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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: July 06, 1978 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

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0:00No transcript available.

0:00 - Introduction

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1:00 - Working in the mill; hard labor; Larry didn’t come very often to check up on the mill.

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2:00 - Wanted to put the Mill in Moscow originally, but there wasn’t enough water. Had lots of timber in Potlatch.

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3:00 - People had mixed feelings about Larry (?) Influenced where the Mill would be placed; if he had a job to do, he did it. Potlatch was always a dry town.

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4:00 - His father was constable, maintained the town. Also watched the Steam Line, maintenance and such. Started that around 1911 or 1913.

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8:00 - Potlatch Forestry Co. took over Potlatch Lumber.

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9:00 - Policing was a small part of his job.

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11:00 - Wages decreased; they kept him because he owed money on the land. Many men were put out of jobs from the Mill during the Depression; tried to keep foremen and sheriffs.

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15:00 - Told story about the garbage man on the night he quit; doesn’t remember everything about Potlatch, didn’t alleyways.

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19:00 - Never paid much attention to Potlatch, owned some land up there called Princeton. Converted a building in that area from a boarding house to a gym. Pool Hall, tried to keep people under 21 out of there.

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28:00 - Greeks and Italians stuck together in Potlatch.

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29:00 - Disagrees with Father about tips in restaurants; father believed accepting tips was an act of servitude.

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38:00 - IWW’s hated Potlatch; wanted better working conditions.

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43:00 - Potlatch room and board for lumberjacks; furnished very well; membership card stamped in tin.

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47:00 - Took courses at local college; took communication courses, mechanical courses.

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52:00 - Spent two years in the 6th grade and flunked out of school. Joined the IWW Wobblies. Prohibition; liquor was illegal in Idaho. Elks Lodge. Up until the Depression, railroads did not want you to ride the cars; with Depression, whole families traveled around that way.

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60:00 - Job of cleaning the jail.

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65:00 - Prohibition era. A prosecuting attorney went to the high-class bars during prohibition. Prohibition was a “farce”; easy to buy alcohol now. Had saloons in Grishman (?); maybe when he was a kid.

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69:00 - During WWI, some of them were at the box factory and someone accidentally sawed off four of their fingers; he picked up the fingers and put them in his pocket while they took the guy to the doctor to get them sewed on again.

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77:00 - Safety building inspection; many people didn’t have cars, they traveled by bikes, horses and such.

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83:00 - Lived in a Company owned town outside of Potlatch; a mining town. Men were cheap; if they lost a man during work accident, it was easy to replace.

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88:00 - Many Japanese immigrants; fifty percent of immigrants in Potlatch was Swedish.

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92:00 - No liquor in the camps or the woods; lumberjacks went to town to go to bars, especially single men; more men than women

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100:00 - People with the best jobs lived on Nob Hill, also known as Snob Hill.

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103:00 - Liked to play cards, but was “a born loser”; he worked too hard for his money to lose it while gambling.

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108:00 - Baseball teams in Potlatch. Numerous teams in the area

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