President's Message

Dear Rich Cousins,
     I hope this newsletter finds you all healthy and in a safe place! Who would have thought that a virus would change our lifestyles so dramatically?  In an article in the Desert News, on May 5th, 2020, entitled “Coronavirus: 10 ways we could be better when the pandemic is over”. The number 10th way was “We could lead less frenzied lives”!
      I haven’t had this much calm in my life since I was 12, living with my grandfather, E. John Rich outside of St. Charles, Idaho in the summer. Every morning that we picked raspberries, I would awake at 3 am to the smell of my Grandpa cooking breakfast for me. I don’t know what time he arose, but from all the good food and the lunch he had prepared, I am sure it was early. The truck would stop to pick me up and I would walk slowly to the truck because of the bats flying and slightly hitting my hat. It was a busy morning picking raspberries until 10 am. Then back home for a nap, a swim in the lake with cousins, then to the baseball games in the evening. I enjoyed this carefree lifestyle through high school.
    As an adult, before the Coronavirus, each day was packed with events, usually getting up, again, at 3:00 am, and not slowing from that time on. But now even though I am still busy helping family and friends, finishing projects, I don’t feel the chaos and the essence of my life has changed. Perhaps, for me, this virus has taught me to see and hear things with a different focus. I hope it has for you, too.
     We have filmed another video about the Riches in Farmington and Salt Lake City, unfortunately my son, Paul, who is the producer, has been stuck in Anchorage the last few months. When he finally comes back, we will edited it and have it for sale on a flash drive along with the other videos that have been done.
      Unfortunately, the virus has cancelled Paris Heritage Days, but we have included several articles and photos about some of the historic homes and courthouse in Paris, Idaho, and even a former Rich home going up for sale.
     We are offering the Scholarships again and I hope the word will find all who are interested in applying.
     May your life find added meaning at this unique time! Stay safe!

Success Always,

Linnea Whitaker

Charles C. Rich Scholarship

This year, two $1000 scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate college students who are also descendants of Charles C. Rich.

 Applicants will fill out a form and write an essay on the following topic: How did Charles handle adversity and what can you learn from it? 

If you know of a qualifying descendant who may be interested in applying for the scholarship please let them know about this opportunity. Applications will be accepted from May 20-June 30, 2020. The scholarships will be awarded by August 1, 2020. 

 Click on the link below to access the application. Please read instructions carefully. Good luck!

DVD For Sale

The Measure of a Man: The Story of Charles Coulson Rich, Apostle of God DVD is on sale! Only $5 (includes postage)
Also for sale, Joseph C. Rich, Versatile Pioneer of the Mormon Frontier (book) Only $10 (includes postage).
To order contact Wendy Johnson at
Personal check, Paypal or Venmo accepted.

Mary Ann Rich Home Update

Robert and Diana Miskim have worked very hard preserving the Mary Ann Rich Home. Some of the beautiful brickwork will be left exposed. Also, check out the newspapers used in the ceiling for insulation. They are hoping to have an open house at the end of June and welcome any one of the Rich family to view the home.

Thomas Sleight Cabin Update

Thomas Sleight and Charles C Rich were good friends and a friendship between the families still remains. Thomas kept a day by day journal of the settlement of the valley.  The people in the pictures are David Reed Sleight, his cousin, Weldon, and their good friend, Spencer H. Rich.  

The Thomas Sleight family has started the restoration of one of the first cabins built in the valley between September and December of 1863. Friends Untied for Bear Lake and the Thomas Sleight family have received $10,000 through grants and donations. They are still collecting money toward its restoration and for information panels that would tell the history of how the town and valley was settled.
If you would like to donate towards this, send donations to Friends United for Bear Lake at P.O. Box 328 Paris, Idaho 83261. If you would like more information call Laurie Rich at 208-221-5322 or email The 501c3 organization also has a website at

Harriet Rich Home For Sale

This historic home will soon be listed for sale. There is still much that is original to this home. The side porch leads to the summer kitchen, which looks just like it would have when Harriet lived there. While the front porch has been converted into a room, the exterior remains mostly unchanged. The house has a large lot with large sheds on the property as well. The owners are only selling because of a recent family tragedy. They would love to see the home stay in the family if at all possible. They have suggested multiple families could go in on the purchase together and use the property for reunions or large gatherings. For more information and also a link to a GoFundMe page, visit the Charles C. Rich Family Association Page or contact Cody Ochsenbein at (801)860-0287 or

The Historic Bear Lake County Courthouse

An excerpt from "Point and Counterpoint: Paris, Idaho’s Courthouse and Tabernacle" written by David Armott follows. The full article can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

"The construction of the Bear Lake County Courthouse, began the same year the Idaho Test Oath was adopted, undoubtedly made this building problematic for Paris’s Mormon population. At best, the community’s Mormons felt ambivalent about the building. At worst, they saw the building as a symbol of government intrusion on their religion and way of life. The courthouse’s conflicted semiotics would have been compounded by the Idaho territorial custom of local populations covering at least a portion of, if not the full cost of new county courthouses. If this arrangement was kept in Bear Lake County—and it likely was—the county’s largely Mormon population funded a symbol of a government they felt had rejected them. A July 24, 1885 edition of the Paris Democrat Newspaper provided account of a Bear Lake County Democrat Party Convention that had been held a week before in and around Paris’s new courthouse. At this meeting, local Democratic Central Committee Chairman R.S. Spence asserted, "We [Mormons] have broken no law, have done no wrong, only in that we belong to an organization that is unpopular. We are oppressed for our religious opinions and robbed of our civil rights and the rights of free Americans, because of our religious belief..."