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This conversation with IDA MIELKE NEWMAN TOOK PLACE at her home at Cameron onFebruary 18,1977. The interviewer is SAM SCHRAGER.
SS: When did your people first come here?
IDA MIELKE NEWMAN: They came here in 1901. I was three years old.
SS: And where was it they came from?
IMN: Minnesota. Oh, there were quite a number of families came here fromMinnesota. Reverend Hopf was a minister- was their minister in Minnesota and he moved to Cameron and he told congre gation what a wonderful country it was. So I don't Inow how many families- seven or eight families came through him. They were mem bers of his congregation.
SS: Where in Minnesota?
IMN: From Arlington and New Auburn.
SS: Were your parents born in Germany?
IMN: My mother was born in Germany and my father was born in Minnesota.My mother was four years old when her parents came across.
SS: So then your fa^fcer and mother both probably spoke English prettywell?
IMN: My dad did; my mother spoken broken English, because in Minnesotawhere they lived they were all German, everyone talked German. And even here when I was a youngster everyone talked German. I couldn't talk English when I started to school. Are there other things you'd like to know?
SS: Yes, yes. I'm just getting started really.When they came, your parents, did they have much?
IMN: Oh, no, people were very poor. They had I think, I think my dadbought 160 acres, and I don't know just what he paid down whether it was$1,000 or $2,000, and that's all they had. And, of course, they brought along part of their goods.
Did they have much of an outfit to bring?
No, as far as machinery is concerned, no. Just their clothes and Ithink they brought oh, some of their household goods.
Did they come with other families at the same time?
Yes. My grandparents came at the same time, and I don't know justwhat other families. And then some other families came the next year, in 1902. The Hardungs and the Mielkes came in 1901 and the Wagners and the Blicks and Bront - I was trying to think of some more names- came the next year.
When you came were you old enough to remember that at all?
I remember very, very little. See I was only four- I wasn't evenfour, I was only three. And I don t know I remember it or whether I just remember from hearsay, you know, a great many times they'll talk about it and you just think that you remember.
Right. Did they say it was rough at all? Or was it an easy- theytook the train out here.
They took the train and my mother always said when she came to Kendrick,she says, "Oh, my goodness, how in the world are we ever going to get out of this hole?" See, Minnesota everything was level, and she didn't they'd ever get out of this. She said, "There can't be any farming in country like this." (Laughter) It probably was a disappointment then. Well, she wasn't really disappointed, because she knew my dad wouldn't buy something that he couldn't take care of.
Was he out here before she?
Yes. Yes, he was out here and bought the farm before she came out.
How many brothers and sisters?
Let's see, there was seven of us. There were three brothers born inMinnesota and my sister and I were born in Minnesota and then two brothers were born in Cameron. And the place that my father bought was the old Cameron place, Cameron was named after. See, Mr. Cameron had the first post office and he was quite a prominient man and so when he was county commissioner at Lewiston-
SS: Was he German, too? Didn't sound like it.
IMN: No, he wasn't German.
SS: Did the community start off then not as a German community?
IMN: No, it didn't start as a German community.
SS: It became that way-
IMN: Tt became that way through the church, I think. The church was builtand through the church, the Lutheran Church, the people came and set tled here. It was mostly theouth that that they settled right around Cameron.
SS: Did the church draw on a big area, do you think, to start with?
IMN: No, just Cameron, just, Cameron, yes.
SS: Was Hopf the first minister?
IMN: No. It's in the book who the first minister-
SS: I know Hattie Johnson told me the first minister was from Germany,he and his wife.
SS: And she had a difficult time adapting, she said, to the country.
IMN: Yes, I see.
SS: To get used to it. When you were old enough to really rememberingthings, what was it like around here when you were a kid?
IMN: Well, there were lots and lots of trees, but the contour of the country is different because people had to make a living, you couldn't go to the store and buy things, just, you know, your very necessities And you have to have your own cattle, and your own fruit and your garden. You raised your own things, your chickens and your pigs that you butchered in the fall, and cured your meat and that was your meat supply for the year, and your chickens. And you canned your fruit and you made sauerkraut and you had your potatoes and apples. So many apples that you stored in the winter. And made your own butter.
SS: Was it densely settled then?
IMN: Yes, much more so than now. The farms were, oh, forty acres, eightyacres and 160 acres was a fairly good sized farm. And the people farmed with horses; usually had four horses and a footburner and seeder and a harrow. You know, footburner, just a hookon plow and that's about all you had.
SS: How much neighboring? Was there a lot?
IMN: Yes, there was a lot of neighboring. People visited back andforth. You go over to some people's place on Sunday for dinner and you eat what they had, and you were very welcome. And people visi ted back and forth a lot. And in the evenings, a lot of times, get together and play cards or tell stories. You know, stories handed down fuorn generation to generation.
SS: Stories originating in the old country?
IMN: From the old country, yes. And then, of course, my parents tellstories from Minnesota.
SS: When you say they were handed down; I don't expect you remember thestories themselves, but what kind of things would they be likely to be about?
IMN: Well, one thing that I remember- I don't remember the story itself,but my grandmother, she was born in 1827, she lived with us because grandfather had passed away, was telling about spooks. (Chuckles) Of course, things we don't believe in now, but- she didn't be lieve in it either but she was telling about it and oh, we thought those stories were wonderful! And then they used to tell about the different people, about different things that they did.
SS: You don't remember what she had to say about spooks-
IMN: No, I wish to goodness I could.
SS: I'll bet that would be fun.
IMN: Yes. And when she was in Germany they were in Prussia, they were nearthe Polish border, and I remember her teaching me some Polish and oh, I wish I could remember it! I can remember-(Polish) one, two, three more Polish. And I wish I could remember more.
SS: There was an awful lot of German spoken here at that time.
SS: Was most of the talking in German?
IMN: Yes, the talking was all in German. And, oh, I don't really knowwhen they started to talk English, I suppose when the children had to go to school. h After I was older we had dances, we had dances and we'd have parties, and on Friday we'd go over to somebody's house in the afternoon, young people'd meet, and we'd talk and and we just had a lot of fun. And the celebrations when I was a youngster were the Fourth of July- they'd meet at some- oh, in some grove or in some people's pasture, we had nice green pastures and play cards- not play cards- but play games, baseball and races.
SS: Did you play- were there outdoor games that you used to play likecircle games and that kind of stuff?
IMN: Well, yeah, we used to play Drop-The-Handkerchief, then in the winter Fox-and-Goose, and I was trying to think of some other games. Oh, there were different ' that we played, in addition to base ball.
SS: You say dances? Dancing was quite acceptable, nobody objected tohaving dances around here?
SS: Some places I know they did.
IMN: Yes. No, they didn't. Of course, there were certain people thatit was against their religion and so on didn't go to dances, but most of 'em did. And it was of course, like in Cameron, when we had the dances, it was just a whole group, of course,they had some At that s about two miles away, that's about as far away we got.
SS: Dances at homes or in the school?
IMN: No, in the homes. At first we had 'em in the homes then after whilea hall at Cameron, used to be the old post office, we used to have 'em in there.
SS: Be the whole neighborhood or just a few neighbors?
IMN: Well, it was in the neighborhood then a few of the young people aroundAnd then another thing we had when I went to school was Literary Soc ieties. And they were a lot of fun. Had debates and oh, recitations and singing. And one of the things that was a lot of fun- they had a paper called the "Hog's Eye" and it would be some stories made up of people in the neighborhood. We always thought that was a lot of fun.
SS: I wonder why the "Hog's Eye"? That's kind of an amusing name for it.
IMN: It was supposed to he amusing, it was for fun.
SS: Would the stories be true, or would they be—
IMN: No, no, they wouldn't be true. No, they were just for fun.
SS: When you had say, like debates, would that be taking two sides of aquestion?
IMN: Yes, yes.
SS: Would,they be serious?
IMN: They were real serious debates. I remember one of the jokes thatthe "Hog's Eye"- one of the menat the table- someone asked one of the children in school, "What does your father do when you sit down to eat before you take your food?" "Well," he says, "my father says, "go easy with the butter, kids, fifteen cents a pound!" (Laughter)
SS: It's supposed to be grace, right?
IMN: It's supposed to be grace, but that s what the youngster'sfather- the first thing he said! (Chuckles) It's a little different than now, the price.
SS: What about the debates? Do you remember any of the sort of thingthat- you say serious- the sort of thing the people would talk about? Was it politics or religion?
IMN: Well, no, it'd be politics and different subjects- wish I could re-member some of I don't. I know when I went to school and the first debate I ever was in. I don't know what grade I was in, it must have been about the sixth- fifth or sixth- and the topic was "Resolved that having the printing press was much more important than the discovery of America." And I was on the printing press side, And my teacher was printing the paper, so of course, I thought I had a real, real good point, so I says, "Well, if the printing press hadn't of been founded, my teacher couldn't have printed the paper." And when the opponent got up he says, "No, he couldn't have printed this paper, but the paper isn't any good anyway!" So that was the end of our debate!
SS: The end of all the debates?
IMN: Yes, the teacher didn't let us have any more debates! (Laughter)
SS: Because of that?
IMN: I don't know, I imagine so. If we did have, I don't remember.
SS: Did he put out the Cameron paper? Did he make any money, you think,doing that?
IMN: Oh, not too much, sort of on the side.
SS: Was that paper in German at the time?
IMN: Oh, no. That was english. That was when we were going to Englishschool.
SS: Was the paper for the whole community?
IMN: Yes, whoever subscribed for it, just the same as any other paper.It was just news from Cameron and surrounding territory Just a little pamphlet.
SS: Well, I'm real curious about some of the customs when you were youngthatpeople still kept that were from the old country- the sort of things that have died out since then.
IMN: Well, the celebration of Christmas, and giving Christmas dinners andfamily together at Christmas at one of the- I think was handed down.
SS: Was it a family or was it a community celebration?
IMN: Family. That was a family celebration. Bee, I was trying to thinkof some community celebrations. We used to have picnics. I remember. And then one of the biggest things was on Christmas Eve, to go to church and the children would have new dresses and new clothes, and that was on« of the big things in the community.
SS: You would go to church Christmas Eve? Was there a celebration atchurch besides the service?
SS: That was all at home.
IMN: That was all- yes. We didn't have any celebrations then, we have nowmoreso now than we used to years ago.
SS: I know Frank Brocke and you probably know him-
IMN: Yes. I know him.
SS: He told me how his father used to always dress up as Santa Claus andcome in and the kids were always scared of him, they were always sure he was Santa Claus even they knew he was their father, they couldn't recognize him.
IMN: we always got some gift for Christmas, but never Santa ClausbecauseSanta Claus would come in a sleigh, and of course, there was always one little thing- but we didn't get very many things- people just couldn't afford it. And, of course, the next morning, we'd say, "Yeah, we heard Santa Claus." And one thing we always did, we always decorated the tree; everyone did and they made a lot of their decorations. Once in a while we make 'em now to show people what kind of decorations we used to have. Then Easter- there's another thing they'd celebrate, you know, Easter Day. We'd havewe didn't have eggs all winter- saved up a few eggs, so we could have some for Easter. And I was just trying to think. the Fourth of July celebrations- was always celebrated.
SS: That would have to be an American one.
IMN: That's an American one. And I was just thinking what other holidaysthere were- those I think vrere the traditional holidays.
SS: I've heard about there was low German and a High German inthe dialect.
IMN: Yes, and I can talk both of 'em. My dad and his mother talked LowGerman and we children talked Low German to them, and my mother didn't talk Low German, she talked the regular German-High German and we talked High German to her.
SS: Now what was the difference? I mean,why were there two differentones? Depends on where you come from?
IMN: Well,no, they had different dialects in Germany the same as they havehere, if you're from the South or from the North or from the West your dialects are a little bit different.
SS: Why did they call the one Low and the other one High?
IMN: I don't know why it was called Low- but the Low German is not aGerman, the High German- the regular German is, German and the Low German is not the German.
SS: The regular German is that what they use in the church?
IMN: Oh, yes.
SS: Was there a lot of difference between 'em?
IMN: Oh, yes, there's a lot of difference. I was just trying to think-Maybe if you'd give me a word, maybe I could tell oou maybe I could tell you whether it was in High German or Low German.
SS: Well, what about something like school?
IMN: School? Shull That would be in German- ?
SS: Or like church?
IMN: Church? (can't spell the German) And they didn't have it in the High German.
SS: Well, could people who could only speak one or the other, could theyspeak to each other easily and make themselves understood?
IMN: Yes. Yes I think they could pretty well understand one another.
SS: Do you think there was much desire to become Americanized here?
IMN: Very, very much so...My Grandfather came from Germany- he became anAmerican citizen right away because he wanted to be an American citi zen. And of course, then, the Civil War broke out and he was in the Civil War in Sherman's March to the Sea. And my folks always taught us to be very good Americans, that's what they came to this country for. And that's why we had these Fourth of July celebrations- well there was a lot, a lot of patriotism shown. Always had a speaker to talk about the good of this country and different things. And then they usually eneded up - the program- with singing America and every one sang and really meant it.
SS: But, say like, from day-to-day though, since this was mostly allGerman community right here- so people probably didn't have too much contact with people that weren't German, at least when they were right here.
IMN: Not right at Cameron, but if they did their trading at Kendrick andthat was English- so it was just community right in itself was German, but as far as trading with Lewiston and so on. And I know in- when the First World War broke out they sold more War Bonds they really supported their country.
SS: That's funny, because I know I've heard that some people did- FrankBrocke talked to me and other people, too, who were German and they have told me that people got a hard time because they were German during that time. Some people gave 'em a hard time.
IMN: Yes, there were some people. That's one reason my mother neverliked to talk much when she was out. She spoke broken English, She had the accent, and it always bothered her. And nowdays if she would be talking now-
SS: But at that time, I've heard- I heard that especially like Lelandthere were people in Leland that really gave Cameron a hard time during that time.
IMN: I can tell you something now- something that happened after theFirst World War and I'm not going to mention any names because I wouldn't want any names being mentioned- someone tore down- the flag schoolhouse waan't taken down for some reason or other at night and somebody came there and took the flag and stomped it down into the ground, to give the German people a bad name. Of course, that person has died or moved away from here a long time ago, so I hope that I don't hurt any feelings, I just loved the people. And there was someone at the schoolhouse that night and saw this.
SS: Saw it done?
IMN: Yes, and they weren't supposed to be there so they couldn't say anything. Of course, I knew it at the time, but I never said anything because I wasn't supposed to say anything, and I wasn't going to tell and get someone into trouble. So those things did happen.
SS: Were they there on or something like that?
IMN: At night; that's it. They were there on date. (Chuckles)
SS: I think it was Hattie Johnson that told me that- now, I don't knowif you remember this happening, but she said that when boys were going off to war at one point, there was a minister from Kendrick that really gave them a hard time. You remember that?
IMN: No, I don't, although her brother went at the same time my brotherswent. Now, it could be.
SS: She said, I think she said that he gave a farewell dinner and he saidsome things like, you know- "If I had any German blood, I would get rid of it." You know. Real patriotic.
IMN: Yes. Now, we were always taught, ray mother always taught us thatit doesn't make any difference what color you are, or what creed, or what nationality, or how much education you have or how little edu cation you have, it doesn't make any difference, it's what you do with yourself and do with the rest of the people. That's what counts. And so, we always tried to live by that.
SS: When I heard what I heard, it seemed very unfair.
IMN: Yes, there were incidents; I don't know of any incident right now,but . do know even in World War II- now all of my children were inboys were in- one of 'em was a German prisoner, he was shot down over? and another one was in Patton's Army and one boy was in Korea and the daughter took her nurse's training through the services. They were all in it, I know that before the second boy went, he was ahead of his age in school,,they were wondering why he wasn't in the army and he was only seventeen years old. So, I know that those things happen.
SS: It sounds like the business of War Bonds- I heard- what I've heardelsewhere from people who weren't German, that they expected German people to buy more than anybody else to prove that they were on the right side.
IMN: Yes. And these people did buy a lot of War Bonds. And there mayhave been one or two families that were a little prejudiced, I don't know.
SS: Well, they still had ties to the old country.
IMN: We still have some relatives there.
SS: Do you know why- why people were leaving Germany at the time andcoming over? Why they figured there was a better chance here?
IMN: My Grandfather 'the Mielke side came over because he did not likeall these wars. He saw so much fighting there. So that's one reason he came here. And he's the one that served in the Civil War. And then my grandfather Hartung my mother's side, see there was a class distinction in the old country. And my grandmother was from the upper class, from well educated people and my grandfather was more of a common person, and ofcourse, that was looked down upon.
SS: But he married your grandmother anyway?
IMN: Yes. He was a wonderful man and a wonderful broadminded man. Totell the truth, moreso than my grandmother.
SS: Maybe because he was common instead of high.
IMN: Yes, I think that had something to do with it. And that's one reason they cameto the United States. America.
SS: Because of the class distinction?
IMN: Because of the class distinction. And then they thought they'dhave a better opportunity here.
SS: If he'd stayed in Germany, would that have really stopped him fromrising in the social system?
IMN: Well, I don't know if you could rise in the social system therevery much unless you're born to a social system there. I think that's the way it used to be.
SS: But here, nothing stopped him to do whatever he could?
IMN: Yes. Well, from the Mielke side, my grandfather that fought in theCivil War- now he was from the big landlords, his ancestors and he likedithis distinction either. That one person should be higher class than another.
SS: I thought you said he was lower. No, that was my other grandfather.Grandfather Meilke that fought in the Civil War, yes.
SS: The other one, he was from the higher station.
IMN: Yes. My ancestors didnft like that distinction.
SS: That's interesting. Do you think that could be true of a lot of thepeople - other people that came to this community, too?
IMN: I kind of think so. I think so, although I do think that thereisn't as much distinction now as there used to be. I don't know whether you found it that way or not- for richer people. Maybe not class distinction as much as, oh, financial.
SS: I think in a way you could say that's replaced the class distinction. It all depends if you have money then you're- that's good- I don't like that distinction either.
IMN: No. I don't think it's as bad as it used to be.
SS: I wouldn't know because I wasn't here!
IMN: No- because I know people that have lots and lots of money and they'rejust as common- just the same as everybody else.
SS: Was it like that in your community from the beginning? Was theremuch distinction?
IMN: No, I don't think so because at the beginning nobody had any finances.Everyone had- well, had very little.
SS: So you think people were kind of roughly equal?
IMN: Yes, they were roughly equal.
SS: Were there some people that tried to put on airs anyway?
IMN: Oh, once in a while. Once in a while there were some. Not very many.
SS: That would be kind of normal.
IMN: Yes, it's normal. It's normal. About like every place else,I imagine. But they do help if there is any disaster they are just the most wonderful people to help you out in every way they can.
SS: In the early days was there much need to do that? To help each otheror was it more each family for itself?
IMN: No, I think they helped each other out when they possibly could.Especially if there were any illnesses. I think they did. I think out in the country- it isn't so much, oh, everybody for themself as being kind of a big family, and if they needed help, why, they'd come and help you.
SS: Sickness; when you're talking about that- is there any times in particular that you are thinking of when there was sickness? I know, like the flu was pretty rough at that time.
IMN: Yes. I know when our family had typhoid, nearly all the family hadtyphoid, my older brother was going to high school in Spokane and couldn't go and the other was going to Kendrick and had to out and my sister and I stayed out- we all had typhoid.
SS: Do you know where it came from?
IMN: From a water supply. My older brother was sewing sacks, he andanother man was sewing sacks and they had f into some bad water. And, of course, those days if you had typhoid you were sick for thcee weeks. Didn't have any antibiotics or anything to-
SS: And you caught it?
IMN: Most of us- my father and one brother and grandmother didn't get itbut all the rest of us did. And before that there were several families had it. And there was one family from Germany lived here, they lost their two boys; typhoid fever. Buried at the cemetery at.
SS: Was there fear in your family that not everybody would make itthrough that typhoid?
IMN: Well, - were hopeful that would. And one of my brothersdied. He was a year and four months old and he got spinal meningitis and he died. And my uncle died.
SS: From typhoid?
IMN: From typhoid.
SS: At that same time?
IMN: Yes, same time.
SS: Did you have neighbors help?
IMN: No, there were enough of us- my grandmother didn't have it and mydad didn't have it we could help each other. And, of course, you didn't want people to come in because you didn't want to give it to them.
SS: Do you remember about it- do you remember being sick?
IMN: I remember it very, very well, because at that time all we got to eatwas a little bit of- three tablespoons of broth with every bit of fat removed three times a day and that's what you got to eat for three weeks. And then when your fever was gone then you had to go back and start gradually with food. And you'd lost so much weight that there wasn't much left of you.
SS: I believe it.
IMN: Of course, that was the proper treatment at that time.
SS: Did your mother work hard?
IMN: Very, very hard. She worked very hard. She was the oldest one ofher brothers and sisters and I think she was nineteen when she was married. There were ten children in the family and three of 'em passed away when they were children and there were seven left. And she was a wonderful, wonderful woman. And we all worked hard but we were all honest- taught to be honest. And we were all taught - well, my folks sent us all to school, There were very, very few children that even graduated from the eighth grade, and they sent us to high school and we also went to college. And my mother and dad always taught us, "better yourself, never think that you're better or above anybody else."
SS: That's interesting that they had those strong feelings. Why do you think theyhad those ideas at that time?
IMN: Well, I kind of think it was because my mother's mother, her folkswere well educated, very well educated and belonged to the high class in Germany, and her father was of the poorer class and that's where she learned.class distinction; and she never liked it. "It isn't what you are born to or how much money you had, it's what you do with yourself." And she was very, very strong in teaching that to her children and so was my father.
SS: She probably liked the American system pretty well then since it'sa Democracy instead of a-
SS: inheritance and that kind of thing.
IMN: Yes, that's right.
SS: But for honesty- was that something that you think was true of thewhole- that they taught all the kids- that all the kids were taught at that time? This stress on honesty, or do you think that was special? In the family.
IMN: In our family?
IMN: It was very special, I think. Although I find- think that most ofthe parents taught their children honesty.
SS: When they taught you honesty- was that really never to lie and thatsort of thing?
IMN: Well, not to tell lies to hurt anyone. Your little white lies wouldn'thurt anything, but you know, to tell some lies that would be detri mental to someone else. Otherwise, what they called little white lies I suppose, if it would help anyone, that wouldn't hurt anything. And another thing we were always taught to think that we were more than any one else, because everyone had their station in life.
SS: Well, like the work your mother did; what were her responsibilitiesto the farm and to the family? That she carried out.
IMN: Well, see, to be good to one another and do ourwork honestly and fairly.
SS: Did she work outside very much? Did she help your father?
IMN: No, not too much. Well, probably milked cows and so something likethat, She never went out in the field and worked. It's usually the older boys that did. And of course then, when they were big enough they went off to high school and to college and then the younger ones would work.
SS: Did your father have most of that land cleared when he got it, ordid he clear it up when he got it after?
IMN: Oh, it was only about half cleared. The country was new, that wasin 1901 when my folks came from Minnesota and it was quite a new coun try and there was lots and lots of shrubs and brush and small trees and so he cleared up a lot, a lot of the land.
SS: Did he work out or was he able to get by right here?
IMN: No, just got by. at that time most of the people raisedeverything that they needed all except bread, the staples, bread and oh, a few things like that.
SS: What about say, like harvest time- did the men go outside to work?
IMN: No, the way they had the harvest done there used to be somebodyhad a threshing machine and an engine and then the farmers'd help one another with the wagons and horses, they'd haul the grain to the some pictures in that book about that. And they help each other out that way.
SS: It doesn't sound like there was much chance to get any hard cash.
IMN: There wasn't. There wasn't but very little hard cash. Because theonly thing- well, you had some grain to sell, but you needed so much for your cattle and for your horses and for your hogs and chickens. And, of course, there was lots and lots of fruit trees. Had lots of big orchards there at that time. And I remember when I was just a little youngster that my dad sold peachplums one year, took 'em to Kendrick and I don't know, they shipped 'em out somewhere. And the way they picked 'em- they'd put 'em right in the big wagonbox and hauled 'em to Kendrick. Now everything's got to be wrapped and everything. And seems to me he sold some pears one year.
SS: To get a little money.
IMN: Just to get a little money.
SS: You say you got to go on to high school, was that at Kendrick?
IMN: No, I went to high school in Spokane. My two brothers had graduated from high school and so then I had an aunt living in Spokane and so I stayed with her and I went to high school there.
SS: What school?
IMN: Lewis and Clark.High Slchool. And then my brother as deputy assessorat Lewiston and then I went to normal school at Lewiston. I stayed with my brothers then.
SS: Did you learn teaching?
IMN: Yeah, I taught school.
SS: You taught afterwards?
IMN: Afterwards, yes.
SS: Where did you teach?
IMN: I taught Middle School-three miles from here and then I taught nearMelrose.
SS: What was the first?
IMN: Middle School, about half way between here and Southwick. My sonowns that farm now. And then the first year I taught, I taught at Melrose, near Gifford in the Meyer District.
SS: Well, did you get very good training to teach or did you learn it inthe classroom?
IMN: Well, we learned. Of course, learning at school and actually teachingare two altogether different things. But you do have the fundamentals when you go. hd I liked it very, very much,and if I to do it over again, I think I'd like to do it again. Especially with little youngsters. Small children.
SS: What was it like when you were first teaching? I mean, what kindof experience was it?
IMN: I liked it very much, but I had a lot to learn, too! And what did Ihave, eleven pupils. I think I had six grades and some of 'em only had one in a grade, and we had to walk about a mile to school. And, I found it very, very interesting.
SS: Was it very demanding?
IMN: No, I don't think so. Well, you had to do all of your own work,you didn't have any-where they have a seat work up for child ren, you can buy it and have it all prepared, well, you had to pre pare everything yourself. And, I didn't find it demanding. And then there was one thing I always liked, is to be with the children out on their playground and play with them and see that it was all supervised.
SS: Did you find that each kid was an individual?
IMN: Yes. Very much so. Of course, the last year I taught school I hadthtlty-three pupils and I had all eight grades, didn't give you much time for each class.
SS: Were there things that the kids really liked? You know, the thingsthat were most popular with them, that you would do for 'em. The one thing that I knowAthey liked, and I really liked, too; on Friday afternoon after recess, we have, oh, just a little speech and I'd have the children tell some of their experiences, you know, and of course that would be so- it wasn't connected with their language but they could learn through it, and that was one of the most interestmg classes I think I ever had. And I don't know that they did or whether they imagined some of it! I know one of the boys used to tell such big storiesjand Ithink part of it was imagination. But
IMN: sometimes those people that have that imagination can get to bewriters and so on.
SS: Sounds like they were having a chance to express themselves.
SS: That's good. Was that your idea?
IMN: Yes, that was my idea.
SS: Did you have much of a role to play in the communities that youtaught in? Because I've heard that the teacher was a rather im portant person to the whole community.
IMN: No, not at that time. Maybe moreso, like Cameron was a little town,moreso, but really there wasn't. Of course, we had our pro grams and so on, but otherwise - it wasn't in the communities where I taught anyway. I think there were some communities.
SS: Were you able to keep the money you made from teaching, or did youuse it to help the family?
IMN: Well, I didn't have to help the family. I did owe some, I had somedebts when I started to school. The first year I taught, had a seven month school and got $60 a month, and I had some debts. My folks had loaned me so I could buy a watch, so I'd have something to keep time, and a few^odds and ends. I paid it back.
SS: When you were in Spokane and Lewiston did you work out at all at thattime?
SS: Or just straight go to school.
IMN: l Just straight went to school. I stayed with my aunt and uncle andhelped take care of the children, they had four little children and I helped with the housework.
SS: Was that a public school? Lewis and Clark?
IMN: Yes, it was one of the big high schools, at that time, Iguess thehave lots of 'em in Spokane now. It was an exceptionally good school.
SS: And most of the people in the community didn't get a chance to dothat, to go on.
IMN: No. No, I think our family and the Wagner family were about the onlyones at that time. Of course now they all go to school, but at that time I think we were about the only ones. Well, my dad always said he could have had quite a few offers jobs in Minnesota, but he didn't have the schooling and so he says he was going to see to it that his children got to go to school. And so my mother and dad sacrificed a lot so we could go to school.
SS: In what way?
IMN: Well, they were poor, very poor and a lot of boys stayed home andthey could buy big farms and everything. Of course my dad never had much land, they said, you children should be able to do something. And bohh my oldest brothers were attorneys.
SS: Where did they go to law school?
IMN: In Washington, D.C.
SS: Oh, really?
IMN: One of 'em went to- graduated from National Law College and the otherone from George Washington.
SS: And did your parents foot the bill for that?
IMN: No, they worked their way through school.
SS: It seems like it would take a lot of drive to go all the way backthere to go to school.
IMN: They had a lot of determination.
SS: From your parents?IMN Yes from my parents and my uncle, my mother's brother- said, MWliat. ever you do, go on to school." And then, one of my brothers was in Who's Who in the West. And my older brother was my teacher for two years.
SS: When you were in school?I was in school in Cameron. Said, My sisters.have to behave, if we didn't we'd get it when we got home." (Laughter)
SS: Didn't want you to be the first to take advantage of him; right?
IMN: Yes. And he modernized the schools. The teacher before-not theteacher before him-jjbut the girls sat on one side of the room and the boys on the other side, and then he'd come around and he'd have and he'd point a little pointer and he says, "Perfect or imperfect." And at re cess or at noon and when school was out and if you didn't whisper he said, "Perfect." If you whispered to someone said, "Imperfect." And if he said imperfect, you had to stay in.
SS: You had to say yourself?
IMN: Yes. And then he'd go around and he'd ask everybody around if youwhispered, and if they said, yes, if you didn't, he'd put down, "I told a lie." And if you told three lies, you'd get a spanking.
SS: Your brother cut that out?
IMN: Yes. He cut it out and we had a wonderful school board. Mr. Blumwas one of them, he had the blacksmith shop and he was very, very strong for school. And they had a new system for heating so it'd circulate and we didn't have to go to the corner and dip the dipper out and drink water out of it any more, that's what we hdd to do then wheijmy brother, they got afountain and each one had their own cup and we had lunch buckets - and a place to put all our lunch buckets instead of putting it in the back of the room and it'd freeze- and the lunch freezing. And, I don't know, there's so many- and had towels- had towels so we could wash and a wash basin. We never had any of that before.
SS: What about the chances of learning when you were going to school?
IMN: I think the learning was very good. Now the first teachers theyhad so many odd ways, but academically, learning, he did teach us things. We did learn. And then I think a lot of the students wan ted to, I know I did. I wanted to learn something. But we did learn. I think for early days the schools were adequate for that time. Course some schools may not have been. And then when my brother came to school, that's when we started having literary societies and school programs. Of Course he had gone on to high school in Spokane and he saw more modern ways.
SS: So those were innovations?
IMN: Yes, they were all innovations. And the girls and boys were all puttogether, mixed up instead of just sitting the girls on one side and boys on the other.
SS: You say, this teacher before- where did he come from? Do you knowwhat his background was? Because he does sound real oldfashioned.
IMN: Well, I don't know his background. He was oldfashioned in those waysand then in teaching right from the book: ; you did learn. One bad habit he did have- this is imperfect or perfect about telling lies- and then he'd always believe the other fellow.
SS: Not too good.
IMN: No. And then another thing that I never liked, he'd have an upperclass and ask 'em a question and they couldn't answer then he'd ask the lower class, and if a lower classman could answer he'd make fun of the upper classman. And that's one thing I always vowed that when I taught school- that's one thing I absolutely would not do. And, I hope I never did.
SS: When did you decide that you were going to want to teach?
IMN: Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to teach school.
SS: Where do you think that came from? What made you decide?
IMN: My brother was a teacher, we've had teachers in our family and mygreat grandfather taught school in Germany for sixty-five years. That was a long, long time ago in the 1700's- 1800's.
SS: And I suppose that your mother- that your parents would have encouraged you to do that?
IMN: Yes, they wanted us to go to school. I know my mother said she nevergot to go to school very much, she was the oldest one in the family and her mother was sick so much she had to stay home and take care of the children. And my dad said he could have had lots of jobs if had the schooling. And I wish you could see the books he kept, when he was the road overseer. And he had some office in the church where the bookkeeping was wonderful, for just having very, very lit tle school. Said when they went to school the teacher' put his feet on the desk, and he'd sleep and the kids tear around, and he said the boy that could wrestle the best was the best pupil. They knew what it meant to have some schooling.
SS: How much opportunity was there for mixing, between the young men andyoung women? I mean the chances to get to know each other and to kind of find yourself a partner?
INM: Well, here it was- we used to have- of course, there was the churchand the school, we had dances. And then of course, when we got older where we could mix, had dances at Leland and ball games. Now Kendrick, we hardly ever got to Kendrick, about as far as Southwick and that was about the way they mixed.
SS: Well, say like a date: did they have dating?IMN: Oh,yes, they had dating. Of course, the boy'd come with the buggy and horses. But I don't think they dated quite as young. I think they were a little bit older.
SS: To go on a date, where would you be likely to go?
SS: Would it be to someone else's house or something?
IMN: Yes, to the dances and then to the literary societ , that q be aboutit. There weren't so many places to go to. But, of course, when I got older then at Kendrick they finally had the movies and that was about it.
SS: When did you meet Mr. Newman?
IMN: I've known him since we were children. We knew the family in Minnesotaand we knew them here and then he went to Canada and Minnesota and then he came back here, and that's where I met him again.
SS: Had you been teaching already by the time-
IMN: Yes, then Imet him again, he learned things by himself. Learned music and hadan orchestra and he did taxidermy work. He learned that all by hisself, And, oh, so many, many things.
SS: Did he farm?
IMN: Yes, yes he farmed.
SS: Did you have to stop teaching school when you got married?
IMN: Yes, I quit teaching. And I had an opportunity to go back to teachingduring World War II, when there was a shortage of teachers, and just the youngest son was at home, and so I asked my husband and my son- I had this opportunity to teach, you've got enough teaching right here at home!" So I never mentioned it again! (Chuckles) Well, I can see, too, I was needed here.
SS: I understood that really that women had to quit when they got marriedin most places.
IMN: They did when I was younger, yes, if they were married they couldn'tteach.
SS: I wondered about that, I never understood too well. It seemslike sort of a discrimination in a way.
IMN: it was. But that was- that they couldn't get married. Now, Icould have taught- when I was married they could teach when they were married.
SS: So, you just chose not to?
SS: Did you have to do a lot of work yourself too to help out on the farmthen after you were married?
IMN: Oh, no. I never did any work on the farm,no. My husband's fatherlived with us and I never did work out. I never did work out in the field. I made my garden and took care of my garden and things like that, but not any field work.
SS: Did you milk cows?
IMN: Yes, I milked cows.
SS: Do you think you did more or less what your mother had done?
SS: Pretty much?
IMN: Yes. Of course, had it a little easier, little more modern things.Quite a bit. Washing, we had to do it by hand and so on until the electricity came. Of course, after a while we had the machines that we turned by hand, and really as far as easy is concerned, it wasn't easy until we could get the electricity.
SS: When did you get married? About what year?
SS: 1918. What was it like in the '20's for you and your husband farming?Were those rough years for you?
IMN: Well, we didn't have anything, but we just worked and just took itit came. See, we were just renting and had debts to pay off.
SS: How did the rental work? You lived in the house-
IMN: You lived in the house and then you paid one-third of the crop wentto the owner and the renter had two-thirds, but of course the renter paid all the expenses. Well, that was just about right because the owner had taxes to pay and had to live, too.
SS: Did you find that you got ahead in the '20's quite a bit, or was itreally just touch-and-go those years?
IMN: Well, a person never got ahead too far. Really, we didn't make anymoney- well, we finally bought this place and it took us a number of years to pay off the mortgage and then we bought another 200 acres, And of course, we didn't have it all paid off when my husband died. we sold it- when we sold it- we sold it to the family- kept it in the family.
SS: Well, I know that- people told me that when the Depression hit- andI don't know if it was true of you, but I've heard others say that when the Depression hit in the early '30's that it wasn't even much different than it had been because it had been so bad before.
IMN: Well, that's it. We never noticed it so much because we had a hardtime before. Of Course, you didn't get a very good price for your things and so on, but you lived just about like you did before. You didn't buy any luxuries anyway, just the necessities.
SS: And that was the same as it had been for you in the '20's?
IMN: Oh, yes. Just bought the necessities and worked hard. And, we werehappy and satisfied.
SS: Well, now, I know that some of the- I mean the reputation of some ofthe people around here that have done awfully well as far as getting pretty good sized spreads and all. When did that develop for them? Was that the same time or was it later?
IMN: Well, now we had eighty acres and then we bought hundred acres,and we earned every penny of it. But a great many of the people around here had inherited. They had fathers- and then, of course, the children were home and worked and just got more and more a lot of it is inherited. The fathers- the parents had it.
SS: That's the same way as it is around Genesee.
IMN: Yes, just practically the same thing.
SS: Those people that inherited from the parents had such a good start.
IMN: That's the way it is here. Well, see my dad didn't have so much asfar as money is concerned because we all went on to school. Of course, my parents did pay for my schooling.
SS: And your husband's father- he didn't have a big spread either?
IMN: No, he had very little and he was a well educated man and he didn'thave anything. He had absolutely nothing, he lost everything he had. Traded land here for some someplace in Washington and he lost that and went to Canada and when he went to Canada he lost everything he had.
SS: Where did he go in Canada? Do you know? Was it Alberta?
IMN: Yes, Alberta, at Seven Persons, Alberta.
SS: So he was trying to farm in that prairie, in that northern country.Had a rough time, harvests and all.
SS: That's a common story. A lot of people that were-
IMN: Yes, I know. I should say.when
SS: Well, he traded his place here for land in eastern Washington.
IMN: Yes, at Hay, Washington, it was in this desert country.
IMN: Yes. And they say now that's a good farming country. See,they farmdifferent now than they did at that time. And they say the people that live there now are doing real well.
SS: Did he come back here?
IMN: No, he went to Moscow and then from Moscow he went to Canada andCanada back to Minnesota and then they came back here.
SS: Well, I guess I'd like to ask you a little more about what the community around here itself was like when you were growing up. I would imagine it was bigger.
IMN: Yes, it was much biggerMvery much bigger because there were morefamilies and more children in the families. There used to be, oh, six, seven to ten children in a family. And I know at school at one time at Cameron there were as many as- that is in the grade school, there were as many as sixty in the school. And then, of course finally they had to quit school here because there weren't enough children to keep school.
SS: Then they started- that was consolidation.
IMN: That was consolidation with Kendrick.
SS: How did you feel about that? People feel about that? Were theyvery sorry to see the school go here?
IMN: Well, sorry in some ways and glad in another. Sorry to see the community life go out from school, because you had lots of activi ties in school and then kind of glad in another...
IMN: — I don't know how many schools there were and there was lots offriction there and jealousy. And when they consolidated everything goes down- and they all worked . the same thing. I think it was a better feeling all around in the consolidation, among the people.
SS: What kind of friction? You know, Just in- I don't mean any
IMN: Well, oh, maybe- this school is better and that school is better andthen athletics- oh, they'd, of course, sometimes get just a little be yond what they should of good judgement. And now when they're all together, they all work toward the same thing.
SS: So, you mean that before every little community was kind of a rivalwith the others.
IMN: Rivals, that's right. Yes. And I think it gave 'em more opportunityalthough the little schools, I think, in their day were good, at that time, because otherwise the children wouldn't have had any schooling.
SS: I've heard- what I've heard against consolidation is that for somecommunities- it may not be true in Cameron- for some, the community kind of lost it's focus. Some of these little ones, because the school was the center.
IMN: I think that's the way it was with most of 'em. Because, that wasthe center and that's where you'd have your activities and different things and you don't have that now. And then, there is one thing about the smaller schools, all the students could take part in things. When they go to the bigger schools it's just the better ones that could take part in certain things. There areAsome things for it and somethings against it.
SS: What happened at Cameron? Do you think that the community kept itsselfas a community after the schools consolidated, or do you think it lost something?
IMN: Maybe some things. Of course, there's one thing- they have the churchhere and they have activities there, so that kind of holds 'em together. And then they have 4H and that helpsA all this whole ter ritory. Of course it isn't at Cameron, it's at Leland but they all— but they come from all these places and I think that's one - that's another thing. And then we have, oh home demonstrations for the women. So there are a few things.
SS: It seems to me that the church was more important in Cameron than alot of places from the beginning because I know a lot ofcoppmnities didn't get around to building a church until years after they had schools there and Cameron must have had a church almost as soon as they had a school.
IMN: Just about. Just about. And, because it happened to be- the ministerhappened to come here and get all congregation- the congregation getting people- and from the same religion, I think that's one reason that was for Cameron. And, of course, there were some other families, here, too, but a majority of 'em belonged to that.
SS: Were there any families in Cameron that werenit German at the time?
IMN: I think so, yes, there were some families here that weren't German.
SS: How much would they take part in the community life?
IMN: Oh, not too much. AI remember- of course, it might have been morebefore- you know, before I came here- and I was a little youngster, that I don't remember.
SS: I wonder if they learned how to talk German, these people who werenot German?
IMN: No, I don't think so.
SS: Say, like in school- did you go to school with kids that weren't German?
IMN: Oh, yes, yes. And there is one thing I know that my sister and I well,a lot of times all get together and talk German and there'd be some of them that couldn't talk German. Well, we always talked English because we always felt that it wasn't very nice for those that couldn't understand, they'd think we were talking about 'em. We always tried to make 'em welcome. Of course, we were always taught that home and anybody came to our house, my mother always said , didn't make a difference who they were, "You treat them nice. You don't have to associate with people that you don't want to, but if they come to your home, you be civil to 'em."
SS: How much of this visiting, coming into homes really was there?
IMN: There was a lot of it. There was just a lot of it. People would gofrom one home to another on Sunday.
SS: Every Sunday?
IMN: No, not every Sunday, but quite a few Sundays. And then it was justtheywouldn't have a great, big dinner just eat what they haolt . (I hope I can help you with something else. I don't know if I've helped you or not)
SS: (oh, you have- because it's really what we want to try to save asmuch as we can, what life was like from people and similarities.)
IMN: In the early days they used to have baseball games, I can remember.If it was on Sunday they'd meet and have baseball and horseshoe pit ching. Used to have a lot of horseshoe pitching.
SS: Horseshoe pitching? This would be a community affair?
IMN: No, it wouldn't be community, just when they'd visit. And sometimes, too, if they'd have these picniss and so on. I'm trying to think of some other things.
SS: I was thinking about asking about the kind of opportunities that girlshad compared to boys in those days.
IMN: Well, I don't know, not too much I think. The only things the girlscould do was go out and do some housework or something. And they didn't have the opportunities that have now.
SS: That was common, housework. Did you do any of that?
IMN: No. My sister and I always told my parents that we weren't going tobe anybody's slave. We'd go out and dig ditches before we'd go be somebody's slave! We just absolutely going to do that.
SS: I wonder why.
IMN: Well, we wanted to go on to school and learn something and do something with ourselves.
SS: Did many of your friends work as maids? I know Hattie Johnson did.
IMN: A few. There were some, yes, yes. Well, when ww were youngsters, wedidn't look at it the way we should have, we didn't want to do it be- cause- and those people are just as honest as anybody, but we didn't want to do it. Well, to this day, I don't really like housework!! (Chuckles)
SS: But it seems like with the choices that were open to women at thattime, what else could they do?
IMN: There was nothing could do, there were no opportunities. Oncein a while some girls would work in a store, but there weren't many stores, either. There just weren't any opportunities for children.
SS: Well,now, I've heard a lot of talk about the old counntry ways compared to the new country, and that in the old country that the women were looked upon more as slaves, more as just taking the orders and the husbands making the decisions. Would you say that that's true difference between the old and the new country?
Yes, I think so. I think that as time went on the women had more tosay, although in our household my mother had just as much, say as Dad.
SS: Really, ever since you were kids?
IMN: Yes, can remember.
SS: They shared the responsibility of decisions?
SS: Made decisions together?
SS: They shared the responsibility of decisions?
IMN: Yes, oh, yes.
SS: He didn't just make 'em for her?
IMN: Uh-huh. No,they were made together. If they were made separatelythe other one heard about it, they worked together.
SS: Do you think that was a little unusual?
IMN: Yes, more so. I think so. I think at first the men did have more.The woman was supposed to be in the house and do the housework and the man was supposed to be the boss. I think that was quite a bit of the attitude.
SS: Do you think your father minded to have his wife making decisions?
IMN: No, no, no. No, he was was very well satisfied.
SS: That's good.
IMN: Yes, worship,;my mother.
SS: Well, that's good because I had the idea that it was kind of different and that's one of the reasons- I don't know if it's true, but it seemed like one of the reasons that girls didn't have the oppor tunities, was because of that old idea.
IMN: Yes, and then, well, you know, they didn't go to school and thingsor go and look out for work they couldn't get away from it, they couldn't get very far and do something else. Weren't many opportunities for girls at that time.
SS: In your family, did they treat the girls differently than the boysas far as what you could and couldn't do?
SS: The boys didn't have more independence than the girls?
IMN: No, no more. No, that was the same.
SS: That's different, too, than a lot of families, because I've hearda lot of people tell me that the girls just didn't have the freedom that their brothers did.
IMN: No, we did. We did, one was like the other.
SS: What about your friends- girl friends?
IMN: Well, I don't know. You know when you're young like that you don'tpay too much attention. But it seems to me that it was just about the same at most places, like it was at home. " I can remember, I think most of the people treated their boys and girls alike. Because I know when I went on to high school that my dad was telling me, "Why in the world do you send the girls to school?" Says, "Girls don't need to go to school." And there were a few, quite a few of 'em said they wished they could send theirs.
SS: Quite a few?
IMN: Quite a few the people that wished they could send their girlsto school.
SS: But others said- why-
IMN: Why do you send 'em, because girls will never do anything but getmarried anyway. "Well," my dad said, "even if they do get married they could use it in their married life just the same as anywhere else."
SS: Well, do you think that's it's better now, as far as the opportunftiesthat women have?
IMN: Oh, yes. Much, much better. Women have opportunities to get in mostany kind of work now and they couldn't years ago.
SS: If you could have had more of a career, would you have wanted to, doyou think?
IMN: No, I think I'd still want to go to teaching. I liked teaching,especially the little fellas. The little children. I still love the little children now.
SS: But still you felt that you had to quit when you got married, andnowdays, of course, there's women—
IMN: No, well, years ago, had to go away fromhome to teach, because we didn't have cars in those days and if a person could get back and forth it would get back and forth, it'd probably be different. And now, the life is altogether different now. Maybe some of it is for the better and some of it isn't!so good.
SS: What do you think wouldn't be as good now as it used to be?
IMN: Well, maybe too much freedom, I don't know, it depends upon theindividual, I think.
SS: Do you think there's as much neighboring?
IMN: No, not near as much. -'No, because, well, one thing is television-people stay home for that. And you have the car and opportunities to go fatther away from home, and probably have to go quite a ways to get certain things that are really worthwhile, concerts and different things and to learn and to enjoy themselves.
SS: When you were married did you and your husband share responsibilitiestoo. decisions?
IMN: Yes, we always did. We always did. 'Course, we didn't always agreebut we could come to an agreement by talking things over.
SS: Did you go together for very long? Was there court ships in thosedays?
IMN: Yeah, we went together for about a year, a year and a little over.Of course, I had known him all my life.
SS: Were you married in the church here?
IMN: No, we were married at Lewiston.
SS: I was going to ask you about play when you were a kid, what sorts ofthings you did- you know, what girls' play was.
IMN: Oh, let's see, of course, we always played with dolls. Do you meanwhen we got older or when we was just little?
SS: Oh, both, really.
IMN: When we got older? Oh, we'd do some fancywork and we played theOuija board and we played cards and play
IMN: Yes, that's a big board and checker board and things like that.And we'd play ball. We played a lot of baseball.
SS: Girls, too?
SS: With the boys or with the girls?
IMN: With the boys. I played with the boysAin the eighth grade, didn'thave enough boys so I had to play with 'em, I and my girl friend. And my oJuter brother- my brothers played on baseball teams and I'd have to play with 'em. My brother next to me, I'd always have to for him- pitch for him. And I loved baseball anyway.
SS: Would that be like Cameron and Leland?
SS: Was thelte- hot rivalry?
IMN: Oh, quite a bit. Quite a bit.
SS: and Juliaetta really had a hot one.
IMN: Yes, quite a bit. I don't think it was quite as bad as Kendrick andJuliaetta. Of course, maybe there wasn t quite as many people, young people. And that's the way it used to be with the schools, too. Basketball games. There used to be very much of a rivalry. I know because my youngsters all played.
SS: Did they have the play party games as part of the literaries andthe school doings?
IMN: Play? You mean, have plays?
SS: Play parties, I was thinking- the games like the Miller Boy.
IMN: Yes, we used to play that and oh, Spin the Bottle.
SS: Spin the bottle?
IMN: Yes, and, oh, Skip to My Lou, and, oh-
SS: Was Spin the Bottle a kissing game?
IMN: No, you spin the bottle and you got the question and point to 'emand you'd do that and then they'd have to ask a question.
SS: Were there forfeits?
IMN: No, not with Spin the Bottle, but with some of 'em we played forfeits.Used to play, I'm trying to think of some things- I've kind of forgotten- It's been quite a while since we played- and oh, and, Telephone was another one, we played. Did you ever play it?
SS: No, how?
IMN: One would start whispering and they'd have to pass it on and we always tried to be careful so that there wasn't three or four boys sitting next to each other, because by the time it reached the next person it was something altogether different than it should be!
SS: You girls kept it straight better?
IMN: Yes. They'd keep it straight. And see, what else did we play? Um-Cross Questions and Silly Answers.
SS: I've heard of that, now how did that work?
IMN: Oh, they'd line up boys on one side and the girls on the ohterand someone'd give this side some questions and thettone opposite would have to answer it. And that side, someone would go around and give 'em an answer and they asked on this side and answered on that, or whatever, you'd get some crazy answers.
SS: Well, now, would each side work out an answer together.
IMN: No,hone person'd have to go on each side and give the questions andanswers. They used to have a lot of fun playing games. I can't re member all of 'em.
SS: I can understand it, it's been a long time.
IMN: Years ago.
IMN: Oh, it's been sixty years ago.
SS: Now what occasions would you play those games on? In a literary or-?
IMN: No. That'd be when young people'd meet at different homes. They'dmeet at different homes and then they'd have those games. At literaries, that's where we'd have our debates and our paper and our singing and little plays and different acts.
SS: Were any of the games kissing games, at that time?
IMN: Forfeit sometimes would be kissing, but there were some but not toomany. But there some. Oh, the one that was a kissing game was Post Office. (Laughter)
SS: How did they play Post Office then?
IMN: Well, let's see, maybe a couple had to go into a room and someonewould have to be the doorkeeper and the couple in the would have to name somebody to come in that room and then the boy'd have to come and get the girl, to see to it that he got the right girl, and so many kisses. I remember that now.
SS: Well, were they taking turns, in other words, a boy would call agirl in and a girl would call a boy in?
IMN: No- or was it that way? Now, that could have been it, too.
IMN: Now, it could have been that way, too, maybe it was that way. It'sbeen so long ago that I don't remember whether- huh- I wouldn't doubt that that's the way it was- when did the right girl come-
SS: Did you get to pick who you wanted to come in; did you know who wasgoing to come in?
IMN: Idon't remember that. Ijustldon't really remember. Ithought^theboy had to pick a girl and this couple would have to come in, but I forget- I think the way you say must to have been it. To really tell the truth. I think you're right.
IMN: I think the boy- so many stamps for some one, until the rightfick her boy. girl would come, and then she'd go in hart Whatever boy she wanted for so many stamps.
SS: I know there was a lot of different ways they played that game.Well, did you have any kind of game like Skip-To-My-Lou played at school?
SS: This was all homes?
IMN: This was homes. At school we played Blackman.Pull-Away, I think you know that.
SS: That's my name for Blackman. Is that a catch game? Like catch a kid?
IMN: Yes, from one base to another. And then we used to play- ftheyused to Crack-the-Whip.
SS: How did you do that?
IMN: Have a whole, big- lined up, you know, take ahold of hands and thenthe leader, he'd run and pull the string around and the one at the tale end- was sent flying, just break your bones.
SS: These were outdoor games?
IMN: outdoor eames.
SS: These were played in the schoolyard?
IMN: Yeah. And we used to play- huh- Dare Base; sides. And how in theworld was that? There were two sides- oh, gee, I've forgot how that was played.
SS: I've heard of that game though.
IMN: I don't even remember how it was played. I haven't seen it playedfor sixty years. Oh, gracious. We used to play a lot of baseball.
SS: Was that the most popular game?
IMN: I think so.
SS: When you were teaching?
IMN: Yes, we used to play baseball.
SS: Well, did the older kids prefer a game like baseball to a game likeBlackman?
SS: It did it matter in the age?
IMN: No, it didn't make any difference, we played- the little ones andthe big ones all played baseball, and I'd be there with them. And then we played Dare Base- but I've forgotten how it was played. And we used to play Run-Sheep-Run. Gracious, how in the world was that played?
SS: I've heard of that game.
IMN: I don't even remember how that was played. And, "Old Mother PigeonToe, lost her needle and could not sew." But I don't remember how it was played. I remember the words.
SS: Do you know the name of the game?
IMN: It's Old Mother Pigeon Toe.
SS: I never heard of that one. That's a new one to me.
IMN: I don't remember that one.
SS: Well, let me ask you about threshing-
SS: -was that-a big deal at that time?
IMN: Yes, very big. And the threshing machine would come and thresh thegrain. And it used to be the threshing crew;Kone to thirty people. And of course then, they'd bring their teams and their horses and they'd haul the grain to the threshing machine on these racks. And the women they had breakfast about five o'clock, and then they'd have lunch-they'd fix a lunch; coffee and sandwiches and cookies at nine o'clock in the morning and then they'd have a big dinner at noon^meat and potatoes and vegetables and pies. And the only thing to drink at that time was coffee, tea or lemonade, there was nothing else but lemonade for soft drinks. And then they'd have lunch in the afternoon at three-thirty of coffee and sandwiches and cookies and then we'd have a dinner at night about seven o'clock.
SS: Each at each home? This was when they were at your place?
IMN: Yes. That's the way it was in this part of the country. Now someplaces, the threshing machines had a cookwagon, and they had a regular cook and they served the meals in there, but this territory around here, as long as I can remember, they cooked in the home.
SS: Why do you think the difference- why one over the other?
IMN: I just have no idea.
SS: How long would they be at a place?
IMN: Oh, it depended upon how much you had to thresh. Sometimes a day,sometimes two days, and if it rained, sometimes three four days when the threshing machies came from a distance. If it was just the neighbors then they could go home, but for a while the threshing crews came, oh, maybe ten, fifteen miles away. Of course they couldn't go home.
SS: There was no threshing machine right in the neighborhood then?
IMN: Not at first. After a while there was, but I know my husband had athreshing machine-
SS: Did he own it with other men?
IMN: Yes, with others.
SS: And they did the whole area?
IMN: Yes, quite a few of us. And then after the threshing machine wasgone they had the combine.
SS: When you did the cooking, would neighbor ladies oome and help, or waait just done-
IMN: Well, you'd do it yourself, if you needed help you got help from someof the neighbors or some of the young girls would come and help you.
SS: Was that a very exciting time when you were young?
IMN: Oh, for the young people it was a lot of fun. There'd always beyoung boys at the threshing machine, or at least they hoped there would be! That was^the grain threshing and then after that there was bean threshing and a different type of grain- changed and the different styles changed.
SS: What kind of chores were you expected to do when you were a younggirl?
IMN: Oh, had to get in wood. Had to do dishes. Help hoe in the garden.Help take care of the children- the smaller children. Gather eggs; feed calves and then when we got a little older we had to milk the cows and gather in some of the fruits, and so on. Dig potatoes. And so many children had to stay home and do so much work. Nc , our family, the only things we ever had to stay home for is to help dig the potatoes. And I hate to dig a potato to this day!(Chuckles) And my sister and I, we cried, we didn't want to stay home, we thought maybe that would help so we didn't have to stay out of school, We just loved school, but that crying didn't help. We had to dig po tatoes anyway!
SS: What did families elsewhere- I've heard that the boys, like, stayedout of school more than they went helping at home? Was that true here, too?
IMN: Not in my family, because we all liked to go to school.
SS: But, I mean others.
IMN: Well, some of 'em probably. Once in a while some boys would playhookey!
SS: I wasn't thinking so much of hookey as to-
IMN: -to stay home and work.
SS: Work, yeah;
IMN: Well, A LOT OF BOYS, I don't know if they wanted to stay home or ifthey had to stay home and work.
SS: Well, this potato digging, did that take very long?
IMN: Oh, one day, but we didn't want to stay out one day. No, we always wanted to learn something. Well, we were always taught that from home, too, to learn and try to better ourselves.
SS: And you had a lot of opportunity in the school to do it, even thoughit was just a one-room school and just had one teacher for all the grades?
SS: Was there much homework to do then?
IMN: Yes. Because that's one thing we always did; we got our lessons.Not in grade school but in high school it . all homework. Had to put in an hour on each study and you had to take four subjects, and you had to put in four to six hours studying, and then I went to Lewiston to the Normal School and that was easy.
SS: By comparison? To the high school?
IMN: Yeah, the high school was the-
IMN: By comparison. Yeah the high school was mighty hard school. Andto tell you how good the school was to Lewis and Clark, at that time- I don't know what it's like now- when I was going to Normal School we had to write a composition and the teacher had mar ked my puncutations wrong in addressing and so she askedmeUien we got our papers back and she had marked mine wrong, and so she wanted to now if there were any questions and so I asked her, I said, "Why was this marked wrong?" And she looked to see how it was marked. She said, "What high-school-didoyou go to?" "Well," I said, "Lewis and Clark in Spokane." So, she was a graduate of Columbia, so she looked it up, so she says, "You are right." She says, "' wrong." But she says the Lewis and Clark is quite a bit ahead of most of the schools." Well,and really, we had to- I really wanted to go to school so badly that I just put in a lot of time, too. And you had to you had to have your lessons. And I was just so happy that I could go.
SS: Well, when you were teaching, did you have a kind of philosophy aboutit- about how to teach, you know, how to go about it? What teacher should do and what she should be like?
IMN: Yes. We were taught that when we went to school. When I went toschool for teacher? training they taught us, "You are there to teach children, and you are there also, to help the community. You're sup posed to help them, that's what you're there for. And you're not there just to have a big name or something for yourself. Of course, you make a living, but you're there to help those children and try to teach those children." And I think I had some very good training at the Normal, Had a very good teacher when I was out stu dent teaching.
SS: Oh, you had to do student teaching?
IMN: Oh, yes, we had to do student teaching.
SS: Where did you do that?
IML: Where the mill is now at Lewiston.
SS: Was there a school there that you went and taught?
IMN: Yes. Yes, not all Italians. But there were quite a few Italians there.And Mrs. Dodge was the supervisor and she was acceptionally good.
SS: How close did they supervise you when you taught?
IMN: She just went right in the room with you. She could see what youwere doing.
SS: And they'd give you what we'd call feedback today? Did they reallycomment and criticize?
IMN: Yes, yes, you had to make your lessons every day and then whenyou taught, they wrote what you did right and what you did wrong. She'd tell you. And I'll never forget the first time I had to teach a third grade geography class and here one of teachers from the Normal School came out with one of the big teachers from back East a doctor someone. And of course, our teacher told us, "Don't be afraid of the teacher that comes from- -£tt supervise- they aren't critical, but the ones to be afraid of are the students, they aren't the ones that know and they are the ones that criticize. So, when I was introduced to him, I didn't hear the doctor, I just heard Mister, so, "How do you do, Mr.- " And then I heard after a while it was doctor and oh, I felt so bad, because what a big blunder. I thought made a big, big blunder, and I don't think he even heard it! And so when Iwas teaching the class and I thought to myself, "Oh, my goodness," that's the first class I taught, I thought, "Oh, how will Iever get through?" And when I got through he came over and; compli mented me. Now, I don't know whether I actually did teach it alright, or whether that was just hia way of encouraging me! (Chuckles) I'll never forget, I was teaching in Nez Perce County; at that time Nez Perce County went way- Lewis County belonged to it and Clearwater County- that was-all one county at that time. So a person often wonders what you learned and why
SS: i'11 bet you were probably a pretty good teacher.Well, I don't know. Some ways, I think I could have been better, some ways, I think I was alright. I got along good with the children. But one thing they did have- there was discipline. They had to mind,
IMN: And still, they could do a lot of things on their own, but they hadto mind when they were told to do something, they did it.
SS: In the community, was there much that the teacher could do? You saidthat you were there to help the community.
IMN: There wasn't much, no, no, there wasn't much of anything you coulddo besides just teaching your classes. There was no way to get around either.
IMN: But I think years ago there was more discipline in school, anyway.
SS: Did you have to punish kids, occasionally?
IMN: Well, I- in all I taught, this one child, and after I hit thatchild I made up my mind- never again! I could have disciplined just as easy- I learned a lesson- just as well as anyone else and I felt terrible after I did it. I did it before $ thought. And only once as long as I taught, did I lay a hand on a child.
SS: What made you feel so bad about it?
IMN: Well, I felt that I could have done it some other way besides hitting. And after that if there was a problem I never touched a child, I talked to them, and I could always get along wonderfully well.
SS: So you really felt guilty?
IMN: Yeah, I did. I felt guilty. I^could have done it some other wayjust as well.
SS: l want to ask you a little bit about living away from home too, whenyou first did it. Now what was that experience like? You were still a pretty young person and you'd grown up so in the country here and then you were in a big city like Spokane?
Boy, I tell you, I just wonder. The first day I went to school- myaunt lived two miles from school and my brother was working on the streetcar at that time- brakeman on the streetcar- earning money to
IMN: go on to law school. And so they said, "Now,"- he took me in the morning- says, "Now, when you come back," says, "don't cross the streetcar track. Just keep on the right side of the street car tracks, and you'll get home." And I did and I got way up to Sacred Heart Hospital and I knew I was lost. And I thought, "My goodness,"I'd never been in a city. I'd been to Kendrick twice in my life I think and just at Cameron and Leland and Southwick. So I went all the way back to the Lewis and Clark, walked across the first streetcar track and I was almost home and here came the car- the Liberty streetcar, that was the car that I should take, so I waited until the next car came and took it and I think I had four blocks to go when I got home. And, oh, I was just scared to death. And I made it. And I went around from one room to the other, I never got lost, there was a basement, first floor second floor and third floor and I never got lost- third floor? There was no third floor, second floor- First and second there was just two floors. I made it. And the same with taking gym. I happened to get there, I never got lost.
SS: What about the city? Did you go downtown and explore the downtown?
IMN: No, not 'til I was there for a while. I didn't go downtown very often. And my aunt was working thetffeWnd sometimes she'd come over on Saturdays and we'd go downtown.
SS: Did they live much differently than your parents? I mean, was thestyle of life up there very different than in the country?
IMN: Not, too much. No.
SS: Did they have a lot more conveniences?
No, because my aunt and uncle were very poor. He was a painter andthey had four children and they were poor. They lived just about- my aunt and my mother were sisters, so their training was a lot alike, and those children were small, none of them went to school yet.
SS: at did you think of the idea of living in a city compared to inthe country?
IMN: Well, I liked the country, and still I remember some of my girlfriendshere not too many years ago, "Say do you remember when you saw those great, big homes, like you said someday you were going to have one of those and have all kinds of servants?" (Chuckles) I said, "I remember, but," I said, "I wouldn't want it." I wouldn't want it, I like to be by myself. I don't like to have somebody else, I like to have my family and do what I want to do.
SS: But that's what you said then?
IMN: That's what I said at that time.
SS: You must have been impressed by that.
IMN: Well, yes, I'd never seen those big homes or anything like that.That was an altogether different life, and I of course, just saw the outside of it and thought, "Boy, that's pretty nice!" And, then of course,Kafter one of the movies, thought, "Oh, how wonderful it would be to be able to act and get all that money." After a while when you get older, you don't want any of it. Your ideas change.
SS: I've heard a lot of young girls wanted to be a movie star for alittle while when they saw those films.
Yes. Yes, that's what you saw, just on the screen, you don't knowwhayelse went with it at that time. After you get older, you look at things in a different light. Did you know many people that do leave and go to the city to live from here, that didn't stay in the countryside?
SS: It sure seems like a different kind of life.
IMN: Well, so many of the boys and girls had to get otit, that there wasn'tenough land for 'em and do something else, so a lot of the boys and girls went out. Right this community then, and a lot of 'em are doctors and lawyers and physicists and nurses and everything, have gone out from this community.
SS: Was there much Red Cross work going on out here during the FirstWorld War?
IMN: Yes, very much. My sister was- was she a president? And I helpedwith it whenever I could. They did a lot of Red Cross work. Gave dances and gave some dinners and met every week and sewed, did a lot of Red Cross work.
SS: That's one thing I heard was that some people at Leland gave somepeople kind of a hard time. The Cameron Red Cross was a lot more ac tive than the Leland was.
IMN: Yes. Yes, we were very active. Well, we had people- my three brothers were in the service. And there were a lot of the boys- there were one, two, of the boys- one boy from this community was killed in World Warl.
SS: Who was that?
IMN: He's buried here in the cemetery.
SS: I heard that was almost right at Armistice Day?
SS: He was killed.
IMN: Yeah. They brought his body back and buried it here. And World WarII- it isn't here, but my oldest brother's only child was killed and he was an aviator. He didn't do the flying, but he was with one of his officers and they went down. And my youngest son - the oldest son'sA was shot down. And in World War I I think there were lots of 'em.
SS: I've heard that they tried to stop people from speaking German duringthat first World War. The services in the church were always in German and after the World War I came they made such a big fui's about it, that they changed it, they had three Sundays in English and one in German.
SS: After the war was over?
IMN: No, this was as soon as there was so much complaining.
SS: During the war?
IMN: Yes. And then after while it was all English, most of them- thechildren can't talk German now. (Chuckles)
SS: But that's when they changed thefyduring the war?
SS: But that was outsiders, right?
IMN: That was outsiders, yes. And that's why our name, Newman, was Neumann,that's really the right way, it's Newman now. My husband was working at Kellogg at World War I and they were so opposed to the Germans, anybody with a German name they just couldn't get get anywhere. So they just changed the name, all of our records are under that name, Newman.
SS: I've even heard it said that some people wanted to try to get thepeople's land here, that that was behind the hard time that they were giving them. That they were hoping that if they gave people a hard enough time they'd move away and buy the land. That's what I've heard said. Well, I don't know. I don't know anything about that. In the second World War there wasn't that prejudice. I know my husband had a store down at Kendrick and someone asked him, "How do those people of German ancestry, how are they down at Cameron?" And he says "Well, they're just like in the World War I, they went over the top with war bonds and all of our sons are in the war."
SS: It was your husband that was the one up in the Coeur d'Alenes thatwas mining?
SS: Now, at that time did he have any trouble that he remembers of prejudice against him?
IMN: No, there was prejudice, but that's the reason he wrote his nameNewman.
SS: So he got around it?
IMN: Yes, he got around it that way.
SS: Probably those people didn't even know that he was German.
SS: Sounds so crazy.
IMN: pour country is made up of everyone, of all nationalities. Like mydad when my mother passed away, my dad wanted his brothers and sis ters in Minnesota. He still had two brothers and two sisters left and they were all getting up in the eighties and so I went along with my brother and my dad, because they couldn't go by themselves. So one of the relatives, he was telling about how the Irish fought with Germans and how they'd get into arguments in Minnesota. He asked my cousin, my cousin was along, too, "How is it in Idaho?" And my cousin thought for a while, he says, "There are no Germans and Irish or anything like that there, they're all Americans." And that's the way they look at 'em.
SS: Do yo« think that's true, there was a lot less of this nationalitybusiness here than there was back in the East? Much, much less. And I know even now with the prejudice- now, one of our very best friends is Japanese, she taught school at Orofino for two years and she's teaching at Moscow for third year now. And when she first came she said, "I just don't know." I says, "Peggy, you are American, just the same as I am. My ancestors came from Europe and yours came from Asia." I said, "What's the difference?" And they are the most wonderful family, the most won derful Japanese family you ever saw, ever met.What's the difference? It's what you do. There is no difference. And I think that's what makes this country great, is all the nationalities and everything.
SS: Did y°ur parents feel that being out here was better than being inthe Midwest, when they look back at the difference today? Did they think they had made the right decision?
IMN: Yes. Yes, my dad said he's sure they did, because he thought there'dbe more opportunity here in a. new country and he couldn't see where they could get ahead back there. And the, oh, I don't know- that was one of the reasons. And then the minister, of course, had a lot to do with it and told these people how much of an opportunity they had here. And my dad could have bought a lot of Spokane and been wealthy, but he didn't want to stay there, he wanted to come out here, this was his goal.
Did he know many of the people that were here when he got here? Wasthere a really lot of people from that old community—?
IMN: No, the minister was the only one.
SS: When your father came?
IMN: When my father came, When we came he was the only one-
SS: So, he was in the first group?
But how many families- if you were just going to guess- how manyfamilies came from that old community back in-
Oh, maybe about seven. Of course, other people had lived here beforethat, this was in 1901 and some others had come in the 70's, '80's and '90's.
SS: What can you tell me about- a little more about the church itselfand the support that the church had. I mean, you were able to sup port a minister here? In the community?
IMN: Yes. He didn't get very much, very much of a salary. I know one ofthe ministers, even after I was married here thirty, forty years ago, just had $800 a year. Course they get a lot more than that now. They didn't get- I don't know what salary, but they got very little-
SS: What else did they get? What other benefits beside the salary?Were they- did they get, like, a garden put in for them?
IMN: I don't know if they even had a- they probably had a little garden,there wasn't much ground- the old building's still there, the first church on the corner, just part of it is still there. And I guess they had a little bit of a garden and a cow, that was about it. I don't know if the people brought- people probably brought some vegetables and fruits, because there were a lot of fruits in that time. There were a lot of big orchards.
SS: Was the church used only for services?
SS: It wasn't used for any other- was it used for other community activities? Just religious?
IMN: Just religious. The community well, there was the schoolhouse, butthen the only thing that they had there - and after a while it was the literary society.
SS: Was there much stress on the confirmation when you were growing upand Sunday School and that sort of thing?
Well, when I grew up- confirmation- we were dressed up- we eachhad a new dress.
SS: But was the religious education treated very seriously when you weregrowing up?
Oh, yes. I think there was more prejudice though when my parentswent to church and when I went and I was confirmed than there is now. I think the churches work together a lot more now than they did then.
When you say prejudice, you mean, the church thinking that it was theonly church?
Yeah. That's right. Well, I think one thing, there's another thingthat I think I can thank my Mother and Dad- they always said, "Every body thinks their religion is the best, don't ever tell anybody else their religion is no good, because that's what they believe in, and if he doesn't believe in anything, that's his business, that's none of your business." So, I think I had some pretty good training.
SS: Doesn't sound like what some of the churches were teaching at thattime.
IMN: I know. Because they were teaching just what your father said, that they were-I know it. And we had ministers in Harvard there, as far as relation is concerned.
SS: What did the ministers do? The ministers besides taking the services and you know, preaching, did they act much to sort of help solve problems in the community in those days? Would people come to them with their problems and confide in them? Yes. Yes, sometimes they would, I think so. Yes, because I remem ber they Reverend Hopf, you know was a very good friend of the family. He was telling about one family- one man was so terribly against dancing and they were having a dance in the home and he went to the ministry, and he says, "Reverend Hopf, they're dancing in such and such a place." Reverend Hopf said, "I didn't see anything, I didn't see anybody dance." He said, "Did you? "No, but I know they're dancing." "Well," he says, "I didn't see anything."
SS: Was the reverend supposed to be against it?
IMN: No. No, I know when I went for confirmation the minister didn't believe in dancing, but I don't know, after while he didn't care, I think probably so many of the congregation didn't want it. Didn't want card playing, either.
SS: But it didn't stop the young people?
No, or the old people, either. Well, they played cards, theydidn't gamble or anything, they just did it for pastime and there was nothing wrong about that. And then later on, when another mini ster earner
SS: What kind of dancing was it at that time?
IMN: Two-steps, waltzes and square dances.
SS: What would the instruments be?
IMN: Well, there was usually someone in the community that play violinand organ or piano; that is, in the early days. Then later on my husband had a band, he played saxophone and drums and piano- and, oh, what else did they have?
SS: Where did they play? Just in the community?
IMN: No, at Kendrick and Peck and different places. He taught himselfhow to play, learned music, read notes and play by note, and a while by ear.
SS: Did the community have to get together to do any special things?And besides support the church, did they ever have to get together like on road building?
Oh, yes, yes, they had the road building and then the road bosses.And, yes, they d get together on those things. Well, you see the roads were just practically trails and thenabr4she-came, you know. They'd have to get together and do all those things. And I suppose there were lots of things that I've forgotten.
SS: I won't stay much longer, I think I'm mostly through.I guess this business of success and being poor.i'm interested in too. This business say like having a car- now would that be a real sign of success when the cars first came in? Those people that got them?
IMN: l don't know if it was so much success as, oh, just wanting to havesomething different. I don't think it was just really success. I really don't know, I wouldn't think so, not for myself it wouldn't be We got the cars and of course then, people could get out farther and do different things. And there's one thing, I told you before, so many of 'em from here got to go to school and learn different things.
SS: That happened after consolidation, you mean?
IMN: No before, you see my brothers went- and you see I was just littlethen, that was in the early 1900's.
SS: Oh, I had the idea what what you said that that was unusual.It was unusual, but my brothers got to go and the Wagner family got to go but most of 'em didn't even get to go. Well, and most of 'em didn't even get to go Most of 'em didn't even get to go to school, they had to stay home and help with the farming. And then, of course, as time went on, a few more'd go on and a few more'd go on. And I was about one of the first girls that ever got to go to high school.
SS: Do you remember any feuding between any families? And I don't careabout the names of the families. So many communities seemed to have certain families that were just- couldn't get along with each other at all.
IMN: Oh, yes, there were families that couldn't, yes, I remember.
SS: Do you know why they couldn't get along?
IMN: For nothing, for no reason at all. tney did itI know that next to where my folks lived there was a family living on the next to them and one right across the road and those o\d fellows, they just absolutely couldn't get along and I don't know why they couldn't, I don't know what the argument was about. So, there used to be some rivalry. And there used to be some rivalry and then I think too. Not very much of it, just a little here and there. And then, I know some people thought they were just a little bit better than sonuj 'else.
SS: Why would they think so?
IMN: I don't know
SS: Would it be because they had more, that they were more successful?
IMN: I don't know, I just don't know. And I don't think there is thatmuch of a feeling anymore, at least I don't think so, doesn't seem to me, seems to me that everybody is more equal now.
SS: You think so, more than in the early days?
IMN: Yes, I kind of think so. Although, in the early days if you neededhelp- even now- if you need help why, they're right here to help you.
SS: Well, I had the idea though, because everybody- most everyone had solittle that there would be more equalities- now, it seems like there's more difference in wealth, some people have so much compared to others.
I was going to ask you about this tragedy in 1912 when Mrs. Tupperand her sons drown. Do you know that story?
I know it just as well. Because I went to school with young Jameswas in the same grade I was and my brother was teaching school at and we were over to one of the men, they were giving him a party on his birthday and we heard that the Tuppers had drownedit happened here, oh, about a mile east from here, and so we went over there and this mother and her two sons and daughter were living Athere, the father had passed away about three years ago and the older boy was in Oregon going to medical college and this was about the eighth of June or something like that, and the older boy had gone into- they had a big, deep pond a little ways away from the house and he went in swimming, and he started drowning. And his younger brother^was twelve; he went up to the house to call- to get the mother and the mother came and tied a rope around her arm and threw it out to the boy that was drowning and he grabbed the rope and pulled her in, and of course, she couldn't swim either and the twelve year old boy he went in after them, trying to save his mother and his bro ther and he drowned. And the little girl was eight years old, Ethel, she came over here- her uncle lived there, to come and tell him that her mother and two brothers had drowned. And, of course, they called everybody and told 'em- and called the doctor. Of course, went went over, too, and they were just getting the last boy out and the mother and young brother were out on the bank aready. Of course, the doctor couldn't save 'em after being an hour in the water- you know, for hours.
SS: Did the girl come right away?
IMN: The girl came just as soon as she saw, she came running across thefield as fast as she could come. And then, somebody says, "Oh, if they would have been there, they could have saved 'em after they got 'em out of the water." But after you've been in water that long, why, nobody can save them- there was nothing that could save them.
SS: That sounds just terrible.
Oh, that was terrible. And then the young girl lived with her unclefor a while and then she lived with her brother and she lived 'til eighteen years old and then she got sick and died and/the older bro ther was the only one left. He was a doctor. Course, he's retired now, he must be, oh, he's way up in his eighties.
SS: He doesn't live around here does he?
IMN: No, he lives in- I think he lives in Seattle; Warren Tupper. And Inoticed one of the papers, the early Lewiston paper, where somebody killed some else, .I've saved all those papers- when ever something would be in the paper that I thought was real interes ting from early days, I'd save it.
SS: Do you remember that?
IMN: I don't remember that, that was before I was here but I have thepaper with the article in it.
SS: That experience sounds so tragic for that family, because the wholefamily's gone.
Yes, and another tragedy that happened here- that's after I wasmarried- is one of my- well, a fellow that was teaching here married my cousin later on, he was teaching at Leland- he was teaching the upper grades and a teacher from Kamiah was teaching the four lower grades and she had a boy, oh, what was it? twelve years old? I don't know just exactly how old he was, but he must have been older than twelve because he was going to school at Kendrick, the twelve year old son was the younger one, that's right, he was going to school at Leland, and they went home for Christmas and this older boy, he must have been about fourteen or so, because I think he was a fresh man in high school and his father bought him a.22 and here one evening shortly after Christmas this older boy shot his mother and his little brother. Of course, he went out for help everybody came and he tried to say somebody came kill. Of course, before the mor- ning was over the officers had him confess; he shot them both. So tragedies do happen.
SS: That's murder.
IMN: That was murder. That was murder. And they put him
0:00 - Family came with other Germans from Arlington and New Auburn, Minnesota; poverty of the people
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Segment Synopsis: Early days at Cameron. People told stories; grandmother told of ghosts. Get-togethers. Fourth of July celebrations. Games. Dances first at homes, later in school. Literary societies: the "Hog's Eye", a newspaper with funny stories about the people. Debates were serious; importance of printing press verses discovery of America.
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26:00 - Grandparents disliked wars and class distinction in Germany; equality of poverty then; less class distinction
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39:00 - Teaching school;few children went to high school; strange old fashion teaching methods; tradition of teaching in the family
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Segment Synopsis: Teaching school. On Friday afternoons she had the children tell about their experiences. Very few sent their children to high school when she went; her parents sacrificed because of their determination. Queer ways of an old fashioned schoolmaster; her brother's innovations. Tradition of teaching in her family; parents' regrets that they couldn't have got more schooling.
51:00 - Mixing for young people; husband told her not to go back to teaching; discrimination of woman teachers
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Segment Synopsis: Mixing for young people. Her husband told her not to go back to teaching. Discrimination against woman teachers. Her work at home. Renting a farm; slow process of acquiring land. They hardly noticed the depression. Many of the successful local farmers inherited. Her father-in-law's unsuccessful farming, including eastern Washington and Alberta. School consolidation was accepted with mixed feelings.
60:00 - Consolidation ended friction between small communities; Civic activities and importance of Church; non-Germans in the community didn't mix
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Segment Synopsis: Consolidation ended friction between small communities Civic activities and importance of church. Non Germans in community didn't mix much or learn German. They spoke English as children with non-Germans, following parents' instructions. Sunday visiting - baseball, horseshoes, picnics.
66:00 - Girls worked as maids; few opportunities for girls; divided opinions on sending girls to high school
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Segment Synopsis: Games that girls played. She played baseball with the boys. Cameron verses Leland ball rivalry. Party games - Spin the Bottle, Telephone, Cross Questions - Silly Answers, Post Office - were played at homes. Literary and debate. School games - Black Man (Pom Pom Pullaway), Crack the Whip, Dare Base, baseball, Run Sheep Run, Old Mother Pigeon Toe.
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100:00 - Red Cross work in WWI; church criticized use of German language; husband changed name to get work
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Segment Synopsis: Red Cross work in First World War. When outsiders criticized use of German language, the church started English services three weeks out of four. Husband changed name from "Neumann" to get work in Coeur d'Alenes. There was far less stress on nationality in the West than the Midwest - all were Americans. Acceptance of a Japanese teacher in the area. Father's belief in opportunity of West. Father could have bought land at Spokane.
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Segment Synopsis: Father was in first group from Minnesota congregation. Support of minister. Church was used only for religious activities. A new dress from confirmation. There was more prejudice on the part of each church; parents taught acceptance of other churches. How reverend dealt with opposition to dancing. Dances.
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