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This conversation with CATHERINE MAHON took place at her home in Clarkston, Washingtonon Sept. 20, 1976. The interviewer is SAM SCHRAGER.
CM: They had come to Leuiston to proveAor something. It was across the river,it was on the Palouse River. But it's really I think in Idaho.
SS: Do you know how he wound up coming to Palouse?
CM: Oh yes. Ho came to America from France. He was really from Luxembourg, buthe came here from France for the gold rush. And coming from France, he sailed through La Havre, I think. And landed in New Orleans and went up to, oh, what was the place they always went to, St...
SS: St. Louis.
CM: Yeah, St. Louis. Lip in there. And then came west from there. However, he didcross Texas to get to California, some way. And I know he told about going, he had to go one distance on foot. Or maybe horseback. Anyway, he was traveling alone, I think, this one section. And all the money he had with him was in 20 dollar gold pieces. Which of course, you could carry and they carried money that way. And he was vdry hungry. And he went to this farmhouse. And he couldn't speak English, he spoke French. And he tried to motion and offer the money, and she just screamed and covered her ears and barricaded the door and he s*aidf"I would have paid 20 dollars very gladly for some ham and eggs." But no way. 5o he had to go on quite a^bit farther 'fore he got to a place where he could. And he was in California about gold rush time. He didn't get there, he wasn't a '49'er. I think he probably got there about '50, maybe not before '53. Someplace in theses and he tried mining. He'd run out of money and he'd go to work and wages were very high you know, because everybody was to mine. He said,"We just had sense enough to keep working." Because he wasn*t much of a miner. He didn't hit it that way. But finally then, he drifted Oregon. And he was around in the Roseburg country. Out from Roseburg. And Looking Glass, in there. And that was where he met my grandmother. In there. And they were married. Then they lived for a time at Marshfield, which was on Coos Bay. And then back at Looking Glass. And by this time he had become a stagecoach driver. And he bid for contracts, and carried the mail. And pick up passengers and so forth. And he was making his living that way when somebody underbid him. And he knew they couldn't do it, the price they bid, but then, just the same, they got the bid. So another man from there,^hTt Roseburg country had come up to Palouse and was running a stagecoach from Dayton to Colfax to Palouse. And they were friends and he wrote and he couldn't handle it alone. So my grandfather decided to come, ty a half interest. And he came, oh, probably a year ahead of his family. They spent one winter, Ithink probably some or most of the time, in Sodaville in Oregon.
CM: Sodaville. And my mother always had great faith in the water, of Sodaville,they would cure almost anything. And it was quite aplace at that time for this sort of thing. People drank the waters and felt that would help them. Like the spas and you know, different places. And my, they were worried, she said, about him coming up, it was kind of crossing the Cascades of course. And he was bringing horses. But he made it and she remembers they buried some money right in the middle of the packed solid. But they all knew where it was. So if anything happened to any one of them, they could get it. But it was later that my grandmother came with children, about a year later. And just why they decided to live in Palouse instead of Colfax knew, but they just did. It was the smaller town, although it was quite alively place. It had five banks and I don't know how many saloons. Great name and it hdd quite a few mills. But Colfax was the bigger town. And when they got to, they went to Portland, and Portland wasn't nearly as big as Lewiston is now. Portland was a smaller town and their hospital was, nearly lftke our St. Soscph's, even though the St. Soseph's enlarged, you know, just small. And they had bben told to stay in a certain hotel. And it was probably the second best hotel in Portland. The second largest. And it was full of bedbugs. And mother said they spent the night struggling with bed bugs. And..
SS: This was on their way out.
CM: On their way out from Looking Glass by Sodaville and tft Palouse. And thatdays, it was in the wood, you see. New houses had never been lived in had bedbugs. Because they didn't cure the oood the same as they do now and so, I guess, I don't know they're still left in the raw wood or not. But anyway at that time, the first log house, you had to de-bug it before you could move in. But anyway, they struggled with bedbugs somebody had left bedbugs or something.
SS: How would people stay in the hotel with bedbugs?
CM: They fought them off. They didn't sleep. She said there was no sleep by thee Berns family. That was my grandfather's name. Bernes. And next morning they left. I don't suppose my grandmother knew where to go. You know. And so there they just sat up and fought bedbugs. She said it was quite a deal. Well anyway they got to Dayton, and at Dayton I think they must have stayed all night there. Eaten at least two meals. And she saw her first time, that she saw a printing press work. Dayton was quite a little town early, you know. Dayton was settled quite early. And then they were to get the stage onto Palouse. And they came to collect for it and they had the stage fare..Grandma stage fare. Because we own half the line. And in the argument they thought she wasn't going to pay any_ of it. So finally they decided that they'd let her go. And then she realized,"Oh no, I paid the hotel bill." You know."I'm just not paying the stage fare because that's our stage." So they came oat to Palouse and were met by my grandfather. And they built a house, he did for them, on the Palouse River. I think they just had sort of a tent or something to begin with. And they built on the river because you were handy to water. You know, you'd go out and dip up water. But the horses were right by the river and everything was there. Pretty soon my grandmother realized that my mother was sometimes taking the horses to water. And she was twelve at the time. And one of them was a very unsafe horse. They were quite fond of old , but very strong, and I guess a very lovely horee in a way. But he couldn't be trusted at all. He'd bitAnything that got within biting range. Kicked whenever he could get a chance. But he could pull better than anybody on the stagecoach and they worked him a little bit more than they did the4 the Arabian that was usually paired with him. Das given more rest. The Arabian ujas so gentle. Prince was a gentle, goodnatured horse. Ha was an Arabian. And I don't know what Meg was.
CM: Urn hm. That was his name. I think probably was a black horse.
SS: was that M-e-g?
CM: Ithink so. Ijust heard the name. Inever saw if And they builthouse that for many years, I don't know whether its still there or not. It was the office for a lumber yard there on the river. Later they lived farther up on the hill in Palouse.
SS: Did she forbid your mother to...
CM: Oh no,the talked to.,my grandfather,"You don't let that child get near thathorsei" And he got fenced in very quickly. So the horses could go to water without her taking them. She had been very careful, she said. But that wasn't pfl rather, enough. Mo, my grandmother was hose things would probably be a clefxnite personchild Was not going to get near that horse. Naturally.
SS: What do you think your grandparents ideas about obaidience were.
CM: Oh I don't know. They always behaved. You just knew that you obeyed. But theyloved their children. They were very, very fond of them. It was a very tender, loving home, that way. There had been three children.^Mother had an older sister. And there had been a 'brother. And they all adored that brother. Thought that he was just, he was everything to them. And one thing my mother and sister agreed^ was that he was awonderful boy. And he died with diptheria. And when he was about twelve. And their life was just, well, they were horrified, just ruined. You might say they never got over, Z don't think either one of them ever got over grieving for that, for Willy. That was his name. And they had planned on how he would be educated. He was bright in school, better than most of the other boys there, or any of the other children, I guess. And they were going to send him on to school. Then there was an academy. Ceetain^he would go there for atime, but oh yes, Ulty to college and college was rare in those days. There werentt, you know colleges out here. But all their hopes and plans were for Willy. And mother had the kindest of rememberances. She said,"He was so good to his sisters. He always did things for them. He'd work one day and he'd run into some money and he'd spend it in a day on gifts. But he was always nice to them. And, oh yes, their brother was perfect. To the whole family. ,! So evidently thece was a lot of love.
SS: Do you think that affection was actually shown?
CM: Oh yes. Oh very much. I don't know how much my grandfather(noise) much, exactlybut they respected him. And, Pap, they called him, I think, and he was Uncle Pete to most people in town, that way, but to their mother, very dear. And their mother had Quaker ideals. So it was a strict household. She was horrified by her sister. She didn't like the way her sister had been raised. And her sister did things that were frowned upon in the '80's. She married and divorced and married and divorced, so forth.
SS: was she raised in a separate family?
CM: No. But they were both kidnapped. No, the sister wasn't kidnapped, but theywere raised by an aunt. My grand mother was kidnapped, she wasn't supposed to be with that family. They took her too to have the two together. She was supposed to go with the other part of the family. And this branch was not a Quaker, wasn't anything. And she would blame it on them.
SS: Kidnapped. Sounds pretty serious.
CM: It was serious. It was serious. My grandmother was kidnapped. They had livedin Kansas, it was a Quaker family. And their father was killed in one of the border fights. The type of thing where they came to the door and said,"Are you North sympathizers?Bang! If you're Southern sympathizers,Bang!" Because they were just robbing people. But he was killed and he had had several wives because they had died of malaria, and that's a common thing, you see, they had so many diseases and plagues and things.They didn't have modern medicine. And the family was to be divided, because, and my grandmother was so close to her half brothers and sisters. Really more than she was to her baby sister. And she was to go with them back east, I think, I don't know it was clear to Pennsylvania or one of the other Quaker settlements. But they were dofinetely Quaker. And they hadn't quite arrived and they were, the baby was to go, with an aunt. Baby's aunt. That was Dell who was quite young. And they decided to take Elma too. And they started out real early in the morning and my uncle, my mother's uncle Cyrus tried to stop them and he chased them his yj^otipnd across the, in the covered wagon, but he couldn't and the other relative: didn't get there in time. They got there later in the day. And they were gone. And they had had Elma stay with them, Elma, my grandmother, that night. For the last night to be with her sister, is the excuse. And they just left before dawn. this covered wagon. Apd I don't know .they were sorry of their bargain or not, but she always regretted it very much. 'Cause they were very different in outlook. She didn't want to be with them. She didn't like anything about them.
SS: She wanted to be with the Quakers.
CM: Oh yes. l/ery much she did. She despised her aunt. She hated her uncle thoroughly.And they weren't good to her. They worked her very hard and she had little chance at education. He was the kind that taught school if there was a school to teach. Maybe two months, you know. And he'd say,"Well you don't need to go the first day in the week only, you can stay and help with the wash. Because there's nothing that first day. And don't need to go Friday because she was too big for her classes, couldn't read with the others. Then she'd stay. Got ashamed. So she educated herself after her marriage. Mostly by correspondence. And took courses, things. And was really self-educated. She was, my grandmother had it in her to be a businesswoman. They say I'm a little bit like her. And I think I understand how she felt. And she married, probably the first decent man that they didn't like and that didn't like them, because she wouldn't do anything to please them that way. They played cards. She never allowed ploying cards in her house. And there was drinking and she abhorbd it. Remember, this was in Victorian times. You know, and very,uery strict now, my grandmother had very, very strict ideas, some of which OT CoorSe, I don't understand at all. She wouldn't read Tom Parne because people who read Tm Peine sometimes lost their faifeh. Well if any book was going to make me lose my faith, I'd ,*t have to see what it was, because of having something, you know, but I'm different from her in that respect. But, poor Tom Paine was blamed for a lot of things I can't understand. But anyway, she was sort of a throwback and I think port of it she .JtJiked fKewv. so much, the family and their ideas and the lack of ideals,which were true. She ran away at least twice. And could very easily stay with somebody else. They liked her.-.in the community and they didn't, these people were not very well liked.
SS: Was this the community in Oregon?
CM: Yes. Down in section, different little towns around in there. And, but theyA generally send her sister to get her back. And she'd go back. And when she married it was understand her sister could live with her. She wanted a home for her sister away from that. But her sister and my grandfather didn't get along very well, because he would lay down the law,"You can't do this, or that." And her sister would do it anyway.
SS: How much younger was this sister?
CM: Well, I think she was I don't know, three years probably.
CM: Rachel vino, I imagine.
CM: Delvino. Quaker name. But she wasn't raised Quaker although in late yearsshe did live with some of them. But she kept my grandmother perfectly horrified of couree, for a while. Except that her house, she was always her sister and no, she was very tolerant that way. But she was called aunt Del. My mother remembers her as rather easy going and good natured. And, but my grand mother had, as I say, rather, she was rather firm in some ways. She was quite a lot younger than my grandfather. I think he adored her. I think he absolutely adored her. And she was good looking. She was very good looking. I have a little, I have tintype pictures of her. Her hair parted in the middle, combed in the Civil War style. And the full sirts, probably hoops. And that, bat she was, she was a real beauty. And, but much younger. And my mother said it never occured to her that her mother was younger than her father. She was,MAHON 8 but these was probably, that wasn't the best thing, but her brother corresponded when he was able and he went back to the family farm in Kansas and took it up again. He regained the section. He couldn't get the pre-empted land, yoi/ could homestead some and pre-empt others. And he couldn't establish ownership and there was a on that, had been quite valuable,but he did get the farm and as it was customary, you know, there was a lot of, they buried their families in their hearts. And he said he thought he knew right where those graves were. He knew the house had been burned. But he thought he could go right there, he said he couldn't find it. The trees had been changed and everything, so he probably planted wheat over it many times.The old cemetery where his parents, so many of them were buried. 'Cause there were so many deaths in families in those days. Malaria and typhoid and diptheria and things like that, would just wipe out people.
SS: Do you know what your grandmother's ideas about what social justice were?
CM: Rather advanced, I would say. I don't know too much.
SS: I just remember reading the were so anti-slavery.
CM: Oh yes they were, I think she,^Sna8 was, perfectly terrible. And she was rather,probably wanted equality for women. She was rather strongly that way. She admired women who did things. And I think she was rather modern in those. Quite, would have been quite a modern person. No, I think she was rather true to the Quaker ideals. She didn't follow the Quaker religion. She joined the only church in town, after she was married. And never changed to another church, although when they moved to Palouse, it wasn't there. I think it was a Baptist church. Palouse had everything else, but no Baptist. But she rather respected most religions. But I think all of them, practically. But no, I think she was, there was a woman doctor, you know, in Roseburg, in the very early ' and I can't think of her name, I've been trying to, but I know Sally Banson knows it. She started to stay and be a doctor. And my mother had great respect her, having learned to be a doctor and practiced. And she was, she was one of the very early pioneer women doctors. Back in the '8C's that was something, vnll unoiu. And she, its quite a colorful story, her life. And was interwoven because her son married somebody in Palouse. The doctor. The lady doctor.
SS: She had a successful practice.
CM: She had quite a successful practice.
SS: They would go to her as well.
CM: Oh she probably had quite a lot of hardships, but she did establish herself.There and in Portland. It was not easy I don't imagine. I think she probably had, well, pionsring, groundbreaking. I imagine there was quite a bit. Maybe some women were more inclined to go, I don't know. Because our women had that feeling that it was kind of nice to go to a lady doctor. Although some of them '* f- accept , either. But it was so hard getting in schools and so hard to get through. Actually I think their problems were more in the begining when first branched off, you still were in the '30's. Because Seanette Rankin, the first woman Congress man of Idaho had a niece in Lewiston, Banet Kinney, and she wanted to be a doctor and she did become a very fine doctor. And, but there weren't too many girls in medical school at that time.
SS: I would imagine most medical schools wouldn't let women in. I know with lawyersthere were few places that a woman could go to college.
CM: They made it very tough on her. They deliberately made their language rathervulgar, in the begining and this and that. And they made things very tough. And then as she got farther in, now this was in pre-med, but the farther in she got, professors and students alike made it hard then, but as she got farther, it all disappeared.
SS: Oeanetfee Rankin?
CM: No, Janet Kinney, her niece, who was her niece. And when she was in medicalschool, no problems at all. They accepted her, but you wore on the higher, you were with more professional and the better, there wasn't the same com petition. They weren 't being put out by her, she was just another student. But the others felt threatened. You see."Maybe she'll get in and I won't. So we'll get rid of her."
SS: This was as late as the '30's?
CM: As late as the '30's. She told me aboctl in the begining, but then afterwardsjust fine. After she was in medical school,no problems. And the boys that uere in it were very proctectiva and chivalrous and every possible, they were perfect gentlemen. And when she would be home on a vacation in Lewiston, the doctors in Lewiston, when they had an interesting surgery they'd say,"Do you want to come and watch?" She was a student. They were very nice to her and she wanted to intern in Cook county, in Chicago and did. And they would be sent sometimes down in the slums. Well I think this was before, I think this was when they were senior, year. And they would be sent to do things. And they never let her go alone. Two or three of the boys would go uith her. And help, you know, it was her turn. And look out for her because theee were kind of dangerous slums. And they would go and maybe deliver a baby or something. She told me about it. She said the big problem would be to clear the room. She said maybe you'd have 30 people in an 8x10 room. They'd make 'ern get out, and then they, take paper, newspapers and spread it, cover everything. They wouldn't have time to clean. But newspapers do. They carry disease. But she said, oh no she had no problems then. Its just in the begining when you're first doing. You, its in the pre-med and I think there's more struggles to get into, into that. People, for instance, now, its very hard to get into a vet school. But once you're in, I think you're alright. You know. There they're more accepted. But they'll do everything to discourage somebody,
SS: Your grandmother sounds like she was an independent person,
CM: And yet, very, very proper. As I say, she was horrified of her sister. Mymother said she overheard her say to a friend,"I don't think they have a Bible in the house."(laughs) She was very proper, but still, yes, independent. You know, I mean, those first women that were working for women's rights, and I'm sure she respected every one of them and admired them, they were very proper people . They almost balanced^irregularities otherwise. Buu of course, anything she did or said was alright with my grandfather. He just thought she was wonderful. But when her brother came to visit us, as I started to say, he had his wife, Rachel, was with him. And Rachel was also quite a bit younger than . And there was a picnic someplace. And that was one of the big celebrations of the time, you know. There wasn't very many things to do for entertainment. And Cyrus, my grandfather, I think, I don't know if he was there or not, he might have on a trip. But anyway, "Oh, we won't bother to go." And that was so like my grandfather, too, might have said that. You know, he wouldn't bother. And my grandmother looked at her brother and she said,"Oh yes you will. Now look here, Rachel is a whole lot younger than you are. And she will enjoy going. And she needs an outing. You will just take her! You will go!" And of course, a sister could say it to her brother, a wife didn't feel like saying to her husband.Mother said, "I was grown before I realized that probably she was speaking for herself, too. There had been lots of times that she had wanted to, and of course they . wouldn't bother, and she'd to her husband, she might not object, but when he was gone she used to go and take the children, to picnics and things. And Fourth of Buly celebrations and so forth*
SS: Hob much age difference do you think there was.
CM: Quite a bit. Twenty years, I think.k Quite a bit. Oh yes it must have beenthat. Now, he was, oh yes, at least 20 years, I think.
SS: How old do you think she was when she was kidnapped?
CM: She was about eight.
SS: Twenty years difference...
CM: Its quite a difference, you see. And he had had this adventurous lifs', 'causehe had run away from home. My grandfather, they lived in Luxembourg. And father ran.a distillery, and then like most Luxembourg families, they to the city. But they had a farm out from there too. His mother was dead and his father had a housekeeper. I think she kept probably the family clean, fed them. But his father was very busy and there were other brothers and one sister, He was the youngest brother. And they sort of picked on him. He got tired of that, and he run away to Holland. And he had to work one year^two doll and a pair of leather shoes, I suppose he got his other food and clothing, I don't know. He must have. Then he left for Paris. And in Paris, I think it was in the time of Louis Phillipe. He, they were tearing down a lot of the old buildings and building new, and he went in construction. And he was a short man. Small, but rather long arms. He could climb where most couldn't. And he got more money than most of them. His family found out, he must have written home finally, where he was, and they wanted him to come home. So they sent his favorite brother to persuade him to come home. Well, he was making good money and he was enjoying Paris, so he persuaded his brother to stay and work with him on a job. "And then we'll go." Well now, "Let's take this next job. That's good." This went on for about a year. And the brother fell in love with a girl in Paris. And married and stayed there. My grandfather heard of the gold rush. He came to the United States, so he lost two boys instead of one. But they did keep in touch and when, finally the death in the family, they sent him his share of the money. Both of them. My grandparents received some funds from their families. Few hundred, I suppose, but that's a lot in those days. And the one in Paris had one son, the brother. And he came to the United States, but he never married. He and my mother corresponded and I've seen his pictures. I never saw him, but they got in touch. So that part died. ; .
SS: Between your grandparents, like other people from the old country, I get thisidea that the .men tend to be dictatorial.
CM: I don't think he was in that sense. I think probably because he wasthat he was, as he would say, European. He had no accent, truly. Except that he would say he was European. Which is the French way of saying European(Note. For difference in pronunciation, please refer to tape.) He rather liked equality. He was rather wanting equality in race and equality of everything. I think he probably believed it was fine for women to have rights. Very definetsly. AJo. He always wanted to send for his sister, my grandmother said,"My goodness, she's older than he was." And she couldn't speak the language, and what in the world would she do here? But she never married...
(End of side A
CM: People they knew and were fond of. And my grandfather had a rather peculiarsense of humor. It was rather dry. And he said, decision,'He got the ranch, she got the child. Good decision, good decision."(laughs) And of course, he was^being really sarcastic, you know. But, no, he had, I don't think Tie ever accorded, if it was, it was unconsciously ao, and something like,"Oh, we won't go there, it's too roach trouble," or something like that. But no, not, if it was something that she really wanted, she would say, "No, it has to be this way." And he would always give in to anything. He just, as I say, he absolutely adored her. And when she died, young, he would never, woman, although quite a feu different widows were quite persuing and my father, I know, when he lived with us used to tease him about one of them because she always asked about,"You tell her I've gone! You tell her I've gone. You tell her I'm away! You tell her so and so!" He was,"No, no, no" with us, you know. And I think my mother always thought that time that he favored her sister. And her sister did get more from him. But I think it wasn't that he Afavored at all. He didn't know how to handle her, the same. He'd say no to my mother.^Say no to my sister, she'd put up an argument. And he lost. My mother never argued much. But basically, I think he really preferred my mother, and I know I was much his favorite grandchild. Something in his life,He said,"I always thought you were." And mother was, although her sister would..-never have admitted
SS: Being what?
CM: Better looking. Oh, but her sister, no, she was the goodlooking one.said that very definitely. Always took that attitude, you know. And mother suppose^her father probably thought that too. He was quite an n always thought you were." And Would definetaly. He just would not stay with the other one. And, but she did working for more things, you know. She aserted herself."I wont this and I want that!" And he hung my mother up once and talked to her, he said,"Now, she wants me to buy her so and so and I can only spend so much. Do y_ou need so and so?" It was a coat. And she said,"li.H get along." That would be my mother's So, they bought the ooat for her sister who was married. Presumably her father should* _: . And she picked out some furs, too. She worked^and she was the one that would say, and the girls were growing up,"Pa, I'm going so and so." And my mother'd say,"Can I go?" And he'd say no.(laughs) You sea.
SS: Uhy the difference between the two daughters?
CM: I don't know. There's always been in our family. There was a difference betseBnmy grandmother and her aunt, her sister. Certainly between my mother and her sister. I told my mother, it's a good thing I didn't have a sister maybe. Undoubtedly I was the good one and the other might have been bad.She said, "Oh no, you wouldn't have had anybody like that."But there seemed to be in our family a little bit of a run like that, where one was much, I think, much the better.
SS: One thing about divorce that strikes me is that you could look at it as something that would be helpful to the woman. And yet your grandmother opposed it. no
CM: Well I don't know, she didn'ty , not too much, but I don't think, I meanpersonally, she wouldi not have.
SS: I know there was tremendous feeling.
CM: She was kind of horrified, but I don't think in the sense that she wantedher sister particularly to stay with somebody. But she didn't approve of so many marriages. I mean, you made a mistake, you didn't remarry, was about always her slant. My mother said,"Well, you know, it's lots better than committing murder." And before they could dCvorce sometimes they killed each other. This is much better than committing murder, to have a divorce. So I think maybe that. And because her sister did and her best friond's daughter was a muchly divorced woman. Quite an adventuress. And they always were nice to the girl. Because the two older people were friends. It was my grandmother's best friend and they had moved to the Palouse country from the same part of Oregon and Known each other down there. And they were well, just very, very close friends. And she had a daughter who was muchly married in the '80's. I think maybe she ' married four or five times. And Kit was quite an adventuress. But could always visit ^their house.MAHON 15
SS: Was there a social stigma on her elsewhere?
CM: Oh yes. Probably some what. But my grandmother was bhe kind that would say,"In my house I approve. You take it that way."And she herself was so completely above anything that way. There was never anyA loose talk, or her family. She'd just look 'em in the ey and they didn't dare say much when Kit was there. It was Kit who my grandfather sgid,"Good division." Course it was not Kit raised the child, it was her mother that raised the child. Grandparents took them. She was at one time married to . - family doctor. She was an adventuress. I never knew her, but she was evidently quite that way. But she could always come to town and always be made welcome. Because of her mother I suppose, mostly. And her father, the family, They were good family friends and nobody could control Kit. She did it. She could always go home too.
SS: So even though your grandmother would be personally opposed, she felt thebonds of freindship.
CM: Oh yes. And Kit could always go to her home. She just didn't want to stayout on the ranch. It was a very, very good ranch, but her brother, when she was quite old, I know, the last my mother heard of her, she aaid, she'd been up in Canada, she said,"Kit's getting pretty old. I'm going ," and I guess she stayed on the ranch there with him. He took care of her in the end.
SS: This was her brother?
CM: Uh huh. The one that had been fnarried five times at least. I think she wasalive, the children just adored having her come, because everything was bright and lots of things happened when Kit was around. She was just company. (laugtss) And so they enjoyed it. They didn't pay much attention to the other part of it. And I don't think it ever occured, Kit never did anything to get them involved in any trouble. She was older, so, my grandmother probably wouldn't have wanted her to take them with her if she was going certain places, I mean, if she was going to a dance or something, I suppose. running around together in a group she might not have liked it. But that didn't enter into it, so...
CM: No. I think only once.
SS: It didn't sound like she had too many choices.
CM: Well it wasn't easy. But apparently most of the people that she was marriedto still liked her, except in this one case, in this split, where there was a child and family entered in there. And they accused her of all sorts of things.On our side they were friends to both sides in that divorce too, but they preferred, of course, the closer friendship was with her people. And otherwise they kept out of it, except my grandfather's of the ranch.
SS: Do you think that your grandparents were unusual.
CM: Yes, rather. They were rather. I think so. IE think my grandmother was veryadvanced. The clothes that she made for her children were more modern than the average clothes in comfort and everything else. And I know even my aunt, the clothes that she made for us, the little things were more like they were much later. She thought of these ways of doing things.
SS: For example?
CM: Some hold up your stockings and little things like that that she did tbafewere ahead of the other children's things. She, the little underthings and all that were ahead. And she read^.everything she could. She read all the magazines she could get and books- and reading matter was scarce. But she sent and got things* And that was where she educated herself. She learned most of that, a lot of that after marriage. Because that she could do then. When she A. didn't have an opportunity before, as I , my grandfather absolutely, I-'m sure, just adored her. And once in awhile, the only, there was one woman who used up everyting, in their, this was in Oregon, that they had. Said her poor husband could'not oossibly-bring fast with a shovel.. she could spoon it out. And he tried, and he was gone from home and he would leave her provided in the cabin with a barrel of sttgar and a barrel of flour and eo forth. And it would all be gone when he came home. Because if she had sugar, if she didn't do anything else, she made candy until it was gone. One time^he planted a garden, she had children, and he planted onions there. HeMAHON came back and there weren't any and she'd dug 'em up and eaten 'em. And she did everything. She'd go and visit. She'd run out of things and if she came to my grandparents house and she was making candy until it would be all gone, my grandmother didn't know quite what to do about it. You know, but my grand father came home, he said,"You can't do that here. You can't do that here!" That would end it. On that he would set down, you know, his foot. But it was never a problem in their homelife because my grandmother wouldn't make up all the barrel of sugar into that. She knew it should last so long. She was more sensible. But poor, I think her name was Dora. And I know they always laughed, they said, no matter what it was, she used it up. One time my grandmother wouldn't do this, but they always a little bit more. Her sister, a little bit more bold ,and she said, went over their place and she was cooking.
She said,"What are you cooking?" knew she had probably run out of things.She was making dumplings. "What kind of dumplings?" They insisted. "Bust water dumplings." She'd run out, and of course, how could they live on it, but he would probably arrive and take care of her. And they said he never said much, her husband. Not all men were beasts, you know. Even in those days. They were trying their best to do it and he'd married this ,Awas kind of a little bit simple, I guess. And he worried about the kids. And my grand father had kind of a bad time out in Marshfierd. They'd had what they called e^i-oo^c had killed their horses, and oh, they had a lot of trouble. And he'd gone out, he was wording away from home and my grandmother, said she'd like to have a little money. Peddlers came through with fresh meat, she had ham and bacon. Oh, he was so holjr , she just felt so badly that she'd been without anything like that, because it was his place to see that there was, that he was a good provider, that they had all they needed. A good table and they had probablyjusually one of the best tables set. Because he most of the time, was a stagedriver. And for a larger town. And he took a European delight in having things. My grandfather would pay a dollar for a can full of sardines, a choice can, they were expensive. Iloved them, do S*lWi M^ut^S mother liked them too. And they would buy acan, aking can of fruit, for Sunday. And they were very expensive. And so the other children would like an invitation to the Bernes house. They always in Palouse, mostly made a cake for Sunday dinner. And that was most MoMin did* cake was a jelly roll or a, maybe frosted with brown sugar. Or if they had white frosting, they had to mash up, confection cubes, because they didn't have white sugar in the store in the granulated form. So it was quite a job.. But at the Bernes house, they not only would have a cake, but they would have some fruit. Mother said, looking back it probably wasn't very wonderful. But home canning wasn't very much either, in those days. They didn't know how. But there would be a can of fruit that was expensive. That cost more than anything wise. By far. And so they asked me for dinner.5! can't go to dinner at your house, was kind of a thing. In those days they could buy, she said she could buy all the steak She could carry for a quarter. My grandmother kept quite often, now one was rather independent. She quite often kept a boarder or she did dressmaking. And then she became a milliner. And there weren't too many hings open for women. They were dressmakers, they ran boarding houses, or they were a milliner. They didn't, as a rule, clerk in the store. They were men. And they worked out as hired girls. Or they were a schoolteacher. And there were schoolteachers. K it very easy. You know, 20 dollars a month and four to six month schools and things like that. It wasn't an easy life.
Money wentways, but still it wasn't, they were not, nobody was very rich. Even if they were acquiring things. There wasn't a great deal of difference that way. See, there hasn't been, even in my lifetime, when I was a child, there wasn't very much difference between the rich and the poor. We ©ere all rather poor. But I know, I went to school with children whose father was a millionaire. I didn't know it at the time. I don't think anybody did. But he was at least getting to be clothes, the main difference we weren't conscious. There was no difference that way. Maybe the only difference then was in, a little better homes, probably came to school , li+H«- cleaner. I'm looking back on this even, I think the girls from the better homes, somebody some of us and said they were snobs. We didn£ think were. And they said the only difference was probably that some children, there were a few that had dirty hair. Which was natural and there was a little drawing there, but we weren't conscious of it as a class.
SS: Do you think that the people that were wealthy didn't show their wealthbecause it would have been frowned on?
CM: No, they, there wasn't too much to show it with. And they were in small townsand they didn't have that much difference.
SS: I'm thinking of this millionaire family.
CM: Oh no, he was tight and he didn't think about spending money. He was alwaystight.His wife spent much later, which we had taken a few more trips now its too late, all I can spend it on is groceries. But he was always tight, all his life. His children helped spend, some of them. The girl that was my age did get quite a good education. But she had to more or less work her way. She had to go to Normal first. And she talked up to him, "Now look her^ dad, one of us should have something." She did. But she knew he could, I guess, but I don't think anybody realized how much. I don't think they did. No, I think it was .their way of life. Actually, a lot of people don't change their life very much now when they do get money. Some people do, but a lot of 'em don't, they stay about the same. And a little more comfortable about it, I guess, but Palouse didn't have any extremely wealthy people. Lewiston had the Vollmer family. But...
SS: You know he had a terrible reputation around Genesee. Not a very good onearound Troy either, for how he got his money.
CM: Well, Uollmer was hard in some ways. Most of them were, I mean they couldforeclose, without much compunction or high rate of interest. Yes. Not exactly dishonest, not really. But just took advantage of being smarter than the other guy. Yes, Vollmer would do that. But on the other hand, he could be quite generous in some things. He was a smart man. Some things said about him definitely
were not true. People do tend to criticize rich people when they shouldn't.And some poor people think the rich to give them the money, not loan it to 'em, as far as that's concerned. But yes, in hard times, Ithink he could take advantage of his wealth.
SS: On the positive side, what was he like that was civic minded?
CM: Oh, he was quite advanced. Like the first telephone in his home. He went tothings, he did things. He believed in education. Certainly would do it for his family. Had certain civic, he accepted civic responsibilities very definitely in the town. And again, had a great respect for his wife. Looked after his family, his sisters. Very much. Specially his widowed sister, for a while. The whole family, more or less. And was a proud man, very Proud man. But had quite advanced in, now he would have been the type of man that would jointed airplane if he had been in amodern time. He wanted the modern things. And as I say, a keen man in business. He hired the best people he could. Put them in the best places. He was very good with that. No, in his way, he was honest. But if you didn't meet a certain deadline, it was to his advantage to take advantage of it, he probably would. Definitely. I think that would be where the criticism would come. But...
SS: He didn't mix business with kindness or friendship?
CM: Not particularly, no. One friend of my mother's used to borrow money fromhim. And she sometimes wanted my mother to go and it would be the same old twelve per cent. 'Cause he could get it, and she couldn't get it elsewhere. But at the same time, he would go bond for somebody that was finacially, he knew they were responsible, his name would mean more than somebody else's, he would do it. Certain civic things he would definitely support. Would do what he considered his share.What was appropriate for him, awealthy citizen of the town.^He was aman who kept his shoes just perfectly polished. They would wear them til they had cracks. Liked to be recognized for what he was, his credit, when he went to a city and there was somebody who didn't know who he was, why they might not get any more of his business if they didn't treat him just the way they should. Pride that way.
SS: How was he, was he treated as nobility in the city here?MAHON21 Cn: Oh, not exactly royalty, but ho .as the aoalthiest .an in town, everybody Knows it, they don't oxaotly thumb their nose at you. Vou 9et certain respect, and you hire different people. Rather tolerant of hiring, for instance, one of his wife's relatives, who wasn't worth very much to him, but he always, he was m0re generous there then she could be. She might get pretty mad at him, but, oh no, he'd give him so much. Always And any member of the family in any trouble, if there was anything he could anyfchin else for them. But Kind very proud of his family. Didn't like one of his son's marriages, which wae perfectly alright, he was abit narrow and bad that way. In fact he didn't liljfcvery many marriages. Ithink there were only two that he thought were alright. One he liked very much.
SS: What was his standards for the marriages?CHS Very high. And he approved of the oldest deughar's marriage. Didn't approve of the next one, but she was the one that was like him and^he'd say,"I-11 do it dad!" And he would try to argue her out cf it, but he didn't get very far and she waa still his daughter. And Ithink he liked one of the other girl's marriages alright. Harried adoctor that was quite respected. Some he didn't like. Onca marriad, of course, he would make the beat of the situation. He was that turned. " made the best of it. He was blackmailed once about his wife and it was pure blackmail, but he thought it wculd be less fuse to pay it than to fight it.
SS: Do you remember what that was about?
CM: Yes. Somebcdy came into town and printed something about his wife. Itapaper supposedly and it wae about his wife. And it was just moetly'a pack of lies. But the thing that would be hard to prove and he was sure involved with the paper he was going to be, he said,"How much do *ou want?" He got a few hundred and you leave town. You will oe gone on such-and-such a time. Rather than, I don't think she would have.
SS: Was it lies about her past life?
CM: I think he called her "Wild Saland very well respected. And lived on a ranch by the Payette River. Now how could you prove that she had never been called that. But that was, you know...
SS: I've heard that same story.Not about blackmail, but that they called her 'WildSal'.
CM: Well that was the story, but I don't, maybe she did ride horseback. Like mymother did. Not always sidesaddle. But still she was a very dignified lady and when my mother was in Lewiston at the telephone office, she had to work very hard. Her first few days had been six days a week twelve hours a day. And half a day on Sunday. For which she received twenty dollars a month. So after awhile of that, she was very tired. Because the Sunday afternoon off you did what laundry and pressing and so forth you could do. And she didn't hire it done. And she was pretty tired. And she didn't have very good help. She tried to tcain this Madeline. So they decided she really needed a rest. She'd done series of styes in her eyes. So she was going to have a vacation. A Her salary had been gradually raised, it wasn't still twenty by that time, but then, it was still not good. I think maybe she was getting forty or so, like that. But it was not good. Our idea, but for those times it was good. And she had passes in the telephone company, so she was to go to San Francisco. But they had to send somebody in her place, and they sent a girl that my mother absolutely adored and they became very, very close friends from Walla Walla. And this girl's sister was a chum, was a very^nice respected person in Walla Walla. And she was a chum, girlhood chum of Mrs. Vollmer's. And through her my mother knew all about Mr s, Vollmer's girlhood. And it was really very Wt,Mf afJ» there was nothing wrong at all. They were very nice people. And when Mrs. Uollmer found out that Nabel was in Lewiston, she immediately invited both of them for dinner. She was the correct hostess. They lived tegether, because Mabel was here awhile before mother left and then she stayed awhile afterward. Because they were such good friends and she could work too, and she helped her get somebody else trained and all and they had just hit it off so nicely, and Mrs. Vollmer^ they both belonged to the same, I think that was later though, same Eastern Star, lodge. But...
SS: Your mother met her, had a good impression.
CM: Oh, very good. She, well,she was, I mean as far as her morals, yes. And that,she, very dignified woman in a way. But I know my mother didn't thin* she was, well, her husband's nieces were visiting here. Dear Virginia And Bessie, sister. One was at the Vollmer house and one was at the^ house. Vollmer. And they were to go back to Mt. Idaho together theyilived in Mt. Idaho and Mr. Trescott had the telephone", so mother knew him. And Bessie, Mrs.Kgetting her there was too late to catbb the stage, my mother was going to Grangeville at the same time. And Bessie had the money that had been sent by the family. But Virginia had the tickets. So Bessie didn't get there and Mrs. Vollmer walked the platform, and,"Well, I guess she'll be alright." And she didn't know what to do and she didn't provide the child with any money, she let her go.
SS: Didn't what?
CM: Provide her with any money. Well now, I said, she said,"No, I guess she didn'thave any with her." They used credit. They didn't carry money much. But she could havejcertainly borrowed it from anybody there, would have loaned Mcs. Vollmer some money. So Virginia was on the stage with my mother. My mother took her to dinner in Grangeville and put her on the right stage and all that. Said she was the most adorable child. And always thought she was. And anybody knew Virginia would know that. But, how could anybody let that child go like that? You know. She never could see that. But then, on the other hand, she certainly didn't aim to be. It was just, and they always, but the Vollmers didn't, the Vollmer family, the women didn't have cash as a rule. They had a store and they bought everything at the store. Or they charged it. If they hired a dressmaker, instead of when it came time to pay her, they gave her credit at the store. And a lot of people accepted it. But once in awhile some*" body didn't. They'd go in the bank and say,"I want many!" And they might get it, but the other was always tried first. Because that was good business. And he may not have been, well, I think anytime Mrs. Vollmer said,"Back wants some money for something^5 She would have goStGn it# Undoubtedly, you Because she traveled and went to Europe and brought back things, collected for years for the house they built on the hill. And lovely things. Very, very lovely things. But it was their family custom.
SS: That house was tastefully done?
CM: Oh it was beautiful. Bust a shame to have it burned down. It was a big, moreor less, Colonial house with captain's walk on top and it had lovely wide staircase, a big library, a big drawing room, formal dining room. The hallway was lovely and you could, it was filled with things brought from all over the world. And it was beautiful. Yes it was lovely. The wrought iron fencing alone that was hauled to the dump. The idea! It was just ridiculous. The box wood hedges that were torn out. Beautiful plantings in the yard, because they did do nice things. Mary Cupper Thompson planted those for her. And in the begining and probably some from Mr. Doe's...
(End of side B)
CM: Didn't.use it that way, why didn't they keep it and build it over.? They Acouldhave made it apartments. If they wanted to and built similar ones instead of that thing they've got over there now, that looks like just not much of anything. Oh, they've got certain modern conveniences, but that could have been added. I know the plumbing was old. You probably pulled a chain to flush a toilet. And well, it was old style plumbing, you know. But the wiring, no doubt, had gotten out of date and had been very modern when it had been...
SS: What's on the spot now?
CM: Apartments. But just neglected everything and let go, you know. Its a shame.Tile around, that was collected from especial|yimported tile in the fireplaces and things that was just bulldozed out. People that don't know anything can destroy a lot. Because that should have been part of Lewiston's good heritage. It was a nice enough, well the lived there after Mrs. : was gone. And they had built the house, very nice house on the hill, but they lived there and it was a nice enough home that when the Weyerhausers were in Lewiston, Mrs., before their house was being built, they lived in it. And some things were old in it. The wood was beautiful, the bannisters, the hard wood floora and the, really susbstanttal.lovely staircase and the big bedrooms and the big dressing rooms and ample closets, oh yes. Very spacious.^House built for servants, at least two hired girls. But like most families, they all weren't, certain members of the family, some of the girls would maybe shine the silver, somebody would clean this, somebody would do that. They all had their duties. They lived well. They kept a cow so they'd have good milk.
SS: Did they?
CM: Quite often. That sort of thing.
SS: What social circles would they have to move in in Lewiston, as they were therichest family.
CM: Well, no, there were others. There were the all the young girlsabout3that age that went to school were accepted. Not all of them wealthy. Edna Piercy was and she wasn't exactly wealthy. She was exactly poor, but no, the^other girls, they were not that way, alone. And when Bessie went east to school and they tried to send first to Moscow. And of course, he was generally on the Board of Regents at the university or something. He'd gotten the girl that was the acting dean of women up there I think at the time was a Lewiston girl. And she was homesick. She was gonna come home. "Well I'ee talked to her. I've talked to Miss Paul. I'm not going, I'm coming home!" Of course, my mother, telephones. "Well now, I'll send your mother up." "I don't want my mother to come up, I'm coming home." "Now you just wait. Bust wait now." But they met on the way. She came home. Her mother was on the way with a buggy, horse and buggy to take it up there, and so she tutored that year at home from the Episcopal minister. And then they sent her to Wellesly. And she couldn't come home;so easily from there, so she stayed. But ...
SS: Why did she have such a hard time in Moscow?
CM: She was homesick! She was just plaim homesick. Nothing was right. She wasgoing to come home. Bust '' homesick, that was all. He came out, and my mother, I think the call was from ^ °"'cC' said,"She's just so homesick." (laughs) "She's just so homesick." And she was. And she was so much like her father, you know. Bust exactly, built like him and everything.The oldest girl was more like the mother, more stately and that way. Never seemed to displease him. This one maybe argued with him, but they were very much alike. But very definete. But no, I know, somebody said, well did the telephone company have high standards, or wbre they very _ about things? Well it was standards that people set thmmselves. Their moral tones were set themselves. This was a different age. And they were stricter but it was selfimposed, mostly. You know. And there were always some. Of course, there were times when somebody The DeFrance Hotel was second best in Lewiston. And that time Madame DeFrance wasn't running it, or if she was she had somebody hired on the desk. And he evidently had quite definite ideas of morality. And one Lewiston man, business man came in one night with a lady heavily veiled,panted a room. And the man was objective, could be his wife. And his money was just as good as anybodys. And he reached over and pulled the viil off. And it was a girl that was visiting here from out of town. It was all over town before morning, who she was, of course, and she left on the boat the next morning, the boat left town. And she was rather disgraced in Lewiston. So, but she didn't live here, so I don't know how much it followed her. But the same gentleman came calling on the girl at the Raymond House, Molina Saux Who was, Saux, her sister at that time mostly ran, Molina was very, oh now she was one, very, went in K social circles. And her sister grew herself up in great, and said,"She's not at home to you, sir! Today, nor hereafter!" But he never was quite as accepted in society. Now he was somewhat, but he married and his wife Was, no, not quite top drawer, to them. Up til then.
SS: He was a bachelor at that time?
CM: My mother would have said he didn't belong in the top drawer anyway. She didn'tapprove of lots of his morals. But probably tell him so once in awhile. Because she was °L ^U. But also would mind her own business about things, about if she liked a person, Gne man, a salesman, said, he'd been somewhat courting a girl, a woman that he found. There was some talk about him, he said,"Why didn't you tell me?" "Tell you what? I know nothing." was a friend of his. "I don't know anything," "Well there's...!" "I don't know anything about it* Nothing to me. No."Very, very dignified. Victoria couldn't have been any more so when she was looking down. No. But she might also, this case tell somebody,"You weren't behaving yourself last night." She wouldn't have said it in that way, that would have been my terminology but that would have been the implication, you know.
SS: This businessman whose morals your mother didn't approve of, did he fool aroundafter he was married?
CM: Yeah, some. He married and then he, let's see, I think it was his wife's sister,or niece or somebody. He got a divorce from the first one and married the second one. That I guess took.
SS: His wife's relative?
CM: Yes, something of his wife's. Now I don't know the full details. Yes, therewas a little something there.
SS: What about the prostitutes themselves?
CM: They were a thing apart, of course. Because of my mother's work in thetelephone office, she met them. Bust as I met them in the beauty parlor. Knew them. There's a lot of different classes in that. Some, you know, but they are definitely, now out and out prostitute, sporting woman, as they called them, has very definite standards herself about the other women. You either are very good or you.'re one of them, and they have no use for the, so called, good woman whose playing around.They just have absolutely no use for that. You're absolutely straight, they respected you, or you're one of them or you're nothing. You just belong in the complete, you know. And...
SS: On what did they base that, because they looked at it as a business?
CM: As a business and they don't want anybody fooling around in it. You're eitherstraight or you're in business. As far as they're concerned. And there's no in between. They have not much tolerance there. And then of course, the ones that are auccessfiull businesswomen and tend to business, as they would say all looked down upon the lazy ones, the ones that let themselves go. "She doesn't keep herself clean.^" But, no, in the telephone office my mother knew some of them. And of course, they were never much, as a rule, accepted in society, however.There was one that married in Lewiston, was gradually more or less accepted. Usually that was left up to them. If they wanted to completely change and behave, why society generally overlooks it, toAa degree, maybe not completely, I've seen in my time, one success ful madame that for awhile lived in totan and chummed with the doctor's wife. I don't say she was accepted everyplace, but to quite a degree. And usually its a selfchoice thing.
SS: To become a prostitute?
CM: It definetely is, as a rule. All this stories and all that baloney.
SS: You don't believe that the economic necessity...
CM: Once in awhile. One, I knew one girl in Byliaetta. Her mother worked in thecannery. She was born, her mother was kind of talked about, because she went by the name @f somebody brother of a fairly prominent woman, but she was, had been married quite a few times and that wasn't exactly approved. And she had a family and she had this one girl that was generally shoved out. I always felt a lot of sympathy for her. She was one less mouth to feed so she was out boarding, working for her board and things, and she got into, she was wild. She got into trouble. And at times she worked in the cannery, we always liked her, she was very capable, bu^she could do more. She quit by four instead of working til six, because she had done maybe^double the piecework of what any of the others had mace. Mother tried to say,nMona, won't you do a little more?" "NO, that's enough, that's enough." Anybody else probably be^fired, but she wasn't because she had already done so much. I always called her by that name, but she was called Backie by other people in Lewiston. And she was a sporting woman for years. I don't think she really had much chance. I think she really was a person of economic you know, had been pushed out in rather, she didn't have to, but it was rather a tough thing, it was a natural thing for her to do. Economics did enter into it. But to say this white slavery bit, oh baloney. No, notA : least sense, and not here certainly, I don't know what they do back in the eastern countries or anyone like thafc, but certainly not anything like that here. People generally wanted to, one way or another, didn't want to do the other work. One girl that started had a sister who was a sporting woman. And she was living with the younger sister, there were three in the family and they were orphans, I guess, with a sister who was married. How good she was, I don't know, but she was decently married. The girl was with her. And she began to run around to where she just would not behave, and her husband, the married woman's husband,"I won't put up with this." Out all hours and averything else. Not, drop out of school and what have you. So finally they sent her to the one here and every effort was made to keep that girl away from that part of the business, when she came. But the sister said,"I don't want to support her forever." She wanted her to go to work. And the girl didn't want to go to work. But finally a job was gotten her, as a waitress, she hadn't gone to school, so it was a decent place to work. It was a Chinaman, but he was rather nice to his help. I'll say that living in that place wasn't an ideal spot, but she could have earned enough and lived someplace else the.
SS: So it was house were there were ...
CM: Oh sure, but they kept her very separate from it. They,and were very protectivethat way. But anyway she went to work and the rodeo was on. They had one afternoon off. And she was new girl on. So she had that time and she wanted to take another afternoon off, somebody 'd asked her to go. So she went anyway, even though the boss said she couldn't. So she lost her job. And having a time or two, and after awhile she didn't have anyplace to go and pretty soon she was in another hotel, not where her sister was, she wouldn't let her. She knew. She said,"There wasn't anything else for me to do." Well she had every chance. She just didn't want to. Everybody has had to do certain things. You have to go to work whether you want to or not. You don't stop and go and take off just because you want to. If you do, you have to face the consequences. You lose your job. And there was a time limit when her sister, who was a sporting woman, would not support her. So she became one herself. But...
SS: Her sister really didn't want her to?
CM: No, she didn'tl She made every effort to keep her from it. I would say shewas very protective. And usually they are. If they have a child, usually they keep them in a boarding school, or keep 'em way away. And ore very careful. Usually they, this is the Qsnal thing, they usually try not to, but there would be a limit to it, you know. And, no, and of course some of them would say, "Well I would never," a lot of madams said," I never start a girl."
CM: Never start a girl. Never! But some way or other they always managed to getstarted. If they want*
SS: Do you think once a girl was "fallen".
CM: She could quit if she wanted to. But she'd have to probably live on less.And work, when she didn't want to.
SS: Do you think that was very common for women to quit once they'd started?
CM: N0t vory common, but once in awhile they did. Once in awhile they did, orone of the sturdy ones made a lot of money, and becameAa"madam or could quit when she wanted to because she had money, to quit. One that I knew was there because k shek was an alcoholic. - u -.. vmt ., now that could be for occassionaly. She was definitely a rather attractive woman. She had been a trained nurse. She was a registered nurse. Got to where she couldn't be trusted. And she had then worked for a time in a tfery nice store, really top notch s^ore. And probably because she was an alcoholic, lost it. And she was running, she uas^fnadani, smartate than the average, but once in awhile she would get on a horrible drunk. And it took the fire department and everything else to control her, I guess. She was, she get arrested, she was throwing every dish that they had. She just completely haywire. And she wasn't too well. We always thought that maybe she was going to come down with T.B. or something, horrible cough. But we never saw her when she was drinking like that, but we knew she did once in awhile. And that was probably why she was in that line. Because she couldn't hold anything else. And she probably went into it just as a way she could get by with her drinking there, maybe, a little more than she could, obviously she couldn't be a trained nurse. Nobody would have her if she'd gone on a binge in a hospital when she started throwing things, they'd you out, and in a nice store. And she had worked in a very exclusive store. But...
SS: So in a sense she was driven to it.
CM: By her drinking. Some of them came from, usually they're not very well educated,let me say that. Pass in conversation very well, but you get one of them to write a letter and it shows. Usually even one that had a father yfie was high up in his church, which he wasn't particularly well educated, except on the surface. Now, she was very good, her hobbies were doing very lovely needle point, or hooked rugs, things like that. A passion for gardening. And she did finally get out of it, but she was a madam for years. And her husband I think was common law marriage. His father was a minister too. And of courde, there's always a man around. TheyA always t one man at least, you know.
SS: You think that's true?
CM: Always, always a man. Pimp, whatever you want to call him. Once in awhilethere's one may have several girls that he's working. But they help each other in a business sense, I suppose. But this one gambled and whathave you.Too, Her husband. Perfect manners. Pulled the chair out always, you know, all those things. Not too rugged. His father was a Methodist minister.
SS: Was there usually a romantic attachment between the pimp and the woman?
CM: To a certain degree* yes. Yeah, I think the girls were kind of, were alwaysin love with him. I don't know how much the man was, but the girls were. I never had much respect for the men involved. I thought the woman were idiots, but then...
SS: Were what?
CM: Blankety idiots, of course, but then, usually there was a certain romance.Yes, I think they were. This case I think he was very fond of her, probably as much as she was of him, or more. But they were a little better than the average. More successful.
SS: Did these men work themselves or were they living off of her wages?
CM: They lived off of her swages, but they sent her business. They worked in thatsense. They hung around, Wh^. And if they got a chance, some of them could gamble, they would bootleg in the bootleg days. They generally did that.
SS: So they were pretty much leisure men.
CM: They didn't have a regular job. They didn't have a regular job ever. Neverhad a regular job. And I've known, many have their classes and they look down upon each other. And there was one girl came and stayed with this house. She was pregnant, she was qonna have a baby. She had a room, because they are hotels. And I remember one of the ladies said,"I would like to adopt that baby, I like the mother,she's kind of nice little thing. " But she said,"I wouldn't have his child, he is the...!" Oh, she just thought he was terrible. And said he had different girls that he worked. But he always, he'd gotten this one. She was supposed to be going to college. And her father sent her money to go to college and herAbhe was.AAnd she'd gotten pregnant. And this was, she had been twice^to Salvation Army and they wouldn't take her the third time, that way. They'd drawn the line after awhile, you know. They'll help a girl in trouble once, very nice, twice, with more severity, but about the third time, I don't say they wouldn't accept her, but there would be quite a lot of talk, because they don't approve, you know.
SS: For them to help, what did that mean?
CM: She'd go there and help. Well they used to go, girls that were pregnant goto the Salvation Army home and have their babj.es. That was common. And no questions asked. But the third time around, there was quite a few questions asked. So she didn't dare go there and because her father was sending her money, she came to Lewiston. But they knew who the father was and she would be at the hospital just when the baby came. And I know the sporting woman, this madam said she absolutely would, not have that man's child. And of course, the arrangements were made for the baby to be adopted through the children's home, I knew them. We. Ounca hcr^ And she got to the hospital, one of the sisters recognized her,, up there. She knew her father, kneu^he was a nice man, a decent family, that he was a widower and that he was trying to do the best, that he was paying ail this money to keep this girl in college. And so she went to Mother Superior and they decided t hat he should be told. What his daughter was doing. So they did.
SS: Where did he live?
CM: Way back from Orofino, way back in the country, way back on the farm, butA very sorrowing father came down and got his daughter and took her home. And it was too late, I think, although they were trying to keep the baby in the family. But they didn't know anything about it. And they were very horrified, but. He took her home and do what they could. I don't know what became of it in there. But...
SS: There was no birth control either.
CM: Oh there was no birth control much. There was abortions by always some doctorthat did it. But...
SS: I would imagine that a lot of the sporting women would run into the need for.
CM: They took care of that. They had methods. And I doubt if very often, whenthere's that much abusive nature that there's that much conception. Venereal disease was a thing they had to watch. And they always went and had checkups by doctors in their rooms. They generally had it posted that such and such a date they were free from venereal disease. That was a thing, and they took great pride in that. And if they had any trouble, boy oh boy, out! And , but that was the thing they fought. This other girl wasn't regularly a sporting woman. She was just, he was a regular pimp, but he had her on the side. And I know the other one said,"I wouldn't have his child!"(laughs)"That manl"
SS: Was there sisterhood among the women? Did they support each other?
CM: Yes, well to a degree they knew each other and th*sy oidn't mix with otherpeople much, you see, because other people didn't mix with them. Yes, they had their friendships within their own group. I know the two leading madams in Lewiston definitely were friends. And, yes it was more or less that way because other people didn't quite, other women didn't accept them. And they didn't expect them, because, as I say, you were either one or not. Now, yes at times, I know one time one of 'em's sister was arriving, visiting, and they didn't know what she was, they'd kept track. One of them rented a house and took everything, and oh, she tead to have some friends. Well then, business people were spirited in. She came to my place, came to other friends to meet. We never let an. And one of them came in wildly one day and she said,"I - have to barrow a uniform anytime. Will you let me pretend I'm working here?'' Because I've told my family that's what I'm doing.w I said there isn't anything else to do. We won't give her away, you know. And...
SS: What place was thjs that you and your partner...?CM; We had a beauty shop, and you see, they were customers. Course some of our other,"Tell us when one of'em comes in, we want to see what they look like." They don't look any different from anybody else, for heavens sakes. They haven't got three ears. And we wouldn't think of doing that. And they sere accepted in all businesses. They were good customers, you know. However there were friends. We did the top ones. We wouldn't do the others because they probably weren't as, and they all go downhill unless they are hardcore madams. And they're all a little bit crazy.
CM: Urn hum. All a little bit crazy.We always said we could tell even we didn'tknow. And we generally knew. They'd make an appointment, they'd say,"So and so sent us." If they were new in town. And they were sent, they knew the shops that would be, they always wanted the best shop, but they wanted to be treated just like anybody else and not taken advantage of. And they knew. And some of the poorer shops were inclined to try to exploit them, when you didn't get by with that. But they were very good customers. But only that. We didn't treat then different from anybody else.
SS: But the craziness, what was that?
CM: It's indefinite, but I think I could always tell. I don't know. There's justsomething. Its something you can't define, but it was there. And they were just a little bit, I always felt that people that lived like that are so against nature. It does take its toll. And there was a little something there. But all these "Happy Hooker" Books are just a lot of
SS: To look at it from their point of view, they didn't want to be manipulatedby the stores..
CM: They knew they were a little bit.
SS: They were probably sensitve.
CM: They knew they were to a certain degree. But they knew the ones that did andthe ones that didn't. And...
SS: Do you think that cultured people would not snub them?
CM: Not too much, if they behaved themselves..When, if they moved out of it andbehaved themselves, I don't say^they were immediately invited to a bridge party, but you'd speak to them. I mean, people did do that, they would speak.
SS: I mean, as prostitutes.
CM: Well then as long as they were a prostitute,"Stay there," was the attitudeand that was understandable, because they were doing things that the others didn't approve of and didn't do. But no more than...
SS: But you wouldn't insult...
CM: No, you didn't insult them.
SS: Or you wouldn't ignore them, pretend they weren't standing in front of you?
CM: Oh no. One man, now this was Lee's store, you know, in Lewiston. Well Mrs.Lee, Brownie Lee, Back's mother and I were talking about it, and she said, when her husband was working back east, before he came here, in a very nice men's store, one of them came in to buy something.Gift for somebody. And one clerk, he wouldn't wait on her because she was, and the owner happened to be there. And she said her husband was just starting and he saw the whole thing. And he^immediately stepped up and said,"Let me help you." And waited on her. And he, the man said," H* K wait on that," and he said,"You will if you're in my store working. How do you know she is a prostitute?" And she said"fhat's always been our answer."
(End of side C)
CM: And boy, we didn't want her around anyplace. And she was not a regular one.Most beautiful girl imaginable. Oh she was gorgeous. Make you sick to think of it. And she'd been a local club sec or someplace in there, and married. Somebody said her husband didn't amount to much, I don't know. And anyway, I don't know much about it, but she was ia kind of a third grade one, but when she came, she was goodlooking, she drank, I don't know if she took dope. She got venereal disease. They took her children. The court took them away. But they sent her down, cleaned her up physically. She came back and she was just a mess in about a month or two. And she died in Orofino. And I guess it took the fire department and everything else to get her loaded up, the last time she was, oh.
SS: She just fell apart?
CM: Oh yeah. And she, but she, but goodilooking, oh my word. She was tail and kslender and the most lovely complextion and perfect features. Gorgeous naturally curley auburn hair. Beautiful brown eyes Perfect teeth. You name it, she had it.
SS: But she swore a lot?
CM: Oh, no she just was wild. She was just wild, dirty. You saw her coming, youjust didn't have any time for her. Did her a few times and no more! No more! But usually, and none of the others would have anything to do with her either. But most of them, I mean they'd talk about a recipe. Or fancy work. Style, anything. Bust like anybody else.
SS: And they talked to ordinary people?
CM: Bust the same, just like anybody else. That's the way they talked in the shop.And as Mrs. Lee said,"How do you know?" We did know, but.nothing by their actions. So any store could serve them.
SS: Do you think that Lewiston, most all of them came from outside or uere manyof them...?
CM: Oh yes, oh yes, they never are in their own town. They always move. If they're,she was more nearly local, but not really. But no, they're never from their hometown. They move. The other girl I told you, 1 knew her background. Yes she was from a small town near here too. I know my father, this is Sapp, 0|ear Mrs. Sapp's grocery in Lewiston, and now she was woman of the year and everything else and everybody adored Mrs. Sapp that knew her. Little, old fashioned Mrs. Sapp. And he'd stopped in to get something. And this girl£s mother had worked for him in the cannery. Well we all knew where she was living at the time, I mean, she was living with her daughter, her daughter was taking care of her, she was. And she, of course, had always liked my father, because he gave her a job.And she was asked and she, "Come up and see us sometime. Do come up." And he said,"I wonder what Mrs. Sapp thought." (laughs) She really didn't mean anything by it because she knew him, you know. "I wonder what Mrs. Sapp thought." But she would say,"Oh, she's one of them." And she, I know cyA told us about the time that her mother, grandma Earle wanted her to have her do her shopping. And she knew just what to buy, the type of corset to get, the size, and everything else and she got so and so. She'd shop for all the people up the river, you know. And there was something. Anyway, she had to, one of the men had come in, he was next door to the store getting very drunk, something, spend his money. But Mrs. Sapp would go in, she had to have him or something, and she'd go in, stand.boy front and center, and they behaved for her, you know. And she was just that type, you know. And you did business with some of them, but that was all. And, no they were around in the west in the early days. There were quite a few of them in Palouse.
SS: Palouse has a reputation for the early days.
CM: They have them. They had a lot of saloons. Lewiston had them, lot of saloons.
SS: How tied was it to saloons? I've been told that in some of these towns sportinghouses went out when prohibition came in, almost the time.
CM: Not exactly. It didn't exactly do away with prostitution, but of course, therewasn't quite the same association. I mean, quite often they lived above a saloon or back of a saloon in the aarly times. Now later they didn't, you know, in Lewiston when I knew them, there any saloons and had nothing, no direct connection except may^e some of 'em bootlegged.
SS: But it would be the hotels mostly.
CM: Yeah. Well, there was certain kinds of hotels. Let's just face it, they weregood hotels and there were the other kmnd. And one fellow I know, college boy, went to Chicago for a convention of his fraternity and it was nation wide and all the tasidrivers were asking them if they wanted to see a girl. That type. I mean, those things had been around but think they could at least lay off a little bit. There was an awfully low class drifted in for this CCC's.At Pierce, \Nhntney came in- And y°u know tnev didn't have much money to spend, I think. Most of it went to their family, but they had just a little bit. And they were of course, we'd been in a terrible depression things were very hafcd up. And all of a sudden we had not a very nice class of these people. We didn't know them, kind of drifting through. One time o^ncL where were they going, they were going to Pierce. And we found they were drifting up there to get these boys' money. And none of them looked young. I suppose they were, but I was young then, of course and thirty looked very old. And I thought, my goodness and there isn't much money either. And that was when they finally closed Pierce and made it out of bounds at the time. I did. the, had a customee at that time,. remember, this was depression years, and she was a very, very pleasant, nice young girl and her brother had an oil company franchise in Lewiston. And he was the Standard Oil man, worked for the company, rather, their distributor. And she one day said to me,"Catherine, how did you get a job in Lewis ton?" Oh boy, you dida't buy a job anyplace right then. But I said,"Well what do you do?" And she said,"Well, I'm a graduate of Annie Wright's seminary and a University of Washington, majoring in Romance Languages and Simmons Secretarial College in Boston." And normally you'd have a job in business. Well she had one for six months and then folded, and she didn't get all her money. She could take dictation in English, French, Spanish, German and she's a some in Italian, but that wouldn't be as good. And well diplom^it^ Lewiston didn't have anything like that. She said,"Well I would be glad, Catherine, to work at Woolworth's.Anything to have a job." Well, no house is really big enough for two women. She and her father were living with her brother and his wife. His wife was our customer and they were a different turn and people entirely. But they weren't exactly broke, she had enough to have her hair fixed and all, but they needed to very much conserve. And I thought, what do I do with somebody like this? So I sent her to Tish Herb who was the, managing the Chamber of Commerce at the time. And I thought, poor Tish, she's got a lot of troubles. But I wonder if she'll speak to me the next time I see her. But she said,"Catherine, that the nicest thing you did, sending me that lovely girl." And I said, "Well I didn't know what to do." And she said,"Well of course, I don't have a job either. But she's public stenographer, calling it that down there." The reason anybody wants a letter written, she was trying to introduce her to everybody in the Chamber of Commerce and she sent out a circular about her and things. Then the CC's came along, right soon after that. And to qualify you had to be without a job, you know, to work. Well a lot of girls qualified, well of course, she was without a job so you can imagine she could take dictation better than any of the other poor J they had around.
And Ididn't know, but oh, they had terrific Army terms that we never heard of and I could understand how most of the girls were having a heck of a time with it. And here were all the officers lined up, this dic«»* to give her their dictation and none of the others. So the colonel took a look and he said,"She's my private secretary and not yours. She'll work for me and my staff only." And she went along when they closed Pierce. And of course, I said, well that ^kind of interesting,those trips .And she said,"Oh no it isa't. It's hot weather here but its cold up there, ftnd m^^ I haven't brought a wrap." And he says,"At ten thirty order a car. We're going to Pierce." And all the way up there he dictates real rapidly and the car is juggling like everyting and we get up there and he's mad, so he's walking with, taking yard long steps and I'm following him through the brush which is tearing my nylons terribly and my sleeveless dress, and he is so mad that what be has found, the condition! of these things, the people that had followed these boys in and all that, they could, carpetbaggers would be one, I don't know what you'd call, campfollowers or something. And they were a lousy bunch. And he's giving me this dictation and I'm trying to take it while he's walking through the brush, she said,"Catherine, it isn't fun!" And I can imagine. She was probably the only one could handle it at all. And they closed Pierce, you know.They just made it out of bounds. They had to! Because so mucin of this had come in and^it wasn't just the Pierce people, it was othere.
SS: These were hardened girls that came in from outside?
CM: They were, Lewiston didn't have any prostitutes like them. They were a differentbreed entirely. They were so, well, so skinny. You know, I mean, anything. I guess it was just plain poverty. Bust plain poverty. We weren't that poor.
SS: Do you think they came from big cities?
CM: I don't know where they came from. Backwoods too. Anyplace. But they werevery poor. They came from a poorer economic level. They didnft have hardly decent clothes at all. And they just really were very poor. And they weren't young. They weren't attractive, at all as far as I could see. But they came in and then of course, I did know one woman who said she ran a saloon.Up there. That was a little bit after that. For the loggers. And when my son worked up there, they called her, he came out, oh yes, that was the old money money. And nobody liked her, I guess, from him. But she was really hardened. Now she was adifferent turf, to run asaloon,*Vtav*rn, it wasn't acocktail lounge, it was a saloon. But she was a hard woman. I would say very, very hard woman. And then there was one that bought the hotel of that type in Lewiston, for a little while. But she sold it back, because the girl decided she didn't want to quit yet, she didn't have enough money to quit on. But she called it"The Spot." It was a good spot. And she was another. More of a big city gangster type. What we would say. You know, more that type. From out of town, but she was very hard-boiled, I would have said. Not vulgar, but just hard boiled. But usually the^fnot from, I don't think they*rs from the local. They move, because it would be embarrassing. Very embarrassing,1' you know.
SS: You mention the madams as being above the rest of the girls as far as theirbeing professional.
CM: Oh yeah, they were, they were sure of business, they were hardboiled in business.
SS: Were they more accepted in the community?
SS: They were just as much outside?
CM: They were as much outside because they wereAthe others. They were just simplyoh, maybe a banker thoujit more of them. I don't know. But I mean stores, I mean that way they could have more credit, but no, oh no.^But that's a gruesome part of life. There was a lot of nice things that went on. There was a lot of nice people. A lot of nice teachers and professors and business people that were very decent.
SS: I was just curious because it is such a separate way of life.
CM: I think, I'm out of touch with it now, the call girls, but I think its oneand the same. And don't kid yourself, there's always a man involved. Women aren't in there alone. The madams are not so dumb as to support a lot of men. If there's a man in their life, he's paying his way. He's doing as much as she's doing, to run things. But other girls sometimes. And once in awhile they have a chain up. Sometimes its just one.girl and her fella. But sometimes its one man and several girls. And, who was it, a rather prominent man wrote, he said that at one time that had been his ambition, he thought that would be swell, to live off of women. He was a little kid growing up in the slums. Changed his mind as he grew up about But there was the saloons and taomen didn't go in saloons. Decent woman didn't go in^saloons. I don't think women drank as much. It was served in homes, but y pu were not supposed to drink what you couldn't contain. There weren't as many women drinkers. And women didn't drink as much as they do now.
SS: I have heard it said in M scow that women started drinking more during Prohibitionthan they ever had before. Is there any truth to that?
CM: Well, maybe a little bit in that, but they drank more right afterward. Andthey drink more now. It was served, of course, the WCTU's more of thing of the '90*s. But it was served in nice homes and it was something you know what kind of wine went with what kind of food. And that sort of a gourmet fashion. And, but drunkeness was frowned on. Well it is now. And then, oh they went out some in Prohibition timesfo speakeasies and that sort of thing, but I don't think women so much. So I don't think there was as much drinking actually as people let on. Paid quite a price for rotten stuff I guess. And, but to say that, really there wasn't as much drinking as is now. Here at least there A was certain people that you cayid probably buy liquor from and you probably knew it. I never thought of 'em much as gangsters. They were just...
SS: Local bootleggers.
CM: Yeah. Not particularly a dangerous, sinister type. Bust the bootlegger. Andit was only the cities where they were, had their fights, you know, their gang wars. We didn't have anything like that. There was nothing like that. Some officers were on the take and some weren't. Some are crooked. I think that was the most deplorable part of the depression with us was when we had an officer that was crooked. Of course, a rather humorous thing happened to my father, in that he was Dunning a cannery in Buliaetta. And Mr.Dustin who owned it, they were partners in the venturers a strict teatotaler. Very very strict, very high morals. Had a big vinyard back of his house and i know one man there said,"All I ever knew about Mr.Dustin was he must have surely liked his wine." I said, he never drank a drop. He waeocompletely totaler. Said,"What'd he have the grapes for?" I said,"He enjoyed having the vinyard. Thought it was nice." Well you'd gone there, said now what grapes do I use for this kind of wine? You probably wouldn't have left with any grapes at all. Because he wouldn't have approved of it at all. He V*001* ^^ no part in selling them to you. I said,"He didn't drink." With this background and in a small town cannery, this was flA* Buliaetta, you hired everybody in the town and this fellow worked for my father and he was, we knew he was somewhat of a character, but he behaved himself around there. A man came and said he was an inspector. Well canneries had inspectors. Dad thought it was a heck of a time to inspect it, we were almost through.They were just labeling, shipping out, they weren't really doing anything. They always made a few barrels of vinegar, its a byproduct of apples. And sell a few barrels of it. He examined that, he thought, very, very carefully. So what? And after he was gone, he poked around a lot, dad thought. Didn't know his business, most of the inspectors didn't.
It was about his feeling. Art said to my father, he said,"Gee it'sa good thing I moved my still." And dad said,"What?" He said,"I had my still down here under the cannery." Canneries were built up on stilts like warehouses. "My word! You had a still down here?" "Yeah." He says,HDon't worry Bill," he says,"I'd have taken the blame." And he said,"You just don't know anything about the blame. There was no way that that could have been done." He couldj^-b+ think what Mr. Dustin would have thought if his cannery had been found with a still! Oh my word!" He said,"N0,no, that would never do." My father was very strict, but wouldn't have been quite as upset about it. Oh, he would have been very unhappy, but Mr. Dustin, whooo! (laughs)"Thank goodness this is the only cannery,"he said,"thank goodness it was gone." Because he didn't know anything about it. But he never occured to him, never occured to him that this man was a prohibition agent. He came undeir the guise, he was. And it was gone, but, boy. Anybody knew my father would have known he wouldn't have a still. That wouldn't have been his thing at all. But, course, he didn't have much respect for that kind of lawbreaking, but he wasn't as personally as much of a teatotaler, you know. I mean, he thought if a certain good grade of whiskey was probably nicerj ' overdo and it might help a cold or something that way. It had definete medicinal values maybe. And some of it was enjoyable if you didn't get drunk. It was okay. But of course, his partner didn't approve of it at ail, he was just simply/beyond the pale of all, he was completely,ife eras the most morally problem imagineable a still, oh boy! I'ms sure he would have realized that my father didn't know about it, but oh my goodness, that would have been a, oh!
SS: What about the cop that was on the take? What did he do?
CM: He just took.
SS: What do you mean? That he let the bootleggers...?
CM: Yeah, they just pay him off. They paid him off. And there were cops on thetake, of course.
SS: Was that Lewiston?
CM: Yes,ALewiston, every place, I guess. I think all over there were some. Therewere some that weren't, there were some that were. Yes^. And they got quite wealthy, some of them. And some of them, just moderately. And occasionally they would be somebody from outside, some federal people come through. And sometimes I think they took and sometimes they didn't. And some people would be arrested. Usually they were not too respected people. They were chicken thieves and bootleggers, was about the way people
SS: These cops?
CM: No, the people that were selling liquor. Not the best, you know. And of course,my father was rather narrow minded on that. He, more so than my mother. He kind of looked down on anybody that ran a saloon. And yet he might take a drink. He just didn't think that was the best of occupations. Once in awhile it was alright, but not too, really not too often. Been perfectly horrified if a member of his family was. But he wouldn't have wanted to be a bootleg, either. In the same sense. He^didn't think it was very much of an occupation.
SS: Wasn't there a lot of opposition, especially from women against drinking?
CM: Oh yes, yes, they were very opposed. There was a very active WCTU. And thechurches, a lot of them, were very, very against it. I think the Methodist church is very strict on that. I think Episcopals, not as much. The Catholic is not as much. But I think most of the other churches were very strict.
SS: I wondered about the opposition...
CM: Presbyterian^ not quite as much, but Methodists and the Baptists and someof the others were quite strict on that subject, I think. And the WCTU is quite a , not just a bunch of women talking, you know. In those days it was the younger women. I'^told this story about one woman,W5°know at time drank, something -fhvf a. at the fine parties they did serve wine.
SS: At the better parties?
CM: Yes, a lot of the better parties. I mean the and some of those, theygive, they serve wine. But she would be in that class too, but she belonged to WCTU I think. Thoy did china painting, and they painted something that was for the right type of thing to serve some wine in. They served some wine. They said she sat there and said,"What am I drinking? What am I drinking?" But she drank it.(laughs) And of course she, wasn't very much. That same lady also smoked, but did it without. . know she ©moked. And some of her age just concealed it. And I know my chum, her mother said,"Please dear," she smoked, she said,"please don't let my friends see you smoking."AShe had her club or her group there, would be rather bad. She didn't want them to know, that her daughter smoked. And it was kind of a big gesture on my mother's part one time when this same girl was at dinner, my place, and my mother said,"Well now we don't have any cigarettes here, but if you have some, go ahead and smoke." Because mother usually didn't allow it in the house, but she knew this girl liked cigarette after a meal. And she did consent to her smoking.
SS: That sounds very open minded.
CM: Well she was rather, but she wouldn't have been quite as open minded if I'dbeen doing it.
SS: That's her daughter.
CM: No she would have said,"You shouldn't do that/"very definitely,"Don't youknow what that will do to you?"(laughs) Probably I would have been told.
SS: Was smoking supposed to lead to worse things?
CM: No, I think just in itself wasn't so good. Well no, she didn't think it leadto anything...
SS: Like drinking?
CM: Oh no. And in fact, my mother thought that if you it, it was alrightto have wine. It was only if you felt you had to have it. Then you didn't. Stop. But...
SS: How much truth was there, the idea of drinking leading to alcoholism and thedissolution of families, was that serious?
CM: It happens sometimes. It still does.
SS: But I'm thinking of those times...
CM: There were those, there were times when it did. Not every time. But therewere times. Yes. I btaink an aunt of mine was married to a man that drank entirely too much. Was kind of glossed over in the family. But I think he did, and I think her life was rather sad. He didn't provide halfway for anything else.
SS: Do you think that much of the WCTU's concern was about the dissolution ofthe family?
CM: Probably. And I think it was quite a religious thing with them. I think theywere all rather devout church women that just felt . morally very bad. And some of 'em of course, had husbands that drank. And they thought that they'd like to be a Carrie.Nation and get rid of it. No, I think it was one of those. I think it was very bound up in social strata, too. I think that they were, it was one of those eocial clique. There was lot of the social position.
SS: It was considered a high social...?
CM: Yes, 'they thought themselves quite high. I think. And proper and very muchlike a lot of church people, too. I think it was kind of that.
SS: Very civic.
SS: Good of the society.
CM: Oh yes' and very proper. I think that was the feeling. And then of course theyounger thought that they were a bunch of old folks. And they weren't going to do that way. They were rather interested in dancing the Charleston and doing a lot of other things. But, no, the WCTU became the oldei women, then. But they hadn't been, undoubtedly. They'd been the younger ones at one time.
SS: Had many of tham been women who had been concerned with women's rights?Priorto that, was there much of a connection between the two?
CM: Not necessarily, but I think out he re, of course, many of them didn't havemuch struggle for rights. You know, it was pretty well given to women. Women voted way back. They always voted here. Idaho constitution, you know, is very generous to women. We didn't have that struggle. That happened in other places. But not here, it wasn't part of our life. Women had rights here, more. Women had always been more or less in business. I knew, what was that name, saw President Taft with them. He was a farmer and he ran a saloon in early times in Lewiston. And he farmed. He couldn't be trusted around liquor. He drank,rhe took a drink he went off. And they were very prominent, early time in Lewiston. And he generally stayed in town and ran the saloon and he ran the ranch. And when I was four years old, President Taft came to Lewiston. And my mother said,"I'm going to take Catherine.AShe may never see another living president." So I think my father was J right here in this place. So my mother took me across the bridge and he was to come in the parade and go up 5th street and talk, in a kind of a shell bandstand. But she said,wasn't necessary to do that, but she wanted me to at least see a living president, So we got over there and somebody called us and she said we were, like in a parade, back a ways. And she said,"I'11 hold you when he comes by so you can see it." But I was too heavy to hold very long.
(End of side D)
SS: Somebody called and said Laura, that was your mother's name?
CM: That was mother's name. And so they were in the boxcar. And we went overand they helped us. We got up in the boxcar and we aat in the boxcar, at least I did. Dangle my feet and then stood up, I guess. And President Taft came by. And we could see him very good. He made a special bow with his silk hat. There were people.there to see him, up in this boxcar. The growd in front. And that was, I can't say the name now, they were very prominent, in early days of Lewiston. She ran the saloon and he ran the ranch, because sometimes he was in the saloon, youtnow. But he told my mother, he had gotten very drunk once and she was trying to sober him up, get him back on the ranch. She shut him up down the basement. And it was where the barrels of liquor was, and she didn't think he could get at it, 'cause he had no way of getting to it, nothing to drink out of. He had a broomstick and he'd^ that in and he'd get a drop or two and he managed to keep himself drunk for quite a while. And then finally Annie found out how he was doing it and she took the broom stick away from him. And she got him sober and sent back to the ranch.(laughs) She was a tall, thin woman, and she was not a smoker. She may have been a little bit gay, I don't know, queer, but she was plain business. She wore a Mother Hubbard, was not attractive, her hair was done up here, plain. And she was all business. She the saloon and they got ahead and they ^ i , were respected, as I say, by the bankers and all that;and ranch; and good ranch. And they had quit^the saloon along at this time and they were both on the ranch. But they were very typically colorful people of the f90's in Lewiston and I can't say her name. Her name was Annie very prominent in those times. And I was kind of pleased I saw them once and knew who they were, because they uere talked of people. And they both knew toy mother because she done the telephone. And they had business with her.
SS: What did you think of Taft?
CM: Oh, he was so pink and white and looked like, oh, a huge Santa Claus, youmight say. And so pleasant and so smiling and he had tails and a silk hat and he was very elegant. He was plump, and oh so smiling. Oh I was quite impressed. He looked like anybody else. He looked like Taft. And he really did look like his pictures, but he was kind of pink and white, too, you know, skin and he was so smiling and his eyes were very bright. He was really very pleasant person, evidently. I suppose he had his serious sides, undoubtedly a-lot, but he was just all bows and smiles and this silk hat. Boy, silk hat, you know. I'd only seen them mentioned in the comic strips, I think. Nobody else I knew wore a silk hat. My father wore a black Stetson. Always, a black Stetson til way late in years. Mother finally said,"For goodness sakes, why wear that hat?" I know Mr.Dustin said,"You never know, his new hat is identical to his old hat. Bust looks older." But for many years that was all he would ever wear. But Mr. Taft wore a silk hat. And his coat, cutaway.
CM: Oh yes. He was very elegant. Striped trousers, the whole bit. Dust elegant,very elegant. Later the politicians, generally you could tell by, my mother always called them,'Mr. Broadcloths'. But they wore very well tailored dark suits and their shoes were beautifully polished. That was the way Mr., oh the congressman "oWten L. rfemcA) aWtys* . Bust in a very wealthy suit, very well polished shoes. But I altuays liked.lit when he came to town, because he talked to my mother and always came to see us. And. always^nice.
SS: She had known him from Palouse?
CM: Oh yes. They went to school together. They weae in school. The French people,French family had a farm out from there. And their father, they had a lecture in town once, charged admission. It was fifteen or twenty five cents or something. And everybody wondered what he would have to say. He was just a farmer, his children went to school and they wore^rather old fashioned clothes. Were dressed slightly different from some of the others. A little more old fashioned, pantaloon type of thing. And he rented a hall and he gave this lecture. And mother said the two little boys sat up there, kind of stiffly in front. Kind of embarrassed. And he sat up in the center of the stage and he had a knife and he was whitling this piece of wood. And he said, everybody was there, they paid to get in, said,"For awhile, always whitle from you and you'll never cut yourss If." He whittled wood. Couple more minutes he made that remark again. It was all he said. After all they'd leave and they'd see somebody in the street, they'd say,"Have you heard Mr. French's lecture? Well you ought to hear it!" So I guess he got everybody's, whatever it was. Boys sat there rather atiffly, kind of embarrassed. And one of 'em became a congressman and one of 'em became a college president. But they had a sister too. But Burton and my mother always, he always called my mother Vicky. And they talked aeld times and had fun together. And he'd always be^nice to Laura's little girl. Shake hands with me. That was something, I shook hands with a congressman and not everybody in the school did that, so I thought that was quite elegant. But mother thought that was quite an embarrassing experience for the little boys, but then...
SS: You talked about your mother's childhood, that she was sickly.
CM: She was very sickly.
SS: Was this unusual for kids?
CM: Yes, to a degree. And of course, people were not very nice about it. Theyused to say,"Too bad she'll never grow up." And after she had a growth on her neck, well,"How does it feel to know you're gonna die?" They, nothing about how to, proper cheerfulness for sick people. But...
SS: What was the main sickness that she...
CM: Well as a child she probably had a very bad case of adenoids. And she hadcatarrh. Her ears bothered her from that. I think that was the main thing, was wrong with her. And she survived all the children things. Her brother of course, died of typhoid, I mean, of diptheria. And her mother died of typhoid which was something that shouldn't happen, but did in those times. And she was only fourteen when her mother died. And they had big.plans that would have been nice. Her mother was the milliner Af Palouse, but she wasn't always going to stay in Palouse. She wanted to get to a larger city. And she would have. And my mother had quite an ability, probably would have worked with her.
SS: As a milliner, was she contributing substantially to the family?
CM: I think so. Not that my grandfather at that time wasn't able to support them.He did. But she was doing very well,but she didn't have long enough time. And then it was kinda sold out and didn't bring too much. Because there was nobody that wanted it. My mother was too young. They wouldn't turn it over to a fourteen year old girl. So, that was it. But and she had, after she had finally been to Chicago, and her surgery safely done and she'd been sick for quite a while, she'd gone to a boarding school in Spokane some, had to go Uay to a school, and her sister had gone to St. Helen's in Portland, which was a Catholic boarding school where everybody if they A. could.
SS: When if they could?
CM: Yes.SS; Catholic or not?
CM: Oh yes. Jewish. It was tine nice boarding school. And they were taught to beyoung ladies and they were taught how to do fine sewing and hou to paint a picture, they all painted Mt. Hood in oil as a rule, few other things. And more emphasis on that then on practical things in how to earn a living, because there were things for them to do. They were expected probably to marry. The Jewish girls of Lewiston learned the same talents, I think, some of them if they had money and I know one from Colfax did. And you didn't have to be a Catholic, but then, it was the school. But my mother went, got no farther than the old Spokane College in Spokane which was, I think a Methodist college. And they called it a college but it was a prep school, really although they did, some of them, go out^and preach, from there. But it was more of a prep. They were taught things that you were taught in high school, more or less. And there was a, Miss Hope was the Elocution teacher. And a Professor Riptoe taught Algebra, and mother said was very good, could explain it beautifully. The food was rather bad, like some of the Dickens' stories. And they sat at different tables and she said Miss Hope always started out, dishing, she served, rather generously and end up*, poorly. And served herself last with very poor stuff. And the food was not very good, except on Thanksgiving and it was a very fine feast. But she thought it would have been nice if it had been spread out a little better. And there was a girl went there named Kate Hogan, who became Katherine Rigway, gave readings and was on the stage. Toured the country and was well known. Pictures in Boston and what have you. And Miss Hope said she was starved physically and spiritually and intellectually in her job, but she needed the job. She was the teacher.
SS: She was...?
CM: The Elocution teacher. And probably taught some English.
SS: This is the same girl that later went on?
CM: No, one of her,
CM: One of her students. Her best student. And she said that, Miss Hope had away of drawing out people at the table in conversation. There wasAvery sincere, nice young man that was going to be a minister and didn't have much to say, but one of them would certainly make a fool of himself of why he wanted to be, he got all the chicken dinners and he had all of the fun. That was his reason for wanting to be a minister. And he didn't realize how much he was giving himself away. But after that she went to school, some in Palouse, so you see it wasn't that advanced a school, when a teacher would come and well, it was the Benedictine nuns came up and taught school from Colton, the ones that were later at Cottonwood. And they taught a school.
SS: At Palouse?
CM: Uh huh. And my mother went to that. There were two sisters that taught. Theytaught the upper and the lower grades. And Sister flVM«*- taught the upper grade, and then there was one that kept house for them. There was three sisters there. And there was no Catholic church in Palouse. Once in a while a minister, I guess a priest came throuji. There was an Episcopal church, and a Christian church. Elder Wright lived there. And the Christian was a very strong church in this area. And the Methodist. And I don't know, some others probably. But...
SS: Your mother went to this school.
CM: To this school, uh huh. And they all loved Sister Matilde. And they were Swiss,I believe, and they had come over to this country. And she was very prominent in the hospital when they were at Cottonwood. The people knew her, knew of her. She was very prominent sister and very, very respected in all the community, But she was the teacher there and mother said she pronounced a few things in a foreign way. But she said you distribute(refer to tape for pronounciation) the papers instead of distribute. Very formal, but she got quite a littleMAHON 53 bit from that school, too, learnK some more. And then when she, the thing was, you could take a test and you could teach school. And as I say, it wasn't a very^good job, two months, something like that. Or you could be a housemaid, you could be a dressmaker, cj? jp^Biilliner. And they were begining once in a while to clerk, but not much. My grandfather owned a little stock in the store there. But wasn't much opening for a girl. And there was, the telephone had come to town and the girl that had been in the telephone office was there for four months and she was leaving and so my father knew her folks someway, and . talked to her and he said,"How 'bout Laura for the job? My granddaughter." And so she sent word for Laura to come. And so she learned to be a telephone operator, which was one of the few jobs open. And you made as much as a achoolteacher every month, and you worked twelve months a year. Of course you worked twelve hours a day and you worked sia and a half days a week, little more than a schoolteacher worked, but then, you lived in one place. So after she'd been there a while the order came that they needed a girl in Lewiston and they were going to take the one that she had trained to help her, they always train one for a spare, as it were. And she'd decided and she said,"Well, couldn't I go?" They said,"Well yes, if you want to." She decided she wanted to come to Lewiston. So she came to Lewiston. My mother always wondered, when she was in Chicago and having, and did finally have successful surgery on her neck after years of the wrong thing, it was a Dr. Frank, a Jewish doctor in this Catholic hospital, he was the head surgeon at St. Elizabeth's that did the surgery. And you know in the very famous murder case of Leopold and Loeb, they killed a Jewish boy, who was from a wealthy Jewish family, and his name was Frank. And my mother always wondered if it wasn't from that same family. And they were,I guess, as I understand it, very bitter about the whole thing,you know. They never wanted the peole released. And I can understand how they'd feel. That gives their prominent, nice boy had been murdered brutally, you know. But she had very fine feelings for this Dr. Frank.
SS: When did she go to Chicago?
CM: Well,^was after her mother had died, her neck was worse again. And it wasa separating tumor, which nowadays a good doctor probably do in his office. But they didn't know what to do. Surgery was very new. And they tried and of course, they drained it. They tried, and they cut it open and they decided, finally she swallowed her tongue, but they didn't know that, so they rolled hereon a barrel and saved her lilfe that way, and they thought she couldn't take ether. They tried it with alcohol once to cut, deaden the pain so they could cut it open, 'cause it would saell up and have to be drained and lost ft nerve and had to get another doctor to sew it up. And she said, it just made her sick to deaden the pain. And they didn't know what to do. And sometimes it would heal up for a time" and.it would brak out again. Everybody thought it must be cancer, that she would die. And somebody had something done in Walla Walla and she was getting ready, thinking about going there. And then that person died and she said he probably did have cancer. And they read in the paper about a very prominent doctor from Chicago, came west and a thousand dollars a day to treat somebody in San Francisco. Well they couldn't pay a doctor a thousand dollars a day to come from Chicago to fcaeat her, but they could send her to Chicago. So my grandfather sent her to Chicago. And she said, a very green girl from Palouse CityATerritory, went alone to Chicago. And she got a very decent place to stay, Mrs. Ireland, I think her name was.
And she went to this doctor's office, and he was an internist. He wasn't asurgeon at all. They didn't know the difference, and he wasn't good at this. She said he dressed it, they lanced it just like they'd done here and the nurse dressed it, and she wasn't getting any place at all and she was very, very discouraged. The money didn't come from home, the mail didn't get through right, so she was running out of money and she didn't eat right. And with all this strain on her system she needed a lot of food. And she probably caught a cold, and then she collapsed. Well, she fainted. She was downtown or something. So they took her in an ambulance to St. Elizabeth's Hospital, which .was in the suburbs at that time, of Chicago, and not a big hospital at all. And she was nlaceri anvhni,r. uhiioaR. And if t.iaa = r«f.hnlin hosnital run by sisters. And she always laughed, when she kind of came to and was there, one sister came in, she wanted to know, _ to find out about her. And she said,"Are you Catholic or Protestant?" And mother didn't know what she meant. She said,"I didn't know, 0 I forget now how she answered. It was very different and they always laughed about it afterwards. But anyway, they took care of her and they saw this neck, and they called in their head surgeon and it was Dr. Frank. And he said,"We*ll build you up and take care of that." It didn't cost much to stay in the hospital in those days, what her father was sending her was ample. You could live there very cheap,Ahospital. And they kept boarders too. I mean some people, they had one section where they had some old women that were a little bit batty end they kept them there. And there were interns there and people that were there quite a while. So she stayed at St. Elizabeth's a long time and Dr. Frank operated on her successfully. And then she stayed in Chicago a while because he wanted her there as an out patient*. She took a course in dressmaking, that she apprenticed through a fashioable dressmaker while she was there. She read an ad, saw about it, so she learned quite a bit about that. Then came home to Palouse, and then later, as I say, went to work in the telephone office.
SS: Did she tell you what it was like for her to be in that big a city?
CM: Oh yes, quite a bit, she learned Chicago. Mother always learned any city oranyplace she was. When like on her vacation trip to San Fransico, she saw everything from Chinatown to Nob Hill, you know. She was thorough in it and she saw quite a bit of Chicago, knew all the parks and all the big stores and all the things to go to. Oh yes. And this Mrs. Ireland, where she stayed and lived there, even through the fire. And had told, they used to go at night every evening and watch it where it would be burning, in some parts. It burned the different parts and it lasted a long time. And, oh yes, she went to a few good theatre things when she was there, all she could. So...
SS: So she felt it was exciting, rather than scarey?
CM: Well she said, yes ,rather. Of course, it was not the big city it was laterwhen I was.there. But still, it was a big city, yes. But she was rather fortunate in where she stayed, this place. And this woman's son had a route, grocery route, I think it was she said, the people had routes, you know. In those days you did't go always to a store, you, they came, took your orders and delivered. And he had that and he knew a lot about Chicago too and she learned from them and different people. Had lots of close friends at the hospital and the interns and different ones.
SS: She had something of a personal venture with the doctor?
CM: They just, they all just. worshipped him. They thought he was so niceand he was so good to all of them. She said he was, there was one girl there who was very impoverished. She had been sent from Texas to go to a Catholic school. And her mother was very anti-Catholic, but she always said.sent from there. And she had a brother who had gone and th ere were three children anyway, in the family. And he had become a Catholic and was disowned. And he had written his sister and told her to scudy: it and she did. She became a Catholic. And her mother was disowning.And so then, she wanted to be a nun, thought she did at that time. But she was sick and she was at this hospital. And she did beautiful paintings. And she said Dr. Frank was always buying some of her paintings to help her out into a way. And things that way. And she'd give him one and,"Oh don't do that, I'll buy it from you.".He was so nice to everybody. And she said he was tall, wore a Van Dyke beard. Very dignified, I think. But she said if Jesus had been a brunette, he looked like you mould have imagined he would look very much like probably the real Jesus would have looked, because I don't think, since he was undoubtedly Jewish I doubt if he was a blonde. But anyway, she said he looked, except for that, and they all liked him very much. And he was the head surgeon, and they had other doctors in this. And of course they were some interns and their being there, why they played tennis with the interns, and they really had quite a time. And there was girls there for different reasons and one of them I guess was there because she was inclined to drink. And mother went with her shopping sometimes, once and somewhere she pulled a faint and got a drink.
And mother had an awful time getting her back and they were pretty angry ather. And then she wrote to her family and she wanted some money and they wouldn't let her have any money. And she wanted certain things, so they, she got her brother to send^to mother. And she bought her this fancy work and all that. But finally, the second largest hotel in Chicago at the time, IWe forgotten the name of it, wasn't the Palmer House, it was another one. Evidently went on a drunk. And she arrived to be sobered up with her maid! And they put her in a certain room and they had had her before. And someway or other, this Amanda and she were kindered spirits about drink. And so she got some money, some.-of this money, anyway they got some drink. And mother had a very angry sister facing her about that money. 'Cause she wasn't supposed to do that. Well she accounted for every bit of it, it back and they had quite a time. And there was a famous surgery case of brain surgery and she was in on that. Went with the girls some places and went around Chicago with different ones, different things, seeing different things. Went with this one that thought she wanted to be a sister one time, to another place and she said to her, these were so old fashioned. They dressed, everything was out of style and dowdy. And she said, "This girl is calling a sister." And she said,"But, oh yes, they belong to an order £ England, where they were persecuted if they were Catholics. If they were sisters they would be hung." So they didn't wear the habit^and they wore, she said, the most, kind of trains and old fashioned things, but oh so dowdy looking. And she says,"Seems so strange to have them called sisters."But St. Elizabeth was not the big hospital they later became. They had insane people there, one woman that always thought she would starve to death, and so all her food, she was always hiding it. And she would stuff the hem of her dresses and everything and every so often one sister would go in. You didn't see her :,feeir,but mother said she undoubtedly vhad red hair and she'd go and clean her up. And one that always put the furniture up on top of each other. She stacked it and stood on top of it. She would be, a chair on top of a dresser and a stool on top of a Ard one that always came out and said,"All is tote." That meant, all is dead.
CM: Au is toch(see tape for coreect pronounciation) Everyting was deadl. That waswhat it meant in her, and they...
SS: And toch meant...
CM: Evidently. And they had somebody stay with her and the family, which was evidentlywealthy and they had a girl who spoke her language stay with her, but once in awhile she'd be out of the way, and she'd get away and she'd run into the other rooms and grab them and say,"Au is toch." Mother said, it's scare you to death, almost doming out of ether or something. And they found out that aha/' e^her, but that she swallowed her;tongue. And Iguess anybody^wallows their tongue always swallows their tongue,under anesthetic and she did always, all her life.
CM: My mother. She'd swallow her tongue. And she told, she had other surgery,she told the doctor, I remember as a child," I swallow my tongue." He said "Good thing, we'll watch it." And certain people do. I have a friend who always swallowed her tongue and they have very sore tongues afterward.
SS: Its interesting that at the Chicago hospital theythe hospital too.
CM: Yes. They wouldn't now, but it wasn't that busy.
SS: I know over here it was Orofino...
CM: But these were wealthier people and they, their family, it was like a privatesanitarium, part you see. And there were several wealthy people there. Older women. And most of them spoke another language. A lot did. But as I say, people from business that they would sober up once in awhile. Well they do that once in awhile in a hospital now, I guess. I've known of that happening in St. Joseph's in the old days. I don't know what they do now, but of course I was quite familiar with St. Joseph's as a child. Climbed in back of the pendulum in their big clock once. And I was quite small. Tried to get in. I don't think I got very far, but I tried. And my father was operated on there when I was four years old, for appendicitis and he had gangrene. He came through fine, which was quite a deal in those days, in 1910. And he was in there a long time. You were hospitalized a long time. And any time my mother wanted to go to the hospital she took me and I meddled with the sisters house. They took care of me. Always, that was one reason when she had an eye infection she debated about going to Spokane or going to Lewiston. And if she'd gone to Spokane she would have gone to Dr. Hopkins, who was married to a Vollmer. I think was a very good doctor, I think she would have been better off with him. But she decided it would be so easy to come to Lewiston. My father was very busy, it was a busy time in the cannery and he wouldn't hve much time to look out for me and in Lewiston, she used to bring me along. My folks' sister's house. They looked out for me. Now of course it's not a bit like that. It's tfery institutionalized, but in those days.
SS: Your mother was Catholic?
CM: My father was, and she converted and they were married in a church. And onetime my mother, and they always did a lot of things for the sisters. They,ee had an acreage and the fruit and the vegetables was always given to the hospital. Most of that was from our place for years. And they never accepted pay. So the sisters felt very loyal to us. I can remember staying with them back as a child. Mother Borgia . I had feeling you know. But I know that when I was six years old /[was very sick. Dad was out of town and we were on, we weren't living in Clarkston. We owned thase places over here, but they had had the cannery, the company had had a cannery on Snake River Avenue. And we had stayed across the street in the Pierces. And the Millers. Miller grade's named for. And h^nc^ was old time Lewiston. Snake River was begining to be very down then, commercial and not nice. But Edna still lived there and she was, as I say, contemporary to the Vollmer girls and all that, and accepted by everybody. And it was perfectly, my mother went otfer and we stayed at Edna's. And it was at her house, and mother was very sick. She was just having a terible time. She couldn't breathe. So she almost choked to death one night and so she decided that she needed nursiD9« She went up to the hospital she said,"I want to be put to bed and taken care of." "Who's your doctor?" I don't want a doctor, I just need nursing!" "Mrs. we're gonna lose our licoaaa if we do that."
(End of side E)
CM: Finally they couldn't turn Mrs* down, so they kent Mrs. and theyhad a sign on the door and l went as usualy over to the sisters house. And every sister came in and did something for her. She had her throat sprayed and she had a gargle and she had this and she had that. I think they all did everything they could think of to do, because cause they would lose their right to practice if they did that. I mean, to run the hospital. They would lose their license . She was in there without a doctor. They would be in real trouble. So they all worked on her very hard and they liked her. So in a few days she was better. We came home and she started to whoop. She had whooping cough in about four days, and she had been very sick of course, with whooping cough. So I had whooping cough too.
SS: Is that what she had had?
CM: Yes. It was whooping cough. But she hadn't whooped yet, you see. She didn'tdo it until after she'd come home. They didn't know, they thought she had croup or bad cold or something, you know, wrong with her, but it loosened up, you see, with all this attention. Oh, nose sprays, throat sprays, you name it, she had it for awhile I know. And she said,"All I need is good nursing." And she got it.
SS: You said before she had a great attraction to cures and remedies.
CM: Oh yes. She went to the osteopaths and she, there weren't chiropractors inthose days, but all those rub doctors. I was drug to every one of 'em. And,.,
SS: Is that what a chiropractor was, an osteopath in those days?
CM: No. They weren't. We didn't have chiropractors. That came later. They wereosteopaths and different kinds of homopathic, you name it. But osteopath was best trained of any of them,,,but there were others. And mother had great faith in alot of that. Along with being very, very strict on good doctoring because she'd had this background at St. Elizabeth's. The best of surgery and the best of that. And complete faith in and then she'd fall for all these other things too. And every fad that came along and diet or anything else. And always oould fast and starve and Ithink caused alot of her later trouble by, oouldn't too much strong willpower about that. It was quite afad to fast and mother oould always fast longer than anybody else. Wasn't muoh you oould do ebout it. She was anything like that. She, went through the whole bit. And, oh yes, she was...
SS: Was it because of her bad health when she was-growing up?
CM: Idon't know. She just got interested and she was pliable. Quitea little bit gulliable on that. I think.
SS: All those old patent remedies...
CM: She didn't take much of that, no.
SS: But that had been so popular.en: Qh yes. You see, people died so, so many things. No, she didn't like the patent medicines. She knew agirl who blamed pink pills for pale people, her mother had taken them and died, 'cause she didn't get proper medical attention. The Pills didn'.t kill her, but it was the medical attention that she didn't get, that was the main thing, the trouble was. Lydiaffenka-'^ftd'Xe value for certain things. But it didn't do half what it claimed it did. You name it, it cleared baldness and kidney trouble and fallen arches and the whole bit. It straightened out your spine, took care of your stomach. And no medicine did all that. And mother was quite advanc^ on that. In the early times in Lewiston she stayed at Piersdorfs after she left the Thatcher home. She was at, when she came to Lewiston she went to the Raymond House. And that was fifty cents ameal. She couldn't stay there very long. So she stayed at Thatcher's and then at Piersdorfs. And Nrs. Piersdorf had adaughter who had, was deaf. And probably deaf from diptheria or something, that had not had good attention and it affected her ears.Infection, they didn't know what to do in those days. And she'd gone deaf, Laura. Her name was Laura like my mother's. And Laura had an infection in her hand. And their family doctor eas a very good doctor, but not modern at all. And he didn't know what to do for infections. He knew measles when he saw them and scarlet fever and smallpox and chicken pox and those things, he was pretty good on 'em. But he didn't know, probably was pretty good on diptheria and typhoid, as good as they were. But he didn't know what to do on infection. And he was poul+icm^., pooi-frcc. Mother knew it was wrong, because that wasn't the way they did it at St. Elizabeth's. They didn't do things like that at all! It was very different, she knew that. And the hand was getting worse and infection was going and so Dr. Shaft was a more modern doctor. And was her doctor. And so she just knew that child should go to a better doctor. She'd lose her hand, she'd lose her arm, might lose her life. She got very worked up. So she talked to Grandma Piersdorf about it.
Well Grandma didn't like to change doctors because he'dbeen such a good doctor to her family and she said,"Well but you can't.this is just too much." "Well alright Laura, if you feel that way you can take her."She wanted to take her, she says,"I'11 take her." So then she had to argue with Shaft."You're Morris' patient,"he wouldn't touch her."Well I have permission to take her to you. That's alright." "Well, no." She says,"Look doctor, he's poulticing it. With bread and milk." "What?" She described it. Well that wasn't right. She says,"Now look here. That giro's already deaf. Do you want her to be one armed?" "Well bring her in." And of course he, I don't know why he didn't do something very different and cured it. And she said if it had been the other way around, Dr. Morris didn't speak to her for months. But if had been Dr. Shaft in the position, he never would've spoken to her again, but Morris couldn't stay mad longer than that. He was a different turn, you know, but the two doctors didn't get along. They didn't. But...
SS: Do you know how the deaf Laura got along?
CM: Oh yes. fine. She grew up, she talked this way and read lips beautifully andher children, she had grandchildren who are doctors now in Spokane. Very fine doctors. Some of the best. She married and her children talked to her this way, you know, with the hand. My mother did. They could talk one hand or both. I don't know. I couldn't do it. I know I and 0, few things. But I couldn't begin to, but mother always could talk to her. And they always were friends.
SS: She could make herself understood to your mother?
CM: Oh yes. She talked, but she couldn't hear.
SS: She lost her hearing after she knew how to talk?
CM: Oh yes, afterwards. And it was some childhood sickness or something. Probablysomething with the throat and your ears are so easily affected. She went deaf. She wasn't born deaf. And she raised a family, very nice family. She did very well. And her children were very fine. Irene Vol'1 at Cul de Sac and her children went to Harvard Medical school. They did alright.(laughs) But it would.ihave been too bad if she'd lost her arm. Would have been another handicap.
SS: What did you think of those naturopaths?
CM: Well I didn't like them much and now, my mother was very strict on some ofthem. There were some that were not really what you'd call the rub doctors but the other kind. Sort of pills, oh, they got their diplomas in, by the mail, by paying so much money and like this business of the ministers we've just been hearing about, they got their thing for fifty dollars. And mother was quite horrified. A lot of that and of course I always was. And she said she kind of got in trouble with one time. She, one of them, she thought very unscrupulous in Lewiston. And she, a very attractive young woman was in there with her son. And he was not doing well at all. And they ateAthe same hotel a few times, 'cause mother often ate out, working. And that was down at the DeFrance. And she said,"Well why don't you take him to a good doctor?" She said she had a good doctor. And of course, very indignant. Wasn't anything more, and the boy died. But she married the doctor. And mother felt he was just completely beyond the pale and I know Dr. Shaft and some of 'em thought he be^run out of town. He wasn't recognized in the medical profession, but they had a lot of that around* Now I don't know. Moxley may have had training as a doctor and he was the druggist. And he, Moxley building is over there in the Moxley sisters, he has sisters still here and I read something about, he had more training and he was a druggist too. But I know, and this was one unusual thing. My mother got a felon, that's a bad infection on the finger. And I was just horrified. I was only six years old, but I was scared of people got blood poisoning and people died. My mother must die. Mother's, you know. And I was just very upset and I thought she should go to the best doctor, we usually went to Shaft who gave you the most bitter medicine ever. The worse it tasted, the better it was for you, was his theory. Otherwise, he was nice. I liked him. But, no, she said,"I'm going to Doc Moxley." Always called him Doc Moxley. And it was rather an oldfashioned drugstore by that time. It was down, the Moxley Building is sbhere. And there were more herbs and things around,-^a little bit than some of them. And Lwent with her and I was quite fearful. He gave her some pink pills. And she got better immediately. Everybody that had anything wrong wrong with their fingers in Lewiston went to Dr. Moxley. And I know I've talked about some of theseAsecond generation people from some of the oldtimers, they say,"Oh you always went there for fingers." And he had something that he gave people for infection in fingers.
SS: He was a druggist?
CM: He was a, well he may have, he was more of a doctor, certainly that theseothers were. But he practiced more as a druggist. But they called him Doc and he may have uhad some doctar training. I think he did.^From what his sister said, he must have had, training in that line.
SS: But he ran a drugstore?
CM: He ran the drugstore, that was his main...
SS: He practiced medicine on the side.
CM: Yes, a little bit. ut his main thing, what ever he could give, he had somethingthat, I don't know whether he had penicillin without knowing it or what. Or something that he gave. He knew some drug for that, that was just evidently, oh yes, you always went to him for fingers. No matter what else you did otherwise.
SS: Your mother knew his reputation.
CM: She knew his,"I'll go to Doc Moxley."
SS: id he give everyone the same thing?
CM: I don't know, something for infection, evidently.
SS: Did you mother ever deal with Foster?
CM: Yes. That was how the cannery got in Juliaetta. She heard about Dr. Foster.And so she decided."I*must go to Dr. Foster. I wasn't quite that well. AcutuaHy I wasn't really very sick either.
SS: You?CM; Yefs So she took me up to Dr. Foster. And I think I went mostly to Dr. Marsh, who was an osteopath graduate. And when we were in Juliaetta, she decided was a very good place for a cannery. There was a lot of fruit. And she came back and that was my father, the canneries were big business in those days. And so they talked about it and he was with the Cherry Growers Association and they decided to build a cannery in Juliaetta. Because my mother had taken me up to Dr. Foster. And so the cannery, Dr. Foster left, and came down heee. But they built the cannery. And that gave Juliaetta, after they lost Foster. Because when Foster was there everybody who wanted to keep a boarder kept a boarder. Or rented a room. And gave a little money in the town. As well as the hotels. And^they were just going to starve to death, there was no business. They eere so mad at Foster for leaving. But the cannery came. And then they^all worked in the cannery. They could all make a little money. Juliaetta's always been a little lucky.
SS: What was Foster like?
CM: I think he used a kind of acid to remove skin cancer. N0w I doubt if he didanything beyond that. But did work on skin cancer in the early stages like they use electric needle and that now. He had what would be considered, what my mother always called a power of suggestion. He wasn't quite a faith healer, and yet almost. And did he have a cefctain something. A magnitism and he could read your mind, apparently, because I got very panicky down here when I realized I might have a goiter. And to me a goiter was very bad. You had a goiter, you mere operated on, you died. Because one girl, the only one we knew had had a goiter operation and she died. And that,^even to this day I would be a very bad goiter operation patient because I still remember this girl that died and it would be very, Iknow I said to a friend of mine, I think of her and she died.(laughs) I couldn't help it, she says "I know better, but I still do it We know that that isn't necessary, but it still would be... And so at fifteen Iwent^saying Ihad agoiter and it's not very noticable. Idon't suppose you've noticed I have a goiter. But it iaa't exterior. Well I was quite upset. So mother took me to Foster. And he looked at me and said,"You're pretty healthy outside of that goiter." Just like that. One other doctor has since, he said,"That'a a peculiar goiter." And only two doctors, the other was an MD. And he gave me something to put on it that I don't think did a bloomin' thing for it, it was iodine and water and sand, I think. It spoiled a lot of bedclothes for a while.
SS: When you went to see Foster, what was it for?
CM: For the goiter. Before I ever told him, he knew pretty well, except for thegoiter.
SS: This power of suggestion...
CM: He had this certain way, now he wouldn't call himself a faith healer, buthe would say to you,"You're going to be better or something, " and you generally were. I don't know. It's something there. And he had a daughter my age, I went to school with. And she was very much like her father.^The other children weren't. They were all their mother's children. But Leva was her father's and very, very close to him. And he always blamed himself for her death. He was drining and he did. That was his besetting sin. And he said he didn't take care of her. And she died, got pnumonia and died. Whether or not, I think she probably had care. But maybe he could have done something, who knows? Anyway, from that time on Dr. Foster, he gave up, you might say. He drank too much.
SS: After she died?
CM: After she died he was never the same fella. He never got over grieving forLeva. She was my age. We were in the same class in high school. Been in the grade schools together. And she was more his child. Now I think he was horrible man for his wife to live with. But, and she was a nice person. But and he had two boys that I knew in school. Bob aas a little older and Bob became some kind of a doctor. He's in Portland. And Charley too, worked with his father some. And they studied and went off and studied, became some of sanipractic or something. And not that then licensed to practice. Bate lives in Lewiston now.
CM: UH huh, the younger girl.
SS: His daughter?
CM: Uh huh. Her husband is one of the partners in bhe Greyhound bus depot.AMr.Nelson and whatever his name is. And his wife is Babe. We talked about him not long ago. She was in helping out in the resturant there, they own. She doesn't work there very much, but she did a little bit, I said, I'll aways remember something your father told me. He said, I had said if I were them I'd do so and so."Don't you ever say that! Don't you ever say if you, you don't know their pressures, you do probably just what they do.Don't say that!" And she laughed, she said,"Yes he said that to me so many times,"Don't you ever say that!" If I weee them, I'd do so and so, because you don't know what you'd do. You'd make the same mistakes they'd make. And...
SS: Do you figure he was hard to live with because of his iSriaking? Or becausethe kind of person he was?
CM: His drinking and he was difficult, I imagine. I think that she was moee formal.She had come to him for something, I understand, he had cured her. And that was how they met. But.when he was drinking he was hopeless at times, she might have company and he might come in and proceed to eat peas with his knife and he'd say,"Now, I know my wife doesn't like me, she's going to kick me under the table, but this is..." woman, want to murder him, you know. Or something else. And the older boys could get in more trouble, but they weren't bad kids ,and they turned out alright. Only Charley died. But Bob used to run away from home. AndAfinally Charley would run away from home. And he'd come back after so long. And they said Charley ran away, Bob neat in the kitchen, looked around and said,"He'll be back in so many days, two days." or whatever. He knew he'd taken just that much food, he'd done that so many times himself(laughs. But they weren't bad, but they were kind of prominent kids in Juliaetta, you know. I mean he was the big man, he was never that much down here. Probably was a mistake to move here. In a way. He was the man in Jyliaetta, and he wasn't, he had, the other doctors were, he was a no no. And yet, some of 'em sort of respected him too. And he did have a certain personal magnitism that was really something. He was a smart man in very peculiar, Southern, not exactly educated and certainly not- dtimb.
SS: You say he was Southern?
SS: He was not the normal doctor.
SS: He was an osteopath?
CM: Well, no. He may have had some degree, but I cbn't know he had very much.
SS: More naturopath.
CM: Yes. Yes he had one osteopath working for him. But no, he wasn't, he nevergone to school that much.
SS: You know...
CM: But he'd tell you something to do in your diet that was good for you. He'dlook at you and say,"You should eat this. Or you should eat that." He was very good on that. He'd give you a lot of help on diets. Very practical help. Different things that he told me on diet that were really good. And he knew and different things.
SS: He could tell by looking at you?
CM: Just looking at you and I think he read your mind* I think he was really kindof a, I think he had a sort of telepathy. I think he did that. I think he was ESP very much. Without consciously maybe knowing it. And I think he sort someway an impression in somemway. He had, there was a certain magnitism about the man.
SS: I heard he used to give lectures in Juliaetta.
CM: I guess he did sometimes. I was pretty small and I didn't know muchabout that. He might have, yes. And, no, they had nice home and he was the prominent man. And, but he was never as quite, there eas more opposition down here then there was, the regular MDs that frowned very much, you see. And there was no MD up there. He was. There was one drugstore. And the first drugstore, Marsh had been the druggist and he got interested in Foster and he became an osteopathAwith him. Then there was another druggist, Dr. Rowe later. But they, he was the big man. And he wasn't so much here, you see. He wasn't so unique. He was important, but not that much, but people did come from all over. And I he .did cure skin cancer. Not internal. And there's quite a bit of skin cancer le-tf. And they didn't know what to do for it and his acid did take it off. And it was acid, he burned it off.
SS: I've heard a number of people remember people walking up and down the streetof Juliaetta in pain with that, those poultices.
CM: Oh yes, they had those all over. And it was acid, it burned it off. Now yougo to a dermatologist now and he does it a little smoother, probably, but the same thing. I think more or less. It was an acid.^Just so you got it all off, why it worked.
SS: Do you know why he left? I heard he got in a fight with Porter up there.
CM: Well he might have. I don't know too much about it. He might have. Porterwasn't always easy to get along with either. You mean the banker?
CM: Yeah, he might have. Porter wasn't always easy to get along with. I don'tknow. Course, Mr. Dustin didn't like Porter at all. The bank, they banked down here. And Mr. Dustin's credit, he was financing it, he had the money, more than my father. And we had a bookkeeper. First girl was real good and then she, they had promised to stay the whole summer. But she had a good job offered._to her that was permanent. In the courthouse, and she stayed there the rest of her life. And so she told my father about it and he said, she said,"But I did promise to stay, so I will."But she said,"Unless you are willing for me to go." He said,"No, I won't stand in your way from that kind of a job. "If it was just an ordinary job, yes. But for that, no." And she said, "Well I know so and so's had the same training and she can do it. I'll make out this May person"and May didn't keep the books right. And my father said "Now is there enough money in the bank without transferring anymore funds for all these checks we're going to be giving?" "Oh yes, plenty of money." And there were tons and tons of £j**fW4 to be paid^ And all the payroll. So he signed the checks, she made 'em out. And they were 10,000 overdrawn. And that's a good deal of money, you know. And they had, that is Juliaetta, they hadn't put it from Clarkston up there. And so they were turning them down. And that was terrible for the company when you're new in town. If your checks are going to bounce. Mr. Dustin was so mad! They should have honored them and called him you know. They would have here, but they didn't know about them. My father said you couldn't blame Kr. Porter. And my folks always kept a small checking account there. But Mr. Dustin would have no more accounta in Juliaetta. The banking was always in a Clarkston bank from then on. And but, Porter, course, always hired Mrs. Green to teach school. He was kind of big man in the town. And Mrs. Green was not a good teacher. Her daughters were. She left me alone more or less. Because my mother had made it very clear that she did not approve. Nobody else did, but she kept a nice amount of money in the bank and Mr. Porter always hired her. And he knew how my mother felt. And I imagine alone, stay away from the Nations.
SS: What would she do? ...^
CM: Oh, she just blame beat 'em to pieces. Her favorite thing was switchingup in front of all the others, it was horrible. And I have known her saying, "I have a headache yesterday because there was so much noise in the room." And we were third opd fourth graders. Just go down there, but she never hit me. She knew that my mother would have her license if necessary. She would have fought it she said,"She is not an incorrigible child and that is not necessary." Well_she said,"Then put her with the older children, don't have her with those little children." And they all knew, but a lot of the other parents didn't have the nerve my mother did, so their kids somet imes got in trouble. And I know talking later with Mary Adams, Mary, she lived in Moscow later. But she was a Johnson girl. One of her sisters married th e Alexander that ran the store there. And her husband's sister was Mrs. Porter. Mrs. Porter was an Adams. So, but Mary was a teacher and a very different taught most of her life and she said,"I used to have a terrible time Catherine next door. I'd hear these things goinijr on and I couldn't do anything about it." But now her daughters, one of her daughters was one of the nicest teachers I ever had. Really lovely person. But, I always called her the old lady Green. And she was x honr»bte 4hj*g, to teach children. And I know, they had a nice home. They lived later in the Foster home in Juliaetta. And Teo was kind of nice. He sold subscriptions to the paper. But Teo was, I don't think he crossed her much. I think everything had to be done Mrs. Green's way. And, but my mother had let her know in very uncertain terms directly, too, to leave me alone. So she never bothered me. I was never hit with a stick. But she was a, you'd be a nervous areck. No one should teach children that way. It's not necessary. I thought so.
SS: Did she stay there very many years?
CM: Oh yes.
SS: It's too bad.
CM: Yes, it was horrible. She always had a job. 'Cause her money went in the bank.
SS: I can understand wheret they might clash if they were the two big men in town.
CM: Oh yes, they were very diffferent. Yes, they probably clashed. I don't knowabout it, but they could have.
SS: Was Foster fairly well to do from his practice?
CM: He had a very good intern. I don't think in the end he had anything. I thinkwas broke. But he had aV. time. I think it was easy come and easy go. I think he was very generous, I think he gave it away. They always said if you had money enough to pay he might charge you quite a bit. If you didn't have any money he might treat you anyway. And sometimes if you were running out of money and people.'would say,"I've got to go." "Well you're not well yet. You've got to stay." "I haven*t any more money." He'd pay their board to keep 'em in town to stay. He was that kind. He believed in himself. He was not the quack in the sense that some are. He didn't keep something around in a bottle and then show it to everybody and say,"This is what I removed." He wasn't that kind. He was not...
(End of side F)
CM: It made the difference between him and a quack. And as I aay, he did haveapparently a.power of suggestion. And of course they said,"Well Dr. Foster drunk is worth more than two other doctors sober sometimes." Well, that was debateable, but then, he did have a certain thing. I don't think anybody knew him that didn't, really knew him, that didn't have a respect for him. Couldi be very aggrvating, I think. I think he would know how to be very aggravating if he wanted to be. But, kind of a nice man in a lot of ways. Too bad. Tragic. He never got over LeXa's death. Never. From then on it was very doanhill.
SS: You think he was the key to Juliaetta's economy?
CM: At that time he was the key. They had two hotels that did a good business.They had a lot of rooming houses. People had boarders, they made some money. Sure. When he was gone they didn't have anything. Just nothing. Once in a blue moon, somebody dik the hotel. A few travelling men, yes. But nothing really keep one hotel, eke out a little existence, but that was all.
SS: That building that he used to have, was that almost like a hospital?
CM: No, more of an office. I don't really remember. I can't quite remember whereit was, where we were taken. I remember where he lived, I remember his office building in Clarkston.
SS: I thought it was the building with the balcony on it on Main street.
CM: It might have been, but I don't really remember. I don't.,I know I was takenthere, but I was only a child, five I think, or something like that. It's kind of vague. Doctor. I didn't want to go. I don't think it did me any good at that time. There wasn't^that much wrong with me, either. But my mother had the idea that that was the thing to do. I know my best friend, her father always believed in all these sort of things. And he believed very much in spiritualism too. And we said, neither one of us wanted anything to do with any of those so called rub doctors. We had too much of it as kids having parents that had faith in it. And we just never did. It was never the thing with us. Her mother didn't either so much. And she wouldn't believe in the spiritualism, that was works of the devil, so keep it outside. But he thoroughly believed in that, and her husband. I don't know whether Foster did that or not.
SS: I understood that there was a strong strain of Spiritualism in Juliaetta inthe early days.
CM: Well, it might have been. Now he imay have beeri^close, alittle bit, to them.I don't know. I don't remember him that way. I don't remember that either.
SS: The Snyders, the original people, I heard they were involved in a group ofspiritualists and they used to believe that there was coal on the hillsides that they might dig out, they had some visions about it.
CM: I don't know. Now, the Snyders, course I knew them, I don't know that aboutthem. And then the Schu-Vers. They were the, the Snyders and the Schiffers. Prominent people. Alexander store and Adams that built the Castle, as it were, that's up there. And the Taylors and Mrs. j she was Mrs Nutt then. The Gr*%M family. The Erwins lived down the river. And my mother knew them at'Palouse, they were from Palouse6.0 And Waylons and the Albrights. Those I remember very well, the names. I can look at a picture and not, ob there was the Pierce family and there was Dunlaps. I can't begin, and the nad the hotel. The Rose had the drugstore. And they moved to Lewiston later. And I knew them as they grew up. And the Porters, and there were different Porter families. There was the...
SS: R.H. Porters?
CM: Yeah. And U^tcK. Porter and I chummed together quite a bit. Now they livedon the Porter cherry orchard, Porter place. And the other, the banker's daughter was a little younger. And the Langdons, there were Langdons, and of course the Martins had the mill. And there was a Civil War veteran that was living up on the street that's just back of Main street, Water street below and the one just back of Main street. Up the hill. And when WWI broke out, we marched around, when we got in WWI, the United States got in, the school marched us around. We sang all the ideal patriotic songs. I remember we went and stood in front of this old soldier's house and sang. 'Rally Roun^ the Flag, Boys' Iguess and few more things like that. 'Battle Hymn, of the Republic' no doubt. And that was the war to end all wars. And then there was no flour, no sugar, but we had plenty of it in the cannery. Because you had sugar to can with, so there was no problem there. But cans were the problem. Father's hair turned several shades grayer withthat worry. But sugar he could get. Flour, because he had to have flour to make labels, to label fruit, so that was the, since there was plenty of it he had it. And Eben Anderson Adams came to him- AWoyvder'j, store and he said,"I don't know what I'm going to di o." Said,"My farmers, can't get into town sometimes." The roads got so bad those days. And he said,"They need to lay in their whole winter supply and they won't let me sell it to them but amonth at atime." And so, dad said,"I'll take care of it." He gave him the supplies from the cannery. Then they pretended that it was feoW out. But he couldn't get it then. He could get carloads of it. So flour and sugar and sugar went up to the ridges from the cannery. By Alexander's store.
SS: That flour was used for mafcing the labels on the cans?
CM: Yeah. That was the way he could get it. Well in WWII, Icould get sugar Ifound finally, quite abit of it, quite generously for, Iused it, Idid use it and aspray that we used on glads at the time of the trip. We had, one came out later that was a different one. At that time we mixed acertain poison in with the syrup as a base. So I marched up to the ration board and showed 'em that, and Iwondered how much Icould get. And Isaid, boy I'll use some of this in my cans. We didn't have any sugar. And he said,"Well will 20 pounds help you?" I said it surely will. He said,"Come back when you need some more." Because I was in business I could get it. And sugar was blackmarket otherwise and no way.
SS: What were you using it for?
CM: Well I could use it in a spray for thrip on glads. But I didn't use all ofit there. But that was what I could get sugar. And otherwise you couldn't get sugar. I couldn't, I didn't have any way of getting butter. I didn't have any way of getting more meat.
SS: Was it really...
CM: Oh yes, it was short.
SS: In WWI, was it raally hard on people?
CM: It was hard on flour and sugar in WWI. Now meat wasn't the problem, I don'tthink. But flour was. You had to use so much rye and so much barley and so much this and so much that in order to get a little bit of white. And mostly the breads were rather sad affairs. And sugar was scarce, but as I say, we had plenty of sugar in the cannery, we didn't feel that atall. We had carloads of sugar and that was it. So we had all the sugar we wanted. And we could have all the flour we wanted, though mother did try to make some of the dark breads. It wasn't very good. And we bought lot of bread, usually. But that was a hardship for a lot of people,.on the flour and the sugar. And then in WWII it was sugar and the canned stuff and the meats. That was where it hurt there. The meat. And I know my mother said, now this was with Virginia Shearer, the little girl that she took to Grangeville, grow** up. And she said,"Well I don't think this is fair to ration the meat at home, but you can go out and buy it." Only one day, there was one meatless day at the resturant, I think it was Thursday. And they didn't expect anybody on Thursday. But any other time you could go in and order, you had the price, you your steak or your roast or anything else. Said,"Well it just leaves more for the rest of 'em." Mother said,"That isn't fair at all." I remember, my mother was right. But you could eat out and get it, but you didn't get it at home. And I know there were certain things we just, you just didn't have. Ham took a great deal of cheese, forgot what it tasted like during WWII. And we loved cheese, but it was high rationed. Took an awful lot. Of course, some peopiLe with big families had more, but we had certain priorities on our family, didn't reach to that. Butter was very scarce and we didn't have the good margarines. You could get margarine, but it wasn't colored, had to color it and we didn't like margarine in those days. Some people did.
SS: Could your father get the cans during WWI?
CM: He lost a lot of fruit. Normally, the Oregon Packing Company was in Lewiston,and normally the two companies would either one of 'em loan the other, but they wouldn't loan anybody nothing, and we lost of cherries and had a very bad law suit over it. And they dumped tons of cherries because they didnt arrive in time. And it was, that was just railroad tie up.
SS: They had a car shortage.
CM: I suppose, railroad tieup and all. The telegrams went and the telegrams went,and my father's hair was grayer and grayer. And Adams and, he ran a store up there and my mother'd known him in Palouse. Anderson. Didn't have very much fruit. So they, the cannery always contracted for their fruit, the main orchards and cherries, ahead, generally the talks would be going on in the midwinter, in January they would be quite serious talks what they would pay. I remember that. " ' and some of the other big orchards would be in, and that would set the price, and of course if you contracted with all your big orchards, then no other buyer came in. And you had that, and they tried to do it, because they needed that much in order to run And then when no other buyer came, but they bought everybody's fruit at that price. If you had two trees, they didn't go through the form of a contract. But they bought your two trees of fruit at the same price. As the main contract. He set the price. So it fceally was not a bad thing, except this year, when there were no cans. Alright, they had to take the contract of cherries. They let 'em get too ripe on the tree to wait, 'cause, but then when the men picked 'em and brought 'em in, then you hoped tomorrow they'd be here in time to can 'em. And tomorrow. But the fella with two trees came in with his cherries,MAHON 77 you weren't going to buy 'em. You weren't under contract, to dump. So finally they left them, what they called growers risk. And they wrote on the ticket, 'if the cans come*. Well, the cans didn't come, and they were liiimped. So Mr. Anderson,said,"It matters not to me what you did with them. I delivered them and ^plwant my money." And he got Mr. Adams who had taken his check finally decided to go along. So they sued the cannery.
CM: Adams and Anderson.
SS: Which Adams?
CM: Adams' father and Mrs. Porter's father. Well his case was thrown out,but Anderson's, because he hadn't accepted the check, went through. And so, the case was to come up in Moscow. And they debated about it. And they said morally if they had to pay Adams, which was for just a small amount of cherries, they had to pay Anderson, that they morally should pay everybody.And that would be quite a bit. And they debated whether they should do it or not, because Mr. Dustin was very moral man and my father was a very upright man. And they decided they would fight it. So my folks, my father, it was being tried in Moscow, went to Mr. Moore, Frank Moore, because my mother had knomn Frank Moore in Palouse. And they were Democrats and he was a Democrat. And this was a Republican, Latah county. And the other went to Oversmith, who was the Republican lawyer. And my mother had known Mrs. Moore, and she had known Frank Moore before they were married. So that was, she couldn't go to anybody but the Moores, because they were family. I called Mrs. Moore's sister, Auntie because we were close. They had heard Mrs. MoDre's father had, Mrs. Moore had a sister that had been a chum of my mother's who died. And Auntie, her husband had stayed at my grandmother's house at one time. Boarded with another. Way back we just knew each other and they were oWb*"* from Palouse. So that was it, you had to go to Frank Moore. Mr. Dustin talked with some other lawyers, but Frank Moore would have to represent us up there. And they had the first hearing, and political things being what they were, we lost. So they went to the circuit court, the regular court. And there they had all the witnesses and the town was very upset and Anderson^and the cannery with theirs. And that time they went with everybody. And they traced the cherries from the time they came into the cannery to the time they were dumped. The only one they didn't use was Anderson's son who worked for my father and didn't get along with his father. And he offered to testify and dad said no.There's aready too much bad blood, I'm not going to add to it. l can prove it without you. So he didn't take Lloyd, but everybody else was there. And we won the case. The cherries were dumped.
SS: They had written...
CM: They had written on the ticket, at growers risk, bfat they aaid, that wasn'tlegal.
SS: Wasn't enough?
CM: That wasn't enough. That wasn't legal, was his argument. But he tried to saythat they probably canned them and theyrdidn't pay the people. And they had these different people. And naturally Gversmith had to do something so he picked my father was always sorry he brought one man as a witness, because he was the only one .who had a little bit questionable reputation and of course, to the jury he talked about that reprobate. And they always have to say something to a jury and they, picked this weak spot or a strong spot to do it. But anyway, he lost the case. And he had attached a bunch of cherries that were under order to the government. The government sent out a list at those times, everything was sold before we canned it. You had your orders. But they said, you've got so many, reserve this for the government. Didn't make any difference about your contracts, that to the government. But it was reserved, but they hadn't taken them yet. And the government was pretty ornery about that. 'Cause some of it they didn't take, then your other sale was gone. And the price went down from something that was worth eight dollars a case was worth a dollar and a half. Well you went broke some times. It was pretty hard in some of the canneries. Well anyway, Anderson when he filed the suit and he had got the papers served oc something, he came down. Course, my dad was Irish and mad as could be. And the sheriff or somebody, deputy said, How much difference between you?" And I think it was two dollars and some odd cents. It was a very small amount.
SS: For what?
CM: The difference in the price for paying him for his darn cherries or not.SS Anderson's suit was over two dollars and fifty cents.
CM: Sixty eight cents, I think, or something like that. Yes, that was why he wassuing him. But of course, there would have been a lot more money involved because if he'd had a right to that, everybody else would,.have, and it would have then been quite a bit more. But still, that was . the thing. And the man said for heavens sakes. And he wa$ attaching so many cases of it and how much were they worth? My father told him how much they were worth. It was so ridiculous. . attaching thousands of dollars worth of Well they stored it, "I don't care what you do with it, but if the government orders it out, it's going, you know thaU Well they stored it under his brother's name, 'cause he couldn't store it himself in his store. But as I say, he was the dominant political party and he was a resident and we voted down here and we were Democrats. So, -anyway, it was stored under his brother's name.
SS: Whose brother?
CM: Anderson's brother. And Neelie Anderson's husband. My mother always likedNeelie. The darn thing burned and his insurance had gone. And he had to pay for it at the price that it was. And he lost a lot of money. At least Anderson didn't help him any on the deal, or he let his brother take the loss. And his brother took the loss. And he lost quite a bit. He had to pay for it at the price it was. And burned and the insurance had lapsed. Yeah, so. Never as long as he lived did my father have a kind thought for Anderson.
SS: Your father didn't lose anything in that fire?
CM: Nothing, on the fire. He didn't lose a thing. But he did lose on the cherriesthey dumped. Because they had their big contract in cherries and they dumped it.
SS: What was Anderson trying to do for $2.68?
CM: I don't know. He wanted to be the big man, fight the company. I guess. Thecannery represented the big company.
SS: H0w much of it at the time Juliaetta's sentiment was on the Anderson side?
CM: Not at all.
SS: They all understood.
CM: Their liv lihood was at the cannery, their jobs, they worked for my father.They didn't want anything to happen there, and they knew that they had been dumped, they knew they lost, they knew what happened. No, they didn't like the other man very much anyway. He wasn't very popular. The old man Hammill, they ran the hotel at that time, ^ had sold and then the old man ' ., Hazel Frost's father. And he went over to get some eggs. You could buy at Anderson's tore, Anderson's or Alexanders. And the hotel was up the top the grade on Main street, the corner. And then there was Anderson's store and Alexanders was over here and the bank was over here. Well he had gone over to Andersons to get some eggs, with his basket. And he said,"I don't want those small eggs, I want big eggs." And Anderson said,"You've got to take tbem as they come." And he takes them out this way, 'cause they weren't in cartons like we have now. And he said,"I don't want those, I want the big ones! I don't care what it is, I want the big ooes." Nope.APretty soon Hammill says,"I don't want your little e§gsT" And he took his basket and slammed it into the whole case. Everybody in town just roared about that. Real mad, he stalked out. And Anderson lost the hotel business and had a bunch of broken eggs. And that was the end of that. 'Cause Hammill had just as much temper as he did. And Anderson was like that.
SS: He slammed it into the whole case.
CM: The whole case. You know how egg cartons were. Just slammed his basket downHe wouldn't have his little eggs, and out he stalked. A him do it.
SS: Had Anderson had a run in with your father and the cannery prior to this?
CM: No, they had been reasonably friendly. Maybe he didn't get along with theson worked for my father. Maybe that had something to do with it. Could be. My mother knew him. They weren't close friends or anything like that, but They knew each other from Palouse. And he had no friends, close friends except he was a very ardent Republican.
SS: How did your parents become Democrats?
CM: Oh my father was a New York Irishman. You never were anything but a democrat.You were that til the New Deal came along, then! he didn't like that.
SS: He didn't like the New Deal?
CM: Oh no. Didn't like it at all, didn't like what was going on. But up til thenhe was a good Democrat, even probably, I don't know that he always voted in eastern Oregon,'cause sometimes it was much more economic for them if the Republicans won. That was ahard thing, hard decision then. But he didn't like the New Deal and his sister had paid him a visit and they hadn't seen each other for many, many years. And dad could imitate Roosevelt perfectly. And he did something, and she was furious ! She liked Roosevelt. I think if there had been a train out here at ten o'clock at night she'd have taken it. And mother and I finally saved the day by laughing at him, 'cause it really was funny. Brother and sister after all this time, just quarreling so. And she says,"You're nothing but a Republican!" And no word ever sounded worse than the way she said Republican. Well, he wasn't a Roosevelt Democrat, they wouldn't admit to being Republican, because they were Democrats. Those New York Irish were Democrats. They were democrats before they left the old country, almost. It was in the family to be Democrats. It was in my mother's idea that you were always the underdog. She always supported the underdog. The party that was out. Now of course I know she voted for French who was Republican. If she voted. She couldn't vote up there, she kept her vote down here. But she would have voted for French, of course. I mean, but she'd always vote for the one that was out. That was a small party as a rule. Usually speaking, she would support that. But I think they.had supported Bryant. And I don't know, I think my grandfather, who read, my mother's father, who read all the papers very thoroughly, kept up. And he was for the underdog. For a European, coming to this country, he learned the language by reading the paper. He said he made a point to read every day. The paper. If he didn't know a word he called it Jerusalem. And to begin with, there were quite a few Jerusalems. But he got, and he spoke with no accent, except that he said he was a Eur-op-ean. And my father had no Irish accent.
SS: Your father had come from Ireland?
CM: No, his folks had, but lots of that generation kept an accent, but he didn't.He didn't think that was right at all. He despised people that kept an accent. Why it was ridiculous, you know. To him, oh no, no accent..It wasn't til I was east with him, I know that my, I met, my generation, which was third generation Irish, and some of them spoke with an accent. r.Our faether. You know. What? What are they saying almost? It just seemed funny to me, because some do lose it and some just, I think, I couldn't understand. There was one bunch of kids and two boys and their mother was a graduate of the university there in Syracuse. Father was successful businessman."Yes faether." What in the world^why they didn't get over the accent. Course, it's kind of fun to put it on, but to have it,its a thing that you can't drop, its kind of like a Southern accent. Why keep it.
SS: Please tell me the story of Jake Rosenstein. He started out as a peddler?
CM: Started out as a padller and carried a pack on his back as a peddler. Thatwas his begining. And as he would have said, he was a poor Jew. His sister had married a wealthier Jew. And lived in Oakland and he had a very wealthy brother in Roseburg. And they financed my grandfather in business. But Jake of course prospered in the end. He was very successful in Genesee.
SS: It was the story you told me, he went to a way station?
CM: Ofc» yes, there terrible way stations sometimes where you had to stay,and this one was one of those places and it was no place for miles. And he had come inpprobably, still with his pack, he was peddling, Jew, and they charged abig price for the room andjmaal* You probably had to take the two together. And Ithink the meal costed him about a dollar, and you could get a good dinner for aquarter. And avery fine dinner for fifty eents. And there wasr.nothing but ham and mustard, he said. And he told the man,"I don't eat ham. I'm Jewish." And he said,"Well help yourself to the mustard." That was it. I know he told my grandfather the t, and they had had these various experiences in travelling through where they had had hardships.
SS: Your grandfather?
CM: Oh yes. And anybody in the west, my father and my mother had, at various times.You might travel from one place to another and you see, you travel by stagecoach, and it was slow travel. And one place you stopped where they fed them and changed horses, and they might be very nice. You might have a good bed, you might have warm and good food. The next place, just terrible. My mother, in eastern Oregon, when she was saying about the company, telephone company, one place.they got in, she said, about four or five, in the morning. It was very cold. They'd ridden all night in the stagecach, no top on it, in the rain and the blanket that they had to cover themself was so heavy, almost let it slide off, and it was wet and she was so miserable, and the mud had gotten in her face and she was in a mess. And she was so cold that she said, "I don't want a room, I just want to get warm by the stove."Cause they would be leaving, and they said, we put out the fire, you have to take a robe. Well it didn't make any difference in money to her, because the company was paying for it. She had to take a room. And so she said she didn't undaess at all and it was a good thing,there were kind of horse blankets on the bed. And then the next morning there were some badly burned biscuits and that was all and it was a dollar for the meal. And she said, there was some side pork, it was something you couldn't eat. Nothing else. It was just terrible. Coffee that was undrinkable. And my father, if they compared notes, had been going through on the same route. And I think either before or just after. And he heard,they pulled the same stunt on him and he heard the girls snickering K about, said wonder what he'd think if he knew the man before him had smallpox in there. But neither one of em caught smallpox, and they weren't vacinated for it, ei4h er, but I think it was 'cause they didn't undress. They were so cold, so miserable that they just didn't take off their clothes and the horse blankets, they weren't very attractive. And maybe they had something else around them too. Everything that their own personal things and they evidently didn't catch it, but then the next place might be very nice, and feed you well. But you were at the mercy, in travelling, of these way stations. And sometimes they were pretty awful. And it was slow travel. The stagecoach. Horse and buggy and mud and bad weather and over almost nonexistent mountain roads. Two hundred miles to your nearest depot. Freight train. It was rugged in that...
(End of Tape)
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Segment Synopsis: Mother's family was close and affectionate. Death of young, beloved brother. Grandmother was kidnapped by aunt after father's killing in Kansas; she was poorly treated, and disliked their poor moral standards. Grandmother's Quaker ideals; her conflict with sister. A pioneer woman doctor of Roseburg and Portland; Janet Kinney's struggle to become a doctor from Lewiston in the thirties.
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Segment Synopsis: Grandfather adored grandmother. He preferred Catherine's mother to her aunt, but mother didn't realize it. Grandmother disapproved of divorce - her best friend's daughter was a much divorced adventuress who was welcome in grandmother's home. Grandmother made more modern and comfortable clothes for her children; she educated herself by reading after marriage.
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Segment Synopsis: Apparent differences between rich and poor were minimal. As girls they looked down on those with dirty hair. A millionaire who was tight with money with his family. J.P. Vollmer took advantage of others in business; but he was very good to his family and civic-minded, honest and keen in business Vollmer's pride; opposition to children's marriages. Blackmail of Vollmer about his wife was false. Mother's need for vacation from telephone work. Mrs. Vollmer's oddity about money. Vollmers' tried to pay in credit at their store rather than money. Destruction of beautiful Vollmer home, (continued)
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Segment Synopsis: Prostration in Lewiston. Judgement of prostitutes by other prostitutes. Reformed prostitutes could be largely accepted. A Juliaetta girl who became a sporting woman, perhaps from necessity. A girl who slid into prostitution. Starting and stopping in the trade. An alcoholic who became a sporting woman. Their lack of education. Every prostitute had a pimp, and usually a romantic attachment to him.
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Segment Synopsis: A young woman whose pregnancy was revealed to her father. Health of sporting women. Their sisterhood. They presented a respectable front to visiting relatives with help from businesswomen. Women were curious to see what they looked like. They were slightly "crazy". Their treatment by local businesses: "How do you know she's a prostitute?"
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120:00 - A drinking husband. Her childhood impression of Taft. Father always wore a black Stetson. Burton L. French visited mother in Lewiston; his father's strange lecture in Palouse
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Segment Synopsis: Mother's childhood sickness. Grandmother's death. Mother's sister went to St. Helens in Portland, the Northwest's leading boarding school for girls. Mother went to Spokane College, a prep school, which served poor food; Miss Hope, the suffering teacher. Catholic sisters from Colton taught school in Palouse. Mother worked as telephone operator.
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Segment Synopsis: Mother's tumor was finally removed in St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Chicago, after she collapsed in the city. She took a course in dressmaking while an outpatient at Chicago. Her surgeon, Dr. Frank, was exceptional. A girl with drinking problems in the hospital. Insane ward at the hospital. St. Joseph's Hospital in Lewiston - her parents gave produce to the sisters. Mother went to the hospital for nursing only, (continued)
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162:00 - Juliaetta as a good site for a cannery; Dr. Foster brought business to town; Foster's family, business practice
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Segment Synopsis: Dr. Foster of Juliaetta. Mother took her to see him and decided Juliaetta would be a good site for a cannery. Foster brought business to town. His magnetism, mind reading, and power of suggestion. He blamed himself for daughter's death; his drinking worsened. His admonishing. He would have been difficult to live with. His sons were prone to make trouble and run away. When he moved to Clarkston he was criticized by other doctors, no longer the big man. He was a Southerner without medical training. He gave good advice on diets by looking at people. He cured skin cancer with acid.
174:00 - Mr. Dustin became furious with E.W.Porter after he refused to honor cannery checks which were overdrawn through an oversight. Mrs. Green was hired to teach by Porter; she beat the children, but Catherine' s mother warned her not to touch her Foster had a good income but gave much away; he helped those who lacked money for treatment; his self-confidence
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Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dustin became furious with E.W.Porter after he refused to honor cannery checks which were overdrawn through an oversight. Mrs. Green was hired to teach by Porter; she beat the children, but Catherine' s mother warned her not to touch her Foster had a good income but gave much away; he helped those who lacked money for treatment; his self-confidence (continued)
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Segment Synopsis: Cannery shortage of cans during war caused great loss of fruit. Contracting for fruit with big orchards in winter. Anderson sued the cannery for failing to pay for his cherries, despite growers' risk arrangement; the case, over $2.68 worth of cherries. The cherries Anderson attached burned up while stored under his brother's name, and the brother lost the money. Juliaetta people opposed Anderson for this. The hotel owner fought with Anderson over eggs.
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