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
SS: How it was that your folks came to Avon, where they came from and how they gotto Avon.
KG: Well now I haven't made any notes at all until just a few minutes ago.
SS: Don't worry about it.
KG: In about 1880 a certain parcel of land up in Latah County Idaho was thrown openIto take homes, make homes of 'em. And my folks at that time were living, well they were out of Spokane, here's where I fall down, I forget the places. Out towards Cheney. They were building a railroad there. Up that way. And my father had charge of a group of Chinamen. But that's just this railroad work. But they found out this land was thrown open for settlement there and a great bunch of people from there that had gotten acquainted, they'dc^me from different parts of the east and my folks were from California, my father, and my mother*s folks were from Kansas. But they were at Cheney, that's where the work was then. And when this land was thrown open, then a bunch of them went up and located there, and they were acquainted with each other. Now the Hawkins' and the Lundsfords and some of those people, and that's how Avon country got started, or, Latah county.
SS: So they were acquainted with each other from Cheney where working.
KG: Yes, where they were working. My father and mother were married from Cheneyand my grandfather and folks had come there too. They had come from Kansas and my father had come from California and they got acquainted at Cheney, my mother and father were married there and other friends too of the group that was there were married in that group and came up to Avon together.
SS: That's interesting, because you often get the idea that people came out by themselves.It seems more often that it was the way you were describing it.
KG: well that's it, they knew, my mother waited table in a resturant there and alady by the name of olly Parks, which belongs to the Warrens bunch up there, my mother was waiting table and this Dolly Parks came in and all she had, all the clothing she had was tied up in a bandana handkerchief. And she did the laundry work and cleaning up. And my mother waited table. And so that's the way we got acquainted. And before that, the fellow that married Dolly Parks came in a train of people from California. And some of those people, they divided in two trains, and one train started to go ahead, said,"We're going on." And the rear part of the train said,"Well, we're going to stay." And those that went on were massacred on the way up. And Mr.Call's father was killed, but Mr. Call happened to stay back with the other train and, I've heard my father tell that many times.
SS: Was you father in either of those parties?
KG: He was with one of the wagon trains, yea. Coming up from California then. That'sbefore they met and settled out in the Cheney country.
SS: So was...
KG: My father was born in California.
SS: His family and the others that were in Cheney, they were farming?
KG: Well they working, yes, they had places and were working. I don't think anyof them owned farm land there. But there was work 'cause there was a railroad being built there.
SS: Largely railroad work.
KG: Yes, that was the big thing then, building that railroad from Spokane to Cheneyand out in there some where, I don't just know...
SS: Did your folks ever talk about why they left their homes and came to theCheney area. Maybe the opportunity?
KG: Well, you kaow an awful lot of people wanted to come west. And I have a bookof Savannah prayer, my folks came from and settled in California.
SS: From Savannah, Georgia?
KG: Not Georgia, Savannah, Illinois. I courin't think of what it was. Butthey came, my father's grandfather was one of the men that founded the town of Savanny Illinois. And there was quite a number came west in a train at the same time and my mother's father and those, they didn't know each other until they met at Cheney, in the Cheney country.
SS: When they learned about the land open around Avon, did they stay permanently?
KG: Urn hm.
SS: Were they some of the first people in that area?
KG: In Avon?
KG: Yes, some of the first people that eame to that country. I don't say thevery first. I don't know who, but I know we all knew the Lundsfords and the Parks'and the Hawkins* and some of 'em came from Kansas and then this one train of people that came up with my father, my father wasswith from California.
SS: Did he ever talk about being boss over the Chinese?
KG: Yes, he used to laugh about it. And he'd say some things in Chinese, he'd learnedsome of the words and say 'em. And when he got elderly, he'd say some of those words:- and they weren't good words.(chuckles) You know, you always heatr the worst.
SS: What did he think, was it difficult for him, he couldn't speak Chinese?
SS: Did he have anything to say as to how they were as workmen? There was a lotof people didn't care for the Chinese.
KG: That's it, they didn't care for them. They didn't think, they didn't valuethem very much, think very highly of them at all. I don't know, I couldn't express just how they felt, but...
SS: I heard that.
KG: Well like slaves, nearly. Butnthey just had crews of men, you know.
SS: Did you have any idea what your parents wanted on their piece of land? Whatkind of, why they picked,...
KG: Just employment. At that time it was employment. I don't think they had, I knowthey didn't, I mustn't say they didn't have any holdings in the Cheney country, I don't know. I don't believe they did, because I don't think they gave up anything only just their labor there to come up here, but that was labor in those days, you see. It was their livlihood. It must have been rough. There was nothing in Avon and there wasn't any industry there.
KG: It was. And everybody helped every body else. If there was a building, thecountry, in Avon country in those days was heavily timbered with black pine and lot of people, well, good many of them So fell those trees. And skin the bark all off and made log houses of 'em. I 've seen some of those men, they had broad axes* what they called broadaxes. Had a blade -.about like this, big heavy axe and they squared those logs and then notched them at the corner to put up their homes. And when there was a new barn or something built everybody came for a barnraising, or something like that, you know.
SS: So just about nothing was being done with money, it was all exchange work.
KG: Well that's it. That's it. Everybody helped everybody else in early days. Whenwe finally settled there, my mother's family, let me think, my mother's family, wait til I think what I want to say. It kind of left me what I was gonna say.
SS: We were talking about how people help each other.
KG: Well everybody did help each other if they wanted to raise a building, you know.And why, they just, whole neighborhood came, somen and all, bring something to eat and have a big time and maybe put up the sides of a barn or something. Or a cabin. I was, I wasn't there at that time, in fact.(chuckles) But I've heard my daddy tell about some of those early days. The greenwoods now my grandfather's were there ahead of us and my father's folks who had come from Savannah, Illinois to,words leave me. To California and then on up here. I can't say what I want to say.
SS: Don't let it bother you.
KG: I'm trying to think that sentence I wanted to complete.
SS: You say your parents came after your grandparents, a little before.
SS: You were born in Avon. So how long after your parents came were you born? Youwere born in '88, right?
KG: Yes, I was born in '88 and my folks had been down in the Avon country, and mybrother was born, then my folks moved back up into the Reardon country and were there a while and and, It was born.
SS: I wonder why they left the first time? To go back to Reardon?
KG: I don't know. My father had a place at Reardon for a while, that is, had a farmthere but he didn't stay there long. I don't remember much about it. But when W^ settled on, my grandparents had come ahead of us and we stayed with my grand parents and my mother's brother until we got our house up, I know. I remember when we moved in there. The snow was so deep. I remember that papa shovelled it clear down to the ground and oh that seem like an awful deep ditch of snow. And later on in life I asked my mother how old I was when we moved in there and she said,"You were three years old,when we moved in there." And oh, that snow was deep.
SS: This is your own house?
KG: Yes. They had the log c. abin up then and moved in from my uncle's place.
SS: You can remember back to when you were three?
KG: Well, I remember moving, the day we moved in there.And all I remember is thatit was a log cabin and the snow was so deep paps dug it down to the ground and it was above my head.
SS: What was the cabin like on the inside?
KG: At first it was about a, maybe a fourteen by, well Ican't tell, but it wasjust a log cabin, longer than it was wide and:we had one big-room and we lived in that. And daddy finally put a shed kitchen on. And we slept, climbed up a ladder in the petition of the wall to get upstairs to sleep. And papa and mama's bed was in the front room, but we kids slept upstairs.
SS: Kind of a loft?
KG: Yes. You call it a loft because later on when papa built an addition on of lumber,he built on a shed kitchen, shed shake kitchen and one room and then he made a stairway and we had a stairway to go up Course. And there was a floor above, a floor, you know, a ceiling and we had just one big room up there. About three beds around in there.
SS: Do you remember what vour mother had to use in those first years as far ascooking?
KG: Stove and cooking utensils and chairs and things like that. We had perhapsequal to anybody else. Everybody there had about the same things to work with. We had, we were the first ones that had a sewing maching. And our sewing machine was loaned out many times to different neigbors that wanted to sew. I remember mama saying that, well, she did quite a bit of sewing for other people but she had the first sewing machine, when we moved there, she had n*-T sewing machine. But it was pretty bare living, I tell ya. I remeber one thing that I did talk to you^Ber^ore is the deep snows we used to have.
SS: Tell me about that.
KG: It's almost unbelievable when you think how deep the snow was. I remember oneyear, I particularly remember we had a deep snow and when everybody in the neighborhood got out and broke their part, we say br^k the roads, open the roads, went over the place that was laid out for roads and kept them open. And if you'd meet another team those horses would just lunge in the snow like this. And maybe rest a minute before they could get around. One team passing each way, you see. And snow's asfully deep. But the neighbors all got out and broke their share of the road, went over their share of the neighborhood road and kept 'em open.
SS: Their share of the road. Was that the road that went in front of your own place?
KG: Well it was in your neighborhood. You didn't care, you'd go gladly miles awayif you needed to to help, if somebody didn't have a sled and team to open the road. Your neighbors would gladly, but everybody helped like that. They were just good helpers.
SS: Did everybody have horse teams?
KG: Oh yes.
SS: I've known some people that didn't have horses.
KG: Well maybethey didn't but my grandfather had oxen. He had four head of oxen.I remember those great big yokes that go over their necks. He drove oxen. Ply father never had oxen but my grandfather had oxeln. And there were some of us that had oxen too. They weren't the only family.
SS: Breaking these roads...
KG: Well I don't remember breaking the roads with any oxen but...
SS: But with horses it was quite an undertaking. There was so much snow that itwas really quite a bit of work.
KG: Very, and those horses would just lunge in that snow to get through there. AndI think sometimes when the roads were like that, maybe we kids climbed out til they got the sled through heavy snow. I don't know I don't just remember.
SS: Was it a long period of time that the winters lasted in those days around Avon?
KG: Yes, we had longer winters that now. Oh, much longer. But the timber was sodense that when it snowed up there in the wintertime everybody, those farms now are cleared. But they were all covered with heavy timber. There were some of the larger timber that were logged off and used for something else, I guess. But the, lot of that black pine timber, oh it was so heavy that when it snowed we didn't hardly have any wind. Why the snow would just-W^-v-p up on the fence post, jump up here and maybe tip over a little bit. And if a sled was setting aut^Vl^sktorm4like that where it wasn't protected and there was no wind, because the timber kept the wind away I guess, there'd be maybe 8 or 10 inches of snow on the tongue of that sled and you could, here was the bare ground down under here, that had just failed down so gently that there was ground under the tongue of the sled.
SS: Its sure different now.
KG: I'd say so.
SS: I think you mentioned one occassion when you went to a party in the slushy snow.What was that story?
KG: Well an uncle of mine lived in the neighborhood and the creek that ran throughthat country was called Bear Creek. And we wanted to go down to their house for Christmas, well the whole neighborhood, or a lot of the neighbors were going to their house to spend Christmas Eve. And there haei been, well I ud uld say maybe a, I would say a good foot of snow or.more had b een on the ground and it had come more soft snow and then it turned to rain and that just melted the snow and rushed the little creeks to their banks. And this, where we wanted to go that time we thought, we wondered if ae should go and daddy said,"Well we'll try." Loaded us in the bobsled and when we got to the meadow where th is creek went through the meadow and we had to cross that and the bridge was elevated just a wee bit. And so papa hesitated and they debated to know whether they sh,puld go on or not. And papa unhitched one of the horses and rode I'd say, oh, maybe a half a b, lock or a block, he rode to the edge of the creek and on the bridge to see if it was safe to go across the bridge before he took the family across. Well the fodder was right up to the bridge but the bridge seemed firm and solid, so he rode across and came on back and hitched up the team and we went on through and it was all right. And by morning, enough of that, well I guess it had quit raining by the morning, why the water had gone down enough that driving was perfectly safe anywhere then on the roads.
SS: Do you remember anything a\te out the celebration at the house?
KG: Yes. They, at different places, at the.schoolhouseSand at a few, not many ofthe houses, once in awhile a group would gather and they'd just dance in the front room. And that night we went to my aunt and uncle's house, aunt Denny and uncle Frank Patterson's and oh, I muldn't begin to tell you the number of people that were there. There must have been twenty or so. Maybe that many. And so of course, if they had an old carpet on the floor they rolled it up or something, but I don't think so. I think they had a bare front room floor. And we danced. That is, I say now we danced, the elders danced. The married people. And there was one bachelor there. And I remember I asked my mother later on how old I was and she said I was eight years old. And he grabbed my haftd and he sai d,"Come on kiddie, we'll be one couple in this cadrille." And I danced that cadrille with Bob Clyde. Great big tall fellow. And I asked mama after that how old I was and she said,"You were eight years old that year." So that was my first dance.
SS: Do you think most of the people stayed overnight?
KG: No, most of 'em went home.
SS: But the creeks being so high.
KG: Well, they, the family, I expect there was some, our reiatives maybe. Therewere two or three families of us that were relatives. And the nlder folks never went to bed. They just made seme coffee and stayed up, you know. But we stayed til daylight to see that everything was alright^ 'we went home. I have an idea, I don't know, but I have an idea that somebody rode up to that bridge, it wasn't very far from their house, to see if it was safe for us to go.
SS: I imagine that your father wanted to go to that party or he wouldn't have goneunder those conditions.
KG: When there was anything going on in the neighborhood like that everybody wantedto go. That was their means of getting together. Having fun. There was nothing else for entertainment.
SS: Do your remember if there was a Christmas tree that night? Did they have a treefor Christmas then?
KG: Well, now everybody, now everybody didn't put up Christmas trees in their housesat that time. They had one general big tree in a church or somewhere. That was big occassion. I don't remember much about having Christmas tees in the house. Til I was older. When I was older we had a frame house and more room, why then we always had a Christmas tree in the house. But I don't remember about that. I doubt if any Christmas tree in their house that night. Because there were a lot of people there. I say a lot of people, you wouldn't be very many people, you would dance in a room this size, you know. And so there weren't a lot of people, but...
SS: At that time, wasn't there a small town of Avon not located where the road goesnow?
KG: No. Now let me think a minute. The post office, the post office was in a privatehouse. There was a long time that there was no post office established. And anybody in the neighborhood went to Moscow brought the mail for any of the neighbors. Moscow, I think then was the closest post office, the nearest post office. And anybody that went to Moscow brought the mail. Now I think I'm right on that. I think I'm right on that, because I think the mail came from Moscow. But after that, then there was a post office established in the Parkfhome. Mr. and Mrs. Parks had no real young children. Their family was grown more than the rest of the families and Mr. and Mrs. Parks had the first post office. Have you been up to Avon?
KG: Well, you know where Avon-is now? Parks house was just up that hill south ofthere and it was in a log cabin. And we never went in when we got the mail. We went to the window. Mrs. Parks met us at the window, when we kids went for the mail, handed it cut to us. She nearly always had a cookie for some of the kids, for the kids too.
SS: Was that Avon post office
KG: That was Avon post office. Then the mail was brought from Moscow I think. Idon't think, it might have been Troy. I»m not sure about that at all. But it was brought in there. Then later on they extended it on up to what was called were the...
KG: Yes.,Collins. And on up. Helmer wasn't established then.
SS: So then there was a regular route.
KG: Then there was a regular route. After that. And the mail was carried from Avon.I think it came from, Ithink the mail was distributed^first from Moscow and came up...
SS: After that route was established then it came from Troy.
KG: Yes, I think so. I expect you've heard a lot about that.
SS: I heard about the route by wagon, but never how people got by before they hadthat.
KG: Well, if anybody went out to Moscow, why, they brought the mail.
SS: Do you know how the name Avon got picked?
KG: I have heard that argument, but I can't relate a bit of it now. I can't relatea bit of that now, I don't know.
SS: Most often these things get lost, how a name was selected. But it was 'von,it wasn't Uassar. Someone told me that Uassar was the original name of Avon.
KG: That was what the argument was about. Uassar and Avon, and they finally decided.But I can't tell you how the decision was made.
SS: But they decided Avon and not Uassar.
KG: Yes, Avon.
SS: Is there a chance that it was called Uassar first and then Avon? Or was it alwaysAvon when there was a post office?
KG: I think it was always Avon. I can't tell you about that. But I know the twonames were talkad about, yes, they were finally...
(End of side A)
KG: ...for anile, but I don't know, I can't tell you whether he was the first oneto have a store there or whether it was Kenneth Wilkin's father. I think it was Lacey first and I think Kenneth Wilkin's father wife took it over from Lacey I believe.
SS: Was that store very important to the community?
KG: Oh you could get little groceries and things there, yes. It wasn't much. Ithink they did make a trial of some dry goods and yardage at one time. I think Maggie Wilkins worked in the store there when they had yardagec.and things like that. .was after I was away from there. The store wasn't ever there when I lived at home. No, it wasn't.
SS: What was it like for a little girl growing up in the woods of a new country.
KG: Just wonderful. I could just ramble anywhere I wanted to. I was a regular tomboy.(chuckles) and I used to climb those little black sapplin's, swing back and forth. Oh, that was awful.
SS: Did your mother let you do what you wanted?
KG: There was nothing to do only just weed. Well, in the summertime we girls, inour family had an awful pretty place we could go where there were willows and it was so grassy and green. And we, that was our houses. We played out there all summer. Mrs. Kellygreen would go to visit Mrs. Somebody Else and we named ourselves and played house. Why we had fun, and oh, when the snow started to in the spring around those great big yellou pina trees the ground^ get barG for quite a space around it. And sometimes we could get through the snow and net up to that bare ground. Ooo, that was just wonderful, gut... There was always some amusement in the neighborhood. ^ homes you know. Get together and have friends in. But we didn't have much to do there. SS: Did you have many playmates?
KG: Oh yes. The families that lived around there, we had six children, the Scottshad seven children, the Greenwoods had nine children. We were all within a half a mile of each other. The places all joined. Oh yes, we had lots of kids to play with as far as that's concerned.
SS: It was more playing house, did you have games like Run-.Sheep Run...
KG: Oh yes. And when it snowed, you know how they, what is this game that theytrack around and cross this way and that way and try to tag each other or something. What is that, what was that game?
SS: I'm not sure.
KG: Well, we just make a great big circle in the snow and then we'd cut across itthis way and 'cross this way like this. That thing was. And try to catch each other. Maybe we'd choose up sides and try to catch each other around there. You make your own play in those days, you make your own entertainment.
SS: What about responsibilities'
KG: Certain chores to do. Everyone of us had some certain things to do to helpkeep home going. Sure, we all had our duties. And mamma used to tell us,"Every time you go out through the woodshed you bring in an armful of wood. Make your head save your hefcls." Had a big woodbox in the house.
SS: What about school?
KG: Oh, we had aschoolhouse and had school, yes. We generally had three mOMlV^ o"tschool, at a time. I don't know who, I don't know just when we had a school or who was the first teacher. But I know my brother went to school one year before I started. And when I started to school, Kenneth Wilkins*grandmother, Lizzie Lundsford was our teacher. Then I think from then on school just went every year, I think we only had three months of school each year. And then as my brother and I got older as we got older, some children from an adjoining school district who didn't have enough pupils to hold their district, would come to our school and we did the same thing when they had their school, my brother and I used to ride or walk three miles down to this other district to help hold, them hold that district. WeL-didn'i have enough pupils.
SS: Would they have school at the same time?
KG: No. The different times. And there would be, now this never happened in thewinter. It was in the summer, they would have tree months at the, now what did they call that district?
SS: Was that Applequist by any chance?
KG: Well down towards Applecrist, that name is familiar but that was later in years.But their school, there was a big family lived down there by their school, the Stockwells. They used to come up to Avon and my brother and I and different ones from Avon used to go down to their school. Sometimes we rode a horse. Sometimes I'm sure we walked that three miles^
SS: So you would get more than three months of schooling?
SS: By going to their school.
KG: It was an understanding I think, between the districts for the students to dothat because they didn't have enough to justify them to hold schools, nor we didn't have enough either. And so they would come up to our district, some of them and we would go down to their district.
SS: Was yours called Avon school district?
KG: Yes, Avon school.
SS: How many kids were there at the school?
KG: Some where around here I've got, one of the teachers gave us cards and theywere, I have a picture here somewhere. The Lundsfords had Maggie and Lela and Alta and Gertrude and Fred. Then there were some younger ones. And at that time we had Charlie and Kate and Molly and Anne in our school. And then the Rowe family had ten children, they weren't all in school, but we had to have manv children district. So, not all of the Avon kids would go from down..to this other Nelson schoolhouse or whatever it was, but we did change back and forth like that, so we helped each other, helped each other hold their district.
SS: What do you think are the virtures or drawbacks of the one room school housefor learning? When you were a kid learning.
KG: And they taught all grades in one. One teacher took care of all grades.
SS: What was that like?
KG: Well it was wonderful for you to get that start even. But I wonder sometimeshow a teacher ever handled them, but she had, well it was reading and writing and arithmetic. That's what it was you see. And spelling. She'd have those classes regularly.
SS: All those different grades at one time, I imagine that she couldn't pay muchtime to one kid.
KG: No, not to any one child. But she'design the lessons and then hear the differentlessons that were verbal and the others, the arithmetic anil things like that. And then correct her papers and so on and so forth. I gn't know how they ever did it. I don't know how the teachers ever handled all those classes. But they were all simple. You know, schoolings were simple then. Last night I was in to my next door neighbor's here, she and, she asked me to come in and it showed a picture of the aJits. And se had one book at school. The district then furnished books. And we had for one of our, a book that we studied about ants. And I just could remember every bit of it when I saw that show the other nighty Mrs. Lucas me in to see. We had a reader, and I don't know whether this book^we had was grammar. Oh, how I liked grammar. I don't show it |*0uj, but(chuckles) but I used to enjoy the grammar lesson.
SS: Would you consider that in those days grown ups were strict with kids?
KG: Yes, much more than now. I think. Yes, I think they were.
SS: How would that be different than the way they are now?
KG: They're given too much freedom nowadays. They let 'em do as they please. Ifwe wanted to go anywhere or do anything, we asked our parents and how long can we be gone and when should we be home and things like that. They had some jurisdiction over kids in them days.
SS: I've heard some people say that they could ask their mothers easier than theirfathers, that mothers were more lenient. Maybe kids were afraid of their fathers. Did you find that true?
KG: Not exactly in our family. That is, mamma did quite a bit of the correctingabout the house and things like that. But sometimes^e'd go to bed at night, we wouldn't go to sleep, we'd be noisy and mamma would say,"Alfred, speak to those children." And that's all that had to be done. But it was just the same now, listen. When our boys were little, I'd put 'em to bed, is that thing registered?
KG: And they'd want a drink and they'd want this. And finally I'd say,"This is thelast time I'm coming to this bedroom tonight. You go to sleep." No, I think children in those days, their parents knew where they were and^what they were doing, and I think there was much more training in the home than there is nowadays.
SS: Do you know whether the hard times of 1893 struck the people of Avon?
KG: Sure it did. When we went home from school and now this is only when my brotherand 33 were in school, the two older ones. When we went home from school we took off our shoes. And our mother had made kind of mocassins out of old overall legs or something like that for us to wear in the house. Yes, and there were lot of people. There were some children that didn't have overshoes. And one winter we were of one of those families that didn't, and I told you before how we made Idaho overshoes. With gunny sacks, wrapped our feet in gunny sacks and went to school. Now those were called, here they are, our Idaho overshoes were called Klondike boots. And we had a square piece of gunny sack. And I think I showed you...
SS: You told me about that. You said it was Idaho overshoes.
KG: Yes, and we wrapped, that was wrapped around our legs and then we had bindingtwine and we tied thode on and wore those over our shoes. And then when we got to school they were taken off and hung up and dried. Most everybody had those Idaho overshoes, Klondike boots. Course, there were some people that had more money than some of us did. And they had their overshoes. 3ust wasn't every family that wore those overshoes. But we were one of the families that did.
SS: Sounds like it must have been rough, on your parents especially, to stick itout til things started looking good.
KG: I know it was pretty rough. We ate pretty plain food. Lots of beans and ofcourse everybody in those days had gardens. And cellars that they could, well they could have vegetables all winter because they had good vegetable cellars. But wben we first started there it was pretty tough, pretty rugged, I think.
SS: You say beans, and what else would be the kinds of food you'd have?
KG: Oh we even had pie sometimes. Because when they butchered, they had their iown shortening, you see, and so we had things like that. And people killed their own meat, their, butcher a beef and they always had lots of pork on hand. That was a big thing. Everybody had a scalding vat and they butchered their own pigs and cured their meat. They had smokehouses where they cured the hams and all those things you see. They didn't have refrigeration and things like that and so they had smokehouses and^u^ed them til they would keep all summer. We don't get nice smokeri foftm like WG used to tnen« Yes il was Pretty rugged in those days, I'll tell ya. But everybody in the country around up there were practically in the same boat, you know, same circumstances as other people. So.
SS: To get money, how would your father get that?
KG: Went away from home to work. Went out to the Palouse country or the Moscow countryand followed a thrsshing machine or things like that. And when they come to keeping up the roads in the neighborhood, everybody worked. They got out and worked on the roads to keep the roads and if somebody,^they wanted a new road somewhere, why the neighbors put it there, you see. And kept it going. And graded the roads and maybe had different machinery to work when they wanted to grade the road, why they had these great Dig scoopers. Maybe you've seen them that a team pulled. And they hold them and then slide it along til they get where they want to dump it. I've forgotten what they called it. But everybody got out and helped work to make the roads through a neighborhood. There was always a road supervisor, somebody that engineered it.
SS: Was he just one from the neighborhood?
KG: The supervisor? I think so..I remember it, it was...
SS: Probably picked by thei..
KG: By the, yes. Well I don't know, not by vote or anything. Just :by decision ofsome way. I don't remember about that at all, but I know that there was lots of road work it the roads. And the neighbors all, well it was common for a man to get out and work, on the roads. They got paid for it. And I can't tell you where the pay came from, now. Maybe the county or the state.
SS: What time of year would they work on the roads?
KG: Early spring to get the roads in shape for summer. And that was when most ofthe road work. But after they got them, after the snow was gone and they got the roads in shape again, why then there wasn't much road work done all summer, you see, unless it was where they knew they had to drain the place so the water wouldn't cross the road or something like, or make a ditch or fill in to raise it above a place to make. They just, the supervisors knew what to do to make...
SS: And it would be most of the men in the community.
KG: Why yes, yes, they all worked on the roads. I think that was county work. Ithink it was. Or state work or something of the kind. And they had a supervisor, yes.
SS: It seems that from the names of the families, it sounds like around Avon therewere settled more native American people.
KG: They were, they were. Until later on a few of the Norwegians came into theneighborhood. But the Scandinavian district was south of where Deary isu And there was a store out there. Mike Tluger had a store out there. And that was where the Scandinavians settled.,South of Deary. And then Avon was white folks. That is, just different people.
SS: The other people that moved into Avon besides this group we talked about, theWilkins, they weren't anyway connected with your people until..
KG: Until later. Until Avon was established.
SS: So they came in independently.
KG: Yes, They came.independtly from, I think out in Troy district. I don't knowwhere they originated.
SS: As I recall, Ken Wilkin's grandfather came in from Palouse. The same way Iimagine as your people.
KG: I expect so. I don't know. I don't remember about that.
SS: But the other people that were moving in too, they were Americans.
KG: Oh yes.
SS: Not from Scandinavia.
KG: Urn hm. And then, now the Aels, I don't where they moved from,but they wereconsidered just well educated people, you know. Class. And one of the ladies taught, well, two of them were school teachers. This widow woman, Firs. Hall, Mary F. Hall, I never knew her husband, he must have died before they came into the Avon country. But they came in, the Axtels and Mrs. Hall. The Axtels. thE parents of Mrs. Hall. And she and her daughter lived with them. And they were just well educated people, but I can't tell you where they came from, 'cause v they lived over west of where the Avon town was. But they were.educated people and two teachers of 'em. Mrs. Hall taught school for so many years. And then her sister Hattie Axtel taught I think in some Palouse school or somewhere down there, I think. We felt she was pretty well educated. And they were well educated people. The Axtels.
SS: What about the people from the Cheney area as far as educational background?
KG: Well, just ordinary, like the rest of us. I don't, but the Axtels, both thewomen, they were, there was one boy and he went to college at Pullman. And then there were three of the sisters and they were all teachers.
SS: Did you have a community church?
KG: Yes. It had a community church. Let's see, what was their first little churchthere? The first little church building, if I remember rightly, was in about the middle of where the cemetery now is. And before there was a church there I remember the first^that was there. Jasper King was killed, he was blasting stumps with dynamite. And he got killed. And I remember, my sister, they never let her go any where like that, but I was, I went with my mother and my aunt to that funeral. That's the first grave in that cemeiary. And the cemetery wasn't fenced or anything. And the church building was right in the center of that graveyard up these now. And I can't tell you how long it was there or anything about it, because it was there, I don't remember when that church was changed and moved down to Avon. That is, they made the church at Avon instead of...
SS: Did the whole neighborhood come to the funeral?
KG: A great many of them, yes. Just a great many of them came. And his mother, thisJasper King that was killed, was my Sunday School teacher for years and years. And I've got a little book that she gave each one of the pupils that learned the books of the Bible. And I've still got that little book she gave me. Mrs. King.
SS: Was the little book a book of Bible reading?
KG: No, just little book of little stories. Children's stories, very short stories,and had pictures in it. It was just lovely, little book.
SS: Did the church have a denomination?
KG: No, just all denominations together.
SS: It was just a community church.
KG: Just a community church. And there was one gentleman, a bachelor that alwaysled the singing. He had a good bass voice. And he had a little tuning fork, he'd(sings)Do,me,so.(laughs)
SS: He'd hold it next to his ear?
KG: Well he'd bite this, it was a little tuning fork and that was supposed to givehim the tone of a certain note. And from there on. And he had a good...
SS: He did that before each song?
KG: Each song. When he'd get the tone. And he started the singing. He led the singing.He was, he and his mother, well, he had a sister and they were, ob, I'd say, long in their thirties or so, like that. She was considered a maiden lady. And her brother and mother, the were the Custers. And everybody called her Grandma Custer. Uery nice. And they were Quakers. They came to our church. It was just a community church. Ho one certain religious sect.
SS: Was there any minister that would come to the church or did you just make dowithout one?
KG: What did we do?
SS: I wonder if there was a circuit rider?
KG: We did later in years. Someone would come and preach and then go from ourcommunity over to another community. Maybe he'd be gone awayf'from home a week. But he'd attend and have meetings at a number of churches. They, I don't remember anything much about a minister at all.
SS: Did you ever have revivals?
KG: Oh yes, yes, they had revivals. People opportunity to come up and say thatthey wanted to do different. Yee. They had revivals, sure. I think when they did that it was ministers that came in from outside. I don't remember much about it, but I know that they did have revivals.
SS: Did they ever have camp meetings?
KG: Yes. Not in early days that I remember. But I remember in later years that someof us even went up to some of the lakes, camp meetings and things like that. But I don't think we had any camp meetings in our neighborhood. But we went out to where there were bigger gatherings. And I remember that they had tents and had their revivals in tents. I remember that. There were two boys, young fellas, I say boys, two young fellas that used to come up in to our neighborhood and they were from Lewiston and they had wonderful voices. And I've forgotten their names, but they were both good singers and they visited around from different peaces in the neighborhood and maybe stay up there for a week or two. And when there were ministers that came and each family'd take them for awhile. There was a family, a minister and his wife^came to our house, Mr*,and Mrs.Pullen. And they were there a week. And they had church all week. And we kids didn't go to their meetings, but. mamma went.
SS: And then they would leave the neighborhood entirely and go on.
KG: And go on to some other. Well they would stay with different ones in theneighborhood. Maybe be in the neighborhood a month or so.
SS: They might stay for a month at a time.
KG: Yes. In the neighborhood. I remember there was one fella by the name of Pullen.He and his wife used to come into the neighborhood and stay and we kids didn't go to the meetings, but papa and mamma went.
(End of side B)
SS: You mentioned that the first few years of your life your were living with youraunt and uncle.
SS: How did that work? You had your folks and the kids?
KG: At that time they had, I said something about nine children in their family.Well that is that is the family that grew up. But, at the time that we stayed with them, let's see, "8yhad about three and we had three. So that wasn't much of a family, you know. And we all had beds to sleep on. We had pallets on the floor. Sometimes.
SS: Was there house a small cabin? It must have been something for them to put opyour family.
KG: It was. But they had trundle beds for kids that pushed under their beds.
SS: Trundle beds?
KG: Trundle beds. I think every home had a trundle bed for kids to sleep in. They'dpull it out from under the big bed and our bedsteads were homemade. Our bedsteads. Maybe there were lots of the neighbors had bedsteads that were boughten. But my grandfather was a carpenter and he made our bedsteads. For a number of years we didn't have anything but homemade bedsteads. And slats, and straw ticks. We had no bedsprings. Slats and straw ticks and then most everybody had ducks or some way they'd raise and they had a feather bed. And we had feathers for pillows. But you got along with most anything, those days.
SS: How wasr-this family related to yours? Your father's or mother's?
KG: Well, the, when I say us, we stayed with my uncle. He was my.vmother's brother.He was a Greenwood. And there were three families of Greenwoods that moved into that locality.
SS: They homesteaded?
KG: Yes, all of them homesteaded, took homes, homesteaded, yes.
SS: In these early years did many of these families that you knew from Cheney thatmoved to Avon, did any of them leave?
KG: They stayed for years and years. And one of the first families that moved awayfrom Avon went to Spokane was the Graybill family-*- And there wasn't a dry tear in that church the last Sunday they were there. Everybody hated to see them go so. And they just wept. There wasn't a dry tear. Oh we hated to see, and I was only, I guess when they left I must have been eight or ten years old.
SS: That's surprising that so many people would stay and there wasn't a lot ofturnover in the early years.
KG: No, not in those few early years. When somebody came to the neighborhood, wellthe early settlers, seems like the early settlers that went there and took homesteads just stayed. And quite a few went in there when that little plot of land was thrown open for settlement. Was thrown open for settlement.
SS: do you think it was hard on your mother?
KG: Yes, I do. They didn't have things to do with like we do nowadays. We had washboards, they washed all their clothes by hand. And they didn't have things to work with. There were a good many girls in that school for years there, we had about two good dresses or one really good dress, that is, calico. And they were washed over the weekend and we wore that same dress through the whole term of aphool, three months. But mamma'd wash them every weekend and have them just shining clean, starched and ironed^nice. And everybody was in that same boat. They didn't have changes of garments. Maybe some of them did have two dresses that were fit to wear to school, but most of them, we were just about all in that same boat.
SS: What about going to town, did your mother get a chance to go to the city fora change of pace?
KG: No. Well, the women did go to town, but you should see how they had to travel.They had big hats and the dust was so thick that they wore dusters over their dressea and big veils over their hats, because you drive along there, let your horses trot a little bit and the dust just rolled up. Oh, we hated that dust! Oh, how we hated that dustl But people didn't come and go as much os they do nowadays. They went to town maybe, why, papa used to go to town and put in a year's supply of flour. Stack it in the upstairs, in the corner. Why a lot of people did that, you know, put in their flour for the winter and things like that so they didn't have to travel so much. And it was, everybody had teams of horses. And they had some of them didn't have any of 'em different than a big wagon, but some of them had, oh, what did they call 'em? Hacks? Kind of That a spring wagon. had springs on 'em, a little more comfortable to ride in then an old lumber wagon.
SS: But if your mother was going to town, would town by Troy or Moscow?
KG: She didn't get to go very much. £Twas daddy that went and did the shopping andshe stayed home more and I think that, I wont'.t say about the rest of the neighborhood, but I think it was principaly the men folks that went. And got the staples of groceries and things that they needed. And I remember more than once that my father brought home yardage enough to make my mother a new dress or something like that. He'd select the material. And she didn't go as much as lots of the ladies did. It was nothing unusual for the menfolks to selectt nobody bought ready mades. Even the hjen's shirts, most of them we made. And I don't, my mother always made her own dresses. And when she, some of the kiids got older and she had a nice black dress, everybody had to have in those days 'a good black dress. And I bet she wore hers for ten years. Bat she took good care of it. And had what they called a dust ruffle. Their dresses were clear to the length, clear down to the ground, you know, long. And on good dresses they'd put on what they called a dust ruffle. 'Twas a little ruffle that was put, just came down, that just set down enough before that, below this edge of your hem. That protected that from dragging on the ground. They were that long. You've seen long dresses now.
SS: I've seen long dresses but I never knew about the dust ruffle.
KG: They put the dust ruffle on their good wool dresses, their better dresses, nottheir washable dresses, that would wash. But...
SS: Were the washable dresses as long?
KG: Oh yes, they were long. You didn't see-a woman on with a dress that didn't almostevery dress would sweep the ground. Then they'd hold them up and they'd go out in the dust, you know, when they walked out in the dust.
SS: Would she wear the long dress working at home?
KG: Oh, they never wore short dresses in those days. Women's dresses were all floorlength.
SS: Seems kind of inconvenient.
KG: Yes. I know it, but they wore them, no, the womens dresses were all floor length,in those days. No you didn't see a woman that you could see her ankles in those days. The dresses come clear to the ground. Clear to the floor.
SS: Why did every woman have to have one good black dress?
KG: Well, now maybe everyone didn't , but it was considered. Well, nowadays we thinkwe have to have oBe good black dress because if it came a time that you want a black dress, but they, maybe some of the people that were in better circumstances didn't think of things that way. But my mother and my aunt in the family, they always felt that they had one good dress. A winter dress and one good long summer dress. Then the other wrappers. They just called them wrappers. And they were more sinful. But they were floor length, however.
SS: Were both the winter and summer dresses black?
KG: Oh no. They just had one good black dress.
SS: What was the difference in occassion? I mean, I'm sure you'd wear a black dressto a funeral,but what other occassions would you sear a black dress?
KG: They were considered the dressiest dress in those days. Why, I've made dollsand different people have given me old, old things for to make up for my dolls. And you'd be surprised, there were black beads, beaded stuff, oh, as wide my fingers that, oh the dresses were trimmed in. Beautiful things. Every lady was considered she was well dressed if she had aKblack dress that she could put on for special occassions.
SS: What about visiting back and forth among the women, was there much time for that?
KG: Well, I think,.it was more in helpfulness that the women did the visiting. They'dgo so-and-so and such a place and help a lady do something for that day or some thing like that. And, well I'll tell you what I think about their most of it was done on Sundays. There always were, always . body had somebody home with them for Sunday dinner, brought them home for Sunday dinner. And that's, there wasn't as much visiting back and forth andAtelephones, you couldn't do a lot of gossiping. But, and if there was anybody sick in the neighborhood, there was always just several that were just'very good ito help out, you know.
SS: Would that mean going home and taking care of the work?
KG: Yes. For the day and then go home at night or something like that. If they feltthat a neighbor needed help, yes. But each family was pretty self sufficient I tell you. They just didn't, I remember one time we was, well it was one of the neighbors died and my mother and they had a family of girls and my mother went over and stayed with them one day. A day or two, she didn't stay nights but she went for one or two days during the daytime to just kind of help these young girls. And she came home one night and we kids were fighting. She said "Aren't you ashamed when these people are having such a hard time. They've lost their mother." And she was trying to shame us out of, we had been scrapping and fighting. Amongst ourselves.
SS: She must have done it too. You must have felt bad.
KG: Why sure she did. She said,"The sad ness that's in their home"andcshe said,"youchildren are fighting." She never said kids. They never used that word. That was a bad word with my mother.
SS: Besides sickness what would be the reasons for women to get together? Wouldthey work together in sewing?
KG: Not sewing, but I thinte they once in awhile used to in canning or doing somethinglike that. Or butchering. They'd go and help. I knowKwhen a neighbor would butcher several pigs and all, why the neighbors would come in, maybe with a sausage grinder and some would cut up sausage and grind it and they'd work, and first thing you know they'd have all that meat all cut and readdy to put down that brine and all. Yes, neighbors would help each other that way. SS: But this was as much the men as women getting together.
KG: Oh yes.
SS: The women didn*t get together themselves particularly?
KG: Oh no, not particularly no. No, the men neighbors were neighborly too. Theyhelped and things like that.
SS: I was thinking of the men going out to work in the harvest. That must havema.de it difficult for the family.
KG: Yes. And when they did the cows wouldn't come home and the pigs would get outof the fence. I know we kids, always when daddy goes away, something happens. And I've heard of other women say the same thing.My neighbor next door said seems like when the menfolks went away there was always something happened. No, the women were more stayet homes than they are nowadays. Much more. Well by the time, when you stop to think that they did, most of them did all the sewing for their own family. They marie men's shirts and some of them even made men's red flannel underwear and things like that I know. And by the time you do that and keep ^our housework up and your kids in line and washed and cleaned, you didn't have too much time to visit.
SS: When children were born in the neighborhood, was it usually without doctors?
KG: It was without doctors and there was generally some lady in the neighborhoodwho was just a good hand at waiting and -fned considered just welcome to come and help. But, no the neighbors did help each other if there was a child born, some of the neighbors, women ' come in and that and the husband took care of it. I know that that's the way it was at our house and there was two different ladies in our neighborhood who were considered just good midwives. And one or the other of *em would come, go to a place where a child was beifjg born and h^U*- help teem. Course, I know only ones I remember of my sisters being born, I remember when they were born and a lady who we called Grandma Hutchie came with her white, she had a black skirt and a white linen blouse on, just ironed and beautiful and she came and was with mamma our last two children. No, when the next to the last one was born, then when the last one was iborn was seven years between the former one that had been born and an aunt, they just picked up our kids, my brother took a sleigh and took all the other little kids from our house to my aunt's house and brought my aunt back. She and rny father delivered my last sister. They shut the kitchen door and Ihad to go ahead with the dishwashing and the work in the kitchen because...
SS: Were the other kids home to or where? Your aun^-house?
KG: When brought my aunt(phone rings)
SS: Sister was born and you doing the dishes in the kitchen.
KG: Yes, we were living, at that time we had moved in with my mother's father andmother to take care of them. But, and they lived with us quite awhile. But they had moved, after we took care of them, was in their house and took care of them for a number of years, then they moved to Moscow with a brother of my mother's an uncle, so we were in that house alone. Had the house to ourselves. But one of the aunts came from and she and my father did the delivering and took care of the baby, and as I say, shut the kitchen door and there never was a sound or anything going on. Course I was pretty curious but I knew I had to stay in the kitchen. When, after, I think the children only stayed at Aunt Dolly's house just during the few hours maybe, II they were home that night. And when my third sister, when they came in, they said,"What do you think? We got a new girl, another little girl?" Shehsays,"Oust another one to buy shoes for."(laughs) Shows you how poor people felt."Just another one to buy shoes for."
SS: How old was the sister that said that?
KG: I think she was about seven years old. Or maybe eight. But we tease her aboutthat now.
SS: You still tease her about it?
KG: Yes we still tease her about it."JUst another one to bt?y shoes for." 'Causewe were cautioned,"Don't you wade in a puddle of water, ^ou keep your shoes nice." We were reprimanded pretty strongly if we abused our wearing apparel, our shoes especially.
SS: Must have been pretty easy to get them fouled uP because the country was prettyrugged.
KG: Pretty rugged? I had one aunt and she loved, she pinched your feet, she wantedsmall feet. And she bought a new pair of shoes and had me break 'em in. Oh, I felt a queen with high heels on. But she scolded me 'cause I got 'em muddy. (chuckles) But she let me break her shoes in for her.
SS: Where could you go in the spring in the country without getting your shoes muddy.
KG: You couldn't because there was mud everywhere. Oh, the mud was terrible becausethe roads weren't graded in those days. The mud was just awful. AndAthe summer when you drive along with you horses trotting real fast, oh how the dust would fog up. Boy!
SS: Did you usually wear boots over shoes in muddy weatherJ
KG: Oh not in winter. We didn't have anything to put on in the summertime. Justwinter protection and most of us had overshoes. There was one winter I remember that we wore our feet tied in gunny sacks. We didn't have overshoes that year. No, we didn't have...
SS: Your regular shoes weren't high heels?
KG: Oh no, that's why I was so proud to break in a pair of high heels for my aunt.Boy, I felt smart wearing those,high heels to break 'em in.
SS: Talking about child iirth, I heard that women were supposed to stay in bed tendays.
KG: Ten days.
SS: That seems like a long time to be lying on your back.
KG: That was the medical law in those days. And in later years I had,my father'suncle married a German girl. And the third day she got up and did her washing. And we just always thought,"My gosh, Aunt Flora washed and her baby only three days old." But that was the law in those days, medical law for women, that they should stay in bed ten days when a child was born. But now they don't anymore. The hospital here, they get you right up
SS: Before the child was born was the woman supposed to take it easy or did shework right up to the end';
KG: Well they worked right up to the end.3ust did their work right uP to the end.They might within their selves been careful some way, but most of the women just worked right up to childbirth. Just doing their regular work that they always did. Why that, but they were supposed to stay in bed for ten days, I know that.
SS: Someone told me that was the only rest t hey got, it was probably better forthem to just stay in bed.
KG: I've heard more than one woman say that. The only time she got to rest.
SS: When did you stop going to school.
KG: H finished theieighth grade in Spokane. I went to Spokane, I had the fifth,sixth, seventh and eighth grade in Spokane. I lived with a cousin and went to school. My folks still lived down at Avon and I had to come home from school^ I had to miss the last few months of my school, papa wrote and said,"Come home mamma needs you." That's when my last sister was born. They needed me at home to do the work. So I didn't get to finish my eighth grade. I was just a few months, and I asked my teacher would I have gotten my grades, would I have passed? could "Oh yes," she said,"you would have if you c stay^through." But papa wrote and said,"Mamma needs you." And that's when my last little sister was born, so, she did need me. Mamma was in very poor health and her last child coming and I had to come home.
SS: But you started up there in the fifth grade. Is that because they didn't haveany at Avon?
KG: Well, I think that my folks felt that we would bave better schools there. Andmy younger sister who passed on at sixteen, she and I went to Spokane and lived with an aunt and uncle and helped them. They had two little children and we were quite a bit of help to them, you know. We^wash dis'hes and do a lot of things. But we went up and stayed with Aunt Laura and Uncle Lester for a term of school. I remember our trip up. Papa took us to Troy and we went up on the train. Mamma said, we had never ridden on a train and mamma said,"They'11 be somebody come through and they'll have bananas and things like that to sell and you better not buy too many, anything like that." And we said,"What's banan iike, what are they,bananas?" "Well," she said," I don't think you'll like 'em.' She said,"Ther's not much flavor to 'em." But she said,"Don't a lot of that stuff." So we wouldn't buy a banan on the train. At all. SS: What did Spokane seem like to you? You'd probably never been in a big eity.
KG: Never had been in a big city. I lived with, we lived with my cousin and shehad two boys, one of *em was only two years old and then the other one was, well he was several years older than the other one. And he knew town like a where book. He'd go any " . And Ursula and I would walk to town, walk from where we lived. I don't knew, it must have been tan blocks down through some of the better stores. And it was all open out where we were out on Sprague Avenue and there were not very many buildings out there. And Ursula and I would walk to town.-/)rw Pa Oh we never thought of going on the street car or anything like that for a ride. We walked wherever we went.
SS: Did you have a ch:ance to go into the stores and see what the big sity had tooffer?
KG: Well, yes, but Spokane wasn't what it is now. Oh, nothing like. But we had oneor two stores where my cousin traded. We'd go to th^3stores. And we always had a chance to buy some treats. And we bought, Ursula and I bought six oranges one time. And I don't know, someway he called before he went home, before we went back, I guess he called to say we were coming ' ?k, something like taat, and thi s cousin we were living with said,"Aunt so-and-so is ehere, two or three on came." Ursula and I ate those siK oranges before we : . home because there wouldn't be enough to go around. So he and I ate those six oranges home.(chuckles)
SS: You called them aunt and uncle.
KG: Well I lived, this that I spoke of now was a cousin and a second cousin. Theother was papa's brother and his wife. Aunt Laura and Uncle Lester.
SS: You lived with them at different times.
KG: Yes, I lived with them at different times. I lived with the later two when Iwas in the eighth grade in Spokane. But at this time I guess I was in the fifth grade
SS: Did vou learn a iot more in Spokane schools than ?ou did in Avon?
KG: Well, you had more help from your teacher, or attention from a teacher,I think. You know, when a teacher in a country school has every grade''"0 she doesn't have very much time to, well, I think we kids used to sit together in school sometimes in Avon and help each other work out problems and things like that. But...
SS: You didn't do that in Spokane?
KG: Oh no, you didn't do that in Spokane, no.
SS: Your sister died young?
KG: Yes, my sister died uhen she was sixteen. That was just younger than I.
SS: Was it one of the sicknesses that people had in those days?
SS: That was common in those days.
KG: Uery common and very...
(End of side C)
SS: ...if they had it they were doomed.
KG: Just doomed to die. That's all. They thought there was no cure for tuberculosis.In those days.
SS: Did it take a long time for people to die?
KG: Well, I think this one sister of mine, let me see, I don't think she was morethan two years afflicted with that. I think, she was a beautiful girl. The only one in our family that had blue eyes and blond hair. The rest of us are all dark eyed and dark hair. I was gonna tell you, they use to make some kind of a lantern out of a tin can. You know, sometimes you get, well, we used to, could get, buy applesauce or something in gallon cans. Tomatoes. We'd take a great big can and we'd cut out an end here and then here they made a hole up through the bottom this way, the size of candle. And they would stick that candle, I don't know what they did for a bail here to hold it by. But some of the men who worked in the mines used to have a lantern like that that they made out of a can. And this candle stuck up through the bottom and that pushed that up in four pieces, you know so the ends would turn up like this and that would hold that candle up in there. And they called those their Klondike lanterns. I don't knsw what they used for a bail.
SS: Maybe wire.
KG: Some kind of wire, but I don't know how they fastened it. I think they alwaysbad an airspace up here so it wouldn't get too hot. You see. The air space would let the blaze, the candle would just go up through there just enogh for that, you see, and fcheh\they kept pushing it up, you see, as the end burned off. I thought, a year or so ago I thought how I wished I knew how to make ode of those old lanterns. Just for curiosity.
SS: When you say the minees, are you saying up in the mica mines?
KG: The ica mines. I cooked up there one time,.
KG: Oh yes. I went up there and'cooked. When I was eighteen years old I cooked fora crew of men up there.
SS: I've heard so little about those mines. What do you remember them being like?
KG: Well in what way? They had a crew and they^rook out mica and sold it, shippedit and when I worked up there, the mine that I worked there was a mica specialist. Dr. Hoskins. And mica in those days was used an awful lot, you know. I can't tell you what it's used for. Well you know. Stoves.
SS: It was used in icing glass.
KG: Icing glass, that's what it is. It's icing glass. And somewhere in my belongingsI've got a little sheet of icing glass and it's got a twenty five cent bill, green back. I don't know where it is. But my brother gave it to me and I cooked up at the mica mine and this Dr. Hoskins, one time they brought a chunk of mica out of that mine, I don't know whether he was allowed to do this or not. But he gobbled on to that piece of mica. It was, it weighed 300 pounds. It was a cake of mica, about this long, and one end of it... SS: As long as a chair.
KG: Now it was, oh, like a chunk of wood, you know but it was wider than this andit was about this long and on one end it was chopped off hare, just from mining you know. And it was about so deep. That weighed 300 pounds. He said,"I'm gonna have that," And he put that in his trunk and never let anybody else know that he had that. He got away with that. But, oh, that chunk of mica. And it was beautiful stuff. Beautiful mica.
SS: When you cooked up there how were they supplying the food for you to cook with?Blow did they get it in and out.
KG: Had a team of horses, bring it back and forth. And, I was cooking up there anda friend of mine, a girlfriend of mine was cutting mica.
SS: She was cutting mica?
SS: In the mine?
KG: No, the mica was right out and they built, at first I cooked out under justa roof, a shed that had been a kind of a building. But it was just a roof over it and a post here that held it up and until they got a cookhouse built. They built a house then that had three rooms. There was a dining room, no I guess the dining room and the kitchen was all together, but here's a room for where she cut the mica and then the dining room and kitchen and then her and my bedroom was off, just those three rooms there. And she, the mica that was just mined out, wasn't solid like this big bunch that I just, this strip that I told you about. It came out just in pieces and 'twas ragged edges and she had a knife and she just cut off those ragged edges. And laid out the good mica, you see. mica dust, that had to be cleaned up everyday. But she worked in the dining room there and did that. They just, the mica was ragged and she just had a knife and she just, supposing this wassail sticking out here, and some loose she just be kinda like this, trim it to make it more even so that all this dust and stuff wouldn't go and^put that out. This was the better mica. And this mica dust of course just had to be-cleaned up and just taken out.
SS: Was she the only cutterAthey had at the mine?
KG: Yes. Then we were the only two women up there. All the rest were men that workedin the mine.
SS: They brought the mica into her, they just took it out.
KG: They had a track and a cart laid back in the mica mines and they just filledout a that and brought in an amount for her to work on each day. And so she just kind of shaved off the edges so it was better.There might be several pieces thickness that she, and she just kind of shaved off those rough edges and put into befeter, where it was better mica.
SS: What was her name, do you remember?
KG: Yes I know her, because she was Monica Peterson. I went with her brother fornine years.
SS: Was she from Avon.
KG: Yes, she was an Avon school girl. And that was work that women could do.
SS: What about the cooking that you did, how many were you cooking for?
KG: I think we had about six men, maybe. I think maybe that many. Seems to me therewere about that many.
SS: Three meals a day?
KG: Oh yes, sure. Oh I'vo done lots of cooking like that.
SS: How long at a time did you stay up there?
KG: Well, they just mined enough to work ovH"the assessment on it.Th at's all thetime they worked. Those mines didn't operate, they would have been paid off if they would have operated longer, I guess. But of course, they got to using something else instead of mica. 'Twasn't needed so much. And I don't know the nature of that, how some of the Lundsfords could tell you more about that than I know. But I just worked up there, I was at the L»ella mine and then the one above it, several miles, up the hill farther with the Moscoidte. I remember one time, one evening we, from where I was working, where the mine where we were working all walked up the hill and had a dance in their dining room there, usll tne dining room and kitcen all together, you know, had a dance up there. 0ur music was mouth organ. We walked up that hill, climbed up that hill and slid back down. you couldn t hardly keep your footing, and you asked about getting groceries up there. When we wanted groceries there was always a team of horses, now I don't know. This is kind of blurry to me about the team of horses.
But, how we got em, but once we, when this girl and I were working there and hadjust gone up there. We didn't have mirror or anything so we wanted a mirror. 3o the boss, Charley Lacey said,"Well you take the team and go down to Troy and get the groceries and you do what shopping you want to do." So I've got the mirror in there now that Ibought then. Ipaid adollaj: and ahalf for it and it's lovely aa,bi$ rrrnr^ about so long and so wide. And its anice one. And so we got the groceries, came home. And oh, the aufulest rain storm and the horses weren't shod and come up and climb that hill with that wagon of horses. And we had groceries, we had flour and everything. And we were wet, oh, we were wet and cold. We drove that team up there and sometimes they'd slip, slide around that mud going uP that hill. I thought we'd never get up. And when they'd get tired pulling we'd have to slam on that break, block the wheels. Oh, that was an awful trip. But she and I mad e that trip to Troy to do some shopping that we needed to do and to bring back the load of groceries. Other than that some of the men went and I don't remember about where the horses came from or whether they got, one of the men that worked up there lived at what we called the foot of the hill down in the Avon country and they might have got his team to drive out, I don't know. I don't remember.
SS: Was it too horses and a wagon?
KG: Yes, two horses and a wagon*
SS: What kind of pay did you get for that?
KG: I can't tell you. I can't remember what I got. But, I don't know, it might havebeen a dollar a day. Something like that. It wasn't much. I don't, it might have been fifty cents aday, Idon't know. It wasn't much, but it was the wages +ho they were paying in those days, but Idon't rjmember really what wages Igot.
SS: Sounds like you cooked out there before you had a cookhouse.
KG: I think, I don't think I had to cook out. It was just little shack of stove^,two sheet iron stove. But so happened I didn't have to, I guess we must have bought bread or something. I don't know, I don't remember those details. But anyway I cooked out over the shed til they got the cookhouse and room built. 33: How was it that you moved into Deary?
SS: How did you and he meet?
KG: At a dance. And a funny thing. I worked one time for the Axtels. And on Halloween,the young girl there, Alice Hall, she was a granddaughter of the Axtels. On Halloween we were peeling apples and we were saying,"Look at the moon over your right shoulder and your wish will come true"and thingsllike that. And we peeled apples and you're supposed to put 'em around *our head like this and then wherever they fall, why that will be the initial and..
SS: The initial of the person you'll marry?
KG: Of the last name of the person you're ging to marry. And on that Halloweennight, oh I had a dream that Isaw the most handsome young fella. I thought, oh he was handsome. And when I met Earl, that was the fellow I saw in my dream. That's a fact, now that's a fact. I hadn't met him when I twirled this apple around here and all and made my wishes and things like that.
SS: Did it show the initial G when you twirled the peel?
KG: I don't remember about that, but I, the dream that I had, I saw this young fellowat a dance. And the minute I saw Earl I knew that was the fellow I'd seen. Now I know that.
SS: WEre you still going with Peterson at that time?
KG: Yes, at that time, um hm.SS: Nine years is a pretty long courtship. Even in those days.
KG: Yes, it waa$ but we just never got around to getting married. He finally saidto me, "Well 1908 or never, Kate."We never got married. I went with him a long, he was a fine fellow.School mK' fonew him for years and years and years. SS: It sounds like you and Earl fell for each other right away.
KG: Now what did Earl say about that one time?No, he told me afterwards, now we'vetalked about this since, when he first went up to the home, I kind of, we kind of went over things like this. And he told ame once that, no* when he first met me he never thought of marrying me. And then when he wanted to kid me later, after we'd gone together a number of years, several years, he tells everybody "!I had to marry her to get rid of her. He's quite a joker, full of fun. But when I met h im, I knew that/was the fella that I had seen im my droam. I just knew that.
SS: Did yau got together very long?
KG: Oh I don't remember. Couple of years I guess.
SS: Did you get shivareed?
KG: Yes. No, no, instead of having a shivaree they gave us a shower. When we cameback from our wedding trip they gave us a shower at Deary and took up a collection and raised fifty dollars and we bought a stove with it. And Chuck Wells, you know who Chuck Wells is? Wasn't at the dance, but the next time he saw Earl and he took a dollar out of his pocket and he said,"I didn't get to put my contribution in, so you take this." He said. So, he gave Earl a dollar. All the rest of the fellows I guess were giving a dollar. We bought our stove with.
SS: So you moved right into Deary then?
KG: Yeah we moved right into Deary when we were married.
SS: Was he working for Potlatch at the time?
KG: No, he wasn't working for the Potlatch. He was running the livery barn and apool hall, he and another fella, he and Frank Holblrook. Frank wasn't in on the livery barn, but Frank was in with him on the pool hall. They had a pool hall there and Earl run the livery barn. He's a
SS: He was a vet then.
KG: Yes. He has taken care of lots of the farmers hogs and horses and cows. So theyalways call him Doc Grannis, that's where he got his name, Doc Grannis.
SS: Had he just come in when Deary started up? Or before.
KG: He came to Deary from Helmer. His people located up at Helmer and there someof those in the picture there. And he was with them until they moved down to Deary and then, and he came up and they were still at Helmer. Then they all moved out to Deary.
SS: Came out from?
KG: From the east. I've forgotten what state now.
SS: You mentioned Chuck Wells. I'd like to ask you some recollections of that family.
KG: I've danced with Chuck and Roy. Danced with Chuck and Roy. Now Iwas going to,in their home I guess. Either in their home with both of them. ny fether and .other hed the .hole Wells family at our hou for dinner more then one Sundey. And Mary oarried me in her arms. Iuas small enough that she eould Plck me up and oarry me. flnd they,U3 been tQ dinner in our folks home,
SS: They were pretty good friends with your parents?
KG: Those people were treated just as any white person when they came. In the earlydays nobody shunned those darkies at all. Not at all. They were in different families homes. I've been in their home, well, when we lived in Deary we went up there one night and had a dance. Joe was drinking and enjoying himself, but we danced at their house. But now, that was, I think that was after Mary was gone, from there. I think the Deary bunoh went up there and I think just Joe and his wife Lou were there. Because I don't remember ever going when Mary was.
SS: You say in early days, do you think it changed as years went on?
KG: OH yes. Oh yes. When, then when Mary's child was born, I don't know how manypeople at Deary went up to see her, right away. Because they were all curious. Because they . said, they told me that a little darky child is white when it's born. I didn't go up and I don't know the result or anything about it, but people were curious.
SS: White and it turns dark? .
KG: Well that's what some of 'em said, but I don't know about that at all.
SS: But you think people changed and they weren't as well adjusted?
KG: Yes, different people come in and then they never thought of the Wells likethey didn't take them in like the early day people did. The early day people, that is, our family and several that I know of visited with them the same as we visited with white folks. For they came in with the Wells boys, ayou know, who were carpenters there and took the name of Wells because they had been, I think they were the Wells' father's slaves. I think so. Didn't I tell you that before?
SS: I've heard that somewhere.
KG: Have you? Wells boys, they were blacksmiths, and Joe and Mary, the family camethere with them.
SS: What do you remember Lou, Joe's wife as being like?
KG: I don't know. She was well thought of as far as I know and I don't rememberanything about her housekeeping or anything but it seems to me that I retaember her once dancing a little a little dance step in our dance hall up there, or sometbing. N0w it seems to me I remember that. (Pause in tape^ Well there was a bachelor that lived out there in, its between Deary and Avon. It's nearer Deary than Avon. And Phil Clements was a, I don't know whether I should tell you this or not. Well anyway, I don't know as I should.
SS: You don't have to use the nfme if you don't want to.
KG: Well let's say there was a fellow that had married through a matrimonial paper.And he and his wife didn't get along. And he threatened her some way. And she I was away from home when this happened. But the girl "Md mt- "And his wife came to our house to stay awhile. And then she went, she went back and I don't know how, he threatened again in some wa$L and another neighbor had come to get her to take her away or take her back home, now which it was, I don't know. And he was there and he shot her and then she, no, I better not tell. Anyway, he shot hiflsdlf in the home then. He knew he'd done what he'd done and he'd shot himself in the home. And they didn't know what all had happened there and a bunch of fellows from Deary went out there armed, to take him into custody or something. And he had farmed, he was farming and he'd planted grain right up close to around the house. And they were creeping up to the house and Chuck Wells was one of the fellas that was looking, spying to this place. And course, this is a joke about Chuck. And they said that the door was open and he creeped up kind of close and the door had been open quite awhile. Evidently the chickens went in and the chicken jumped down off of the table and then was when they said Chuck pret'near turned white. He was so frightened. The joke is about niggers, you know, that if they get frightened they'll turn white. So that was the joke about that.
SS: I was going to ask you about that killing. Kan Wilkins told me that you wouldbe the.person to know the true account of what had happened. I've heard two different accounts. I heard that she had been threatened by him quite a bit.
KG: She had been threatened about him.He married her through a matrimonial paper.And she had been threatened til she was afraid to stay there.
SS: Did she come down to stay at your place?
KG: Yes, she was at our house for awhile. I wasn't at home, I was away from homewhen this happened. But she came down and stayed at our house for awhile. I don't know how long, and then Billy Bower, I think, took her home finally. And that's when he shot her you know.
SS: He shot her when she was getting out of the wagon.
KG: The buggy that he had taken her home in. Then of course shot himself. And Earlwas one of the grrjup that went down with guns and crept around there to find, and course, they didn't know that he might shoot them. They didn't know he was dead, you see. And so, but that was the joke that the door was open and when a chicken dropped down off the table, Chuck was near the door, and they say he pret'near turned white. Frightened so.
(End of side D)
SS: ...no matter how bad they were.
KG: That's it.
SS: This seems to be a time when divorce would have been a good solution.
KG: Well yes, but this fellow, oh Clements was kind of an erratic fella. We didn'tany of us feel comfortable around him. Although my mother and we girls went over there one time to visit, this was before he married his wife and he was still a bachelor. We went over to see him and he asked us to sing. And my mother said afterwards, she said,"I was afraid to say no." Afraid not to. We just...
SS: Was his reputation for having a bad temper?
KG: Yes. He killed a neighbors caw, or stuck her with a pitchfork once because,just orneriness. He was not a likeable fellow atall. Yet he used to come to my grandfather's house certain morning every day of the week to play cards with grandpa. They were good friends and each one tried to beat the other, of course. But we were all of us a little bit afraid. I remember one time when I was working for Mrs. Berry. had, and Phil Peterson's two sisters and I had gone from Berry's over somewhere to visit a neighbor. And were going home at night. And we were scared to death to go by old Phil Clement's house.ftAfraid he might, we were scared really.
SS: Did the marriage last very long?
KG: I can't tell you that. Not too long I think. I don't remember how many years.
SS: WAs she a nice woman?
KG: Yes, she was fery nice. That is, she was capable. She was very plain, very ordinary,but a good cook and good housekeeper.
SS: That must have been...
KG: That was an awful shock to people to think that such a thing had happened inour little town, near our little town of Deary.
SS: And she had been staying with your sisters?
KG: I was working away from home. I wasn't home. And my sisers were home and shewas with them, that is, they were three girls, one girls was a real small girl at that time. But there were two teenager girls at home and she went down and stayed with them.
SS: She was afraid for her life is why she left?
SS: Had he said he would kill her?
KG: I'm sure he had threatened her. I don't know. When are you going toAturn thoseon and let anybody here them(regarding tape). Pause
SS: Of the McCowans and their position in Deary. I know that he laid out the townand was kind of upper crust.
KG: Yes, they were.
SS: You were saying that they didn't come to the dances that people had. In thoseearly days.
KG: Not so much. Occasionally they would. But not so much. They did have this onedance at their home. And two couples of us were invited up there. They had a pHasant evening. It just was in a home or maybe a room a little bit larger than this, maybe. Where we danced. But they were lovely people. They were good people. We all liked 'em. Course, they were considered the elite of the town. And they were
SS: Was it a surprise to you to be invited up to the house?
KG: Uery much. We said they want some good dancers.(laughs) I'd hate to have anyof their friends hear that.
SS: I don't think any of their friends are alive, they've been gone so long.
KG: Yes they have. They have. We met one of the fellows in Spokane a park onetime. They had a celebration of some of the people who lived at Deary. They were having...
SS: In Spokane?
KG: In a park in Spokane . There were having, it 'twas a, John and Eunice Drury's50th wedding anniversary. They had it in a park in Spokane and Earl and I were there. There was one fellow that we couldn't figure out who it was or something. Well dressed fellow and finally we found out who it was. It was Hugh Henry and he looked at Earl and he said,"I've been wondering who you were. I thought you were, you look like some college professor." And Earl said he felt quite puffed up about that.
SS: This is some time back I imagine.
KG: Oh'yes. Quite a ways back because they had their 50th wedding anniversery justsix months after Earl and I had our 50th. And we happened to be in Spokane and when they celebrated out in the park.
SS: I think you said that they did have a girl working in the house and she couldn'tdance.
KG: Oh that was in Deary. And they had a maid, a girl who did housework for them.Had home help. Course, we laughed at it because we said sat in there like what is it, Cinderella, not a Cinderella.
SS: Cinderella, that's right.
KG: She sat off in another room where she could see in"the door, you see, wherewe were dancinq. And just sat,in the chair. She wasn't asked to dance at all. She was a maid.
SS: Did you know her? Was she local?
KG: Yes she was one of the...
SS: She probably wasn't different from any one else.
KG: Oh no. Only that she was a girl that did housework.
SS: You said that you felt like you'd be at ease with ber, that she should be dancing.
KG: Yes.(laughs) Something like that. But she sat and watched the rest of us dance.I don't just remember the remark I made at that time.
SS: I know that all the small towns had..
KG: What is the character that, go ahead and say what....
SS: All small towns had an elite, but most of the people seemed on the same footingand then there are a few families that think they have a high status.
KG: Yes, sure.
SS: And that's different.
KG: Well that's the way this family, at Deary we always felt that they were, andwe always felt that they felt abo ve us. And that's alright.
SS: You said that you worked, other cooking at other places. Did you cook at anotherplace besides the mine?
KG: Yes, I cooked on thrashing machines and my sister and I when Billy Deal andI can't think of the other fellow's name, did some logging out on the Potlacth and they had a slide up the hill that they took their logs up the hill. We cooked for the crew out there, my sister and I. Earl worked out there and the fellow my sister was going with worked out there and my sister Ann and I did the cooking at the cookhouse. And there was one family that came out there and spent the summer. The mother and four children and paid their board just for a lark and one of them lives here in town now. She's, was our boys school teacher, grew up to be one of our boys schoolteachers here in town.
SS: They came out just to live in the woods?
KG: Just for a month for a vacation.
SS: Did they eat with the men?
KG: They didn't eat with the men, they ate after the men were through. They hadthe same food and all but they ate after the men were through. The family came in and ate.
SS: Were you folks all working for Potlatch? Or was it gyppo?
KG: Well it was for two men. Billy Deal and Hill, Hill was the other man's name.Deal and Hill. And the men out theee^-was felling the logs and getting ready and then they were done^on the Potlatch Flat you know, where the river was and they were getting those logs up to the hill, pulling them up there with, I can't express myself.
SS: Donkey maybe?
KG: Machinery called donkey. Yes, something on that order. They were taking thelogs up the hill. It seems to me, I don't know, maybe it was a certain kind of timber like telephone poles or something. I'm not sure about that. Anyway it was Deal's and Hill's camp. And my sister and I were doing the cooking there. In the cookhouse.
SS: Do you remember the impact on the country that Potlatch had coming in? Didn'tit change things quite a bit?
KG: Yes, it was a big change because they got a different, before, no, let's see.I don't know how to word that. Their camps, the woods camps weren't as nice before as that. They were more crummy, not.like ?S was after the Potlatch came in. Seems to me.
SS: A bunch of new people came in.
KG: What'd they call them? IWW's.
KG: And for awhile the overhead, that is, the men who were scalers and things likethat carried a gun all the time. But that didn't last too long. 5S: I had the idea that when they first came in, 1905, 1905, that they created a lot of opportunities for local people to get jobs.
KG: Well I don't know. It's kind of, I don*t remember. Don't know how to wordiwhat I want to say here. The IWW's weren't they?
SS: Ithink they uere later.
KG: Maybe, but there were some, I don't know what the difference was but the onething that they did say, they made them clean up their camps and have 'em decent for men to live in.
(End of tape)
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:
Segment Synopsis: Living their first few years in Avon at uncle's house. Beds and bedding. Few settlers left Avon in the early years; when the Graybill family left for Spokane everyone cried. Most girls had only one dress fit to wear to school. Women tried to protect themselves against the bad dust on trips, but seldom went to town; the men did the shopping and even bought dress material. Dust ruffles; all dresses were floor length. Every woman wanted to have one good black dress for special occasions, and a dress for summer and winter.
72:00 - Visiting done on Sundays; mother shamed children for squabbling; women's work; midwives and childbirth; breaking in shoes
Direct segment link:
Segment Synopsis: Most visiting was done on Sundays, or to help out, especially in sickness. Mother shamed children for squabbling while she was at a home where the mother had died. When the men worked out things went wrong at home. Women's work. Midwives and childbirth; a new baby at home. Stress on care of shoes. Breaking in high heels for her aunt. Ten days in bed after birth.
85:00 - Living with relatives for a better education; quit before finishing eighth grade; differences from country school; sister's death from tuberculosis
Direct segment link:
Segment Synopsis: She and her sister took their last grades of school in Spokane, living with relatives, because parents thought they'd get a better education. Mother persuaded them not to buy bananas on the train. She had to quit before finishing eighth grade when mother needed help with her last baby. A shortage of oranges. Differences from country school. Sister's death from tuberculosis,
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link: