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ABE GOFF: There are various stories about how Moscow got its name but I thinkfor once and for all we ought to settle that. And oh, there were, stories that there were some Russian settlers over here at an early day, that a Russian duke came over and went hunting on Moscow Mountain, that there was a fellow who had a cow here and he died and there was some dispute about it, and his widow got the cow and this cow was always bawling and they'd say,"well, what's all the noise?" and "That's Ma's cow." And that that's how it got its urn.. Now, its all perfectly silly because the facts have been well established and the facts are that there was an early day settler from Pennsylvnnia that owned the store out at Paradise Valley, Sam Neff. Now when the petition was sent in to create apost office in Moscow, about that time, he sold his store to Lieuallen and the store was moved west into what is now Moscow. And the final petition for the creation of the post office, a copy of which I personally secured from the Hattoal Archives when I was back in Washington, show, that the petition was orginally Paradise Valley. But that's been stricken out and the word Moscow substituted. Now it seems that Neff, who was a very well educated man-a scholar and teacher" came from alittle town in Pennsylvania called Moscow. I looked it up in the atlas today and it haa apopoulation of 1212 people even now. Now Neff was very influential here. He thought this valley looked something like his valley where his little hometown in Moscow, Pennsylvania was situated, and he insisted that it'd be agood name to name it "Moscow" after hia hometown in Pennsylvania. Nobody was going to make any objection and the change was made. Now this was substantiated later when, of course Neff left here, but he died latef-ninety years old or something like that. But he had a son who lived over at fakima. And back in 1961, the Latah County Pioneer Association got this son to come over here to Moscow and the businessmen of Moscow contributed the money to pay his fare over here. And he met with the Pioneer Association, and this was all discussed with him, and this son of Neff's said that he had often talked it over with his father and his father told him that this was the true story of how Moscow was named. Now that has been accepted by everyone who has really made any study of it. I'll refer to Homer David in his very interesting reminiscences, he discusses this. He talked to Neff's son. He didn't know the orginal Neff personally, but he said, "There's no question, that's how Moscow got its nane." And that's corroborated by a letter that I received from Nan Smith, Theodora V. Smith, who was long the secretary of the Latah County Pioneer Association. I have the letter here; I preserved it. It was received by me back in Washington. She told about this and she prepared an article which was given to fe Chamber of Commerce. But there is no question that those who have studied it all, the best evidence is certainly that Moscow is named after this little town in Pennsylvania. I found when I was in the Post Office Department that there are, I think, eleven Moscows in the United States of which Moscow, Idaho, is by far the largest. I think that ought to forever set aside the various stories abtft the naming of Moscow. It just was amatter of fact situation that took place in the early days.
Now, I first came to Moscow in 1911. I was then a boy over in Colfax. Icame up with my parents on a special train to hear former President Theodore Roosevelt speak on a platform of wheat sacks built in front of the present administration building. It was then avery new administration building. i remember the tremendous crowd that was here; I remember what an interesting speech was made by former President Theodore Roosevelt. I remCber I stayed behind to watch the cadets put en adrill after the speaking was over, and managed somehow to get separated fom my parents. They waited down at the train, the special train on that was to take us to Colfax, and I finally made my way down there through the crowd, arrived at the train to the great relief of my parents because my father wold have stayed to look for me. But I got there on time and got back to Colfax.
SAM SCHRAGER: May i ask you what your impression of Roosevelt was that day?
AG: Oh, tremendously, favorable impression. Roosevelt had been president, be wasback from his hunting trip to Africa. He was a very interesting speaker, be had the crowd with him. You could understand why Roosevelt, Roosevelt, the great, as I call him, was such apopular figure. Because of course, been arough rider, he'd lived out West and was a rancher. He'd been a puny boy in his youth but had regained it by his active physical activities. Ani no man to my knowledge in public life ever so captured the imagination and the affection of the American people as did Theodore Roosevelt. Now my parents were part of apioneer family. My father had come as a small boy. His father had come west to California, then had come north, wagon, first into Oregon, then up to Dayton, Washington, and he was, that's my grandfather, William Goff, was aharness-maker. He had aharness shop another man at Dayton for two or three years. And he used to come up in the Palouse country By horseback, looking around for agood place for ahomestead He finally settled on aplace not so far from the old Mullan Roaibetween Spangle and W.verly, and the family settled and homesteaded there. He had several brothers, and my father, when he was twelve years old kept adiary, I have that original diary now. And he told about the life in the pioneer cabin, about the Indians, about shaking up the cabin, how the snow sifted through in the storms, how they, of course, had no fruit. They grew lots of turnips and because there was an idea of the pioneers that turnips would take the place of fruit. There was no harvesting equip ment then. They planted some wheat, but of course, it was all cut with a the way they harvested it, they either walked horses over it or they tramped it down themselves and then they'd throw it up in the air and let the chaff away. There were some very clever settlers down toward Dayton and off down that way who figured out an idea of building aplatform and carrying the smashed down wheatheads up on this platform and where the wind would blow and they'd drop it to harvest. Now in the those days, there was no mill around. There was amill at Pine City, there was amill at there was amill down at Walla Walla. But their wheat had to be taken to of these mills and ground up. And the modern harvest equipment, that is when I say modern, it's a mechanical harvesting by the harvester didn't come until the railroads came in in the eighties. And that's when they first gotand the mills started And coarse, t was all done by teams, that is of horses or mules. In those days there was no regular RFD service. There was a few post offices. There was an early one at Rosalia. The first one in this ar« was down at Lewiston. Then they started the one in Moscow; the mail was brought up by horseback. And when one of these settlers fd some of his neighbors were going to town, they'd ask him to bring his mail. Remember that it could easily be brought by horseback because there was no junk mail then. There was no magaines, there was only an occasional newspaper. And the post offices were few and far between.
Now my other grandfather, forwhom I'm named, Abe, he had been bornin Illinois. He, with seventeen other young fellows, in 1860, they walked from Illinois to th, Pike's Peak mines in Colorado, over six hundred miles. And he mined for a while, then got in to herding cattle. He was there during the Indian uprising of the Plains Indians In the late '60's. And in the -70's, by that time, he'd gotten married,he embarked with his famity, and awagon and an ox team to come to the Northwest. And first they went up throught Utah and Wyoming. Then, he was somewhat interested in mining, they got up into Montana to mines, then they folded the old Mullan Road from Montana into the Palouse comtry and he homesteaded up near Rosalia. Now my father, was here early enough that he located ahomestead himself, over near what's known as the Hole-in-the-Ground, west of Rosalia, which was the haunt of aband of horse and cattle thieves. And they'd been using this hundred and sixty ac« for pasture,and it scared away any settlers from taking it up. But my father wasn't easily scared. He settled there and started his homestead. The, warned him away. He was shot through the shoulder one time out at the homestead, made it back to the cabin, and he managed to fight them off and what would have been my oldest brother was ababy then, the fire went out, and in the excitement and the cold the baby contracted pneumonia and died.
Well, that was the tough life then in the early days. My father, to firishin the story, this was in 1890, he went into Rosalia, and when he he was warned that the there who had warned him away from Rosalia and was going to shoot him on sight. But my father wasn't scared again. He went into Rosalia, over by where the Northern Pacific Dep is now, they met on the street and shot it out in true western fashion except that my father shot this fellow Hart through the body and Hart eventually died. M, father gave himself up to the town marshall, he was arrested for shooting Hart though the body so he was like to die and was taken to Colfax but was leased on bonded after an investigation byfche prosecuting attorney, Robert McCroskey, who later became superior court judge there, the case was dismissed on the ground that he had fired in self-defenee. Well, my father was aprominent businessman over at Colfax. I grew up there, I was there in 1910 when the big flood came on. And as I said, I came up with them to Moscow the first time. Now, my first sight of Moscow-it was largely orchards around Moscowapple orchards, beautiful apple orchards around Moscow, on all sides. And Moscow back in those days had sent acarload of apples up to the interstate fair at Spokane that won first prize. This was quite aplace for apples of the Idaho Harvester that was built here in Moscow, and this turned to wheat. There was first alarge brewery here run by old man Francfl, but when prohibit came along it was turned over into avinegar works. And orignally started by Fred Veatch, it was taken over by J. W. Gilmo who recently died. And Joe Gilmore developed the vinegar works Turkishwas here for years in the old brewery. I happened, when I first came into the practice of law, to have been Joe Gilmore's attorney and incorporated his company, the J. W. Gilmore Vinegar Works, and also we incorporated the Nothwest Vinegar Associations acooperative association of vinegar manufacturers here in the Northwest.
Now to go back to my other experience in Moscow, I came here next in1918. I had just graduated from high school that spring, had taken care of some high school, worked through the summer, but in the late suer I went up to Spokane and enlisted in the army. Now World War I was going on. I'd want*dto get in before that, but I'd promised my mother, I already had abrother, my oldest brother,Arthur, was already in the army, and shagged me to hold off until I graduated from high school, which I did. Well, I went to Spokane to enlist and got all lined up, and was assigned to fee Thirteenth Division at Fort Lewis. The training of the Ninet-first Division had been completed, and they had gone to France, and they were forming this new division. Well, I went back home to await word of when I was to go and then I received word that it's all been changed, that I'd been selected because I was ahigh school graduate and was aprospect for an army commission, that I was gohg to be sent to the University of Idatefor preliminary training. And I was sent, and did repo at Moscow alittle earlier than October 1st, 1918. Then I was finally swon in and here at that time there was a smller group of those who are high school graduates who were here for training in regular academic course, and then there was alarge group, six or eight hundred or more of Section B, that were here for training in mechanics and repair of tanks and things of that kind. And there were some barracks built up at the university, there are still some remnants up there in the old wooden buildings that are there on the canpus. The one that I lived in, there was aset of barracks built just west of the administrate building where there's aparking lot now. And I lived there, we lived in concrete barracks. We went to classes, usually in the morning, and then drilled in the afternoon. And in late October, there was anotice posted, to go to the Fourth Infantry Offices training camp at Camp Travis, Texas. But about that time we were in the heighth of the flu epidemic. Now these people that weren't alive here in Moscow and in the United States during the great influenza epidemic that sorted inarch 1918 and continued through October 1918, really can't understand whit aterrific tragedy it was for the nation and in fact for the whole world because in the United States there were twenty million people contracted influenza. It was avery serious disease; it started as a cold; went to Bed, they had a high fever. And most of the casualties came when they thought they were better and got up and went out. They'd often die within a day or two after they went out because they didn't realize that long bed confinement was necessary before itjvae safe to go out in the cold. Well, that was a terrible thing here. And in Moscow they had soup kitchens. Every place was pressed into service for the hospitals. There was the old Gritman Hospital and then there was the other hospital that was downtown that was operated. Buildings were taken over for hospitJs pretty near anyplace. And of course, the troops had been moving, and troops were taken off trains and died all the way along. They cancelled the orders for this group of ours to go to Camp Travis,Texas. And then the Armistice came along on November eleventh. And everything was called off. And we stayed on here. We were finally discharged. I was finally discharged from the army on December twenty-first.
Well, I went home and here I was. I'd got a little bit of a start, buta peculiar kind of a start at the university. But I liked Moscow, and I liked the university so I decided that I'd come back. We were on a quarter system then so I decided to come bacxe University of Idalo although had I had two brothers who went to Washington State College and layed on the football team there. And there was every reason that I would have gone to Washington State. But I decided to come back to Moscow to the university and I did come back and enroll in January 1919,and stayed on at the university for most of six years, although one year I had to lay cmt part of the year because I ran out of money. But I finally graduated from the law school in June of 1924. I worked at most everything, but we won't go that into that though I might mention ftin those days there was no grants and aid for football players. And if you did make the team you did get preference on a hashin job or a janitor job so I actually became the head raiter over at what was then Lindley Hall. Now Lindley Hall was built when I was in law school and the university was in terrific need of housing. And the Moscow Chamber of Commerce took it up and a lot of public spirited citizens got together and they raised enough money in Moscow to build, by the sale of bonds, to build adormitory. And President Ernest K. Lindley had just resigned here to go back as president of Miami University, he very popular here, so they insisted that the new dormitory be named Lindley Hall. It was called Lindley Hall. It was built in, I think, 1923. I worked on Lindley Hall, carrying hod, that means I had hod on my shoulder, I carried mortar and brick up to the masons. And at the same time, I worked there from eight In the morning until five at night, and was batching. And then I started in at seven and worked wheeling concrete on building the big tall elevators we have down here that was being built by the Mark Company . I worked from seven till twelve, half of a ten hour shift. Then I would go home, get myself somethin'to eat, go to bed and catch myself gettin up again to go to work at eight o'clock in the morning.
SAM: You were going to school then? At the same time?
AG: I was gong to school then, I was going to law school then. And then ofcourse auring that, in my final year in college, I played football in my last year in 1923. I had Job and they decided to separate the law library from the general library and have a student librarian I got the job through the kindness of the dean as the student law librarian, part-time student law librarian, and I worked every evening from seven to nine in the evening in the library. And of course I was there during the day, but the law school was small and books weren't taken out and there wasn't the supervision that's necessary now.
SAM: And you did your law school werk all. . .
AG: Why sure. I studied my law work during those seven to nine hours at nightwhen Iwas there in charge of the law library. And then also I was very fortunate that they had to have aguard over at the old gymnasium, which was the armory. They had alot of gnns anShmilitary equipment there and somebody broke in astole some of the rifles and they decided they had to have somebody there as aguard at night. So they fixed up alittle cubby hole in there, about twelve by twelve, with abed in it, and you see Igot afree room for sleeping there at night so that took care of my place to stay.
SAM: Would you say man, people were in the same boat as far as needing to worktheir way through school?
AG: Oh yes. There was few loan then And there was no aid outside, and wejust had to make it. And of course, also, on top of that, I had been alay reader in the Episcopal churcnfWe was no minister over at Colfax, and the bishop in Spokane finally turned over the charge of this mission to me and I would go down there every Sunday and take charge of the church and read the service on Sundays, go down on the gasoline bug on Sunday mornings to Colfax and then come back in the afternoon after I'd conducted the service. And I got the handsome sum of ten dollars aSunday plus my railroad fare for going over and doing that. Well, anyway, I graduated from the university in June of 1924. . .
SAM: Before we go on with what happened after that, I'd like to know a littlebit about the football. You told me it was good times for football for the university when you were there.
AG: Well, I was fortunate to have been in what I think probably, in spite of whata lot people have talked about winning teams. I happened to be there when Idaho was taken in to the Pacific Coast Conference. And at that time it included all the large western universities, Washhgton, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, the University of California. The University of Southern California was admitted about the same time as the University of Idaho. It had been a church school and we used to make fun of it and call it the Southern Branch. It was more of less in its' inception as far as athletics were concerned. Also, of course, In the Northwest there was Washington State College, then Washington State College, the University of Montana and the Univesity of Idaho. Well, then all of these colleges were relatively small in comparison to what they are now. Idaho and Montana were the smallest but still we eld hold our own pretty well then. There were none of these grants and aid. There was football players, yes, sought out and came but there was none of the going out like they do now and haulin'in 'em and givin 'em scholarships and the various things of that kind. There was not the money in it; there was not even radio then in those days. And no television, not the big money. Idaho, under Coach Matthews, more than held its own with any of the Pacific Coast Conference teams. We played 'em all, In my last year in 1933, we wnt undefeated and unscored on here in the Northwest and went down all American and to California to play Stanford which was then they had their great, famer, Ernie Nivers. We suffered our fist defeat against Stanford and then went on and played Southern California. We were pretty badly battered up at Stanford and we lost to the University of Southern California. But you see, it was a different picture in athletics then. In those days Whitman was quite a pow«r; Gonzaga was a real power in those days. They had some very stsng teams. In fact in 1923 or '24 we had beaten Gonzaga fourteen to nothing here in Moscow. And by the way, we beat Washhgton State fourteen to nothing that year. We us to play at Boise. That year we beat Oregon State six to nothing in Boise. But we had played University of Washington the year before and they luckily beat us two to nothing. And they wouldn't play us for five years. Those days they didn't make up schedules till each year; they didn't make 'em in advance. Washington wouldn't play Idaho. That used to be quite a joke around. Well, University of Washington won't play Idaho. They came through with that win of two to nothing and they didn't play Idaho again for five years. We would have beaten em badly in '23 or '24 I'm sure. Well, we trouble was even match. But in the next year Idaho would have gone to the Rose Bowl except that they were beaten by Stanford under Pop Warner and with Ernie Nevers over at Portland three to nothing. But those days won't come again and we can't expect it to come again becuse it was an entirely different era. The schools were different; the money involved was entirely different. Football then was more of a. . .(Break)
(End of Side A)
AG: To Lewiston to take the bar examination because in those days the barexamination was taken before the supreme court of the state. Now, of course, its handled by the state bar commission. Well, 1went down there and we took it under the supervision of the supreme court and the clerk of the supreme court. Imanaged to pass the bar, came back up to Moscow and prohibition was then on in Idaho and throughout the United States, that is national prohibition. I came back here in time to, the federal court was on, and during prohibiten it was an entirely different situation about the trial terms here in Moscow. Of course, there was the national prohibition law and the defenders against the national prohibitin law were tried in the U. S. District Court. The U. S. District Court met here in Moacow what is now the old post office building with Judge Diedrich, the federal judge, and there was two court terms held each year, one in the spring and one in the fall.And these lasted two or three weeks. There of jury cases tried. And the same thing was true in the state district court in the old courthouse up here. Judge Steele was the district judge, and of corse Idaho had its own state prohibition law. And there was abig term of court every spring and every fall, juris here, attorneys from all around, weeks of trials of various prohibition cases and some other cases too. There was a civil calendar too. But the spring and fall court terms in the federal court and the state district court were big events with lots of interest, lots of people here. The Moscow Hotel was always jammed. And there were attorneys here because the U. S. District Court tried all the prohibition cases from all over the Clearwater country up on the prairie, the Indian reservation, Lewiston-lots of came up from Lewiston.
Now who is the U. S. marshall because I played football with three of his sons whohad played football here at the University of Idaho. He came from Caldwell or Nampa. Then I got acquainted with Billy McReynolds who was the clerk of the court. And I decided that this was a chance for me to get some jury trail practice. So I came up and applied to Billy McReynolds who was the clerk of the U. S. District Court and said," I'd like to try some case." Well, one of the great burdens on all the attorneys here locally was the appointment as attorney for these so-called indigent bootleggers and moonshiners. Of course, most of them claimed they didn't have any money so the court would appoint an attorney to defend em. And it was areal trial for the local attorneys, but of course they had to do it. And in those days there was no payment. N« an attorney appointed to defend an indigent defendant in acriminal case is entitled to a fee, fixed by statute in the court. But then there was no fee attached and of course they hated to be appointed, but they had to bear their part of it. That was one of the burdens of being an attorney. Well, since I was ready to serve, why I was regularly appointed, there were others appointed, but I splint about two weekvs cases. Not that I tried 'em all by jny means because off cmouurreess tthneerree wweere pvrohibition violators that had lets of money and paid big attorney fees. And there was plenty of cases of that kind, but oh, every day or fwo there'd come along acase that I'd get into and try a jury case.
SAM: Can you describe the kind of people who you were representing then? Whothese people were that were getting arrested for moonshining?
AG: Well, of course, you must remember that in those days there was tall timberin this county and in Clearwater County. The timber went fromt Palouse clear to the Montana line, this wonderful timber. It was full, Mountain was very heavily timbered although alot of the merchantable, been cut off for firewood because you know, what we called the wood rats squatted out there on little places. They'd cut firewood and bring it into Moscow and that's how they got their small amount of cash that they needed in the year. Well, out in all this timber there was settlers from West Virginia. There was more of em from where over in Clearwater County and they knew about moonshining. And so when national prohibition came along they got in the moonshiner business. And they'd have alittle still out there, alittle copper still out wa, back in the timber, and occasionally they were picked up by our Latah County sheriff's force. But these real moonshiners back in the woods were mostly brought in by the federal revenue agents, fedent prohibition agents, the head of the enforcement here of the national prohibition law was abig bluff pleasant fellow by the name of Julius Johnson. He was the head prohibition man for the enforcement service in this area. And Julius Johnson headed the agents, and they would arrest these moonshiners back in the woods and haul 'em in with their mash and their moonshine, haul em in.
Now the ordinary moonshiner was back in the woods. He didn't havemuch money and if he had any he claimed he didn't so he could get an attorney all appointed for him. But of course the real big money wal made by the bootleggers brought it in from Canada who ran it in here and sold to the well-to-do people. And the big liquor dealers were around Lewiston thorSh they ran it in here regularly and up in the Couer d'Alene. And I might say that Idaho had had aprohibition law before the national prohibition law came in that Latah County and Moscow had been dry by local option. It was dry when I first came to Moscow. But Mosw and Latah County, aside from our wooded areas out here was the most law abiding as far as prohibition law of any in the state because the university was located here and we had a sober, high class, law abiding citizenry here. This and the fact that the university was here, we didn't have the violations in town that they had in other ptees like in Lewiston and Couer d'Alene and Boise and Idaho Falls and places like that. In fact, up at Wallace and Kellog the prohiHtion law was openly disregarded. As a matter of fact it resulted in the mayor and the sheriff and two-thirds of the county officials biing hauled into the federal court at Couer d'Alene, charged with conspiracy to violate the national prohibition law. But here in Moscow we kept it down pretty well. We had an active sheriff-, fellow by the name of Charlie Stfmmerfiild. One of his principle deputies was Roy Garrison, the deputy that used to drive me around when I went out on matters throughout the county.
I was prosecuting attornneyhere for four terms myself, and then I served a year and a half before that as deputy to C. J. Orland who had been appointed but he was an older man and he didn't want to undertake this running around on the criminal cases so he said he'd take the job only if I was appointed as deputy. So I did the handling of the ordinary criminal cases and making the investigations and so forth. Of course, George K. Moody that evenrbody knows as Hap came in as the office man; he'd worked for the Potlatch. Afine man, he was the deputy. We used to pick up when we had something on over around Bovill or Potlatch we'd pick up J. F. Jordan who was ayoung ffllow livin' over at Viola and take him along. And he later became aregular deputy and then after Stfmmerfield died, after Moody retired, Jordan became sheriff and was sheriff here for years. Afine officer, he died here recently. Now when Ifirst came to Moscow Jim Cane was the sheriff. And for awhile one of my jobs that Ihad was being the night jailer up at the old jail at the old courthouse. At that time the old jail, the very old jail, the first jail that was aseparate building built later that was supplanted by the present jail, the old jail was in the old courthouse building that had been built in 1889. And the deputy who had been the night jailer was married and he didn't lflfe to stay there at night so Jim Cane told me that if Iwanted to sleep there and be the night jailer Icould have the room. So that gave me afine chance so Imoved in to this room that was infested with bedbugs. We didn't have all the things to kill 'em you have now but I certainly put, oh that old jail was full of bedbugs and my quarters were full of bedbugs. But I fought 'em with hot water and powders and finally cleaned 'em out pretty well in my room. And one of the great advantages then was that the night jailer, or at least Idid, Ifed the prisoners in the morning and fed at night. So Igot to eat the prisoners food in the evening and I could get my breakfast in the morning so that was awonderful stay for ewhile. But of course, after Igot started practicin' law Icouldn't very well be the night jailer so I had to give up that job.
SAM: Were most of the people who wee in jail there for bootleggin'or moonshinin?
AG: Most of them were there for liquor cases. We had a few more serious crimes.Some burglaries, embezzlements and afew others. But you see, the county made aprofit from keeping the federal prisoners because there's lots of federal prisoners, they had to put them someplace so we had lots of federal prohibition violators and federal people charged with prohibition offenses. We were kept there by the county; the jail was always full.
Well, I want to tell you a little bit about prohibition here andabout Moscow when I first came here. Now as I said, Moscow was a very really pretty sober law-abiding town, right here in town. The churches were very strong, the evangelical churches, and you see, prohibition started largely with the evangelical churches: the Methodists, the Baptists, the Congregationalists and some of these churches were strong for prohibition on moral grounds. They felt that if we could do away with the evils of liquor that there would be no more poverty, that we could close up the Jails, that men wouldn't be spendin' their money in saloons and taking it away from their fandies. It had anoble purpose. And it was furthered by the evangelists that used to come to Moscow. The one I remember best was the name he was aman with anational reputation. Now used to come here and other evangelists and they'd put up a big tent east of what is now the old post office building. That was avacant lot there except for the house of Sam Owings at the corner there where the state employment office now is. Sam Owings, he' . an oldtimer here, had his home. But the rest was a vacant lot. And they'd put up a big tent there and then these churches would go around and get pledges and they'd bring an evangelist in here and fave aweek or ten days of evangelistic meetings. I looked in on one 'em. They were pretty strong. He would point out the evils drink and would call on the people to come for'-rdand be saved and he used to tell em that what if they walked home and they fell through a board sidewalk and were killed and they weren't saved. And they'd go to hell and they'd burn in hell and he pointed the pictures of hell and damnation. He denounced these fellows who operated and played at dance halls. Right across the street from the old tent wh* the evangelistic services were held was theold Eggan Hall and that's where the public dances were held. There was a group called the Mann Botheres who orginally started in Colfax. And they used to come up and play for dances, these were public dances. And of course I remember on about the horrors, how our young, tender young women were ruined by going to these public dances. And he denounced these irreligious, sinful, obscene, immoral dance orchestras like the Mann Brothers. Well, now I knew the Mann Brothers; they orginally started in Colfax. They were pretty good folks. Their music, it was lively music, the jazz had come in but it was really music, not the kind of trash that we get over this negroid trash that we get over the radio now, it really had rhythm. And as a result of his denouncing the Mann Brothers in those terms they sued him. And he could just prove these terms. And the case was eventually settled, but of course these wild charges that he made were, they were fine for a sympathetic audience but the dances weren't that bad, nor the people that operated them weren't that bad.
SAM: That Mann Brothers brought suit in other words?
AG: Oh yes, the Mann Brothers brought suit in the district court. And I don'tknow how much they brought for a great big sum, I don't know how much it was settled for. Originally the case was thrown out by Judge Steele on the ground that the Mann Brothers wouldn't submit to a physical examination to see if they had syphillis. But it went to the supreme court and the court promptly sent it back and saidywhy they don't have to sweat it, when he makes charges like that it's up to him to prove it. They don't have to prove his case."And of course, thy weren't and they lived for years down in Lewiston, died respected citizens down there. Now sure there were things that were bad about those early dances and there was some drinking. We used to have trouble out at the dances that were held out at in this outlying Potlatch and around but they weren't quite that immoral. What was being denounced was the immorality of darftng. And It was along while before they permitted high school students to go to dances and things of that kind.
SAM: But the evangelists were then, in the revival saying really that drinkingand dancing were. . .
AG: Why, the great evils of dancing. Well, we finallygot state prohibition, then we got national prohibition.
SAM Well, let me just ask you this:, do you feel that pprohibition locally,local option came in because of the revivalist influence and ...?
AG: Well, Iwon't say it was the reviv alists, they furthered it. But, you know,there was alot of feeling of fine churched and it was noble in objective to do away. ..You can't very well justify the amount of money that's being spent for liquor. It'd better be spent for schools. And now you see the school gets acut on what's sold in the liquor here.The purpose was good but the trouble was that the liquor became aforbidden fruit. And if we go back to the Bible you know we all got in trouble, Adam and Eve got in trouble over the forbidden fruit. Immediately that it became illegal then people had to have it. It's part of human nature. And instead of emptying the jails ,it filled the jails. And it was taken over by the crimnal element. It was running here, the liquor that was running here. And the best citizens socially, they served liquor. And it came to be accepted. And the worst part of it is in my teenages why any woman that drink hard liquor, why of course she was on the way to damnation. No moral woman of any standing drank hard liquor. Oh, the doctor might give her something as astimulant, but the women drank alittle light wine after adinner, they might serve some sweet wine. And they might at aholiday drink something just politely do it. But most women didn't touch liquor. And the girls, it was unheard of for agirl or ayoung woman to drink liquor. And when I was in college, afellow that cane to acollege dance with liquor on his breath, the girls all avoided him. Why sure, it was socially ft the thing to do.
Well, now this prohibition changed it all around. Herethe girls went into these speakeasies, not so much, we didn't have speak easies in Moscow but in your cities, why then it became the fashionable thing to go to these speakeasies and so on. And why the women that never thought of taking adrink before it became the socially acceptable thing to drink. And the best people served liquor. And they were served some horrible stuff though because this that was made b, these moonshiners was pretty poor stuff. And of course they concocted all kinds of things to put into liquor that wa, sold, not so much here, but in your cities, denatured alcohol, that alcohol that had injected in it either carbolic acid or wood alcohol to make it unpalatable. It smelled like alcohol, it was mixed in this bootleg whiskey that was sold; it would blind or paralyze people and of course your good citizen and your evangelist had said that it would do away with this skid row business and so on. That we wouldn't have these hopeless addicts to alcohol lying around the streets in our cities. Well, it worked out just the reverse. They simply turned to hair tonics; they turned to anything that smelled of alcohol; they turned to perfume, canned heat, bay rum, radiator anti-free* and anything that had the odor of alcohol. And the worst was Jamaica Ginger, and it got to be called "Jake". It was ninety per cent alcohol. And these fellows would drink this Jamaica Ginger or "Jake" and that would bring on paralysis. And it got to be so you could know one of these, instead of awino, you had a fellow with what's called a"Jake" leg. You could tell by the way he walked that he was an addict of Jamaica Ginger.
SAM: How did he walk?
AG: Well, he went with ahalting gait, like he could barely drag his feet along.And you could tell it by his walk that he had "Jake" leg. Then you see one of the things that was interesting: there was lots of home brewing. There was malt and hops sold. It was perfectly legal to sell 'em because it wasn't alcoholic and of course they took it home and madl'into beer. The amount of home brewtg was widespread. And one of the interesting items was bricks of dehydrated grapes that had awarning on them. And it said: "Warning: Do not put this in agllon of water and leave it for twenty-one days or it will become intoxicating. It will become wine and that is illegal." And there was widespread evasion. And the worst of it was that it was the best citizens of the community that were doing it. And that the big money that was made by these bootleggers and the crime that they developed as a result of it. The rum runners at sea, the runners of rum across the border. Look, we had maybe, oh, maybe 4500 prohibition agents and two thousand and more miles of boundary between here and it came across there. It was a terrbile thing. And these people though were very strong as prohibition proved hard to enforce,
I remember an experience that I had. I was up thecourthouse one day after Ihad been prosecuting attojney for one term and adelegation wanted to see me. So went into a room and this was a delegation from the WCTU. Very earnest, very fine women. And they said that this was a national moment and that they wanted me to take apledge on law enforcement. Well I said,"I'm very much interested. I'Ve tried my best to enforce the prohibition law here. As you know I do not ase intoxicants myself and Ican say honestly that Inever took an illegal drink of liquor in my life."And I can't say that was tru in some other areas of law enforcement officials. But well, they said,"We have this pledge we want you to sign." And Iread it over and it said,"I hereby pledge that if I'm re-elected as prosecuting atto rpey Iwill enforce the prohibition laws above all other laws." Well, Isaid,"Ladies, Idon't believe Ican sign that." Well, the^said. Why not, Mr. Goff? Well, I said,"We have laws against burglary and murdar and bank robbery and embezzlement and grand larceny and I've taken an oath to observe the constitution of the United States and to faithfully enforce ttelaws of the state of Idaho. And I don't believe I can sign this. I certainly will do my very best to enforce the prohibition law and we've been quite reasonably successful here compared to other counties." Well, they said,"We're very sorry Mr. Goff, that you take this attitude." And they very politely left me and thereafter they came out for another candidate and worked against me all through the campaign and fortunately I made it. But you see the difficulty is that in their zeal, that was one of the troubles with the whole situation. And the worst thing about prohibition was the money that was made by the unlawful elements the congestion of the courts, the drinking that was brought on among women and girls and college students. Nobody could have forseen that, The old saloon was bad enough but it was confined to men and the good citizen didn't like to be around a saloon very much. Abanker didn't want to be seen too much in a saloon and it was confined to the men. But unfortunately it had a very bad effect. And we had some interesting affairs here, oh, we we used to have some great court terms. We had an enforcement, the marshall up at, it wafold Pat Malone up at Bovill. There's lots of stories told about Pat Malone. Now we had a lot of casesof fellow8 selling liquor to lumberjacks, and ftllows who made liquor and sold it to lumberjacks. But there was not not of money in it. These lumberjacks were not real criminals. We caught 'em with it, yes, possession of liquor but it wasn't a very serious offense. But old Pat, I remember caught some up there, took 'em down to Troy to the justice of the peace. On the way down they had some whiskey that was seized and one of then said to Pat, "Why Pat, why don't you let us have adrink? We're caught now, and let's have a drink." Well, Pat was a good natured Irishman and he let 'em have a drink. Unfortunately by theytime they got to the justice of the peace they drank up all the liquor. Oh, there was a lot of things that happened like that. I had some interesting cases in the federal court over liquor, and of course they always claimed that the mash that was caught was used to feed their pigs. And of course, they couldn't explain the sugar that was in it. And the crushed corn, that they'd got it to feed their stock and all that. It was a great old game as far as the moonshiners were concerned. But the ones that are really bad are the ones that sold the bad liquor that blinded people and so on. But we didn't have that so much here. (Break)
(End of Side B)
AG: No, we,as I said, there were lots of more trial work then. Not only prohibitioncases but other cases. Very much more trial work. There seemed to be more criminal trial work. Some of the early cases I remember when I first was admitted to the bar was the trial of A. S.S?rost for burning down his garage, atrail for arson. That attracted great attention. Frost was charged with burning down his garage for the insurance. He had heavily insured it. I prosecuted that case in my first year as prosecuting attoumey. It was a long case; it took us five or six days to trial, we had ajury. The principle witness against Frost was afellow that the sheriff's force had run down that thad said he had been hired by Frost to set the building on fire. And it was abitterly tried case. The evidence was overwhelming against Frost although Frost, like alot of other defendants was able to bring alot of witnesses as to his good reputation. But this witness testified positively. He was a transient that testified he had been hired by Frost to set the builMng on fire and told how he did it.
But in the instruction to the Jury, JudgeSteele was the judge then. And it's arule of law that you may not convict aperson of any crime on the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice. Uncorroborated meaned that there must be some independent circumstances apart from the testimony of the accomplice that would tend to connect the defendant with the offense. Well, Judge Steele, I da't want to do him too much of an injustice but in the instruction to the jury he laid down that in great particularity about that the corroboration that was necessary for the testimony of an accomplice. And he laid stress in it by tone of voice and everything else. I always suspected that he was—well, I hate to say this but alittle tied in with both both Ovesmith, and they were great friends, and with Frost. But it was as much the inflection as the long and detailed instruction to the jury anyway after aprolonged, all night session the jury brought in averdfct of acquittal. Now some of the sheriff's force and I did, talked to the jurors afterwards and without exception they said,"Why of course, we knew he was guilty, but with the instruction the court gave us why we couldn't believe any of his testimony. Why, we couldn't convict him without that."So Frost was acquitted. But that was amajor case and agreat disappointment to me but Ihad better fortune here . in agood many others. But that attracted alot of interest and in the Northwest, this Frost for arson. And as amatter of fact, Frost never did collect his money for the insurance because they refused to pay and finally Frost abandoned an effort to try to force 'em to pay. So he got nothing out of it and Frost left here afterwards. (Break)
AG: Mention here, and it was about the middle term of when I was prosecutingattourney was the case of State versus Orr for the attempted robbery of Tommy Mathews. Now, T. D. Mathews was agraduate of the university who had been atrack man and was the track coach at the university, I think shortly after I graduated. Avery well respected son of pioneer families; the farm was out here north of Moscow. Now after he left his coaching at the university, Mathews operated alunch counter and coffe shop and soft drink place near the entrance to the univeristy and catty-corner across from where the LDS Building is now, well or was where the LDS Building is now. It's near the entrance to the university, I guess that's been torn down now. But it's right, almost directly in front of where the front steps of the university is now. And it was alittle east of where the Dean JG. Eldridge house was. Well now this was afavorite rendezvous of students and Mathews used to keep it open until midnight at night, it would open in the early morning. THay could get coffee, students stopand get lunches there. It was avery popular student rendezvous. And it usually closed at midnight and go on home. Mathews liveS across town and over in the general area where the Roman Catholic Church stands, it's over in there. And it was his custo. each night when he closed up to take his proceeds and get into his car and drive on home at night. Well, this particular night Mathews closed up his place, took his purse with his cash in it and so on, his proceeds for the day, went out and got into his car, drove across after midnight, across town, and when he had got across Main Street and had gotten up in the neighborhood where the-well, it's the George K. Moody place, where it used to be the parsonage of the Lutheran Church, and up in that corner up here, somebody rose up from behi*d and hit him on the head with aleather covered blackjack, hit him on the head and knocked him out. And of course the car ran into the curb and when he came to the car was wrecked and his purse was gone. Well, there's along story about how we ran the thing dawn, but of corse here was avery popular business and well known Moscow character had been when robbed, had been knocked in the head with ablackjack he was going home with the proceeds.
SAM: Could you say very briefly how it was run down, I'm really curious.
AG: Well, of course, there was a young fellow by the name of Ohr, Harry Ohr,who is not related to any of the Ohrs here now, but for several realms it was suspected he'd around up there. He'd gone up there and he'd gotten into aome minor troubles and the sheriff's office suspected him among others. He'd been up around this place. And there were some other reasons that caused us to connect him with it. But the principle inveatigator always was our own George K. Moody, old Hap Moody. And somehow old Hap who had around the campus evn those days, had been interested up there. And he did a lot of questtning and running the thing down and so old Hap Moody finally,and of course I dfl alot of questioning of people for all the incidences of it and tailed many times to Matthews, and Matthews did look up and get ahasty look at the man who bent over him and hit him because the fellow coughed and Matthews turned around, heard this noise, and just as he turned around, why he was hit on the head. But he got aglimpse of the fellow and there was something about him that the general idea of some of the possible description of about the same size, though it was dark, of this Harry Ohr. But there was some light from the streetlight there, but he couldn't identify him. But it was some kind of ahasty-it could have been him. But anyway, ol Hap Moody went down to the Ohr houfe, finally, and shortly after this took place when he found his suspicions. And he went out in the trash heap and where the ashes were thrown from the Ohr house. And he quietly gathered up those ashes, all the ashes he could find. And then he sifted 'em carefully and low and behold he sifted out the metal part of apurse, acanh, one of these long leather bank purses that you carry cash and bills in. Then he took that out carefully and shined it up, took it to Mathews and Mathews, yes, he couldn identify it, that was his purse. Yes, it was a special purse and it was of a special character.
And it came I believe, the First Trust Bank, but there were some specialmarkings on it that he could identify it. Well, then there were alot of other little leads that were worked out. And there were alot of people in the bank and there was alot interestin this thing. It finally resulted in me filing acrimnal charge against Ohr for the attempted robbery and criminal assault on T. D. Mathews. We tried the case and was awell tried case. Ohr employed A. L. Morgan, and A.L. Morgan was an able and excellent lawyer. He later became avery good district judge here, and he was an able lawyer and Irespected him. And he defended Ohr ably but finally the jury, prin ciply upon the testimony of Hap Moody convicted Harry Ohr. Ohr appealed it to the supreme cart and that was ahard fought case in the supreme court. general took arather dim view of the prosecution but Isecured the permission of the supreme court to argue the cases, that it was on technical grounds, some of the technical points of the trial that the appeal was taken. And the deputy attourney general argued it on the ground, that on technical grounds that it ought to be aet aaide on some of the proceedings on the trial of it. Ithtkwe tried it by old Judge Steele and George Steele by that time was not in hia prime and there were some questions, but Iwent down and seered the permission of the supreme court to argue it on the behalf of the state. And Iargued it before the supreme court myself. Imade part of the argument. And fortunately, the supreme court said the evidence was so overwhelming, they disregarded some of this other and Ohr was convicted and of course was sent to the perftentiary. But it was certainly acase that attracted widespread interest here and throughout the whole Northwest. We had some reporters here from quite afew places. It was avery interesting case. Now of course, there were alot ofother cases, Itried lots of other cases and later went out as Iwas re-elected in 1932 vhen the big Democratic landslide took place, and then I didn't run again.
AG: in Moscow, and I hope this is coming through here.The leading businessmenhere of course were up and down Wain §treet there'd been of course the run by old man Franzel. But of course, it went out with prohibition. And he didn't try to make near beer. Some of the brewties made near beer. They'd make beer and take the alcohol out of it. couian't be more than half of one percent. And the Amheiser-Busch Company put out what was called "Beevo", which was fairly popular near beer. It tasted something like beer but it had less than one half of one percent alcohol, though it proved quite popular in certain circles because they could get ahold of some alcohol and it. And if they didn't have any alcohol they would spike it with most anything. Ether was the most common. It would give a kick. I've known people to drink A-l Sauce like that. Dust something that would give ahorrible kick to it. But Fraiel didn't attempt to make beer. Later it became what we called the Moscow Vinegar Works. Well, when I first came to Moscow, of course, down on toward the North End of town, it wasn't built up there at all that way. And there weren't any buildings around the university except there were a few houses up there ploughs lived at the entrance to the university and Dean Eldridge and the Dean of the Mining School lived, houses up there. Near the entrance of the university. That was Elm Street was a mud street. And quite a lot of Moscow was paved after I came here. The Main Street had been paved when I came here. But in those days of course the automobile, oh, there were a few cars. Neely and Sons ran a taxi service with horses and cabs. And then later eventually got into the automobile used as a cab. But there was quite a lot of muddy streets. Particularly up around the university.
I remember some of the businessmenwhen I first started to practice law here was the Butterfield and Elder Implement Company, down by Sixth Street. Old Zumhoff and Collins had a blacksmith shop down there. In:the neighborhood of where the Kenworthy Theater is. Across the street was old George Webberis harness shop. And up a little ways. Then Charlie Blanchard had a toboacco place and Cardroom there. He sold tobbacco and played cards. The, Mark n Millar had mill and had built these big elevators. He built some first and the second group, Iworked on, as I told you, in as you got uptown, why of course, the most important place in town was the Moscow Hotel. It was run by Tom Wright. Wonderfully well run. Afine and well liked man. The Hotel had originally been built by old Colonel Barton. But, the Barton H0use. But the Moscow Hotel was the center of everything then. And of course then there was Judge Hodgins and the origins drugstore. Hodgins had been one of the early settlers, very early settlers in the As a boy he grew up over by Genesee. He was the first probate judge of the county when Latah county was formed by an act of Congress. And by the way, as you know, this is I guess about the only county in the United States was created by an act of Congress. The First National Bank was there on the corner. It was athree story building, and up above was alodge hall. Course, that's been torn down, across the street, as Iremember it, there was abarn over there, back of the First National Bank was the, Carl Grize had his undertaking establishment. As 1 remember it, the First Trust and Savings Bank was up the street a little ways, but after I started to practice law, they built the fine building the first Security Bank is lodged in now. The other bank across where the abstract office, there was a women's shop there in that building, was the Moscow State Bank,Awas operated by Robert Whittier as President and Harry Whittier as cashier. They were very fine and active people here. Businessmen here. That went down in the depression in 1933. Of course, Chris Hagen, and Hagen and Cushing had aAraeat market and grocery store next to Creighton's store. And of course, Hagen and Cushing had a packing plant out east of town, out in the area where they now have the baseball park and field, soccer field out there.Creighton's was operating. Vic Ramstedt was a younger man then, now gone. His son now operates it, the business.
And going a little further up the streetwas the Pastime Pool Hall. N0w the Pastime Pool Hall was the poor man's club. It was a fairly large establishment. On one floor, the ground floor they had a lunch counter, a big one. They had, the people go in there and play cards. They could buy soft drinks and coffee there. But the Pastime Pool Hall stayed open, never closed. It was open day and night. There's a big stove in there. Anybody could go in there. In the wintertime anybody that was cold could go in there. I remember there was one character called old Posy, who lived in a shack down on the north end of town here. He used to go in there, he was kind of a half witted fella. He'd come in there, and Art Ransom ran the, and owned the Pastime Pool Hall and he lived up in a nice bungalow house up across west of the old Court House. Ransom as a very interesting man. A veyy quiet, very, he never got excited. He was always in the background. But as a prosecuting attorney, I can say that there was never a better run establishment that we had there in all the years I was prosecuting attorney. We never had any offenses committed there. Never had any trouble with liquor. He kept it in perfect order, never had any tB uble with gambling. Hunters go in there that'd go hunting and get up at three o'clock in the morning, you could always go in and get a good meal there. If you came in the middle of the night. And even college students, of course no girl or woman would ever go in those,'cause that was strictly the domain of the men, but they used to send somebody in to get hamburgers and so on. And really it was an asset to the town. He didn't sell any magazines. I can say that it was the poor man's friend and the lumberjack that came in, I can remember, it was a standing jotoe that when the first snow fell and the lumberjack would walk out in front and the snow would be coming down, somebody would say to "Now aren't you sorry that you didn't hang on to your summer wages?" But they could always go into the Pastime. There was some benches there. And of course, he did a good business. There was pool tables there. It was frowned on by the very churchy part if town. But actually it was the best run establishment of its sort that I've ever known. And of course it passed when Art Ransom passed because somehow, he could get along wibb everybody and he operated it there.
Then of course, further on down, andacross the street uas Uhat had been the old department store, whafs now the Thatuna Apartments. That had gone out and there was stores in there and then of course, there were stores in there and they remodeled it in ray early days in Moscow, that is, when I was practicing law, into the Thatuna Apartments. But that aad been a great department store in the early days that attracted a lot of business Moscow. And of course, further down the street on the east side of Main Street was the Washburn Wilson Seed Company. And then of course, over to the railroad, w ere their warehouses and so on. And of course, to go back on the oast side of Main Street, and I'm passing out a lot of, up a lot of places, I know, I should mention that there was the closed Harvester plant down there where the early football games had been played. And on the east side of the street beside what became the Thatuna Apartment* was the Fred Sams Furniture store, the Elk's Lodge, the old Idaho Hotel and then later they built the Moscow Grange Building there.In that area. And of course coming up further uptown was the Willis Drugstore. There was the Moscow State Bank, the Abstract Office, there was Robbins Pool Hall in there that was run by one of the Robbins brothers.There was another, Grant Robbins, who was a chief police and a fine officer. Will Robbins ran the pool hall. And then there was Charlie Bolles, the corner drugstore. Charlie was a well known pioneer druggist. Across the street was David's Department Store. Frank David was still alive with his four sons. Homer, Howard, Earl and Don, but Don had graduated in 1917, had gone back to Harvard where later he became Dean of the Harvard Business School. I should mention that on Third Street was thejfurther on down, was the old Pleasant Home Boarding House. Grize undertaking parlor. There was a the old business collecje was up above where the jewelry store and sheep shop is now. I'll think of his name later. Across the street was Gerry's Cigar store where he sold peanuts and^popcorn and Jerry had started with a peanut and popcorn stand there on Third Street and finally, it was a portable one that used to be rolled up on wheels. Then he got his little,Jerry's Store there. And across the street was the old grocery store. I can't remember the name of the grocery store. Opposite was the fable Supply, a local grocery store. Herman Wilson had operated the store on the sight where Jerry's, on the north side. He got into the Washburn Wilson Seed Company.
And afellow by the name of Davis took it over. And this Davis was a very unusual fellow. He had his boys there and Davis did well with the store and then he went to Florida. And he proved to be a very unusual executive. He built up what is now the Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. which covers all of Texas, it's the leading mercantile grocery, food suppiy chain in Fiorida. His sons have become vice-presidents and of them a graduate of the University of Idaho that used to clerk in the store part time. Is now one of the vice-presidents. A very fine young fellow at Colfax that I knew his family well, from over there. His name is Hollingsworth, Howard Hollingsworth. become a real executive now and a vice-president of Winn Dixie stores and he started his work part time in Davis' store. Now further up of course, Kenfcorthy had his theater there, his first theater next to that. And back of that was the, Frost had a garage. And later it was burned down. Then George Blues had a garage there. And of course, there was the post office. And across the street from the post office, I've kind of forgotten what some of, there didn't seem to be much of a house or two there and then there was Eggan Hall there where the Market fime drugstore is. That was the main meeting place for dances and general community meetings there. ANd then further up was the old DAR hall. The I mean the GAR, The Grand Army of the Republic Hall burned down before I came to Moscow. But that was pointed out where it was.
And at the cornerthere, across from where the parking lot by the Methodist church is, was the, George Lamphere lived there. Now George Lamphere was a very interesting man. George Lamphere had run the weekly Idaho Post. And then he consolidated with the Star-Mirror, had the Star-Mirror. And then later there developed this big fight between Frank B. Robinsonn's newspaper and the Star-Mirror that resulted after Lamphere's death, in the merger of the two in what is now the Idahonian. But that was the merger of the News-Review and the Star-Mirror. That's a long story about that. I was involved in that. When Dr. Frank B. Robinson had his Psychiana, which was deserves a story all it's own. The lawyers, when I started to practice, I should mention that down the street, Charlie Carter just started his, he had the Carter's drugstore, he put that in about the same time I started to practice law. And next to him was the Parisian which was operated by Stewart. We called him Fanny Stewart. Stewart had some wonderful women's clothing there. He used to go back to New Yoak each year and get it. And the city hall was next to that. Then across the street was R.B. Wards Hardware and paint store. And further on down there, other buildings. Penneys was there was a service station down on the next block. I've just tried to hit so me of the leading businessmen we had here at the time. I ought to mention Hawkin Melgaard and Bill Cahill at the First Trust and Savings Bank. Claude Renfrew and John Heckathorn at the First National Bank of Moscow. Which was then an independent bank. Chris Hagan of course was an early senator from this county. Fred Veatch was a prominent real estate and businessman. His business was eventually taken over by Martin Mickey. There was George Richardson, who later became mayor of Moscow, who was the agent For the the Spokane and Inland Railway that came in in 1908 and later was taken over by the Great Northern Railway. There was Oscar Bonnett who came out from Kansas with the Washburn Wilson Seed Company. Who later became a wonderfully fine man whofs son Robert Bonnett, who's carried on the fine tradition of his fatnor for public service. A wonderful family, Oscar Bonnett and his son Robert Bonnett. There was Tim Sullivan who ran the foreign garage and was one of the directors of the Moscow State Bank, he was the early Ford Dealer here. A leading citizen.
I'vespoken about Joe Gilmore, who operated the vinegar works. And of course there was Gub Mix who became lieutenant govenor, who was active in politics, was a prominent graduate of the university. And there was his brother, Frank Mix who lived out north of town. Took over the old Frank Barton house. That later after Mis died was taken over by the man who ran the creamery here. It was taken over by Corter later. Course, Corter's now passed and what used to be the old Moscow creamery is now where the city hall is. Now I want to mention of course, that Moscow's probably most prominent citizen in the state was Jerry, Jerome J. Day, the mining man who had his palatial home here in Moscow. But he also had a home in Wallace. He was a member of the famous Day Bamily that was the wealthy mining man and he was a regent of the university and a graduate of the university. I think some of the oilid timers will remember Charlie Thompson who who used to run the old Abstract Office. And then £here was Fred McGowan, an interesting old bachelor who was boldheaded and his head came up to a point. But those were some of the oldtimers in business when I came in here.Now the lawyers: When I came in I was the youngest, they was oil old time lawyers when l came in. I got a chance to go into the office of C.J. Orlund who was an old time lawyer here. His partner, William E. Lee who was had been a prominent lawyer who had been elected to the Supreme Court of the state of Idaho. And Lee had left his office vacant there. And at the suggestion of Bill Lee, whom11 knew, I went in to see Mr. Orlund, told hi© I wanted to practice law and he said,"I'll tell you Abe, I'll let you come in here. Y0u can have Lee's old office. use my library and you can pay me ten dollars a month rent." And thafc's bow it started out. Then later when Orlund as a compromise with several aspirants was appointed city attorney on the death of the man who had been elected, in prosecuting attorney, Orlund was appointed and he'd take the job only in case he had a deputy to do the running around.
And I was appointed thedeputy. Aud then, I served for nearly two years as his deputy and then I ran for prosecuting attorney and was elected for four terms myself. The leading attorneys here in Moscow at that time were August H. Oversmith, who was an old time attorney and had practiced at Troy before he came up here.Frank Moore and his son Lathan Moore, who had graduated just before I did. And Lathan had started in with his father. Of course, my Orlund with whom, who later took me in as apartner. There was George Pickett, who had his office up above the Sams Furniture Store down towards the Elks Club. There was the man known as Judge Warren Truitt. He was very much older. It was an honorary title of judge for Warren Truitt. A very well thought of, handsome old gentleman. Then there was also Judge J.H. Forney who had been regent of the university and had been its attorney in the early days. His also was an honorary title of judge because they often would call some venerable old lawyer, well respected, call him judge. Then there was Al Morgan and Bill Morgan, although William Morgan had just gone to Boise and he later was elected to the Supreme Court. His brother, Al Morgan, was practicing here. There was another old attorney in the back end of the First National named H.R. Smith. H.R. Smith was a respected old timer here, who didn't have any trial practice but had some probate practice. And H.R. Snith, I'll always remember a pleasant old gentleman with a goatee. A staunch Congregational church member. Father of Harvey Smith. H.R. Smith had been admitted to the bar back before they had the rule that you had to beK the Supreme Court and he admitted in territorial days, by the district courth here. He'd only been admitted to the district court, but he was practicing. Then there was Louis Peterson had been admitted to the bar, but he then was city clerk. There was also Thomas FeBno who also practicing here. And Adrian Nelson had been admitted to the bar. He was an early graduate of the university but Adrian Nelson had been elected probate judge. And was probate judge. He'd been practicing here and there was a A.L. Morgavitch who had been a deputy sheriff I think was the probate judge when I first came to Moscow. N0w as I said, there were was lots more trial work then. Not only prohibition cases, but other cases. Very much more trial work. There seemed to be more criminal trial work. Some of the early cases I remember when I first was admitted to the bar was the trial of A.S. Frost for burning down his garage. A trial for arson. That attracted great attention. Frost was charged with burning down his garage for the insurance.
He heavily insured it. I prosecuted that case in my first year as prosecutingUS attorney.lt was a long case. It took five or six of trial. We had a jury. The principal witness against Frost was a fellow that the sheriff's force had run down that said he had been hired by Frost to set the building on fire. And it was a bitterly tried case. Ihe evidence was overwhelming against Frost, although Frost, like a lot of other defenses had been able to bring a lot of witnesses to his good reputation. But this witness testified positively, he was a transient that testified he had been hired by Frost to set the building on fire. And told how he did it. But in the instruction to the jury, Judge Steele was the judge then. And its a rule of law that you may not convict a person of any crime on the uncorroborated testimony of an acomplice. Uncorroborated meaned that there must be some independent circumstances apart from the testimony of the acomplice that would tend to connect the offendant with the offense. Well old Judge Steele, I don't want to do him too much of an injustice, but in instruction to the jury he la£d down that in great particularity about the corroboration that was necessary for the testimony of an acomplice! He laid it and laid stress n it by tone of voice and everything else. I've always suspected he was, I hate to say this , but a little tied in with both Oversmith, they eere great friends^with Frost, but it was,as much the inflection as the long and detailed instruction to the jury. Anyway, after a prolonged all night session, theyjury brought in a verdict of acquittal. Now, some of the sheriff's force, and I did talk to jurors afterward and without esoeption they said,"Of course we knew he was guilty, but with the instruction the court gave us, we couldn't believe any of his testimony. We couldrf t convict him without that. So Frost was acquitted, but that was a major case. A great disappointment to me, but I had better fortune than a good many others, But that attracted alot of interest herein the Northwest, this trial of Frost arson. And as a matter of fact, Frost never did collect his money for the insurance because they refused to pay and fmaaly Frost abandoned an effort to,force «em to pay. And so he got nothing out of it. And Frost left here afterwards. Now another case...
(End of side C)
AG: ...i should mention here and it was about the middle term of when I wasprosecuting attorney was the case of State vs. Orr for the attempted robbery of Tommy Mathews. Now, T.D. Mathews was a graduate of the university. Who had been a track man and was the track coach, at the university, I think shortly after I graduated. A very well respected son of pioneer families. The fafcm was out here north of Moscow. Now after he left his coaching at the university,Matneos operated a lunch counter and coffee shop and soft drink place near the entrance to the university. And across, catty corner across from where the LDS building is now where the LDS building is now. It's near the entrance to the University. I guess that's been torn down now. But it's right almost directly in front of where the front steps of the university is now. And it was a little east of where Dean Eldridge's house is. This was a favorite roundezvous of students and Matthews used to keep it open to midnight at night. It would open in early morning to get coffee, students get lunches there. It was a very popular student roundezvous. They usually closed at midnight and go on home. Matnews lived across town, over on clear across town over in the general area where the Roman Catholic church stands, ts over in there. It was his custom each night when he closed up to take his proceeds and get into his car and drive home. At night. Well, this particular night, Matthews closed up his place, took his purse with his cash in it and his proceeds for the day, went out and got into his car and drove across, after midnight, across town. And when he had got across Main Street, gotten up in the neighborhood, First Street, in the neighborhood of the George K. Moody place, where it used to be the parsonage of the Lutheran church, and up in that corner up here, somebody rose up from behind and hit him on the head. With a shot loaded, leather covered blackjack, hit him the he came to, the car was wrecked. His purse was gone. There's a long story about how we ran the thing down, but of course here was a very popular campus, business, well known Moscow character had been robbed, been knocked in the head with a blackjack going home with the proceeds.
SS: Could you say briefly how it was run down?
AB: Of course, there's a young fellow by the name of Orr, Harry Orr who's notrelated to any of the Orrs here. That for several reasons was suspected. He'd been hanging around there, he'd gone up there and he'd gotten into some minor troubles. He'd, and the sheriff's office suspected him and of others, he'd been up around this place. Arid there was some other reasons that caused it to connect it, with it, but the principal.was old George K. Moody. Old Hap Moody. And somehow old ap, who had always kind of hung around the campus even in those days, up there. And he did a lot of queetioning and running the thing down and so, old Hap Moody finally and of course, I did a lot of questioning^people for all the instance of it and of course, talked many times to Matthews and Matthews did look up and get a hasty look at the man who bent over him and hit, him, because the fellow coughed and Matthews turned around and heard this noise and just as he turned around he was hit on the head! But he got a glimpse of the fella and there's something about him kind of caused him, the general idea of someone possible description of about the same size. Though it was dark this Harry Orr. dut there was some light from the street light there, but he couldn't identify him, but it was some kind of a hasty, could have been him.
Anyway, old Hap Moody went down to the Orrhouse. Finally and shortly after this took place when he found his suspicions and he went out in the trash heap where the ashes were thrown from the Orr house. And he quietly gathered up those ashes. All the ashes he could find. And then he sifted them carefully. And lo and behold, he sifeed out a. metal part of a purse! A cash, one of these long leather bank purses that you carry cash and bills in. Then he took that out care fully and shined it up, took it to Matthews, and Matthews said yes, he said yes, he could identify it. That was his purse, that was the part, yes, it was a special purse and it was of a special character that came I believe, from the First Trust Bank. But there was special markings on it that he could identify. Well then there was a lot of other little leads to be worked out. There was a lot of people in the bank and there was a lot of interest in this thing. Finally resulted in me filing a criminal charge against Orr for the attempted robbery and criminal assault on T.D. Matthews. We tried the case and it was a well tried case. Orr employed A.L. Morgan and A.L. Morgan was an able and excellent lawyer. He later became a very good district judge here. And he .was an able lawyer and I respected him. And he defended Orr ablely. But finally the jury, principally on the testimony of Hap Moody, convicted Harry Morgan appealed it, Orr appealed it to the Supreme Court. And that was a hard fought case in the Supreme Court. The attorney general, the assistant attorney general took a rather dim view of the prosecution. But I secured the permisson of the Supremo Court to argue the case that it was on technical grounds on some of the technical points of the trial that the appeal was taken. And the deputy attorney general argued it on the technical grounds it out to be set aside on some of the proceedings of the trial of it. I think by we tried it Judge Steele, and George Steele, by that time was not in his prime and there were some questions, but I went down and secured the permission of the Supreme Court, to argue it on behalf of the state. And I argued it before the Supreme Court myself. I made part of the arguement. And fortunately the Supreme Court said the evidence was overwhelming, they disregarded some of this other and Orr was convicted and of course was sent to the penitentiary. But itAcertainly attracted widespread interest here throughout the whole Northeest. We had some reporters here from quite a few places. It was a very interesting case. Course, there's a lot of other cases, I tried lots of other cases later went out, I was re-elected in 1932 when the big Democratic landslide took place and then Ididn't run again. And Ihad been pressured to run for district judge. But I came out, I'd had my fill of public office at the time. And I built up a very substantial practice of, I came out strongly for A.L. Morgan to be district judge and he eventually was elected. Naybe I'm wrong. Maybe Gillis Hodge was the judge when the Orr case was tried but Gillis Hodge had been appointed after Steele's death. And then he had been elected district judge, Gillis Hodge had, then Morgan was elected after Hodge died and proved a very good district judge here.
ThenI was elected to the state bar commission and then as president of the state bar and then I was elected to the state senate and then World War II came along and I was called to active duty as a reserve officer in the summer of 1921 and served five years and then came back to be elected to Congress. Then served two years. Was defeated in the Democratic landslide of Truman, I'd won out in what had been a Democratic district for thirteen terms by a two thousand vote. I was defeated by the same thing two years later. Then the neat time I decided I'd either get in or out of politics and I ran for the Senate in the Republican primary. Didn't make it and I was out of politics. Thought I was. Went back to my law just was enjoying it until I was induced to take the post of general councellor of the post office department. Appointed by President Eisenhower. Served as general counsel, that's legally officer of the U.S. post office department. Naturally, with a big staff of lawyers. In the biggest, the largest government department except for defense but of course, the Army,Navy and Air Force, but you see, there's six hundred thousand employees in the post office department. They have an employee in every crossroads in America. That was the biggest legal civilian job in goverament.
Fromthat, after four wears was appointed, that is, outside of the attorney general's office, I'd say that it's the most important department, the counsel's job. And then^I was appointed by President Eisenhower to the Interstate Commerce Commission where I served for nine yeaes as amember and as chairman. Resigning 67 after years to come back to ray home here in the Palouse country which I'd always loved and I wanted to spend the rest of my days because I like it out here. I had opportunities to stay in Washington but as my wife said to me,"If you take some of these other opportunities you have here, we'll just never get back to Moscow and our home and to the Palouse country and to the Pacific North west. Let's go if we're going to go, now." So I came back. And I've never regretted it because the people here is where my old time friends are. AThe people are industrious, law abiding, God Fearing and patriotic. Where there's the mountains near and the lakes. The entire opportunity for recreation. And thank God there isn't the racial strife nor the traffic we find around a big city.
(End of tape)
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6:00 - First visit to Moscow to hear President Theodore Roosevelt at the University of Idaho in 1911
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Segment Synopsis: Grandfather took a homestead near Spangle. His father's diary. Harvesting wheat by hand; mechanical harvesting came with the railroad in the eighties. Other grand father walked from Illinois to Pike's Peak to mine in 1860, and later came to Rosalia. Father took a home stead near Hole-in-the-Ground, which was being used by cattle rustlers; they shot him through the shoulder, causing the death of Abe's baby brother. Later his father shot and killed the gunman in Rosalia.
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Segment Synopsis: Good football teams at Idaho, early 1920's. When Abe played in 1923, Idaho was neither beaten nor scored against in Northwest, and lost narrowly to Stanford and USC. University of Washington was afraid to Idaho. Idaho would have gone to Rose Bowl except that Stanford beat them 3 - 0 in Portland.
30:00 - Abe started practicing law by defending bootleggers and moonshiners at U.S. District Court in Moscow
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Segment Synopsis: Moonshiners came from the timber country, and were mostly arrested by federal agents. The big money was made by bringing bootleg into the county for the well-to-do. Outside the wooded area, the county was best in the state for enforcement; unlike Wallace and Kellogg, where officials were prosecuted. Abe began as deputy prosecutor. The county sheriff's force. He was night jailer for the county, and fought the bedbugs.
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Segment Synopsis: Prohibition made liquor "forbidden fruit"; women drinking became socially acceptable among the middle and upper class. The poor quality of moonshine. Skid row bums drank anything with alcohol, such as the paralyzing jake (Jamaica ginger). Bricks of dehydrated grapes were sold with "warnings" against turning them into alcoholic beverages. WCTU brought Abe a pledge to prosecute prohibition above all other laws, which he couldn't sign, and then they worked against his reelection. Problems brought on by prohibition.
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Segment Synopsis: The case of State vs. Orr for the robbery of Tommy Matthews. Matthew was hit on the head with a blackjack and robbed of his shop's proceeds as he drove home. Hap Moody sifted through the Orr ash heap until he found the metal part of the cash purse. Orr was convicted, and Abe successfully argued against the appeal. District judges.