ISU Headlines

Unveiling of Union Pacific Railroad Chief Pocatello mural set Oct. 1 at Stephens Center

Posted September 21, 2009

A historic mural and beautiful painting of Chief Pocatello that was displayed for more than 50 years at the Pocatello Union Pacific Railroad Depot has found a new home in the Idaho State University L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center and will be unveiled during a ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 1.

The mural, named “Pocatello in 1878 Chief Pocatello in the Background” on its original brass plate, was painted in 1943 by the Bethal Morris Farley, a Pocatello artist who lived from July 5, 1895, to Oct. 8, 1985.

The approximately 5 feet by 15 feet painting is owned by the Union Pacific Railroad and now will be displayed by Idaho State University. It will be placed on the second floor of the Stephens Center between the entrances to the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall above the photographs of ISU Foundation members.

“We’re honored that Union Pacific Railroad is allowing us to display this historic work that portrays such an important figure in Southeast Idaho’s history,” said Kent Tingey, ISU vice president for advancement. “It will add to the grandeur of the Stephens Performing Arts Center and can be admired by patrons of the arts for years to come.”

The mural was taken down from the Pocatello Union Pacific Railroad Depot this summer and taken to Ketchum for full restoration by artist Annie May.

“The Union Pacific Railroad is pleased that the public will once again have access to this well-loved and much admired piece of art,” said Dan Harbeke, director of public affairs for Union Pacific Railroad. “The Stephens Performing Arts Center is the perfect venue for this mural.”

Both Tingey and Harbeke credited brothers U.S. District Court Judge Larry M. Boyle and Robert Boyle, a Las Vegas architect, and their family for initiating the process that led to the transfer of the mural.

“Without the conscientious efforts by Larry and Robert Boyle and their family, this occasion may not have taken place,” Tingey said. “I believe the community owes a debt of gratitude to the Boyle family for taking an interest in this matter.”

"My father thought of this project and it has been a goal of my brother Robert and I for many years to have the mural housed again in a public venue,” Boyle said. “We both worked for the railroad as young men while completing our university studies, and we are gratified the mural will now again be seen by so many other people."

The dedication ceremony is open to the public.