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Latah County Oral History Collection

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

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Date: October 15, 1976 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

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0:00 - Schools in Slabtown and Camp 8 (near Bovill)

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Segment Synopsis: Going to school in cold and snow at Slabtown as a child. The Camp 8 cook gave the kids food while waiting for the train. Slabtown and Camp 8; Collins. School shifted to Bovill.

10:00 - 1914 Beals Butte fire, aftermath

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Segment Synopsis: 1914 Beals Butte fire. Burying their possessions. Father stayed; family took train to St. Maries. Fire didn't take their home. Track burned behind people leaving Slabtown for Bovill. How the fire started; Potlatch said to let it burn.

16:00 - Advantages of moving to Moscow; Catholic school

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Segment Synopsis: Family moved to Bovill in 1919. Mother and children moved to Moscow in 1923, and went back to Bovill on weekends. Advantages of opportunities for children in Moscow over Bovill. Mother preferred sending the children to the convent school than to Whitworth; there was no pressure to take part in Catholic observances. Driving to weekend dances in Lewiston, Parva and Potlatch.

24:00 - Decision to become a nurse; mother's boarding house

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Segment Synopsis: Despite mother's hopes, she didn't like the university; she enjoyed herself instead. She wanted to be a nurse from the First World War, but father thought nurses had a poor reputation. Mother's boarding house in Moscow: her children helped after school. Ironing with a mangle. Nurses' "hard" reputation; father told her not to bum cigarettes if she smoked.

30:00 - Nurse training in Spokane

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Segment Synopsis: Enjoyment of nursing training at St. Luke's in Spokane (1929-31). Working at Harborview in Seattle - twelve hour days, difficulty of the work. Doing work for students. Seven day work weeks. Nursing career - weekends for children. Doctors respected nurses. Nurses were expected to clean up their own messes. Stress on bedside care is declining; there used to be individualized attention.

43:00 - Home remedies; advances in medicine

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Segment Synopsis: Effectiveness of home remedies. Wakes were at home. Old people stayed at home; the "old folks' home" was a disgrace. Great advances in medicine in recent years.

51:00 - Working as a nurse in Great Depression

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Segment Synopsis: Eight hour day for nurses. She was rugged. Married nurses couldn't work in depression. Pay cut to $70 a month with room and board in depression. Depression today would cause many suicides because people are used to luxury, social activity in Moscow.

59:00 - Community of Bovill, positives

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Segment Synopsis: Beauty of Bovill woods. Love of outdoor pursuits. Joe Wells family were marvellous people; the great friendliness of small communities like these.

60:00 - Drinking, anti-sorority

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Segment Synopsis: Husband tired of working for a well-to-do man who farmed. She was glad to move to Idaho for her children. Wells' ate at mother's boarding house often. Pat Malone. Father warned a bootlegger not to force his kids off the road. "Better class" drank in Moscow at the lodges. Some drank and went to church. She often "confessed" at revivals. She didn't consider joining a sorority; many of those girls were interested only in marriage. She wasn't interested in marriage.

75:00 - Unemployment during Great Depression; cultural life in Moscow

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Segment Synopsis: Father didn't want to stay in Moscow. Depression increased from 1929-1932. She couldn't find a nursing job in the area. She worked in a restaurant while waiting for a job. She wanted a good job to use the skills she'd learned. Cultural events in Moscow were connected with the university.


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