The Dream that became a Reality.....
It began in 1985, an idea, a tribute to a famous man which never came about. Because of Harmon Killebrew, one of Baseball's Greatest Legends, the concept of honoring "Idaho's Own" materialized.
A late winter morning found George Klenck, Jr., a resident and business owner of Payette,Idaho returning from a service call in a neighboring community. As he approached the city limits of Payette his gaze fell upon the large white dome that graced the Payette High School grounds. His imagination ran away with him a bit....instead of a white dome, he was visualizing a Large White Baseball, red stitching, and an autograph along its surface...........HARMON KILLEBREW.
George envisioned dedicating the world's largest "baseball" to one of America's finest sports heroes. Upon his return home, he excitedly told his mother, Dee Klenck, about his idea. What a tribute to a hometown boy who had successfully made his mark in the Big Leagues! With a joint effort they pursued their plan even to the point that they had out of state concerns willing to back this enterprise but it was never realized.
Despite the setback all was not lost........Dee took the original idea one step further....and a large step it proved to be. A search that has spanned almost twenty years grew from an idea that some said "Would Never Work". She contacted the local museum, the Payette High School, city librarians, and anyone else, who could furnish the names of the students from Payette High School's graduating classes, including the first in 1895. Her investigations led her to local senior citizens who were able to furnish her with more information on past graduates. The more time she spent with the research, the more excited she became. She began to learn about the great achievements many of these people had accomplished.
Extensive inquiry disclosed individuals from all walks of life, Educators, Business Men and Women, Entertainers, Sports as well as Historical Figures and the list goes on.......... They were not only from Payette, but from all over Idaho. It was then that Dee felt that these people should be honored, perhaps in a unique building grand enough to reflect the pride of Idaho. She located a lithograph of Idaho's award winning log structure that was sent to the Columbian Exposition for the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Upon seeing the lithograph, she strongly felt this was the building that would be most worthy for the Idaho's Hall of Fame inductees.
She obtained a detailed article from the Idaho Historical Society, written by Don Hibbard, describing certain facts about the buildings structure. The architect of the structure, Kirtland K. Cutter, was the foremost designer of the Northwest at that time. His creativeness could be seen in seven states and Europe. Mr. Cutter had lived in Spokane, Washington and the Cheney Cowles Museum in Spokane, had obtained 36 pages of his drawings, which were on linen. They told Dee that they could reproduce the drawing, and if these drawings could be brought to code the building could be constructed again.
Although the Future Home of Idaho's Hall of Fame is still in its Dream Stage, the work of "Searching for Idaho's Treasures" continues and is very much a reality. Since 1985 over seventy celebrities from all walks of life grace the "Spirit of Idaho-Idaho's Hall of Fame". Over twenty Corporations and Businesses along with special interest groups have also been recognized.
Sharing the "Future of Idaho", those individuals that have made her past and present something to be proud of, has been the goal of a handful of volunteers and a growing group of members. Hard work and dedication has pushed this fledgling organization forward and we welcome any and all who would like to be part of this worthwhile endeavor.
Idaho's Future are the children of this great State...and their children's children. They need to be made aware of how hard work and perseverance can make their dreams come true.....
THERE IS STILL SUCH A THING AS A ROLE MODEL..........we just need to look........
The First Annual Hall of Fame Banquet
In 1995, the Idaho's Hall of Fame Association held their first annual Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony in Pocatello, Idaho where they officially inducted the following people into Idaho's Hall of Fame:
* Joe Albertson
* William Borah
* Philo T. Farnsworth
* Vardis Fisher
* Chief Joseph
* Harmon Killebrew
* Patrick McManus
* Harry Morrison
* J.R. Simplot
* Lana Turner