“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Rexburg in Madison County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Porter Park

Porter Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2019
1. Porter Park Marker
Inscription.  Arthur Porter, for whom Porter Park is named, was born in Auckland, New Zealand, April 20, 1876. He came to the United States with his parents at the age of nine. He died December 30, 1967, in Rexburg, Idaho. Porter was an educator, publisher, merchant, mayor, legislator and religious leader. He was a "community builder" his entire life. He arrived in Rexburg in 1902 to teach at Ricks Academy (BYU-Idaho). He later established the Rexburg Journal newspaper and Porter's Book Store (Porter's). He served for mamy years in the presidency of the Rexburg LDS Stake and at one time was Superintendent of Schools for Madison County.

In 1929, in the beginning of his first term as mayor, Arthur Porter received several complaints about the disgusting conditions of the local City Park. The park was surrounded by poplar trees which covered the ground with cotton in the summer. Irrigation was unsatisfactory, the grass was dried up, dust blew throughout the park, and the place was filthy. Mayor Porter decided to do something about these problems.

This was the beginning of the Great Depression and the city had limited funds for improving
Porter Park and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2019
2. Porter Park and Marker
the park. The work would begin by removing the trees and leveling the east half of the park. The city contracted with a local farmer to remove the trees for $250. Most of the leveling was done by men working on a government program (WPA) for unemployed men. Work was also donated by civic clubs. The sprinkling system was installed by a local plumber at little charge.

Many of the new shade trees were received from the state nursery at no charge. Porter wrote to several nurseries offering to trade advertising in his newspaper as well as job printing in exchange for trees. The offer was accepted by more than one nursery. Porter then donated the trees to the park and supervised the planting.

At the end of Mayor Porter's third term, tennis courts, a wading pool, and rest rooms had been built, all at little cost to the city. In 1952, in recognition of his planning, promoting, and developing of the beautiful park, the city council change the name from City Park to Porter Park.
Erected by City of Rexburg.
Location. 43° 49.427′ N, 111° 47.392′ W. Marker is in Rexburg, Idaho, in Madison County. Marker is on South 2nd West near West 1st South, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 South 2nd West, Rexburg ID 83440, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within
Arthur Porter Jr. image. Click for full size.
By Unknown
3. Arthur Porter Jr.
walking distance of this marker. Rexburg Public Square (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Brigham Young University - Idaho (approx. mile away); Ricks College (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hitching Post (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Teton Dam Flood Marker (approx. 0.4 miles away); In Honor of the Rexburg Stake Pioneers (approx. 0.4 miles away); Rexburg Tabernacle Centennial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pioneer Park (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rexburg.
Also see . . .  Educator, Newspaperman, and Rexburg Patriarch Arthur Porter, Jr. -- South Fork Companion. Even a minimal summary of Porter's multiple careers describes a life of incredible activity and achievement. He first taught in Utah and then in Preston, Idaho. However, in 1902, he began his long association with Rexburg and what is today Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-Idaho). (Submitted on October 5, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
Categories. Government & PoliticsParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers

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Credits. This page was last revised on November 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 5, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 41 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 5, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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