Rexburg was founded in March 1883. To celebrate this anniversary is to celebrate the people who founded it— notably, the Porter family.
Margaret Porter Arnold is 88 years old and has lived in Rexburg her whole life. Growing up, she stayed busy, helping her family run the town’s newspaper, putting together “Welcome Wagon” housewarming baskets for new residents to the city, directing music programs at the Tabernacle, raising six children and crafting. As a child, she even saw Louis Armstrong perform twice.
Arnold’s family is well known in the community largely because of her father, Arthur Porter, and his legacy. His family ran Rexburg’s Standard Journal and Porter’s store. Porter Park was named after him.
“My brother says our dad was the only man to ever climb to Table Rock, with the Scouts, in a tie and a suit and Sunday shoes,” Arnold wrote in her journal. Arnold said her father was an Englishman, and she only ever saw him wearing suits- even when he was gardening.
Arnold was an avid reader. She visited the library in the courthouse daily, with the goal of reading every book there. She was also a part of the same book club for 55 years, finally disbanding in 2018.
“We started the book club with old classmates, with about twenty of us. Unfortunately, now we’re all dead or can’t move, so we stopped.” Arnold said. “We’d pick out our own books instead of assigning one each month.”