Jerome—Spotlight City

A Lifelong Resident Recounts the Changes

By Linda Helms

After a great farming year for our family in 1952, we got a brand-new car from the dealer in Jerome. We also bought a set of encyclopedias to put in the wooden bookcase Daddy built while learning carpentering from Dick Lee with GI Bill funding. But best of all we got a baby brother, one of the first infants born in St. Benedict’s, the town’s new hospital. The arrival of Richard brought the number of children in the family to three, including my older brother Robert and me, in our little house four miles from town.  

Our father, Herbert Helms, was born and raised at Greenwood east of Hazelton, while our mother, Dora Romero, was born and raised in Soda Springs. They met in 1942 at Fort Lewis, Washington, where Dad was stationed in the Army. After they married, he was sent to the South Pacific and my brother Robert was born in 1944 at Tacoma, Washington, while Dad was still fighting in the Philippines. Following his discharge in 1945, the little family moved to a farm southeast of Jerome. When I was born in 1948, there still was no hospital in Jerome and many of us were born in Wendell. 

I still live here in my hometown and over the decades I’ve seen it go through a lot of changes. You can tell a great deal about a place by its businesses and other infrastructure, and I remember many of these developments during my life.

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Linda Helms

About Linda Helms

Linda Helms is a third-generation Jerome County resident. The Jerome County Historical Society’s curator, she and has published three books of the county’s history, writes the society’s monthly newsletter and contributes a monthly history article to the county’s North Side Journal. A thirty-two-year member of the Idaho Writers League, Linda helped start its successor, Magic Valley Writers, in October 2021.