Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Minidoka County, Idaho
Rupert became a village in 1904. It was originally called Wellfirst because it had the only well within miles and people traveled long distances to get their supply of water from the well, which was located in the middle of the Historic Square Park where the fountain is now located. The first store was the Shilling Store, a tarpaper shack in the railroad right-of-way owned by W.N. Shilling, where people picked up their mail. An employee of the railroad brought mail to the settlers in 1904, whose name was John Henry Rupert. The railroad put the name Rupert on his mailbag and soon the town was named Rupert. The first post office was established July 17, 1905, and W.N. Shilling was the first postmaster. W.N. Shilling later opened the Rupert Mercantile Company May 2, 1905 on the west side of the Square. Rupert was platted by engineers of the Reclamation Service; the plat is dated November 21, 1905. The Village of Rupert was incorporated on April 12, 1906; the first jail (12' X 14") was also constructed in May, 1906. On April 26th, M.M. Mackay was chosen chairman of the Board and became Rupert's first Mayor. John Atkins was attorney; J.S. McQuiston, treasurer, and Roy W. Adams, Clerk. After the first municipal election, F.N. Victor was Mayor, Clerk was Roy McQuiston, Treasurer was Frank LaRue and City Marshall was Jack Nisbet.
In April 1909, the first real municipal election of trustees was held, with F.N. Victor chosen as Mayor, J.S. McQuiston, Clerk, and Frank LaRue, Treasurer. Jack Nisbet was selected to fill the positions of street superintendent, dog catcher, park keeper and pump master.
Electricity came to Rupert in 1911. It was one of the first cities in the world to have its streets lighted by electricity. The Minidoka Dam aided the community with both irrigation and electricity. The first all electric-heated school in the world (Washington School) was built in Rupert in 1913, which taught 7th through 12th grades.
Both Lincoln and Washington School Buildings were razed in 1984. In 1913 the Police Department was organized and Fritz Endter was hired as the first Chief of Police, holding that position until his death in 1935.
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Our historic city square - recently upgraded landscape with playgrounds, lighting, gazebo for bands or events, surrounded by historic buildings, shops, and cafe's.
The city of Rupert is a fantastic place to live, raise children, vacation, or just plain relax!"
Our city is surrounded pure country very close to the mighty Snake River and lake Walcott, for all of your fishing needs!
Big game hunting and water-foul are Idaho's best kept secret.
Rupert is close to world class skiing, hiking, and amazing geo-formations, not to mention the Oregon and California Trails.
Our city is a place where personal freedoms and wilderness way of life are still "KING".
The beautiful Historic Square sets the town apart from South Central Idaho where most celebrations, such as the Fourth of July, Fish Fry, Potato Fest, and Christmas celebrations take place. Rupert became, officially, "Christmas City, USA" in November, 1987. The City is decorated beautifully with Christmas lights through the town and square, beginning the Friday evening after Thanksgiving. These are paid for from the proceeds of a "Christmas in July" breakfast the end of June to kick-off the Fourth of July Celebration, which includes food booths, a parade, Dutch-oven cook-off, rodeo, carnival, and horse races.
Rupert has a quilting shop, antique and craft stores, drug store, two grocery stores, two new and used car dealers, shoe store, barber shop, children's clothing store, two other clothing stores, florist, two pizza stores, Chinese restaurant, Hispanic and another bakeries, several other eating establishments, two elementary schools, junior high school, high school, post office, courthouse, library and museum. There are several lawyers, doctors, dentists and optometrists. Minidoka Memorial Hospital is a modern hospital with all the latest up-grades in equipment and has competent medical professionals.
We proudly have DeMary Memorial Public Library, Neptune Park and Swimming Pool , two elementary schools within the city limits, an alternative school, Middle School, and a High School is two miles outside the city limits. We have several apartment buildings. In the summer the Historic Square Park is decorated with trees, flowers and a fountain which are well-lit at night by old-fashioned looking lampposts; also, a gazebo, wisteria-covered arbor, and two carved bears. There are many other parks, including a skateboard park and bike path. Most parks have playground equipment.
Rupert is just two miles from two nice golf courses and is less that fifteen miles from the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge, Minidoka Dam, Lake Walcott and Walcott Park, where there are camping facilities to enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of nature. Pomerelle Ski Resort, with twenty-two ski runs, is only 30 miles away.
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Economy & Industry
Rupert's main industry is farming by irrigation. Rupert has a Kraft Cheese Factory, a fresh-pack potato plant and a potato-processing plant, Idahoan, which makes instant potato flakes and other potato products that are shipped around the world. Amalgamated Sugar Factory is just 4 miles west of Rupert, which employs over 1,000 people, seasonally.
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Rupert is the county seat for Minidoka County.
Rupert Historical Events 1935, January 1
The first New Year's baby was born at one minute after midnight and became the first baby ever to be born in Rupert on New Year's Day. He was born William Henry Morgan to Homer Aldon Morgan and Amy Hannah Edwards. Dr. Charles H. Terhune delivered the baby.
Rupert Community Events
2004, May 22
Rupert Heritage Days
Location: Rupert Historic Square
Celebrating Rupert's 98th year since organization. There will be an ice cream social with ice cream and cake, local talent for entertainment, many demonstrations of quilting, tatting, spinning, weaving, old-time toy making, gold panning, and many others. A wonderful event on a Saturday afternoon!
Rupert Libraries DeMary Memorial Library
417 7th Street
Rupert Schools The Minidoka County School District #331
633 Fremont Ave.
Rupert, ID 83350
Phone: 208-436-4727 Rupert
Miscellany The population of Rupert was:
1990 - 5,455
2000 - 5,645
2005 - 5,225
Median household income:
2000 - $ 25,105
2005 - $ 25,600
2000 - 31.7 years