Below is unprocessed text taken from a scan of our PDF document. It's messy;we know. If you would like to help us clean up these transcripts, please email Devin Becker at email@example.com
SAM SCHRAGER: The first thing I wanted to ask ya, is do you know why your folksdecided to come out here from Nebraska?
DICK BENGE: Yes sir, I do. You know, dad had poor health, and the doctor toldhim that he
DB:etter come to a higher climate. We lived at that time in Nebraska. And that's howhe come to come out here. We all moved out on dad's account of his health, see. Well, he lived several years after we came out here. After he come out here and got in this higher climate, why...
SAM: Why'd they pick Idaho?
DB:j Well, now that's another question. Because there's other families thatcome from right in there that we knew, that lived here at Princeton. McFarlands was one of 'era, Bains, McVeys was another one. We knew them there. So it was just like moving into, they all knew one another. Been raised together in Missouri was the idea. So that's how that come about (chuckles).
SAM: What do you remember from when you were a kid there, what it was like farmingin Nebraska and in Missouri?
DB: I don't remember farming any in Missouri, but in Nebraska it was, well,dry. And the grasshoppers was pretty hard, and when the grasshoppers didn't get ya sometimes the hailstorms would (chuckles). That's just the way it was. Boy I'll tell a man, that was a hard country to farm in. Sometime you raised good crops, sometime you didn't raise much. No.
SAM: How do you'think it'd compare with out here?
DB: Oh this is altogether a different country. Altogether different from whatit was there. You know, we had wind, lightining storms, hailstorms, and everything (chuckles). Boy I'll tell ya—you know we come out here, and we hadn't been here very long, and Eldon Tribble (that was Hershiel's brother), they lived right close to us there. Come up a little windstorm, blowed down a tree or two, that was before it was logged out. They come up after the windstorm was over, talking about how the win
DB:lowed. Well, we didn't notice it a-blowin', 'cause the win
DB:lowed that hard every day there (chuckles). And we had a clap or two of thunder,you know, and well, we didn't pay much attention to that. They come up and they's talkin' about it, and we told 'em, "Well that was nothing. We didn't notice it." We was just joshing, you know. So we told Shorty and Hershiel (Dick's brother-in-law) both, they was talking, why there was four or five pretty sharp lightning flashes and claps of thunder, and we told *em, we said that "You oughta go back to Nebraska and Iowa and Missouri and through that country, if you want to see electric storm." And I told Shorty, I said "Eldon," I said, "I've seen it lightning there you almost read rewspaper by it." "Noooo!," he says. "Well," I said, "all right." So he went back to Iowa, him and his cousin on a visit, they had some relatives in Iowa. He come back and he come up and he said, "Dick, I apologize." "What are ya apologizing fer?" He said, "I thought you was lying about lightning, but," he said, "we had one while we was there," and he said, "I figured you didn't give it quite strong enough!" (Laughs.) I'll tell a man they did have some storms there, lightning and thunder, y'know. I've seen it almost just one flash right after another one, of thunder y'know, it-d just upset the house there, nearly seemed like. But we's always used to it. We never paid no attention (chuckles). Yah.
SAM: Do you remember anything about the trip out here?
DB: Dh yeah. Yeah, I come out here, I was on crutches when I come.
SAM: You was on crutches?
DB: Yeah, a horse fell on me an
DB:roke my leg in four places. I was on crutches when we come out here. We left Waymore,Nebraska, and we come to Lincoln, and then we got on the Great Northern. Well, we come from Waymore up to Beatrice on the Burlington, and then they put us on the Great Northern. Well there was three coaches of us. They just took the same coaches, and the orderly come through and he said, "You're all gonna have to move back in another car." And we asked him why. Well he said, "You're goin' right through," he said, "this three coaches are going through to Seattle." And he said, "I'll be on it all the time." And he said, "You move back there, and" he said, "you won't be bothered any more, changing cars nor nothing, because" he said, "we're gonna keep right on the same train all the time. Dust take the three coaches and put »em over on the other line and go on." Well, that was pretty nice. So we come right through to Spokane from Lincoln, Nebraska right in the same coach.
SAM: So what happened after you got off?
DB: Well (chuckles), we got off in Spokane and then, we's only there oh, seemedto me like as near as I can remember about an hour, and then we come to Palouse and stayed all night. Come to Palouse down here and stayed all night, then we come up the next day at noon on the WIM, that's the one that runs up through here. Y'know, we'
DB:een used to them potatoes there in Nebraska, they was all dried potatoes y'know,thought they'd sugared the potatoes the first night after supper. Yeah, they tasted sweet and nice, y'know. We all talked about it, what'd they put the sugar in the potatoes fer? Come to find out they's all sugared. Yeah. 'Cause them potatoes, oh boy, they were strong y'know, dry weather, not irrigated nor nothing. They didn't know what irrigating was there. Boy I'll tell a man they was strong. Green, y'know, you know what a green potato is? You know, when he's green, he's strong. Yeah. So, we had a nice trip.
SAM: So how did ya come about to locate here, in this place?
DB: Well, I'll tell ya how. We come into Princeton, and Eldon Tribble(Hershiel's brother), his wife had just passed away. And he had a place down below and he had to sell it, so da
DB:ought it off of him, right across theroad from where Hershiel lives now. Well he bought the place off of him, and he stayed right there with mother 'til they both passed away, right there on the place they bought off of Tribble. Well, my boy owns it now. Yeah, he owns 80 acres there, and that's the way it all come about.
SAM: Was there a place there when you got there, a building?
DB: Oh yeah, there was a little log house, and one thing another. Goodspring, which helped, and an old log barn.
SAM: And you were getting around on crutches.
DB: Yeah, I was getting around on 'em, I was on crutches there for...Well, Igot hurt in Danuary, and I never got off my crutches 'til April. Because he told me, he said, "That leg is broke in four places, you've gotta be careful with it, you got to let all them bones set before ya start." So he told me what to do, and so after about so long, well I took my knife and took the cast off myself. He told me just how to take it off.
SAM: How had you busted it?
DB: Horse fell on me. Horse fell on this leg, and I had a steel stirrup.And here's what happened—it twisted my foot see, that steel stirrup. 'Course I had a horse a time or two to fall on me, but I don't know, that's the first time that, I don't know what happened. But anyhow, I thought the stirrup was straight, but it wasn't. It rolled, and when it rolled, well boy, it just twistey foot, an this heel right off right up through here to the joint. An broke this little joint out here, my little one, broke that one too, an busted this knuckle here. Boy I'll tell a man, it was mashed up. And there we had a very good doctor because, well I'll tell ya, he was a doctor there in Waymore. He was head physician there for the Burlington Railroad, he had a regular car there. They had a wreck, he had to go, see, and they'd take him right in the car. But of course we knowed him and we called him up, and he come right out and set it.
SAM: Did your folks move in pretty easily? Was it hard to make the change whenthey got out here?
DB: No. We knowed so many people that was from the East right there where wewas...Well, Dad and them was all raised together, lots of 'em, see. Well, fit right in, you know. Yah. Made it nice.
SAM: So when did you first start working in the woods?
DB: That fall. I got around to work a little that summer, and then I took inthrashing that fall. Well, one of the fellers that we knew in the Nebraska, he had a thrashing machine, so I went out with him, McFarland, an of course I knowed *em all there. And then that fall after thrashing was over we come in, it was timber there on the place. So Dad, he wasn't very, well he couldn't get around, he couldn't work much, so I hired a man to help me. And I sawed the logs, skidded fem, decked *em up, and got 'em ready for a sleigh haul that winter.
SAM: Had you ever worked in the woods before that?
DB: No, there was no woods there to work in.
SAM: That's what I figured.
DB: It was on the prairia, y'know. So I had to learn it all. And I startedthen to working in the woods. And well, the next year I went back out thrashing for him, and I come in and I logged that winter again down there on the place, sleigh hauled. And the next spring, why Hershiel, he went to Bovill, and I went up there, and I went to work up in the woods, and worked in the woods ever since.
SAM: Can you remember what it was like for you to learn, what the learning ofsome of the things you had to figure out?
DB: Ohhh, yes. But, here's something about any job you go at. If you take aninterest in it, you learn faster. Did ya know that? And if ya don't take a big interest in it, well hmmm, forget it, I don't care much about it, go on about something else. But it interested me, logging, and I kept right on. Well I done everything in the woods. There's only one thing that I never did do—drive a logging truck, and I didn't want to, never wanted to drive a logging truck. But I drove four horses on a sleigh and everything else, but a logging truck, no ma'am. But I unloaded logs here in Potlatch off of trucks for ten years. They'd run me down out of the woods to unload trucks see, and I unloaded them with a peavey then.
SAM: Can you remember—to go back to the first times that you were logging, canyou remember how you ran the operation then, what ya had to do?
DB: Oh sure, yeeaah (chuckles), ya just go at it and learn it, that's all thereis to it. I got caught a time or two, I got broke up a time or two in the woods, but careful as you are, I don't care, you're gonna get caught sometime.
SAM: How many guys was doing it that first winter?
DB: Well, when we started logging down there, just dad and I. And I got anotherman to help us, and then him and I, we skidded and decked the logs. And that winter we sleigh hauled 'em, just the two of us, we just had one little team. We got us a nice little logging sled, and just got in what we could get in. We had all the money, wasn't out no money. Now Tribble down there, he went and put a big crew in, and he come up there after we got done logging, and he said "How come?" And I said, "How come? What ya mean?" He said, "You fellers made more money than I did this winter." And I said, "Well, maybe we did. I don't know," I said, "what we got, it's ours. We ain't out nothing for help to speak of." I forget, I believe I give him two and a half a day for helping me saw logs, to swamp 'em and buck 'em up. And then I skidded 'em all and decked 'em myself. Yah. That's the way I learnt (chuckles). Yeah. Well then, when I went to Bovill, I worked there with Eldon Tribble (Hershiel's brother) in the kitchen, and then I went out of that and want to scaling, and I scaled awhile and then I come down, worked down here almost a year in the woods. Then I went back up, because they shut this down again. This camp they had down below here a mile and a half—had a good logging camp outfit down there, just the same as the one over here in the flat. They shut that down and then I went back up and went to work in the woods. When I come back up that time I went into the donkey business, steam donkeys. Well I showed you a picture of one of them steam donkeys. It was all donkey work then up there. Yeah. Then they went out of that and went into horses again, and then they went out of that and went into caterpillar, and then they went back into horses again. y«ll, it was on to who was running the layout. And then finally they went into trucking, caterpillar and trucking, yah. Well it's just got bigger .and it's been that way ever since. But the horses and the railroad was the cheapest logging they ever done. I know, I was right here.
DB: Well, let's put it this way. If you've got a trucking road up here in thewintertime, how much is it gonna cost ya to keep that road up? Well if you got a railroad out there—of course, a railroad's expensive, I'll admit, but the way they done it, y'know, it wasn't too bad. Because they had a steam shovel, and they build a mile of grade a day, to lay the track on. Well, then they had Camp 12, it come along, and then laid a mile of steel a day, see. Well after they got that laid—we'll put it this way—after they got that laid, two or three men would keep that whole layout up. Well, you take a truckroad, look at the rigging, Isok what it cost you to keep that road up! Yeah, that's it. Yeah, that's the whole setup right there. And here at one time, y'know, they had well about 42 mile of steel laid in here, railroad track. They was logging on it, and they used 20 teams all the time, and of course we put in a lot of logs.
SAM: When did they start doing that in here?
DB: Ohhh, let's see, I believe it was in '20, about in 1919 I think, or somewhere along there, they put the first camp in here and started logging.
SAM: How long did the thing go on?
DB: Well, they moved out in '27, '23, but he kept 20 teams in here and kept'em busy all the time.
SAM: This is the same camp right across the way here?
DB: Well, no. Now before, I'll tell ya what happened. I was working up thereat Old Camp 2 above Bovill, when they's talking logging and he was coming down, and they come to find out they couldn't get Camp 2 through the rail roa
DB:ridge at Harvard. She was too wide, she wouldn't come through therailroa
DB:ridge So they turned around, they wanted these logs out ofhere, so they turned around an
DB:uilt a ground camp down here about a mileand a quarter—they built just a whole ground camp. Well, then, while they were doing that and we's logging there, then they built that camp that I just showed you here, at Potlatch. Well, they built it so it'd go through the railroad ridge. Well then when they got done here, they took the same camp that we used here, they took it over there on Flat Creek, because they could get it through the bridge.
SAM: Um-hm. So it was all to get through the bridge.
DB: They built one they could go through the bridge with see. So they neverthought about it 'til, well, they were all ready to move and everything. And Dones, he'd come down here and go to logging. An Nogle, he come along and he said, "We can't do that." "Hmm. Why?" He said, "If we're gonna do that we're gonna have to tear that bridge down or how else," he said, "would you get it through there? She won't go through." "How do you know?" he said. "I was down and measured it." (Chuckles.) Well, it was a good thing they didn't get at that before he'd come and measured it. Yah.
SAM: Well, when they was logging in here, did they take everything, or did theyjust take the big stuff, or how was it done?
DB: Oh, they took everything, everything. I'll tell ya one thing that didhappen while they was at it—why, Dapan bought a lot of timber off of 'em. Dack Donovan was check scaler, and he come down one day, and of course he was check scaling while I was scaling up there. And he said, "Dick," he said, "don't take that in." And I said, "What's the matter with it?" And he said, "That's a cull log." "How do you figure that, Dack?" "Well," he said, sit down on this log now I'll explain it." He said, "You know, we're selling a lot of timber to Dapan." And he said, "They're getting it over on the coast." And he said, "They're putting it aboard the boat cheaper than we can saw it and ship it there." Well what it was, it was all big timbers, just squared up, and they take it to Dapan, y'know, and they whipsaw it. One gets above and one below and they whip her off by hand. And they just took her over there and sunk her, and if they wanted it, why they'd raise her up and saw her up by hand. So, they left some good timber up here that made good wood (chuckles). Yeah. Well, you know, it's this way, y'know, I was down there with the son, he works for Simpson, in that redwood. 'Course he's been down there now for Simpson I guess about, oh about 20 years I guess, 19, 20 years worked right there at that one place for old Simpson. And we was down there this spring, and I was talking to him, and I was talking to the boss. They on sending Dapan logs. And this feller said to me, he said, "I don't see how we can stop it." And I said, "How do you mean?" "Well," he said, they just come over here with $21,800,000, bought land, timber and all." He said, "How we gonna keep from handling their own timber?" (Chuckles.) Well that's the way this big business is going. Yeah.
SAM: Well how long ago was this? This was in the '20's that they were shippingto Dapan too right?
DB: Why sure! They have been.
SAM: Nothing new.
DB: Nothing new. Why no, we were shipping to Dapan during World War I!Yeah, they was shipping over there then. Shipping all of the lumber they wanted. 'Course at that time they didn't ship 'em logs, they shipped 'em cants. They squared 'em up and canted them out and shipped 'em over there. So, how ya gonna stop it? We can't stop it. It's just like this way, you know. My wife was cooking over there at the University at Moscow. And there was a lad I got pretty well acquainted with, and he come over here, him and his lady friend (that was before he was married), they'd come over here, and they was over here several different times. Well we got a letter from him this Christmas, and he's 35 miles south of the equator. Well, it's the way that big monied outfit operates. And he told us, he said, "I'm a-drivin' a helicopter, logging with it. A big one." And he said,"Weyerhaeusers," he said "tell Dick," he said, "Weyerhaeusers owns 85/6 of it." And he said, "The army here on this island owns the other 15$i". Yeah. Well, now this feller that the boy works for there in California, that Simpson, Weyerhaeuser and him's related, and they work together. They got two big mills there, bigger than that'n in Lewiston, and just a highway run between 'em. And they'll take one load of logs to one, they'll take it there; we'll take one load of logs to the other, and they take it there. So what ya gonna do? But when he went in the islands, Weyerhaeuser went to the islands, what did Simpson do—he moved three mills into Alaska. You get the idea? They got it on both ends, haven't they? (Laughs.) And that's just the way it works. Yeah. Yes sir, that's just the way it works. Well, you know when I was scaling up there (between Santa and Fernwood), I worked there at the mill. Well there's the picture of it, I'll show it to ya. Here. I worked here at this mill 19 years. Well in fact therer was three sawmills there. I'll show you how it is. You see here is the Milwaukee Railroad right down through here. Here's a sawmill, here's a sawmill, here's a sawmill and here's a sawmill here, and here is the planer. And this is sawlogs here, and that's lumber. So. Now this Fairhurst from Portland, he started all that operation, furnished the money for it. But now it's all tore up. But we've got the mill (let me get it better on my glasses), but they don't saw any more lumber, they saw chips. That Scott Paper Company got it. And the mill sets here, and they just cut the chips an in here. Now, here's something else, y'know. Weyerhaeuser was gonna put in a chipper at Clarkia, because this outfit here didn't handle big enough logs. So they said "All right. We'll put in a chipper in Clarkia that'll handle it." (I'll get that back up there. He hangs the picture up.) And he said, "If you fellers don't want it," he said, "we're gonna take our chips to Lewiston." All right. So now, I was talking to one of the boys the other day, and what they're doing now, they run eight hours for Scott Paper Company, and the other eight hours they run for Weyerhaeuser. And they were hauling them chips to Lewiston, what Weyerhaeuser gets, by truck. So I guess Weyerhaeuser kinda made 'em come to time, y'know. Oh, they can do it. (Laughs.)
SAM: When they logged the country off here, did they then turn around and sellit for farms?
DB: Yah, yah. That's what they done. I bought all this. I bought this, atone time here I had 240 acres. This 40 here, and that one on the flat—I give $700 for this and $800 for that'n. Then back on the hill over there, I got that for $600. Then I bought a 40 right over the hill for $400, and that's the way they cut it out.
SAM: And so that way you didn't have to clear it, it was cleared for you prettymuch, huh?
DB: Nooo, I had to clear it. Because well, them days we had, well, we didn'thave no dozers nor nothing, we had to do it all by hand. That's pretty hard work. Blow it out, and stumps, and set it afire, and oh boy. Quite a job a-makin' one of these farms out of that. You can see over there yet on that hill them big stumps, there's a lot of 'em over there yet. Yeah, she's a hard, hard way. Well, of course now they got the dozers, not much of a job, you know, to clear a piece of land. But where you do it all with a team and powder, blocks and lines, that's different. And that's the way we used to have to clear that. Now my wife and that cripple they cleared that flat over there with one horse. And the company, they had a nice little team up there, and one of 'em, he got sick and died. Nogle, he come down, and he said, "Dick, don't you want a horse?" And I said, "Yeah, what's the matter?" He said, "I'll give ya old Rowdy." He said, "You can use him down there." And I, "Sure, I'll take him." So I went up and got him. He give me a set of harness and everything for it. So of course out there in the flats, y'know, it's just small black pine trees. And the old horse, he knowed more about pulling them than my wife and that crippled feller did! (Laughs.) I'd come down the track from work, you know, and old horse, they'd have the old horse out there, and he'd try the stump one way, and if it didn't come, he back up and try it the other way. He worked around til he got her loose. 'Course they was just little black pine stumps. He knowed how to pull, and he did. Yeah. So that's the way they cleared that flat. Yah.
SAM: How'd you go about getting the big stuff? Did it take a real long timeto clear an acre of that?
DB: Yeah. Well I'll tell ya, y'know, I had a little steam donkey...(End of Side A)
What I would do, is that engine, I ore my hole under it and load it, andI had a big choker that come off a groundline donkey, with a tag line, what they called a tag line, was 90 feet long, an inch and a quarter cable. And I'd hook that around it, and hook that engine onto it, see. And I'd get that engine a-rockin', you know, you can rock a steam engine. If the steam don't quite go over, well, just sit there and rock you know, and go back and light that fuse, an when that fuse went off that old stump'd jump high as the house. Come right up out of the ground and I don't mean it didn't take right off! (Laughs.) Yah, that's the way I got a lot of them out of there. Yah. There's all ways of working things, I guess.
SAM: So then after you'd get the stumps out of it, what would you do, would youplant it?
DB: Yeah I'd just drag 'em up and throw 'em out of the way and then burn 'em asI could. Well after I got the dozer here, I had to pile some of 'em yet and burn 'em. Because well, them old tamarack, y'know, they don't burn too good, and there's a lot of tamarack in here. Of course now the red fir and pine burnt good, but that old tamarack won't burn a'tall, hardly.
SAM: What was the first thing you'd plant when you'd plant?
DB: Oh we'd just break it up, and generally planted it in oats. We had cattlehere, May and I, we had cattle here. I had oats and cut it for hay.
SAM: I'd really like to start talking about the IWW, and the labor disputesin the camps.
DB: Well, they told 'em what they wanted. They come in there to Bovill andthey told 'em what they wanted. Well, they wouldn't give it to 'em of course. Well they told 'em they was gonna strike and they did. Now we had about, I guess 140, 50 men for breakfast and we had 90 for dinner, and supper we had 28. That's how fast they went out. And all the 28 that stayed, they stayed. We didn't none of us go out, because...Well they was running three donkeys, well four part of the time. And the boss, he had to go out and help to run two. He had to sling rigging on one donkey for about a week and a half there, I guess. (Laughs.) Oh boy.
SAM: Well, who are these 28 that didn't go out?
DB: Well, I'll tell ya. Hershiel Tribble and I was two of 'em, and of coursethe foreman, he stayed. Well, they didn't hardly believe in striking, they figured they'
DB:e another way of settling it, see. Well, they didn't go out,we didn't go out, and why I didn't go out, because, well I was in debt on the places that I besides I was helping keep the folks. And so was Hershiel Tribble, he was helping keep his mother. Well there was one of 'em, he worked with me there in the kitchen two weeks. He had his card, I seen it, he showed it to me.
SAM: Who did?
DB: This IWW. He's working right there with me, and he said, "Now, he said,"you goin' out?" And I said, "I can't." He said, "Why?" And I told him. And he said, "I don't blame ya, I wouldn't either." He said, "I used to help keep my folks." He said, "You don't have to tell me a thing, I know just what you're talking about." And he said, "You don't have to go out." Well (chuckles), here was something else then come up. Why here they come from Moscow, you know, the sheriff and I don't know how many of 'em over there, four or five of 'em packing guns. They gave us all a permit to pack a gun. And so all the time, every time we left camp we always had a gun on us. So we packed it around on us sometimes there in camp. Oh they'd come around there and shoot of a night, you know. And there's a feller, that fella in there, Brooks (a lawman) from Colfax, he had a store, and he had a little office building set right down the head of the camp, between there and the main line of the Milwaukee. Boy I'll tell a man you never got by that boy, day or night. (Laughs.) Even when Hershiel and I used to come in of a night, he'd come right out and stop us. 'Course, soon as he found out who we was, that was all there was to it. He'd stop us and want to know our business (laughs). Yeah. I don't know. They didn't want more money. All they struck for, better conditions. You know, before that time we all packed our blankets, pit bedbugs, greybacks and all that stuff. Well all they wanted, they just wanted to get out of this packing their blankets and have beds furnished 'em. Well I come down home, and I had to get out some wood. And I told dad, I said, "You stay in camp, and I'll go over and haul the wood out, two carload of wood." I went back up and I monkeyed around in Bovill pretty late and I went out to camp. Boy I was going up the row of track and I heard a motor running. And I thought, "Well what, the speeder, somebody get hurt or something? They got the speeder up, gettin' 'em out tonight?" Got up there, and boy the whole hill side was lit up. Now what? Went on in, and they had a new camp. It wasn't a new camp but they painted her all over, and put in steel bunks for us. They furnished us our bedding, blankets, pillows, sheets, everything. And them sheets was pulled off once a week and sent in to the laundry. No more packing your sugans* (laughs). Yeah, they had quite a time over that. I didn't blame 'em. Course I didn't help 'em any with it, but I enjoyed what they done.
SAM: Were most of the guys local guys, or were they just guys living in thelogging camps who didn't live around here?
DB: Well, I'll tell ya.
SAM: ...Who was in the IWW?
DB: Yah. You know we'll put it this way. The lumberjack was from every statein the union. You knowed that, didn't ya? Well he was. Minnesota, Wisconsin— everyplace. Yeah, you'd just meet 'em from everyplace working in the woods, you know. Get talking to a man, work with him maybe two or three days, and get talking, well, Minnesota see, maybe Michigan, Wisconsin, been a-workin' in the woods there. Well these fellers here, you know they worked here all the time, and of course, a lot of *em drifted here and went back there and went to work too. But here was the idea—Weyerhaeusers, you know, they brung lots of their main men with them when they come out here. All their main men they brung 'em with 'em, but of course after they was here a few years, well then they got these fellers right around here to take over, see, run their camps and such as that. So that's the way that works out.
SAM: Do you know, did many of the local boys get into it, into the IWW and intothe strike? Or were most of those the guys that kept on working?
DB: No, there wasn't many of the local boys got in the strike. 'Course, nowhere we'll talk about local, well I guess we could figure Spokane being local, because you know that was the headquarters for the lumberjack. That's where he got a little stake, that's where he went, Spokane, to blow in (chuckles). You know I used to get tickled at 'em you know, they'd say, "Believe I'll quit." "What're ya gonna quit fer?" Oh he'd probably have 150, maybe $200 coming. "I believe I'll quit." "Where ya going?" "I'm going oh," he said, "-they're payin' two bits a day more over at Rutledge, or Blackwell," that's over around Clarkia. Well, he'd drag his time and he'd go to Spokane an low it. He'd come back and he'd work for Blackwell or Rutledge, maybe oh six weeks. Well then he'd get his money again and go back in to Spokane, spend it. Come back out and he'd come back to where he started from. And I said, "What's the matter? I thought you was gettin' more money there?" "Yeah," he says, "I was but the damn chuck, I just couldn't eat it." So there ya...(chuckles), that's the way they worked. All the old lumber jacks y'know, that is, what I mean, the single young lumberjack, y'know. 'Course, now Hershiel and I, we had our homes, a lot of 'em aroun there had their homes. But you take the regular lumberjack. Of course, we stayed around pretty close to home all the time. Boy they traveled from here, and all over, y'know, yeah.
SAM: Did many of 'em ever settle down in here?
DB: Oh yeah, a lot of 'em. Yeah. Now you know, I know several that come downin here an
DB:ought places that I used to work with up aroun
DB:ovill. Theybought places, now they've sold out, I don't know where they went now. But there was one fella, did you ever read that Tall Timber—you read that?
SAM: Yeah, The Trees Grew Tall.
DB: Yeah, The Trees Grew Tall. That lumberjack preacher? I knew him well,Dick Ferrell.
SAM: What was he like?
DB: Well sir, there was just as nice a man as you ever met. But don't sass him.Once (chuckles), you know he come out, the first time I met Dick was, I was working in the kitchen. He come in there and I didn't know who he was, and he come in, and he talked to Tribble awhile (Hershiel's brother, he was cook ing). And he talked to him awhile and come on back to me, and he said, "I'm gonna give a sermon here after supper." So he was joshing and talking on, and he said, "I'll help ya get the dining room ready after supper." See, that was my job then, to get the dining room ready for breakfast, set up the table all up. So he helped me. There was a couple of the boys there, they didn't act to suit him. Well, they had no business. He's a-preachin' the gospel. They had no business. They was a kinda pokin' wise at him just a little bit, you know. And he told 'em, "Boy," he said, "I'm a-givin' a sermon here, and I'd like for you to set and listen, if you will." They kept on. Directly, boy he went back there, he was a well-built man, and he got one by one collar and one by the other, an
DB:oy he popped their heads together anddrug 'em both out to the door and shoved 'em both out there and onto the walk. And he follered 'em right on down and when they got to the walk he said, "Boys, now when you can listen, come in an
DB:ehave yourselves," he come in, and hesaid, "and I'll preach the rest of the sermon." He said, "I'm going back in and finish it now." He did, he come back in. Come to find out y'know he's a prizefighter. Yah, he told me, he said he was raised in Chicago across the track. And he said, "I took up prize fighting." And he said, "They got ahold of me. Well," he said, "I was working right up," he said, "for lightweight champion." And he said, "This minister got ahold of me," and he said, "he changed my mind, all about it." And he said, "I took up the gospel there," and he said, "I quit my fighting." But he knowed I think how to go at it (laughs) , if he had to. Why Dick used to come down here and visit with us, after May and I moved here. And he preached, I don't know, four, five funerals right here in Princeton. Yeah, I know Dick well. Yeah. And one thing I like about Dick, you know he went to Montana, Oregon, Washington, and all over, and you'd ask him about some oldtimer, and he could tell ya just about where he was at, where he had seen him last. So that was agreat help. Iliked to talk to Dick on that account. Yeh.
SAM: Well, Hershiel told me that you could tell me pretty good about PotlatchDoe, too.
DB: Oh, old Potlatch Doe. Yeah, Iwas there the time, Iwas setting, I'd justwent into the bunkhouse. Ilaughed-not at the time, because, well, Iwasn't scared, Ididn't know what to do. Iwent back, and the boys was playing poker. And there was acouple of fellers come in the night before, and Doe was quite ahand to play poker. And one of these fellers, there's quite a pot on the table, and one of these fellers, he pulled agun, pulled out a gun. The boys ha
DB:een a-cleanin' him all day, these two fellers y'know,that come in. One of 'em, he pulled a gun, and old Doe just stretched in under the gun and raked all the pot in (laughs). He couldn't talk so you could understand him very well, but that's just what he had done. Poor old Doe, I don't know. You know, he was a funny fella. The boys always got his money. Now Tom Kelly, he was foreman, and Iknow one time old Doe had 13 checks coming. Tom wouldn't give 'em to him. He'd give him a check about every so often, see, let him play. So Tom, he was a funny feller. He'd go to the bunkhouse, so Iwas scaling, and he said, "You go down and tell old Doe to come up here." Well I went down and told Doe, I said, "Tom wants to see you." "What does he want?" "I don't know. You go see him. He sent me after ya." So Tom, he went up and he said, "Doe," he said, "you've been a-comin' off of the job and you've been a-comin' in early, ain't'cha?" "Yup." "Well," he said, "here's one check," he said. "You take that and go to Spokane, and come back, go to work." Well Doe, he took the check, but he didn't go to Spokane. What he done—Harsh was running a camp there at Deary for Potlatch. Old Doe he went down there and stayed about a month, and come back up and went to work. So I ran into the train crew that night, they come tying up there at six. He said, "You can't guess what happened Dick?" I said, "What?" He said, "Old Doe rode down to Harsh's with us this morning on the train." He said, "He went to work down there." (Chuckles.) He stayed down there a month, got the check, and come back up and went to work. (Chuckles.) But the poor old feller, you know he just worked, and they'd get all his money playing poker. Yeah. And some of them fellers in them camps, I'll tell ya, could play poker. Better lay off of 'em. Because there was two lads, they was the Hatley boys, they lived in Moscow. And they'd come in right after payday, two or three days. And they'd stay that payday and get that, Dess would. He'd stay the next payday, and the next payday as soon as he got the boys cleaned up, then he'd pull out. They sawed logs. And I know, I was talking to Dess, his mother lived right close to Hershiel's mother there in Moscow. So he come up there and worked there that summer, he was there twice that summer in camp, and he went over an bought his mother a nice home there in Moscow and paid cash for it. Last I knowed of Dess, he was in Durkins there in Spokane, in the pool hall, and that was quite a gambling joint. He was in there a-handlin' the tables. So you know he musta been pretty good.
SAM: Would most of the guys know well enough not to play with these guys thatwere real good?
DB: Well, now you know they had a way of doing that (chuckles). I'll tell yawhat I seen him do one time. He worked in the kitchen with me a time or two. And I went in, and there was five days it snowed and rained, the boys never left the bunkhouse. It was right after payday. I went in, and of course they started here, there's one game two bits—four bits—dollar. It got down to the last bunkhouse, thp sky was the limit. Better stay out of that one. So I used to go clear through there and watch 'em down there, you know. And I went in there one day, and Dess, he was sitting there playing, and he jumped up, shook hands with me. "Boy!" he said, "this is the first hand I've had today." Well, they'
DB:een a-passin'. There was around $500 in the pot, andhe opened it for the pile of her. And one of 'em stayed with him. So Dess, I seen his hand, all he had was a pair of jacks! He said, "You'd ought to been along quicker." He said, "I've never had a hand like this today." No. I said, "Well play her, Dess." He said, "I'm a-goin' to." So when this one feller stayed with him, he didn't draw no cards. Then Dess, he bet the size of the pot, bluffed him out, see. Well (chuckles), the other feller he had to, he give up. And they never knowed whether Dess was a-bluffin' or what. So, but all he had was a pair of jacks. So Dess took in the money, and laid his cards down. And the other feller said, "Where's your opener?" "Oh yeah," Dess said, "I forgot." And he just turned over his pair of jacks. He said, "That opens it." And they all seen his pair of jacks, and he just put 'em back in with the rest of his cards and throwed in the deck. And he got that money on a pair of jacks. Well I wouldn't have that much guts (laughs). Yah. That's where he got it, you know. And they never could tell whether he had it or whether he didn't have it. It didn't bother him, if he lost it, he never changed complexion a bit. If he'd lose a good pot, you never knowed it. Nobody knowed it. Or if he had a good hand you never knowed it, because he never showed any more than what he had to. Yeah. So they never knew (laughs). Yeah, he'd get to ya like there ain't nothing to it.
SAM: Was that gambling frowned on by the management, or was it okay for the guysto gamble? Was the gambling legal?
DB: No. You know, Summberfield over there at Moscow, he come over, and they wasgonna stop the gambling in camps. And Dones said, "Why do you wanna stop it?"
SAM: T. P.?
DB: Yeah. Well he said, "It's an awful..."All right," Dones said, "I know it." He said, "Looka here. If you would come in camp," he said, "and work eight, nine months, what would ya do for recreation?" He said, "Tell me!" He said, "If the boys bring in a gallon of whiskey, let 'em drink her." He said, "If they want to play cards, I'll let 'em." Well Summerfield talked like he'd stop it. Well Dones said, "Do, go stop it." But he never done it. Naaa. Well you know, if anybody had showed up they didn't know who it was...I have went down through the camp and told 'em, "Boys, better be careful, might be something up." Boy you'd go down through there, and they'
DB:e a-playin' cards, you know, and have a box of matches out!(Chuckles.) Yeah! Well, they couldn't prove nothing. They could play for matches and fun, sure.
SAM: Well now I had heard that they were throwing the IWW boys in jail. That waspart of the strike.
DB: Oh, I'll tell ya. They got the jail full, and they built a bullpen fer 'em.They took 'em out the ballpark and the boys, they never clumb the fence or nothing, they didn't try to get away. Well, they had to feed 'em. Sure! They didn't have enough, jails couldn't hold 'em. And so they had to carry the feed out, food out to 'em, you know. Boy they fared pretty good! They'd build a fire, and cook their coffee (chuckles), have their stew right there in the ballpark. Well finally they just turned 'em loose, that's all they could do. Yeah. 'Course, lots of 'em, there's lots of...Now you take out in the harvest field, you know, that fall. They claimed there was lots of the IWW's put a box of matches in a bundle of grain, you know, blow a machine up. Well, maybe there was something to it and maybe there wasn't. I think lots of that was machine outfits' doing, more than it was with the IWW. And I think the same way starting fire in the woods. I think there's a lot of them just done it for orneriness. I didn't lay any of it onto the IWW. 'Course, coulda been, I just never thought that.
SAM: Did they come out into the camps and arrest 'em?
DB: Oh yes, they come out and tried to, they would come out. Old Pat Malonewas out there. Pat, he'd come out an
DB:ring in a herd once in awhile, joshabout it. It didn't bother Old Pat any. But Summerfield and them, you know, they'd carry it on, you know, and on. Now after we got the sheets and pillow slips and everything, and nice steel beddeunks there at 23, he come in there one night. We was eating supper, it was dark, and I wondered what he was doing. Well by that time we thought maybe there was a fire or something, you know, trouble. I went out an boy, I stepped down between the cars and there was a soldier standing there, he had a rifle that was, oh that much taller than his head (chuckles). I said "Whhupp! What's the matter now?" to myself. I went on into the bunkhouse, anDB:oy, there they was. They was going through all our bunks. So Old Pat, he come in and he said, "Where's your bunk, Dick?" I said , "Right there in the corner." And he said, "It's in a bad shape, ain't it?" They tore it right up but never put it back. Old Pat said to Charlie Summerfield, he said, "That bed there belongs to a friend of mine." He said, "Maybe you' better fix that back the way it was, like you found it." So Charlie Summerfield said, "Well I don't know." Pat said, "Yes, I do." He said, "You do!" He said, "I know him," and then he said, "I know who sleeps there." He said, "You put that be
DB:ack like you found it." Summerfield did, he put her back.And then he was gonna take two. The two lads he was gonna take was from Montana. And what they were doing...I was running the loader then, and they was hooking fer me see, and loading on the cars. And he said, "Do you know them?" Pat said, "Do you know 'em, Dick?" And I said, "Sure I know 'em. Why?" I said, "Been a-hookin' fer me about six weeks. Know 'em pretty well. We been a-chummin' together." He said, "D'ja ever hear 'em mention IWW?" I said, "No I didn't." He said, "They got a card?" I said, "If they have, they never showed me." So Summerfield, he was gonna take 'em to Moscow, and Pat said, "No you don't." Said, "Dust leave 'em here," he said. "What d'ya got agin' 'em? Whatd'ya got to prove?" "Well," Summerfield said, "I haven't go anything on 'em." He said, "What're ya gonna do when you get 'em over there? And they might turn around," he said, "and hook you pretty deep for something like that." He said, "They could." So old Summerfield, he left 'em there (chuckles). Oh, just all such as that.
SAM: Well the big thing with these guys was they was from Montana, right?
DB: Yeah. He thought because they was from Montana they ought to have a card,IWW card see. Yeah. So the boys, they stayed, kept a-hookin' tongs (chuckles)... Oh boy. But Old Pat, you know, he didn't care whether they was IWW's or what they was (chuckles). One of 'em give him a drink of whiskey, it'd just tickle him to death (laughs).
SAM: You were telling me about some of those things that Pat did during Prohibition that were pretty funny.
DB: You know one time, I'll never forget that as long as I live. We were sawing logs, and his cousin and I, one Sunday we took a notion to come to Pot latch. Well, "Suppose you can find anything down there to drink, Dick?" "Yeah!" So we monkeyed around and they sent for about six gallon, moon light, moonshine, you know. We got in our car and got up there on the Hog Meadows, went across that bridge there. Boy did this flashlight come right out in the middle of the road. Cap said, "What are we gonna do?" I said, "We'll drive as fer as we can. We'll go on up and stop and see what's going on." Drove up to Pat, and Old Pat he walked around and looked around and through. And he said, "Is that you, Dick?" And I said, "Yeah, why?" He said, "Get the hell out of here," he said, "we're looking for some body to come through here with some whiskey!" (Laughs.) He said, "Summerfield's right up there at the turn of the road," He said, "Don't pay no atten tion to him, just drive on." So we did. We just kept a-drivin'. So I was back in town, oh about a couple of weeks after that. Old Pat said, "Come over here, Dick!" "What's the matter?" He said, he was boarding there in the hotel, y'know, he said, "I just got some new furniture!" He said, "I want you to come up and look at it." I went up there and you know what he had? A case of Canadian Club that had never been opened! He said, "Let's open this and celebrate." (Chuckles.) And he said, "Listen I want to tell ya something. You had whiskey the other night, didn't ya?" "What! Did you ever know me to haul whiskey?" "No," he said, I never did," but he said, "I think you have." (Chuckles.) So we drunk about half of one of his quarts and called it good (chuckles). Well, the old feller, you know, he wouldn't of turned anbody in, that' friend. No, I've give him whiskey right down here, when he was wearing a star right here at Princeton. I've given them drinks right there. And there'd be four or five of them fellers there with stars on, and I took him downstairs, give him a drink. He never said nothing about it. I was drinking and so was he and he knowed it and so did I.
(End of Side B)
SAM: Now, go on about Pat.
DB: Well Pat, the way I understand it...Dohnny McCloud and I drove team together,and Dohnny knowed Pat in the East, in Duluth, Minnesota. And how he come to get to be cop, why the niggers got into it. And they shot up onesor two of the white lads, and so they went and wanted to know if old Pat wouldn't go down, straighten 'em out. Well he said that he'd put on a star and go down and see what he could do. So he went down and he killed three or four of the Negroes, shot 'em right there, an
DB:rung the rest of 'em back up withhim. And that's how he come to get to be cop. And he come out here, well then they knowed what he'd done there, because Duluth, you know, is a big Weyerhaeuse town. So when he come out here, well they put him on as deputy up there. They knowed if he had to he would, he could if he would, if he wanted to. So that's just the kind of a man he was. Yup. Awful nice old feller, helped you out any way he could. Yes sir, he'd just do anything fer you.
SAM: Well who was he arresting during Prohibition? Did he ever arrest anybody?
DB: Who him? Oh now and then, yeah. I'll tell ya what he used to do. It usedto be when the lumberjacks come in, the Milwaukee, y'know, would run clear through to Elk River. And some of the boys get off the trains pretty drunk. And Old Pat used to go across from the hotel across through the depot, the WIM depot. And some of the boys woul
DB:e pretty well loaded, and Pat, he'dlook at 'em, and he'd look up the street, and he'd look down the street, and he'd turn around and he'd look back, and directly you'd see him going way up that way. He wouldn't go over to the depot where the boys was drunk, the lumberjacks. Uh-uh. He just didn't want to get mixed in it, see. Of course, I figured probably some of 'em give him a drink, y'know, some time or other, and he couldn't do nothing, he wouldn't. Well he was kind of like T. P. Dones, He figured the lumberjack—he's an old lumberjack hisself—and he figured that they needed some recreation from someplace. And he figured the way he liked his booze, he figured that's where they got it. Yeah—hard to beat# (Chuckles.) Yeah, he was quite the old feller. Oh, he took in a few now and then, but very seldom he ever arrested anybody. But if he went after ya, you could just figure on going with him, 'cause he was gonna take ya one way or other, if he had to bat ya over the head. He was a good sized man too, big old Irishman. Oh I guess he weighed around 260, 270 and a little over six foot tall—pretty well built (chuckles). Well didn't Hershiel have no pictures down there for ya?
SAM: I didn't ask him this time about 'em.
DB: He should have a lot of pictures. I don't know. It seemed to me like wehad several taken together. Clay (Gustin), he didn't have any either, eh?
SAM: Clay did. I looked at some.
DB: Yeah I know, I figured he would have, but I didn't know whether Carl(Lancaster) would or not. 'Course Carl should have some.
SAM: Carl's got some, but they were gonna get them out the next time I cameback.
DB: I see. Carl, you know, he was raised right here, and Clay I think wasraised right there in Moscow.
SAM: Yeah, then he went out really young, he told me.
DB: Yeah. Yeah, Clay, he's quite a lad. I used to get tickled at him.There used to be about as stout a man as ever I saw. You wouldn't of thought it, would ya? Well, the first I ever learned it, one time I lived here, and that was when we had to come over the hill, the old road. And I had one of them little Superior Chevrolets, five passenger, and I fell through ice, you know, in a rut, and there she was. Well we was gonna get a flag pole and raise it up. Clay, he said "Heh-heh-heh-heh, no use in doin' that," and I went to hunting me a pole and come back. He'
DB:acked up to the spare tirebehind it, got ahold of it, and picked it up and set it up out of the ruts. So it wasn't long 'til I seen him put both of his brothers in a rain barrel. Yeah! And then a little later on up here, him and the scaler fell out one day, and they was a-goin' back up after dinner, and arguing over a scale. And Clay said, "Goddamn you," he said, "if you keep on I'm gonna put you over there in that hogpen." The train was a-movin' right up along the hogpen. And he said, "I don't think you can, Mr. Gustin." He said, "is that what you think?" He just picked him up, and the train was moving, and he just throwed him scale stick and all right over in the hog pen—off the train! He didn't care. I told Clay, "Why," I said, you mighta hurt him." He said, "I don't give a damn if it a-killed him" (chuckles).
SAM: Well jeez, I never would think he had much of a temper. He seems like sucha sweet-natured guy.
DB: Well, he .is. But you get him riled up, he laughs all the time, you neverknow, see. And there was a feller and him kind of fell out here, and Clay and they lived over there, neighbors. About a year after they'd moved away from here they was up to the other camp. This other feller, he all the time wanted to get ahold of Clay. So I kind of worked around there, and I got 'em to put on th8 gloves one night. We had a set, in fact we had three set of boxing gloves there in camp. Boy he found out he hadn't much business with Clay (chuckles). Boy he'd just hit him and laugh, you know. Come back at him and hit him again! (Laughs.) He knocked him clear back into the door and halfway under the bunk. Oh yeah, that was a good man, but uh-uh, I wouldn't want nothing to do with him.
SAM: Boy. Sounds like there was quite a bit of fighting went on.
DB: Oh there was, yeah, you bet. Sometimes, well, just as well sit down andlisten and not stand up and talk (laughs). You betcha.
SAM: It sounds like a guy could stay out of it if he wanted to, if he wasn'tlooking for it.
DB: Yeah, if you went to asking for it, it wasn't long 'til ya got it. Yeah,well I laughed one time down there. There was some boys come up from Palouse, and they was gyppoing. Well, after supper, you know, they'd skid every log over—they'd do the work all over after supper, what they done that day. Well there was four or five old jacks in there in the bunkhouse where I was, and I had the bottom bunk. So I was setting there, and Dim looked over at me, and he said, "Dick," he said, "what'll ya take for that bottom bunk?" I said (testily): "What do you want with it?" He said, "I think I'll buy it and put you upstairs." And I said, "Well what's the matter?!" He said, I want to put a roadway right in where your bunk is so these damn fellers," he said, "will have some place to put their logs!" (Chuckles.) Well you know, them oldtimacs you know, they didn't (chuckles) take much. So they kinda quit logging after supper. The boys, they got poking fun at 'em so much you know, well it was just too much. 'Course, you couldn't blame the boys. They were getting quite a kick out of it, I guess. But some of them old jacks wasn't getting much kick out of it because they'd worked in the woods a long time, and after supper they'd like to have a little peace- (chuckles). Yah. Yep.
SAM: Did any good friends of yours ever get caught in Prohibition, ever get introuble?
DB: No, not that...(chuckling).
SAM: It just sounds like it didn't get enforced very much.
DB: I'll tell ya what I did do, though. Old Pat come down, and there was afeller down here—that was when we was at the lower camp—and there was a feller there was bootlegging. And he was bringing it over to camp once in awhile. And Pat come down from Bovill, come into camp. So we'd seen him, and Pat come in. Pat said, "Do you know where Francis Lynch lives?" I said, "Yah, I do. Why?" 'Course I knowed that somebody had turned Francis in, y'see, right then. Well he said, "I got to come down and find out," he said, "about somepin." And I knowed what he meant. So went and told one of the other boys, and he goes down and told Hershiel Tribble, and Hershiel went up and told Lynch that Old Pat was there and he'
DB:etter hide it, if he had any. Pat, he went upthere next morning, he wouldn't go that night, and he wanted to give him a chance to get rid of it. Yeah. So next time I see Francis he said, "Old Pat was down." I said, "Yah, I was talking with Old Pat the night before." "Yeah," he said, "Hershiel come up and told me." That's fine and dandy, 'Cause he didn't want to take him! He had good stuff and Pat knowed it UgHlkS.)' ^11, it never bothered Pat. 'Course, Old Pat went out the next morning, it was only about, oh little better than three-quarters of a mile right up through the woods to where Francis was living. So old Pat he went, I seen him going up through the woods re xt morning, after everything was all straightened out. He had to rest that night, Old Pat, because he come down on the train, he had to rest before he'd take off (chuckles). He probably went up and Francis give him probably a quart or gallon and that was it (laughs).
SAM: How about the men getting along with the foremen? Did they usually getalong well, or were there...?
DB: Yah. Pretty good. Yah, they got along with their foremen pretty good. Yah.Of course if they have any...I'11 tell ya about the lumberjack. If he had any difficulties too much, he wouldn't say much to anybody, he'd quit. And go someplace else, if anything didn't suit him just right. He'd just walk off. Drag his time and here he'd go. So, that sometimes I always figured would save trouble, you know, more or less. There was a lot of them fellers, you know, they didn't care for nothing after they got started. But as a rule they all got along good.
SAM: What was Nogle like as a supervisor?
DB: There was as good a man as ever I worked under. I don't care who he wasor what he was. I worked under him a lot. All he asked you to do, what he told you to, and that was it. And if you done it...Now you know, I'll tell ya one thing that happened right there at Potlatch. He took me down to un load trucks, took me down out of the woods to unload trucks. Well I was the first feller that ever unloaded a truckload of logs there. So I heard him tell Dim O'Connell, "Now," he said, "listen, I'm gonna tell ya something." I lived here. Now he said, "Dim," he said, "when trucking's over this fall, I want you to keep Dick here, and give him a job all winter." Said, "It's close to home." And he said, "Then he'll be here next year fer us, fer ya, to unload logs." "Oh," Dim said, "I will." Well, I'd heard that, I heard it right there, standing there and heard the whole thing. Well, Dim come down and he said to me, he said, "When they gonna be done hauling?" I said, "Tommorrow, they'll finish her up." Well, he said, "I guess that'll be all." And I said, "All right." When Nogle come down that afternoon, I told him. So here comes Dim over there, he seen Nogle there on the landing you see, and he come over. And Nogle said, "Dim," he said, "the understanding was," he said, "you was to keep Dick here and give him a job this winter at the mill." "Yeah." He said, "Can't ya do it?" "Well," he said, "I don't know." He said, "You better be a-findin' out damn quick!" And Dim said, "What'11 ya do?" He said, "I'll take him back up to the woods." He said, "He can always work for me in the woods anything." He said, "He can do anything. And he can always work fer me in the woods anytime he wants to." Said, "I'll hire him if I have to lay off somebody else." And he said, "If I have to take him back in the woods, you can get somebody else to unload your trucks next sum mer. I won't have him down here." "Well," Dim said, "we'll see what we can do." So the next day I laid off. So Dim, he come around and he said, "Well, come down Monday." Well what they was doing at that time, y'know, that was just after the Depression—that's when they first started up after the Depression—was to get us all down there. We'd have to go down every morning and report. Maybe we'd work and maybe we wouldn't. Well I went down two mornings and worked, went down the next morn ing and didn't work. And the next morning I didn't work. I went to Swofford, that was the superintendent at the mill, and I said, "I want to tell you something, Ben. I'm not a-comin' down here every day to find out whether I can work or not. I want to start a job, I want to know when I can work, with out coming down to find out." So I said, "If ya need me, holler. You know where I live." So he sent a man that next afternoon and wanted to know if I wouldn't clean up in the mill. See that's a steady job, see. So I went down the next morning, he told me, he said, "If he wants to go to work, tell him to be down in the morning." So I went down the next morning, I took the job in the mill, cleaning up. 'Til, oh way along in the spring, and then they had to go up and get a lot of the logs out of the upper pond, and I went up and helped get them out. So, then they started trucking, then I went back to un loading logs. I wasn't going down there every morning to find out. You know, eight mile down there and eight mile home, you know, and gas is scarce, cars are scarce, and everything else. You couldn't afford it!
SAM: How did you make out during the Depression? How did you make her go?
DB: Cutting wood. Here I showed you a picture of that little steam engine.That made my living here fer about four years and a half, five years. My wife and I and another lad down here we cut, we had 400 and around 15, 20 cord cut there and split. And you know what we realized out of that wood in money—now we'll say money—was $23. And we sold it for two and a half a cord right on the ground. But $23 is all the money we got out of it. We just took hogs and feed and flour and everything, but no money. Now them farmers down around Colfax and down in there, they didn't have no money either. And they's the ones that got the wood, but they hauled wheat up here for us, and flour. They'd take their wheat, get it chopped an
DB:ring the flour upfor it, beans, a nice big fat hog, yeah. That's the way we got by.
SAM: Is that how everybody was doing it? Dust trading and...
DB: That's the way everybody in here done it, they had to. 'Course now there'ssome, a family or two here that well, they had income besides the wood. But I know I left here one time with that little engine, I was gone six weeks, and I cut 1500 cord of wood. And they had it piled up for me. Yeah. 'Course I didn't split, all I done was saw it. They helped me. It wasn't how much wood it would cut, as was how much could we get to it and away from it. That getting it away from it is hard.
SAM: Where were you cutting?
DB: I was cutting over here on Flat Creek. That was when I done the big job,and then I come back home here, and then that winter I cut all the wood off this, oh right back in younder that you see. I cut all the small stuff off of that, y'know. They'd skid her up, then I'd move in and saw it up.
SAM: You were cutting all on your own land?
DB: No, I was cutting for everybody. They'd pile her up. They may have 50»maybe 75, a hundred cord, all skidded and decked up, and I'd just move in and saw her up. Well, nobody had any money, and they all wanted wood, and all a-tradin' their wood for groceries and this and that. And what they done is we all worked together! Well, they'd go ahead and get all that wood ready for me, and I'd move in, and well they'd all come in, and we'd all cut her up. Well what I done, I took my share out of it in wood. I didn't get no money, all I got was wood. And I'll tell ya (chuckles), what happened here one time, I'll never forget that. There's a feller, he come up and I knew him from down around Palouse, I'd sold him woo
DB:efore. And he had a hog inthe truck. Well, he weighed more than 700 pounds. And he asked me, wondered if a neighbor up here was home. And I said, "I don't know, I guess so." And he said, "He wants this' hog," and he said, "he's supposed to have the wood cut fer me." Than he said, "You know him as well as I do, and if he ain't got the wood cut," he said. He happened to just have a little ton Chevrolet truck. He said, "If he ain't got that wood cut," he said, "you got any cut?" And I said, "Well, I got 60, maybe 80 cords cut up there on the hill." Well he said, "I can't get up there." "Oh," I said, "yes you can," I said, "if you bring that hog back. Well," I said, "how much wood you want for the hog?" He said, "I'll tell ya what I'll do. If he ain't got that wood cut, you come back and fill my rack full of wood, cord it in, and you can have the hog." In about 30 minutes he come back with the hog. And we backed in over there and unloaded it and went out. And of course he couldn't get up the hill, he didn't have no chains. So I had a good team here, so I took one of the horses and pulled his truck up on the hill, and we loaded it up. We got 27 gallon of lard out of that hog! Well the old feller stood that high and that wide, and they'd just took him out of the pea patch. See, he'
DB:een in the peas,where they'd thrashed peas.
SAM: How many cords of wood did you give him, do ya think?
DB: Oh, I'd say probably a cord and a auarter, someplace between a cord and aquarter, a cord and a half. I never measured it, I just loaded on wood 'til he had a load and he said, "That's good." And I said, "If you want more, come back and get her." "No," he said, "that's my agreement." He said, "I told ya I'd give ya the hog fer if you'd filled my rack full of wood."
SAM: How much wood would you take for cutting so many cords, usually?
DB: Well as a rule, I generally took a fourth. It was all piled, and of courseI had to furnish files and stuff, you know, and keep the saw filed up and everything. Belle says, "You know, you couldn't run the engine for nothing." Yeah. So that's the way it went. I generally got a fourth for cutting,
SAM: Where would you sell it, where would you trade it? Over in Colfax orPalouse?
DB: Well, when I cut that big bunch down there, that all went down below Colfaxto them farmers, them big farmers. That was kind of good, oh we had a whole bunch of it cut there. A feller came in one day and he said, "I heard you had some wood to sell." "Yeah." He said, "I want to buy a load." He put on four cord on his truck. Boy, he come back that afternoon. "What's the matter, did ya upset?" "No," he said, "I want another load of wood." I said, "What'd ya do?" He said, "I sold that in Colfax." Yeah. So we put four more cord on him. And he said, "How much of this you got?" And he said, "There's quite a bit in here, ain't they?" And I said, "Yeah." Well he said, "You know, a lot of the boys down there wants wood." He was a Russian. And he said, "I'll bring 'em all up in the morning. He come in the next morning, they had ten trucks—them Russians below Colfax there, in that Russian settlement. So that's about all swe got done that forenoon, load wood (chuckles). But they hauled us in wood, they hauled us in flour, beans, and meat. Yeah. We had at that time, I had I guess I had about 14 head of cattle, and I didn't have enough hay to run 'em. Boy they hauled me up enough hay to finish wintering my cattle. Yeah. Trading—no money! Well, they had more hay than they wanted, and they didn't have no money. So that's the way we all got by, just trading. Oh, y'know, it might be them times is coming again. And if they do, I don't know what some of these young fellers are gonna do. Dust how they'll take it. You know, them depressions, they hit about every so often, and it's about time I think we's having another (chuckles). It's been quite a little while, you know, since we had that one. Boy. Oh we had lots of fun though. Here on the creek we had dancing, and if we could get ahold of enough flour we build a cake. Everybody' DB:uild a cake, and somebody'd go trade some wood and get some coffee an
DB:ring a pound of coffee, and we'd go dance allnight. And oh there was four or five of us in here that played the violin. We had a piano here. We could dance here, and another neighbor over there, he had a place big enough to dance, we'd dance. Yeah! We had more fun them times than they do now. Yeah, that's right. Dust everybody knowed the other feller, 'Course nobody had no money nor nothing. All of us playing the violins, all that we asked for 'em was to just get enough money to get some strings if we broke one (chuckles). Some feller, he'd get ahold of a dollar or so, and he' DB:ring it and put her in the kitty for strings. Yeah.
SAM: Why do you think that they'd have a hard time now?
DB: Well, I'll tell ya. These young people's not used to it. They never wentthrough it. What are they gonna do if they take their gas away from them and no tires? And no money? And I don't think that many of these young fellers have got much of it saved up. I think it's all in automobiles. And I think they'd have a quite a little battle, don't you?
SAM: Yeah, I think so.
DB: I think so. Well they wouldn't know how to meet—no they wouldn't. Yessir, they just wouldn't know how to meet it. Great times out on the creek here during the Depression. We always had good times. But, no money. That's one thing I can say for Potlatch. I don't know how they' now, but I bought this, I had 120 here, and there was three years I never paid 'em a cent on it nor ever paid 'em any taxes. I couldn't, didn't have it. There was a feller, he come up and tried to buy it out from under me, see. So Sagerston, he was land man down there in Potlatch, and he said, "I don't know." And he said, "111 wait." "Yeah, I'll let ya know in a few days." So he come up—no, I seen him downtown, that's the way it was. And he said, "Do you want the place, Dick? Don't you?" And I said, "Yeah. I'd like to have it but" I said, "I'm so far behind on taxes and everything, payments." And he said, "Well, I've got a chance to sell it." But he said, "I figured if you didn't want it, why I would sell it, but if you want it, I'll hold it fer ya." So, he did. But when I first started to unloading logs down there he come down, and he was there, oh I think that was about the first month that he come down to the landing one day. And he said, "Dick," he said, "you s'pose now you could start paying a little along on the place?" "Oh," I said, "I think so. I figure on it." And he said, "How much do you figure you could pay?" "Well," I said, "I don't know. Maybe I could pay $50 a month." Well I was only getting 490 an hour for working there on the landing. I told him, I said, "Now why don't we say I'll try $50 a month. I believe I can pull it." "Ehhhh, I don't know, that's quite a bit." And I said, "I'll try it." And then I said, "If we can't, we can always cut down, I guess." "Yeah," he said, "you do that." So I payed him $50 a month...
(End of Side C)
SAM: $50 a month to catch up...
DB: Yeah, that's just what I paid him, $50 a month 'til I got caught up. I wasonly getting 490 an hour. You know that counts up slow, don't it?
SAM: Yeah, it counts up real slow.
DB: Well, I's just wonder what some of them boys that's making $50 a day nowand have to go back to 490 an hour.
SAM: And then you told me that you found out that he hadn't been paying...
DB: Yeah, they hadn't paid up either. He wrote a check for $11,000 over therefor back taxes at the courthouse in Moscow. They hadn't paid up on their land either. No, they hadn't paid taxes on it. (Chuckles:) He told me after wards. We didn't, they didn't.
SAM: And what's this about deeding over the mountain?
DB: Yeah, they deeded that all over to the University, rather than to pay, allthat rough hill there, you see. Yeah, they deeded that all to the University rather than to pay taxes on it. They had the good off of it, they had all the cedar. And there was two pieces of land in there that they didn't own. The Great Northern owned a half section I think, or was it a section in there; and a feller there in Potlatch, he owned 160 acres in "chere. The rest of it all belonged to the company.
SAM: Would you say that everybody cooperated pretty well though, before theDepression? I mean, it seems like they were ready for it when it finally did.
DB: Well, we wasn't ready, no. But we had to be, let's put it that way. Itwas a-comin', and we knowed it was there. But of course, y'know them days, the people, they went a little different, a different way of getting around than they do nowdays. You know now you got to go to Spokane to meet your closest neighbor. Or Moscow. You go down and see him there ain't nobody home, he'll be gone in the car and gone someplace. Well them days, y'know, we was all, I don't know, just like that—all together. But nowdays, uh-uh. People, I don't know, well let's put it this way, they've drifted apart, to what they used to be. Y'know, we first come here, well everybody was, you know, right together. Nowdays yeah, it's different. And it's like a feller there, we was talking down there in Palouse here awhile back, name in front of that Dodge layout. Well now Palouse used to be a good town. When we first come here, y'know, they had two banks, there's three hardware stores, three hotels, I don't know how many restaurants. And now they's one bank, and one hardware store, and a grocery store, well there's two grocery stores, used to be four or five of 'em. So I was talking to Badget there, him and I got talking and well, he's.been there a long time too you know. And I said, "Well, she's not like she used to be when I come here." "No," he said, "I'll say she's not." About that time there's a feller he come drove in his car in there, and he said,"And that right there's what's ruined Palouse." Automobile. Said, "They all go out to Moscow, Lewiston, Spokane or someplace else to do their trading. See, it's just ruined our town." So maybe he's right, I don't know, but boy that town went down. I'll tell ya where they fell down, you know they wanted—so I .^understand, of course now that was quite awhile before I come here—but they wanted to put the University in there. And there was a lot of them old retired farmers wouldn't go fer it at Palouse. If they'd put that University in there they'd a had something, wouldn't they? But no, they put it at Pullman. Now that's what they tell me, now I don't know. Now I'll tell ya who, Dim Skeen, his dad was, well he was raised around Palouse. He kind of gave me the lowdawn on it.
SAM: Did you used to go to Moscow?
DB: Oh yeah.
SAM: What was Moscow like way back during the Depression?
DB: Well, pretty hard you know, really, there wasn't too much money aroundMoscow. Well, we sold a lot of wood in Moscow, and I think we got some money coming over there yet (chuckles). You know, here's the idea, I don't know, now maybe I'm too good a-hearted, but lots of fellers, families, I knowed they needed wood and didn't have no money—it's hard to say no. You know, what I mean? It's just hard to say, "Well, I just can't let ya have it if you ain't got the money." But we got a little money coming over there, and we got some coming in Palouse, Got some coming in Pullman. But we got square in Colfax—what wood we hauled down there, we all got our money all out of that.
SAM: Clay told me that the Pasttime in Moscow was quite a place.
DB: Oh boy it was. Yeah, you bet ya. (Chuckles.) Yup. Was you ever aroundthere when that was running?
SAM: That was before my time.
DB: Yeah, you know we use to go in. It was open day or night, 24 hours a day.We used to haul lots of wood over there. We'd go in y'know, one time, I guess it was about the fastest meal I ever et there. What happened, we had wood we'd sold to the library, an
DB:oy we had two days to get her in. Well, wehad four loads of wood to get in each day. We hauled all our four loads that day, sitting there eating supper. And of course the lad and I, we run trucks too, that is, hauled stock in 'em. A fella called us up down here at Pot latch, and wanted us to take two loads of hogs in to, Spokane that night. Well we took them in, we got back, and we knowed that we had to get them other four loads of wood into Moscow Saturday night. So, all right, that was fine and dandy, so we got 'em in. We stopped there and had supper, the last load, and I told him, I said, "If you're going home with me tonight you wonna hurry." I had a Chevrolet six and he had an International four. And I said, "You're gonna have to walk on her tonight, cause I'm gonna beat ya home and go to bed." Well, I got home all right, brung my truck right up there, walked in, and I thought I sit on the bed and pull my shoes off and go to bed. Well, I started to pull one shoe off, and thought I'd just lay back that way and stretch out, and I stretched out, and I was still laying there next morning (chuckles). Yah. Dust passed out, see, just that tired. You know, two days a-haulin' four loads of wood over at Moscow each day, and then going to Spokane with a load of hogs that night, and getting back here about daylight, well, it's kind of hard on ya. Kind of tires ya out (chuckles).
SAM: Do you know any stories about the old mining that went on around here?
SAM: It was before your time mostly.
DB: It was before my time. All the mining ever I knowed is to talk to any ofthem old miners was Packy.up there on Gold Hill, and Pete, one of the youngest boys, I was talking to him. And he said that's the way they used to make their money in the wintertime. 'Course out on the Gold Hill they had a place there where they'd mine. He said they'd go up some days, he said they'd make, two, two and a half a day, apiece. I never did find out where his mine was. That's the way they could do it. But there's a lot of gold in that hill if they ever find it. You know, I talked to several well drillers. The last one I talked to was, he drilled a well there in Princeton at the church, Nazarene church. And he was down oh a hundred and I believe eighty some feet, he run into an DB:urnt log. And there's several wells been drilled around here that they hit burnt logs. And they claim that that hill some time or other has had a slip, and it slid this way, y'see. Now I don't know whether they know what they're talking about or not, but I know one feller was drilling a well, and he hit a log and they never did go through it. And they was down a hundred and some feet, and they couldn't go through her for some cause or other. It might of been the end of a stump, I don't know.
SAM: So you think that the gold slid off the hill with the hill.
DB: Well that's what they figured, you know, and that's why they figured thatwhere they find this gold, you know...Now when they had the dredge up there on the river—they had a dredge up there, I think they run it, oh it was up there two or three years, they run it 24 hours a day, three shifts. Two engines on it, and one engine, something go wrong with it, they'd just start the other one up and go on. And then when World War II come along, well they had just finished up, and they couldn't get no more right a way to come through down the river you know, and it come out in the Idaho Farmer that that dredge put out more gold in them three years than all the rest of the mines in Idaho put together. And they took it up there and set it up, and they brung the water right down with it, see, and it just worke
So they were changing line the next day, so the next day, why the engineersaid, "Dick, why don't you get over there and take you a nap?" And I hadn't laid down three minutes when DB:ob stepped right up on the runner of the donkey. And of course he woke me up talking to Lee, and he said, "Where's Dick?" And he said, "Right over there asleep, I guess. And ol DB:ob said, "Let him sleep," he said, "the poor devil was up all night." So I got by there. Well, had supper the next night, and I just got done, boy, Hershiel, he was clerking there, and he sent Hershiel for me to pick my dinner bucket up. And I said to Hershiel, "What's the matter?" And he said, "A fire just broke out down on donkey four." That was the ground liner below camp, and I was working on the high line. So we went down there, and (chuckles) that was pretty good. He said, "Tonight, you take the night watch down there with me." Well that was all right. I got in that night, and along just a-comin' daylight, I had four boxes of dynamite setting out oh, I'd say about as fer from here to the creek from the donkey. And the fire burned into that and that all went off at once. Yeah, boy I'll tell a man that woke things up! (Chuckles.) Up on the ground, you know. Sure, boy, that old donkey just shook. And here come ol
DB:ob right down, and"What's the matter?" "Nothin*. Why?" "Well," he said, "I thought you let the donkey blowed up," "No, she didn't blow'up, she's still sitting there." He said, "Where'd you fellers go when that powder went off?" He knowed then what had happened, see. We told him we both crawled under a runner. We did. So then the next day was Sunday, a fire broke out up at the barn. I was down getting some tobacco off of Bob and talking to him. And "Oh," he said, "go home and go to bed." went up and watched him several times. And he'd get around one of them old stumps, and there seemed where he'd get a lot of gold, woul
DB:e around one ofthem stumps. And I knowed the lad, well he used to live down there with my sister anDB:rother-in-law, and he helped set it up. And then when they got that set up—that was a number three—and then they took him, he worked there oh about six weeks, two months on that dredge here and they come and got him and took him into Montana and they set up a number five—bigger one than this one. He said it was almost as big again. AnDB:oy, I guess they sure get out the gold. Well I don't know, they had a place there, oh as wide as across this flat here, where they worked up there on Palouse River. They just work ed that whole flat clear back and forth, just back and forth.
SAM: Well you can see all that rock rubble up there, all those tailings.
DB: Well, you know there's a feller he was logging up there, he took his dozerright up on that rock, made him a log run, boy he had a dandy logging road. Yeah. Of course it was nothing but rock up there. She throwed her out, and the tailings just come out behind and they spread that behind, and she'd come. She was all washed and ground up, come out.
SAM: Have you ever worked on some big fires around here?
DB: Hm, yeah. Some. I guess. I put in 72 hours straight time on one.
SAM: Which one was that?
DB: That was up there at Bovill. You know that was pretty good, you know, theyhad the fire. I got sleepy, I was running there at that time with a hoist and firing on a donkey. It broke out right there at the donkey, and so the boss, he come in that night after supper, and he told me, he said, "You better your lunch bucket off the donkey." He had a nephew, he was nightwatch, and he was a little afraid to send him up there. Bob told me afterwards, he said, "I thought he'd just go down and go to sleep. It've been just like him," he said. So he sent me up there with him. I said, "Well, all right." I just crawled into one of the bunks, thought I'd get me a little sleep. By gosh here he come after me. And I said "What's the matter Bob?" He said, "That fire just broke out behind the barn there." Said, "You go up there and sit down on that hay and see it don't burn up." (Chuckles.) So I was in the next night. Hershiel he was clerking, and Hershiel said to him, he said, "How much time ya gonna give Dick?" He said, "When did he start?" Told him, Hershiel told him when I started. "Well," he said, "give him straight time 'til now." Hershiel figured it up. "Well," he said, "it's 72 hours." He said, "I can't help it if it's 172," he said, "that's what I told ya to give him." So I got 72 hours I worked straight (chuckles). They only give ya 350 an hour you know. You didn't make much with that, but it helped (chuckles).
SAM: Was it all one fire, all in one big, spots of one fire?
DB: Well, it just kept breaking out around camp.
SAM: What was it called, what did they call that fire?
DB: Oh they didn't have no name for it. But they did, I'll tell ya what didhappen. While that was a-goin' on, we was trying to log. An
DB:ob, he toldme, he said, "Well," he said, "yeah, what I want ya to do," he said, "you harness up that little bay team and take them out in the morning. I said, "All right." AnDB:oy, I was out harnessing 'em up, and I beared 23 whistle, and I knowed good and well what was happening. They had a fire, and they was coming after the crew. And so they come after the crew, and I missed it. I was out in the barn, and I didn't go back 'til after the train pulled out. After the train pulled out, well I starte DB:ob said, "Where in the hell have you been?" "Over at the barn." "What ya been doing over there?" I said, "Didn't you tell me to take that little bay team out this morning and go skidding logs with it?" "Yeah." "Well" I said, "I got the harness on 'em." He looked at me and kinda laughed. "Well," he said, "we can't all go t'that fire." He said, "I'm not a-goin', and you don't have to now." (Chuckles.) And of course he knowed what I done, see. It just come to him. So he said, "Well, after breakfast," he said, "go water your team and pull the harness off of 'em. Get ya an axe and shovel," and he said, "go and hunt Sam Frei up, and go to work with him." Said, "You two fellers can patrol together." So that's the way we done it. Sam and I, we worked together there for two weeks. But Hershiel now, he had to go. And that's when they had the big fire, you know, in Deadwood, Floodwood. But I missed that, see. (Laughs.) I didn't go over to that. Oh they was making good money over there, but I was satisfied where I was at. Tickled to death. I could go in, set down at the table and eat, nobody to bother me (laughs). Had my own bunk to sleep in, boy I was setting pretty. OlDB:ob, he used to laugh at me.
SAM: This was right about after those other fires?
DB: Yeah. We hadn't got all the other fires out there yet. See, we was patrolling fire yet when this other one broke out, the big one on Floodwood. And so we was just patrolling around, you know, and putting out smokes here and there. Wherever we'd see a smoke break up, well then we'd go put it out, cover up. That's all we done all the time while the rest of 'em was over on the big fire. They was over there I think about three weeks. That was a big'un. They got every man out of Spokane and everyplace they could get, Missoula and all.
SAM: What were you fighting 'ern with, on the camp fires?
DB: Them days all we had was shovel and an ax, saw. That's all, we had nowater like they got out of airplanes now, you know, to fight 'em with. All we done was dig a trench.
SAM: They didn't have a tanker that they coul
DB:ring around either?
DB: Nothing. No. Some places, you know, we'd ride out through that...well,the only way they ecu Id of got in through there would of been with an air plane, had to flew over. They couldn't of got a piece of machinery in there at all, no. So they just strung out and hit her with an ax and shovel.
SAM: And it was the same over on Floodwood? They were using axes and shovels.
DB: Yup, that's all they used, just shovels and axes and saws. After they'dget snags close to the trail fire, they'd have to saw them all down and throw 'em across, cut out part of the fire and cut a hole in where we made our trail through. Yah. It's the only way they'd get fire in them days. I don't know. I cbn't know, I believe it's cheaper than the way they're doing it today yet,
SAM: That wouldn't be very hard, the way they spend it on fire fighting.
DB: I don't know, I can't figure it up. You know, up there I was helping, upon the river here two years ago, when they had a fire break out up there. I went up, we went up one afternoon there, and we got done. He said, let's go up where the fire was. We went up there. And the evening before, the after noon before, they had two planes, them big four motor jobs coming in there with water and chemicals,- spreading on it. They were coming from Coeur d'Alene. Boy, you know, they made several trips that afternoon. Well, we went up there the next afternoon and looked. Well, I don't know, there was enough men, Forest Service men there, looked to me like, to have trenched it—the way ue used to work. Yah, 'cause we went out and worked it, got it done, and knowed where to go at it. It's just like that old feller, well the feller that, he's the head at the Lewiston mill down there. They asked him to get up and make a speech. He said, "I've just got a very few words to say." Well then, they told him get up and make his speech. And he said, "Well, all I've got to say," he said, "there's only one thing we're short of nowadays." He said, "We haven't got no old time lumberjacks." Dust saluted 'em and got down (chuckles). Yah. Well, ya know, he knowed what he was talking about. Yeah, he knowed. 'Course, it's altogether different than what it used to be. These fellers, y'know nowdays, they can start a tractor, they can put in a bearing if one goes out, but harness a horse, or sharpen an ax, or pull a crosscut, they wouldn't know how to go at it. No.. 'Cause they don't use the ax anymore. (Chuckles.) Yeah, times have changed.
SAM: When you think back on Potlatch as a company, you seem to think they werepretty bad in some ways, and they weren't so bad in others. How would you add 'em up?
DB: Well, I'll tell ya. It's on to the man they had in the head of it. Theman that was head of it was the man that could cause all the trouble, or he coulDB:e nice and get along with everybody. You know what I mean?
SAM: Who was the man at the head of it? You mean the superintendent or thewoods foreman or...
DB: Yeah, that's it, superintendent. Yah. Well, it wasn't the woods foremanso much, you see he had to do what the other fellow told him to. He had to go out to do what the superintendent told him to. So it wouldn't be him, you know. 'Course there's some of them foremen could agree to one thing, and turn around and want to do something else directly. Well, you know that didn't suit acrew. And some of the high-ups would do it too. Yah. But as awhole, Potlatch and Ialways got along good. They stayed right with me on being in debt to 'em. 'Course I've paid 'em off, and that kind of freed me up.
SAM: Well Iguess Iwas wrong then to say that, because you think they were prettygood then.
DB: I do, I think Potlatch is all right, yeah. I couldn't see nothing wrongwith 'em. But, well, I'll put it to ya this way. You can figure it out for yourself. We had one foreman down here. They run down a steel truck, and we was loading it with a chain and skids, team. And so the feller, he couldn't make it, and the feller on top was no good. So old Nogle he come along and he said, "Dick, I want you to go up and set it up, load that truck." So I went up that day, and he said, "I'll be back tonight and see how you made her." And he come back. He said, "How'd you make her?" And I said, "All right, fine and dandy." But I said, "You got anybody else you can work on top with me?" "No." "Well," I said, "I'm not a-goin' to stand up anymore." I said, "He'd kill a man off. He don't know where to set his swamp hook nor nothing, to make it easy on anybody." So I said, "I'm not a-goin» to do it, Nogle." "Well," he said, "d'ya know where to get anybody?" And I said, "Sure, I know where to get a man." I said, "Get little Andy." Andy Tidwell and I we's working together, and had worked together off and on for three, four years. And he said, "That little feller?" And I said, "Put him on top and watch him." So he said, "All right. If you say so, I'll go get him." About that time Andy come in the barn, and Nogle said, "Come here Andy."- And he come over there, and he said, "Will you work on top with Dick?" "Yeah," he said, "I'DB:e glad to." He said, "Him and I work together all the time."And Nogle said, "Go ahead." Well I'll tell ya what they was doing. They was giving us a dollar a thousand for loading, see, the two of us. Well, we's a-puttin» out 66,000's a day on the average. That's what we's putting on a truck. We had a truck that just had a mile haul—two trucks, and we loaded one while they was gone. So the foreman, he come along. Now they stood right there and they set the price to us, Nogle and Dack. Nogle said, "It ought to be worth a dollar a thousand," he said, "let's give 'em a dollar a thousand." Said, "That's hard work." In the summertime just hot as it is now. So, they did. Old Dack he took a notion then, we was making that much money, $33 apiece a day. Boy, that was too much money, he couldn't stand that. Nogle and he come down in a few days, and Dack said to him, he said, "We're gonna have to cut Dick and Andy." And Nogle said, "What're ya gonna cut 'em fer?" Said, "They're makin* too much money." Nogle said, "Huh?" Nogle said, "I don't care if they make $100 a day apiece." He said, "They're putting out the logs. That's what I want." So he said, "We'll just pay 'em that dollar, and keep our mouths shut." Well if Dack had had his way, he'd a monkeyed around and got us cut. But you see, the main boy wouldn't stand fer it. And he was the main, Nogle was woods superintendent. So that's what caused us lots of trouble, see. They won't stay with ya on it.
SAM: How did Nogle compare with T. P. Dones, and the differences between thetwo of those guys?
DB: Nogle was the better man. I'll tell ya why. T. P. Dones, he'd get madand flare up here and flare up there, and you know. Now I'll tell ya one thing that did happen up there. They had quite a little fire up there, and they took three carloads, flatcar loads of us up on the Milwaukee track. So Dones ordered us to get off and go to work. Bill Helmer, he was there, and he was the head cruiser. Bill said, "Boys, wait a minute." He said, "Let's look this over." He said, I don't like the looks of it. (End of Side D)
So he told us, he said, "Boys, get back on the flatcars." And of course wedid. And he told the engineer, he said, "You better get out of here." He said, "That fire is gonna be clear across the track." The crown fire was acomin' right up on that hill, and then it was going clear across the track on the other one, you see. You coulDB:egin to see where the sparks was light ing over there. So we got back out of there. In about 20 minutes or so, the whole thing was afire. So, coulda got burnt up, somebody, if they'd a-stayed, wouldn't they? Yah. But old Sill, he wouldn't laugh. Nn-nn. Old Dones was just mad, boy oh boy!
SAM: He was mad?
DB: Oh mad, yeah. He could get mad. You bet.
SAM: Who was he mad at?
DB: Well, 'cause the boys wouldn't get off and go to work, anDB:ill told «em"Wait aminute." He wanted to see what turned out. Bill knew what fighting fire was. Yeah, he was in the Hinkley Fire in Michigan, y'know, or in Wisconsin That big Hinkley fire, y'know, that burnt up the whole town.
SAM: Did Dones have much experience in the woods before he'
DB:een there?DB: Well, I just couldn't tell you that.
SAM: What about Helmer?
DB: Oh yes. Now there it was Helmer and Tim Fitzpatrick, the^worked together,they was both cruisers. Whenever anything was said, when it come right down to it, that went, Dones or not. They just took it higher up and go on. I worked with Tim Fitzpatrick. Him and I, we cruised a lot of timber in there and run alot of these lines in there one fall, and that's where Igot acquainted with Tim. He was quite the ol
DB:oy. Yeah, this Tim, he cruised all the timber from Florida clear into Alaska. He had an old pocket compass, and he had every place marked on it. And he'd look at that compass, "Well, here's where I had it set for so-and-so, this state, that state." He never forgot one of 'em, I guess. He had her marked up with little notches cut in there with his pocket knife. (Break.)
...Right up over that hill. Fires went through here, there's nothingleft but the big stuff. Well yah, you can go out there a-huntin' and you take all that back in yonder, with that field. You could see the deer there some times for a half mile. Dust the big trees, no brush. Yah.
SAM: Well did that 1910 fire take out a lot of timber, at that time?
DB: Nn-nnn. No, I'll tell you what. It burnt alot of the yellow pine, scarredit, catfaced it—what we call a catface, y'know, burnt in? That's what we always called acatface. That was burnt in, y'know, that was sometimes high as the ceiling. And 'course that was pitchy, but it didn't burn no timber down.
SAM: Why do you think that was?
DB: Well, I'll tell ya why. Now the way they tell me, the Indians used to keepthis pretty well burnt off. There was nothing up there, just brush, small brush, y'know, for it to burn. If you take, they'd get a fire not, boy she would go! That little stuff, y'know, on that ridge there, hmm, wouldn't it make a fire? Boy I've seen them get in that timber, y'know, anDB:oy oh boy, you'd hear it roar for Idon't know fer (laughs). Boy she'd just roar, y'know, going up through it.
SAM: So when you were cutting it over, you could see the fire scars from the oldfire that ha
DB:een in through here?
DB: Well, here's the idea, y'know. Now it did like one that was set one timeat Camp 10. The fire broke out-well, I'll tell ya what happened. It rained. The boss and Iwent out and set it one Sunday night. Well it quit raining before we thought it would. We thought it was gonna get agood rain, but it didn't get alittle. Boy Ihad adonkey sitting right just down below camp, just across alittle creek. Kelly, he come along, and he said, "Hey Dick!" "Yep." He said, "You run up on .that hill," and he said, "if that fire..." He said, "I think she's going over the hill, and if she does, she gets into that slashing. Well they just logged with the donkey," he said, "she's gonna go to town." I said, "Yeah, I guess she will." He said, "I'm sending Hershiel down for the train." "What're ya gonna do with it?" He said, "We're gonna get the train up here and couple on to all the cars." We had a car camp, see. And so I kept putting out a little fire here and a little fire, there, walked up on top of the hill and looked. Iwas looking over on that hill over there and there was about 10, 12 acres over there burnt over. That's where the fire went over my head. So I went down anDB:lowed the whistle, and we pulled all the line in. Well, Kelly he come down and he said, "Did ya pull the line in?" And I said, "Yeah, we pulled the line in." He said, "I'm going up around camp, and you go up this draw and I'll race ya." I said, "All right." I went up the draw as far as I could stand it. Smoke was blowing across, y'know, sometimes right down on the ground, but as arule it was up alittle, you could kind of walk under it, y'know. It got pretty thick, and Igot down in alittle ditch in this draw. Well, laid there for, oh Idon't know, probably I'd say 20 minutes. Smoke kind of raised, and Ilooked up the draw and here laid Kelly, the foreman, he's just about in 30 feet of me. And that's where he got and he laid there. He didn't know when Ilaid down nor whether Ilaid down or he laid down first, but there we was, the two us. We just waited for the smoke to raise and went on. But, no. the fire was so hot that night, that evening along about sundoun, the rosin run out of the knots in the camp and dripped on the ground. 'Course they ooulda pulled the camP out if they hed to, beoause they had the shay hitched right onto it see, ready to go and all coupled up. But they kept ahangin' tough, figured they'd keep her. S0 that cooled down that night. They got the pump in there next morning early, and took the uater out of the creek and put the fire out along the camp, both sides. Didn't have to move it (chuckles). But the engine stayed there all night. Yeah. Yah, Hershiel he was in that.
SAM: When was that fire?
DB: Oh let's see, it was in the fall of '17 or the spring of '18. Now Idon'tknow which. I just can't say.
Direct segment link:
Segment Synopsis: Parents came to Idaho in 1913 because of father's health and old friends in the Princeton area. Farming in Nebraska; drouth, hailstorms, grasshoppers. Lightning storms that scared neighbors here were normal in Nebraska. Trip out by train on a through coach. First potatoes in Palouse tasted sugared compared to green Nebraska spuds.
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link: