Skip to content

Stories

« Back to Stories List

William (Bill) March

ACHS BENEFACTOR

The March Family Endowment was established in 2003 for the benefit of the Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) P&IN Depot restoration and maintenance projects.

Growing Up

“People walked on boardwalks, the P&IN Depot had a station agent, and the crash of the Great Depression was felt on all sides of Meadows Valley.”

The New Meadows market was where the Sterling Bank (2022 Idaho First Bank) now stands, in the center of New Meadows with Highway 95 bisecting the north and south portions of the town. Butchering and curing meats were done on site.

More Stories

“People walked on boardwalks, the P&IN Depot had a station agent, and the crash of the Great Depression was felt on all sides of Meadows Valley.”

William March was four years old in 1929. He had five older siblings and a collie dog named “Jack”. Bill’s father built and owned meat markets in both New Meadows and Council from 1925-1931.

The New Meadows market was where the Sterling Bank (2022 Idaho First Bank) now stands, in the center of New Meadows with Highway 95 bisecting the north and south portions of the town. Butchering and curing meats were done on site.

Meat was sold and the parts that didn’t sell, now considered delicacies, appeared on the March Family’s dinner plates. Oxtails sold for 25 cents per lb., Alaska salmon, Great Lakes smelt, and East Coast cod, packed in barrels, were delivered during the season weekly by truck from Seattle.

Next-door was Joe Caha’s creamery. LaFay’s pool hall and barbershop and Irvins’ Garage (formerly Shaver’s and presently Meadows Valley Market) on the north side faced south and across the street were LaFay’s Theater.”

As a four year old, Bill spent hours alone creating his own routine while his older brothers and sisters attended school. He would grab his dog Jack’s ruff and head down town.

Home was near the Odd Fellows (IOOF) hall, a building that had been one of the town’s five brick buildings that began its life as a bank. Young Bill would meet fellows along the street and would talk them into a nickel for an ice cream cone at LaFay’s Soda Fountain or a pot of cream at Joe’s. On his way home he would head down to the depot to visit with the station agent, in hopes of maybe seeing a train arriving from Council, that came to town 3 days a week.

One day, his sisters took him to the depot with the promise of a train ride to Council for his birthday. He still hasn’t forgotten the mounting anticipation, then disappointment of returning home for a “surprise birthday party” but no train ride.

Shortly after Bill completed the first grade the family moved on to Council, Idaho. After Council the family moved to Gooding, Idaho, Boise, Salt Lake City, Denver and graduated from Twin Falls High School at the age of sixteen.

Many of his summers were spent in McCall, Idaho with his aunt and uncle. Bill attended Mechanical Engineering School at Iowa State under the Navy V-12 program and went on to serve aboard ship in the Pacific Theatre in World War II.

BILL LEARNS OF DEPOT SITUATION

The summer of 1992, along with two of his three children, he came back to Twin Falls to attend his 50th high school reunion. He traveled to New Meadows, stopped to visit with Bud LaFay at LaFay’s Barber Shop where he learned about the effort to preserve the depot. It was at that moment he became a supporter of the Depot Restoration Project. Both he and his wife Margaret are very much interested in preservation and have been very supportive of charitable efforts to preserve the past.

“From my eyes as a child, the depot was the largest building in the world.” Bill has fond memories of the adventures of his childhood in Meadows Valley. He claims Meadows Valley to be the prettiest place in the world and has had a lifelong love of trains.

AN ACCOMPLISHED BUSINESSMAN

Growing into an adult and leaving the valley his accomplishments have been many including: • Fairbanks-Morse selling Diesel Generating Equipment • 35 years in Municipal Bond Investments • 22 year as President – Roberts E. Schweser Co. (an Omaha Municipal Bond house • 1981 to Present Chairman of the Board 1st National Bank of Wahoo, Nebraska • 25 years President, Peninsular Gas Co., Calumet, Michigan • Navy Veteran
    • Fairbanks-Morse selling Diesel Generating Equipment
    • 35 years in Municipal Bond Investments
    • 22 year as President – Roberts E. Schweser Co. (an Omaha Municipal Bond house
    • 1981 to Present Chairman of the Board 1st National Bank of Wahoo, Nebraska
    • 25 years President, Peninsular Gas Co., Calumet, Michigan
    • Navy Veteran

LONG TIME DEPOT SUPPORTER

Since 1992 Bill supported the restoration project and in 2003 the ACHS was honored to be the recipient of the March Family Endowment for the restoration and management of the P&IN depot. That endowment has allowed the ACHS to move forward with restoration projects moving toward giving the depot a new life.

Mr. March passed away in March, 2014 then the following September the ACHS received a check in the amount of $100,000 from the Estate of William March. Those funds will be used for matching grant monies and restoration, renovation projects.

Sources: Mr. William March, “End of the Line” ACHS January 2003 newsletter, Marla Krigbaum; The Star News, December 22, 1994,L inda Williamson. Micki Eby ACHS member and grant writer.

Shopping cart