Skip to main content

Idaho Enterprise

Three inducted into Oneida County Hall of Fame

Dr. Jean Thomas, one of this year's inductees, joins the Hall of Fame committee at the table, along with fellow inductees Debbie and Spence Horsley

Last week, three new faces joined the esteemed company of the ranks of Oneida County’s Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to “honor individuals, groups, teams, etc. who in the course of their lifetime have made outstanding achievements and brought great honor and recognition to themselves and the Oneida County communities from which they came.”  The Oneida School Board appointed a speial citizen’s committee in 2008 to launch the project, and in the time since, such laudable inductees as former Governor John V. Evans, Congressman Ralph R. Harding, poet Colen Sweeten, and other luminaries have had their plaques placed on the walls of honor in Malad High School.

This year, three remarkably active community legends were invited to join those illustrious ranks, Debbie and Spence Horsely, and Gloria Jean Thomas.  All three have been heavily involved in local civic organizations, community groups, heritage and preservation efforts, and work to ensure that the history of the Malad Valley remains well-kept and its future remains well-provided for.

A list of accomplishments for each of the inductees was published in their biographies in last week’s edition of the paper, but suffice it to say, they are impressive in their scope and variety.  In addition to variously chartering, advising, and occupying seats on the Oneida School Board, Chamber of Commerce, Malad Junior Miss program, Lions Club, Oneida County Deputies, Malad Middle School Building Committee, Malad Elementary School Veterans Program, Rendezvous Day, Oneida County Hospital Board and Foundation, the Welsh Festival, the Oneida Education Foundation, the Oneida Pioneer Museum Board, the Veterans Memorial Committee, the Hall of Fame Committee itself, and countless other organizations, the three have also fulfilled a number of important roles with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to say nothing or the many unsung and unofficial positions in which they have provided service to the community.

At the highest level, Spence Horsley served as the mayor of Malad City for nineteen years, the same amount of time that Debbie taught hundreds of kids who made their way through her classes at Malad Elementary School.  She also found time to author two books, and Spence served as the County Coroner and director of Horsley Funeral Home.

Jean Thomas (who generally prefers not to go by Gloria), pursued a decorated academic career at ISU, BYU, Oregon State University, Colorado State University, and the University of North Dakota, with stops at several other universities for good measure.  After moving back to Malad in 1997 to care for her father, Jean took up grant writing for the community and from that time to the present has been responsible for bringing an estimated $4 million in to the community.

The evening was a chance for members of the community to express their appreciation to the tireless and loving efforts of the three, who each provided a heartfelt set of remarks on the occasion, with notes of gratitude, humor, and humility in equal measure.  

As family and friends filled the packed Event Center, the County welcomed three of its finest into its permanently hallowed halls. 

The board members on the Hall of Fame Committee include: Gene Caldwell, Tom Jenkins, Susan Wittman, Nacona Smith, Kay Caldwell, Chris Jensen, Sharee Blaisdell, and Diane Andersen.

Welcome to Malad
Upcoming Events Near You

No Events in the next 21 days.