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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: January 21, 1976 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

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SAM SCHREGER: was it a long trip?


SS: How long, I wonder, did it take you?

NWL: Oh, my, started early in the morning, and we didn't get here wil way in the afternoon.

SS: Nora.

NWL: Yes, there was a store there. A store, and I don't know what else. When we got there it was just a place to stop and feed our horses and have our lunches.

SS: You were just little kids then.

NWL: I was eight years old.

SS: And you kept asking how long it was going to take you?

NWL: Yes, because I was getting tired.

SS: He lied to you, when he said it was only going to take a little while.

NWL: And then we got over here to where the old saloon building was, where his folks lived and I said how much farther; "Oh, it's about half way."

NWL: And I thought..

SS: Where did you kids ride? Did you ride in the back?

NWL: No, right up in the seat with him, right along with him.

SS: What was the store like? What did they sell?

FLOYD LAWRENCE: Groceries, mostly.

FL: I was just a kid when I saw that and I couldn't figure that all out.

SS: Where was that?

FL: It was down on Bear Creek. right there on Bear Creek.

NWL: That was the one that Arthur told us about.

SS: Did you know Mary and Lou Wells?

SS: What do you remember them being like? The Wells. I've heard quite a lot of things about them. Most of them really good.

NWL: She was a wonderful person. She was just a real good person.

SS: yeah, the boys. I was talking to? I don't think you ever knew the Settles down there. They were black. Down there in Moscow, al though the one, Gene Settles, he's still living.

FL: The one that was here, that family, you know the people mixed with them just the same, as they did white people.

NWL: Well, they were.more like white people, you know, because they were the only family among the white people at that time, the colored peo ple, they were colored and the rest were white and they went with the white kids to school, and naturally, they kind of become more white, acted more white. And Mary stayed with me, before she went to Spokane. She was our neighbor in later years, Mary Kay was.

SS: When did she go to Spokane? When did she leave the area? Was it before the second World War?

FL: It was way afterwards-

NWL: Yeah, it was afterwards, because she had this building brought down and rebuilt down here. Gene Settle was telling me about the guy that she had been married to from Spokane during World War I. That was ") that was the father to Lou Easter and Bill. And he did, he disappeared. He was a army officer, pretty well educated Nigger. And didn the make suits and stuff? Wasn't that his trade? He was a tailor, her husband. Had a tailor shop in But they didn't get along too well. After these children was born, he just disappeared, he just left her.

SS: That made it pretty hard on her.

NWL: Well, it did, but she had been used to- she was like her mother, she was used to working. And she did housework for people and she washed, took in washing and so she made a living for the children. And of course, Roy, her brother would stay there with her and I suppose he paid her board, too.

SS: What about Chuck? Didn't he work in the mills?

FL: Yeah.

SS: Now, I've heard- some people have said that Joe was really strong, a very strong man and some people have said that it was Chuck that really the strong man.

NWL: No, it was Joe.

FL: Joe was liked better than any man in this country. He'd get in a rig and go to town and everybody, would just wave.

NWL: Oh, they were well liked.

SS: Where did Joe get this reputation for being a strong man?

FL: He held up for his rights, Joe did, a lot more than Chuck. But they wasn't either one outstanding that way, I don't think. I'll have to tell you what happened one time. They's a bunch of natural meadows up above here, and Iand him was up there mowing hay, and Ihad anew mower and he had an old one. His would keep breaking down all time and it was real hot and Iwas helping him get his mower fixed. I was ahead of him and I'd made around and come up to him and stopped, see, and that wild grass is real hard to cut, you have to have an aw ful good mower to cut it. So, Iwas laying out on the grass there pretty close to it, helping him fix it and Isaid to him, "Joe, what makes you smell like that when you get hot?" He said, "You smell that way to me, too!" Isaid, "Well, I'll get away from you then!" (Chuckles) He was quite an old character, now, I'll tell you. He was astrong, to be acolored person and him the only family in the country, he was astrong person that way. He held up for his rights and he was ahard worker and he worked in the woods and he hauled freight and just astrong character that way, physically. What about Lou? Gene Settle was telling me, that Lou didn't care very much for some of the harder, you know, the drinking ways. She was a very woman that way.

FL: And he was pretty bad to drink.

NWL: No, she didn't go in for that and she had ahard life that way, be cause he drank quite heavy, and she was such a good, kind soul. Gene said she really took it in silence, and did her work and always kept food on the table. And she did, she was a good cook. You know, they still remember in Troy, the old-timers do, tell about how Joe used to come into Troy and go drinking. There acouple of stories about him standing up to- Idon't know if you ever heard of Marshall Hays- Hays is this guy that got shot in Troy about 1904. We lived just below where he was shot, there just below the water tank, at that time

SS: Oh, really?

NWL: That must have been when?

SS: 1904 was the year, that's the way I understand it.

NWL: I know we was awful scared, all of us, you know, we was little kids and that was going on. We could see right there, but of course, I was too small to realize.

SS: You were there when it happened?

NWL: Oh, yes, we lived right down there when it happened. Now let me see, He was shot by whom Frei? No. Jake Sly.

SS: Right.

NWL: Well, he was shot.

SS: It was Sly that did the shooting, I thought.

NWL: Was it? Yes, Jake lived by us, yes, Jake Sly lived by us, right next door. And I think he was a brother, if I remember right. And, I , the people in Troy was really mad and they got their guns out and just about ready to kill him.

SS: Sly, you mean.

NWL: Yeah, this Sly. But then they arrested him and that was it.

SS: But then on the other hand, I've heard that Hays was not at all well liked, and a lot of people thought he was mean.

NWL: Well, I guess he really was, I don't know.

(tape was stopped at this point)

SS: He looked the situation over.

NWL: Yes, he was up here and looked it all over, the store was here then, a good and they thought it would because they was putting the railroad through. Of course, those men, they kind of like to get out you know after they got their checks and so they would rent the horses or Bovill then- or hire him to take 'em to Troy or wherever they wanted to go.

SS: Was that the mam was the lumber-

NWL: jacks and the people building the railroads?

Yes, and the men that was working on the railroad.

FL: Well, at that time there was trees all around here.

NWL: See, here where they've cut these stumps here. And then that was the Grammis house. Wasn't a very big house- now what was this?

FL: That's the house. I can't figure who built that. Just turn it around- now this is the way it sat. And we went to school to her. Anna Marie- yes, I remember her mentioning you when I talked to her. She sure remembers you. Who is that?

SS: Anna Marie Oslund. She taught before she was eighteen, a little before she was eighteen.

SS: When you were going to school?

SS: Really? You were in one of her first classes? She was very young then,

NWL: Yes, she wasn't quite eighteen. She couldn't collect her wages, her dad came and would collect 'em. He took 'em, too.

SS: What do you remember about that, when she was teaching school?

NWL: That was her first, and then she came back a few years later and she taught another- what two terms? Oslund was her name then.

NWL: Well, that was after she was married. that was her maiden name. Who taught with her?

NWL: Fairbanks. The second time she taught, well, that's when I went to school to her.

SS: Do you remember the school term when she was here, teaching?

FL: Oh, yeah.

NWL: What year?

SS: I'm not thinking of the year so much as what it was like.

NWL: Oh, yes, I should say. I tell you, she was an outdoor person. She'd get on her skis and go over these fences, take a bunch of the boys, you know and go over these fences and this old bachelor down here he said that she broke his fences down. He got kind of mad at her, you know.

LL: She always took the boys.

NWL: Oh, yes!

LL: The girls didn't amount to much!

NWL: And this was the first train.

SS: First train? Oh.

NWL: We all went over.

SS: And that was the one that came from Potlatch; all the brass and all?

NWL: Yes.

SS: And they all came up to Bovill? Came all the way to Bovill?

NWL: I don't know whether they was there that day or not.

FL: I don't know as they was, but that was the main track that run to Bovill.

SS: Everybody went out to look at that?

NWL: Oh, yes, my, that was something! That was the new railroad through here. You know that was something to have a railroad coming up through here because they'd been traveling with just horses and wagons

LL: And the roads were terrible.

NWL: Yes. Why yes, it was so narrow that the limbs'd hit you, you know, when you was riding along. It was that kind of roads.

SS: Did the train stop in Helmer, and did they have any ceremonies or anything?

NWL: No, no, they just- people went over there to see it go through, that was just an occasion, you know. My mother's in there, and I think Floyd's mother, and it's so faint you can't see it, of course.

SS: Had your father been a- did he run a livery barn before? Or was this his first one?

NWL: No. No. We came to Troy in 1900, and he had a dray. He bought out the dray business there, and he rented the teams and then he went into partnership with Ben Nelson and a feed store and then he had a little confectionery store, later on. And he contracted typhoid fever and he had to give his store up. And then of course, he lost his foot, it settled in his foot and he had to have it amputated. And then his next deal was up here with the livery stable.

FL: And he had one eye: didn't he get that cut in a corn patch?

NWL: Yeah, he fell and he could see, but the lid was drawn down and in those days they didn't do anything about it, you know, when it could have been fixed, because he could see out of it, but he couldn't lift his lid.

SS: Did it happen to him here, or was it back before he came?

NWL: Pardon?

SS: Did that happen in Idaho?

NWL: Back in Kentucky, before he came here.

SS: Did the family come straight here from Kentucky?

NWL: To Troy.

SS: Did they know people in Troy?

NWL: His father was there. His father had come ahead of him, see and his family. And so then they just thought he'd make a better living out here, and so they moved to Troy. That was in 1900. And my granddad, Wilkins, was already here at that time, he and his family.

SS: Are you related to Ken Wilkins?

NWL: Yes, cousin to Ken. And then my mother's folks came later on, the Leads, they came out, and they lived in Troy.

SS: Did your parents meet in Troy, then?

NWL: Pardon?

SS: Did your parents meet in Troy, or had they gotten married back

NWL: No, they were married when they came out. Yes, there was four of us kids in our family, the Wilkins family. Edgar Wilkins family. Now, you'd better tell him something about your family.

SS: Yeah, your family was- weren't they about the first family? Was it at McGary Meadows that they were the first family?

FL: My granddad; I don't think he ever proved up on McGary Meadows, but he squatted on that and built a house on that. And I think he sold it and he left here and went up to Nez Perce when they opened up that reservation. And he was a funny guy; he would go into a place and fix it up just so he could live good, somebody come along and buy it and he'd go somewheres else, and start all over again. I never figured that out.

SS: I've read that a lot of guys did that in the early- the early pioneers did that a lot, then they'd move on.

NWL: Well, he was a carpenter, too, wasn't he?

FL: Yeah he was a natural born-

NWL: He was a good carpenter.

SS: Maybe he liked to build houses.

NWL: I think he did.

SS: Build himself a new one.

NWL: Well, the last one he built, he built down on, what was it? The Sweet Water?

FL: Yeah.

NWL: And part of it still stands.

SS: The Sweet Water in Wyoming?

NWL: No, down here by Lapwai. Up that way.

SS: When he was down here, were his kids here at the same time with him? Your father, was he here, too?

NWL: They moved from Iowa, didn't they? Not straight to Idaho.

FL: No, they moved to Dayton.

NWL: Down around Dayton.

FL: And they stayed there a while and then they come up here in- what was it? 1900?

SS: Was your grandfather gone by then?

FL: No.

SS: Was he still here when your father came?

FL: Well, the whole family come together. There wa,s, I don't know, Dad had about four brothers and two sisters and they all come. And down here- this guy that bought my dad's place- they stayed there- well, my dad stayed there the first winter and then my granddad he went on Pp to Mc Gary Meadows. And he built a house there,a pretty nice house, and then he sold it. Sold his rights to Mc Gary.

SS: I wonder, when he came to McGary Meadows there must have hardly been anybody there yet; was there? It must have been pretty empty, around there.

FL: There wasn't no other families there. And I think there was a family lived at the forks of Potlatch up here. What was their names?

NWL: Carlsons.

FL: Carlsons.

SS: Can you figure why people hadn't moved up in there before, when in 1900 it was still so empty?

FL: Well, it was all covered with timber and there wasn't much of a way to make a living. And my dad said when he come here, you could drive a team of horses anywheres you wanted to go around this country, it was all clean, see.

NWL: The underbrush was gone.

FL: Them Indians kept it cleared off. And they kept it burnt close enough so that it didn't make a hot enough fire to kill the trees. And I know my dad said that if he'd a burnt, he'd a burnt it all-

SS: What did your father do then? Did he build himself a place, too?

FL: Well, the whole family lived there one winter and they built this house and then they went on, see and Dad stayed there. I said to my dad one time, "How come you didn't gov to the reservation, that's good soil over there." "Well," he said, "son, I was just so poor I couldn't go." (Chuckles)

How old was he about then? Was he grown? Oh, yeah. He was twenty-one when he got here. So what did he do then to make a living? After they went? well, he went out in th0 country and worked in the harvest. He was a sacksewer and he done that for years. And us kids and Mother stayed there at home. But that's the way they got by the winters.

SS: He could make enough money seweing sacks to support the family for the rest of the year?

FL: Uh-huh.

SS: Must not have taken too much.

FL: Well, it's a lot different now.

NWL: Well, they accumulated a little more stock, too, to help along.

FL: Oh, yeah.

NWL: Some cows and they just gradually built up. Just like any home steader.

SS: Was he homesteading then, or did he get the land from somebody?

FL: No, he homesteaded it.

NWL: It was 1890, tells us. And I think our papers are home. I have all this at home. 1890 when the Lawrences came. See, I got this from partly from this book. And I just scribbled it down because he told us about it. And I helped Miller go around and get some of this, you know.

SS: Oh, I didn't realize this because both your names are in here quite a bit.

NWL: There's one or two mistakes in there, but in my book, I've corrected them.

SS: It's inevitable. You've got to make mistakes, you don't have a chance to check with everybody. I thought he did a real good job writing this book, myself.

FL: He did.

NWL: He did, and he tried to get the real facts as near as he could. And he was very careful.

FL: He was at our house there for two weeks, straight.

SS: Were you living up here then, or was it down there?

FL: No, we lived here. We've been down there three years. There's the house that my mother lived in- that log house.

NWL: Now this is a family that lived up there on McGary Butte. That was Hampton Phelps. And see the store- that's the only store that was here, was the Janesville store and his folks ran it. These home steaders would have to walk from those homesteads clear down here to get groceries. Some of 'em didn't have horses. And it would take 'em all day to walk down from up there on McGary Butte down to the store; to his store.

FL: I'll never forget, his wife- this old Phelps wasn't very well, he's was kind of a fat guy, and his wife was a little old skinny wo man and she come down to my dad and she wanted some groceries; he said, "No," he said, "I can't sell you any." And you know, that woman just stood there and cried.

NWL: And that was hard for anybody to tell fem that, too.

SS: What did your father say then?

FL: Well, he finally let her have enough to get by on.

SS: When your family there- when you were a kid at McGary Meadows- where was this homestead? Was it right at Janesville?

FL: Yeah.

SS: Right where he later built the store?

FL: Yeah, that's where the store was.

NWL: He had the post office. And he'd bring the mail up from Troy by team. And that was the center post office. They would get their mail thereall these homesteaders did from there.

SS: So that was, in other words, that was before there was anything at Helmer?

NWL: Oh, yes.

SS: He started with a homestead; he didn't have the store right away.

NWL: Oh, no. Not when he had to go out and work, you know, to support the family. It just kept building up. Now this is your picture there. This is our picture we have taken from the other view. This is all the people, most of em. !'"

FL: They're all gone now. Every one of 'em.

SS: Well, Marvin Miller is in here in this picture. May Wilkins is in here, too.

NWL: Now this isn't McGary. He was the father of Jim, owned what's called McGary Meadows. And this is my brother. Now they made a mis take, this is Floyd Lawrence, but that was my brother Lloyd Wilkins. And this is our school, here. That's Anna Marie.

SS: Those are all the kids that were in the school then? Not too many.

NWL: I think there's some some home sick, or something There's just a few.

FL: Quite a school at one time. There was around fifty enrolled there.

NWL: Well, there was two teachers, too. But this means a lot to us, be cause we know every one of those. And here's my sister's little old runt here, I don't know where she's at. That's her in there.

SS: When your father there- when you had the store in those early years there- how much of a community was there around there? Were there many other families? s A

FL: There was quite a few around. They come in and homesteaded that to get the timber.

NWL: You can read this, this is them.

SS: A list of the people?

NWL: That's a list that he gave us. But I just scribbled that down because we were in such a hurry. But that was part of the homestead. McGary wasn't on there, but they come later on. McGarys and Hollenbecks and on the Woodses were up there McGary Mountain.

SS: Who?

NWL: Woods.


SS: her quite a few times. Spent a lot of time talking to her, about the early days. She's got a very good memory, too.

NWL: You bet. She knows, because she lived up there in those days, you know, when it was tough here.

SS: That's the idea that I get. Was it tough because there was no way to make a living?

NWL: Well, yes, and they were trying to hold this land down, see, they figured they could sell it later on, you know, and that was the idea guess; these homesteads.

FL: Yeah, they got this timber, but you know, a lot of 'em didn't get any thing out of that timber. The company would buy it for nothing if they could get it, and they didn't get no big money.

SS: Were they holding it to sell to the company or were they holding it hoping that it would turn into farming land? What were they thinking? ground

FL: Well, they opened up a little and they all had a garden and that kind of stuff. That helped 'em a lot. But in the back of their mind they figured they'd sell this timber soil time.

SS: Well, the company got it awfully cheap didn't they? From what I understand it was something like three dollars a thousand.

FL: They didn't pay that much for it.

SS: I mean, if you cut it and hauled it yourself.

FL: Yeah. My dad done a lot of that and I helped him. But he bought it and then he'd log it, see. And he never made no big money out of that. They didn't pay nothing for lumber then.

SS: There were quite a few homesteads there before Potlatch ever came in, before they ever came in with the railroad.

FL: Yeah. They homesteaded a long while before they ever came in.

NWL: fhey didn't come in here with the railroad til- what? about 1907.

FL: And you know, up around Camp 8 there, that was the nicest stand of white pine there was in the world, I think. They wasn't too big, but it stood thick and it was just as straight as could be. And people from Moscow would drive clear up here with a team to camp there in the summertime. There was always some of 'em there. But that was sure a stand of white pine. At that time they had more white pine than there was anywheres in the United States. But, you know, they sent that all over the world, that white pine. It was light lumber, light grain and it was awful soft, it was awful nice to work. When I built my cupboards that we had down here, it cost me $150 a thousand for white pine then. They got big money for that.

SS: I suppose they were trying to make a lot of money of these sawmills then, too. Make a lot of money right .at the beginning.

FL: Well, no, it was big enough company that they had money enough to operate on. And they cut a white pine down up there at Camp 8, that they took down there and it set for years right by the depot there in Potlatch. I remember, it was eight feet across.

SS: Is that the one he calls the giant white pine in there?

FL: No, there's one a standing up above Harvard there that's a big white pine. I don't think it's quite as big as this one that was up there.

SS: Did they just cut it down for the lumber in it?

FL: Yeah, they cut the lumber out of all of it, but they saved this twelve foot piece and set it up there.

SS: Did you know the Warren family at all? Theese Warrens that were up there before Bovill?

FL: I was a little too young to know much about them, I heard my folks talk about 'em. They knew 'em well.

NWL: Well, that's where Bovill stands now, was the Warren Meadows.

FL: Heard my dad say that they had a bunch of cattle that they run out on that meadow. He said them was the fattest he ever saw. Black Angus, I guess. But he said they was sure pretty cattle.

SS: Did many people run cattle on their meadows in the summertime?

FL: Summertime, they did. But the winters was too long. They couldnt make nothing on 'em,.they had to feed 'em six months out of the year. But I know when I was a kid, my dad had, oh, from fifty to a hundred head and that was my job to look after them in the summertime. Keep track of 'em and know where they was at.

SS: Did you have to move 'em around, or did they stay on that one meadow?

FL: No, they'd just roam around the woods.they'd go orthe thick timber.

SS: What were you going to say?

FL: 1 was going to tell you. My dad bought a bull. He weighed about-

NWL: He's going to tell you a story now, do you want to hear that?

SS: Yeah. Sounds good already!

NWL: Be careful what you say, don't make it too strong!

FL: He sent my brother out after it the day before, and my brother he found it but he couldn't get it home. So, my dad come down where was at and he said, "San you goafter that bull tomorrow?" And I said yes. So I had an old dog and I went up there where it was at, there was a family nameed Ericksons and they had some cattle and this bull was with them, and I just set the dog on him and he run K there a little bit and pretty soon he took off home. So I followed along behind and we got down to Shay Meadows. Well, there was a little shack there and there was a woman- a little bit of a woman, she didn't stand only that high, and this bull could run just about as fast as that horse could and I run him for about a quarter of a mile and it was just nip and tuck. The bull jumped over the fence and went down by the house. So I set up there on the horse a while and I didn't see no bull or nothing and the dog. So I got off the horse and walked down to the house and the toilet sit right up on kind of a little bank, right outside the house, and I heard the darndest rustle in that toilet and I looked around and here come this little woman out and she couldn't talk. She was just catching her breath and going on and finally she come down to where I was at and she said- and I said, "What's the matter with you?" I thought she'd gone crazy or something, and I grabbed ahold of her and just shook her and she said, "The bull! The bull!" I said, "Where's he at?" And she said, In the house!" So I went in there and she was in the living room and she through the kitahen, and she shut every door behind her and went out and shut the door in the toilet. And so I said to her, "Well, how did it get in here?" "Well," she said, "I was just straightening up the davenport and I looked around and that bull's head was right in the door." And so she left then and this old dog he set there; he didn't go in the house, he just set in the door, and the bull was back by the piano, and I made the dog get out of the road and I took the whip and I give him a lick with that and he went out and that floor'd go down that far every time he'd step! (Laughter) He went down in the grain field then and I went down and drove him out of the grain field and" went back up to the house and I was helping her and she got a jag on laughing then, and she took alaughing and I was helping her roll up the rug and get it outdoors and she just kept right along laughing and I says, "What are you laughing about? I don't see nothing very funny about that." And, you know, every time she'd see me after that she'd laughing!

NWL: That was the Partridge's home at Avon, that's Floyd's grandmother.

SS: Is that any relation to Mrs. Grannises family?

NWL: No.

SS: I've seen that cabin before, that picture.

NWL: They tore it down now, but it used to stand down here by the highway going to Harvard, downat Avon.

SS: That's where you were born?

NWL: No.

FL: was born there- she wasn't born there she come down from Canada and that was their homestead. That's where they lived.

SS: So she met your father right out here in this country.

NWL: Yes.

FL: My dad was quite a musician. In i early days he made his living by playing his violin, mostly. Playing for dances. And us kids all got a little of that in us, and every month he'd sent out for new music for us and we'd get that music just about learnt when some more would come. And, you know, we'd set up lots of nights til two or three o'clock in the morning practicing the music. And we got pretty good too.

NWL: That was in your later years.

SS: Did you kids play different instruments? What did you play?

SS: These dances that your father would play at in the early days here; where would they be? Different people's houses?

FL: Schoolhouses.

SS: Would it just be him by himself or would there be other people playinj too?

FL: He most generally had a second with him. And when I learnt to play the banjo, I wasn't big enough to reach up and tune it I had to take it down and put it on my lap to get it in tune. But, you know, he used to practice with me, he could play all night and never play the same tune. And so he used to teach me. And you know one night we went to Pullman to a television contest and they said to him, "Well, what do you play? I said, "Now listen, you " played for a long time, you better begin to figure out something." So, they had stalls in there, I don't know what kind of a room it was, I suppose they was about twelve by ten feet, and all open on one side, see, and he went in there and he started scratching around on that, and I said to him, "Well, you got to do better than that." And I said, "I'm going to open up on this old banjo," and I said, "You'd better bear down a little harder." So he did and it wasn't ten minutes til I bet there was a hundred violinists in there listening to us. And there was a woman there that was hard hearing, and I put in time with her, she'd break so bad on the music, you know, and you know, before I left there I picked blisters on my fingers and picked them off!

NWL: That was in later years, after we was married.

FL: Oh, yeah.

SS: You know the kind of music ; played: what kind of stuff did v like to play when . went around in schoolhouses?

NWL: He means in the earlier days, at the schoolhouses and homes.

SS: Early days.

NWL: When 7 played at the schoolhouses.

FL: Mostly quadrilles and-

NWL: Square dances.

FL: And waltzes and two-steps.

SS: He knew that music without sheet music or anything?

FL: No, he couldn't read a note. But some brothers; he had one that played in Walla Walla on radio and he guaranteed to play any request that anybody asked.

SS: Where did your family come from just before they came here?

FL: They were born in England and they come to Iowa and they moved from Iowa to-

NWL: Around Dayton, Dayton country, when they first come

SS: I wonder where he picked up the music himself. Did he learn it in England?

FL: No.

NWL: They were just natural. The family was just naturally musical.

FL: I played after I got bigger, and I could hear a tune and set down and play it.

SS: Do you still play at all?

FL: No. No, I did play after I moved down there-

HWL: Til he had a stroke. You played til you had your stroke.

FL: And then they come to me and they wanted me to play with them, a bunch of 'em, and the kids was in the army and we was going to play to give 'em some money when they come home. We started in and we grange hall played enough to pay for the and we paid for our piano. Bought that. And then we ffculd play every night if we Could, but I was working and just couldn't do that.

SS: Which grange hall was this?

FL: Deary.

NWL: Well, you didn't pay for all the grange, you helped with your music and you'd donate your time. And then they donated their time for the dances so that the proceeds would be divided among the service men when they come home, so they'd have a little money to spend.

SS: Did you play around with your father at these dances in the earlier days?

FL: No, I wasn't old enough. But he was a good violinist.

NWL: Who played with him, in them . days? There was three or four played together. They had what they called a bower , you know they used to call 'em a bower, and now we would call 'em- what would we call 'em? A pavilion? They made it out of poles, open air, you know for the Fourth of July, and that was down here on the hill above where they lived, Janesville. Well, up where the Lawrence house is now.

SS: They just put that up for—?

NWL: For the summer vacation. They used to have dances there in this open air- it was put up of poles, you know, but it was open. And then he played at the schoolhouse and played over here in a building later on. And then there was other schoolhouses that they would go to and play.

SS: You talking about Floyd or his dad?

NWL: That was his dad.

SS: I've heard that that was a big way of socializing; lots of people got together.

NWL: They did. That's the only recreation they had, when they could go to somebody's house and maybe dance all night long. Have breakfast, put the kids all down somewhere in a bedroom on the floor, you know. Oh, they had big times and they had a sociable time. Every body com municated. And they'd take potluck and would have their lunches, you know everybody furnished. Whole families went.

SS: Would this be everybody in the whole neighborhood?

NWL: Yes, whoever wanted to come.

SS: One person's place one time and another person's place another time?

NWL: Yes, just had a good sociable time. Well, they were all homesteaders here and there was no other recreation, and they sure made their own. And it was sure nice. Of course, that was a little before my time, before we got up here. But I knew about it. Knew the people.

SS: When you came it was a little different? They weren't doing that the same way anymore?

NWL: Well, they held them at the schoolhouses then. They had the schoolhouse and we held our meetings up there and dances. And then they had this building that was supposed to be a butchershop, they used that as a center, too, later on, in later years. It was, oh, I imagine like say, 19- oh, up to 1919, was holding the same way, you know.

SS: Would it be like the same- I mean- would the dances go on all night like at the schoolhouses, too?

NWL: No, they $ just play til about eleven, eleven-thirty, twelve then everybody goes home.

SS: Would that be more or less a regular kind of thing- say, like on week ends? Or on a special occasion?

NWL: ' would be weekends, when they decided to have a dance at a cer tain time and they'd tell everybody. They never charged for it, it was always free.

FL: I and my dad built us a dance hall up here, and we run that for ele ven years.

NWL: Yeah, but that was in 1925-'26.

SS: I heard of that place just the other day when I was talking to Albin Lee- you know Albin Lee at Deary- and Mr. Lawrence from the Deary store-

NWL: That's his nephew. SS And he wag down there helping them put in a new water faucet for the kitchen sink, and Albin started talking- What did you call that place?

FL: Campfire Pavilion. It was round; it was eighty-five feet in diameter andKhad a fireplace right in the middle open fire. And people dancing when they cold they d all flock around that. And when the dance'd start they all ? But if we didn?t have a hundred and fifty couples, we didn't have no crowd in that place. And I've talked to quite a few kids that went to that, and they said, "You know, I just lived for that place when I was a kid." But we run a clean Place.

SS: What do you mean? No booze?

FL: No, no booze or anything like that. Well, they'd drink some, but whenever they'd get a little too much

SS: You and your fahter built the place together?

FL: Um-huh.

SS: Did you build it yourselves?

FL: Well, we had some men helping us, but we built it. It was funny we had- well, there was logs- was about I'd say, twelve feet long and , we put these rafters on. And you know, my dad was good enough, when he come around there- I helped saw the wedge in so they'd fit, and when we come around, we put the last one up and they went right together! He was that good at that kind of work.

SS: What about the maple floors? I heard the maple floors were real beau tiful.

FL: Yeah, they were maple.

NWL: They were hardwood. The outside, then we had the soft wood in the middle. Then where we skated, you see, was hardwood. We skated, too.

FL: A lot of that was curly maple.

SS: I've heard, Albin said that you used to get bands in- from Spokane in to play in there.

NWL: Oh, yes.

FL: And we had a guy that playedfirst from Lewiston, name was Walt Allen. Boy, there was a dance man! I know I was standing up there with him one night and there was a girl come around, and of course, they didn't have no microphones then just them big horns, you know. He hauled off and hit that girl in the hind end and I said, "You're getting pretty smart, ain't you?" "Oh,", he said,"don't matter she'll be right around here and backing right up here just as close as she can get pret ty quick." And boy she did. (Chuckles) So I didn't say any more.

SS: I ve heard that about the bands in the early days. They're so different than the bands today, you know.

FL: He took all the dance crowd out of Lewiston. He run that dance, he run that for years and got by with it. And I was tickled at him; he had a young bunch of kids that he'd practiced up, see, so he couldn't come the first night, and so he said he'd send them kids, and boy, them kids went over lot Afcgger than he ever did. Boy, them kids was good, now, I'll tell you! And we tried to hire them, "No," he said, "I got to get rid of them," he said, "they're taking it away from me." He said, "They're all on shifts now, training bands in shifts.

NWL: He was good, he held the crowd.

FL: Oh, yeah.

SS: What kind of music was it that he played?

NWL: Well, it was all the latest music. He always kept up with his music. And of course, this was in later years, you see, in about 1926 wasn't it we built that?

FL: Yeah.

SS: How far away did people come to-

FL: Clear from Spokane.

NWL: And Lewiston and oh, just all over.

FL: We put on a Fourth of July celebration up there once and it was real hot and there wasn't hardly anybody left in Lewiston, they all come up here.

NWL: You mean in Genesee, Floyd.

FL: Well, in Genesee-

NWL: We was down there to their fair-

FL: Yeah, we was down there one day and I said, "We'd better go home." And they was advertising a dance down there, and of course them guys come up here, a lot of them and I see 'em the next Saturday afterwards, and I said, "How'd the dance go down there?" He said, "I think they had three couple."

NWL: Well, this was a kind of an out-of-the-way place, you know, and they liked to get out of town and they liked to come out, and drive quite a ways to a dance.

SS: Is that what made it so successful? There must have been more to it than that, too, you must have had a real good feeling.

NWL: Well, they did, it_was a free feeling, but they knew everybody had to behave. We run a good clean place, so we could have nice people or whoever wanted to come.

FL: And. a place like that you can't let 'em do as they please, because the good people will go somewheres else. If you got your wife or your kids with you, you don't want somebody around swearing.

SS: Would there be kids there too?

FL: Oh, yes.

SS: Little kids, I mean.

NWL: Yes, they was people from all over used to come.

SS: What happened when the Depression came along? Did that hurt the bu siness bad?

FL: By gos you'd be surprised, them guys'd come and count their pennies out to get a ticket.

SS: You mean, business got better?

FL: No, it didn't get better, but it held right up.

SS: I guess I've heard that too, when times get rough people want to spend a little more on having a good time. It means more to them.

FL: But my dad was pretty old and I and Nona, we had to do the work; you know that got awful stale. I told Nona one day, I was unlocking the house, I said, it was Fourth of July, I said, "If we ever sell this I'm going back so far in the woods I'll never see a person all day!" (Chuckles)

NWL: We met lots of nice people.

SS: Were you able to make a living doing that?

FL: Oh, yes.

NWL: Well, you worked in the winter, you logged and run it through the summer.

FL: I went away from there a lot of nights with $1,000 in my pocket.

NWL: Well, wehad a little farm, and of course, his father had a farm and and skated that was the main thing, but we just run this on Tuesdays and Thurday nights and danced on Saturday night And then, of course, the different organizations would come and rent the building. But they had their farms and it all worked together.

FL: The Elks in Moscow would rent that and they'd come out here and there was an old doctor here one night, he was out there and the dance was over and he wouldn't go home. I said, "What's the matter?" And he said, "I'm not going home, I'm going to stay right here!" (Chuckles) But we had nice deal. There used to be a bunch come from Elk River and they'd never miss, every time we'd open they'd be there and I don't know, there must have been about 150 of 'em. And they was the nieest bunch of people, that I ever saw,

NWL: They were really good people. They never kicked on anything; every thing was fine. We enjoyed people like that, they enjoyed it!

FL: One of 'em'd get a little drunk and yourd go to one of the others that was with him and tell him, "Now, listen, you've got to do some thing with him." By gosh, they'd take him out in the car and lock him in there and make him stay there.

NWL: No, we never allowed no rough stuff in the hall, never.

SS: Some of those small places I know did have fights.

NWL: Yes.

SS: Maybe outside, but they were rough. You know, like you get out around the.county- You've probably heard a lot more about that than I have. But, I've heard, say in Onaway- Those guys'd mix it up.

NWL: Yes, we've heard a lot about that.

SS: A whole bunch would come from one place and go down sort of looking for trouble.

NWL: That's one thing that helped us. A A lot of Moscow University people, and they'd kind of, well, they'd get off by themselves and pretty soon there'd be such a big crowd that if they didn't dance with a girl they'd never find her any more, they'd be too many in there.

NWL: We sure had lots of nice people, I'll say that.

SS: It sounds like the biggest and the most sociable meeting place that I've heard about in the area.

NWL: Now, they did have a hall at Troy; it seemed like it never went over like it should.

SS: I haven't heard too much about that.

NWL: It seemed like people would rent it and the first thing you know it was closed up or they had got new renters or had sold it or something

FL: I want to tell you about: There was a guy from down at Spokane and he was telling us- the musician there, "I'll show them farmers how to run a dance hall." This old guys said, "Don't be too sure about that. Because I think that park in Spokane is the only one that can head them off."


I was at Troy They built one down there after we got this one running so big. But it never did go over. But we was down there the night before we opened, and you know, he had a pretty fair crowd but it wasn't nothing extra. And the next night we opened and all his crowd never stopped there, they come right on up here, see. So the next morning I went up to clean up and I went up there and the door and he said, "I'm glad you come, I want to see what you've got here." I said, "Well, you'll see a pretty dirty place." "Well," he said, "I don't care about that." So we went in and he never give another dance after that.

SS: Really? Is that the place now where the Grange Hall's at? Or is that someplace else?

NWL: No, it stood up above, you know, just as you go out under the trestle, It was on the lefthand side. I don't know how long that stood there. How long it was. Then there was a man from Spokane bought us out. And he stayed here a while and it didn't go over. Of course, it was depression time, and then he went to Troy.

FL: He paid for it on our reputation, but that was about it.

SS: Why did you decide to give it up? Why was that?

FL: Well, it was just too hard a work.

NWL: It was just too hard work. I wanted to get out of it because I did the cooking and.that part, our diningroom part, I took care of. And we just got tired of it; eleeven summers, you know, and raising a family. So we just decided we—

SS: What did you serve there? Would it be just hamburgers? regular

NWL: We served dinners. And in the evening we served cafeteria style and have sandwiches, pie or jello or whatever we had- you know, just a lunch all set out and they come by and pick.up whatever they want and pay for it and go on.

FL: Five or six hundred people had their lunch.

NWL: Floyd s dad wanted to serve regular meals, and that go. I knew it wouldn't, because when people goes to dancing they go for a good time an- when they're through, they're ready to go home. And so he tried it, but it didn't work out.

SS: How many would be a good crowd there?

FL: Well, we figured around 1,000 people.

SS: On Saturday night?

NWL: Sometimes not that much.

FL: We averaged right at a 1,000.

NWL: 250 people, you know, we could figure on that.

SS: What about for the roller skating?

NWL: Oh, that was good. We really went over on that.

FL: That's the only roller skating place there was in the country. And everybody knows how to roller skate. And it was eighty-five feet and it was round, see. Wasn't no corners, just kept agoing. We just moved down there and Mr. Beaver come to us and wanted us to go in on a skating rink down there. I said, "No, no, I've heard them roll long enough!" (Chuckles)

NWL: We had sometimes three days celebration, you know, like the Fourth of July or Labor Day, we'd have three days. And that went over. And of course, Fourth of July the Indians would come and put on races and things like that. It was kind of a recreation place, you know. But that can get old, too, so many years.

SS: Well, on the roller skating, did people come very far for that too? Did they come from a long ways?

NWL: Yes.

SS: That sounds great, I wish they had something like that now.

NWL: It really was nice. Now they have a small skating rink at Council, and I just wish they could have something like that and run it as clean and nice a place as we did. But now, " be hard, you know, under conditions.

SS: We go down to the Club Troy and once in a while, not often, but occassionally, and that's about the nicest place around there. People of all ages there, and it's a real friendly place. People come from Moscow and Pullman.

NWL: And that's a nice place. You can enjoy yourself.

SS: Yeah. But still it's not like there was a lot of people. It's not a community really,

FL: Well, I and her, we was there all the time. And everybody we'd meet would know us.

NWL: Oh, yes, living this close to Troy and Moscow, you know, we knew so many people. I enjoyed it, I really did. I enjoyed meeting the peo ple, because I like people. And it was hard work but they seemed to have so much fun and enjoy it so, it was enjoyable to me, you know, to be working.

SS: Do you remember when they were coming in and working on the railroad?

NWL: Oh, yes.

SS: Now there were a lot of people came into the area, wasn't there? Wasn't there a lot of labor and working people?

NWL: Well, it was more Greeks, they used a good many Greeks on the road, didn't they?

FL: On the railroad.

NWL: Yeah, they had their foreman, white foremens, but they used quite a few Greeks. And they had a camp down here on- now, how can I tell him where it's at? You know where Mc Kinneys live?

SS: How far out of Deary?

NWL: Oh, it's just a little ways down here. You know where Halsetts are?

SS: Oh, yes.

NWL: Well, it's the next place. Now there's where they had a camp there. And my mother used to bake bread for them, and we'd deliver it to them. For the Greeks, you know, they have their own camps, and did their own cooking but they wanted to buy bread, so my mother baked bread for them. She baked about forty loaves and sent it over. I don't remember, five cents a loaf, I believe she got. bowery

FL: When I was a kid, my dad had this , as they called it, you know, it was covered over with tree branches for shade and he hired one of them Wops to play for that dance. And you know, he got so drunk he had a man get on each side of him and take him up there. ?

SS: This bowery, too, that was only up there just

FL: Um-huh.

SS: The people would dance in that?

NWL: The old-timers, you know, at that time. And they called it a bowery at that time, you know. I don't know, I suppose they'd call it a pavilion or something now. They'd all meet there and have a big time, celebrate, you know. It wasn't like it is now, the celebrations. It was just a good, clean- just a lot of fun. And they'd have their games and things like that, too.

FL: There's so much graft to these celebrations now, they don't amount to very much.

SS: Yeah, they're money makers. Do you remember them coming in with the railroad and all that?

FL: Oh, yeah.

SS: I was wondering about what people thought- if they thought the country was really going to change, you know, now that was coming in.

FL: We naturally knew it would because it would put transportation into the country and out, see.

NWL: Well, and they could bring in the. supplies and things that they had brought in by team before. And that would make it so much faster and they could have more groceries and different kinds of things. The smaller stores just carried the staple stuff, you know.

FL: I know when my dad run the store, I used to go with him once in a while to get supplies, you bought 'em in Troy. And lle'd go clear down there and buy his groceries and come back in one day. Boy, it'd take a long while to make that trip.

SS: He got supplies for his store down there?

FL: Um-huh.

NWL: And then they had freighters, too, that brought stuff in.

FL: That Old Joe Wells he used to freight all over this country.

SS: He did? I had heard that he'd done some of that.

FL: He done that. He had good horses; he was a good horseman. I'll never forget one time when I was a kid; he used to stay at my folkses quite a lot when he was freighting. I don't know why he passed his own place up. He'd come up there and my folks run a kind of a boarding place too,where they'd stop, and he was hooking up his horses that morning and it was real cold, it was in the fall, and he picked up the neck yoke- he put the neckyoke up on one horse and he picked up the neckyock on the other horse and grabbed that strap that the neckyoke goes into and the old horse hauled off and bit him. He took that neckyoke and hit that horse and pretty near knocked it down! Chuckles)

NWL: He had a temper, alright, if a horse didn't mind him.

SS: Yeah, I've heard it said that his horses were as good as Potlatch horses.

FL: That Potlatch,, had some awful nice horses. I know when I got big enough- I started working in the woods when I was just a small kid, I couldn't even pick up the rigging- but after I growed up, why, I used to drive horses for Potlatch. And I'd say to the old barn boss "I'd like to drive that team." Wouldn't be only about a day or two til I had it. And it finally wound up that a lot of men can't drive horses- you'd be surprised, there's a lot of men can't get nothing out of a horse, and they'd kind of ruin 'em, and they'd give me a team that was spoilt, give 'em to me, see. And I got kind of tired of that and I said to the boss one day, "How come I get all these hor ses that somebody's spoilt?" "Well," he said,"you don't worry now, you're getting as much money as any man in camp doing that." And I was, too! But, boy they had some pretty horses, I'll tell you.

SS: You mean, he wanted you to take a team that was in bad shape and-

FL: Well, they wasn't in bad shape, they was just spoilt. Lot of men don't use no judgement with a horse. They'll hook 'em onto some thing they can't pull and then knock on 'em because they don't. A horse is a lot smarter than a lot of people think they are. I know a superintendent said to me one time; when I went to work I said, "Now, I want off to go elk hunting." And my dad liked to hunt, so I'd go every fall with him. And so I went over there on this hunt and I come back and he stopped and said, "Floyd, you'd better get over and take that team there." And I said, "Why?" "Well," he said, "that old guy he ain't getting nothing of 'em and they won't do nothing for him." So the next day I went over and took 'em, and went over to them, and this guy had this team hooked onto four littlejlogs, I could have pretty near towed 'em myself, and he went down with 'em and the next time he come up, I said, "Well, I'll take em down this time." And the swamper he kept ; 'em on, "I think that's about all you can pull, Floyd." "No, another'n or two on." So I took 'em into the and come back. He saidthis old guy was standing there- "God, them horses even looks dif ferent when you drive 'em."

SS: Who was the superintendent?

FL: That was Nogle.

SS: I've heard that he was quite a

FL: Oh, he was a good horse man, you bet. Yeah, you bet he was. I know one time the barn boss gave me a span of black colts. It was a nice looking team, but the guy that drove 'em the year before, he didn't get anything out of 'em. He spoiled 'em. And so I took 'em out and one of 'em, when you pulled him real hard, he'd throw his head right over the other horse and down they'd go and get tangled up. And I said to my swamper, he was standing there, I said, "You get over on the other side and when he . . his head over there, you haul off and hit him with your cant hook and knock him back. Boy, he did and he knocked him colder than a ,thought he'd killed him, but he never did do that again. And the superintendent was down there and I was pulling along and come up a little ridge, and he said, "Floyd, what are you pulling them horses up this grade with these logs for?" I said, "I'm learning them to pull out here on level ground."

SS: And you said knocked him colder than a what?

FL: Wedge.

SS: I never had heard that expression before. I was talking to one old lumberjack in Lewiston he worked up here and he worked over on the Clearwater, too. Up the river, he was on the river drives; and I've heard people say that Potlatch horses were real outstanding horses. He said that they were a lot better up here than they were down there.

FL: Oh, they were. Yeah, they didn't have the teamsters down there they had here. One thing about it, if they found out you could drive team that's all they'd give you to do. They'd give you good money. Machine was shut off for a while

FL: I don't remember.

SS: Must have been around the First World War there, sometime.

NWL: He was working before ww was married a long time.

FL: Not for Potlatch.

NWL: Well, your dad was geting his jobs—

FL: Well, I worked for Potlatch practically all my life in a round about way, but I didn't stay in camps.

SS: Even when you started working? You didn't stay in camps?

FL: No, not when I— When I worked for the company I did, yeah. Drove team. But my dad,he used to have a logging outfit own his own, we done that.

SS: What I've heard about the Potlatch camps,,you were probably better off staying out of 'em as far as living conditions were for so many years.

FL: Well, the only thing is I raised my family- my family grew up when f was away from home, see. That's the only thing I didn't like about it. And them old guys that didn't do nothing else, they was right at home in them camps, but I never was.

NWL: Yes, but we was awful glad to have the job, you know, because the Potlatch sure helped a lot of the people.

SS: Did you remember the IWWs? Were they there when you were there?

FL: well,-

SS: What did you think of them?

FL: Well, they done a lot of good. I'll tell you something, them com panies are all right but they're looking after their own interests, they don't care about a workingman. None of 'em did.

SS: I've heard almost nothing but good about what the IWWs did.

FL: Well, they got conditions a lot better. Now when I was real small, they had a camp over here called Camp 6, and they had a big bunkhouse and it was fifty or sixty men in one house. They'd hang up them wet clothes and them old socks andyou couldn't hardly get your breath when you'd walk in. And that's the way the company wanted it. That wasn't no way to live.

NWL: Yes, but they changed that later on. They had their bunkhouses.

SS: Huh?

NWL: They had bunkhouses- more bunkhouses. They never got the smaller bunkhouses til World War II, then they got smaller bunkhouses, after World War II.

SS: Well, do you remember the strike they had '17, I think?

FL: Yeah. I was here.

SS: Did you walk off the job, too?

FL: I wasn't working for them then. That is, I was working for company logging, but then I - they didn't bother us any. We weren't big enough.

SS: What did all the guys do when they quit work? Did they stick around the country or did they leave?

FL: In them times they didn;t stay in any one place too long.

CARL LANCASTER: But, at that time they all got called back. The railroads was the only ones that didn't get called back. Some of the rail way roaders didn't get called back. But as far as the loggers, I think all them practically got called back.

FL: Well, I don't know, they kind of got it in for 'em and there's a lot of things that happened, that got laid onto 'em that they didn't do, I know that.

SS: I've heard a lot of people say that.

FL: If there was a fire or anything, well, the loggers done that.

SS: That's right. I heard that there was quite a bit of smut in the fields at that time and there was fires starting in the fields be cause of the smut, you know, the farmers.

FL: There could have been.

SS: Well, they blamed it on the IWWs.

FL: Yeah, anything happened, why they did.

SS: I heard about that bullpen in Moscow.

FL: Yeah, I remember that.

SS: Do you remember the Bovills? Hugh and Charlotte Bovill?

NWL: Yeah. . I didn't know 'em personally.

SS: They didn't stay too long after- they were gone by the teens any way.

NWL: They was here a few years after we moved up here.

FL: There was a. here by the name of T. P. Jones. He was quite a man in the country.

SS: What do you remember him being like? I've heard some about him. I've heard he was-

FL: Well, he was a pretty good man for the country I think. But I'll have to tell you what happened one time. I and my dad was riding with him, and he drove a buggy then, and we was in this buggy, and he stopped and said, "I want to stop here a little bit." And we stopped and he tied up the horses, and we went out across the country there. And we went out there and there was an old guy asked him if he could cut some wood, some dry trees there, we went out there and the guy he never cut no dry trees, he cut the green ones and had 'em cut up for wood. "Now," he says, "that's what a man gets for being good to somebody." But I don't know, that year when he left here, he went in the oil business and he never did come back after that.

SS: I heard he got in all kinds of trouble in the oil business.

FL: Yeah, people got in him pretty bad.

SS: They still remember him in Bovill. Several people remember about how- when he was an old man.

Did you go to school right in Helmer? Was that where the school was?

NWL: When I first moved here in the spring I went to the log schoolhouse up here at what was the old Flagg place, now's it's the Hamilton place, up near Cornell. There was an old log schoolhouse there and he went there, too. And then the next year they built this one down here. I was thinking we went that next fall up there.

FL: I don't know. We started the first of the schoolyear down here, didn't we?

NWL: I don't know where you did; I started up there.

FL: I know, but I mean when the school started here the first of the year, schoolyear.

NWL: Yeah, oh, yeah. They built this in 1908?

CL: Yeah. 1908 is when they built it.

EWL: And Floyd's first term, hA went to this old log schoolhouse down here at Deary by Joe Wells' place

FL: Yeah, I went two terms there.

SS: When you started to go to school; I've heard people talk about the one room schoolhouse, and I've heard it called good and bad, too. That it was hard to learch or that kids could learn a lot. What do you think when you were going there, were there too many kids to learn much, or did you have a chance to laarn a let?

NWL: I think we learned real well. I got my education in that kind of schools, and I really think we got more in them days-A Good teaching, better than they do now. I might be old-fashioned, I don't know. But we got it, and we had to have it, the teacher seen to that!

SS: All these were just in the one room?

NWL: Uh-huh.

SS: Did you learn a lot from hearing the other grades recite?

NWL: I think we did. I reftily do. That is, if you wanted to learn. Some child that didn't care, they didn't get it anyway, you know. But I really think that you listen to lower grades, too when you're in a room like that with all the grades, and then of course, you just get up to your level and that's it, you know. But I really think that wegot a lot more out of school then; there's too much play now, I think. Of Course, that's just my old-fashioned idea.

SS: I don't think there's as much attention to the basic reading and writing and arithmetic.

NWL: Uh-huh.

FL: Well, the schools are a lot more advanced now.

NWL: They get more learning of different things now than we did. We just got the facts, just what we had to have, you know.

SS: The teachers like Anna Marie Oslund, Anna Marie Anderson, they were so young, and nowdays teachers are quite a bit older, it seems. Were most of your teachers young people, I mean twenty years old?

NWL: I didn't—?

SS: Weren't most of your teachers young? Real young people.

NWL: Yes, most of 'em I think. Oh, they were possibly— now I know I went to school to the Cole girls in Troy, and they was- Oh, I imagine they went up to there was three of 'em, and the youngest one was Constance and she was just eighteen, and then the other two girls was probably up to say, thirty-five, probably.

SS: Oh, really, that old?

NWL: Uh-huh. At that time.

CL: Well, Anna Marie was only eighteen when she started teaching here, wasn't she?

NWL: She wasn't quite eighteen, because she couldn't draw her wages. Her dad come and collected 'em.

FL: He took 'em, too!

NWL: She was a wonderful teacher, Anna Marie was. Yes, she was a good teacher. She taught a good many years.

SS: Even when she was first starting, and she was just a young person?

NWL: Yes, she was a good teacher then.

SS: When you were growing up, did many of the girls want to become tea chers at that time, or did most of them want to became farm wives, or what were the girls interested in then?

NWL: Well, I just don't really know. Wty-

FL: Well, it varied, I suppose some did and some didn't.

NWL: Yes, and some were interested in certain things and some didn't care, You know, didn't think what they wanted to do. And then it was hard for children to plan what they wnated to do, because there wasn't money in the community, you know, and they didn't know whether they could go on or not because they'd have to go to Troy or Moscow to continue their education, and at that time it was pretty hard to do. So, they just didn't think too much about what theyw ere going to do.

FL: I'll tell you what happened to us; the wife was down in Portland and she.had to cash a check, so she went in the bank there and the granddaughter was along and that gal that took that check she looked at it and kept alooking at it and said,"Are you from Troy?" And she said yes. And Brocke's name was on it and she said, "Do you know, I'd never got through school if it hadn't been for that man."

NWL: She said, "I wouldn't be here, too." She was in the bank, working in the feank of Portland. So he helped a lot of people, .young people.

SS: Did you know him? He first came here to Troy in the late '20's I guess. Did you know him back then?

NWL: Yes, we did all of our down there in later years, too. Won derful man.

FL: I told him I sold my place and I was moving; he said, "Now, Floyd, if you ever need any money just me."

SS: He really is something.

NWL: Yeah. He helped so many young people.

FL: And he helped a lot of old people, too.

NWL: Yes, yes he did. But he put a lot of young people- helped them get their education and where they could continue with good jobs, where they might of not if it hadn't been for him.

SS: When you banked there in the earlier years, what was it like to work with the bank? I mean, did you have much dealings with the bank?

NWL: No, we never did; not too much.

FL: By golly, I did.

NWL: Well, what I mean, what we had always went through their bank, but otherwise we didn't have- we didn't borrow or anything like that, but we knew lots of people that did and was real good help, too.

CL: By golly, we did, because I paid cash for everything I'd have to go down there to Frank and borrow money to eat on til I got back to work and then paid him off. I done that seversl times.

FL: I don't figure he ever lost very much money either.

NWL: No.

SS: He seems to have been able to know whether he could trust people or not. I think he had a good idea of that. I was talking to him a week or two ago. Have you stopped in to see him at all lately?

NWL: It's been a year since we saw him.

FL: Been about a year since we saw him.

SS: Now he's not working he's got a lot more time on his hands and he just likes to sit and visit.

FL: Oh, yeah.

NWL: We sure like Frank.

SS: Were you banking down there when they had the Deary bank, too?

NWL: No.

SS: Did that bank go out?

NWL: Yeah. That's washard times when we didn't have any money to put in the bank! (Chuckles) So, what little we had was here at Deary.

SS: Did you know Agnes Liner?

MWL: Agnes Liner? Uh-huh.

SS: What was the story about her getting killed,by Dillman?

NWL: Was that in here?

SS: Yeah. What was the story?

NWL: Her brother and his wife was working there- was it f. - Mine?

SS: That's the one.

NWL: Yes, Mindand they were working there and she was down therewas she helping?


NWL: And she was supposed to have been murdered. He was supposed to have taken her back in this mine and murdered her. I remember when they brought her home for burial.

CL: Yes, I was in Harvard when they loaded 'em on the train.

NWL: Was you?

CL: Yeah. By golly, that was- I would say, that was right around 1912, wouldn't you?

FL: That's about right.

CL: I was probably-

NWL: Yeah, that's about right.

CL: I might have been ten years old.

NWL: I know I was around thirteen, fourteen at that time, maybe only twelve, I don't remember. But I know it was an awful feeling, you know, to know somebody like that lives right in the community. That was her sister-in-law that was here today.

SS: Oh, I didn't know that.

NWL: Uh-huh. Mrs. Liner.

CL: Yeah, I was in Harvard when they loaded 'em on the train and brought 'em up here.

SS: Had this Dillman a bad reputation before that?

FL: He had a kind of a mean turn. I'll tell you what happened- a thing that happened that I heard my dad tell; He rode a horse down there and he tied it up above where this Dillman lived and he went back af ter while and he said he heard the dog barking, and this Jesse was up there letting that dog work on that horse. That was the kind of a guy he was.

NWL: What was he doing? Letting the dog bite it?

FL: Uh-huh.

NWL: That piece is in here about her.

SS: Yes, I was looking at that not too long ago. And he had a story right about the same place about that guy that was drunk and was sit ting on a stump and scared some of the girls that were trying to walk by him to school.

FL: (Chuckles)

NWL: That happened right up here.

SS: Were you one of the ones that was trying to walk by?

NWL: No. I went to school, I was scared that morning but I had to turn the corner way down here, so I wasn't afraid of him. But he was set ting up there, alright. I think he was more of a bluff than anything.

SS: That Camp Six that was right near Helmer-

FL: That was right over here across the railroad tracks.

SS: That was a big one, wasn't it? Did you have much contact with those lumberjacks? Did they come in town and hang around town much?

NWL: No, I didn't.

FL: Well, they'd come and go, yeah.

(interruption on tape)

CL: They had machineshops at Collins- at Camp 8 out of Bovill there, this side of Collins. They had machineshops there. But I never come up here to this camp. Camp 6, I come up in January '25. I was unloading rig then and twenty teams. And they was at least sixty men in a bunkhouse.

SS: Sixty; that is what he was just saying. Sixty men in a bunkhouse.

CL: And they still had it in 1925.

FL: Yes, and they had body lice! Ufff. They used to pack their beds in, see.

NWL: Yes.

FL: The Wobblies fixed that.

CL: In 1924 I was up here with a truck; the summer of '24.

SS: That was what made it so bad; the lice.

NWL: I know my uncle, Jim Lee, he flunkiefll over here at 6. And of course, he'd come over to our house to visit, and one day my mother was cut ting out a pattern, you know, for a dress, and she looked and she saw a bug crawling and she looked and it was a body lice, and he had got 'em at camp. And boy, now if there wasn't cleaning house going on there! But, I don't know, there was just so much of that stuff at that time. Unsanitary conditions, you know, because they didn't have bathtubs and they carried their own bedding and half the time they didn't get their clothes washed, men from camp to camp, you know.

SS: What did your mother do to clean the house? Did she clean top to bottom?

NWL: Well, we had to boil everything; wash and boil everything and put on clean clothes and then wash and boil again, you know until we just got rid of 'em. Til he got rid of 'em. But I didn't get 'em, but my brother did!

SS: Did she scrub the walls?

NWL: Oh, no, we didn't have to do that, they would stay on the body, see pretty much, but once in a while there'd be one drop off, or they'd lay a coat down or something, see, why then it would crawl off. But she had to do that several times, different times when he was working at camp. Conditions just wasn't sanitary, you know.

SS: I can't remember just how I heard it but it was something like that when you took your clothes off when you were logging and you turned 'em inside out and you put 'em by the water, all the body lice would run off to take a drink! (Laughter)

NWL: I never heard that. They stayed pretty close to your body, I think.

SS: One of the things I was wondering, could local people could theydid they have laundries- would the lumberjacks bring their clothes in to have them laundried?

EL: They washed em rightK

SS: They didn't have very good- much facilities to do that.

FL: Oh, they had pretty good washrooms.

NWL: But that was in later years, though.

FL: They had hot water and cold water and soap.

NWL: That was in later years, though.

FL: They've always had them though.

NWL: You mean over at Camp 6? When they first started?

CL: I think over here at Camp 6, I think that was set up right from the start.

FL: Right from the word go.

CL: Because they used coils and heated the water from wood stoves. That's the way they heated the water in our bunkhouse even in 1925. They had a coil in that darned old wood stove and we got our hot water right there then.

NWL: Yeah, but what about around 1910?

CL: Oh, I don't know anything about that.

NWL: What year did they build this camp over here?

CL: I don't know what year they built it.

SS: My idea had been, from what I heard, that after the Wobblys strike in 1917, then they improved the conditions, and I thought that's when they put in hot water.

Ft: No, they had hot water before that.

NWL: No, Dad, not too much. They did for the cookhouse, yes.

FL: Well, they did for the men, too.

SS: You may be right, but I've read ff dipcndt-A on we fcut around in this area I didn't really know.

CL: I'll tell you about this Camp 6; see, this Camp 6 was the headquarters camp. The super lived over here and the walker lived there.

NWL: That was in later years.

FL: No, the supers was always there.

SS: By super, do you mean Jones?

CL: Yeah. I don't know about Jones, but Nogle did, I know.

SS: Is that what made there be a town at Helmer? Was it the Camp 6?

CL: No, no. Helmer was the timber crew.

SS: No, I mean for there to be a town at Helmer? Why did a town start here?

CL: They had a town here. Was there a store or anything before the rail road came in?

NWL: There was a store here when we came. No, let's see, no, Miller built that store, because your dad had the only store. And then Miller came in and I think he built about the same year we moved up here, if I remember right.

SS: And you came in 1907?

NWL: 1907. I wouldn't say that for sure.

CL: That's about the time the school come in here too, wasn't it?

NWL: Now wait, let's see.

SS: It would make sense to put in the store and a little town when the railroad line came through.

FL: Yeah.

NWL: what year they laid this town out.

SS: What happened to the store in Janesville when the railroad came through? Did your father keep the store at Janesville?

FL: Well, not too long afterwards, I don't think.

NWL: What did your dad do? Did he just didaway with the store then when Miller built up here and the post office came up after the railroad went through? Or about the time.

SS: Did Miller have the store for very long before he went over to Bovill?

FL: Yeah, he had it— how many years would you say?

NWL: Who?

FL: the store.

NWL: Oh, dear, I just don't know.

FL: Quite a while, I know that.

NWL: And I don't know what they did when they first came here; them and Olsons and Brokins and Grannises.

FL: They filed for a homestead, didn't they?

NWL: Yeah. kJ I thought maybe there'd be something here that'd tell when he built it. Well, Miller must have told when they built that store.

FL: I don't know whether he knew or not.

NWL: Oh, he knew, it was his dad. He got all the information.

FL: He wasn't here when his dad ran the store.

NWL: No, he was born in Bovill, I think.

SS: Did you know the Freis at all?

FL: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

SS: They came more or less the same time that your family did, didn't they? I know they were here before railroad ever came, before it was Bovill.

FL: Well, you know Sam, he's the one that Cn the store. And he used to go to Moscow, his wife's folks lived out there and they used to stop at my folk's. They'd come this far and then go on in, see. And they had a couple of little girls and one of 'em didn't have no ears. I couldn't get over that.

NWL: Didn't she have a ear but she didn't have a lobe? Wasn't that it?

FL: I don't know. She lives right down below Deary here now.

SS: The halfway house that your family had there; would there usually be somebody stay overnight there?

FL: Oh, lots of times. I know when I was a kid I never did eat at the first table. Always had to wait, there was always a crowd around there.

SS: Where did the people sleep when they stayed there?

FL: They had sleeping rooms there.

LAURA MAY WILKINS LANCASTER: She's a nurse. CL: She's retired now.

LML: She worked at the hospital and the infirmary,

CL: And they have one daughter that's mentally retarded. Not bad, but you can notice it. By golly, she was a good nurse, she was one of the best.

FL: Boy, she stayed with it year after year, didn't she? CL: And then she quit the hospitals and went up to the University and she retired out of the University there at the infirmary.

SS: Now, the Wellses, they had a halfway house, too, so that people would stop either at their place or at your family's. But Joe liked to stay at your place, too.

FL: Yeah.

NWL: He stopped there, Dad, but he really went home.

FL: Well, most of the time, but sometimes he'd stop there.

SS: Wasn't your place quite a center for the early logging, too? I mean wasn't there lots of logging going on?

FL: There wasn't too much because the company bought all the timber and there wasn't no place to go, you had to sellfc to them to sell, see.

CL: But you and your dad sure done a lot of logging.

FL: Yeah, we did.

CL: Logging all the time.

SS: That logging that you and your father did, were you gyppoing for the company or gyppoying for private people or—?

FL: No, he'd take a strip of timber and he'd log it and they they paid so much a thousand on the tradfc.

SS: The company would?

FL: Yeah.

SS: So you were sort of doing a gyppo?

FL: Yeah, that's what it was.

SS: You did that before the First World War?

FL: Oh, yeah.

SS: You know they told that gyppos started mainly after the war, well your family was doing that a long time before.

FL: Yeah.

CL: Well, '29 and '30 was your last job, wasn't it? Up there above Mc Gary Meadows, was that your last job? When you kept your horses up there at Camp 2? That your last job?

FL: No, I think we was over at Park after that.

CL: Over at Park after that?

FL: Yeah, we cleaned out that Jack London job.

CL: That was before that.

FL: Was it?

CL: Oh, yes. See, that was in '24.

FL: Yeah, I guess that's right. Well, the way it worked, we had our own camp and everything, see, and these horses and you take job and make pretty big money for the Potlatch and then the next time they'd want to get even with you, they wouldn't give you nothing, see. Well, we had all these horses to feed and you had to work, see. I told my brother, I said, "I think we're about done messing around with them."

CL: But George wasn't in with you though when you kept your stock up there at Camp 2, though was he?

FL: No.

SS: How big an outfit did you have?

FL: About three teams; three or four. Then we had our sawyers. The big gest job we put in was up at Elk River. We put in- It was Rup Holland's money that bought the timber, that is, that paid for it and there was a guy logging it that didn't know very much about it. We finished up two or three jobs and then they moved camp and they had a big flat down there that had a lot of big white pine on it, and they went in there and tried to log it the day before but they couldn't handle itbig timber. And so, we cut our drays- we used drays to haul 'em, and that was runners- we cut them trees and peeled 'em out up at the upper camp and that train crew went in to pick 'em up, and they handled 'em just like they was handling eggs, just wouldn't drop 'em or do nothing with 'em. We had one white pine in there, but when we put that log in all the big guys at the camp come out-

NWL: You've got 1,800 board feet.

FL: Is that the one?

NWL: Yeah. That's the one here, is that the one you mean?

FL: No.

NWL: That's the one you got over here.

SS: You started to say,- all these guys-

FL: Yeah, at the camp, they all come down to watch us put that in. They didn't know how to fix the chains on the dray and they'd put 'em on and the logs'd roll and upset the dray and they just didn't have no luck at all. But the way to do it; you had your hold about this far on your bunk, and you put this chain over this way and this one over this way, see, and you had 'em. And I rolled that big log on my dray and they was coming out when I was coming up the road and that team of mine was moping along, as though they wasn't pulling at all. And they couldn't get over that, just had one log on it.

SS: Where did your family learn how to log? How did they learn to get to be good loggers? Did your fahter know how?

FL: Well, yeah, and then the experience we had growing up, we knew how to take advantage of about most everything. I'll tell you: There was a guy working in camp and he'd put on big loads and I said to him, "Why do you put on such a big load for?" "Oh," he said, "it looks good when I pull out on the landing with that big load on." And so about the third load after that, he put on one of them big loads and started down and pretty soon up he come and he said, "By gosh,I got to have a pull, I'm stck." I said, "I told you you shouldn't put on such a big load." And I had a right brand new decking line, that's a steel test chain, and I put a hitch on that, six to one, and I'd pull that log - pull that dray up against that horse's hind.and hit him and pretty soon, tear down off of that load and just knocked the sap out of him and so I pulled again and and you know, I never did pick up that chain. Just stretched it, it was just like a roj. I just left it right there.

SS: I don't know how a guy like that could get by.

FL: He was an awful good hook man; that was one thing about him. He'd play with a log going all the way going up the skid, but he liked to Show off.

FL: Yeah. And he said to me after he come back up there, after he went in with it, he said, "By gosh, Floyd, I didn't think that little team could pull that much." They hadn't been drove very much. They hadn't been in the woods. But he said, "That team sure surprised me." CL: He had a double block on it.

FL: Yeah, I had it fixed up.

SS: Well, from what you're saying, I get the idea that without a very big outfit you could take care of any size timber.

FL: Oh, yeah, you could.

SS: If you did it right.

FL: I know I was up at Camp- what was that camp there on the Meadows where you sawed?

CL: Camp 2.

FL: Well, anyway,

CL: Not Camp 2, Camp 10.

FL: Yeah. And he come up there and we had to give him some of our skidways. We had 'em all cleaned up and we was about to clean up, and we said, yeah, we'd give him a couple of 'em. So, he pulled in and pulled in to go down to the skidway and he was right up against the snag, and them horses, they couldn't pull 'em, and I said, "Why don't you change your tongs?" "Well," he said, "You fix 'em." And I did and I rolled it right off. "Now," he said, "that's the difference between a man knowing how and one that don't!" (Chuckles) Well, I worked in the woods and wherever an ordinary man could make wages I made good money.

SS: In your equipment, you didn't use any steam donkey or any of that kind of stuff?

FL: No. I never was around them. They were alright but they were awful hard on timber. They knocked it down and pushed it over.

SS: The trick to making good money, like you say, if you could make fair money or good money, what was the trick to making good money? What did you have to do to come out way ahead? You had to be able to do it fast? Was that the main deal?

FL: No. The main thing was- Now, there was a lot of men that couldn't drive horses because they didn't use no judgement with them. They'd hock. put on more than they could haul and they'd on something and they wouldn't get it and they put in a lot of time messing around and not getting anywheres, see. I know I was working for a gyppo down here at- well, it's Arthur place, and there was a loading crew and they said to me, "Will you bring your team up and skid that butt out I don't think we can haul it." It was a big tamarack butt. And, so I hooked my tongs on it and rolled it on the skid and went right into the landing with it. And that guy that was running the jammer, he said, "Well, I'll be.damned, that's the first time I ever seen them horses pull like that!" (Chuckles) You know, and such things as that, that all helped.

SS: Another man taking the same team, couldn't have done what you done with that? That was the difference?

FL: Yeah. Putting it on the skid, raised it up off the ground and when I turned it around the skid rolled right around with it, see.

SS: I see. Yeah.

FL: But them horses, you can't fool them too long. They know that pret ty quick.

SS: Did you think that there was a lot of difference when you were wor king between working and gyppoing or working for the company directly? Did you prefer one or the other?

FL: Well, you made a lot more money gyppoing. And you worked hard, too. They didn't figure on you making too much money. I know I was workking for Axel over there on one summer, and they give us $2.50 for a strip and this swamper of mine- that year they put all the teamsters in one bunkhouse and the swampers in another. And this swamper of mine he stayed in the swampers' bunkhouse, and he said, "My gosh, Floyd, we're making less money than any /'in camp." And I said, "I don't think so." There was a spring up this draw we was in, and turned the water in and he put in, wherever they dig, he put in some to raise em up, see, and I could take ten - five or six of them big logs, scaled 400 or 500 feet apiece, and just walk right down there with them. So when he got his check, he said to me,- I come out in a car and he come out on the speder- I seen him the next day- well, he come over that night- he said,"By gosh, Floyd, I pretty near pulled the hinges right off of that office tonight." And I said, "Why?" He said, "When I looked at that fcheck I pretty nearly fell over!" And the old boss the next morning, he said to me, "By Jesus, you made more money than I made last month!" "Well," I said, "I worked for it too." But you know that old guy was after me from then on. He never did forget that.

SS: What did he do? Give you less money for doing that same job?

FL: No. He give me $2.50, which was pretty good money at that time, and I got more money than-

SS: I know, but you said after that.

FL: Well, other jobs. He'd give me jobs and offer me money that I know I couldn't make it. And he knew it, too. He finally put me down on a strip- there was a couple of guys had been on there for two weeks and they never put in a log. And of course, they was drawing wages all the time, see, and mud, I never got- them horses you couldn't tell what color they was when I come up with 'em at night, they'd be so muddy. And I stayed there til we got about half done and I come home, I quit. But he wasn't going to give me no- I said, "I'll go for wages, but I ain't going down there and take that job the way it is. They'd took all the face off the year before and it was way back so... And then this guy that was down there was and the boss come up there and said, "What's the matter?" I said, "Can't you see what's the matter?" I was going with about twenty-five logs logged to the other end and I couldn't stop any place, so I went down to where it was steeper and stopped and he said, "What's the matter?" And I said, "Can't you see what's the matter?" And this next morning they sent thA.a guy down to the other camp.

SS: That wasn't Axel?

FL: Yeah.

SS: That was Axel, eh?

FL: No, that wasn't. it was the boss.

SS: He's not the one that was sent down to the other camp?

FL: No. Steve Blibk.

SS: Was Axel the one that was giving you a hard time?

FL: Yeah. He was trying to get even with me, see.

NWL: What do you think about Ed Holsett? Knowing a lot about the oldF. timers?

SS: I've talked to him.

NWL: Oh, you've already talked to Ed. You know, I got papers for the Historical Society in Moscow, but he didn't fill them all out. And so, I never did get them in. That was before i left here. And I wondered if you'd talked to him.

SS: Yes, I have.

NWL: Well, he should know a lot the same as Arthur . Well, Arthur turned in an awful good report, I thought. He really did. Now, that about the railroad and everything, that's pretty well correct.

FL: He's awful good about the dates.

NWL This little story in here that I told about Freddy Grannis. He got that a little mixed up, I felt bad about that.

SS: What's the way told it?

NWL: I told it that he threw the knife and he did and hit the back of the seat andAscared me nearly to death. But it was a closed knife, see, and I told him that, and someway, I don't know how, he got that, but I'll have to find it over here. I felt bad about it being writ ten that way because I like to have things straight.

SS: Now wait, will you tell that story from the beginning? I don't know that I remember that. Don't read it to me.

NWL: Okay. Well, he was just a kid, we played together all the time, Freddy and I, and this Mr. Alden, he was a very cross man, you know, and he was really hard on the youngsters, and he had taught out there on the Ridge from Troy; on one of the Ridges. And we had heard that he had threw a knife, you know, at one of the kids, but we just laughed it off. And I was telling Freddy about it and he said, "Well, I'll just tell you something, if he throws a knife at me, I'll pick it up and throw it back." And so it wasn't too long til Freddy was playing Fly-away- Jack and Fly-away Jill, you know putting papers on your fingers and he was showing one of the children- one of his friends across and he'd say,"Fly away.% Anyway, I watched him and pretty soon he went on just looking at his book and he reached in his pocket, you know, and he pulled this knife out, and BANG it hit that seat! And then of course, he come back and he hit Freddy with his book, but he had his finger between the book, like this, and when he hit Freddy, I know it hurt. And I said to Freddy,"What about it?" I said, "You said you was going to throw that back." And he just said, Well, it make any difference, he hurt his fingers as bad as he hurt my head." (Chuckles) But it sure scared him. He said an open knife, but it wasn't it was a closed.knife, you know, and I felt kind of bad about that. And since then, Freddy's read this book, you know, he's as old as I am, and I wondered what he thought about that, because that wasn't exactly right. But you know how kids will do.

SS: I imagine, and I've heard anyway that some of the teachers really had a hard time keeping the schoolhouse in order.

NWL: Well, they did because the children was so much older that went to school then than they are in the elementary school. Some would b e seventeen years old, you know, and they hadn't got through the eighth grade yet, or through the school; at first it wasn't graded.

SS: Talking about the stories in this book; that story about that they think some bohunks, or at least one of 'em, got killed and that rumor. Did you ever hear that?

NWL: Oh, yes.

CL: Right over here wasn't it?

NWL: Uh-huh. Yes, we heard that. We don't know how true it was. But at that time they said that they were buriedunder the fill over here.

FL: I'll tell you what happened to me one time. My dad run that store and he had an order of groceries to take up and I was taking 'em up on the wagon, and there was one of them bosses come along and he stopped and he said, "You'd better stop, they've got in a charge of powder up there." And I sat there looking around and I said, "Hey there goes a couple of guys down there right where it's at!" And I don't what it done to him, but it went off when they was right about opposite it. He never moved or anything he just went on.

SS: Did you see the look on his face? Did he look scared?

FL: No. He was back out there talking to me, see. I thought it might have killed 'em, but I don't know whether it did or not.

SS: You saw there were a couple of guys down there?

FL: Oh, yeah, I saw 'em. And I said to him, "There goes a couple of guys down there." And he just looked at 'em, he didn't say nothin' and about that time it went off.

NWL: You didn't think it was them.

FL: Who?

NWL: Those two that were buried over there.

FL: No, uh-huh. I don't know whether it even hurt 'em or not.

SS: Is the story supposed to have been that they had an argument? That's what John Miller reported in here.

NWL: That's, all we knew, too, just about what Arthur told you.

SS: These people, there were Greeks and Italians, too, I guess that worked on the railroad; did they mix with the other people, or did they- because they didn't speak English very well.

FL: No, they stayed by themselves.

NWL: No, they stayed pretty much to themselyes. The only place they would go was the saloons. They would go to the saloons, that is, a bunch of them would go.

FL: My dad run a saloon and them guys'd come down there and get drunk and of course, there wasn't no kids in the country and they'd see us and they'd take right out after us, and boy, we just run for home as hard as we could go, we'd afraid they'd fall on us!

SS: Why would these guys run after kids?

FL: There wasn't no kids in here, see, and they was just surprised to see kids and they'd take out after as, talk to us.

SS: I've heard that there was real rough times when the railroads were being built in here, real early, you know when the first logging was done. Did your father ever have a hard time then running a saloon with the drunk guys?

FL: No, I don't think he ever did, too much. Course, I was pretty youn then, I don't know much about it.

SS: What did his saloon look like? Was it just inside the store? Part of the store?

FL: No, it was a building by itself.

NWL: Log building. Built out of logs.

SS: Did he have a bar?

FL: Oh, yeah.

SS: It sounds like your father was an enterprising fellow.

FL: He was too much.

SS: Was there anything else at Janesville besides his store? Was that the town? Or were there other stores, too?

NWL: He just started that on his homestead. They had their house built and then he built the store on; just a little store for the post office.

SS: Do you think he thought back then that there might be a real town there?

FL: No, I don't think so. He done it for the business he had then, see.

SS: Did he pick that name for a town? It was always called Janesville.

NWL: What did they do in those days? Did they pick the towns for- was it named after somebody?

SS: Well, it could be anything. The way I udnerstand it, they turned in a name, the person who was going to have the post office, and if there wasn't another town in the state already had that name, then they could get that name.

FL: I guess that's the way.

NWL: I guess they took that after the post office; they got the post of fice in and it was Janesville post office.

SS: I just wondered if there was somebody named Jan or Jane or some thing like that around.

NWL: I don't know. I never knew about that.

SS: Did they spell that Jans or Janes?

NWL: Janesville.

SS: I've seen it spelled both ways.

NWL: Have you? Now there was a man came here to talk to Carl and May about somebody here in early days had invented some barbed wire, and he was hunting all kinds of barbed wire, away back and all kinds, and he said that he lived here, what was his name, Dent? And that he had invented some barbed wire and he wanted to know if we knew anything about it.

SS: I have never heard about it. Have you?

NWL: No. And so, I did get a book.

CL: He had a book here, this fellow did have.

NWL: He had a book with him.

CL: Yeah.

NWL: But was he sure it was Janesville, Idaho?

CL: That's what he said.

CL: That's what he said. Now he was from Spokane. Oh, what did he say his name was?

NWL: I've got it at home. I kept his letter.

CL: The man was supposed to have patented the haywire or the barb wire,

NWL: But it was never put up for sale. He just got the patent on it.

SS: And his at Janesville?

NWL: No, the post office was Janesville. And I got a book, I paid the library to get me a book and it did show this barbed wire, alright, and it was from Janesville, but I can't remember whether it was Idaho or not. But it was a wide wire, it was a peculiar wire with barbs on it.

FL: He had a book with him, you know.

NWL: He had that same book then that I got.

FL: Well, his name was a common name.

NWL: Yeah, I know, too and I can't think what it was.

FL: Jim, Jim was his first name. Jim Harris.

NWL: Harris. That's right, his name was Harris.

SS: The guy who was looking.

NWL: He was collecting wire. He had so much wire from different places, different kinds. And he wanted to see if he could get a piece of that. But in our day we never knew anything about it.

SS: I was going to ask you about your parents' place. Did he keep the livery stable for very long here in Helmer?

NWL: Oh, he had it for about- well, until, well, let's see- I don't think he had it over a couple of years.

FL: Oh, yes, he did.

NWL: Did he have it that long?

SS: Did he open a grocery himself here, or did he- what did he do after the livery?

NWL: Yes, he had a little grocery store right in front of the house. He built on a little store.

FL: Right up here on the corner.

NWL: Right here on this corner.

FL: Across the road there.

NWL: The barn was right out there.

SS: Was he competeing with Miller?

NWL: No. Floyd's dad had a store up here then on the corner. He had bought that and he had a store. No, they just had the two little stores.

SS: Your father had a store here, too,huh?

NWL: Yep.

SS: He sure was in a lot of businesses, I can't get over it.

NWL: Yes, he was in a lot of bus ines

SS: He must have really seen a lot, too. Seen this country grow from nothing.

CL: And I think he kitd the first car that come to the country, too.

NWL: Yes, and what was the name of that? Studeburger?

FL: Overland.

NWL: Overland, yeah.

CL: What did you say it was? 1911 Overland?

FL: 1909, I think.

CL: 1909 Overland.

SS: Did he drive it around here? Was the roads good enough?

FL: Well, they wasn't very good.

CL: There's a picture of one of these cars there. It's in that book isn't it?

NWL: Yeah. At Deary.

CL: Of course, that was later than mine.

NWL: Oh, I of the past if I knew anything for all night, I think! But I don't know too much.

SS: Did your father wind up making much money from the ventures?

FL: That's what they call the Willys-Knight.

CL: Yeah, then he got a Model T Ford.

SS: Were there other cars in here right afterward?

FL: There wasn't any right around here close, I don't think.

SS: I've heard when the first cars come in a lot of places that people didn't believe in 'em, thought you were crazy having a car.

FL: He didn't know very much about 'em. I'll tell you what happened, this ain't very nice, he- when you got a car then you got a tire pump-

NWL: Oh, Dad, don't you tell that! (Chuckles) Don't youtell that!

FL: So he got it home and he had a flat tire. Well, before he come home I and my brother was playing around there and we had that pump and so we decided we'd go out- there was an old pigpen out there and we figured we'd go out and blow that old sow up. So we went out there and we pumped it and I suppose we burnt her and she got up and left. And Dad come home and he had a flat tire, and he didn't think about patching the tube, see, he put the pump on the tire and he pumped and pumped and he said, 'I don't believe that son of a bitch is wor king." And he took it off and put it in his mouth and I looked at him and I thought, "Boy, if you'd know where that had been!" (Chuckles)

NWL: Now is that a nice story for you to tell?

SS: It's funny. That's an old picture of Deary, 1914.

NWL: Yeah, in them days- wasn't it Miller or somebody ceme from Bovill or Moscow that had a car and they charged so much to ride in it? At the Fair down there. Had a little fatfin Deary?

FL: I don't remember.

NWL: I think so. That's when there was no cars.

SS: I've heard that people would take a team and wagon for miles to see a car.

CL: The first time I ever drove this road with a car, I drove it in 1920 with a HV Chevrolet.

NWL: Our first car was a 1923. First time we had enough money we could buy one.

CL: We bought a used 1918 model .Chevrolet. And for a donation or something, I don t know what. And I come up here. And I thought that was the damndest road that I ever drove on. That was the first time I drove that road, and then I drove it off and on after that. 1920.

SS: I've heard a lot of people had a hard time trying to learn to drive at first. I didn't have any trouble. We got it from Roy and Lee Bennett there in Potlatch and they just took us out and showed us what to do and we just took off.

SS: One more thing I thought of- Bill Helmer, did he live in this town? CL: No, they just named it after him.

SS: They just named it after him.

CL: Yeah.

CL: You see he was And Bill Peterson, he used to stay at our place, I told you I was down on the Frank Bureher place, that's where I was raised, see, and Bill Peterson, he was a timber man, and he stayed at our place and Bill Helmer stayed at our place. And Helmer, he probably stayed at Lawrences, too.

FL: Yeah. Him and that redheaded

CL: Well, Phil Peterson was redheaded.

FL: Well, this was Mallory.

CL: Which one? You mean Frank?

FL: I don't remember now, but I remember he was redheaded.

SS: But they stayed during the winter or something?

CL: Well, they'd come-

FL: They'd come in and-

CL: And stay aweek or two at a time and

FL: then they'd be gone somewheres else.

CL: And then they'd be gone somewhere else. Because around our place then it was all timber practically. There'd only been one camp in there before that, and that was Camp 1, they called it old Camp 1 down there.

SS: I've heard that Helmer was really pretty good in the woods.

FL: Oh, yeah, he was.

CL: Tell you what they say- I never was out with him- but they say he was an awful walker.

FL: Yeah, he was. And, you know, if he'd find a section post he'd fix it so that.if you was looking for it on the line you couldn't even find it when you come to it. I know, I've run a lot of his lines.

NWL: Who was that?

FL: Bill Helmer.

SS: Why would he do that?

FL: Well, I suppose to make it miserable for somebody else that was trying to do it.

SS: How fcould he cover it up?

FL: Well, he'd blaze along, but when he got to the corner post he'd just quit that.

SS: I've heard that he could find his QWfa. marks anyplace.

FL: Well, I suppose he knew about where it was at after he bound it. But he was pretty accurate on 'em.

NWL: Dad, don't you think that was a mistake, where he put that G.R. Lawrence

SS: and his wife? Sold that property up there in McGary Mea dow? That was your granddad.

NWL: That should have been Warren Lawrence instead of Russ Lawrence.

SS: Well, when Helmer was- Was Helmer ever much of a town as far as how many stores or what kind of activity went on right in town here.

NWL: No, I don't think so. Do you?

CL: Well, I don't know. Of course, like I say, when I come up here in '24 the two stores was here.

FL: Yeah, there was more people then than there is now.

CL: I believe there's as many people now and there was then.

NWL: Yeah, I do, too. But, I suppose in earlier days they could make quite a little bit because there was no competition.

CL: Floyd's uncle moved out of here. Didn't have a poolhall and a bar ber shop?

NWL: Yeah.

SS: Oh, in Helmer here, there was a poolhall and a barbershop?

NWL: Yeah

LML: There was a hotel here at one time, too.

CL: That's what I say, hotel here at one time. And like I say, some body said that there was a butchershop set right straight acrossright straight here, over on the other street; of course, that was way before my time.

SS: What I'm thinking about is, you take some of these towns like Nora or Anderson, they died, disappeared, they're gone, but Helmer is still here. Why Helmer? I'm wondering why Helmer stuck it out when these other towns didn't?

NWL: Now down there at Nora there was no lots, there was no township, no town laid out. Now this was surveyed out in streets and avenues. And then at that time, I think they done a pretty good business be cause the camps were here.

CL: Oh, yeah. See, when I come up here in '24 and '25 they was five camps up here,working out of here in Corral Creek besides Headquarters campr Camp 6. See, there was five camps working up here. There was one at Camp 10 and Camp 5 on eadows and there was Camp 4 on . Meadows and there was Camp 3 up there above Erickson Meadows and Camp 7 on Shay Meadows. You bet.

SS: Is that mostly the lumberjacks that were here that used the stores?

CL: At that time there was a lot of married men in the woods, but they had to stay in camp.


0:00 - Her first trip from Troy to Helmer

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Segment Synopsis: Her first trip from Troy to Helmer.

5:00 - Joe Wells family; only African-American family in area

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Segment Synopsis: The Joe Wells family. His strength as the only black man in the area. His daughter's marriage. Lou Wells was a wonderful woman.

11:00 - Marshall Hays shot in Troy

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Segment Synopsis: After Marshall Hays was shot in Troy, people were ready to kill Sly.

13:00 - Helmer school had young teacher; first train through Helmer

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Segment Synopsis: Anna Marie Oslund taught them at Helmer school when she was not yet 18. The first train through Helmer.

17:00 - Moving from Kentucky to Troy; father's businesses

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Segment Synopsis: Her family came to Troy from Kentucky. Father's businesses.

20:00 - Grandfather settled on McGary Meadows; poor

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Segment Synopsis: His grandfather was the only settler on McGary Meadows, and then sold out. His family's coming to Idaho. Father was too poor to leave country.

27:00 - Homesteaders; Jansville store unable to always give families credit

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Segment Synopsis: Homesteaders took a whole day walking to his father's store at Jansville. Mrs. Phelps cried when he said he couldn't give her family more credit.

30:00 - Giant white pine near Camp 8

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Segment Synopsis: Homesteaders hoped to make money by selling to the lumber company, but they didn't pay much for the timber. A beautiful stand of white pine by Camp 8. A giant white pine.

35:00 - Cattle on Warren's Meadows

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Segment Synopsis: Cattle on Warren's Meadows. Cattle raising on meadows limited by having to feed cattle for six months.

37:00 - A bull running into a lady's house

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Segment Synopsis: A bull he was herding ran into a lady's house, and she thought it very funny.

41:00 - His father and family played musical instruments; Pullman Christmas Contest

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Segment Synopsis: His father and family played musical instruments. His father at a Pullman Christmas Contest.

48:00 - Neighborhood dances moved from homes to schools

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Segment Synopsis: Neighborhood dances at people's homes; eventually they switched to schools.

50:00 - Campfire Pavilion built by Lawrences

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Segment Synopsis: Campfire Pavilion - a dance and roller skating hall built by the Lawrences. The free feeling and mixing, with no rowdiness allowed. It was the most popular pavilion in the area, (continued)

60:00 - Beating the dance hall competition; holiday celebrations at pavilion

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Segment Synopsis: Beating the dance hall competition. They sold the place when they got tired of it. Serving food. Holiday celebrations there.

66:00 - Her mother sold bread to the Greek railroad crews; went to Troy for supplies; Joe Wells horse story

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Segment Synopsis: Her mother sold bread to the Greek railroad crews. The boughery was used for summer gatherings. The railroad meant the coming of transportation and supplies. Going to Troy for supplies. Joe Wells hit his horse that bit him.

71:00 - Driving spoiled horses

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Segment Synopsis: Driving spoiled horses. Some men could handle horses, others couldn't.

76:00 - IWW's cleaned up the camps

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Segment Synopsis: As a family man he didn't want to live in camps. Companies look out only for themselves; IWWs cleaned up the camps, and were blamed for things they didn't do. T.P.Jones said it didn't pay to be good to people.

83:00 - Advantages of one room school; young teacher

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Segment Synopsis: Advantages of one room school. Anna Marie Oslund's father took her paychecks because she was so young.

87:00 - Lack of money made it hard for young people to continue school; Troy banker Brocke helped

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Segment Synopsis: Lack of money made it hard for young people to continue school. Frank Brocke, Troy's banker, helped many people.

89:00 - Killing of Agnes Liner

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Segment Synopsis: Killing of Agnes Liner, (continued)

90:00 - Killing of Agnes Liner, Jesse Dillman mean character

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Segment Synopsis: Killing of Agnes Liner; meanness in Jesse Dillman's character.

94:00 - Body lice travelling from Camp 6 to homes

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Segment Synopsis: Body lice invaded home from the logging camp. Camp 6 had hot water for washing clothes in the early days.

99:00 - Beginnings of Helmer; lodging at Jansville

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Segment Synopsis: Beginnings of Helmer. Lodging at Jansville.

105:00 - Contract logging for Potlatch

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Segment Synopsis: Contract logging for Potlatch by Lawrence family. If you made money on one job, they took it away on the next. Experiences doing teamster work that other men couldn't do. Getting on the boss' bad side by making good money.

119:00 - Schoolteacher who frightened kids with closed knife

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Segment Synopsis: The schoolteacher who frightened kids with a (closed) knife, (continued)

120:00 - Story of the teacher throwing a knife

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Segment Synopsis: Story of the teacher throwing a knife.

122:00 - Father's saloon at Jansville, town

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Segment Synopsis: Mr. Lawrence saw two guys near a dynamite blast. Father's saloon at Jansville: the lumberjacks chased the kids, Father built "town" on his homestead. A wire collector looked for Mr. Dent's wire, made in Jansville.

130:00 - Her father's store; father had first car, stories about cars

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Segment Synopsis: Her father's store. His father had the first car, an Overland. The tire pump and the pig. Charging to ride in a car at an early fair in Deary. Buying first cars.

136:00 - Stories about Bill Helmer

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Segment Synopsis: Bill Helmer stayed at many local homes. He hid the section corners very well.

139:00 - Helmer stores included pool hall, barber shop; six camps near Helmer in 1924

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Segment Synopsis: Helmer stores included a pool hall and barber shop. In 1924 there were six camps in the area around Helmer.


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