O.P Skagg's/ Safeway Building


A 1906 photograph shows the Model Restaurant on the south lot and a real estate business on the north, with a small sign showing W. J. Higgins Dentist. Isaac Potter was the original owner of the south lot, and by September 4, 1906, Joseph Hunt was the owner, operating a real estate business. William DeMude was the original owner of the north lot, and by August 29, 1906, Joseph Hunt owned a photo gallery. The May 22, 1919 issue of the Rupert PioneerRecord reported the Morgart-Day grocery store here. By 1921, the Sanborn Map shows a brick building with a garage/auto sales business. During the 1930s, it was a Dodge-Plymouth dealership. Later, it was the Hansel-Overlie Chevrolet dealership. This was the location of O. P. Skagg’s, Rupert’s first chain grocery store. Sometime after 1907, the Skaggs family opened a grocery store in American Falls. O. P. Skaggs and other family members continued expanding their selfservice retail grocery and drug businesses. This was a unique concept at the time. Skagg’s eventually merged with Safeway’s and Albertson’s for a time. The drugstores became Osco and Payless Drug. This total venture became the ninth largest retail firm in the nation, a remarkable progression from a small, southern Idaho start. Safeway’s was here in the 1940s and early 1950s. Later, it housed Broadhead Furniture, Gibson’s Variety Store and The Square Deal Thrift Store/Idaho Youth Ranch. The store has been slightly re-modeled, and the building retains good historical values.