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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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William (Michigan Bill) STOWELL(b. 1903)

Residence:Clearwater River, Bovill areaOccupation(s): Lumberjack
Family Origin:Came in the mid-twenties; father had a farm and sawmill in Quebec


Interview #1, 10/29/1975

Topics:Clearwater River log drives: wanigans, pilots, drownings. Tramp lumberjacks; wide open towns. IWW's and direct action. Foremen and gyppo logging. 10-29-75 2 hr 43p
Duration:1:56:09Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:logging logging camps IWW strikes lumberjacks gyppos sawmills fighting foremen working conditions rivers death bootlegging
Locations:Michigan Bovill Clearwater River

Interview #2, 2/24/1976

Topics:IWW Strike of 1936: murder of pickets; arrest and blackballing. Strikes on the job. Lumberjack sociability. Picking timber on river drives; fluming. 2-24-76 1.5 hr 42p
Duration:1:47:45Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:gambling cards lumberjacks logging camps log drives accidents reading sports gyppos IWW death strikes working conditions
Locations:Bovill Clearwater River Clarkia

Interview #3, 9/28/1976

Topics:Riding the rails. Jungles. Blowing-in. IWW community; support for 1936 strike in Pierce. Jail and blacklisting. Girl friends. Depression in California. Prostitutes. Fights; gambling. 9-28-76 2.8 hr 56p
Duration:2:51:19Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:railroads death alcohol Prohibition drinking logging camps thieves lumberjacks IWW strikes music jails unions sawmills politics CCC fighting prostitutes disease illness winter gambling moonshine foremen reading women log drives rivers unions floods
Locations:Bovill Clearwater River Clarkia