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Latah County Oral History Collection

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

« View All Dora Otter Fleener interviews

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Date: August 21, 1973 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

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1:00 - Details of the past; head lice; kerosene lamps

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Segment Synopsis: Remembering details of the past. Getting rid of head lice. She writes so grandchildren will know what those days were like. Kerosene lamps. People got along because they didn't know anything different.

6:00 - Children knew less then; children were honest and obedient

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Segment Synopsis: Children knew a lot less then, but outlook on life was better - knew nature. Also honest and obedient.

12:00 - Wanted to dance; disappointed with college; raising livestock

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Segment Synopsis: Dora wanted to dance, but parents wouldn't permit it. She worked out while still young. College a disappointment - girls couldn't take animal husbandry. Raising livestock for love and money.

18:00 - Boys and girls were equal; school and work

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Segment Synopsis: In responsibility and freedoms boys and girls were equal. School didn't get in the way of work.

24:00 - Took butter to town; ashamed of unpainted wagon; back trouble

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Segment Synopsis: Dora took the butter to town, and was ashamed of the unpainted wagon. The kids had to get permission to do anything, but didn't mind. There may be more back trouble now because people don't work with their backs.

30:00 - Unable to use her hands; family was well off; father worked hard to get by

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Segment Synopsis: Unable to use her hands, the memories flow in. How well off the family was compared to the neighbors. Parents wouldn't speak badly of anyone. Father worked very hard to get by, hated debt. People just wanted to get by.

37:00 - Farm neighbors; reading circles; schools entertained at literaries

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Segment Synopsis: Cooperation much stronger. Farm neighbors within walking distances. Reading circle didn't last (read Silas Mariner). Schools entertained at literaries.

44:00 - Marriage and her wedding set by her mother; older sister dominated the house

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Segment Synopsis: Mother tried to get daughters to marry highly educated men. Set Dora's wedding for her. Older sister dominated the house; Dora helped her father.

48:00 - Mother wrote a book; moved to Idaho

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Segment Synopsis: Mother wrote down her feelings in a diary in South Dakota and later a book. She was more daring about coming to Idaho, and pushed father on. Father didn't believe ridges could be farmed at first.

53:00 - Dave Fleener; father-in-law crossed plains; mother and brother died of cholera; bought a Moscow town lot

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Segment Synopsis: Dora's father-in-law, Dave Fleener, crossed plains at the age of 4. His mother and brother died of cholera on the way. In 1877, Lieuallen tried to persuade him to buy a Moscow town lot. The area of Dave's home stead is too isolated for his neighbor. Dave put up barn rafters, because he was the only unmarried man around. Dave's father was inconsiderate of him.

58:00 - 1852 plains crossing; traded oxen for milk; South Idaho

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Segment Synopsis: More about the 1852 plains crossing. The family used up all their medicine to treat other's sickness. They traded oxen for a milk cow in South Idaho. They met a brother at The Dalles.

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