Posted April 26, 2010
The 700-volume-plus library of Drs. Ellis and his son, Evan Kackley, of Soda Springs, was recently donated to the Idaho State University Eli M. Oboler Library.
The collection contains early medical education books, history titles, and numerous notebooks from the younger Evan Kackley’s medical education, announced Karen Kearns, head of special collections at the Library. Also included are notebooks from Evan Kackley’s wife, Lois, who studied nursing.
The collection is currently under review and portions are being added to the Special Collections Department as well as the main book collection of the Oboler Library. The Kackley Library was donated through the Estate of Evan Kackley.
Ellis Kackley (1871-1943) arrived in Soda Springs in 1898, three days after graduating from medical school at the University of Tennessee. With the exception of one year spent fighting in France in World War I, Ellis would live in Soda Springs the rest of his life. As an early town benefactor he was instrumental in building the Caribou County Hospital in Soda Springs that opened in 1925. A book was written about his life titled “Ellis Kackley: Best Damn Doctor in the West” by Ellen Carney.
His son, Evan Kackley, was born in 1905 in Soda Springs. He would attend Stanford University and Harvard University Medical School before returning to Soda Springs to practice alongside his father. Following a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Evan Kackley and his family relocated to Boise where they lived until his death in 1999.
“We are pleased to be able to add the library of this important early southeastern Idaho family to the Oboler Library,” Kearns said.