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Latah County Oral History Collection

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

« View All George Lepard interviews

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Date: February 14, 1974 Interviewer: Sandie Gittel

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0:00 - Birth at Craigmont

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Segment Synopsis: Birth at Craigmont. Father an early doctor; his education came from practical experience with another doctor. Father graduated from Omaha Medical College (1895) and came to Idaho for opportunity. He found out that father had his teeth knocked out over the sale of a cow, contradicting the story father told.

4:00 - Father followed building of sawmills

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Segment Synopsis: Father followed building of sawmills. Father bought property at Onaway and set up drugstore and a place for livestock, since he couldn't buy at Potlatch. Mr. Lepard went to school at Potlatch and worked at grocery business until depression. Father's showcase and chocolate candy for kids. Father always went with team to help people when called, regardless of what they owed him.

9:00 - Parents move to Potlach in 1906

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Segment Synopsis: Parents moved to Potlatch in 1906. Beginning of Potlatch, WI&M Railroad was called "Washing,Ironing and Mending" or "the stump dodger." Importance of railroad. Day's round trip for passenger train. Engines for passenger and freight trains.

15:00 - Potlatch as a "one man town"

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Segment Synopsis: Potlatch as a "one-man-town". Houses rented nominally. Potlatch churches. Description of sawmill. Reduction of work force. "Company doctors": Dr. Gibson and Dr. Thompson.

24:00 - His house in Coeur d'Alene

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Segment Synopsis: His wife married him to get rid of him. His house in Coeur d'Alene is on site of Fort Sherman.

29:00 - Disappearance of Harris boy

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Segment Synopsis: Disappearance of Harris boy. The mill was shut down a day to look for him; it was thought he fell into a mine shaft, (continued)

30:00 - Dying of Cancer

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Segment Synopsis: In 1964 he turned up in Princeton inquiring about the family. He wanted to leave his estate to his relatives knowing he was dying of cancer. The memorial service for him in Spokane.

35:00 - Company built school for town

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Segment Synopsis: Company built school for town. Recreation at Potlatch. School plays; he got a nose bleed in the play, "Potlatch Day". His magic and juggling.

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