While researching a Hidden History column on the Masons, I ran across a newspaper that revealed interesting tidbits of information tucked away in inconspicuous places.

When pieced together with known people and events, these tiny bits of history help paint a more detailed picture of early Twin Falls.

The news that made headlines in the July 16, 1908, edition of the Twin Falls Times included Interior Secretary James R. Garfield’s trip to the Magic Valley, William Jennings Bryan’s third nomination for president by the Democratic party and the Twin Falls Masons placing the cornerstone of the Lincoln School.

But in other news, the Twin Falls Canal Association filed suit against upstream water users, claiming water diversions above Milner Dam were preventing the canal company from receiving its full share of water, the first in a long line of water battles.

The Twin Falls School District announced it was adopting the “Batavia” system at Bickel School, which at that time included elementary school students and high school students. Each classroom contained 60 to 70 students and two teachers, one to teach the class and another to tutor individual students. “It gives the backward pupil and the one who has been out of school the help that they are in need of, and still does not interfere with the advancement of the regular class and the brighter pupils,” claimed the school district.

Benjamin Taylor filed suit to divorce his wife, Lora May Taylor, claiming that two years earlier she did “without cause, desert and abandon (Ben) without his consent and against his will.”

Listed under fraternal societies was the Twin Fall Socialist Local, which met every Saturday evening to promote and answer questions about socialism. H.H. Freedheim was listed as secretary/treasurer.

I shook my head at some of the stories and ads and laughed at others.

Sprague’s Pharmacy advertised Kennedy’s Laxative Cough Syrup which “acts gently upon the bowels and thereby drives the cold out of the system and at the same time it allays inflammation and stops irritation. Children like it.”

And then there’s this puzzling bit of news from the Times: “Yes, George Topel has started another mustache. Notice he says another one, consequently there must have been one there before, all pins as to 7 on one side and 11 on the other also down are useless on that score.”

Any guess what that means?

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