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Latah County Oral History Collection

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

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Date: November 09, 1976 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

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SAM SCHRAGER: This conversation with Beulah Dollar Herrmann took place at her home in Troy, Idaho on November 9, 1976. The interviewer was Sam Schrager.

SS: When you came, where were you coming from?

BDH: We came from Colorado out here.

SS: And what was it that made you decide?

BDH: Well, my husband wanted to get out on a farm someplace; we were living on a farm in Colorado but they had so many wind storms there and it's hard on the crops and he wanted to get out here and he knew some people that lived at Moscow, the Bumgardners, years and years ago. I didn't know them. And he come out here and looked around and he liked it-the country, so the following year we moved out and we've been here ever since. And then, as I said, I can't remember just when I started to work for PSychiana, must have been about 1943 or 1944 that I worked there.

Had you worked before you worked there and worked around in Mos cow?

No, I hadn't. No, I just worked there because the type of workabout the only type of work that they had around Moscow for wo men was working sorting the peas and so many people couldn't do that, because they ran on a belt and you couldn't do it. And working-

SS: Like, they couldn't do it because it was hard?

BDH: It made them sick, you know, it was a movement all the time, you see. And that's why so many of them worked for Dr. Robinson because it was the type of work they could do. It wasn't hard, it was a little bit confining and sometimes monotonous, but then it was a job, and as I said, he was very nice to work for. Of course, he very seldom come around to pay too much attention to the work but then, of course, we always saw him. His office was in the building where I worked and as I said, I saw Dr. Bach when he was there. He was there two or three times while he was in Moscow and Dr. Robinson brought him out and introduced him to all of us. And then after this book come out, why, he gave each of us a book. But, now, I think that you-

SS: You were saying that most of the people that worked there had a very positive impression of him-like, thought he was a good per son.

BDH: Well, all of us that worked there definitely felt, as I said, he was very nice. It was more the townpeople that were more or less down on him. But he never hurt anyone. He never did and he done a lot of good for the town. He's the one that put the post office on a first class rate; he did that because of all of his mailing. See, I worked in the mailing department-we11, all of our building was advertisement. We sent out the mail for these lessons and then when the lessons-anyone that wanted to fill in the cards and send them back, they went to the other building there and they mailed the lessons out. But anytime there was a fund raising deal in Moscow and they were short, Dr. Robinson filled it out. But it was never published because he didn't care for that pub licity. But, as I said, most of us knew it, but the people in town never give him credit for anything, never. There were a lot of people in town that-now like the fellow in this one drug store there, he mentions him in one of his books; the Corner Drug. He helped him when he first began getting started there. There was a few of 'em that put money in that had, well, that had a lit tle interest in it and they got their money back and everything. But as time went on, why, he didn't need any help, this was when he first started. But, as I said, Dr. Robinson never hurt any body and you could get alot of good out of his lessons if you wanted to follow through with them. Course, now, none of us working there ever had them because that was one regulation thatand very seldom did any of us ever read the advertisements, be cause, of course, they changed from time to time, but in the hours that we worked we weren't allowed to be reading it. We were sup posed to be working and if some of us wanted to check some of it home, we did. Iused to take some of it home, but it's been so long ago I don't even remember what it was.

SS: But you couldn't take the lessons home and look at them? Well, now the lessons were put out from the other building, whether any of them had ever taken any of them home, Iwouldn't know. But in our mail it was a regulation, because we mailed thousands and thousands of letters a day, and see, we had to sort them just like they do in the post office. And if there was any for Moscow, we threw them out. Moscow and Pullman and towns around close, we threw them out, that was a regulation because, you see, he knew that the people of Moscow didn't go along with him or his beliefs, so he didn't bother them.

I guess the one thing that Iheard was that he was afraid that he would be accused of trying to take people away from the other denominations. Yes, that was part of it. Like Isaid, he never interfered with any of the churches up there or anything else, but, as Isaid, he just didn't bother 'em at all. They were a well thought of family and Iknew all the family very well. But, he discouraged you-the people that worked for him from looking at his lessons or from being apart of the religion? He didn't really want the people-

He never did tell us that, but then the supervisors, you know, always when they hired anyone as arule, why, lots of the girls would come in there, knew when they hired them but sometimes they didn't tell 'em that, but every once in awhile you'd see them reading it and any of us that had worked for awhile we'd just go and tell 'em that to just go ahead with the business in hand, what they were supposed to do, they weren't supposed- if they wanted to read them they could go ahead and take them home with them with them, not while they was working. And, of course, if one of the supervisors seen it, why, she always come over and bawled 'em out and the rest of us would do this on the sly to keep 'em from getting a bawling out.

How were the supervisors to work for? And what were the working conditions like? How much was expected of you as far as output and all that?

Well, they expected us to an awful lot. If we put out 35,000 in a day they thought we should put out about 40 or 50,000 in aday. Of course, that always depended on how many of us was working on the mailer, because you could only do so much of that. But, then one of the supervisors is still living, she lives here in Moscow on8$es Street, Jennie Nesbit. If you wanted to of course her husband isn't very well and so I don't know if she-if you stop there sometime-but then she is still living and she is the one that I worked for and under all the time I worked there. Of course, there were some others that worked closer to hertoo, you see.if she couldn't be there., there was other supervisors that would take it over.

SS: She was in charge of the whole operation? BH: No, she was in charge of our building-

SS: Which was?

BDH: See, in the back of our building was where the-all the machines was, where they done all the printing and the folding. And then they were brought in from there into our part of the building and we had to, oh, most of the time we had four or five different fol ding things that we put in an envelope and then, you see, they were put in these envelopes that were-already had the names on 'en and then when we got so many hundreds and hundreds of 'em, why, part of us had to go to work on the mailers and sort 'em all out. And it had to be done and got to the post office each day so they could be sent out. And we run them through those mailers, as I said, lots of times Iknow that we mailed as high as 65 and 70,003 aday. Of course, we really had to work fast to do it. But then lots of times we didn't put that many out because sometimes where we had to change-each groUp of names went by numbers and when you got those filled, why, you started on another group and they all had to be kept separate, you see, until they were put into the mail. So that way when the cards were numbered that were put in there, they'd come back to the other building and they could tell what percent of acertain group of advertising names-what percent they got back.

SS: And what was your own job? What were you doing?

Well, I did a little bit of all in that part, of course, I never worked in the part of the building where the machinery was. We had-I stamped cards, as I said, they had to have each card that you filled out-but each group of advertising names that you got like they come from this company in New York, this company in Chicago or someplace else, they were kept separate and if they were 40,000 of them names, you stamped 40,000 cards with that num ber on them. And that was one of my jobs, but you see, you would get tired of doing that, of course, there was only a few of us that could stamp those cards because you had to do it fast. Well, and then, as I said, we had these stacks of folded material in front of us-sometimes it was three or four and then the card and we put 'em together like this and put 'em in an envelope and then we put them in these-boxes and when you got these boxes full,they were about this size, they went to the mailer and they had to be run through the mailer.

And the information in those envelopes would be just ageneralmostly advertisements for Psychiana?

Yes, and the card then, if you wanted the lessons, you filled the card out and mailed them back and they went right up to the Other building.

SS: Right.

BDH: And they sent the lessons out, this other building.

SS: These lists that he got, were they from-how did he get them? Were they from organizations or where would they come from?

BDH: Yes, a lot of people yet today wonder how they get an advertise ment in the mail.

SS: Uh-huh.

BDH: Well, it's very easy for me to know, because that was one of my jobs. I opened up the boxes by the hundreds and hundreds. One advertisement company will sell them to maybe, 5000,other com panies. Like if there's an ad in the paper for something regard less of what it is, you know how many people may send in for itthey've got your name on the mailing list. They sell that list of names, as I said, if there's 5,000 other companies that want 'em, they sell 'em.

SS: Do you have any idea of where his lists were coming form?

BDH: Yes, I knew where they all came from. As I said, it was just may be everywhere, maybe it was somebody that was advertising some foolish, ridiculous thing to sell, like I said, Dr. Robinson what Dr. Robinson put out didn't hurt anybody where some of this stuff-where they got the names at wasn't-

SS: I wonder like if he got the lists from seed companies or some place like that

BDH: Yes. Yes, any place.

SS: Anywhere he could then?

BDH: Yes, any advertisement that you see in any magazine, they have the right to sell those names and they do sell 'em, they sell 'em to hundreds and hundreds of advertisers. And yet, today, now like you can get something in the mail that you didn't send for or anything and you wonder where it come from. That's where it come from-it was sold by someplace that has your name.

SS: Well, when we talked a little about the kind of people who would be interested in the lessons; did you have any idea yourself of who would be the people who were asking for Psychiana?

BDH: Well, I never met any of them, no. But I think they were from everyplace else in the United States and in the world. You see, we mailed a lot of them to different places in Europe, different islands and as I said, no, I never met any of the people.

SS: Do you think that a great part of the people who were getting the material were from the big cities?

BDH: What?

SS: Were from the big cities? Do you think many of the people

BDH: An awful lot of 'em, yes, an awful lot of 'em. But, of course, not all. But they had to be, you could tell that because now like when we went through the list of New York City names, you know, why, that part of the mail would be full, five or six times a day or Chicago or San Francisco or all like that. But then, of course they were from little town, too. Because in sorting your mail unless you had ten from one town they had to go separately, you know. So, as I said-but it's been a good many years since I worked there and a lot of it I've forgot.

SS: What makes you figure that the lessons-what's your own personal knowledge to feel that the lessons were good? For people.

BDH: I think so because it's like I say, they wouldn't hurt anybody if you wanted to follow through with them and there was a course of lessons, I can't remember any more how many, they were sent and then they were followed up and anytime if they wanted to dis continue it they could, or if they wanted their money back they got it back, that is, if they hadn't got all the lessons. But then outside of that that's all I really know about the lessons because that wasn't in our department.

SS: Do you know what the cost of them was?

BDH: No, I used to know, yes, but I

SS: I ran across in the literature-

BDH: No, I don't think you would in any of that. Now, you might in some of this literature because Lonnie said that he knew that all of his writings and literature that he had at home after he pas sed away-you see, then she moved from the house soon afterwards and he knew that it was turned over to the University (Idaho) and some of the books that he thought hadn't been put out or some thing like that. He said all of that was turned over there and he said at that time when I told him about you, why, he said "I'd like to talk to him." And I said, "Well, you bring the books up," and I said, "we'll give him a ring." But as I said, you know, he kept forgetting to bring it up because he was busy working down there.

SS: Well, what was the pay like that you got? Do you remember?

BDH: Not very much because that was during the Depression that I wor ked there. And when I started in I was geltjng sixty some dollars amonth but that was pretty good pay at that time, you know. And, of course, we got afew raises but there was one thing that he never done, if we were out afew days sick we were never docked our pay

SS: Oh, really, you got paid for those days?

BDH: We got paid for it, yes, we did. But, as I said,: that was during hard times and it isn't like your salaries now, but that was pret ty good pay for us. Because now, the girls that did the typing, they got more pay and of course the supervisors got more pay.

SS: Did you have breaks in your work day?

BDH: Fifteen minutes was all.

SS: How often?

BDH: Just once a day.

SS: That all?

BDH: Once aday because that haft been changed because at that time people didn't have coffee breaks all day long.

SS: So that fifteen minutes for lunch?

BDH: No. Well, we had an hour at lunch, but we had fifteen minutes, we could either take it in the morning or we could take it in the afternoon and only two of us went out together and that was it.

SS: You mean the others kept working?

BDH: Yes. The others kept working.

SS: You went off in pairs?

BDH: Yes. But as Isaid, it isn't like it is-like it has been for the past twenty years-coffee breaks all the time.

SS: Right. You were expected to put out alot while you were working?

BDH: Yes, we were.

SS: You worked very fast.

BDH: Yes we were expected to put out alot and we did. What Imean is we like some days where there was achange over with alot of different numbers or-of course, we didn't always run with as many, sometimes we-there'd be maybe twenty of us working and then there'd be kind of aslack period and part of 'em'd be laid off, but there has been as many as forty-five or fifty working in the two buildings.

Does that include the people working on the printing as well?

Yes. Of course, as arule there was only four in the printing but then they run those all day long, the printing machines and the folding machines, you know. And alot of the girls that work ed there, they were girls that were putting their husbands through school, through the university and they had very little to live on, you know, but they were glad to have the work while they were there.

SS: Eight hours a day five days a week?

Yes, that's what it was.

Were some of the people-were many of the people also local peo ple like yourself?

Yes, they were all local people, right there. Afew of the girls came from Deary and afew of 'em from Troy and once in awhile you got.-some from Pullman, but most all of 'em were local people right here. Yeah, they all were and they were all glad- Iknow that one girl that worked there-her small brother was killed out on the highway and the mother was awidow and they didn't have very much and Ido know that he paid all the funeral expenses and everything. But the people in town never knew that; they didn't know that. As I said, he didn't want them to know those things. And, as I said, other than that I do know that when they were short in funds, when they were raising funds for things and they were short, why, he made it up. But he never got any credit for it.

SS: What do you think of the people who disliked him in Moscow? Why do you think they didn't-there was so much of this giving him a hard time?

BDH: That would be only in my own opinion; so many of them-Moscow is a town that is a little bit hard to get used to. I've always felt that-years and years back they always felt a little above most other towns or something, why I didn't know. But I think most of 'em were just more or less down on him because they didn't believe what he was doing. But if you pinned 'em right down to it, they didn't even know what he was doing. And as I said, Most of it- of course, I very seldom ever talked to anybody about it, because, if anybody, if I was around somebody and they started saying something about him I'd always just say, "Well, now let's drop it right here I work for Dr. Robinson and he's a very fine man to work for and you don't know anything about what you're talking about." And I know he set up a youth center up there. There was no place for the younger school kids to go to and he put up this youth center, every bit of it; he paid for every bit of it and paid to have it kept open and paid to have someone stay there. He did that.

SS: Was it free to the kids? To use.

BDH: Yes, it was free for the kids. He did that and another thing - where Robinson's Lake is at Moscow, that he- he gave that to the county and for years there was never anything much done about it they didn't try to keep it up. But now, in the past ten or so years they have tried to do something with it. Of course, it's like a lot of other parks and things they try to fix up something and then it's destroyed. But now, Dr. Robinson did that, too. And I don't know of anybody else around town thats did those things!

SS: Anything like that. That's right.

BDH: And as I said, that is my opinion and it was most everyone's opinion; course, we ourselves that worked there, we didn't dis cuss those things, you know.

SS: It's interesting what you say about Moscow being a little cold because other people who came to Moscow in the twenties have told me the same thing. It was not an easy town to be accepted in.

No it isn't. And we lived up here twenty some years-twenty-three years and so I felt that I, you know, as I say, was really on that's the way Moscow is. Of course, now in the past ten or fifteen or twenty years there's been lots of other people come in but believe me, a lot of those older people up there are still just like that. They are not a bit friendly, they never were, and as I said, they were against Dr. Robinson, as I said, of course he didn't let it bother him any. But he knew that that's the way they felt so that's why the regulations were what they were. And, as I said, we went by . We respected 'em and we went by them. But there was a lot of us that worked there that we couldn't work any place else. Of course at that time there was very few places in Moscow where you could work. Nowadays, the most of the wives can work at the university and places like that putting their husbands through school.

Do you feel that there was something spiritual about him as a person?

Yes, I do. Yes, I really do because I think there had to bef for him to do what he did. I really do. Of course, now there again, the people of Moscow didn't think so. And I can't truly remember of any minister around Moscow that ever had anything to think do with Dr. Robinson. And me, myself, I dont that's speaking very highly of the ministers up there then. Of course, there's none of them there now that were there then. I, myself, don't think that was speaking very highly for 'em. Now would you? No. No, I think they should have spoken to him and spent time with him.

I think so, I think so. But, as I said, It must have put him, even if it didn't bother him much, it must have - when people doubt you, it makes things more difficult for you, just seems natural to me, if people think that you're-they suspect you, they don't trust your motives, you have to feel hurt and it has to make you feel isolated.

Yes. Well, now, he more or less was. Of course, as I said he come in there without interfering wittfi anybody you know. Dr. Robin son always drove some of the most expensive-well, the most ex pensive cars that were ever in Moscow. And there again, I think a lot of people were jealous of him. And there is a few people up there years and years ago that held up for him but they never dis cussed him with anyone or anything because that was just something that you didn't do, because everybody knew howtsbe town was and so you just didn't. But he come and went-of course he was a busy man he was gone an awful lot, always. You can tell that by his books that you've read. Now, Mrs. Robinson, she belonged to some different clubs up there and, as I said, everyone always spoke very highly of her.

I heard she was a very wonderful woman; that's what- people that do not care for him will still say that they really did enjoy her.


And the kids.

Yes, they did. And both the boy and the girl was very nice. The girl, Florence, worked with us one summer. But she did that-it was really a little funny. All through grade school and high school she went with this boy that she finally married, Raoul Ashby. And one summer the doctor and Mrs. Robinson and Al was going to spend the summer in California and Florence didn't want to go and he said, "Well, either you go or you go to work." "Well," she said, "then I'll go to work." So he brought her down to the Psychiana building and introduced her to us, of course, most of us knew her anyway. And he said, "Now, you put her to work." And he told the supervisor this Mrs. Nesbitt, "She doesn't get any favors at all." And she just loved working there. Of course she didn't know a thing on earth about it, it was just like anyone that come in. But, you know, she was taught and she worked with us all and she really loved it. She loved every bit of it. Ane when they came back then, and of course, she had to quit then when school started. So she felt so bad because she was going to have to quit so she talked the folks into having a big party for us up to their home. And all of us women working there could invite our husbands and all of the husbands that worked in the other part in both buildings they could have their wives to come and we had this big party up to Dr. Robinson's house. And Flo rence stood at the door as we were leaving and shook hands with each one of us and told us goodbye and cried as she did this. Now, that's how much that she enjoyed working there with us. But she didn't know a thing about it when she went in there.

Boy, she must have really been close to you.

Yes, she was.

Do you feel that was true of the group of women that worked there generally, that they were fairly close-that there was a close social-

Yes, they were. They were. And then Florence went on-as years went by and she and RaojaL got married. And the last I knew of hin he was a captain-well, he's retired, he's a retired captain in the army. And, oh, after they were married quite a while-of course they had three children and then Florence had polio.

Oh, she did?

But it didn't leave her very badly crippled. And I don't know where she and Raoulis any more, of course, they were stationed oh, in different islands and places. They would come back now and then. But anyway, the doctor just felt that-she'd always she never went with anyone else. He was a profes sor's son up here at the University. But he was a good kid, you know, know what I mean-they put him to work down there helping doing a little bit of the janitor work. Of course, he used to give all of us working there a rough time because he'd say,"You gotta all move, when you do this, I've got to get out of here." And we'd say, "Now, Racul you know you don't do any of this work until we are out of here. But of course, we'd go along with him didn't. but anyway, the doctor really want her to marry him, but they did. And as I said, he got to be a captain in the Army and he is re tired with a very big salary.

SS: Well, you know that-

SS: figured that there was no boy good enough for his daughter.

BDH: Yes, that's right. And I can remember so well; oh, quite some time before the doctor passed away, Al was supposed to come down and kind of learn the business a little bit. And I remember the you first time he come in, he come around to all of us..know, we sit at these long tables unless we was working on the mailer. And he'd come around and stand by our chair and he'd say, "Well, now can you tell me just what you're doing?" And we would tell him. (telephone rings and the recorder is shut off) He said that he was going to kind of look after some of the business a little bit. But, he said, "Frankly, I don't know anything about it." So he said, "If all of you can explain to me what you are doing." Well, we did and he come and talked to all of us. And of course, he did the same thing in the other building. And then it wasn't- he was down in the office at different times, but then we never knew too much about what he was doing. But then it was shortly after that that doctor passed away. So then, it wasn't too long after that that the manager and Al decided to just close up the business and they did. I had quit working there by then when they closed it up. Jennie could tell you all about that because she was still with them.

SS: About why they decided that?

BDH: Because, the thing was, once the doctor was gone, why, I think that they felt it really couldn't go on because he was the one that always more or less kept the lessons going and anything new that was put out-and where none of them in the family could do that, so- And Mrs. Robinson had quite a bit of money in the news paper there, it's The Idahonian now, at that time it was The News Review.. And they just kept the interest in that, she and Al, of by course then Al was married, too. And so as I said-

SS: I had heard that his father wanted him to take over after he died but Al really couldn't do it. He didn't feel that he could.

BDH: He didn't feel that he-he didn't know anything about it and as I said, when he come in there he told each of us, he said, "I don't know a thing about it." He didn't know what we were doing and when we'd show him he still didn't understand it, you see, be cause his father had never told him anything about it. And, as I said, I think after-I know he would want him to have went on with it, but I'm sure the manager, I can't remember who the manager was, it used to be Anderson, I forget what-Elmer Ander son, I think that's mentioned in some of his books. He's the one that I knew that was manager.

He's gone now, isn't he?

Yes. And Ican't remember who-oh, Cass was the one that was at the last. Can't remember his first name, but Cass. Ithink there is some of the Casses still living in Moscow. But he was, and as Isaid, Al didn't know only what little he'd found out just, you know being around there and working some with his father before he passed away. And Idon't think they felt that they knew enough about it to keep going. So, they just-

And the children really were not involved?

No, they weren't involved at all.

Mr. Robinson was completely sincere about his religion and the philo sophy of life that he had through the religion. That Psychiana was a true faith for him.

Ithink so. Idon't think that he could have did what he did with out believing in it. And he was avery unusual man. And, as I said, of course he was aman that-well, most anyone could talk to and so many of these come from-like Doctor Bach and some of them, you know, that was so deeply interested in his work it wasn't that any of them ever had his lessons and things, it was just that they were deeply interested in it. But, as Isaid, Ialways felt that he had to be sincere to do what he did. Wouldn't you think so?

Yes. That's what really struck me in reading the books Ihave is speak that they all seemed to me^from his heart, that is deeply felt beliefs. And you see what those people who didn't like him and had to say about him, is that more or less that he was just trying to con people and that he wasn't sincere. That it was just set up as a big promotional you've heard that. That criticism and my just what you say. How could he have written what he mote in ne didn't feel what he was saying? Because, when you read it lt.. just the feeling that Thafs what I've always said. And I'm sure with i sure with the lessons-they were sincere enough that there were Were thousands and thousands of People taking it and if they anyway, always felt that he was sincere about it. but it bit crooked On what side? Well, they themselves up and up. Because, as I said, regardless of what their business was a lot of doing-they wasn't doing thing that were right. Yeah. But they were so down on him, Part of 'era I think were jealous of him because he drove these expensive cars. They had expensive things But to visit with 'em and talk with 'em they were as they could be.

Yes, they were. Just as common as they could be. Mrs. Robinson and-


And him, too? To speak to him.

Yes, yes he was. And he didn't go around town talking religion to anybody. If anybody wanted to talk to him, well, that was fine but he didn't hesitate to tell 'em what he thought. And that is why some of the ministers were so down on him because if some of the church people would tell him that they didn't believe this or believe that- like what he put out, he'd ask 'em how they could believe some of the stuff that was being taught to them. And, of course, as I said, they were all down on him but I, myself, al ways felt that any of the ministers that was down on him-and they all were-and I didn't think that it was speaking very highly of them and in my opinion they just wasn't what I would call good Christian people, any of the ministers. And nearly always the Catholic priest, they come and went, of course, but they never would have anything to do with him, never. And I said, they're afraid he's going to take a little of their congregation away from 'em. But, no, I've always felt that Dr. Robinson-he was a very unusual man. He was an interesting man. And I've always felt that he was sincere about it all. Of course, that would be my opinion.

Do you feel that people that worked there felt the same way? Yes. Yes, they did. We had lots of help come and go, as I said, they were students, you know, their husbands were going to the university and they were glad to have the job to help while they was there. And I met lots of them. They come and went, they was from all over the United States. And of course, you always got some that he had to let go, they couldn't keep up with the work. Lot of 'em, you know, it was just their paycheck was more what they was after, but you find that with anything.

SS: Was your husband farming at the time?

BDH: He did at that time.

SS: And were there other women there whose husbands were farmers, too, working?

BDH: Oh, most of them lived there in town. We lived right out thereand we had a dairy for while with the farm. But most of 'em lived right there in town. And a lot of 'em were widow women, you see, that needed the work and couldn't work other places. And, as I said, if you were sick a few days, why, you were never docked,

SS: Did you get raises while you were there?

BDH: Yes, I think we had three or four raises, of course, at that time too, they didn't amount to too much, but you know, it was a help. It isn't like it-is nowdays, or even twenty years ago.

SS: Well, you started about when? In the early forties or was it even earlier than that?

I think it was about '43 (1943) and '44 and '45 somewhere along in there. I think I still have some papers on some of my pay checks when I was there if I went through them.I could tell but I just can't remember exactly. What do you remember his bearing as being like-his bearing, you know the way he seemed? I've heard he was pretty heavy, a large man. That he was large and tall.

DH: Well, he wasn't what you call a heavy man, of course, he was tall but he was big boned, you know, his structure was. He was very good looking. But, now as I said, he come and went- his office was in our building, he'd come and go and sometimes we'd see him come in-the door was always locked until he'd come and he'd open it.

SS: blank space- moved out here by Troy after living in Moscow, did you find the people to be friendlier?

BDH: Oh, my yes, there was all the difference in the world with the people around here. Did you think so?

SS: Well, I never lived in Moscow, myself.

BDH: No, that's right, you never lived there. Where did you come from to Troy?

SS: Well, I lived in Portland.

BDH: In Portland, I see.

SS: But I was going to school there so I wasn't exactly just living there, you know, there is a difference. But I was wondering the contract, if there was a real difference there.

BDH: Yes, you bet there is, you bet there is, there's an awful lot of difference. Of course, in a smaller town, of course everybody knows one another here, you know and if anybody needs any help you never saw a town that pitches in and helps like they do, always. If somebody's been in the hospital and had big bills you know, hard luck and stuff, why they put on all kinds of things to raise money for them, everything. Or if anyone loses their home, why, they just pitch right in and help 'em. And everybody does it. Of course, we're getting so many new people down here now, it isn't the same any more. We've got four fa milies right here from New Jersey; can you imagine that? Yes, there's four of 'em, I know part of 'em, from New Jersey. And the father of one of 'em was out here this summer, he was in the shop when I was and he said-was asking about there being quite a few people and I said, "Yes," and I said, "really. I know there's nothing we can do about it." But, I said, "We don't like it too well." He said, "Yes, but you still have lots of space here." I said, "Yes, but we're not going to have it at this rate." And I guess we do have a lot of space from where a lot of them have come, but at the rate they've been coming in here, you know right now, I can go down on the little street and half the people I meet, I don't know. It's just surprising. And it's the same way at all of these little towns. Now Post Falls-have you ever been up to Post Falls?


I've always felt that it was one of the nicest, quietest places and now then it has almost doubled in size and they've got a pro blem up there.

They sure do.

They sure have. And it's that way with so many of these. And you see, we don't have school room for all of them any more. Well, you know the difference that I was thinking of was in Mos cow, you lived there for some years and you still saw that kind of aloofness in some people. But here, when you moved out here, did you find that they just accepted you fairly fast?

SS: Just right off?

BDH: Yes, that's right. Because we didn't know-well, of course, you can't live this close to Troy without coming through it. In fact, we own some land up towards Bovill-we used to run cattle up there, well, we'd always come through and like that. But as far as knowing the people here, we only knew two families down this way. But then, you know, as I said, everybody is so friendly and everything. And, of course, I always told everyone that Mos cow was the most stuck up town that I was ever in. Do you think it was unusual for atown of its size then? Ido, Ido think so. Because I've lived in cities. I lived in Sioux City, Iowa for along, long time and we were in Denver for a while.

What do you think it comes from? Is it because the university's there or what's the deal?

I can't figure it out. I've always-right now, the university's what makes that town. Of course, it's agood farming area and it's been arich farming area. But right now, I think it's a disgrace that atown the size of Moscow and the university's what makes it that there isn't places for those students to live. Now, Ijust think it's adisgrace and I've told some of the business men what Ithink about it. And then when they come up to that billion dollar dome up there, I said, "Sure, that's fine for HouSton Texas, but the town of the size of Moscow, and there's no place for the students to live in. Now, Ihappen to know that some of those dorms and those fraternity houses and the sorority houses-four years ago there were two in the rooms last year and this year they've got three and four in the rooms and there's no place for them to put their things. And over at WSU, Iknow too, because Iknow some of the boys that were over there and the same thing as at Moscow they was sleeping in sleep ing bags out in the halls in some of those places. Well, now, you can't go to school and do that. And, as Isay, don't you think that's adisgrace to the towns? Of course, Pullman's al building and building and building. But look what the rent is. And, you know, time those students has paid the rent-you was a student, you know-

SS: Yes.

BDH: And I tell you, you see, this Lonnie, this grandson of mine, he spent five years up there and he's an architect and he always had a scholarship and he always worked through the summer, but even so his folks, they had to help him all the time or he couldn't get through school.

SS: Sure.

BDH: And the daughter, she's teaching up in Spokane now. She had four years up there and Itell you it was rough for 'em to keep in school.

SS: Uh-huh.

BDH: As I said, you can put up amillion dollar-billion dollar dome and no place for the students to live. Now, maybe I'm not look ing at it right, I don't know.

SS: No, Iagree with you. Ithink that's awrong priority, it real ly is. Iknow a lot of the social life in Moscow seemed to go around the churches in the early days and Iwonder if that's really part of what it is, too. That you have to be an estab lished member of a congregation or something, too.

BDH: That's right. That's right. I'll tell you one thing, though, the Mormons that come in up there, they see to it that there's a place for them to live, because with the Mormon Church and all they see to it that there is a place for them to live and I think it's great. But so many of the others, just like you said, if you can't belong to the Presbyterian Church or the Methodist Church-well, the Presbyterians they don't want to have anything to do with the Methodists-that's one thing that I've got against Moscow. Each church, you know, is his own.

SS: Uh-huh.

BDH: And they look down on the others. And that I don't go along with. I always say, I don't care what church you belong to, there's only one God, so I don't care what church you belong to. But anyway up there they're like that, you'll find that in Mos cow.

SS: I'm going to run-

0:00 - Coming from Colorado to farm; women getting sick from picking peas

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Segment Synopsis: They came from Colorado in 1928 so husband could farm. Some women got sick "picking peas", so preferred working for Dr. Robinson.

3:00 - Workers liking Dr. Robinson but not the townspeople; Dr. Robinson didn't want local people involved with lessons

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Segment Synopsis: His workers liked Dr. Robinson very much, but townspeople were against him. He was a very charitable giver for Moscow, but didn't want it known. His lessons were good, but workers weren't supposed to read them. He didn't want any local people involved.

8:00 - Pressures to produce more; set up of Psychiana building and how they got their mailing lists

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Segment Synopsis: Pressures to produce more. Set-up of Psychiana buildings and mailing operation. Psychiana purchased mailing lists from all kinds of companies. Many students from big cities. The lessons.

17:00 - Working for sixty dollars a month in 1940; work policies on breaks and missing work; how many people and who worked there

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Segment Synopsis: She started at about $60 a month (c. 1940). They weren't docked for missing work for sickness. One fifteen minute break a day. As many as fifty people worked there. Many of the girls were putting their husbands through school.

20:00 - Dr. Robinson's help for others; Moscow's feelings Dr. Robinson; other spiritual leaders didn't associate with him; people being jealous of Dr. Robinson

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Segment Synopsis: Robinson's help for others. Moscow's feeling of superiority as a town She told people not to speak ill of Robinson. His youth center. Moscow's coldness. He was spiritual. Ministers in Moscow didn't associate with him. People were jealous of the fancy cars he drove. His defenders kept quiet about it.

28:00 - Florence Robinson loved working in the office in the summer; throwing a party for all the help; Florence Robinson's marriage

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Segment Synopsis: Florence Robinson's summer working in the office which she loved. She had the Robinsons' throw a party for all the help. Her marriage.

30:00 - Alfred Robinson asking the workers to help explain the business; closing of Psychiana; Robinson criticized by local businessmen; minsters' hostility towards him; his appearance

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Segment Synopsis: Alfred Robinson asked the workers to explain what they did to help him understand the business. Closing of Psychiana. Robinson's sincerity. Businessmen who criticized him weren't on the up-and-up themselves. The Robinson's commonness. He spoke his mind; the ministers' hostility towards him. Support of his workers for him. His appearance.

42:00 - Friendly neighbors in Troy versus Moscow; Moscow's failure to provide student housing; Churches in Moscow

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Segment Synopsis: Neighborliness of Troy community compared to Moscow An exchange a newcomer about growth in the area. Moscow's failure to provide housing for students. Churches in Moscow are overly separate.


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