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 firstname.lastname@example.org
VIOLA GUERNSEY: And he was so interested in the Palmer penmanship, the Palmersystem, graceful curves and swings. He was always practicing penmanship. And he found that F C didn't make as graceful a signature as it would have if it had been C.F. Thomas. So he legally had his name changed from Franklin Charley to Charley Franklin so he could have a more impressive signature. And he was a beautiful writer. His penmanship was beautiful, I wish she had some of it with her, but she didn't have.
SS: He taught school...
VG: He taught school at Princeton.
SS: He probably gave the kids some good training in penmanship.
VG: Oh yes, he was teaching penmanship, that's primarily why he was interestedin it, I suppose. Because we were speaking of the copy books we used to have. And how our teacher would write the top line in our copy book and then we'd do our best to copy it. So because of that system, I think I have changed my penmanship every time I have changed teachers. Nobody would be able to recognize my penmanship any more, that it, not through the years, I can see it in an old cookbook that I started years and years ago. The recipes from time to time are all together different. That is, the writing. But Chalice is a very nice penmanship writer too. She taught school for seven years before she moved to Aberdeen. That is, in this part of the county,
SS: You mentioned that you lived a number of places before you got to this area,
VG: Before we came to Princeton?
SS: How did it happen that you moved around and where did you go?
VG: I was born in Leigh Country, Iowa at Ft. Madison, And my dad was a locomotiveengineer. And of course, he would be transferred from time to time, He worked for different railroads. And then he was with the Atchison,Topeka Santa Fe. And the Burlington, And so we moved from Iowa to Missouri, And then to New Mexico and then to Colorado, And then for twenty years that went on, our moving about from place to place. But my mother's home was in Illinois, And she had always wanted my dad to be a farmer, She had come from a farm in Illinois. Navoo was her town. And so he put his savings into a little canvas bag that mother made for him, whenever he had enough he'd put a twenty dollar gold piece in that little bag. And by and by he had two bags. They were about six inches high. And he had them in the back of an old that had been given to them for a wedding present, And I was not yet four years old, but I can remember climbing up on the table beside him, he pulled down all the curtains in the dining room and then he'd get down the clock and set it on the table and take out these two little bags and put in another twenty dollar gold piece. And I was facinated by that, Of course, I didn't know what it was all about, but I learned later. And when he had two thousand dollars in twenty dollar gold pieces, he bought a little farm in Nebraska. My mother had a brother who had taken^a homestead in Nebraska years before, He had six hundred af forty acres an his farm, uncle John Hummel, And father had just a small farm of two hundred acres, He sold the first little one before we moved there. It was six miles from town, from Lebanon, And then he bought a two hundred acre farm that was just across the road from Uncle John's farm. And it was all level prairie land, just a nice little place. And father had never farmed before. But he learned very fast, and he had ideas that he wanted to try,And he did very well, But then there came the time that the winds blew and blew and blew. Those who thought they knew said thatjjdust would continue blowing for seven years, I t blew the wheat right out of the ground and that dust bowl formed that time. There were many, many people in that area lost their farms. After several years of that dust bowl farming. But my dad wouldn't stay for that. After the first time his wheat blew out of the ground he said,"I finished here. We're going to Oregon," And that was in 1909.
SS: What town was it near in Nebraska?
VG: Lebanon. We were four miles from Lebanon,
SS: He decided to leave?
VG: And we were there for four years. We had moved from Colorado Springs toNebraska, Lebanon,Nebraska. And we stayed there four years and father didn't stay long enough to lose his farm or lose anything,We had money enough to come west and start over again. So he came in 1909, Ithink that was the summer of the Alaska, Yukon, Pacific Exposition in Seattle. He came out with his little Oxford bag, and Idon't knowJtow long he stayed. Perhaps two weeks. And he looked over all the country around Seattle and down in Oregon. He especially wanted to go to Oregon. And he found aplace that he thought he would like to be. It was near McMinville. And so that autumn when he came back, it was quite la* in the autumn. He had an auction and sold everything in the house. He had sold the stock too. And he said."We're going to sell everything except what goes in our suitcases and mother's trunk." And Iwas at school when the auction took place, And then in Feb ruary, as soon as the first semester, Iwas in my second year of high school and the first semester had ended, and it was sometime in February that we came to Oregon. To McMinnville.
Did your father sell things that you missed?
Yes, but Ihad to forget about them. There were some things Ithought aboutfor long while afterward, but they were gone. The sale took place while Iwas in school. But anyway, then we stayed with Uncle John and Aunt Nettie until we were ready to leave. Yes, he sold the farm, the house, and every* thing. And we went to McMinnville and we were there about six weeks, I think, it was in February and it rained and rained and rained and it didn't do anything else but rain. Istarted to school there and my sister did too. That was all the family they had, ^ two girls. Ithought it was beautiful. Ijust loved all that rain, It had been so dry in Nebraska and the dust was blowing. And over in Oregon there were lemons on the trees both fruit and blossoms. And Ijust loved walking to school in the rain. My mother said she just couldn't -live there, that was all there was to it. It was too wet for her. And so father said,"Alright, if it Isn't pleasing to you, it isn't going to be to aplace for us to live and so we'll go farther in land,"And they came to Moscow, They knew a. family there in Moscow, by the name of Eggland, Susie and Peter Eggland, And they had a ten acre apple orchard, Rome beauties and other kinds of apples. Beautiful .and they kept it nice and clean. Because Susie would go out in the spring and she would hoe for, I think it was six or ten feet around each one of those trees and ten acres. And that was their farming, was that apple orchard And then we had rented rooms in Moscow, and I started to school again in Moscow high school. And father started going out with real estate agents to different places around outside of Moscow, and even came over here, as far as Princeton. And he liked a farm up towards Gold Hill, So he bought a hundred and twenty acres, I think up there near Gold Hill, And I didn't see it until June. The family came over here and moved into a litile up and down house that was on the place. They built a new house later. But for the time being, this was a "three room shack is what they called it, from Mr, and Mrs. Charlie Lemon, And the Lemons moved down to Princeton and my mother and father and sister moved into the little shack up the farm, And there were forty acres that had to be cleared. It was all in pine trees and fir trees. And there was forty acres cleared and that was what he was farming. And^he had my uncle to slash off another forty and that wood was just burned up,to get it out of the way to make a place to plant crops. Course, it took time. And then the other forty my father cleared most of that himself. That made the three forties. And they built the house up on the hill on the third forty. They used to go up there and my mother said,"This is such a beautiful spot. I'd like to build our house up here." It was on top of the hill. So father said,"Alright, we'll build it up here,'* and he had a contractor to move up here, that was in 1913, Three years after they had come to Princeton,
SS: You finished up the school year in Moscow and then moved with the family?
VG: Then I went up to the Ursuline convent. And I went to school there for thenext three years.
SS: Where exactly was that?
VG: Ursuline Convent in Moscow, It's St. Mary's Academy now. And I was graduatedfrom there in 1912. And then I had always wanted to teach school and so Mo ther Mary Rose gave some special credits and some tutoring for that required for teaching. And then right from the convent with those credits that Mother Rose had arranged for me, I had a scholarship and I could have entered the university then, but I wanted to teach a year first, And I went to Colfax and took the teachers examination. In the spring of 1913, and then all the schools by that time in Latah county seemed to be taken, contracted for. So I kept writing out of the state, I even wrote to Alaska for a position, and I wrote to several other places, but one of them was accepted at Creston, Washington, So I went out there to teach that term of school. It was thirteen miles from Creston and thirteen miles from Wilbur, out in the scabrock country, but that was a different experience and I enjoyed it. I taught that term sixty five dollars a month,
SS: What was your first year like?
VG: one room school house, and I had to walk a mile down one hill andup another. And there were fourteen pupils from grade one through eight. And what I watched most for was the mail carrier who drove in from Creston, He'd get there long about noon. Because I got a letter every day from*-Evan. And I don't think he ever missed a day sending a letter, In all that time I was there.
SS: When had you met him?
VG: Oh, in 1910, the summer of 1910, when I came home in June, My family liveduptfiere on the farm, And his family lived down at Princeton, His father was post master there for thirty five years, And he had a. general store, And I think it was at Sunday School that I met him. And I thought he was very clever, because when they passed around their plate, he would have a nickle balanced on each one of " fingers and he'd put 'em in like that. I'd never seen anyone do that before,(chuckles)But I think that was where I met him. Arid they had the Sunday School in the schoolhouse. There wasn't any church built there. In this town then,
SS: He wrote to you every day?
VG: I don't think he missed a day,
SS: He must have liked you.
VG: Well I don't know whether he said he did or not,but he wrote the lettersanyway. They were just little letters. Just little friendly letters. They weren't romantic or amourous or anything. But I still have them tied up with a little red ribbon.
SS: It sounds lika an isolated time, teaching in the middle of nowhere, awayfrom home. It sounds like it wouldn't be the easiest job
VG: I didn't expect it to be easy, I went there to teach and to work, And Iboarded with a very nice family who lived a mile from the schoolhouse, And three of their children went to school, And we had programs at the school, All the people who had children would come, And we songfests and dialogs and such things that they had in school on Friday afternoons, They used to have those at Princeton too.
SS: Would there be parties at the school?
VG: No, the neighbors were so far apart, So every day was like a party at theschool. There wasn't any well at the school house, there was a little wood shed of sorts where they had a little wood for kindling and coal, We just had to heat the school house with a little iron stove, And I used to carry a little ten pound lard bucket full of water from home. The children brogght their drinking water in bottles to school with their lunch. And I brought this little bucket full of water to pour over their hands before they would eat their lunch. They would all stand in a row outside in the schoolyard hold out their hands and I 'd pour a little bit of water on each one. And so they could rinse them off clean enough 4 eat their sandwiches. And that was all the water that we had there, unless somebody hauled some to clean the schoolhouse. They did that from time to time,Otherwise? I would just sweep it out and dust it, It was a new schoolhouse though, it was nice schoolhouse,painted white. But I think we had a Hallowe'en program and we had a Christmas program. And I think that was about the get togethers that we had,
SS: What did you think of the teaching there, was it difficult?
VG: No, it, there too many in any one grade. There were three big boysin the eighth grade. Their folks would keep them out to help with the farm work. Too much of the time. So they didn't pass and they weren't there enough really to make it count. I don't know what they did after I was there. I didn't come back the second year. But those dear little girls, there were three little girls in the fourth grade. They'd come with their sunbonnets on, I took pictittres of them out in the schoolyard, I still have all those. And there were two in the first grade, I think Hallowe'en, I don't remember just what we did. We had a basket social, that was it. We wanted the money to buy more library books. We had a little school library, That's what the Hallowe'en was for. A basket social, I don't remember how much we mades but we bought quite a few books, were not nearly so expensive then as they are now,
SS: Did you get a chance to come home very often?
VG: I came home at Christmas time, was all. Two weeks,
SS: But you didn't go back the next year?
VG: I went back the second term,
SS: The second year?
VG: No, I didn't go back for the second year, I taught the two semesters, Andwhen I went home for Christmas, my folks had moved into their new house up on the hill, It was very nice up there
SS: Then what did you do after you stopped teaching?
VG: I came home in May and I had a month to make a trousseau and got married inJune. And I've been married now, sixty two years. It will be sixty two years the eleventh of June, To the very same Evan,
SS: Where were you married?
VG: In my parents' home. Up on the hill. And Evan brought over Rev, JohnathonWatson from Moscow to perform the ceremony. He was an Episcopalian minister. And we had twenty five guests. They all, no they weren't all from Princeton, There were girls from over at Moscow, And Chalice played the wedding music. Chalice Thomas. She lived just across the road up on the other hill, And she had just come home from normal school at Cheney, Went to school at Cheney, She wanted to teach too. But I had always wanted to teach school. And I had planned to be an old maid. That was all I had ever wanted to do To be a school teacher. And Evan said,"Go ahead and t-each your school, I'll wait for you." And so he did. And I went and taught a year at least. And, that time I thought maybe it wasn't quite so romantic to teach school after all. But I wouldn't have gone on if it hadn't have been for him,I would have found a school somewhere else. But I wouldn't have gone back to Creston, It was rather bleak and not very exciting there, I never went anywhere all the time I was there. I just stayed out at th at place. Boarded for twenty dollars a month. But I like that family, they were very nice to me, And I roomed with their daughter. We had a little room upstairs. And we had to sleep between two featherbeds. So that was an experience too, Pauline was about the same age that I was. There name was Blenns, Mr, and Mrs, John Blenns, And their four children,
SS: Where did you get the idea to be a teacher?
VG: I think in Nebraska, My mother and father, they lived, when we first wentto Nebraska, there was a little sod schoolhouse dn one corner of that farm* There was an acre taken out of that farm for a schoolyard, And there was a sod schoolhouse on it. And that summer some of the men in the school district took down that soddy schoolhouse and they built a new little white frame schoolhouse. And it was just a charming little place, It wasn't so hard to get water there and there were just a few children around the neighborhood A few who sent their children there, And there was my cousin and then the two girls in our family. And three other families, each had one child there and the Hague family had about six children who came, They had ten in their family, the Hague family. And we'd play ball at recess and we had such a good time, And my mother and father always boarded the school teacher. And I think I was in the sixth grade when we came there from Colorado Springs, And so there was the sixth and the seventh and the eighth grade and those schoolteachers all boarded with my father and mother. And I admired them so much.all my schoolteachers. I just thought, I'd like to be a schoolteacher too. So that's the way it came about, I think, For our eighth grade graduation, we went to the county,
SS: All rural schools in the county,
VG: All had their eighth grade graduation there. That was really quite an event,We went on the train fromo.ur town to McCook, to the county seat. And my mother had a white dress made by a dressmaker for me to wear, And all the girls wore white dresses and the boys all wore suits, I have the picture somewhere tucked away of our eighth grade class from all over the county. That was really quite an event,
SS: Did you find moving from place to place to be difficult for you?
VG: I often, I wouldn't say often, but I used to wish that I could lifce in onetown all my life and know everybody and not have to make new friends every where I went. Yes, I did. I did notice that, But then, children adjust easily. They quickly find new interests and new friends,
SS: Seems since you've settled here, you've spent your adult life in one place,
VG: Yes, yes this had been just idyllic, There was one friend, there is onefriend in Colorado Springs, we went to the same Sunday School, Her name was Merdices Hoover. And just about a year after we moved to Nebraska from Colorado Springs, her family moved to Seattle, And we still call each other on the telephone and write letters. She graduated from high school in Seattle and then from the university from Washington. And she became a professor in the school of arts,And she had her master's degree in five arts. And she taught there until she was seventy, I think. Until retirement age. I think in Washington at 65 but you're retired at 70. So she stayed the full time. Her husband died after they had their fiftieth anniversary. She had married Perry Hensley just after they were out of high school. And I used to go over to visit them, I went to visit them once while I was at Creston, That was a happy break that I had while I was over there, At Thanksgiving time I went to Cooley City where she and Perry had,built themselves a home on his father's ranch. He wanted to have a ranch for each of his boys.And they were to have all the increase of the stock. It was a cattle ranch,Up in Moses Cooley, I think maybe it's underwater now. No, it isn't either, Because she has been back there since and there's nothing left of the house or the barn or anything. But I went and stayed with them that weekend of Thanksgiving, lirent on the train, And that was the only break I had during that term of teaching.
SS: Probably of the people around Creston, quite a few were homesteaders?
VG: They may have been, I don't know about that. But they were right at the edgeof the scabrock country. They had, they cut hay en all the creek bottoms, And I think they had a little crop land, but not very much, They didn't have very much grain. It was rocky country, You know, that part of Washington is. It's just beyound the wheat country. They raised turkeyAand they raised stock. And it seems as if down in that valley along the creek bottom, they had^hay for their stock.
SS: What was the Ursuline Academy like?
VG: It was a girls' boarding school. And they had girls from kindergarten ageon through high school,The little kindergarten people didn't board there when I was there. just high school girls. But there were three nuns who operated that school,There was Mother Mary Rose and Sister Carmel and Mother Paula, she was the music teacher. And they had CL day school also for,it was a parochial school, mostly Catholics, but I wasn't a Catholic. But I had gone to Catholic academy for my first year in high school, I went from Nebraska back to Illinois, to St. Mary's Academy, Because that was where my mother had grown up in Nalfcoo and she liked that school and s/ye wanted me to go there. And this was very similar, but it was a smaller school. The one that Moscow had^ I don't rememberAhow many, but they had all the grades. And they had the three nuns taught school and they had other teachers besides.
SS: Was there much religious instruction?
VG: Not for me. You weren't required to take the religious instruction if youweren't a Catholic and didn't care for it
SS: Was the studying difficult?
VG: Thejfr were regular high school subjects, all of them, Because it was anaccredited high school and we had our certificates to enter the university when we graduated, I still have mine, I didn't use it.
What did you think of the boarding part of it, What was it like to be livingwith other young ladies away from home?
It was delightful.lt was just the same, day after day, We had to get up ontime in the morning and go to chapel. Chapel was just downstairs, And Father Percule would come over from the parsonage. And have his service at the chapel every morning. And prayers for the nuns, And then we would go to our classrooms. We had breakfast downstairs and we always had applesauce and oatmeal and all the bread and butter we wanted, but that was our staple breakfast. We all were nice and plump and pink cheeked from a diet like that, It was always the same, it was always good, ^Very good, And we never did get tired of it, And then for our noon meal, we had other things, I don^t remember just what. Bean soup and beef stew maybe and the only thing I remember especially was the carrots, I didn't care for carrots^ I guess none of the other girls did either. But we didn't eat our creamed carrots and someone told Sister Paula and she said,"Well, they'll just, keep coming back to the table til they do eat them," (chuckles) So I suppose they disappeared,Then for supper we what Dolly Bean used to call glorious potatoes, She'd say "Aren't these potatoes glorious?" And they were homegrown nice Moscow farm potatoes, you know. They were cooked with their jackets on, I think and then chopped up and fried in butter. Lots of butter, And then we had applesauce with those and bread and butter, And not very many deserts that I can remember. But boarding for twenty dollars a month, we couldn't have very many desserts .That many girls, you know. But it was pleasing and we never found a bit of fault with anything. The only thing was uncomfortable;, Id say, about it, was our cold feet. We had little cots that we slept on in the dormitory, And every night we'd put our bricks on top of the cooking stove,, in the kitchen and get those bricks warm and wrap them up uin toxrels and put them in our cots warm our feet. And one night Elizabeth Wiley's brick was too hot. And it scorched her matress and we could smell something burning. We called Sister Carmei and she made an examination of all those cots til she found a brick that was scorching and we took it out and we all settled down,But it was very comfortable,We had a good time there, All of as,
SS: Sounds like there was quite a bit of companionships
VG: Oh yes, there was. We were just like sisters, But there were girls fromGenesee and girls from Moscow. And there were two of us from over at Princeton, Mary Cummerford was going over there at that time, And there were Moscow girls that came for day school. There were lots of those
SS: Were most of the girls from the county? Or did quite a few come from outside?
VG: I don't think there was any from outside the country boarding, Not that Iremember right now. But I do remember there were several from Genesee,
SS: Did you get a chance to go downtown?
VG: Yes, we to go downtown shopping, Always two of us together,. And wehad to report when we were going and when we returned, We had to have permission, we didn't just run when we felt like it, We had to have permission.
SS: What was Moscow like at that time?
VG: I remember that the last year I was there they built that post office thatis a contraversial subject now. They were building that post office then. And Evan was going to the university^I didn't know him then,
SS: Were the sisters very strict?
VG: Oh dear, yes. I should say they were!
SS: Were the girls afraid of stepping out of line?
VG: I don't know of anybody that wasiever chastised anything, They knewthe rules and they abided by them, I don't know what would've happened if they didn't. I never broke one to find out, But we had our study period after supper. We'd all go up to our study room to get our lessons for the next day.And we had such a nice big green yard and there was a big apple tree. It had the nicest, big golden apples on it that fell down and got covered with snow. And even in February we'd go out there and scrape off the snow and get those apples and they were still good, I don't know if that was just one year that happened like that or not. And then Sister Carmel raised a cucumber bed. She had a'garden and she raised cucumbers, We liked to help her in her little garden, Sisters seemed to do all their own work, They had a woman come in to do the laundering for themselves and the girls. The girls could launder their own things if they wanted to, But there were no washing machines. One did it by hand, It was all done by hand. And then the sisters recreation seemed to be taking a case knife and digging dandelions out of the lawn so we used to help Mother Rose do that, They had a large lawn. It was some large house that had been made into this school. They built a chapel onto it. Tneye all new buildings there now since I have come away. And that's been so long ago, 1912 was when I finished there,
SS: Can you remember what any of the rules were?
VG: We just had to be ourselves, I guess.I don't remember any particular rules,We just had to be good girls. Nothing in particular that I recall, We were just supposed to act like young ladies,(chuckles)
SS: Did you go home to visit during that time?
VG: No, only at Christmas, Because I had to come on the train and we had tochange trains at Palouse, To the WIM to come up here. And Thanksgiving, we didn't have Friday after Thanksgiving, that wasn't a holiday, We went to school, I don't know why I didn't come home more often. I guess it just wasn't handy. For so short a time. But Christmas, we had two weeks,
SS: Do you remember how Christmas was celebrated around here? Was there much ofa community celebration
VG: There was always a Christmas tree at the church and a Christmas program, Andtreats for everybody. From as far back as I can remember, At all the different places we lived, it was always the same, And they still have those Christmas programs. Christmas music and everybody taking part,AAt the convent they had recitals from time to time by the music And they had a play once a year. And all of us would take part in those, Just as a part of the requirements for school, I guess, for graduating,We didn't have any chemistry class. There was no laboratory at the school. It was just you had to wait for college to have anything like that, We had four years of Latin at the convent. And two years of French and four years of English, Which is something that they're talking about now. They feel that high school students aren't getting enough instruction in English now, Because when they go to college, they don't seem to be prepared,
SS: When did you first start going to Sunday School?
VG: When we first came we went to Sunday School in the schoolhouse, There wasno church here yet then, and that summer they did build a large church over where the little club house is now. Just taking up donations and the people around all the community, it was, they called it a Union church, because there was no particular denomination here^ With enough people for a church} so they were building a union church, And that first summer after they built it, there were 100 Sunday School pupils attending there, Some of them were Methodists and Episcopalians, They might have been Baptists, They just all went to have Bible study , And they had good teachers who had been college teachers before they came to Princeton. And some good musicians and some good singers,Those people who were through here then seemed to bring all that ability with them. So it really was a thriving Sunday School, And they would have ministers from over at Mosoow, And there was one traveling minister who came frequently. He was Reverend Ferrell, They called him the loggers preacher,
SS: Dick Ferrell.
VG: Dick Ferrell, yes. He used to stop here with Evan's father and mother whenever he came to Princeton, he would stay with them, And there would always be a large turnout for his sermons, And there was a Rev, Kincaid who came from Palouse frequently,
SS: Was he a judge too?
VG: Well possibly, I wouldn't know about that really. And then there was anEpiscopalian minister, I think his name was Mitchell,(^h© came over frequently too. His family used to come over for weekends and they would stop with Evan's father and mother. And Evan's folks were Episcopalians, And my folks were Methodists. But it didn't matter what you were, you were welcomed to the Union church, And it went on for a number of years, And the women formed a Union Sunday School Society, And whenever the church needed repairs, they would have bazaars,dinners and they did quilting as they're still doing. And they would furnish the materials and then the men in the community would do the work. And they put a new roof, at one time, on that big church, I don't know if anyone has any pictures of that church, I don't have one. But somebody might have. It was a large building. And it was sealed inside, it wasn't plastered, it was sealed. I wish I had taken some pictures of it. But I never did.
SS: On most Sundays, was there usually a minister speaking?
VG: There was always Sunday School on Sunday. I don't know whether they alwayshad preaching afterwards or not. There would be a lay preacher very often,
SS: The service would follow the Sunday School?
VG: That would follow Sunday School, urn hum. And then from time to time, theyoung people would get into buggys and hacks and go down to Potlatch to Christian Endeavor Society on Sunday evenings. I remember our doing that from time to time.
SS: What was the Christian Endeavor Society?
VG: Well it was supported by the Union Church at Potlatch. They had a largechurch there at one time. It was right down on the main road, It was a beautiful big building with stained glass windows. And then it burned down must have been about 1956 or somewhere in there. In the fifties.
SS: Was it for young people?
VG: Uh huh. Yes.
SS: Study group?
VG: Uh huh. Someone would have a message like a sermonette. It was usually anevening affair. We'd go down before dark and get back before dark. It wasn't late. But I think they had it every week in Potlatch, but we didn't always go down. I guess we didn't always have someone to take us. People who had horses and buggys and two seaters liked to go places on Sundays. But when we could, we had someone to take us down. From the Sunday School,
SS: Do you remember Dick Ferrell's preaching?
VG: Oh yes, I went often to hear his services,
SS: I wonder what they were like? I've heard so much about him preaching to thelumberjacks in the logging camps.
VG: Well his sermons were just like any other preachers. But he had a way ofdelivering that they liked to hear him talk. They liked to listen, I couldn't tell you what any one sermon was, but...
SS: I wonder what made him so popular? He seemed one that many liked and admired,
VG: Yes. Well he just had a good way about him,He was just a good person, Ithink he was a man of God, I think he really was, through and through, When he came here to stay, he would get right busy and fill up Grandmother's wood box, just as if he one of the family, And I imagine he did the same whereever he went. And I remember one time, I was going to go to Boise on the train. I had a new granddaughter and I was going down to stay for a couple of weeks. And the snow was so deep and it was so cold and I had to have someone take me down to Palouse to catch the train to Spokane. And the train was late. When I got on board, Rev, Ferrell was on. And he said,"The train is late. When we get into Spokane, they'll be a train waiting to go to Boise and you won't have very much time.So I'll take your suitcases." I had two of them,He said,"I'11 take those and run on ahead, And you just get there as fast as you can, over to the other train," So he got off first and he telephoned over to the other railroad station, YOu had to go to another railroad station to get that train. And he said to wait because there was a passenger coming on that train from Palouse that wanted to go to Boise, So I got there as fast as I could, And when I got there, the train was waiting and the conductor was standing outside and he said,"Are you the lady that's going to Boise?" I said yes. So he said 'Everything is on, So you just get on," If it hadn't been for Rev, Ferrell, I never would have made it. But he was just so helpful whereever he went, you know,
VG: I think wherever there was a church, they asked him to come. As far as Iknow, they just invited him, and if he was free for that Sunday, he would come. He went to all the lumbercamps to preach. Bovill, I think he came for a period over several years,
SS: The Sunday School, was it divided into classes with different teachers?And age groups?
VG: Yes. There were different teachers for different age groups, BtF, Thomaswas the superintendent for a long time, H.L, Hawkins was the superintendent before Mr. Thomas. And Mrs, Henry Allen was our teacher. And she was a wonderful teacher. She had taught in Oberlin College before she came here.
SS: Was her husband farming here?
VG: No. I don't know what her husband did. I think he was retired. I think hemay have done some carpentry work. That was Henry Allen and she had her son Forrest Allen, who was a photographer. And her daughter, Fern, had been a teacher before she came here.
SS: Was there a social part of the Sunday School? Or was it strictly religious?
VG: Well they used to have Sunday School picnics. They would all make somethingto take for a picnic lunch and go up to the spring on Gold Hill. That's the only picnics I ever attended.
SS: This was after church service was over?
VG: Yes. After Sunday School. While they went to Sunday School at the schoolhouse, I don't remember attending any sermons until after they built the church. But that was the first summer.
SS: Was the church service mostly sermon or was it worship and singing and prayersas well?
VG: Oh yes Just a real service such as any church would have.
SS: Since it was the United church, it wouldn't be sectarian. I wonder how itmight be different from a denominational service?
VG: Well I don't know. They just made a few arrangements. The Episcopalians hada screen made that they^set up for, I never happened to come up here tor one of those services. We lived down at Onaway then.Evan and I lived at Onaway. We didn't always live here.
SS: What was Evan's store like(parents)
VG: General store. And a post office was in the back of it until they built aseparate addition for the post office. And they had coffee that you ground in a big coffee mill. Coffee didn't come in cans and jars just then. It came in paper bags and you could have it ground or^could take it home and grind it in a little hand grinder. Their coffee mill is still upstairs. A nice big coffee mill.And they had oranges by the dozen, And bananas by the dozen. Idon't think they weighed the bananas. They -cut off the stem and counted. They had some dry goods. And canned goods. Just what any little country store, but not asupermarket. Ithink all that my mother ever sent for down +c the store was coffee and sugar and canned salmon and bacon. She had everything else on the farm. And so did we have in Nebraska.You cooked everything from scratch, those days. And recipes were called recipts.There's a new receipt book out now from Mrs. Pratt in Coeur d'Alene and it's the nicest little book. It's called Patience Willoleaf's Receipt Book. And it's all about the things that the pioneers had to cook with when they came in their covered wagons. It's very interesting, I just finished reading it. She sent me a copy of it. And she had done hours and hours of research getting cookbook together. And she has it for sale now. Grace Raffy Pratt of Coeur d' Alene.
SS: Did your mother and you cook in a way similar to the ways described in thatbook?
VG: Very much, uh huh. But of course, my mother had magazines and receipes thatcame at that time. It was a little bit later than the covered wagons.
SS: I wonder if it had changed very much in the pioneer days in the cooking.
VG: It has changed now because everything is already prepared. The mixes areprepared and all of those things. But the other receipes are just about the same What my mother had. I 've been reading them and I think they're very similar. Only one thing I noticed: in particular. They didn't seem to have, the pioneers didn't seem to have double acting baking powder. They would use two teaspoons of cream of tartar, and one of soad for their leavening. In their cookies and cakes. And fcow it's just a teaspoon of double acting baking powder to a cup of flour. Mostly. Unless you buy a mix.
SS: With people not buying too many foods, did Evan's parents do a good businessat their store?
VG: People bought some thing. Everybody didn't live out on the farm, you know.And have all those things. Raise all those things. But they would have their own stock if they lived out on the farm, and do their own butchering. And made their own butter and cottage cheese.AEven made yellow cheese and course, they had their own bacon and hams. They smoked their own hams.
SS: I've been told by former storekeepers that a lot of times they had to carrypeople on credit, maybe for a long time.The farmers they'd have to carry til harvest.
VG: The crops were sold.
SS: Was that true here?
VG: I suppose they carried some. I really don't know about that. But I know itwas true in Onaway where Evan and his brother had a store.
SS: That store in Onaway, was that a grocery store too, a general store?
VG: Yes, it was a general store. It's used now for a church. The last man whohad a store there moved over to Potlatch into that new center, shopping center. And then the building was sold for a church.
SS: Didn't a lot of people do their shopping in Onaway, who didn't want to shopat the Mercantile?
VG: Yes they did a great deal. Onaway did a great deal of merchandising withpeople in Potlatch. They would even send a man over to take orders in the morning. Go from house to house, that was a convienience to the housewives at one time. And then deliver them that afternoon. And then they began phoning in their orders and delivered those.They had a team of horses and a wagon. They delivered, that is before they had a truck. Or a pickup.
SS: Do you know how your prices compared to the prices at the Potlatch Mercantile?
VG: They were about the same, I think.
SS: I've heard that was a big store.
VG: But of course, the farmers liked to come into Onaway. Most of the farmerscame to bring their butter and eggs.They seemed to do well enough and kept busy.
SS: Was there much of a town at Onaway at that time?
VG: Well, it was just about the same as it is now. I noticed many of the housesare,the same ones as when we lived there. And we left there in 1938. And I don't see that it's very much changed. But people are fixing up their places more because they havexwater system^and a sewage system incorporated, and it wasn't incorporated when we were there. It's shaping up. It looks much nicer.
SS: You lived there from when you were married til 1938?
VG: Well we went to Spokane for a year at one time. And then for four monthsat another time. And all the rest of the time we lived there in Onaway. Til we moved up here. Moved up to our 49 acres up there in 1938. On Decoration Day. And then we moved down here on the 9th of November in 1948. After Evan's father and mother, died. The last day of February and the first day of March.
SS: Did they have one day between them?
VG: There was just twelve hours between them, their passing. And that was whenthe highwater came here. They had to bring an army truck instead of an ambulance to take grandpa out.Grandmother died in the evening, about 9 o'clock and grandpa died the next morning about 9 o'clock.I wasn't here then.
SS: Do you think her death caused his?
VG: No, I don't think he knew it.No, I don't think either one of them knewAtheother was passing. They had both been ill for some time. Their daughter an and their granddaughter and other people were here. I wasn't here. He was 90 and I think she was 86 Or 7.
SS: I've heard nothing about the town of Onaway in the '20's and '30's.Justthat it was near Potlatch and that people went from Potlatch tfe there to shop.
VG: There's something in here about Onaway, I think. Uh huh.I haven't come toit yet, I don't know just what it is.
SS: It was a separate town, of it's own?
VG: It never had a post office. But there was a school house there, that wasschool district 101. And they had a dentist's office and they had a meat market. They had a drugstore and Dr. LePard had a little home-like hospital. He called it the North Potlatch Sanitorium, I think. But they had rooms upstairs for patients. Dr. LePard had been a doctor years before and his wife was a nurse. She was the first licensed pharmacist in Idaho, Mrs. LePard. They had a lovely drugstore. The shelves were just lined with those big apothecary jars like those up there. They had just dozens and dozens of those filled with things on their shelves. Always kept shining. He had a Japanese boy who came in the store and kept everything just immaculate in the drugstore. And Mrs. LePard made and sold hats. In a room back of the drugstore. She had a shop. And that is something that you don't see any more is a millinery shop. But she had worked in a store at Garfield before she came to Onaway, before she married Dr. LePard. And she used to even line coffins that they had made. They had carpenters make the coffins and she would line them with satin and pillows and ruffles. She did that in her millinery shop in Garfield. She had one in Garfield before she came to Onaway. She didn't do any of that work she came to Onaway but only the hats. But she had the most beautiful hats with ribbons and flowers That's the days of Easter bonnets we don't see so many of those any more. But they were beautiful creations.
SS: Did she sell clothing as well?
VG: No, she had only hats. The hats and the nursing kept her busy.
SS: Did you work in the grocery store too?
VG: Yes, some of the time. After my children were in school. I didn't work whilemy children were at home. But after they were all in school I did mostly bookkeeping. And waiting on customers. They didn't wait on themselves then like they do now. That was the Piggly Wiggley store started that. While we were in Spokane, they started the Piggly Wiggly stores. Go around and help yourself and check out. But in our store, we helped the customers find what they wanted and stood there and waited while they decided and if they didn't want anything, why that time had just gone by. But that's the way it was. And then you cut off the cheese instead of every slice being wrapped up carefully in plastic the way it is now. There was a big cake of cheese,oh dear, it was probably fourteen inches across or larger. And one heavy knife that cut off a pound at a time. You wound it around on like a little lazy susan and cut-off. Sometimes you'd get a pound and sometimes you wouldn't. It was just had to be weighed. And then we had to dip the sugar out of one big sack and put it into little paper bags. didn't come in packages the way it does now. And we got so we could lift out a pound of nails out of a barrelful and put them in a paper sack. And got just so we could pick up a pound and now just about to the nail if it weighed a pound or two pounds. was different than it is now. Now there's so much packaging. One English man came over from London and someone asked him about his impressions of America and he said,"I haven't had time to make any impressions. I've been so busy unwrapping cellophane packages." He didn't know just what he thought of it all yet.
SS: Did most of your business come from your farmers around Onaway? Did manypeople from Potlatch use the store?
VG: Oh yes. I wouldn't know how many, but enough to keep everybody busy.
SS: Did people ask for credit in those days? I know people weren't too well todo then.
VG: No. Well I don't remember how many of course. Be hard to say.But I knowafter the Depression, a lot of them never were able to pay up.That store lost out entirely during the depression. The merchants' association had to take the accounts and whatever they got out of them, I don't know. But I that we lost considerably. Everything, in fact,
SS: I would imagine that nobody had any money.
VG: Money doesn't mean very much to Evan. And as long as he had anything, helet people have it. And there was quite a bit on the books when we had to close up.Because we couldn't get any more credit. And therefore, we couldn't give any more. So that was just the end of it. Some of the people came and paid afterwards. Because they knew that they owed it. But there were many others who never could. And whether the merchants' association got anything from .them or not, I don't know. Probably got enough to satisfy their creditors.
SS: When did you close the store? 1938 or earlier?
VG: I think that was about the time it was. I really would have to look upsomething to find out about that. 'Cause that didn't impress me too much.
SS: Did you find it to be a full time job to raise your children and keep thehouse?
VG: Uh huh. I never had any time to spare. But of course, in those days, wedidn't have all the gadgets for housekeeping that we do now. We didn't have electricty in Onaway. We lighted gasoline lamps. Everyone had a gasoline lamp or lantern or something, or coal oil lamps. Prior to 1938 we didn't have electricty in Onaway. I think the REA came in 1938 when we moved up there, we had electricty in our house up here. And that was when they put it in. But they had it down here in Princeton before that. And of course, then we didn't have vacum cleaners. And instead of refrigerators, electric refrigerators, we had Leonard ice boxes and we put fifty pound cake of ice in our ice box..Kept the milk from turning sour, that was about all. And we had, we put a big pan under the ice box and that caught the dripping water. Before your fifty pound cake was gone, you put in another one. And that meant that you had to have ice houses all the country. My father had an ice house up at his place. Evan's father had one here. Everyone had to have an ice house. And fill it up in the winter, cut the cakes out of the river and bury them in sawdust.
SS: You mean, everyone had ice houses?
VG: If they wanted any ice they did.And I think most of them did.
SS: Was the ice house under ground?
VG: No, it was over. But it had^thick walls filled with sawdust. Double wallsfilled with sawdust and then they buried the ice cakes in sawdust.
SS: Would they do that as a group effort, to cut ice on the river? Where wouldthey get their ice from?
VG: They cut it from the river, as I remember. I don't know where else theywould get it. We used to have more severe winters than we have had lately. It would be really cold, below zero for a long time. We had one night this winter, of zero. That was all.
SS: Do you think you raised your children in the way you had been raised?
VG: Well, pretty much so. I wouldn't know how else to raise them.
SS: I wonder if it's much different than the way children are growing up now?
VG: Well they get different ideas when they start to college. I think untilthey started to college, it was just the way we had.taught them to be. And expected them to be. Even college now is vastly different from when my children went.We had three boys and the first boy died in 1945. He didn't go to college. He was taking some correspondence courses from the university and he did some newspaper...
VG: In 1944, one of them graduated in 1944 and he went into the navy and theother one had already gone into the army. And he came back and graduated in 1947. Came back and finished. Oh that Skeeka, she's another old timer. She knows some good stories.(pause)Under that pine tree.Evan's father and the boys and some other neighbors who had a farm and they mixed their cement right there, and made the blocks in the form. Then they loaded them all on to a flat wagon with low wheeles, and hauled them down .the river and put them in the river to harden. The river at that time didn't have steep banks the way it does now. We could just wade across. It was just a pretty little river, with clear water.
GETHA LAKEY GUPTILL: Lots of fish.
VG: And then they would haul those cement blocks back and made enough of them.Evan's father told me how many are in this house, but I forget. I may have written it down somewhere, but I never bothered to count them.
GLG: They're rock, I have seen them rock.
VG: And they*re hollow inside like those that you buy now.
GLG: What year was it that this house was built?
VG: 1910, they built it in 1910, that summer.
GLG: Herman and I were talking about it this afternoon. Nobody seemed to knowwhen it was built 1910. Herman wasn't sure whether George built it or George's folks built it.
VG: George and Sarah.
GLG: Sarah, that was her name.
SS: It's one of the few houses around here built out of those blocks, isn't it?
VG: I think this is the only one that was ever hand made. Right here on theground. 'Cause those trees weren't so tall then. That was...
SS: I wonder where that cement came from?
VG: The cement? Portland, I think.
SS: Do you remember the gypsies coming through?
VG: Yes,I remember when the gypsies used to come. They were just, orthey were so picturesque. They had full flowing skirts of bright colors. Looked as if they had more than one on. Looked as if they.had half a dozen petticoats. And they'd walk the railroad track. And I followed them one day with the Kodack, I wanted to get pictures of them, because I thought they were so picturesque. There was a woman and some smaller girls. I don't know where they were going, but they were going up the track. And they didn't want me to take their picture. And I said,"Let me take your picture. You look so pretty. And they kept on running. And I started running too, and I snapped it, I said,Well I got it anyway,(laughs)She said,"You didn't get my face, you just got my behind.(laughs)
GLG: We were living up there at the forks, where you turn to go to Fernwood andSt. Maries,you know. It forks. One summer in '39 or '40, along in there. There was two big camps of gypsies up there in that area. And I was afraid of 'em.
VG: I wasn't afraid of them. There wasn't enough of them at that time , I guess,in that group.
GLG: The big camps where they have all the wagons and the horses and the goatsand the sheep and the cows.And they'd sleep all day, it'd seem like, and then they sing and dance and play around all night.
VG: Would they?
GLG: Around the campfire.
VG: Well Emmett told about their rushing the stores and filling their pockets.I don't know about that.
GLG: That's what I was afraid of .'Cause a lady that lived up there, that had ahouse^made sure everything was locked up good and nothing was laying loose out in the yard or anything.(both talk at once)
VG: That must have been Parker's store that Emmett talked about,because I neverheard Grandpa Gurnsey say anthing about that.
SS: Did you ever speak to them or have anything to do with them?
GLG: Well I did have to because, in order to keep on their good side, I wasafraid not to. Because they ere very friendly type of people. Very friendly. And there was one central water well up there at that time. And I had two big five gallon cans that I put in the .of my car and go up and fill 'em up once a day. And they were always there getting water too. In fact one of the the camps was right close to the wells. And it was up over a hill. So there was always some of em Kout when I went to get my water. To drink, for cooking I got it out of that little creek that run along there along the roddi to wash. But I had to go get my drinking water up there on the hill, There was always some of them around. Watering their stock or something. They'd bring 'em down in fact, in front of where our trailer was to water their stock. Because it was low and^easy to get to. So you just don't threaten them or run and hide or anything^ Then they will cause you trouble. But I never let 'em get close to me or anything like that. I kept my car doors locked and my trailer locked. Because they just slowly slip out so eas#. . The stores in Portland, one section of Portland is just overridden with them. I mean, is just strictly gypsy area. And they come there, come home and stay during the winter months. I don't know where they go in the summer time when it gets hot. Theynmust go north, or something. But they'll be three or four and they'll start a fight in the grocery store. Among themselves. Well you can't help but stop and watch 'em. In the mean time, here scoots out the backdoor, a guy with four or five carts^of groceries. And gets away real quick while everybody's watching this fracas in front.They're slick. (Laughs)
SS: Sounds like they've got it down to a fine art.
GLG: They still do. They haven't changed. I knew one fellow, carry out guy toldme how much they lost in a year's time. This commotion. And it got so most stores post guards. But still, even then, a person that was like a customer around shopping. In fact a friend of mine was a guard in a store. And she spent half a day filling her basket and the other half putting it back where she got it. But in the meantime, keeping an eye. And fightings would start and then they would start looking elsewhere for something else that was going on. But still they get away with it. They're colorful. They stand out more than they used to because it wasn't uncommon to have a long dress back then.
VG: Tomorrow is the we bring antiques...(pause)
GLG: Some place where the old Indian didn't want 'em to be or something like thisand the family was sort of arregant. And I guess Grandpa Tribble really saved their lives. And he brought 'em into his camp. Well the Indians respected him so much^ someone was his friend, the Indians wouldn't hurt them, wouldn't touch them. Because they respected Grandpa Tribble that much. And so when anybody was in trouble, they come to him, stay around him and then they weren't in danger. Then they would get out of sight, you see. But...
SS: At this point, the Indians were camping all around here and ...
GLG: This was their home grounds, you see.Potlatch means grounds. And thatwas their grounds.Where Indians came from all over there in the summertime to carry on meetings and council business, feasting and fasting and whatever they do there in that area.And that was during his time. And but I just, well there was one hair raising story that I can't quite put my finger on it yet. I can remember him telling some weird stories that were unbelievable. Close calls of people that he got out of a tight spot. His own life on line Like the family that wanted to settle someway up the road a little bit. They were very arrogant and before he got them out, he lost his own life in the process you see. And from then on, he was a little more careful.Of course, this didn't last too much longer. This was almost a thing of the past by tKe time he came, but he did settle a lot of disputes between the whiter and the Indians.
SS: Sounds like you know more abut it than anybody else does now.
GLG: I can remember him telling us kids stories.My folks and the Tribbles andthe LaRues, we were the only ones on the creek at that time. And they'd all Thanksgiving, whenever possible, that's the only place there was to go, that was the only thing there was to do, you see. Well he was an old fellow, real old , and hard for him to get around. He wasn't too well. He would set and tell us kids stories while the rest of 'em was off in another room yakking and playing cards. I was so young, maybe 7,9 years old. Six or seven or eight years old. A child that young, you Set, you visualize thfe.picture, but not the facts. and you just don't remember. I was a teenager though, when he passed away. I've often wished that after I'd gotten a little older, that I'd written some of it down. And I still have it in my mind. Becasue it was really, now Lolah can tell you more, I would think.
SS: Maybe. I haven't asked her too much about his stories. Hershiel remembershis financial reverses. And the land he bought and the '93 depression. And how he lost that.
GLG: But you see, Hershiel's folks was separated when he was quite young. He livedwith his mother...
SS: That's why he didn't know very much.
GLG: And up until later years - he was married to Lolah, there was quite aspan in there he lost track of his son.In this period of time. (pause)
GLG: Stayed in town during the day.But I had an old dog that come with me whenI come in Monday morning and he'd be there waiting for me Friday night when I got out of school. That was the railroad track run out there then.I had to walk the tracks.
VG: The railroad track went up in 1906. I remember that. And Bovill had agreat picnic, 50 years later, to celebrate the laying of that railroad track.
GLG: That went up the creek you mean?
VG: That went up to Bovill. From Palouse to Bovill. And they had, they gottogether eleven passenger cars full of people^on down and went to Bovill for that picnic.
GLG: When was this
VG: Well it had to be in 1956 because it was a fifty year celebration. Fiftyyear picnic.
SS: Where did you stay in Princeton?v GLG: I stayed with the Ackermans. Mary and Bud Acerman.I boarded with them that winter.
GLG: No, they had, their children weren't born yet.I remember they had one ofthese phonographs with the cylinder records. The round records that you slip over a disc. Had a funny looking needle deal that you put on different from what you put on the flat records. And she had a record of "Jingle Bells." And I'd play that every time, every night when I come home from school I'd run first thing and put "Jingle Bells" on the phonograph. One night I come home from school and I couln't find it.Noplace. Mary said,"Well you just played it so much, it melted away." And I'm sure she hid that. She was getting tired of listening to it is what happened.(laughter)
SS: Was that the first phonograph that you ever got to play with?
GLG: No. Mother had one. She had the windup handle kind. Flat record. But Maryand Dvds was the round cylinder one. That was the first experience I had with that.
Direct segment link:
3:00 - Moving around due to father's job; How they bought their first farm in Nebraska; moved to Oregon after dust began
Direct segment link:
Segment Synopsis: Family moved around because father was a railroad engineer. He saved gold pieces in a cloth sack to buy a farm. They farmed by her brother in Nebraska until the dust began; then father auctioned off their holdings. They moved to McMinnville, Oregon, where it was too wet for mother.
Direct segment link:
15:00 - Attending Ursuline Academy; teaching in Creston Washington; getting married; interests in teaching
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
36:00 - Attending Ursuline academy and the meals there; what they did there as chores; Christmas programs and coming home for Christmas
Direct segment link:
52:00 - Union church in Princeton; Princeton young people going to Christian Endeavour Society in Potlatch; Dick Ferrell the lumberjack preacher
Direct segment link:
Segment Synopsis: The union church at Princeton was attended by many denominations, had visiting and lay preachers. Princeton young people went to the Christian Endeavour Society at Potlatch on Sunday evenings. Dick Ferrell, the lumberjack preacher, stayed with Evan's family when he preached at the church; he was a man of God and very popular. How he helped her catch the
Direct segment link:
65:00 - The Guernsey grocery store in Princeton; using different ingredients that were hard to get a hold of
Direct segment link:
71:00 - Onaway store doing business with Potlatch people; Death of Evan's parents; First licensed pharmacist in Idaho
Direct segment link:
Segment Synopsis: Their Onaway store did a great deal of business with Potlatch people. Improvement of Onaway in recent years. Death of Evan's parents within twelve hours of each other. The town of Onaway. The LePards: she was the first licensed pharmacist in Idaho and made hats; he, a doctor, had a sanitarium.
81:00 - What she did once her children were in school; loss of the store at the end of the Depression
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link: