Friday, July 21, 2006

Longtime Carey residents honored

Farnworths named grand marshals for Pioneer Days

Express Staff Writer

Merline, left, and Dee Farnworth were recently selected as the grand marshals for the 2006 Pioneer Days celebration in Carey. Both born and raised in Carey, the Farnworths still own a 240-acre ranch south of town and have long been active in local life. Photo courtesy of Peggy Hill.

Dee and Merline Farnworth have seen and done many things throughout their many years living in and around the community of Carey.

The Farnworths, married in Idaho Falls on March 4, 1947, have been named the grand marshals for the 2006 Pioneer Days celebration in Carey. The celebration is set to begin today, Friday, July 21, with a rodeo at 8 p.m.

The highlight of the annual celebration—which has been a tradition in the city for over 60 years, organizer Vonnie Olsen said Tuesday—is a parade down Carey's Main Street.

According to a biography of the Farnworths released in conjunction with Carey's Pioneer Days celebration, Dee, 82, and Merline, 77, were both born and raised in this small, rural farm and ranch community in southeast Blaine County.

Based on their biography, it would seem the Farnworths have led an active and energetic lifestyle.

Dee, who was in the U.S. Army during World War II, was raised on his family's Fish Creek ranch northeast of Carey. He worked on the ranch and in the family sheep business until 1958.

After leaving his family's sheep business, Dee drove a gas truck for the Picabo store for two years. After that, he went to work at the Kraft cheese plant in Carey for 26 years.

In 1967, Dee and Merline purchased a 240-acre ranch south of Carey. Although Dee had to quit changing wheel lines and hand lines for the first time this year, he hasn't completely ceased working around the ranch, Merline said.

"He still takes care of the yard," she said.

Along with several other couples, Dee and Merline enjoyed many fall hunting trips over the years into the headwaters area of the Little Wood River in the Pioneer Mountains. Accessing the remote area by horseback, they would often spend up to 10 days in the mountainous region.

The Farnworths also took several trips over Galena Summit and up to the Fourth of July and Champion creeks areas in those early years.

It seems Dee, who for a number of years was the president of the Carey Rodeo Committee, was quite the hand with horses, too.

Dee could "train a saddle horse to turn on a dime and give you a nickel change," Merline said.

The Farnworths were also members of the Carey Riding Club and performed their drill at numerous rodeos throughout the West in places like Dillon, Mont., Winnemucca, Nev., Twin Falls, Blackfoot, Hailey and Carey.

Merline was raised in Carey until 1940, when her father purchased a ranch located south of the Fish Creek dam. Merline would move back to town during the winters because the roads weren't plowed in those years.

Graduating from high school in 1946 as valedictorian, Merline would go on to work as an accountant at Ensign, Davies and Ensign in Hailey for 12 years. Merline is still an accountant and is also a member of the board of the Blaine County Senior Connection.

She also has 35 years of experience as a rodeo timer.

Being named as grand marshals for the 2006 Carey Pioneer Days celebration isn't the first time one of the Farnworths has been honored locally in one way or another.

Merline was recently one of four local women named as Ladies of the 2006 Blaine County Heritage Court. The court honors local women who have played a role in Blaine County's history.

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