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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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Arthur SUNDBERG(b. 1899)

Residence:PotlatchOccupation(s): Maintenance foreman and lead man in Potlatch mill for forty years
Family Origin:Came with parents from Wisconsin in 1909


Interview #1, 7/11/1975

Topics:Potlatch as a company town: housing, store, script. Rowdy Midwest logging towns. Bad lumbercamp conditions. Company role in area devel opment. Immigrant labor. 7-11-75 2 hr 37p
Duration:2:05:37Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords: Native Americans clothing drinking fighting food immigrants lice logging camps lumberjacks neighbors stores women workers

Interview #2, 7/18/1975

Topics:Early working conditions in Potlatch mill. Attitudes towards foreign workers. Mill joking and sign language. Operation of mill equipment. 7-18-75 2.5 hr 49p
Duration:2:35:51Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:Greek Americans Japanese Americans fighting food immigrants logging logging camps mess halls mills sign language timber winter workers world wars

Interview #3, 7/25/1975

Topics:Laird and Deary as general managers. Weyerhaeuser and rags-toriches theory; ambitions of young. Potlatch baseball. Mill products and car loading. Town whistles. 7-25-75 3 hr 57p
Duration:3:06:21Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:automobiles churches dances drinking fires foremen logging lumber mills politics workers working conditions
Locations:Potlatch Spokane Lewiston

Interview #4, 8/1/1975

Topics:Unionizing: IWW versus company; millworker gullibility; his involve ment. Worker aspirations. Foremen-crew relationships. Gyppoing. His work. 8-1-75 2.5 hr 45p
Duration:2:35:50Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:IWW mills sawmills foremen unions workers clothing gyppos lumber fires strikes smoking [working conditions]

Interview #5, 8/7/1975

Topics:Mill safety problems. Company management of town. Cooperation in the depression. Worker stagnation; character of Nob Hill. Power transmission in mill. 8-7-75 3 hr p
Duration:3:06:58Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:mills sawmills logging foremen alcohol Great Depression CCC poor drinking women neighbors lumber families dances accidents death