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Latah County Oral History Collection

Remembering Latah County and Idaho Life at the turn of the 20th century


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John (Dick) BENGE(b. 1894)

Residence:Hatter Creek, PrincetonOccupation(s): Lumberjack
Family Origin:Moved from Nebraska with family in 1913


Interview #1, 7/17/1973

Topics:Logging life. IWW strike for better conditions. Deputy Pat Malone preacher Dick Ferrell. Trading and neighboring in the depression. Advantages of Idaho farming over Nebraska. Problems with bosses. 7-17-73 2.1 hr 55p
Duration:2:26:55Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords: Great Depression IWW accidents cards drinking families farming fires friendship gambling logging lumberjacks moonshine police officers railroads strikes working conditions world wars
Locations:Hatter Creek Princeton Moscow Moscow Mountain

Interview #2, 5/3/1974

Topics:With Art Farley (friend) Playing jokes on neighbors: shivarees and chicken stealing. Feuding. Keeping peace at town dances. Secrets of water witching and well digging. Decline of land through misuse. 5-3-74 2.2 hr 49p
Duration:1:57:36Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:dances drinking farming fighting guns logging camps lore shivarees thieves timber water winter women
Locations:Hatter Creek Princeton Potlatch

Interview #3, 4/4/1976

Topics:Lumberjack ways: East Europeans, camp conditions, poker, characters, fights. An incompetent foreman; good and bad management. 4-4-76 2.3 hr 49p
Duration:2:20:02Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:winter roads IWW strikes families lumberjacks logging gambling cards music world wars immigrants murders Great Depression forest fires drinking
Locations:Hatter Creek Princeton

Interview #4, 4/27/1976

Topics:With Peggy Schott (daughter) Depression experiences: hardships, selling produce, parties, canning, credit. Her work: sawmilling, clearing land, cooking. Woods work. Home improvements. School plays. 4-27-76 3.5 hr 75p
Duration:3:38:50Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:Great Depression IWW alcohol blacksmiths children clothing cooking dances dating families farming foremen fraternities gardens gyppos holidays illness logging logging camps medicine mills neighbors plays religion schools sororities tractors women working conditions
Locations:Hatter Creek Princeton Potlatch