlightenment.
        Carnegie saw the needs of the people.  He wanted to help them.  He sensed the ignorance of many
civic boards who thought all a man or woman needed was “jest  readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmetic.”
         As a result of his philanthropy, Preston received one of these monuments of Carnegie’s generosity. 

Without a lot of red tape, humming or hawing, he donated to this city the magnificent monument in brick

and stone that will ever keep his name in the hearts of the people.

         It is the right kind of avenue of advancement that the average individual will assuredly take advantage

of.   Filled with good books it is a source of perpetual enjoyment to the young; education to the middle aged,

and pleasure to the old. 
         Were all men of the same mind as Andrew Carnegie, the world would be a better place to live in.
         The people of Preston, when they view the beautiful symmetry of the building, it's ideal

location—surrounded by green swards, shrubbery and fountains— it will be to revere the name of the founder and boast of his fatherly kindness and extensive generosities.

Franklin County Citizen, December 11, 1918, page 9
        At a recent meeting of the library committee, it was decided to inaugurate a Saturday afternoon story telling hour for the children of Preston.  Mr. Harrison Merrill visited the department of the Salt Lake Library that has been following the plan, and Mrs. Curtis Bland visited the same department of the Logan Library, where each received enthusiastic promises of support in the direction of interest and suggestion. 
        The plan is for a storytelling lady to entertain children, from the ages of 4 years to 12 and older, at the library.  If the plan meets with success, it may be followed in the summer vacation also, and on other days than Saturdays.  A kindergarten play hour would be a happy summer arrangement in this connection.
        The story hour will be at 2 o’clock on Saturday afternoons closing promptly at 3:00 so that the children who wish may go to the movies.  Our first story hour will be Saturday, January 24th.  All children are welcome.

        [During 1918, the meeting room in the Carnegie Library was used by the Mother’s Association, the Commercial Club, the Sugar Beet Committee, the Chatauqua Club, the Preston Athletic Club, and the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines.]

Franklin County Citizen, January 16, 1919, page 1
       The following word has been received from the state librarian: “We received a wire a short time ago from Washington urging us to collect more books of fiction for the soldiers AT ONCE.  There is pressing need for books of fiction for our soldiers in the hospitals.”
        Anyone wishing to give books should bring them in to the Preston Carnegie Library before January 22, 1919.

        The authors which seem to be most popular are:  Jack London, McCutcheon, Marold Bell Wright, Boothe Tarkington, Mark Twain, Poe, Kipling, Chambers, Conan Doyle. 
ELLA  STUART,  Librarian

Franklin County Citizen, June 12, 1919, page 8
        It is said that the lawn in front of the Carnegie Library is certainly beginning to look green under the expert hands of Watermaster Hawkes.
        [Organizations using the library meeting room in 1919 were the newly formed American Legion Post, the War Mothers, the Chautauqua Association, the Athletic Club and the Commercial Club.]

[1] Preston City Council Minutes, Book 3, 1915-1935

We have the best climate in the inter-mountain ​region, the winters are not too cold and the summers are the most glorious feature of this                                                                                                                                                                  God-inspired spot, the nights being cool and invigorating.  The                                                                                                                                                                   people living in this section are imbued with the beauties of the                                                                                                                                                                 new Yellowstone highway, the only true highway which has been                                                                                                                                                             logged by way of Franklin, Preston and Dayton, and which is to be                                                                                                                                                             designated by a Yellowstone set in the ground at short  distances                                                                                                                                                               along the route; side routes designated by signs or otherwise are                                                                                                                                                               optional routes and are financed and advertised "by people living                                                                                                                                                             along the routes.”
                                                                                                                                                                   In conclusion we want to bid people welcome to our borders.                                                                                                                                                              You will find here the highest kind of hospitality.  The latch

                                                                                                                                                           string is dangling on the outside, and the people are working for                                                                                                                                                                the up building of this great community. ​

Setting the Stage

Women were struggling to gain the vote but would not succeed until 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.

Gift from N. G. Peterson,


Preston, 1916, joint Scout and Beehive Day parade.  Corner of State and Oneida looking north.

According to an article in the June 22, 1916 Franklin County Citizen:
      Preston is the heart of Franklin County. It is a city of homes built up by

progressive people. The population is about 3,300. Property values amount

to almost $400,000; post office receipts amount to S7.000 per year. 
      It has a fine educational system:  the Oneida Academy, a college built up

and controlled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has two

main working buildings, besides a new gymnasium [the Nelson Gym], the

finest in Idaho, which cost $36,000; it has a campus of eleven acres, all

situated five blocks from the center of the city. It has an independent

school district with two fine schools, [Central School and Jefferson

Middle School] one recently built at a cost of $75,000.

      It has two banks, two drug stores, two livery stables, three meat markets,

two moving picture shows, at which some of the best films are seen, a Carnegie library valued at $10,000; a splendid opera house that will seat fifteen hundred, five up-to-date garages, two hotels, and in all about fifty stores.

      It has a water system which cost $75,000, the water being taken from Birch Springs, a distance of fifteen miles through pipes from the heart of the northeastern mountains —so that there is no element of contagion that can enter into the purity of the system.  Electricity is furnished by the Utah Power & Light Company. This is the terminus of two railroads--the Oregon Short Line and the Ogden, Logan and Idaho Railway, from which great improvements can be expected in the near future.  This is the place "Where the Cars Stop."
       The climate is healthful and sunny, with very few cold days during the winter.   It has several rural delivery routes. And today it is building its roads with an eye to future travel.
        For years it was thought impossible to build roads with the material at hand, the soil being of sand and clay, forming a fine loam. In several spots sand hills have been encountered, which caused consider- able difficulty. Today this has been obviated by modern road building facilities, and now we have also discovered numerous mountains of shale, sufficient to cover all of our roads to a depth of five feet in thickness.

An Idea Takes Shape 1914

  • Socialism and Communism were rooted in The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917.
  • The Titanic sank in 1912, and the Panama Canal was finished in 1914.
  • From 1918 through 1920, the Spanish flu killed 20 to 100 million people worldwide.
  • Major inventions and scientific breakthroughs included the British World War I Mark V tank, the first modern zipper, stainless steel, the first pop-up bread toaster,  and Albert Einstein developed the theory of general relativity.
  • Radio programming become popular; the temperance movement gained momentum; the first U.S. feature film, Oliver Twist, was released in 1912; Hollywood replaced the East Coast as the center of the movie industry; Charlie Chaplin débuted his trademark mustached, baggy-pants 'Little Tramp' character in 1914; Warner Brothers opened their first West Coast studio in 1918; the first crossword puzzle was issued; and  the first Jazz music was recorded.
  • Jim Thorpe was the American star of the 1912 Olympics and the 1916 Olympics were cancelled because of World War I.
  • Popular books were Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence, Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maughan, Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Wild Fire by Zane Gray, Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw,  and Willa Cather published Alexander's Bridge, O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Antonia.
  • Influential artists were Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, and Marcel Ducham.
  • Baseball was king with such stars as Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb  and Tris Speaker.  The top boxers were Jack Dempsey and Jess Willard.  


      Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. He built a leadership role as a philanthropist for America and the British Empire.  During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away to charities, foundations, and universities about $350 million (in 2015, $13.7 billion) – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming "The Gospel of Wealth" called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and it stimulated a wave of philanthropy.
      Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and immigrated to the United States with his very poor parents in 1848. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J.P. Morgan in 1901 for $480 million (in 2011, $309 billion), creating the U.S. Steel Corporation. Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education and scientific research.