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SAM SCHRAGER: When you started to work in the woods-
WILLIAM BURKLAND: Well, I started in the woods when I was a kid, but that was athome. I worked for Potlatch in '36- no, wait now- 1910. 1910 I worked for Potlatch; summer of 1910. But before that we worked- yeah, we wor ked at home, that is, logged to Dahlbergs. So I logged in the woods- I've worked in the woods all my life.
SS: Well when y°u were young and learning, what did your father have youdo?
WB: Everything. Everything there was to do. Even skid. I drove horseswhen I was twelve years old. I started driving horses. From then on I took over the horses. When I waa around fifteen, sixteen I took over the horses entirely. My father didn't want to drive horses. So I got that job, and I liked it so I stayed with it. I drove horses for over forty years. Even owned horses of my own since Iwas around- well, in the '20's, I think. And I bought two colts, three year olds- no, they were younger than that- I bought one year old colts. I bought two of 'em in 19— When the Fair was in Seattle. The summer when the Fair was in Seattle. I raised them and started working them when they were three years old. And I worked them all the time. I logged with them when they were four years old; I logged with them for a feller down be low Deary, there. Fellow by the name of Asplund. In fact, he was Philip Asplund's halfbrother. And he had a contract to log, south of Deary. And I worked there in 1912 for him; worked all winter, that's the first winter I logged with that team. I worked in the woods ever since I remember. Sawed and swamped and skidded and drayed. Used dray logging. That was down to the mill., I told you we was at Pete Dahlberg's mill. We logged down there. And I done that as far back as I can remember, almost.
SS: When you say dray logging; what do you mean by that?
WB: One sled. We'd load a log on one sled, that was dray hauling. Drugone end of the log behind. They dray hauled. Potlatch - we done that even with the Potlatch for a long time. They dray hauled in the winter time and dolly hauled in the summertime. Dolly- they had a two wheel ed- made the wheels out of logs, and ironed 'em with two-
WB: Bands around. That was dolly logging. And then they rolled the logon there and it pretty near balanced it, you see on the bunk. It didn't drag very hard. You could adjust that the way you wanted it. If it was steep downhill you could- roll the log so it was heavier behind and dragging harder and if you wanted it light on the behind, why, you put the log up ahead and almost balanced it. And they hauled awfully big loads that way. We'd use horses. They logged that way lots of times in the summertime. Potlatch did, before they started with the donkeys and then they started with the donkeys and then they pulled in the whole tree. That's what I was working on in 1910. I worked on the don key, and we pulled in whole trees. Of course, I didn't— well, I war ked out in the woods, too, . And then I worked on the skidway where they pulled 'em in. They pulled in the whole tree and then we had to measure it up and saw 'em off by hand. Me and my older brother and Bill Olson. Bill Olson - Did you know Alfred Olson in Troy?
SS: I knew who he was, yeah.
WB: You knew who he was?
WB: Well, it was his brother, his older brother. He worked with us on theskidway in 1910. And it was early in the spring and it was wet too; the logs were wet and the trees were wet; the ground was wet. And the sun got awfully hot and he went out for us. He was working there and it got too hot^ he was the kind of a guy that couldn't sweat, and he went out and we had to drag him out to the shade. But we went ahead and worked and he laid there about, oh, two, three hours.
SS: Was he a big man?
WB: A big man? No, he wasn't a big man, just ordinary. But he couldn'tsweat. He was one of them hidebound fellers, you know, that couldn't sweat. And my brother and Lwe sweat till was just running off of us. It was so hot in there and all that water and the sun was hot. It was suffocating. But then he got over it after he laid there a while, he got over it and come up and said he was going to help us so we put him on to measuring and we took the saw and sawed. And, oh, I 11 tell you, that wood work was awful hard work.
SS: Was it rough?
WB: Yes. It's hard work. You sawed by hand, you know. You stand thereand worked all day; that was hard work.
SS: I'll bet there was a lot of it, too.
WB: Ya, you ain't a kiddin', there was a lot of it. There was about- well,when they logged there was about two gangs to the team, to keep a team going if they didn't have too awfully far to skid where it took two gangs to keep them agoing.
SS: How many men was in a gang?
WB: Well, you had two men to the gang.
SS: Two sawyers?
WB: Ya. Two sawyers. One on each end of the saw. And then there was twoof them. Two saws to keep a team going, unless it was so far skidding. But they didn't have- they didn't skid very far when they skidded out to the— see they're on trackside, spurs, railroad spurs, and they didn't figure on, oh, on, eighty rods, something like that.
SS: Were they using dollies then with—?
WB: No. Not when they skidded that way. The dollies, they were when theyskidded further than that. They skidded a quarter of a mile or a half a mile, then they used dollies. But that was in the summertime when it was dry. But they did use drays even when it was wet, it didn't have to be snow, if the ground was wet they used drays and they put the log on a dray and balanced it and pull it in that way. That was the way they logged before they got the donkeys and the cats. Well, the cats, they didn't get them until way late.
SS: Were you working by the day? You got so much a day?
WB: Yeah. That wasn't too much, about two dollars. There wasn't much moneyin it then, them days, you know. We didn't have any money. I worked in the harvest field, not in the harvest field, on the threshing machine for thirty-five days, straight through driving derrick team for two dollars a day. That was sixteen hours a day, too. (Chuckles) We was up at four o'clock in the morning and harnessed up and lots of evenings we had to work in— well, we didn't work in lamplight, but the sewers did. They had to have a lantern for them to see to sew in the evening.
SS: Sack sewers?
WB: Sack sewers. It was all sacked grain then. And the sack sewers had towork in lamplight and of course, we didn't need that. The horses they knew the track they'd been going there all day long; forwards and backwards and forwards and backwards. We were pulling headed grain up on a derrick and then there was the feeder run back and there was two men on there raking that into the feeder, getting it into the machine. Them days the threshing machines had about, oh, let's see, two, four, six- twelve, fourteen men on the crew; on the machine crew.
SS: You were driving team?
WB: I was driving team. I was driving the derrick team.
SS: What did the derrick team do?
WB: They pulled in the headed grain from the stack. You know what a derrickfork is?
SS: Yeah, I've seen a picture of 'em.
WB: Well, they pulled them back on the stack and put them down in thatheaded grain, and then they motioned us to go ahead and we pulled up that load and and it took em up in the mast and it tripped it and it come down on the great big platform- oh, it was half as big as this room. That's where they dropped it down and there was a man on each side ra king that in- into the- what did I call it? elevator? And then it went into the machine.
SS: How did they decide whether they were going to thresh it all in a b igpile like that or whether they'd put it in bundles?
WB: Well, they were out there with a header, the header bed, and then theyhad a header bed- that was made something like a bundle tack only much bigger. And then they hauled it into the stack, put it in there, just like a stack, you know. You open a stack and you thresh it all. If they wanted any divisions why they'd have to divide it before they come to the stack with it.
WB: Yeah, if there was any division in the grain to be done, it had to bedivided before they come to the stack with it. And after it was in the stack then it went in the machine. Same with all of it. Same way with bundles. You know, they stacked bundles, too. And after they started bundle threshing. But now in the Palouse country down around Colton and Uniontown and down in there it was all headed grain.
SS: Is that where you went to work?
Yeah, that's where I went to work. That's where I worked. Out of Genesee. Yeah, I worked out to Uniontown, west of Genesee. Started on the Didrick Sonhaas place. You know where that is?
No, but I know a little bit of the country. I don't know that particular place. Big place?
Oh, ya, well, they were all The Didrick Sonhaas place that'sright on the edge of Genesee. That's not a very big- that's a 160 acres. And then it was Charlie Sonaas and Fred Sonhaas and fluramers, they were all related. Fred and Charlie Sonhaas and Dick, they were brothers. And then there's a Flummer, he was married to Sonhaas's girl. And then it was, oh, I don't remember the names of all them through there.
SS: Did you enjoy harvest?
Yes. I liked it. Slept out in the strawstack. Oh, yeah, I liked that!You get so you like some of them things, you know. Sleeping out in the straw pile and getting up at four. The engineer was up before thatwell, he got up before that so he had a whistle and he whistled and geeminy, you had to roll out. It hurt your ears! (Chuckles) Yes, I liked that, them days, I wouldn't like it now! In them days I liked it. Did the men work really hard on something like that? Hard as they wanted to. There was really no driving unless - if you was pitching bundles, that was harder than the rest of the work around there, pitching bundles. Then you had to pitch in order to beat every thing in order to get that into the machine and get out in the field again. And some of them bundles were both long and heavy. So that was really harder work. The header- or the derrick team work that was easy work, but I was just a kid then; I was about sixteen years old. So that wasn't hard work, but you had to be there all day right in the dust back of them teams. Backward and forward and backward and forward, and you went one time and the other feller went one time. And you come back and your forker. he took his fork and the other one he took his. Two teams and two forkers. You see- there was an opening in be tween the stacks, and one built up the stacks from that way and the other one built it up from this way back. Well, the stack was started from the dividing line, and then they built 'em up so they were out there about forty or fifty feet, each side, and that's where we had to pull 'em in there after that.
SS: That's big sized stacks.
WB: Oh, yeah, big stacks there, you bet. They had big stacks, they wereabout, oh, eight or ten feet high and they must have been about eight or ten feet wide. Oh, I tell you, that was lots of grain. T hey had lots of grain out there at Genesee and Uniontown they were pretty big farms, some of 'em were big farms. And even 160 acres, you know, the way wheat grows out there them years, I think they grew more wheat than they do now. More straw, anyway. And that made a lot of straw. Your header cut down- the straw was about that high- the header, you know, it cut up pretty high on the straw, but then they left about that much. To get all the heads they had to leave about a foot and a half, something like that, sixteen inches, and that all went into the stack.
SS: So that country around Genesee seemed pretty prosperous to you in thosedays?
WB: Yes, yes. That was always good country. That was the queen of the country,in Genesee. They claim there was some that was better than Genesee, but, I tell you, that was awfully hard to beat between Genesee and Uniontown. That was an awful fertile country.
SS: Did lots of guys come from over here to work over there
Oh, yeah. Yes, pretty near all the old-timers worked over there.They worked over there in the harvest and a lot of 'em now like Arthur dad, he worked there, oh, there for several years before my time, He worked there from the time he came. He came out to Genesee and he worked around there for a long time, both in the harvest and the spring work. People were out there in the spring work, too. You know, they worked a lot of men^them days. It was all horse work and it was only about, oh, all the way from four to six horses for every teamster. And it wasn't very many teamsters that used six horses, they used three and four and they had to have a man with every team. There was a lot of man work them days. That's been done away and they're doing away with it right along. The man labor.
Who was the outfit that you— would you go work for the same outfitwhen you'd go over there?
I worked for several outfits over there. This time when I was drivingderrick team, I worked for Nels Johnson. He lived right out south of town here.
SS: He took his whole operation from here over there?
WB: Ya, a lot of 'em anyway. You mean his outfit?
WB: He kePt his outfit- he bought itK Genesee, he bought it from DickSonhaas. And he always left it there when he worked it there. He was down there about three or four years, I think, and he kept his machinery down here. And then I worked for John Vedwick. He was from Troy. I worked for him after that. That was a bundlerrig, though. And I wor ked for Halvorson. Halvorson and Johnson down here. Worked for them, in the threshing. That was also a bundlerrig. Well, that was three years. There wasn't much more than that. I worked for- I was out there and hauled grain one fall; helped haul grain, helped August Johnson. He a Genesee man, he lived this side of Genesee.
SS: So one of these crews, one of these outfits with all the men on itwouldquite a few of the men in the outfit be Troy area men, or the Deary area?
WB: It was with Vedwick, there was a lot of them. That whole crew was fromTroy. And that was Oslund- that was John Oslund and Pete Swenson and Charlie Swanburg and a fellow by the name of Alfred Westlund and John Estlund. I don't know if I can remember any more.
SS: I'm surprised that you can remember so many that you do.
WB: Well, they were from Troy, they were all from Troy. And Andrew Heidahl;I drove Heidahl's team. I hauled bundles.
SS: Well, how much of the year, let's say around 1910, how much of the yearcould you work out in the woods or in the harvest? How much work was there?
WB: Oh, about thirty days.
SS: For harvest?
SS: What about woods work? How long could you work there?
WB: Oh, that's the year around, you know, the woodswork, that was the yeararound, if you wanted to be there all the time. The lumberjacks, that was the year around for them, sometimes. In some camps. Well, pretty near all the camps at that time when they used horses.. They didn't lay up for the winter, they wanted that snow. Snow and cold weather that's what the loggers wanted.
SS: So that means that those days, you could work pretty near as much asyou wanted to.
WB: Yes. Work as much as you wanted to; pretty near had to to made it.
SS: Were you working the year around, yourself? Around 1910?
WB: Well, no. No, I was there in the summertime in 1910. I was there oneyear was all. One summer. ButA worked at home, that's where we wor ked in the wintertime. We stayed home and logged down here at the mill, Dahlberg's mill.
SS: What were you doing on the place then? You were logging? Mainly, orwas that just winter?
WB: That was in the wintertime, we didn't log in the summertime.
SS: What else did you do on the place?
WB: Oh, we raised hay and grain and cleared land and made wood and I hauledwood to Troy along when I was about fourteen years old, I started hauling wood to Troy. We hauled about ten cords of wood to Troy every winter for so long, you know, I don't know how long. I hauled wood every win ter to Troy besides logging.
SS: What was that trip like? Hauling the wood from Bear Creek to Troy?
WB: What was it like?
WB: Like any other horse work.
SS: I mean hauling it in. What was the road like?WE: Oh, the road was good in the wintertime. Oh, ya. The road was real good in the wintertime. They didn't do the roads then like they do now. The horses was the ones that made the roads. They tramped up the trail and it wasn't icy like it is now. Now they scrape it, you know scrape the snow off and it freezes ice. They go down to where there's moisture and probably below that and then it freezes at night and you get just a glare of black ice in some places. It wasn't that way then. The road was tramped down by horses and it was usually a real nice road and your sled would run just as light as you please.
SS: How much could you haul in one load?
WB: Well, it all depended on how big a team you had. We had small horses.I hauled about three quarters of a cord up to a cord, around a cord if it was nice, dry wood, why, we hauled a cord to the load.TTw^'5 ^oh^'t a
SS: How much were you getting in Troy?
WB: I suppose it was around three dollars, I think. Three dollars a cord.
SS: Was that a day's work to get down there and back?
WB: Yes, that was a day's work. It was a long day's, too. Not too longabout a ten hour day. Eight or nine hours anyway, it all depend^ on how good a team you had to walk. What the team could walk. I never run my horses. I walked 'em. And that way they stood it every day, I could go every day. If you'd run your horses, you'd play 'em out, but I never did that, I walked my horses. I had small horses and they didn't make as good a time as bigger horses o\oL5.
SS: When you say smaller, about what would they weigh?
WB: Eleven hundred and twelve; not over twelve.
SS: How many did you have on a team? Two?
WB: Oh, I had just two horses- two horse team in the wintertime. Persondidn't like to drive four horses in the wintertime because it was up and down hill, too much. Some places you have to rough-lock, you know to go down with a load.
SS: How did you rough-lock 'em?
WB: Well, you had a rough-lock made and you had what they call a rough-locklock on your chain. You had a chain you took under your runner and then you run it back here and you had a lock, you had a double piece of iron that you run your chain through the link, then you had a ring up here that you dropped down, bear down on that, when you got to the bottom you went over there and kicked that ring off and went on. Your roughlock, it was on the- either the rack or the sleigh bar, on your sledge. When you kicked that off it was free. You take the Troy hill, now, we had to rough-lock that all the way down. We come in on the north side at Troy, and come up on top for that road. And that was - at one time it was steeper than it is now by a long shot. They've been grading that for over eighty years! They've got it pretty good now. Them days, you know, you had pitches there to ride down. And, doggone it, I had a run away team^caught up with me down there.A It hit my rig. I was hauling lumber that time, and the one horse started up my tieboard, you know, when you haul lumber you had a tieboard, you put a twist on about the middle of your fcobs and then you lean that- let that tieboard hang back and it was getting slick by the time I got down to Troy and it was laying right down on the load and it bent down pretty near to the ground. This runaway team caught up with me and one of them horses run up that board and come up on the load and jumped off- (Laughter) I had to run my team off the road and out in the snow and they went on. But one of them horses got killed though, just the same. He was the one that run up the board, but the other horse pushed him into my load and he hit his shoulder against the load of lumber before he ever jumped up on the board and he skinned his whole shoulder, so they had to shoot him.
SS: But they didn't stop there, they went on.
WB: They went by. I got out of the way, so they went by and went cleardown to the bottom of the hill and they stopped down there. One of 'em crowded the other feller off the road and he fell down. So they were laying one of em was laying down and the other was standing up.
SS: These runaways were not too unusual in those days?
WB: Oh, they'd have quite a few runaways, but they wasn't too many. Notbad ones, anyway. They'd probably get away a little ways and some teams wouldn't run. . probably go back and then they'd tangle up and stop. They wouldn't run. Some got awfully bad, you know. There's runaway horses. Now this one here that I'm telling about; one of them horses was a runaway horse, and a runaway horse never quits. He's a runaway the rest of his life. If he gets away a few times, why, he never quits. A horse'11 never forget what he learns. Whether it's good or bad, it don't make any difference, he'll never forget what he learns. It's with him all the time. And he was a runaway horse; one of 'em. That's the one that pushed the other one in on the load and he skinned his shoulder. The other horse wasn't hurt; the runaway horse never get hurt, but he'll hurt the other one every time.
SS: What would be the reason why horses would run away? I mean, how wouldthey get started doing that? Bad handling?
WB: Well, he might get scared the first time. He might get scared and hemight just get— you know a horse when he starts running he scares him self. Then the harder he run the harder he will run before he gets used to it, and after that, why, he don't get scared. Then he just runs away, just because it's a habit. He never forgets it. It be comes a habit, you know for a runaway horse to be a runaway. But in the first place he probably gets scared and gets started and after he gets started to run, why, anything he's got back of him will make an awful lot of noise and racket- they go pretty fast. Go about fifty, sixty miles an hour. And a runaway horse, he runs pretty hard when he first starts out and he's scares himself up and when you catch up with him he might be standing there shaking. And he never forget that. He just starts out anytime he have a chance after that he'll start out. You let a horse run away from you and he never forgets it.
SS: Do you think that there was a lot of difference in the way differentpeople handled their horses?
WB: Oh, why sure! There's a lot of difference. I let one team get awayfrom me and they run for about, oh, they run for about a big, long mile anyway, and then one of 'em fell down, just couldn't make the turn, and Nfell down and there was a feller that caught 'em and tied ' em up to a tree there and I found 'em. I walked up the road and I come to 'emwell, I think I met him too, and he asked me if that was my team. "Ya, it my team and it was my fault." (Chuckles) And I said, "Did they do any damage?" "Ya," he said, "they done plenty of damage. Your woodrack is laying all along the road! And your wagon is upside down." "Well," I said, "they didn't kill anybody?" "No, they didn't kill any body. I tied 'em to the tree down there. You'll find 'em there." I did, too, they were tied to a tree. I took em, I went homeland the next day my dad and I went back and we picked up all- everything that we could that was any good. And I just made up my mind that was going to be the last time - because it was my fault they got away.
SS: How did they get away? How did it happen?
WB: Just foolishly. I was going to water 'em and in place of knowing whereI had the lines- they were highlife horses, too- they were young hor ses- in place of knowing where I had the lines, I just dropped the lines and went over and unchecked 'em. See, we had checks on 'em, a strap from the bit over the hame, well I unchecked them, otherwise they couldn't drop their heads down to drink. And after I unchecked 'em I went around and they drank and then they started up. I hollered, "whoa," but they didn't stop. (Chuckles) And I didn't know where the lines were, and they went right now. Gee whiz, they took right off. It was no use for me to run after 'em, cause they went to beat every thing! And I just made up my mind that was the last time a team's ever going to get away from me and I never had a runaway after that. And I was just a kid then. I was about fourteen, fifteen years old. I drove horses for forty years after that and never had a runaway. And I had good, young, lively horses too all the time; well fed and everything. So, if they'd a got away they'd a run to beat everything. Now, I tell you, a lot of that is all in the horsemanship. A lot of runaways, some times you have an accident and probably fall off where you can't help it or anything like that, and that's different, but anything as foolish as that runaway that was all foolishness,
Well, I was going to ask you. When you got to Troy in the middle ofthe day with your horses with lumber; the cordwood, would you rest ^em there and spend some time in town?
Ya. Golly, yes.
What would you do?
An hour, all the time.
What would you do? How would you pass the time in Troy?
Oh, I fed the horses. We fed them every noon in Troy. We had grainright with us and we had hay right with us on the load. And then Hd eat my dinner, whether I'd eat it at the restaurant or if I had it in a lunch with me; sometimes I had a lunch and sometimes I eat at the restaurant. And that's what we'd spend our time at. And we fed the horses, that was an hour every day.
SS: Would you have time to visit friends in Troy?
WB: 0h» sure- Oh yes. Visit every day. Had a half hour, or more. Sometimeswe stayed over an hour, if we had plenty of visiting, we stayed longer than an hour before we'd turn back.
SS: How did you know the people that were your friends in Troy? Were theypeople that had used to live out here, or people you'd met in town, or where did you know them from?
WB: People we met in town. We knew all the business men and practicallyall the Nora kids, so there was plenty of visiting .to do. Oh, yes. We knew Troy, it £ just like Deary, that's where we done our— We was here for twenty or twenty-five years before there was any Deary or anything. It was all in Troy, and Nora was all down there. All them young people at Nora was down at Troy all the time.
SS: Well was Troy a very lively town in those days?
WB: Yes. Oh, yes, it's lots better then than it is now. Oh, yes,'jwas alively town. Yes, it was really better than Deary. Deary was more lumberjacks and toughies. Troy people, they were all farm kids. Farm people and newcomers and so on. Deary, that was a hard town to begin with. All " old lumberjacks'd drink and fight to beat everything! (Chuckles) It was a rough town, I'll tell you, that wa s roughie for a long time.
SS: Would you see the fights in town and stuff when you were in Deary?
WB: Oh, yeah, I've seen fights all over. They had some of them in townandthey had some of them out at the dances, too. They were fighting. If they had some whiskey to drink it usually turned out in a fight. That was nothing. That was nothing.
SS: I heard the lumberjacks were kind of tough fighters when they fought.
WB: They were fight buggers, they were big buggers, too, you know. Theywere hard ones. There was a knuckle mark on a door casing up here for a long, long- several years, the feller ducked the blow and he hit the wall and they said there was knuckle marks in there- they showed me some marks, I guess that was knuckle marks, I don't know. The buildings them days was built out of green lumber and they wasn't as hard, they couldn't knock a mark in some of this hard boards, but them days, you know, that lumber was green and it was possible to mark- to knock a mark in the board if they had a good, big, hard knuckle. And some of them - those were the toughies- big longarmed fellers, you know, they took a dickens of a blow.
I heard that if one lumberjack knocked another one down, that he mig ,htstomp him with his cork boots.
Ya, bet your life they went down flat on the ground, too. Knocked out.That happened often. It wasn't much of a fight if one of 'em didn't knock the other^down, and probably kicked the dickens out of him, too! Oh, yeah, they fought rough.
Did you know about Marshal Hayes getting shot in Troy? When that happened.
Yes, I think I was there the day he was shot. But I wasn't there justat that time, but I believe I was there that day. Yes, I knew Marshal Hayes. He come pretty near getting the old guy, he went after him good. I was just a kid, of course, didn't know anything. We fed bundle hay. And I don't know, I fed my horses down below that day, had 'em down below where I unloaded the wood. I unloaded the wood and I part of the hay, went down there and fed 'em while I was unloading. And then I had another bundle of hay that I was going to give 'em after that. I fed 'em part of one bundle and then I went back uptown- no, I went up- that's right- I'd left the sled or the wagon, whichever it was I had wood on, and then I went up the livery barn and bought a bundle of hay, because they'd already eaten up that first bundle. I went up there and bought another bundle of hay and I put it under my arm and startedKdown the sidewalk, and, of course, Hays, he was watching that and he was going to get me. Well I seen him- the livery barn was up there at Erickson's store and I seen him down there at the middle of town, I seen him coming, you know. He was walking to beat everything and he stopped and looked and I seen him and then I thought about it, he was going to get after me because I'm on the sidewalk with a bundle of hay, so I crossed over, went over to the other side, crossed there at the bank. (Chuckles) And then I went right down the street and he stood there and looked- he stopped and he stood there and looked, and I was walking the street and he didn't come, but he was after me that time.
SS: That was against the law to have a bundle of hay on the sidewalk?
WB: Yeah, you ain't supposed to walk on the sidewalk- it wasn't against thelaw, I don't suppose, but against their ordinance, you know, to walk on the - you ain't supposed to walk down the sidewalk with anything that'll put stuff onto the other feller if he gets too close to you and scatter hay on the sidewalk.
SS: Well, from what I've heard, Hays was a pretty mean fellow.
WB: Oh, he was mean. He was trying to make his wages for Troy. He wasworking for Troy. He was trying to make his wages by prosecuting fel lows that done anything wrong. Yeah, he was mean! Watching every chance he had to get money for Troy.
SS: But I had the idea that people didn't like him. The people didn't likehim because of all that arresting people.
WB: They didn't like him a bit, that's why he was shot! He was shot, youknow. He was always after people more than he should have been. And then he got this- after, what was it- Jake Sleigh-
SS: I think it was Paine-
WB: Payne Sleigh, yeah. Yeah, I knew Hays. He caught my mother's cousinone time and he- there was nothing wrong with him, he had a drink and he was kind of out of line and a little lively and probably wobbled a little, I don't know, he was just as harmless as a toad, and he caught him and put him in jail. Cost him five dollars to get out! That was five dollars for the town of Troy.
SS: In Troy they tell about how Joe Wells used to go drinking in Troy andthen Hays would chase him and he'd get away!
WB: Oh, yeah, he was after everybody that drank a little bit, why, he wasafter 'em. He had pretty near everybody in jail down there and fined 'em. Then that was, I figured that was some of the judges, too. Axel Olson he wanted to help Troy to pay for the policeman! (Chuckles) Axel Olson was the judge. That wasn't these Axel Olsons that's living now. That's the older set.
SS: Yeah. Well now I heard that he got shot by Sleigh because he went upthe hill and Sleigh was having a quarrel with his wife and told him not to come in-
WB: Now, I think he was called up there though. Or took it upon himselfto go up there, I don't know which. But then, I think Sleigh was drunk, too, you know.
SS: Well, they were mad at Sleigh after that. I mean that I heard theyhad to get Sleigh out of town, into Moscow pretty quick, because some people were really- some of Hays' friends who were in the Odd Fellows were-
WB: Well, I don't know. I didn't know Payne Sleigh, I knew Jake Sleigh, hewas a nice feller. I used to deal with Jake Sleigh. We used to trade horses and I kind of liked him. I didn't know Payne Sleigh.
SS: You know, we were talking about Deary before; you mentioned to me- wasit Roundtree who sold out at Deary before the town started? What was that story?
WB: Yeah, he sold his place. See, he homesteaded right in the middle oftown of Deary. But then he wasn't the only one. There were lots of 'em doing that. He traded his place for a team to get out of here. That was Roundtree.
SS: Just to have a team, he traded 160?
WB: Yeah. Well, that 160 wasn't worth about $100. If you'd a had themoney in the early days, you could buy 160 for $100. Some of, you know, they got anxious to go, they'd been here and couldn't see no future here. You had to be a working man- you had to be a foreigner to see any future in this country them days! It's just like getting down here in the woods and set there and no markets, no nothing, you had that 160 acres and nothing done on it. If you cut down the trees why you had all stumps to get rid of. I tell you, she was a hard thing to buck. That took a bunch of Swedes and Germans and foreigners to see through that.
SS: Why foreigners and not Americans? Why would the foreigners be morewilling to do it? Than the Americans?
WB: They were used to it. Now my folks and all the other Swedes, they camefrom Sweden; Sweden was really nothing but rock and timber, that is all it was, especially where my dad come from. It was nothing but rock and timber. And all was then there, where my dad came from, was just to chop logs. They didn't even use saws to saw 'em with; they chopped 'em off. Chop one end square and the other one beveled. They usually stood on the log and one— now, my dad could hit almost straight as a board, almost. say they can't hit the same mark twice, but he could do that. And he chopped one end was square cut and the other one was beveled on both sides. And that's the way he chopped logs. Sometimes they stood on the— if they have the smaller timber, they'd stand up on the log on the water. Everything was drove there, you see, drove by water. That's the way they moved their timber.
SS: Well, I was thinking when Potlatch came into the country; didn't thatopen up a good market for people to make money with their timber?
WB: Yes. But then, we'd been here for twenty-five years before they came,or more. We came here and like those fellers up here, they homesteaded here in the early '80's or middle '80's, anyway. And Potlatch didn't get here til 1905 and then it was nothing doing then for two or three years or four years. So you can figure the '80's- '85, '95, 1905 is when the railroad come and then it was about five years after thatit was twenty-five years. The people were here and there was absolutely nothing. They had to make their way and and it was a chance a^d 4V\e6«.+h«rtw What made it better down there where we lived was Pete Dahlberg.
SS: you were telling me about him.
WB: He was really the making of the country down there. He'd trade foranything. Anything. Didn't make any difference, you could trade him anything you wanted for anything he had. So they could trade with him. And those that could get in touch with him they had some chance to trade stuff and also get stuff. He had that sawmill and he had the lumber and that was needed badly, because they didn't have any lumber before that. So, he traded lumber for anything they had, it didn't make any difference. If you wanted to trade, why, you could trade with him.
SS: When Potlatch came in, how good was the money that they gave for thetimber? Did they get it cheap, or did they get it dear?
WB: Oh, ya, they get it cheap; two dollars a thousand. Two dollars a thousand is all they paid.
SS: So people didn't get rich selling their timber to Potlatch?Oh, no, they didn't get rich, but they got something to work with just the same. You know, you could buy a lot for a dollar, too. Fifty cents for a pair of overalls. Now they're eight dollars a pair. Well, you bought them, all you wanted, for fifty cents a pair! dollars for a pair of shoes, now they're twenty-five. That was a big difference, too. It didn't make any difference how little money you had. If you had any money, why, you could buy anything J' That's the reason^they could trade a team for 160 acres. That 160 acres wasn't worth more than about $100. Because all that was on it usually, was a log cabin, and they didn't figure their time to put that up. Some had doors and windows in 'em and some didn't. So there you are. But then I think Roundtree hadhe had a door and window in his. It was that way for years.
SS: So really, it sounds like nobody could really get ahead.
WB: No, they didn't get ahead and it took time to get ahead. They couldget ahead, it wasn't that, but they had to get rid of that timber to get any ground, and then after they got rid of the timber, they had to the stumps that came from that timber and then after that, about ten years or so probably they could get rid of the stump , unless they were used to dynamiting and then they could blow out the stump . But they didn't do that. These fellers that came here, they sawed down the timber and burnt that up. They felled trees like them there and they bored in through the heart and then they bored down to the heart and they met and then they dropped fire down in there and them trees were pitchy, you know, and it started burning and they'd all win ter and burn. Well, they'd burn off til there was nothing but a shell and then they'd saw or chop that shell off and got rid of it that way. I'll tell you that was a slow process. And hard work, too. But they didn't care for that, they were used to that.
SS: How many acres could you clear in a year. The amount of land you wouldclear up in a year of work on a place?
WB: That's a hard question. It's hard to say.That all depend on how good a worker he was and how much time you put in at it. I'll tell you, it took about, oh, say, about fifty years be fore they had about forty or fifty acres. That would be about - average about an acre a year. In about that time they had about- most of 'em, unless they went at it- devoted most of their time at doing that it was about- they'd have about forty or fifty acres cleared in about forty or fifty years. That's about the way that worked cut. But that wasn't the hardest part of it; they first twenty years, they had to set here and homestead it, they couldn't leave the place. Leave it and then they'd jump 'em. 'Course if they had a wife and family, they could leave them on the place and then they'd have to walk to Genesee on a Sunday evening and walk back on - walk on Sunday evading and walk back on Saturday night. They had to come home, too, and change clothes and be with their family. And that's the way the man worked for maybe a dollar a day, dollar and a half, or something like that. A dollar a day and they worked for less than that to begin with, the first years. But then, that dollar would buy more than ten dollars would buy now. So it's as broad as it's long, you know.
It was Potlatch that started Deary. Oh, yes, absolutely. They werethe ones that started- they wasn't the ones, but - but they bought everything around there that they could buy. They bought near every thing. And then they sold the townsite to a townsite company, and then the townsite company they started a town. That was agreed on be fore they ever sold it to them. And, if they couldn't buy the ground reasonable, why, they didn't stop either. Now they wanted to build a town at Avon, course that was open country there, you see, the meadows and everything. But they tried to hold 'em up there on the townsite. They tried to buy there, but them fellers they tried to hold 'em up a little too high. So then they came up here and started a town here. They had already bought this. So that's the reason the town is in Deary, otherwise it would been down here at Avon. That's where they figured on building, too. But them fellers there they had the meadows and they had cultivated ground and everything was ready there and they tried to hold 'em up on the price a little higher. That didn't work.
SS: Was the site of Deary timbered before the Potlatch came in? Beforethe town started? Was it timber on the site?
WB: Oh, yes.
SS: It hadn't been developed or farmed or anything?
WB: No. No, no, it was all timber. That was logged. A feller by the nameof Snyder logged Deary. He had a contract to log. He logged the whole thing around here. So that was done after Deary started. Thefe. was a little clearing there, fellow by the name of Blaylock had a home stead there and he had about, oh, I don't know, five or six acres cleared around. So that's really where they started, you know, was on that clearing .
SS: That's all that was cleared? About five, six acres?
WB: That's all that was cleared. That was all that was cleared, enough toprove up on. You had to have so much kinda cleared to prove up the place. I think it was five acres.
SS: I think that's right. Were there many springs right there?
WB: Yeah. It was water coming up there; it wasn't springs, it was just aseepage. But it was water in the ground. That was something that flowed from the hill on down. You know, if you had a slope where there was timber back of you, why there was always water draining down there. They didn't find any water in Deary— in less than 150 feet. And there wasn't much. They never found more than so much water in Deary. That's the reason they don't have any- they couldn't get water in Deary. So much and that was 150 feet. They had to go down to that and it wasn't enough for a town. So they had to go back east of town, the next draw, Brush Creek, they call it. Arthur lives on Brush Creek. And that's where they found the water. That's where they got the water. There was a geologist here and found that for 'em. But Deary had so much water, and they went down and they thought they'd go down deeper and find more, but they went down 1000 feet, I think; five, six hundred and a 1000 feet; they didn't find any more water. There wasn't any more to be had. And the geologist told 'em there was no use- "You won't find any more than so much." And they found that in any place where they dug, they found it at 150 feet. So much water, but it was n't enough. It was enough for a family or something like that, not for a town.
SS: Did the town go up there fast when it started building? Did itjkindof spring up over night?
WB: Oh, no, but it went up pretty fast; the first part of.town. It wentup pretty fast. It was, oh, I don't know; in about five years, why it was bigger than it is now. There was more building. 'Course it wasn't very substantial. Anything, you know, just lumber buildings.* It went up that fast.
SS: I've heard Jorgeson was the first one to start a business in town there.
WB: Yeah. Well, he was one of the first ones. Well, Jorgeson was the firstone to have a store in here, but then there was that Peterson, Ben Pet erson, he moved the hardware store in there from Troy- no, he lived in Troy, he started the hardware, he moved up here and started a hardware store. That was, I don't know, was the same year, it was pretty near all started the same year; the following year; anyway, it was in the. fall when the railroad come in. Let's see, when in the world did they sell them lots?
SS: They were selling lots in 1908, I know that.
WB: I think they were selling lots in 1907. Of course, they sold beforethat. But they had an auction sale on lots in - in the fall of 1907. But Jorgeson started before that. I think he started building in 1907. But then, you see, he bought from the townsite company. He picked his Of lot before they ever started selling, and then after they got kind of squared off and got all the surveying done,Nthey had an auction sale on lots. That's when Dad bought forty acres there. That was in the Homan Orchard tracts, though.
SS: Did many of these store people come from Troy and Nora?
WB: Ya, they did. Now Jorgeson was here, he didn't come from Troy, hecame from Nora. He had a store in Nora,, moved that up here. That is half way between here and Troy. And so, he came from there and then Ben Peterson he came from Troy. He started a hardware store. And Eric Anderson, he started a jewelry store. He also came from Troy. And John Saline, he started a saloon. He also came from Troy. And then Nella Call, he started- he got the post office. But I think he started a confectionary before. He was a farmer down here at Avon.
SS: And Swan Erickson was from Troy, too.
WB: Yeah, Swan Erickson was from Troy. Yeah, he came from Troy. Course,Swan Erickson, he had blacksmiths all around here before that. He was here with the early settlers, and he started blacksmithing. He first started blacksmithing down here at the Anderson post office. That's where Ted Cliff lives now. And he blacksmithed there and then he moved up- him and Shoberg, they moved up this way about a half a mile from the— that's right south of Rueben Johnson, on the hill there. You know where Reuben Johnson live?
WB: Well, on the hill there, there was a feller name of Shoberg had fortyacres . So they moved that blacksmith shop up there and had it there a while. And then Swan Erickson moved back down to Nora and put up a blacksmith shop there, and after that he moved to Troy. And then when Deary- after Deary^ got to going, then he moved up here. Had a good blacksmith shop there, real good one. Well, he had quite a good one in Troy, too. But the Troy Lumber Company wanted to buy him out and then he sold to them. He had his blacksmith shop right there at what was the Troy Lumber Company's office. You know where that was?
WB: Well, that's where Swan Erickson had his shop in Troy.
SS: What kind of a guy was Swan Erickson?
WB: He was a good guy. Very good guy. Really too good for his own use!(Chuckles) He wasn't too awfully easy, but then he was an awful good Very nice fellow.
When you say too good for his own use, you're thinking of maybe tookind to people?
Yeah. Yeah, he'd give up and give 'em a lot of things that they probably wasn't entitled to. He was very good. He'd argue too. He'd give in, and well, help 'em along. That is, if they'd insist on it, he'd help 'em. ^He was an awful good guy; Swan Erickson.
SS: I've heard he really liked the kids.
WB: Oh, yah, he liked kids. Well, he'd give them anything that they wantedAnything that they wanted, why, he'd give it to 'em. Yeah, they wanted something- if they wanted something they'd come and ask him, "Yah, yah, he'd say, "You go get it, I'll pay for it." He was just a good feller, that was all. Then he had a horse- he bought a horse and it was about half broke when he got it, and he was no horseman at all. And t he kids broke that horse for him, I think. They rode him. At first they couldn't ride him, he'd buck 'em off. Then there was a circuit rider came up here; a preacher, and he used to be a circuit rider. And I don't know why that horse bucked. It might have been that she was kind of ticklish on the cinch; you know, cinchbound they called it. 'Cause when they'd the saddle on her, why she'd start bucking. And this preacher he was a circuit rider, he wasn t afraid of , so he wanted to borrow that horse from Swan and ride out some place out here in the country. Yah, he could have the horse, but he says, "I don't know if you can ride it." "Oh." he said, "I'll try," (Chuckles) "It might buck you off." "Well," says, "that's alright if she does." He was a pretty young man at that time. And he put the saddle on 'im and got in the saddle and started 'im out and gee, the horse went right up in the air and bucked to beat everything, and bucked himself down; bucked til he fell down! And the preacher he just jumped out of the saddle; when he started falling, he just jumped out of the saddle and stood by the horse and then the horse got down and pretty soon he laid there and wanted to get up, and he got up and the preacher he was right in the saddle again! He was in the saddle before the horse got up. "Well," he says, "you think you had enough? Let's go for a ride!" And he started kicking 'im along and started 'im out and the horse never bucked after that. Never bucked after that. Bucked so hard, you know, he went down. Got his hind feet^doubled up and he went down. The preacher he jumped out of the saddle and when the horse started going up, he was in the saddle! He was a pretty clever man, that feller. But he'd rode all his life, he knew what he was doing. He wasn't afraid of the horse. And then after that, why, everybody rode him. The Olson girls. Emmy Olson had- what was it? four or five girls. And they'd all ride him at the same time*, they rode him from here to the tail. They'd all ride him. There were three or four of them girls around the horse and ride him.
SS: What about Joe Wells? Did you know Joe?
WB: Joe Wells?
WB: Oh, yes, I knew Joe Wells. I knew Joe Wells all the time. He was here-I think he was here probably before we was; not very long before, but probably a year or so before we were. And I knew him all the time. I stayed there- I used his barn one winter. He was around there all the time. He was a nice feller. I liked Joe Wells. And we logged up there on the Anderson place and we used his barn, and he was around there, too. I think he was loggin' some place that winter, too. And I knew him and his wife, too. And £dn| , he was a real nice Negro. And Chuck was alright, too, but Chuck would drink quite a little bit. He'd get kind of mean sometimes. He drank. He got in trouble every once in a while. A little bit, not much. Joe Wells would drink, too, but he wouldn't get in trouble much. He'd get a little loud and they'd tell him to shut up. "Well," he says, "I know my room is little." So he'd shut up. They said the whiskey would work on him! (Chuckles) But Chuck he was worse. He'd get mad and want to fight.
SS: Did a lot of people visit over at their place?
WB: Oh, yes, yes.
WB: Yah. The Potlatch people- that is, those that came, you know, the firstones. That was really the head crew; the engineers and surveyors. They'd eat there. They'd always stop for dinner at Joe Wells. Especially if they orders in ahead, so they knew they were coming, they'd eat at Joe Wells place. Yeah, they run quite a little lodging there when they built the railroad. They made a little money there then.
Would you say that their family was just as accepted as any other family in the early days here?
Yes. Yes. Absolutely. They were in on everything around here when theywere younger. Both the boys *'the girl and they were around every dance and everything. And even the old people were, they were just as welcome as anybody else. I don't know of any place that they wasn't welcome.
Do you think that changed a little as time went on the countryChanged and the town got in here? Do you think that they were more together with the people in the early days, the homesteaders?
WB: Oh, yes, they were always together.
But what I'm asking you, is, do you think that changed as time went on?
Well, no, I don't think it changed very much, but the only change isthey visit differently than what they did when - in the early days. It change in that way that they don't group together like they did in the early days. They grouped together, they'd always go to a place, neighbor and have their fun at the neighbor and visit at the neighbors. Now, you know, you go to town. You visit in town in place of out in the country. We didn't do that then. We visited right out in the coun try; neighborhood. So it would change that way. 'Course, I don't think the people change much. They are about the same as they always was. But the visiting part of it is a little different than it was. You know, we'd go to a neighbor on Saturday evenings. Some places we'd dance. Some places we'd play cards. Some places we'd do this and that. It all depended on where you went, and how they wanted it. But now, if you want to do anything like that you've got to go to town. So it differ^ that way, but otherwise I don't see any differ ence.
SS: When you visited the neighbors would it just be the two families?
WB: Oh, no.
SS: Or would there be more than two families?
WB: Oh, yes, there'd be several of them; three, four families together,and maybe more. Some place, you know, they'd have a dance. And there'd be a whole lot of people, both young and old people come in. That is, if they had room. Some of these people put up a big building and you had quite a little room. And then there'd be three, four, five, six families together.
SS: And dinner? Food? Eats?
Yeah. Yeah, they'd always had - they'd always bring and have a lunchtogether. I was going to ask you: Did you know the Hansen brothers that made the coffins?
WB: Yes. Yes, I knew them. Sure.I've heard they were really good to work with wood. They were very inventive people. Yes. They were. They had a sawmill up here, too. Up there east of Helmer. They had a sawmill there, and they were pretty handy with wood- with wood work. Yes, I knew them. I forget their names: was it Carl and Herman?
SS: I've just heard 'em called the Hansen brothers. That's what I've heard.
WB: Yeah, yeah, they called 'em the Hansen brothers.
SS: Did you know Maimer Anderson?
WB: Malker? Yes. There was one Malker and one Malcus, but they wasn't brothers, of course.
SS: Axel's brother. I'm thinking of Axel Anderson's brother. Malker.
WB: No, I didn't know him very well. I knew of him. I didn't know himvery well. I knew Axel Anderson better than I did his brother.
SS: Did you work for him?
WB: No. No, I didn't work for Axel Anderson
SS: They backfired from the houses in the homestead days? They used toset fires?
WB: Yeah, they backfired.
SS: What was the idea there?
WB: Firebreaks. If you backfire from your house, the fire that came inwon't come any further than up to that burn. That stopped 'em. You backfired. They started a fire around their own place where they could hold it, you know, and backfired against the other fire and when it came up to where the other one had burned there was nothing to burn. It stopped there. That was what they called backfiring.
SS: Did homesteaders do that every year?
WB: Well, if the fire come, otherwise they wouldn't. If there was a firecome; there was nobody put out a fire. They'd start a fire way back maybe- well, everything started a fire. That was started by prospect ors, miners, campers, Indians and the homesteaders. Anybody started a fire, and nobody put it out, it burnt there til it went out. And if it came in on the other feller, he'd backfire from his own place and let it burn. It was nothing but the old grass, if there was any left, and in the fall of the year, and of course, after the grass got matured it burned, too. Green grass don't burn. And after it burnt it wasn't over, say a week, til the green grass started to come up again. That burning don't hurt grass any, where it burns all the time.
SS: So, you're saying that the homesteaders didn't care very much if therewas a fire?
WB: That didn't make no difference. It didn't bother them any.
SS: It didn't burn the timber?
WB: No. No, no, no, there's no timber to burn, just big trees. What burnsthe timber is; your big treesj they shed bark, and you leave that bark for about- you leave a tree there without a fire around it for ten years and you got that much dry bark, and that's what kills your tree, because that gets awfully hot. That's almost like coal. But where fire goes every year, they wanted the fire to go.
SS: You mean, there used to be fires that often? Maybe every year there'dbe a fire come through?
WB: Every year, every year. In the early days, that is, before we came,when the country was wild, lightning would set fire. And there'd be something that'd set fire; prospectors, you know there have been pros pectors here all the time, and campers, everything. Indians. Indians come here- went through here and went back in the mountains, back here on White Rock and picked huckleberries. Well, they'd all start a fire and nobody ever put a fire out, you just left the fire burn. It burnt out. Either burnt out by itself or otherwise, well, it'd have to burn out by itself because they never put it out.
SS: Or maybe rain would come.
WB: Yeah, rain. That'd put it out. Yeah, otherwise it didn't burnwhen it came to where it had been burnt before; there was nothing to burn; it went out. And green grass didn't burn, it's nothin' but old grass that burned.
SS: — when you were young, doing exchange work from one place to the other.
WB: Oh, sure, sure. We exchanged work. Everybody did that. You got thatin with Ed Swenson's.
SS: He Talked about that, yes.
WB: Yeah, that's all true. I've read that book, it's all true, everythinghe said. That's the way we got along. Exchange work, there was nobody hiring. Nobody had any money. There was nothing to get money for, it was all exchange. That's why Dahlberg was such a help for this country because he d exchangeAanything. He was really in the business. He was in that business before he ever come to this country. He was a tra der; pedlar. He was a- what do they call 'em? Well, he was a pedlar, went around the country with a peddling bag on their shoulders; peddling.
SS: Back where? In Minnesota?
No, back in Sweden. And his father was before him; he was a pedlar.They'd carry the packsack and went around the country and peddled. That's where Dahlberg got his-- That's where that come from. That he was such a trader. Now, I'll tell you Dahlberg was the biggest help for this country that ever could a got here. Anything that he had; he didn't have groceries or anything like that, or foodstuff. Well, he had food stuff in the way of tame animals. Yeah, trade for anything. Pigs, chickens, horses, cows, it didn't make any difference, he'd trade lum ber for it. And they all wanted lumber after he started the sawmill. That was the only place they could get lumber^Come all the way from Uniontown up here and trade 'em colts, horses. There was one feller came with four colts and Pete got three of 'em. Come up here with six horses and four colts, and before he left, I think of course he stayed over night, and when he left Pete Dahlberg had three of them colts. Sold 'em to the neighbors around here. Traded them to them for maybe- I don't know how he sold 'em, but if there was any money, he'd get it of course. He'd sell cheap enough so that they could buy it- . they had a few dollars, why, cheap enough so they could buy up the money, too!
SS: Well, after Deary started; after the town came in here, about how oftenwould you go to town from Bear Creek then?
WB: Oh, we'd get up there pretty near every day, up to Deary. Yeah, we'dgo anytime we wanted. That was just a little ways then. And we'd drive the team and hack- we drove the team and hack for four, five- well from 1905, Deary started til 1916. We got the first c ar in 1916. Be fore that we had- I had a one-horse buggy and drove all over the country^ with that. We could drive as far- we couldn't get around like we can now. We couldn't take off and go a long ways, we have to limit ourself to what a horse could do. But, we always had four or five hor ses, and I had a- one or two very good single horses. See, our horses wasn't very big them days. They run around 1,100 up to 1,200- I don't know whether we ever had a 1,200 pound horse til I got them colts that I bought broke. And then little horses, it didn't hurt them to travel. Well, once the town started— you were saying that it kind of changed that the people did more in town and less in the neighborhood. Did that take a long time to change like that, or did it change right away? No, it didn't take very long til they got the buildings. Oh, I don't know, maybe two, three years. See, when Ben Peterson came up here, he built the hardware store, then he put in upstairs there- he put in a skating rink. Well, then of course, the people went up there. The young people went up there skating. And then they started baseball games. Well, that took the people up here to town. And that started pretty near as soon as Deary- a year or two after Deary started, why that went in. Then the Holbrooks come in here and started confectionaries. And then they wanted the people to come up here.
SS: What about dances? Was there dances in town, too, then?
WB: Oh, yes.
SS: Where did they have the dances?
Well, they had it in the skating rink. They had skating rink and dancehall; that was in the hardware store, Ben Peterson building. So then there was less get-togathers out in the country here? There was less neighborhood get-to-gathers- like you said you used to dance at people's homes, and I guess then they stopped doing that. That kind of divided that up, you know, after the town started. So then, if you had a dance out in the country you wouldn't have probably more than just a few neighbors got together and had a danca. And they didn't have any public dance. There was no public then. The dances. they had amount to anything. Of course, in the wintertime there'd be just a few neighbors together probably and have a party of their own. But before that, the dances, they had pavilions. They called 'em pa vilions. They'd build the pavilions outside. There were several of them. There was one down here on the Taylor place. They had a pavilion and my brother was in on that. They built pavilion. That was on a Potlatch place. They had a baseball diamond and they built a paviliondancing pavilion.
SS: Was that temporary? Just for the summer?
WB: Yes, it was for the summer.
SS: I think I've heard that called the boughery, too.
WB: Well, some of 'em calledKthe boughery, yeah.
SS: Was it the same thing?
Yeah, it's the same thing. They called it a dance pavilion or a boughery,
Yeah, that's the same thing.
SS: What would they build it out of?
WB: Oh, they built it out of lumber, then. That is, that was after Dahlberg, you know, he started that mill in the early '90's. So that's where they got their lumber. And he sawed lumber and he had a planer, too, so he planed- he sized the lumber any everything. So that's what happened.
So it was just temporary, these pavilions? Just for th e summer andthen they'd take 'em down.
Yeah, take 'em down- well, I don't know, they'd leave them over winter,too.
— About Deary and when it started to go downhill. Because you said itused to be a lot bigger and better town than it is nowdays. Oh, I donft know. Well, you see, there used to be a harness shop and— was it three taverns? But I don't know when it started to go down. And a hotel. Two hotels.
Doctors and dentists.
I think it started to go down when the logging was done around here.That's what started the most of that go down. See, that was, oh, I don't think that was- when did they log here last? Remember? What year?
They logged here in 1916 on this place.
Oh, yes, in '16- '18, '20. I think they were down on Bear Creek inthe '20's. Oh, it was about 1930, I'd say, it started to slowly go down. It didn't go down to where it is now, but then it went downtwo blacksmith's shops- There was at one time, two blacksmith shops and two or three garages, repair shops, of course, and a hotel and a harness shop and a shoe shop, and I don't know- there was two or three or four, whichever it was- they called 'em near-beer joints. That was taverns, you know. And there was two poolhalls- and what in the world was it more?
SS: That's quite a bit.
WB: And a telephone- what you call that- the telephone?
WB: What you call that- that telephone they had here?
WB: Yeah. ?Aws' Just a telephone exchange.
WB: Yeah but then- ? had it. What we call them? Well, anyway itwas a telephone office. We called 'em telephone offices. You see, they had a kind of a central here; telephone central. They'd call up Troy and exchange-
SS: Well, let me ask you Bill, how much do you think that Deary, the townchanged this country around? Do you think it had a huge affect, or some effect? Did it change the country around agreat deal? The way people lived?
WB: it changed in one way, it brought in more money. Course, that wouldhave come anyway, I suppose. It brought in more money. The Potlatch Lumber Company brought in more money here. They made more cash. That's where the change was, mostly. It brought in more cash. I don't know, if it had been like it was when we first came here, it'd a been pretty slow. You know they had mills here, but they didn't make enough money. Potlatch come in here with money and their mill- they started that Pot latch mill- that brought in a lot of money, too. We noticed that around here, too. The Potlatch business down there, that Potlatch mill. I have an idea that's what made the change.
SS: I get the idea though that Potlatch kind of got the timber here almost
WB: for nothing. They kind of just walked off with it.Yah, I know, but that, don't make any difference. You know, there was a lot of timber here. Boy, there was a lot of timber here. So we got part of the bulk anyway. We got a part of the bulk that was taken out of here. There wasn't much value in the timber, but every little helps. They had timber claims, the best of timber claims, but they sold for only about $1,200 and $1,500, that's what the^timber claim is, but they had $1,500. They got $1,500 and they didn't have fifteen cents before, so there you are. It all goes together. Now my mother had an awful good claim, it sold for- well, that sold for a little more, but Dad got $1,500 for his. He had a claim.
SS: Where were their claims located?
WB: Oh, my mother's claim was located just east of Bovill over on- let's see,it between Potlatch and Elk River. That's where my mother's claim was located. And my dad's, I don't know where in the world that was. That was further back. But he didn't get that much money, either. He got about, I think around $1,000 for his.
SS: Did she go out there and live there on it?
No, they didn't. They proved that up with money; $400. They didn't liveon them, not on the stone and timber claims. It was the homesteads they had to live on. That was supposed to be a home, but not on the stone and timber. They took up what they called the stone and timber and they proved that up with $400.
I was thinking, did you think that the fires in Deary had much to dowith the town going down? Do you think the fires hurt the town very much?
No, I don't think so. The buildings that they wanted to, went up quick,that they wanted to go up. And then they built better buildings. You mean when the town burnt?
WB: I don't think that hurt neither the people nor the town very much. Idon't know, them fires, you know, you can't never tell about them. They start and oh, it is accidental and all that, and sometimes they want 'em to burn. That fire wasn't until in the '20's.
WB: The fire was not in the '20's?
SS: Was in the T20's, she said. I've heard of that in other towns for theinsurance money. Guys would burn down their buildings for the insur ance money.
WB: Why, sure, they want 'em to burn, some of 'em. If the business slacksout, and they have got a cheap building, what's the use of holding back if they're got—?
I don't think that was the reason.A person don t know that. That's something that held secret and you never find anything about that or what started the fire. Well, in Troy they caught- there was a Knutson-Hennings saloon burned down and they caught 'em. They had a deal about burning the place down.
Ya, well, they didn't catch these- of course, I don't know— the firestarted in the night, and what started it, that's another one. Did you ever get out and fight on that fire? Were you in on that? In Deary? Oh, I was out there, sure. I was out there, but then it was going to beat everything. There was no fire department either. It was just bucket chains. Two men at the pump pumping and then we carried water.
SS: Was it a line? A bucket brigade?
WB: Oh, I don't know, there wasn't a line at all. There wasn't that muchbuckets around there by the time I got there, course I got there pret ttyy ee;arly. I was living right in Deary. In one and the other I was living down on the farm- the first part I was living down here on the farm, and that was three miles to come, that would burnt up before I ever got there. I got in on the tail end of that. Well, this fire when you were in Deary; how much burnt down that time? What happened?
Oh, I don't know, it was quite- I think Main Street, practically everything on the west side but the brick building burnt down. Because I know- Harsh, head of the bank, and he was out there, he was a peg leg ged feller, he was out there and he says, "We've got to save the bank. We've got to save the bank, otherwise we'll be up against it. We've got to save that." 'Course they went in and saved- the fire was coming K everything, but they carried water and held it back, so they saved the bank; that was a brick building. And there was a feller, Fred Heck he was always full of the dickens anyway, and he said- Harsh was out there, and he says, "We've got to save the bank! We've got to save the bank!" And when it was over with then he says, "Hen, I saved my bank anyway!" (Chuckles) And it was really the others that saved his bank. Oh hen, he always say hen. Hen? Yeah, he used that for a byword. He says, "Oh, hen," he says. Fred Heck did that? No. Harsh did that? That was Harsh, he'd always say "hen". Whenever anything went wrong he'd use that for a byword."Oh, Hen," he says, "I saved my bank, any way." After he'd been begging everybody to help save the bank It wouldn't a burnt anyway because it was a brick building.
SS: So Fred Heck was just making fun of him?Yeah, he was making fun of him. Fred Heck, he'd always listen to things like that, you know.^ He was making fun of him. Fred Heck he was al ways full of fun. If you had any fun, why, he was right there. No, that time the town burnt all the way from Jorgeson's store clear up to the bank, all the buildings. And that was the last fire. Did you go to celebrations in Deary? Yeah. What did they celebrate there? Fourth of July. Yeah, they had celebrations every year. The Fourth of July - the first celebration was the Fourth of July, then they had a big celebration, and the second one was the fair, I think. They had a fair, that was the second celebration. A Fair, like a town Fair, like a County Fair would be? Course, it didn't amount to that much but that is what it amounted to anyway. They had a Fair; they brought in stuff that they raised on the farm. What about that Strawberry Festival? Did they ever have that in the earlier days? Oh, yes! They had that for several years. They had a lot of them Strawbery Festivals. But then, you know, that kind of petered out, too.
SS: What would that be? The Strawberry Festival?
WB: Well, just a get-to-gather, something like a fair. And then they'dhave strawberries to sell, and that's about all it amounted to. And then there was kind of a celebration.
SS: So» when you were " up, let's say in the teens and the twentiesand even in the«^irties, mostly what you did was worked on the home place; on the farm?
SS: And you farmed it?
Yeah, I farmed it. I took that over in about, oh, see, in about '17.1917. And I farmed it til, well, I farmed it - we rented it out to a fellow named MLtzenberg in '32. In '32y[we rented it out. And then the fellow that rented it, he gave it up. He never farmed it. So I had to set up again and start farming, then I farmed it for another ten years. Now, let's see, I took it over in '17, and then I quit it in about '40. Then I quit farming. How many acres were you farming then?
Oh, I farmed about 150 acres. I farmed our home place, that was about100 acres and then I rented a place, oh, let's see- yeah, I had another place of my own. Yeah, that was about 150 acres, anyway. 'Course, fif ty acres of that was hay. I took care of some hay down here on the ^creek. That was my mother's cousin owned that and I took care of that the last years. He got sick and couldn't do any work; he wanted me to take care of his hay, so I monkeyed around with that. But that Crflihd farm up there on the home place-
SS: Wasn't that on the creek, too?Yeah, that was on the creek. It was on the creek in one way; it was off of the creek, it was on the hills, but we had forty acres run down to the creek. You know that's the way they took up their land. So it run down to the creek and that's where the buildings were, down on the creek. How was it then as far as what you were getting in the amount of money you were getting for the crops in those years? Were yo u finding it like you were just getting by, or were you getting quite a bit of money for those crops?
No, we were just getting by, all. I paid a third, yeah, let'ssee, I furnished all the teams and everything. I furnished the outfit so I got half, and then the folks got the other half of what grain was raised. And then I had some cattle there, but they were mine. I made a little; there wasn't much money in it. There was no money in it to speak of. Just getting by, that's all we had to figure on is getting by. Not getting too much in debt. That's what anybody ever figured on is to keep out of debt and then make aliving. There wasn^tnybody ma king any money in this country only the ones that had something to sell. Like after the Potlatch got here, they sold logs off of the places. Then they got a little money. Sold the logs, but even then they didn't get much. It all depends on how much logs they had left, of course. home But we kept the logging off of the place, so there wasn't much money left- or many logs there. You stuck it out, I mean, did you ever very seriously consider ever moving to someplace else and trying to make more money? Nope. I didn't. We heard a lot about how wealthy some countries were and how big money it is. There was a girl, a cousin of mine come here from Minnesota and she told us how they made money there and they farm ed and made a lot of money. Well, I think they did make a little money on some things. But we went back there three of us, was going to make a trip, so one fall we started out and we drove clear around through Montana to Missoula and clear up to North Dakota. I had a cousin there. And we stayed there overnight. And then there was Alfred Nelson, I don't know, he lives in Troy. Do you know him?
SS: I don't think I do.He used to have the repair garage there, repair shop. He has sold that. Him and his cousin started that, that repair shop, so he used to be there. And then him and his wife had a restaurant up there on the other side of the post office. How long you been around Troy?
SS: About five years.Well, he must have been there, his wife anyway. They had-^a coffee shop there on the other side. He went back too, to Minnesota- Dakota with you? Yeah. He went back to North Dakota and to Minnesota. They came from Minnesota.
SS: So what did you find there?
You found it just like we had here, only I thought it was a worse setup than they had here. There was nothing but a cow-milking chance there either. was a cow-milking chance for living, there, just like it was here. I couldn't see any difference. So I couldn't see anything else. They could raise corn and probably that was worth a little more. I don't know. They didn't sell that, they fed it to the pigs and the cattle. And it was just a cattle exchange, We had that same thing here. So I couldn't see any difference. I couldn't see where they were any better off at all. That didn't improve it any. We went all through Minnesota from the north end to the south, and then we came back by the way of Wyoming and South Idaho and up to Lewiston and then back here. We made that round trip. We made over two thousand miles. And I couldn't see anything that they had over— we had the same thing here. They probably had a little better chance because they had open ground and we had to clear this here, of course. But, it don't make any difference, you got a better chance some way and it's worse in others. Makes it more work anyway. So I didn't see any difference. It was all the same. And we was back there to my cousin in North Dakota and of course, he was there in North Dakota on that North Dakota prairie and he was old when we was there and he didn't work any more, but there was others working there and I couldn't see it.
'38?Yeah. '38. Did the Depression hit you very hard here? Depression?
Yeah, did.it hard?
Well, it didn't hit us very hard, didn't seem like. We wasn't used toas much as some of 'em had. That didn't make any difference. We were making a living. We made that during Depression, too. So, it didn't gat back very much in this country. Might have in some countries, I don't know. You know, that the difference, if they've got very good times before, why then the Depression hits harder, but if you ain't ma" king any more than just a living, why, the depression don't hurt you so much. That's the way that works.
END OF SECOND INTERVIEW
0:00 - Logging and homesteading for Potlatch company and the machinary they used; a man who couldn't sweat
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Segment Synopsis: Stopping in Troy during wood hauling trips. Troy was a lively farmtown, while Deary was a tough lumberjack town. Whiskey caused fights at dances. Marshall Hays almost arrested him for walking on the sidewalk with a bundle of hay. Dislike of Hays by people; he arrested a relative of Mr. Burkland who had a drink. Hays got money by arresting people.
51:00 - How hard homesteading was in Deary; How Potlatch company influenced town; Importance of Dahlberg; how hard clearing timber was
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Segment Synopsis: Roundtree, who homesteaded at Deary, sold out for a team of horses. Pioneering was very rugged here - only foreigners could put up with it. Long delay before Potlatch came into the country. Importance of Dahlberg, the trader, for building up the country. Little money was paid for timber but any money was valuable. Clearing land, a slow process. Difficulty holding homesteads.
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84:00 - Discussion of purposely set forest fires and what they did for the land; Dahlberg and his father trading in the area
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