The Blaine County Historical Museum announced this week the honorees of the 2008 Blaine County Heritage Court. Four women where chosen by their respective communities and will be honored at various events this summer.
The fifth annual Blaine County Heritage Court will honor Margaret Barton Murdock, 88, representing Carey; Anna Faye O'Donnell, 87, of Bellevue; Lois Heagle, 81, honored from Hailey; and Mary Lou Mickelson, 80, of Ketchum and Sun Valley.
To be eligible for nomination to the court, the women must be 70 years of age or older, have been a resident of Blaine County for at least 30 years, and have been part of, participated in or worked to preserve the history and heritage of the communities.
Each year the Heritage Court Committee, sponsored by the Blaine County Historical Museum in Hailey, selects different community-service or nonprofit organizations in each town to present their nominations to the court.
The Ladies of the Court will be presented to the public at the Heritage Court Coronation Ceremony on June 22 at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey. The mayor of her town will escort each lady. The ladies will ride in the Hailey Fourth of July Parade, Carey's Pioneer Days Parade, Wagon Days in Ketchum and the Labor Day parade in Bellevue.
Nominated by the Carey Senior Center, Murdock has been down this route before, having been crowned Miss Blaine County at the Liberty Theatre in 1939. Her family had moved to Carey from Utah in 1918. A year later she was born in their log house. She raised eight children, and when her youngest began school she began a teaching career. Also a piano teacher, she still plays organ for her church.
O'Donnell was nominated to represent Bellevue by the Bellevue Historical Society for her more than 70 years involvement in the community. After she was born in Jerome, her family moved to Bellevue in 1936, where she graduated from high school. She was Bellevue city clerk for nearly 30 years, and then worked in food services for the Blaine County School District until her retirement.
Nominated by the Hailey Public Library board, Heagle was born and raised in Hailey. After earning a degree at the University of Oregon, she taught elementary school. She returned to Hailey full time to help her aging parents, and has remained in her hometown since. She sits on the board of Blaine Manor, is a member of the CH Chapter of PEO, is active in her church and volunteers for numerous other community organizations.
The Sawtooth Board of Realtors nominated Mickelson, who represents Ketchum and Sun Valley, for her dedication to the history and beauty of the area.
She first came to Sun Valley on her honeymoon in 1950. After years of dividing time between Tacoma, Wash., and the Wood River Valley, she became a full-time resident in 1975. She was active in fostering interest in tennis, and with the Sun Valley Ski Club. She remains an active member of the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood and its activities.
"Our goal is to honor women from the diverse lifestyles, backgrounds, interests and families that make (Blaine County) so very special," Heritage Court Director Laura Hall said. "These women are special. They are our roots, our foundations. The Wood River Valley is their home, and they have all worked hard, given much and through their dedication, we can enjoy our lives here today. This is the community's opportunity to show appreciation."