digital initiatives logo library logo

Latah County Oral History Collection

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

« View All Joseph Holland interviews

Report a problem with this interview.

Date: July 25, 1974 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

Search This Index



Download the PDF transcript

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

SAM SCHRAGER: A little bit of background on before you came to Bovill. The first thing I noticed on that background sheet is that you grew up in South Dakota and Saskatchewan. Were your parents homesteading?

JOSEPH HOLLAND: Yes, they were farmers in South Dakota, and then they homesteaded in Saskatchewan. Yeah, I was a farm boy until I come to Spokane. That was the end of farming.

SAM: Did your whole family leave Saskatchewan?

JH: Yes, yes. I left just a few months before them, and went back to South Dakota for, well, from about July to December. I worked there and then I joined Spokane. They came to Spokane, I'd say about in Oct ober of that year. Yeah, they sold out. And then, I said on the back- ground sheet, went up there at the telegraph school- Spokane Telegraph Institute it was called— finished that, and then started working for the railroad, Great Northern. I worked right in Spokane for a while, right down there on Havermale Island, where the fair now is, in the build ing where the tower is left. Oh, I worked quite a few places on the Great Northern— Priest River, Newport and west over to Harrington— Oh, I never got as far as Wenatehee— Edwall, and Lyons. Well, then the next spring there wasn't much work for extra board, and a new man, you see, you're on the extra board. So this Inland Empire, which runs be tween Spokane, Moscow and Colfax, they needed somebody so I went to work for them. I said in there, Iwas cashier and operator different places, and relief agent, and wound up in Moscow. I was cashier and operator there. Stayed for about two years. And then this job at Bovill came up as joint agent, and it was abetter paying job, so Ijust quit and took it. The railroad at Moscow was very good about it, too. When I was leaving they said, "Well, we moved you in here" they do that, you know, your furniture and anything you have- "moved you in here and we'll move you out." So I had free transportation of my household goods, myself and my family.

Well, that's when Istarted in at Bovill. Oh, things were humming there then. The roads into Bovill, in the wintertime, there just wasn't anything. The snow covered and they never tried to keep 'em open. Peo ple would put their cars up on blocks, oh, sometimes as early as October, November, when winter hadn't set in hardly, and they were there until the next May or more. Iheard some say that that was apretty good thing, they got achance to catch up on their grocery bill, they wasn't spend ing so much for gasoline. Left thedepot every time the trains came in, which was shortly after noon, one-something, the Milwaukee come up there, and the WISH passenger train met. And oh, mail and everything that came into the town came on the train. So quite often there was alot of people gathered around the depot, that just seemed to be adaily event. Gather around there to see the trains come in and go. Two or three dray teams backed up against the platform to take the mail, express, and what not, deliver it over the town.

The winters there sometimes the snow used to get, oh, real deep. They still have snow there, but it's nothing like it was in those days. It seems to me, that about, oh, by the fifteenth of December that fence that was out in front of the depot- it was agood five and ahalf feet highbut that would be covered. The posts would disappear, and you wouldn't see them again until March, maybe, when the snow started down. And the railroads, it was.quite a job there plowing out the tracks, the side tracks^ and we had all kinds of equipment to do it. Sometimes three or four engines stalled, snowed in, take one to pull another out. They'd get going, oh, they'd get through it. And it was the same every winter there for quite a while, and then finally the winters wasn't quite so severe, less snow.

'Course, sometimes the logging company would be down for a few months in the winter, in those days. But now it's kind of reversed: they log now in the winter, but spring come, then they have their layoff for maybe a couple of months. Things are wet in the woods. Those days it was all horse logging. Potlatch Lumber Company, which it was called at the time, they had oh two or three huge barns across the meadow from the depot where they would keep their horses when they were not working. And they never had a horse that wouldn't weigh at least a ton, and a lot of them weighing twenty-one, twenty-two hundred pounds. Big horses. But I guess it takes big horses to do heavy work in the woods. Yeah, then all at once there was no more horses, they started using cats. They sold those horses as they could. Some of the farmers from around the country would come in and buy 'em. I think they said they had two hundred sixty head there at one time, just wintering. That's a lot of horses. Took a fair sized crew of men to just take care of 'em. But then they'd do anything to get rid of them. They'd sell 'em for whatever people wanted to give, and then some even they shipped, loaded them in stock cars and shipped 'em to Portland, I think it was, where they would be slaughtered, and I don't know what they would be used for. They used to say they were going to the glue factory.

SAM: Did many of the lumberjacks winter over?

JH: A lot of them would come to Spokane. This was kind of their headquar ters, see. A lot of the single lumberjacks would come to Spokane. Of course the family people and then some of the others would remain there in Bovill in a shack or two, you know. Out on the edges of town they would be shacking up, different ones, just waiting for spring. But the big majority of those single men, they'd hike out to Spokane. But they always kept in touch, and next spring when it opened, they'd be back.

SAM: So they really had a lot of continuity from one year to the other, a lot of the same people would be coming back in.

JH: Oh, yes. Yeah, they did. Well, the foAan and the superintendent and all of them, you know, they get to know certain lumberjacks, and they know they can do the work. They like 'em, and they like to have em. Old lumberjack is a lumberjack and they just don't make 'em anymore! No, there's no lumberjacks, because they were the single men, and for quite a number of years now, the woods work is done by young married people who drive their cars to work and whatnot. Drive as close as they can to the work. But oh, yeah, those old fellas— a lot of them were sawyers, that's when they used crosscut saws, one on each end of it. That's a thing of the past too. Trees are all felled now by power saws. So that element in the woods isn't there.. any more. One young fella with a power saw'11 knock down more trees in a half a day than, why, I don't know how many good men with hand saws could do in three or four days. There's just that much differ ence.

SAM: Was being tough, being able to get out there and take it and put in a real long day's work, was that really important to the lumberjacks themselves?

JH: OH, I don't think so, you know. No. The weather was never that bad. You worked long hours, but when you go back—well, we're going back about forty-nine years now, seeing I came to Bovill in 1925— every body worked long hours. Even when I left the depot at Moscow, I was working ten hours a day. When I went to Bovill, however, it was eight hours, and the eight hour day in the woods was coming in. Oh, they worked long hours. A lot of them, you see, sawyers, and more than sawyers, it was so much a foot, so much a thousand. So they didn't mind the long hours, 'cause the more they worked, the more they made. There would always be a considerable percentage of the group that was on hourly pay, pretty small pay too. then, about oh thirty-two and a half cents an hour was probably a pretty good pay then. And a lot of the extra gangs on the railroad was only twenty five cents an hour. No, it didn't take any super person physically. Of course, doing that kind of work, you know, you get used to it and put out a lot of work, eat heavy.

Those old lumberjacks, for the most of them, they could stay in the woods just about so long and then they had to get out of there. They'd get what they call that, some kind of afever, (Chuckles) not that they were sick, but they had to get out and go tq town, in some place where they could call "Timber". Of course, in those days when I went there it was Prohibition, so there wasn't any place around there that they could do that. I guess maybe that's what attracted some of them to Spokane in the winter. (Chuckles) Oh, yeah, the lumberjack would have a pretty good stake and go to town and go broke. And if he was known he could borrow quite a little bit. And then after he spent that, well then he was ready to go back to work. And the same thing over and over and over. They were regarded as pretty honorable men. There didn't seem to be any bad ones at all. They were good, help everybody they could. Well, Inever worked aday in the woods. I heard lots of things about 'em, you know. Some of them would darn their socks when they started to wear out at the heel, they'd roll it a little ways, and when that wore, roll it again, roll it, and keep rolling it until finally it would cut right in two. Well, then they'd have to get a new pair of socks. Now they would do that, but then still when they'd.go to town, money was nothing. Free, timber, (Chu ckles)want to treat everybody. And there were really no fights started amongst the lumberjacks, they didn't do that.

Those extra gangs they used to have on the railroad though, that was a little different. About every year there'd be an extra gang come up, and they'd have their own cars on the railroad, bunk cars, probably about a hundred men in the camp. And they would renew ties, that was their main work. But they picked those up from everywhere, you know, get 'em fresh out of jail or whatnot, to just go out there for twenty-five cents an hour. But they did get their board, bed and a place to sleep. Oh, they were coming and going all the time. But some of these were pretty rough characters. (Chuckles) There was one of them, I looked out the window of the depot one time, and I seen him laying with his head across the rail up near the water tank, and there was a train coming pretty soon. So I hiked up there and it wasn t too far. He was dead drunk, and I pulled him off the rails, pulled him off by the feet, and he woke up a little bit, and I told him, I says, "Fella you got your neck right over that rail", I says, "there's a train coming along here right pretty quick that'll just cut your head off!" "Oh," he said, "that'd be all right." And I think ke meant it! (Chuckles) Well, I dragged him around back of the water tank, and then it seemed like he kinda went back to sleep and I went to the depot. Kept my eyes peeled, and it was only five minutes or so till the train came. And they couldn't have stopped.

Yeah, that was a different class. They were a different class of people altogether than the ones in the woods. They were honorable men, the lumberjacks. But when the old crop retired, died off, there just isn't any more of them. And old Pat Malone, he probably knew every one of them. Superintendent there Nogle, C. G. Nogle, he knew a lot of them personally, and liked 'em. He knew they'd break loose once in a while and go on an awful drunk, but anyway you'd get 'em back in the woods, they were good men. So he went along with them. There was one oldtimer there, Ted Collins. He was a lumberjack. He decided to leave Bovill, and they'd had him in jail there for a while, more or less to sober him up. Well I was justice of the peace, and I used to hold court right in the depot, and that time I did. And it was Ted, just for being drunk. And he was looking out the window and there was a train going by with log flats. And he said, "If I was free," he said, "I'd go right out there and jump on one of those log flats and get out of here." I said, "Is that what you want to do, Ted?" "Yes." I said, "Go right ahead." He said, "You mean I'm free to do that?" I said, "Go right ahead, if that's what you want to do." And he did. You couldn't do a thing, he didn't have a dime, you know, no need to fine him, no need to put him back in jail. All he done was being dfcunk, he didn't harm anybody here. And he was gone for quite-a while, I don't know where he went to. But oh, it must have been a year afterwards, in Moscow, they found a man dead in a box car. We had a few people that had lived in Bovill, that then was in Moscow, and one of them identified that man as Ted Collins. They said, "That's Ted." Well, then when that was the case, they asked some of us at Bovill if we would come down and see what we thought. '- Well. I was surprised, there were quite a few knew him much better and longer than I did, they said, "yeah, that's Ted Collins.". But Imyself couldn't see it. Well first of all, when Iwent over there, Howard Short was gone, but his wife was there. It was at night, but she said, "We got the body down in the basement, and we can go down and see him. And Ilooked at him, and I'd look from one angle and it was just adead ringer for him, and you go around the other side and it wasn't. And Iasked her if she had atape measure there, she said, "Yeah." So we measured him, and he wasn't near as tall as Ihad figured this Ted Collins to be. So they had, you say- alittle something there, you know, if you thought it was Ted Collins, or if you knew who it was. Well, Iwrote down, "I don't know who it is, but I'm satisfied it's not Ted Collins." Well, another year or so went by, and by gosh here old Ted Collins rolls off of aflat car, walked in the depot. (Chuckles) Iwasn't too surprised because Iwas satisfied in my own mind that that wasn't Ted Collins that was buried in Moscow. And I told him, "Well," I says, Ted, you've been dead now for, oh, let's see(I don't know whether it was one or two years), one or two years." "Oh," he said, "where did they bury me?" "Moscow1.' "Well, well, well," he said, "I ought to be good for a meal then." I said, "You bet you will be!" And, I said, "You just go over to Mrs. Watts," she was running the restaurant, and I said, "you'll get a meal." And she was so glad to see him that she just kept him there, working around, bull cooking. He stayed there for a long, long time.

SAM: Sounds like dying was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

JH: Yeah, yeah, but, you know, one more detail about examining him, his clothes— he had different clothes, you know, than a lumberjack would have, like light shoes, and little rolled black, cotton socks. Well, lumberjacks, you know, they got generally wool socks and the wool pants ans whatnot. So his clothing didn't check out to me either. And then when Imeasured him for height, and Iasked about that, too: "Now that this man is dead, how tall would he be if he was living?" They said, "Taller, laying on that slab. But the way we're measuring him, he'd be taller than if he was walking around." So that was the last con vincing point to me. Oh, yeah. Well there was alot of those old fellas that way.

SAM: Like Ted?

JH: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Ted was probably one of the most likable ones.though. He was happy-go-lucky. He didn't bother anybody. But he never wanted to sober up. He'd get drunk, and he wanted to stay that way. But then they always said when he got in the woods he was as good aman as they had, and drinking didn't bother hto at all, until he'd come to town again. Ithink he was ateamster, I'm quite sure he was. They used to have lots of teamsters, you know. Oh, yeah, there's lots of other characters, you know, but you haven't thought of them for awhile, then it skips your mind. But the woods was full of them. Of course, that Depression come along then. The outfit shut down, oh Idon't know exactly, but Isuppose '31, and it didn't turn awheel for prob ably ayear and ahalf or more. It was probably about '31 when they pulled the pin. Oh, alot of people moved away then. Things was pret ty hard. There was no unemployment compensation, you know, no social security, that's all ahead of that. They didn't have adime, and peo ple, generally speaking, didn't save ahead. They would always, most of them, be good at the grocery store for sixty, ninety days or more credit. But then that was running out, and this was different, you know, when the company pulled the pin, it was early in the fall, early. It wasn't for winter coming on, so it was a different deal.

That was pretty tough going there! however, people seemed to en- joy living, though. Nobody had a dime. I was fortunate in having the job that I did have. Before that I had a cashier and a ware house man, but the business was down so bad that they laid both of those of, and I was running the job alone. But, as I say, I was very fortunate to have been on the payroll all the time. And there were a few that were— the school teachers, and a few people that were tak ing care of the horses, and you about had it. Oh, yeah, there was a few on the railroad— the section foreman, a couple of men. But it was looking pretty black then. I know how it was, because I guess it was because I had a job that they made me relief director. Only had a limited amount of money, very little, to keep the town going. And you'd just about have to go into everybody's house to talk to them and see what you could do; to see, you know, maybe they had some canned fruit or something that another family didn't have. Well, you wouldn't ask them to share, but then you knew better how to distribute the money, trying to keep everybody alive. So it was about the most re warding work I believe I ever had, for self-satisfaction, I really think it was. Yeah.

SAM: How did it work out? How did you manage to distribute, things?

JH: Well, we formed a committee, of course, and listed everybody in town. And then we'd have so much money, and there was a little work, you see, WPA. But they were, oh I don't know, slow in getting that going; but when that got going then, well, like Bovill would be allocated so much money a month for this work. And then they'd have to say people with the larger family— like some of them would have as many as six kids— well a man like that, he'd have to work more days. Maybe he'd work four days a week out of the six. And then somebody that maybe it was just a man and wife, wel] two days at the most. There wasn't too many single men, they got out of there. The ones that didn't kind had to work for themselves. But they mostly got out of there, I don't know where they went to, up here,AI guess. But that's the way you had to kind of divide it, you know, to try to keep everybody alive. We coui(in't set it up "anything, it'd have to be approved. But what we done was road work, grading and whatnot. Our work there was mostly between Bovill and Elk River. 'Course, it didn't go clear to Elk River; went out there about seven miles. Oh, it was kind of bad. We didn't have anything to work with. But Potlatch Lumber Company was very good on loaning us their equipment without charge. Then they would have scrapers, you know, and they'd have picks and axes and crosscut saws and peaveys and shovels. It was more or less hand work. Anybody that had a team, we had them working hauling rock in a little old wagon of some kind, and some on the scrapersj but well, we got something done anyhow. But the jobs were manufactured, you know, just because we had to get some money to people and that was one way of them working for it. In our case the road work that we done worked out pretty good because, well, we had some real good men, see. Some of them that worked in the woods, they could do about most anything. They'd build a bridge just out you know, the fallen timber, trim it— they knew just how to go at it.

And we did get enough rock on that road. It was a problem with the highway district, and I was secretary-treasurer of that Highway District Number Four, and I know how short they were on money. They owed bonds. They couldn't hardly pay the interest, so we didn't have any money, and we had to maintain that road. But through this work we got the road widened enough and a little sprinkling of rock on it to a point where the state then accepted the road as part of the state system. Well that relieved us, the highway district, from maintaining it, which was a big thing for us as the highway district. Quite helpful moneywise. And then the state, kind of piecemeal, they would extend it a couple of miles or so. I think now, I haven't been over it just lately, but I believe it's fair road all the way through.

SAM: This is the Bovill to Elk River road?

JH: Yes.

SAM: It's pretty good now?

JH: Is it all hardtop?

SAM: No, not yet. But it would seem to me that it would be harder maybe in a place like Bovill than in a farming area where you got all your pro duce pretty much right to hand on the farms, and everybody's growing his garden. It may be harder for food purposes in Bovill.

JH: Oh, yes, Bovill, you see, they didn't That's turned off isn't it?

SAM: No, it's still on.

JH: It's still going. No, Bovill was a poor place to raise any food, you . know. I don't know, it isn't all that high; it's high, but it's only about ten miles down there to Deary and they can raise about anything they wanted to. But Bovill, it's the nights that were so cold. Oh, you couldn't think of growing potatoes, never, or tomatoes. In the late years, some of them seemed to raise strawberries, but for a long time there, nobody tried to raise strawberries. So there wasn't much gardening going on, little bit, but very little. And you might say no farming at all. A couple of places on the edges of town maybe raised a little oats or hay or something like that.

SAM: Do you know how the merchants did in Bovill during the Depression?

JH: Oh, they didn't do good at all, and eventually they had to close up. Generally speaking, no, they'd get behind on the taxes, you know, they couldn't pay the taxes, and most of them went out of business. There was one store there though, the John Groh store. They were in real bad shape, real bad financially. And John Groh passed away, then his wife took over, hung on for a while. Oh, she was threatened there, too with the county tax collector— they'd have to do something, they'd have to take the property or something for the taxes— but they held off for a while, and then they got out far enough to where business started to pick up a little bit. And that war scare in Europe, of course, that must have been in '39, I guess— things started picking up pretty well from there on, and then, of course. we got into World War II, and you could sell anything you had. So that one place came out of it in good shape, but the others more or less went out of business.

SAM: Did most of the families hang on until the Potlatch started up again?

JH: Yeah. Well, during that period a lot of them worked in the CCC's, that was

SAM: Civilian Conservation Corps?

JH: That's right, that's right. So a lot of them, especially anybody that worked in a supervisory capacity, such as foreman or assistant foreman or anything like that , it was easy for them to get on in the CCC's as foremen. So a lot of them got pretty fair jobs, well, you know, fair as of the time. And then the others also got on as just laborers. So the town was pretty well taken up with just CCC's. And over the spell— I don't know how long it lasted— a year and a half or whatever it was before the lumber company went back to work. So there were some people that of course moved away, quite a few of them moved away and never came back. But, generally speaking, there was a lot of them that stayed there and stuck it out and ,come out all right. Yes, it was a bad period. I hope it never happens again. Sometimes you never know.

SAM: Well, to look at some more pleasant things. Could you tell me what you remember about Pat Malone?

JH: Well, Old Pat, everybody in town loved him, you know, generally speak ing. I don't know how long he'd been on the sheriff's force because he was on there when I came, but I think it was quite a number of years before that. He was deputy sheriff, and he had all the authority, the arresting authority, that any deputy sheriff would have; however, he was situated there in Bovill to report things of course that he fig ured should be reported to the sheriff's office in Moscow. That was mostly, I suppose, Pat's work, because he didn't make too many arrests, some. If he did, generally speaking, it would be somebody that got a little too drunk. But he lived there in the Spokane Hotel. Dave El lison and his wife, Sophie, run the hotel, and Old Pat lived right there, both sleeping and eating. And the county paid him just a tok en amount. At one time, I know, it was thirty dollars a month, but he did have his board and room. So Old Pat, with that thirty dollars, as long as it would last, he'd be treating the kids going by, ice cream cone or pop or something, till the thirty would be gone, and then he'd be broke for the rest of the month. But he didn't need any money, be cause he had a place to eat and sleep. But he'd sit there in the win dow with his corncob pipe in his mouth. Well that was something, there was the law enforcement agent. It helped, I know it helped. The county was lucky to have him there. But Old Pat could tell some tall tales about things that happened in his life. All amusing and well, could have happened. He was a big man, and I'll bet you when he was young there wasn't too many that wanted to tangle with him either Of course when I even first knew him, he was getting old. Oh yeah he was death on bootleggers, moonshiners. That seemed to be his main line of work during the Prohibition period. Oh., yeah, they used to pull tricks on him too. But generally speaking, Pat was well liked by everybody. Nobody took him too serious. But he was all right, he was well worth the little it cost to keep him there.

SAM: When you say playing tricks on Pat, was there any kind of practical jokes or....

JH: Oh. yeah, but Idon't know, those better stay like they are, I think. (Chuckles) Yeah. No, as to my knowledge Pat didn't drink. Idare say that he did when he was younger, but in my time knowing him, I never knew him to drink. But I suppose he did in his younger years. Oh, every once in awhile, you know, he'd get acall from Moscow to look out for somebody, and he got a little work like that. I know there was something or other in the area; Idon't know just what hap pened there, but they were watching for somebody, and Old Pat was down on the highway at Helmer this night when the family and I was coming home, and stopped me. But he was stopping all cars. And of course as soon as he'd look in the car and know who you were, "Okay!" Well, that was a job for him. I forget just what that was.

SAM: Can you remember any of the tall tales that Pat used to tell?

JH: Oh, the one that he used to tell me, it seemed about every year or so he'd come over and tell me the same story. Of course, Iknow that he'd forgot that he'd said it. Idon't know the start of this either, but there were two desperadoes, and he got word they were coming from Clarkia on the passenger train, and he was over there. But they jumped off on the opposite side of the train and started across the meadow. And by the time he got around to the end of the car they were running, and he said he took ashot at one. And he said, "I'm pretty sure hit him. But Ididn't get him though, because by the time I got over there he was gone and the other fella was gone. But Iknow Ihit him. Yep. Iknow Ihit him!" But it was along story. Old Pat, he'd tell me the details of what he'd done. It kind of slipped my mind, because, well, while I'd be listening I'd be doing my own work at the same time. And I'd think, you know, well it's about time for Old Pat to come over and tell me that same story again, and sure enough.(Chuckles! But Inever let on to him that I'd ever heard it before. It was all news to me. Then when he'd get through, he'd get up, go out, back on the job. Well, his job was sitting there in that hotel. Had abig window there, set right in there in one of those leather rocking chairs. No, that's the one Iremember him telling about.

Well, this was the truth, about the Oh of course, that time- time the safe was old Pete Caldwell, the conductor woke him up, told him. The first thing he'd do was put that corncob in his mouth, of course, and get his shoes tied. And this was in June, and Pete Caldwell stayed there while Pat was getting dressed, and Old Pat said, "I'll be jeepers if there was just afresh snow." But there wasn't. But then, he called me and he called Sam Peterson, the banker. Idon't know why he called him but he did, and by the time I got uown to the depot Sam was down there too, and Old-Pat. Vou could see what happened. These people broke that window out, and they broke it out completely, took it out, so it just looked like aclean window in stead of abroken window. Inside, the doors all opened from the inside. This safe, it weighed 1,350 pounds Ibelieve is what the safe weighed. And it had casters on it, and they rolled it out, out on the platform, and they got apush car from the tool house, and with the gangplank just rolled this onto the pushcar and pushed it down the WUM, which was a little bit down grade. Well Old Pat guessed that that's where they'd had to have've gone was no motor or anything to push it by hand, but slightly down grade they could do that. So then, well, better get the section boss. His name was Charlie Eller. But Charlie Eller had to get the car out and go down there. Well then, Charlie, he had to call his whole crew. He had about four men, laborers; he had to get them out. This was probably about three in the morning. And so he got to going, and Old Pat sat right on the front with the flashlight and the gun drawn, going down through those cuts. And here was the safe, oh two and a half miles down, I suppose. They'd rolled it off the side and blew it. There wasn't much money in it. There was express money orders, but in blowing it the explosion burnt the money orders, so they didn't try to take those at all. Otherwise I think, they would have, and tried to pass 'em, but (there was) a little burnt mark right along the edge of all of 'em, so they left those. they just took what cash was there, they didn't take any checks. The car tickets was blown up in trees for twenty-five feet or more. We recovered most of the tickets; that was no loss, any way. But by shaking trees for a couple of days afterwards you could get more tickets down. I believe there was very few tickets lost. No, we didn't see anything of any men.

SAM: Did Pat have his gun drawn all the way down?

JH: Oh. yes, he sat right on the front of the gas car with his gun drawn all the way down. Oh, it'd a been so easy if they had a been bad nen and wanted to kill all of us, they could have done it, we was just sit ting ducks, going down through those cuts with trees on each side. One side.anyway was all trees. Oh, I never thought at the time how danger ous it was, but afterwards I sized it up—my lord!I Oh, there for two or three nights there, gangs of us organized a watch out around the edge of town, if those fella^ be coming back in, because they'd have to get somewhere for food. But nobody showed up. But Pat thought— I think this was over near Park, there was a schoolhouse over there, and I think Pat was with some of the sheriff's force that kind of had a lead over there. And there was somebody, I guess, running across a field, and again Old Pat said he took a shot,(Chuckles) but he didn't get him. He was too far. "But I think I hit him", he said. "I think I hit him." Yeah. So that was one experience I had with Pat. Oh, they always said he had a lot of grit. But there was a lot of foolishness there too, I could see afterwards, the way we done that job.

SAM: I wonder if Pat was drinking and keeping it from ya. I mean, I wonder, 'cause I hear a number of stories that make it sound like if he wasn't drinking, he sure was letting his friends get away with it.

JH: Yeah. Oh yeah, there was stories, you know, too, about Pat doing his share of drinking, but, as I say, I never seen it, I never seen any ef fects on him. But I didn't see him all the time either. Sure, I'd see him every day.

SAM: One story I can still remember, somebody told me when these medine shows came through, one of the jokes, they said is, "What's an island?" The answer is, "The city marshall surrounded by a keg of booze." (Laughs) Yeah. I think Pat for a while there, that's kind of before my time too, he was I guess kind of city marshall as well. I think the village may have paid h*mr something. But that wasn't the case when I was there, he was strictly county.

SAM: Would you tell me about the last time that you saw him?

JH: Oh yes, that time I didn't know that he was even sick. But oh, it was along about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and Mrs. Elison called me at the depot, Would Istop and see Pat on my way home for lunch? And I yes, and I did. I went into that little room where he stayed and he was in bed, and half crying. And all that was on his mind was he didn't want to be buried in pauper's field. And that's just the way he'd say it. "I don't want to be buried in pauper's field." Well, I assured him that that would never happen. And he questioned me a little bit about it, "You're sure about it?" "Oh, yes," I'd say, "that'll never happen, Pat." Well then he felt better, and he threw the covers back and he sat on the edge of the bed. It seemed to me he felt a good deal better, he was relieved of something he'd been worrying about. Well, when I got home, which was only a few minutes, I called the sheriff's office in Moscow, and told them about talking with Old Pat, and he was sick and in bed. So they said, "Well, we'll send a car up and get him." And they did. And when they had him in the car and start ed out of town, he told them, he said, "That's my last trip up that hill," the grade going out of Bovill toward Deary, "my last trip up that hill." Well the next day I called the sheriff's office to see how Pat was. And said, "Well, the doctors can't find a thing wrong with himi All he needs is a little hospitalization, and we'll keep him here for a day or two. He'll be all right." Well, that would have been on Saturday*- it was Friday that they took him over, and this was Saturday. And then Sunday the family and I went to Lewiston to the Lewiston Roundup and there was another couple with us. I told them I wanted to go home through Moscow, I wanted to see how Old Pat was. Okay, and so we went back through Moscow, arrived there I suppose eight o'clock or such. And Old Pat was dead. He had died. So I guess he knew more about it than the doctors. He knew that was his last trip up that hill, and they didn't know it. So he had a nice funeral in Moscow where he's buried. And then a little later I circulated a petition around amongst his friends in Bovill for a headstone, and got a price on one from Sturdevant in Moscow. I figured out the people in Bovill that would give toward it, and come down and figured out if I could get five dollars,apiece from the ones that I thought I could, that would be enough. And with one exception, everybody that I contacted said, "Yes, glad to." They gave me five dollars. And there was one fella that said, "Well, now, if you don't get enough, come back and I'll give you more." That was Dave Elison. But we got enough on the first run, and so he has a headstone today. My kids, oh. they thought alot of Old Pat. And every Memorial Day when we go to the eatery, after we've taken care of the two graves we have there of the family, the next place they head for is Old Pat's, put some flowers on Omlad Ppaatt-'s« egrraavvee.. S»o he's well remembered by a lot of people. Oh, Ithink Old Pat was honest enough and he done his job. However, it was in his way, that was the way it had to be! It'd have to be in his own way. Ithink he had been apoliceman earlier in life, well for short time in New York City, but then again, in where?

SAM: Was it Duluth?

JH: Duluth, Duluth, absolutely.

SAM: That's what I heard.

JH: That's it. Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota. Yeah, he worked there for quite awhile, I guess. Well at that time, Ithink, there was probably log ging around Duluth. I'm quite sure there was lumbering and logging in there. Ikind of think he attached to that and maybe that's why he drift ed West. Icertainly did know, but Idon't remember now what got him out West. That's right, I'm glad you said that.

SAM: I've heard it from acouple of people. I've heard other places, too,, but Duluth is the one.

JH: Yeah, yeah, Iguess he was probably there for quite awhile, because he talked a lot about Duluth.

SAM: What about the time you mentioned to when you was justice of the peace there and wasn't tough enough for Pat's liking?

JH: Oh yeah. There was one time there. This Nick the Greek, they called him, he was bootlegging. He wasn't moonshining, but he was bootlegging, Pat was trying to catch him, and he'd had a couple of raps before that for bootlegging. And this time Old Pat searched his little cabin where he was staying, shack, whatever you want to call it, from floor to top, and he came up with two half pints of moonshine. That's all he could find in Nick's place, but then he took him for that, for possess ion. That was the law too possession or transportation or manufact uring, any of that was unlawful— but this was for possession. There was only two half pints, and, well, I could see that Prohibition was just about to be repealed, and it was not too long afterwards, so I didn't feel too strongly about it then. But yes, Old Pat wanted me to give that Greek a jail sentence, and that would have been his third time, and that would have been pretty severe

SAM: So pat wanted you to give him a jail sentence.

JH: Yeah, Pat wanted me to Jive him a jail sentence, and that would be the third time for him, and he'd get quite a jolt. But I couldn't see it that way for only two half pints. I think I gave Nick his choice of a fine or jail sentence, and I think I said fifty dollars a half a pint, and that would have been a hundred dollars, because he had two half pints, or fifty days in jail for each half pint, and that'd have been a hundred days. Well Iwas pretty sure that Nick had the money, and I wasn't wrong on that. Well, he elected to pay the fine. And Old Pat was shaking his head all the time. (Laughs) He didn't like that. And Nick says, "Well, Ihaven't got the money on me." "No," I said, "I didn't expect you to, but you can get it surely." "Well," he says, "can I go and get it?" I said, "Sure, go and get the money." Why it was no time, an hour, and he was back with the money. But Old Pat, he cussed a little bit under his breath as he was going out the door. No, he didn't like that. (Chuckles) He wanted that guy to go to jail. But this fella, he wasn't a bad guy at all. Sure, he was selling a little moonshine, but he wasn't selling it to kids or anybody like that. And I knew in my own mind that it was going to be legal in just a short time. But no, Pat was disgusted with me there for a while. He didn't visit with me very much for a little while after that, but it wasn't long till he got over it. And he never talked about it again. No, he was just as friendly to me afterwards as before.

SAM: Did Pat go after many moonshiners, do you think? Or were the guys left pretty much alone unless they sort of got in his way?

JH: No, it was the other way around. It seemed to me that Old Pat liked to go after em. That was one thing that it seemed that he liked to do. Well, he thought he was a pretty good detective himself, you know, but (Chuckles) really he'd have to have a fresh snow. I think that's where Pat did pretty good. And he was pretty good at scaring some of them, too; whether he scared them or not would be another thing, but he'd always think he scared them out. (Chuckles) Well I don't know, oh I suppose he got a moonshiner or two in his life, but mostly he was for bootleg ging, it'd be bottle men you'd see around, selling. To catch a moon shiner you'd have to get out in the woods some place, you know, where they had a cabin or something like that. See a lot of smoke, heavy smoke, coming out of a chimney for a long period of time, you'd know that some body in there was brewing something, cooking that mash. Yeah. No, it always seemed to me and others too there, that that was one of Pat' lights. If he could really catch a good moonshiner or bootlegger, that was something he liked to do.

SAM: I suppose that everybody knew him so well they'd just stay out of his way, if that was their business.

JH: Oh yes, and oh, some of them said they could follow right behind him if they'd see where Pat was going, then they-could walk behind, (Laughs) that he never looked back. I don't know, oh you'd hear things like that, you know, make fun of him.

SAM: Well, did you see much of it in town? You say that when the lumberjacks came into town it was often to get drunk, these guys coming out of camp. Did you see much of it?

I, No, you see Ididn't because, well, there was no places of business in town that you could do it. Oh the poolhalls, there was acouple of them, soft drinks and pool tables, card games, but oh they wouldn't allow it at all, you know. It was quite apenalty, you know, you could shut 'em up and put '«. out of business. No, it was never allowed in those places, you didn't see it in there. Ithink really the talk about the lumberjacks and going to town and getting drunk was before Prohib ition. Sure you'd see it at one time, there^W of saloons in Bovill. Inever seen it, it was out when Icame there. In those days that's what would happen, and every other little town would be the same way. Palouse was quite aplace they said, Iworked at Palouse for awhile for the railroad. That along Main Street right from the Northern Pacific Depot, up and back, and Idon't know how many saloons, something like, oh gosh, twenty or more, twenty-seven I believe they said at one time. If you made the rounds, the depot up to the end of the street and back down. But Palouse was akind of jumping-off place too at one time for the railroad. And that's where you get the railroad to go up the WIM to the logging country, you see, Bovill. But no, Inever seen the ^ lumberjacks doing that, I've only heard of it. And I'm sure it's true. Oh and you'd see one just like Imentioned about Ted Collins- sure you'd see ted, he'd be drunk around sometimes because of alittle moonshine that he'd ^et from somebody. Have it ditched somewhere, you know, out, but not in the places, no. You wouldn't see them drinking it.

SAM: Was there much social life in Boville in the '20's when you first came?

JH: Oh yes, oh yes, they had amoving picture show there, they had shows oh three nights aweek, Isuppose. And then the upstairs part was adance floor, dances, two or three every month. Card parties. Oh yes, the social life there- and even during that Depression the social life was probably better than at any other time. They'd have dances there- as Isay, nobody had adime, you know, so the music would be volunteers. I ( know we had one superintendent of schools that played the violin, some one else played something else, my wife played the piano, and it was all for free. And then for lunch oh people would bring little things they could sandwich, you know. You see there was quite alot of wild game around that area, deer and elk. There was alot of meat come in there that way. You could make up sandwiches you know with that pretty good, (Chuckles) you could grind it up, well little things like that. And then they would pass the hat, and everybody knew now, "If you don't have anickel, for Godsake, don't use your last nickel to put in." It was just to buy coffee, that was the only thing, that was the only expense, was to buy the coffee. Oh they had good times, good times. And then some you see was making home brew, and you would go to ahouse and have abottle of beer. Yeah, I'd say the social life during that Depression... And then the people stayed together better, you know. Oh before that some of them you know that had cars would go to Moscow, to shows or some thing like that; that depression come along, you didn't have that kind of money, you know, to drive cars. So they stayed at home and made their own entertainment. It was good. I've heard alot of people talk about that afterwards, that really, socially, that was the best times of their life right there, during that depression. Well you know they always say, "Misery likes company." Well maybe that isn't agood definition, but just about everybody was broke is what I'm trying to get at. So the guy next to you was no different. Idon't know, you could count the people on the payroll there on your two hands, Iknow, because the school teachers and myself and afew people working, taking cere of the horses, that was about it. Even the superintendent Sogle, they put him down on such alow wage, he told me, "I wouldn't miss it if Inever got it at all." But it was down and you could see the company didn't know if they'd ever get going again.

SAM: What was Nogle doing then?

JH: He was superintendent.

SAM: Same thing.

JH: Yeah, well he had nothing much to do at all then, you see, only, oh they had buildings there, abig warehouse and an office building. Nobody in the office, but abig warehouse where alot of the stuff was stored. Oh he didn't have much to do, but this group of men that were taking care of the horses, he had to supervise them, you know. Buy alittle hay and grain once in awhile. Ithink they said there was 260 head of horses there. Well they had quite afew camps around when they were working, and every camp was about ahundred-twenty men. Inever did know how many horses was in each camp though, isn't that funny? I knew the amount of men.

SAM: I was curious about the single lumberjacks that stuck around, that were there logging for anumber of years. Did they sort of get adopted by families? Did they have real close ties where they became part of the social life of Bovill too?

JH: Oh in some cases yes, the single lumberjack, he had special family friends. Yes, that happened. But when they'd talk about going to town it was Spokane, you know, they wouldn't stop short of Spokane. Always by train too in those days. They had two ways of going there by train. You could go down on the WIM to Palouse, and have two chances there, either the Great Northern or the Northern Pacific get to Spokane; or they can take the Milwaukee to St. Maries and in. So they went both ways. Iknow one time there, this must have been about 1927 I'd say. We had abig fella, Charlie Albright, he died right on the basketball floor. We was having atown team basketball game there and Iwas man ager of the team. And it was anice night in the winter, February I think probably. And we'd had agood team that year, and this was the playoff, the winner would be sort of declared the champion. Ithink we were playing Kendrick, and the crowd,- the gym was full, anice night. And this Charlie, put up his hand, "Time out!", and down he went. We got over there, abunch of us, and he wasn't coming too, and every body done everything they could, you know, artificial respiration. I remember we got abarrel in from outside the door of the gym, and put him on that, rolled him back. Everybody had an idea, you know, what to do. And there was acouple of nurses in the room. Well one nurse said, "I can't feel any pulse." But the other one, whether she could or not, she didn't say.

We had adoctor stationed in Bovill then, Dr. Brown, so somebody tore out to get Dr. Brown. That place was getting panicky, you know. The man was there and hadn't come to and nothing was being done. And then finally Dr. Brown showed up. Of course he was just afoot, oh the snow was awfully deep then. And he got inside the door, "Well, settle down," he says, "the doctor is here, the doctor's here now." And he walked over to him and examined him alittle bit. "Well," he said, "we'll have to take him up to the-", well it used to be ahospital, but it wasn't operating then as ahospital, but that's where the doctor's office was. So he said we'll have to take him up to the hospital It was the hospital building, see, so then they sent somebody for astret cher somewhere close, Iguess. Got there with the stretcher and we put Charlie, on it, and he was abig fella, about 240 pounds. And that snow the other one walked the path, and then they'd shift over just alittle ways and they'd change off. And I remembeAound up being the one that was carrying him in the door. I'd interchanged different times, Iwas one of them. And the doctor said, "Thanks boys!" And he held up his hand and he said, "His relatives will be here tomorrow." Well,he was asingle man. He says, "His relatives will be here tomorrow." Well that was the first that any of us knew that Charlie was dead! Isuppose we should have known more, but we didn't. We thought, you know, there was achance that he was alive, and would be. But that doctor knew all the time. But Ithink he handled it just right, because the crowd you know, was getting kind of panicky: do something, do something! Well everything was being done that could be. He died right there apparently, because he never stirred.

But then he had lived at Palouse I guess, so the funeral was sched uled for Palouse a couple of days later. And we had a special train come up from Palouse and took pret' near the whole town down to Palouse to the funeral, and of course, had to bring 'em back. I'll never for get that day either. This engineer, Elmer Helm, he was quite aguy. Well he seen that big crowd on the depot platform, with asteam engine you know. And he set up there, the train would run right on by the depot for oh half amile or more, and then there was aYout there where they'd Ythe engine. And when he seen that crowd out there- this Helm, he was kind of ashowman- he must have give it everything it had, be cause he came by that depot, and that old engine was just a-swayin', you know. He was putting it as fast as he could. For his own reason is all! But you know it scared that crowd half to death. But still for all they wanted to go to the funeral, and they did! They got there (Chuckling), but there were people got sick on the way down. But I know they didn't get sick from the ride going down there. They were so scared with him coming in, they didn't know what he'd be doing on the way down. But we all got down there and back. But now that's the way people would do there, you see, just something like that. The whole town would turn out for it. They were good people, real good people, generally speaking. 'Course that ended the basketball for the season, and should have.

SAM: Were sports very big in Bovill?

JH: Oh they always had abaseball team, always. And apretty good one. And we'd have little leagues made up of, well Potlatch always had a strong team, Genesee always had agood outfit, they were in the league. Kendrick always had a good one, they were in. Bovill, and then some times Elk River would come up with a pretty good team. They had a sawmill up there in Elk River until about oh, 1930 I think that saw mill went out. When the sawmill was there Elk River was amuch lar ger town than Bovill was, and they had apretty good baseball team. It. went down after that, of course, Oh. yeah,Troy would have a team some years, and some years they didn't. But we had a league and real interest in it. The townspeople would follow the team around the country. We'd go to St. Maries, and sometimes Emida and different places But the league games were interchangeable with these other towns. Oh we have won the championship there and we've lost too, more times than we won. But once in awhile we'd come in with a winner. Yeah. It's a funny thing: Moscow couldn't support a town baseball team. Too much university there, Iguess. For some reason Moscow never had a town baseball team. You'd think there'd be enough university stud ents that'd stay around there during the summer that they could get up ateam, but no. Sometimes we used to get some guys from the university to come up and we'd find them a job for the summer and they'd play ball with us. Red Jacoby was one of them. He was with us, oh I don't know, three years I think. He later went on, you know, to Wyoming, and he be came a graduate manager there. In fact he just died about a year ago. I met a man here in Spokane about a year ago, and he was from Wyoming. And I said, "Do you know, I only knew of one man," I guess I probably said, "I know one man in Wyoming, and that's Red Jacoby!" That's kind of funny, isn't it? There's a whole state, and he did, he knew him. Oh yeah, we had baseball, basketball, we used to play volleyball. Yeah. But that isn't so today, you know, those towns now, they don't have a baseball team. Oh there's probably some of them might have a basketball team, but it's never organized like it used to be, you know. We had, as I say, those leagues drawn up, we had rules and we had officials made up of the county.

SAM: That story about the doctor reminded me of that story that you told me about when your wife was having the baby.

JH: Oh.

SAM: Would you tell me that?

JH: Yeah, well yes, that was when our youngest boy Jack was born, on April 5th, 1931. And we had a doctor in Bovill, I believe that was Dr. Porrall, I wouldn't just swear to his name, but I think it might have been Dr. Porrall. He visited my wife on this day which was Saturday, I think, yes. And, "Oh," he said, "nothing to worry about," he said, "you've got a week or maybe two weeks yet." So he told her that he was taking the train to Elk River that day and he'd be up there over the weekend. So during that Saturday night here the labor pains start ed, and we knew the baby was coming. So I hiked up to the doctor's of fice which was the old hospital and asked the doctor's wife to come down with me and she did. I was awful glad that she did come because she knew so much more about it than I did. But of course got ahold of the doctor by phone at Elk River. Well he had no way of coming ft :it course impassable, nobody could get over it. You couldn't call it a highway, it was just a road at the time, but you couldn't get over it. So well, couldn't do anything about that.

But Axel Anderson, some way he found out about that. I hadn't talked to Axel, he found out about it. And they had this old Dodge bug that they used to run on the railroad sometimes, nothing but an old Dodge car with the four railroad wheels on it. But it had been put away for the winter, hadn't been used again that year, and the battery was out of it. And he scouted around, and he got a battery and got it in that old rig, and he got the doctor and brought him down to Bovill. I didn't even know they were coming. Here they showed up at the house. I was awfully glad to see them. Well the doctor said everything was all right, glad to hear that too of course. But I was so excited, you know, I didn't even ask Axel if he'd like a cup of coffee. I told him about it some time later. "Oh," he said, "I understand. I had kids too, you know." I always thanked Axel for that. How he got the word I don't know. He did find out, but somebody told him. And this was late at night too. You know, and then when the Depression come on hard, a little worse, we didn't have a doctor. We didn't have a doctor in Bovill. But here they had 260 horses across there, and the Potlatch Lumber Company did have a veterinary. So you'd hear this around town: "The horses are more important than the peoplel" Yeah.

SAM: Did people go to the vet when they got sick?

JH: Quite often, especially if they got hurt, you know. And he did have a reputation, he could set a bone probably as good as a medical doctor— your wrist, or your leg or something. He also knew a little something have him in jail some place. Oh yes, alot of people would take his advice. And they'd say for an injury he'd go right ahead and fix them up until, you know, they could get to adoctor, which would be the next day. Yeah, that's the way that worked. Do know what they used to call Axel, what his nickname was?

JH: "The Big Swede." Yep, whenever anybody would say the Big Swede, Yeah, he was in the snowplow one time on one of their logging roads, and the goldarn snowplow derailed and went over atrestle, is what it was, went down there quite aways. Had astove in there and of course it fell over. It's awonder the thing didn't burn up. Axel, he got hurt pretty bad. But he came out of it. Ithink he might have broken his shoulder, but he was awful lucky that it wasn't worse. And another fella with him, Joe Evans, he got banged up some too, broke his leg or arm or something, he was laid up for awhile. Oh, I'll betcha Axel's had a lot of experiences in the woods.

(Chuckles) They had a fella there, his name was Joe Buck. Well he was, oh Idon't know, ajack of all trades, and hewas sort of a painter too. But he was working for the Potlatch at the time in what they called the basin, which is between Bovill and Elk River but off to the east some. They had, oh about three camps out there I think, A, B, C, D, maybe they had four camps out there. The logs were trans ported into Elk River for the mill. Then they had abig coal dump out there, and the coal would come into Elk River, and then it would have to be taken out to these camps with the shay engine, oh maybe four or five cars at a time. And this Joe Buck, he was working out there as ,an engine watchman. Well that would be at night when the engines were tied up, he was watching engines. Well it seems like there was no crew around. This Joe, he was akind of astrong union man too. They didn't know it though until then. So it was this night and they were getting short on coal and there, as this story goes, Axel asked him, "Joe, could you take the engine and run into Elk River and get one carload of coal?" Joe says, "Sure Axel, sure I can, but will T?" (Laughs). And he didn't.

SAM: Axel didn't even can him?

JH: Oh no, no. And Ithink it was the sanguy, I'm pretty sure it was Joe Buck, he was kind of abull cook around the camp one time. Oh, there was little jobs, you know, maybe they'd have a little pump out here somewhere to pump water into the camp, or other little duties. "Well, we'll give you two hours for this or four hours for this," and then cleaning out the bunkhouses and whatnot. Then they were getting these extra duties onto 'em, you know, "Well, how about an hour for that?" Anyway, it all added up to twenty-five hours, and Joe, he wondered how he was gonna work that, (chuckling) with only twenty-four hours in the day. Well, I guess they got it straightened out. But you see that would be kind of along the line of gyppo, give you an hour's pay today if you take care of this.

SAM: Do you know if the men considered Axel as a big management person, or if they they thought of him more as aworker like themselves?

JH: No, I've never known of Axel to do aphysical day's labor in his life. He was always some kind of aboss, when Iknew him. No, and Idon't know, he was in the United States Army in World War I, but Idon't know what he done just when he first come out. He may have worked in the woods then, but that was way ahead of my time. But from the time Iknew him, from 1925 on, he was always in the supervisory capacity. He was afore man or assistant foreman, or well, I don't know. No, Inever knew him as an assistant foreman, he was either a foreman or higher ranking. Foreman, and then you see they'd have what they'd call the walking boss, he was higher than the foreman. And then ahead of him would be the superintendent. But the walking boss was kind of a trouble shoot er, you know, that'd get around the camps, see what the foremen were doing. His work would mostly be with the foremen for the different camps. Of course, he'd hike out into the woods too, to see what was going on.

SAM: Would you tell me what the responsibilities were of your job, being depot agent there?

JH: Well, it was just like depot agent any other place. I was the tele graph operator, of course, and there I did the telegraphing as well. An agent is responsible for everything that happens in and around his station. And you had to see that things was going right, and you'd have to keep in good touch, good relations with the business people. Those days everything was handled on the railroad, there was no truck ing. Trucking didn't come along for quite a while afterwards. And then of course the telegraph, you're manager of the Western Union, and then the express company, you're the express agent. And with your help, you know, you had the cashier there, you had to supervise him and see that he's doing his work right, same with your warehouseman; you do have to oversee those two, I did anyway, and would be the case. Well that's about it. Well if you was at a station where there was a competitor railroad, then as a railroad agent, a lot of your work would be soliciting business. But that at Bovill I didn't have to do, because the two railroads were right there in the same building, and going different difections. So there was no soliciting to do. And then, of course the mail is handled on those trains, you were res ponsible for that mail until after it leaves the station. You were responsible for just everything in and around the station. Well, after I stayed there for so long you see, and after a num ber of years, the management of both railroads more or less left me alone. Very seldom did they ever give me instructions of what had to be done that wasn't being done or anything like that. They kind of relied on me to run it up there, and I did the best I could. And I really enjoyed my work. I think one reason that I did is because I got along quite well with the management. I didn't try to bicker or fight with them. That's not pleasant work when you don't have boss es that you get along with. I didn't have any bosses on the jobj but here like Spokane, the Milwaukee, this was the headquarters for them, Potlatch for the WI and M. But I got along with them good, and you did say you talked with Walt Gamble— he was my boss from the WI and M for quite a number of years. Got along well with him.

Everything you know, those days came in and out of town on the railroad. Oh you do things sometimes, probably you shouldn't, but then you do it anyway. I know one time there we had a fella died right across the meadow. And these people, the relatives, were from Spokane, and they wanted the body brought into Spokane. Again this was in the winter, deep snow. But this undertaker I'll call him (mortician, whatever you want to), came out from Spokane, and the drayman took him across the meadow to this place where the man had died— and he'd been dead for a couple of days— a day and a half any way, I guess— while this passenger train went to Elk River and back, which would take about two and a half hours. And the drayman took this man over, and he prepared the body over there well enough to ship. But he thought it was— all he had was a basket, and they're narrow you know, narrow as a body, well, nothing but a basket is all it is, wrapped around. And then the drayman brought it back to the depot. I should have known this, but I didn't, and here we had the body on the truck and ready to load into the baggage car. this baggage man on that train, he was all right, Steve Kinnard was his name, but he was one that wanted to stay right as strictly to the letter of the law and rule as he could. And when he seen the carrying basket, that's what they called it, and no handles on it, he said, "No, no, no hand les!" "Why," I said, "it can be handled easy enough." He said, "No handles on it!" Well, I couldn't argue with that, you know, because there wasn't any handles on it. "Nope!" "Well," I said, "I'll go in and see." So I went in the depot, and the conductor was still in there because Bovill was a registered station and the conductors had to come to register. And I told the conductor, "Can you hold up for a minute or so?" "Yeah." He didn't know what I was doing,none of his business, and no use in me telling him. This I shouldn't have done, but I didn't have time to do it properly (phone rings) I'll have to answer that phone. (Break)

SAM: You were just telling me about how you did a little short circuiting of the rules there on that dead man.

JH: Oh, yes, yeah.

SAM: You were talking to the conductor.

JH: Yeah, he said, okay, he'd wait a little bit. Well I set down to the typewriter and wrote out a message addressed to this baggageman to accept this corpse as is, and signed the superintendent's name to it. And I took it out and handed it to him. He said, "That's good enough for me, the superintendent's name." He took the message he took the corpse, and I never heard another word about it. It was all right. Now this was on Saturday, see, and no trains on Sunday. If that body couldn't have been transported, they'd have to have held that body some place until Monday! And you know I would have done most anything erintendent. you know in Spokane.and get this thing cleared. And I couldn't expect that conductor passenger trains leave on that's when they want the minute, you know, when they're due to leave, to leave. So that worked very good a I wasn't exactly holding my breath for afew days afterward maybe something come of it. But nothing did. No. oonnee of the things this particular agent done, (laughs.)

SAM: Were there real differences between the two lines, besides the fact that one was organized by alumber company, in the way the lines operated, that you had to follow?

They all had the rules, you know. All the trains run under good deal the same train orders and timetables, and it's all just go system. Their account.,inga 4is« jwustt aaggooooad deal on the same order, only there was one separate set of accounts for one railroad and one for the other. Oh, as one brakeman said there one time, he was arguing aiittle bit whxth the brakeman from the Milwaukee, he said, "Well, in away arailroad is arailroad. And the HUM was an Interstate Washington and then into Idaho. And their plans apparently had been hut fire or something in the area where they in to go on to Montana, but tire or tended to go changed the plans. into Montana, but railroad is Washington, Idaho and Montana. today still the name of the raiiroao i Yeah, some of them used to say, "Will I Make it," for WIM, "Will I Make it?" And then another fella I heard say, "Maybe I Will," turn it around. Oh yeah. Oh there was an awful lot of logs went out of there by railroad in those days.

SAM: Which way did more logs go?

JH: Potlatch. Potlatch see had a good size mill there. One time, I don't know whether it was regarded the second largest in the country, I be lieve it was. I believe it was considered the second largest sawmill in the United States. But then shortly after there was some bigger ones went in. The one at Lewiston was bigger, and I think Longview was a bigger one.

SAM: Did a lot of that same timber come back through when it was sawed up?

JH: Oh yes, oh yes, a lot of it from the Potlatch mill come right back through Bovill and go on East. I think that was one of the reasons that the Milwaukee bought that road, tyou see, before that the busin ess out of Potlatch was sort of divided up. Now at Palouse there's two railroads, the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern, and we'll just say that each of them got a third, and then a third of it would go to Bovill for the Milwaukee. They didn't hold right onto those bases, but that's roughly speaking, you know, they divided it up. But then, the Milwaukee buying the WI and M, well now they get the lion's share of it, you know. I don't know how much they get, but probably seventy-five percent I suppose of the lumber that's cut at Potlatch will go through Bovill and generally speaking on to the East. Most of it goes 6ast. Very few carloads of lumber out of Potlatch ever goes to the West, so these sawmills on the west coast, I guess, takes care of this area. But feast, yeah.

SAM: So Bovill being at that juncture point sounds to me l±ka it was really at a very central location for shipping logs.

Oh yes. Yeah, the logs, you see, came in there and then went to Pot latch. We had a pole yard there too, cedar pole, and it's still going. They shipped a lot of poles out of there, creosoted, you know. It used to be in the summertime we'd have quite a few sheep, quite a few, sometimes you know a straight, strictly sheep train. They'd come in about Memorial Day; I think^that they would have with the Forest Ser vice to have the sheep on the forest land— and that's where they mostly done their grazing— was June 1st, but they always seemed to always get in about a day or so before. And they'd graze all summer until September. Generally around Labor Day they'd start shipping them out. And then trainloads, you see, not carloads, but trainloads— mostly on to Chicago. You wouldn't know where they'd go to from there, but you know they had the yards there.

But that's all a thing of the past, there's no more sheep grazed in the country at all. I don't know why. Somebody told me why, but I didn't believe it. You know those sheep tenders or sheepherders, or whatever you want to call them— a lot of them were Basques— came over here, and they liked sheep and they knew how to handle sheep,and just everybody can't. Oh. yeah, an owner told me, "Oh it makes a big difference if you've got a man tending herds that knows how and one that doesn't." But this fella told me why there's no more sheep any more, because those fellas quit coming over here to herd them. He said, "That's why, they can't get them." Whether it is or not, I don't know. Yeah, with sheep you got to keep 'em on the move, now isn't that funny. Now with hogs it's always been my understanding, although I don't pretend to be an expert at all on that, but you keep hogs in a sort of small pen and feed 'em heavy, and that's where they put on the most weight. But with sheep, of course, they're grazing, you got to keep 'em going. A sheep will eat about so much then they lay down. Well a herder, you can't let 'em do that. You got to keep 'em mov ing. And when they move they eat. Isn't that funny? (Chuckles) Just the opposite of the hogs— keep 'em moving and then they keep eating. The only time you want 'em still is at night.

SAM: When you mentioned the cedar yard there, it reminded me of Leo, I was wondering if you can tell me what Leo was like? I've heard that he was a jokester, and certainly was a comic fellow.

JH: I'll tell you, he pulled a good one one a cousin of mine. This cousin, that was a long time ago, he was here in Spokane, and well, he had a little job of some kind. He was single and young, he didn't like that job he had. And Ihappened to be in town. "Well," I said, "if you want to come back with me to Bovill, I said, "I'm pretty sure you can go to work in the pole yard." "All right, I'll give it a try." So he did. And his job was to count the poles on each car. After a car was loaded,see, then you count the poles to see how many was on there. They know how many is supposed to be on there, you see, and of course. the loaders and the checker, whoever it is, tries to get exactly that number of poles on, but then they always have one to count 'em after wards. Well the best way to do it is to go to the end where the butts are, you see, and then count those butts. You can use a little chalk mark if you want to know that you've counted that. And then you go to the other end. Well, sometimes you see the poles go that way so there'd be butts on each end, and the small part would be to the middle. And this cousin, he was counting, that was part of his work that day. He was counting and he'd get a different number on the other end -one more log. And he done it and he done it so-many times that it was driving him crazy. Like each time he'd count on one end and maybe hundred Doles and the other end was a hundred one. Well that doggone Leo, there was a little open space there where there was nothing, and around the cedar yard there's lots of cutoff pieces, you know. He took one of those little short pieces that wasn't two feet long and he shoved it in that space, (chuckles) That made it, yeah. He'd do things like that. For quite a few years he was in charge of creosoting. That was part of his work there.

SAM: What is the story you told me about getting his eggs stolen?

JH: Oh yeah. He had a barn, he had cows and chickens. And he knew that he was losing some eggs. Well he had a neighbor, he was a good enough fella but he was different, Buck Chambers. And he figured that it was probably Buck that was stealing his eggs, but he hadn't seen him do it. So this time, it was early in the morning, I guess it was, I think he seen Buck go into the barn. And there was nothing to say, you know, or reprimand him or anything for being in there, that was all right. But when Leo went in, "How are ya, Buck!" Buck stuttered, you know, and Leo kind of sized him up, and then he walked over to him, and (slapping hands on his trousers) on the pockets, and he heard eggs breaking, and come down on top of his head just playful, you know, down on top of his head. Here Buck had eggs under the hat, the hat pulled down and he had eggs up there, and Leo broke the whole works. Oh his pockets, and the eggs started coming down Buck's face. Well, the jig was up then, of t course. He didn't do anything about it; he didn't want to do anything about it. He just wanted to stop Buck from stealing his eggs! (Laughs) Oh I don't know, stories used to come up around Bovill there, and somebody would say, "Where did all these new stories come from?" So I heard somebody say, "Don't you know? Leo Guilfoy makes them up!"

(Chuckles) I don't know whether he did or not. Leo to me didn't ever worried about anything. Maybe that's why he lived so long. If he done any worrying he kept it to himself. It couldn't have been just an easy life, you know, after his wife couldn't be home to take care of the family. There, he had those three kids, he had to earn a livelihood as well as supervise the kids until they could do for them selves. It was a big job, it was a bigger job than most men would do, I think. He done a real good job. Real good.

1:00 - Sketch of his depot work before coming to Bovill in 1925.

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Sketch of his depot work before coming to Bovill in 1925.

4:00 - Winters in Bovill; Potlatch horse barn and selling horses when horse logging ended; blowing money in town

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Snow and Bovill winters. The Potlatch horse barn; selling off horses when horse logging ended. The old-time lumberjacks. Most wintered in Spokane, but returned in the spring; blowing money in town.

17:00 - Differences between lumberjacks and railroad "extra gangs"

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: The railroad "extra gangs" were a different class than the lumberjack. Joe saved a drunk from an extra gang from getting run over.

20:00 - Work as justice of the peace; letting Ted Collins jump a train; disagreement about a body identification

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: As justice of the peace, Joe let Ted Collins jump a train. Later a body in Moscow was identified as Ted; but on examination Joe disagreed with the others. Later Ted walked into the depot, and was warmly received.

26:00 - What happened with the Depression hit the Potlatch Lumber Company in Bovill

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: When the Depression hit in 1931, Potlatch Lumber Company "pulled the pin" and most people lost their jobs in the Bovill area. Joe was in charge of the relief program. The distribution of food and jobs.

31:00 - Working on WPA road from Bovill to Elk River; trouble gardening around Bovill; how the community kept going during the Depression

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: WPA road work from Bovill to Elk River. The state took over the road to Elk River from the Highway District. Difficulty raising gardens around Bovill. Business troubles for Groh store ended with the second war. CCC work kept the community going.

39:00 - Pat Malone's work in Bovill; didn't drink, gave treats to children; going after a stolen safe

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Pat Malone's work in Bovill. He spent all his spending money on treats for kids. He didn't drink. Pat's favorite story, about catching some desperadoes coming from Clarkia. Pat went after the safe stolen from the depot, in a situation that could have been dangerous.

55:00 - Pat Malone thought he would be buried in a pauper's grave; his children still visit their father's grave; Pat wanted Joe to give a jail sentence to a man for possession of two pints

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Pat was afraid he would be buried in pauper's field, and knew that he was going to die when the doctors didn't. Joe raised money in Bovill for a headstone, and his children still visit Pat's grave each Memorial Day. Pat had worked in Duluth. Pat wanted Joe to give Nick the Greek a jail sentence for possession of two pints, but Joe didn't because it would have been his third conviction.

62:00 - Pat was angry at Joe for giving a fine; Pat liked to catch bootleggers

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Pat was angry at Joe for giving Nick a fine instead of jail. Pat delighted in catching bootleggers, but wasn't much of a detective.

68:00 - Drinking was not seen in Bovill during Prohibition; Palouse had a bad reputation

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Drinking was not seen in Bovill during Prohibition. Palouse had quite a reputation for saloons from the early days.

71:00 - Socials were popular during the Depression in Bovill; Sandwiches made from wild meat

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Socials were very popular and enjoyable in Bovill during the Depression. Sandwiches were made from wild meat. Nogle, the supervisor, got low pay and had little work to do, and few were on the payroll at all.

77:00 - Charlie Albright died during basketball game and men hauled him through deep snow to the hospital; most of Bovill went to the funeral

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Charlie Albright died while playing a basketball game in 1927. The men hauled him through deep snow to the hospital, although Dr. Brown didn't tell them he was dead. Most of the town took an excursion train to Palouse for the funeral; Elmer Helm, the engineer, scared the people by roaring into the station.

84:00 - Baseball teams in the area caused a lot of interest; local sports have declined

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Baseball teams in the area aroused much interest, except in Moscow. Local sports have declined.

88:00 - Running for the doctor for a birth in the dead of winter

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: When Joe's wife had her baby unexpectedly early, Axel Anderson got the doctor down to Bovill from Elk River, in the dead of winter.

92:00 - Bovill losing it's doctor during the Depression; Potlatch keeping their veterinarian

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: When Bovill lost its doctor during the Depression while Potlatch kept their veterinarian, folks said "horses are more important than people". The vet was often their doctor.

93:00 - Axel Anderson hurt in railroad accident; Joe having to work a 25 hour day

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Axel Anderson, the Big Swede, got hurt badly in a railroad accident. Joe Buck gave Axel a union retort; Joe once had to work a 25 hour day.

100:00 - Joe's responsibilities as a depot agent in Bovill

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Joe's responsibilities as depot agent at" Bovill. Getting along well with management made his job pleasant. To get a corpse accepted by the baggageman for shipment by train, Joe had to sign the supervisor's name.

110:00 - Keeping two sets of books for the railroad companies; One of the reasons the Milwaukee railroad bought the WI and M

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: The Milwaukee and the WI and M ("Will I Make it") had the same policies, but Joe kept two sets of books. By buying the WI and M, the Milwaukee gets to ship most of Potlatch's timber.

115:00 - Train loads of sheep that had grazed on Forest Service land were shipped from Bovill to Chicago

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Train loads of sheep which had grazed on Forest Service land from June to Labor Day were shipped from Bovill to Chicago. Joe was told there were less sheep because there were fewer Basque herders.

118:00 - Leo Guilfoy tricking Joe's cousin; Leo was a story teller; had to raise his children as well as work

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Leo Guilfoy tricked Joe's cousin when he was checking poles. Leo got egg on Buck's face for stealing his eggs. People said new stories around Bovill were made up by Leo. Leo never seemed to worry, despite having to raise his children in addition to working.


Collections A-Z