In honor of Sesquicentennial Plus One, I’m devoting the Speaking of Idaho blog to my family’s history during August.
Nels Just, entrepreneur that he was, invested in The Times, a short-lived newspaper in Eagle Rock. Agnes Just Reid was part owner of the Blackfoot Optimist for a couple of years before it went bust. I had negotiated a deal to buy the Shelley Pioneer in the 1970s but backed out at the signing when the owner decided he needed more money after all.
The most prolific writer for newspapers was Agnes Just Reid. She wrote her column, “Here’s a Thought,” for more than 40 years for the Blackfoot newspaper. She was also the Presto correspondent for many years for that paper. Many of her stories were picked up by other papers around the state and in Utah. Presto was what the tiny farming community along the Blackfoot River is called. It is named after Presto Burrell, the first settler in the area.
Agnes’ son Doug Reid was a stringer for the Salt Lake Tribune for several years. From 1944 to 1950, Doug, Agnes, and Clarice Mattson, all family members, wrote for the Firth Record. Doug was the sports editor and did just about anything else that came his way (see photo).
Iris Just Adamson, my mother, had a column in the Shelley Pioneer for many years and regularly wrote for farm magazines in the region.
I wrote a column on Idaho History for the Blackfoot Morning News in the waning months of its existence and still write one for the Idaho Press. While serving in the Marine Corps, I was the editor of the New River Air Station base newspaper, Rotovue.
Many family members were surprised to learn, recently, that Agnes Just Reid published a little community newspaper in 1908 called the Presto Times. It wasn’t so surprising that young Agnes had been busy at her typewriter then. She always was. The surprising part was that we didn’t know there was another publication with Presto in its name. For 35 years, we’ve been putting out a family newsletter (now magazine) called Presto Press. I edit the magazine. Many issues are available digitally for those who are interested in reading them.