digital initiatives logo library logo

Latah County Oral History Collection

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

« View All Lillian Woodworth Otness interviews

Report a problem with this interview.

Date: January 16, 1975 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

Search This Index



Download the PDF transcript

Below is unprocessed text taken from a scan of our PDF document. It's messy; we know. If you would like to help us clean up these transcripts, please email Devin Becker at

LILLIAN: But I livedhunfil I was through college and then I went away to teach. And it was fifteen years before he and I were married. his He went away in the meantime to New York City and got a PhD and worked in an institution for the mentally retarded and went into the Navy and all that so.

SAM SCHRAGER: Had you known each other well in high school?

LO: Well we had dated off and on all through high school and college, but it was just one of those things that we got together eventually. but it was a long time. And of course I had been independent for a long time, and the girls that were interviewing me were interested in that. And oh, what adjustments I had to make from being independent and...

SS: To getting married?

LO: Yes, to marrying and being a housewife with no job, no outside committments and so on.

SS: curious about some of that too. I think that the idea of not patting married was pretty unusual, wasn't it? Of not getting married as soon as you got grown?

LO: Oh y«ah, yes. I mean it was just expected. And I can remember when I was teaching that one of my friends who was a teacher left her job to be married at that time.nAnd I thought it was high time she was twenty-six! I thought, 'She just better cause she'll be an old maid now if she doesn't look out.

SS: What was your feeling about yourself? Did you really search consciously for an independent career? And did you yourself want to get married?

LO: Oh I think so, I think so. I think it was, you know, it was the accepted thing but when you wait that long you get to the point where all are the interesting men your age already married. And you just don't meet very many eligibles. And I felt that I wouldn't be satisfied to marry somebody that didn't have pretty much the same educational and intellectual background that I had had. I just didn't think it would make a good marriage So it was quite a while.

SS: Where did you teach?

LO: Oh, I taught in Klamath Falls, Oregon. And then I taught at what is now ISU, at that time it was southern branch of the University of Idaho. And I taught there until during the war I worked for the USO for about oh, about a year and a half, in Texas and Salt Lake Gity. And then I went back to my teahing job. So I was mainly teaching.

SS: When you were teaching were your friends mostly married or were they mostly single women?

LO: I'd say probably mostly single women. There was quite a group of single women on that campus. And it was a rather sociable group. We did lots of things together. And that is something that I have missed all my married life. I just didn't have friends of that particular kind as much as I did then.

SS: What did your mother think of your not getting married? Was she pushing you towards the alter?

LO: No, no. She wasn't the kind that was pushing me toward it. I think she was very happy when I married Ott because he had her full approval. But I had an aunt that was just a storybook mother that was trying to marry her daughter off. And she lived in Spokane, and when we used to visit her, why a great deal of talk went into that bout her daughter and her dates she could have married this one if she had played her cards right and so on. There was great preoccupatdon on her part, not so with my mother.

SS: When my mother was growing up she's about sixty now, she's told me about her high school days and after. The attitudes I that that had about love, just I find incredible to hear her talk about them. I mean it sounded like, at least in the milie^which I think was pretty typical, the one that my mother was growing up in, you know, people were always talking about getting married and getting engaged, and these things were done very lightly. And as my mother told me, it's an old saw but people seem to be in love with being in love.

LO: Um hum.

SS: And actually it seemed fairly shallow, I mean, at one point be engaged to somebody and be going out with his rSmmate on the side and that kind of thing.

LO: Um hum.

SS: I've always found that puzzling, but interesting. In some ways it seemed like there was a lot more of a dating game than thereks now.

LO: Oh, I think so. And I think that it is on the whole a much healthier attitude. that women don't feel that they're second class citizens if they're not married anymore. If they're single from choice, that they don't have to make any excuses for it. I think this is much better. One of the things that those girls were interested in was my comment that when I was in college very few married women were in school. And they just couldn't understand that. But I don't suppose that at the time I was in college that I knew more than half a dozen. And we thought they were sort of queer, when married wmen were going to college. Well of course now, it's so widely accepted, nobody regardless of age would feel strange in a college classromm, I think, or would be made to feel that he didn't belong. But at that time college students were all, you know, people in their teens and twenties. But this really was a puzzle to the girls.

SS: Yeah, it sounds like the same way to me. I mean it's hard to, it seems so different.

LO: Uh huh. Well, it wasn't only married people, but older people just didn't go to college here. Of course there were only about 1800 students at the time I graduated and you knew a large percentage of the student body you knew at least by sight. But the older people that were in school--oh, they were largely, I have difficulty in thinkig even who they were. But there were a few. They were professional people come back for another that degree or something like that. But very few of them. And think too as far as the educational climate was concerned there was much more of the feeling that college was an education--something you got and that was it. Then you had it, you know. Whereas now I think most peqLe feel that it's just the beginning of education college degree, is just the beginnings That you go on from there to a lifetime of learning if you have any intellectual pretensions at all.

SS: I think that's probably very true, but I had never thought that it didn't use to be that way too. But it didn't.

LO: No, it didn't, and the teaching was very different. At least I found it so. I didn't relize quite so much at the time, but I can't remember ever being in a class where we were asked to form our own opinions, to evaluate and look at evidence and draw conclusions from it. What we got was somebody else's opinion and you were supposed to learn this and ybu know, parrot it back on an examination.

SS: I wish I could say that I thought it had really had gone all the way the other way, but I think some courses are still that way.

LO: Yes, I think so too. And I think too, I thought then;that is maybe in retrospect, but probably some of the worst teaching in the country went on in colleges. For which the colleges had themselves to blame I think; because they don't ask you whether you can teach when you apply for a job they ask you what degrees you had and what you published. And they're not necessarily the same thing.

SS: Well for you, what was it that made you find that you could keep on learning after college. What shaped your own sense of learning? Because it doeh't sound like the milieu was one to particularly encourage that.

LO: I don't know. Of course, I went on to summer schools and things like that. And I picked up a couple of master's degrees later, I suppose the fact that I was in college teaching was it; maybe more than anything else.

SS: Did you begin to make a move towards this more open-minded kind of teaching yourself early in your own teaching or did it take time for you. . .

LO: Well, most of my teaching before I was married was in physical education, and it isn't just the kind of thing where you do that, you know. I mean you're teaching physical skills, mainly. as soon as I came back to the teaching of English—then I tried to. But that was a good deal later. But I felt as I got older that I was vastly undereducated and that I had been cheated by not having the kind of teaching that would for me into some kind of independence of thought. Because it seems to me that that is one of the things that educated people ought to be able to do is to hunt out the evidence and then evaluate it and draw some kind of conclusion from it. Rather than making learning just a matter of memory.

SS: If you were going to characterize what the learning was like when you were going to school here, would you say that ninety per cent of it was that kind of learning?

LO: I felt that the reason that I was able to get good grades fairly easily, there were two reasons: one was that I had a good memory, the other one was that I was able to write, that is to organize material and phrase it so that it was intelligible. I could write a good essay test. Sut I think as far as the other sort of thing, that is questioning anything that was handed down as the word of wisdom, you know, I didn't do it. I wasn't trained that way. I had to come to that later. And it seems to me that it shouldn't be that hard to get there.

SS: What about the teachers themselves when you were at the university? Were there teachers that you could consider outstanding teachers regardless of the linitations in method? How would you evaluate them now for the time?

LO: Oh, for the time, I think they were probably average. I look back on it, I had about one high school teacher and about one college teacher that I was outstanding. That was atiut it. And when I looked back later had on at the college teacher that I felt at the time was outstanding, I decided that she wasn't really as outstanding as I had felt she was, it was just that I liked her so well. So I think that there was a great deal of really mediocre or aib-average teaching going on. And when I did go back to school the to work on an M.A. in English I wanted to do student teaching in high school, for one thing as a matter of insurance, I wanted to qualify for a secondary certificate. And I had never had practice teaching,and that was required. And I wanted to do it 'cause I wanted to see if the high school had changed as much as I thought they should have in the meantime. And they had changed, but not that much; there was still a great deal of the same sort of teaching that I was used to.

SS: What would the typical class be like at the university when you were enrolled there, the way the teacher handled the clkss? Was the# ever class discusAon, was it completely lecture?

LO: Lecture. The only class discussion I can remember was in the professionaj physical education courses I took. But I took courses like psychology, history, and so on—there was never discusssion. English literature—never discussion. I can't remember being in a literature course in English where there was five minutes of discussion. And of course the curriculum was very limited. At that time if you were an English major, you took a course in Old English and acourse in Chaucer^ P^nd two courses in Shakespeare, which was twelve credits out of the twenty credits for the major. And that didn't leave very much. I had one semester of American Lit. Of course, at that time, I didn't really realize this until a long time later, but Amerfcan Lit was just starting to be taught as college course in the twenties.

SS: Do you remember who were taught as the masters of American Lit when you took the course, who were the people you studied?

LO: Oh, yes, it was pretty much the same thing. It was a survey course) and we started with Nathaniel Bradford and things like that and worked up through Melville and Poe and so on. ind I don't remember any thing more modern than about 1900 in this course.

SS: I don't think that Melville and Poe were too terribly lauded during their writing careers either in the sense of serious literature right at the timeonly by a minority.

LO: No, I don't think so either. But I had a course in Victorian. I was trying to think what else I took. Oh, drama, contemporary drama had a course in that.

SS: Would you say that your own understanding of what you were reading and what you were studying was superficial or was very hampered by the teaching methods? I mean sometimes I have felt that myself.

LO: I think it was very superficial. I really do. The head of the English department was . interest6! in Victorian and Shakespeare; and the course in Old English that we had is the kind of course that probably now isn't taught until the graduate level. I had a graduate course in Old English later, in the '60's, and I think probably now most schools you'd get it at the graduate level rather than under graduate. But it was something that every English major took and I don't about the minors, I just don't know whether English minors were required to take it or not; they may well have been.

SS: Were there many women going to the university when you went?

LO: It was about a third of the student body—there were about two men to every woman. Yes, they were numerous. I imagine that there were probably six hundred out of the eigiteen hundred at that time.

SS: Do you think there was a strong difference in the assumptions about the two sexes going to school? Were women going there for finishing or were they going there for careers as the man were?

LO: Well, in the first place I think that if a family had to chose between would be educating a son and educating a daughter that the son the one always who would get the education, no, I don't think they were going here for finishing.

SS: Education was ©f significant value feeling a rounded person for man or woman then?

LO: Well, I think most of the women that I knew in college considered themselves to be preparing for jobs. I won't say careers, but preparing for jobs I think most of them. Of cmrse,aany of them married and that was the end of their education, too.

SS: But when you say jobs, are you thinking, was teabliing the only one?

LO: No, I would say probably teaching was the best opportunity for women, but women did take things like, oh, a few women majored in sciences like botany and so on. But there certainly was a distinct feeling that here was a large block of jobs that women just wouldn't consider, you know, like engineering and chemistry and things like that.

SS: Do you have any idea about what the assumption was—why women couldn't do this kind of work? What it that they were incapable of understanding engineering and chemistry?

LO: I think it was partly that. I think there were a lot of people who felt that, fhat women were inferior in intellect. But maybe even more it was, well, we've never had them, you know—we've never had a woman engineer We've always done it the other way.

SS: That doesn't seem like much of to me.

LO: Oh, it's a very poor reason. Of course, I'have always felt that we've always done it the other way is aboutthe poorest reason for anything, you know. But you'd be surprised how much of that kind f thinking I've run into—not always phrased that wayv 8ut it's just an attitude of resistance to change. I was on a commencement committee once down at the Southern Branchy and we got into a big hassle over how people were going to march in. And some people thought they saw a more efficient way to do it, and it was finally resolved on the basis, well, we've always done it the other way. And I think this has been^in the attitudes toward women, has played an important part—resistance to change.

SS: What do you think the attitude of the women was when you were in college? I mean was there much of an awareness about this kind of inequity?

LO: No, I don't think there was. I think that women had been brought up where this climate was the thing and even though they were maybe aware, they just figured it was something they had to accept. I don't think there was much rebellion against it. Oh, with a few you got it, but I think most of us were conditioned enough by our upbringing that we accepted that. Arnd I think the climate is much better now. it's not perfect yet by any meansr that is there's still discrimination and women play, certainly, a much smaller part in the things that make the world go round than they deserve to, but it's much better than it was. But I think that a lot of it was that we had grown up surrounded by this kind of conventional attitude, and a lot of us didn't rebel against it as we should have. And I can remeber being burned up when I was on the faculty at the Southern Branch because the executive dean, who was the head of the school, made no secret of the fact that given two applicants equally well qualified, one a man and one a woman, he would take the man anytime. And I felt this was grossly unfair. 4nd I also thought that if a woman happened to be interested in something like women's physical education or home economics^ that this was to her advantage because those were jobs for which men didn't ordinarily compete. But I felt it was very unjust that it should be so.

LO: I don't recall that he ever justified it, and he was what I had regarded as an open minded sort of fellow. He was not an old fuddy-duddy. He was fairly young. Oh, I think he thought there was more stability maybe, women Karried and went off and left the profession, ftit beyond that I don't know. But he made no secret of it.

SS: Was there any kind of legacy of the women's rights struggle from the earlier days—the women getting the vote and Ida Tarbell and people like thisfwhen you were in college?

LO: Not that I was aware of. I really wasn't. I knew as a matter of history that there had been those struggles, and I knew that it was a matter of some pride that Idaho had been one of the early states to give women the vote, but I really wasn't very aware of the struggle for women's rights.

SS: When you say some pride—to whom? To Idaho in general or to.

LO: Oh, I thfflc my mother was proud of that fact. -ihat Idaho had been one of the early ones to give women the vote. I don't know that it was very general, but at least I was aware of it. But no, I don't think that there was much of a legacy from that.

SS: When you were growing up, can you try to characterize how differently a feirl would be raised from the way a boy would be raised? I mean there are certainly still differences now in the way a girl or boy is raised; but as far as what a girl was allowed to do or attitifes about her behavior. an you remember how it was different for you and your brother, let's say?

LO: Well, as I told you before my brother was seven years older than I and that was enough difference that just that gap in the ages would have made quite a difference in the way he was treated and thevey I was. But I also remember that when I was in high school, I think, we had some kind of a dress-up business I don't think it was a masquerade dance,but it was some kind of costume thing—and I went dressed as a boy and that was the first time I had ever had pants on, I think. And this was regarded as sort of, well it sounds kind of silly to say daring, but that was really what it was. Oh, I guess I had had overalls when I was little and used to go out to grandfather's farm, but I can't rertl member after we lived in town here and I was in school that I ever had any description of pants. And of course when I was in college, for physical education classes we wore bloomers. And I can remember when shorts came in there. There was quite a little discussion about that as to whf ther shorts would be acceptable. And I used to go to the Campfire Girls' Camp up at Cottar d'Alene Lake, both as a camper and as a counselor. And I was among the first people at that camp to wear anklets instead of knee-high socks. And this created quite a storm. I think the staff had to have a meeting about that—to decide whether anklets would be permissible or not. And the decision was it was all right for ordinary days, but not for visiting Sundays. Not when there were visitors.

SS: What are anklets?

LO: Well, just bobby socks!

SS: Oh, just a short little sock.

LO: Yeah, just short socks. Up to that time we wore knee-high socks, and this would have be along in the late twenties. And wearing shorts created equal prbblem at first. This was innovative. This was something that we've always done the other way, Something that hadn't been done before.

SS: That's funny. It's hard for me to not see this question of equality of the sexes as one where the men had good thing going and wanted to keep it that way, was really a question of,1 guess oppression As aword that seems to fit. I prefer things in just the social context than simply political, but it does seem like there's something pretty darned unfair.

LO: Yes, it was and I don't think men were consciously oppressive, I think this was just the way things had been.

SS: Yeah, I suppose from what you're saying in general, there wasn't a very strong eense of oppression on the part of the women either. They didn't feel themselves oppressed.

LO: No, I think mostly not. I think that this was not the average response, certainly. It was the response of afew, but not everybody. And I think the men in a sense were the victims of the climate, too, because they accepted without questioning these inequities^because it never occurred to them that it ought to be any different. and

SS: You know, if you try to think of your parents other adults that you know, actually think ebout the relationships of older people. Do you think that they were relationships of inequality and not ones of equality? I'm not sure how we can define what equality really means^and that's pant of the difficulty, but I'm trying to think of it from the other side- in my family my parents haven't been equaleven though I do think my mother has missed certain opportunities that she would have had if the climate had been in their lives different that she would have enjoyed. At the same time, they do seem to have almost an equal kind of responsibility. Do you know what I'm saying?

LO: Yeah, I think so, but I'm notcleur on the question that you're putting to me.

SS: Well, I guess what I'm putting to you, would you say that really be an equal amount of responsibility or authority maybe, autonomy, of the two adults—man and wife?

LO: I don't think so. I don't think there really would. They were equal, but some were mor^"equal than others. And I think if it came to making a decision that the influence of the man weighed more heavily on that decision than the influence of the wife, in general. That is- his would be the final word on the subject—on things like where do we live, what kind of work do I do, what kind of house do we have,and so on.

SS: You don't believe particularly then that men were largely influenced in their decisions by what their wives wanted?

LO: Oh, I think some of them were, depending on how willing their wives were to nag them to the point where they got their way, I think there was sane of that. And I think that in a good marriage relationship then as now there was give and take and a co-operative spirit. But I think that women had been brought up to expect that they would defer to their husband's wishes in a great many things.

SS: Do you feel that you were brought up that way?

LO: Well, I don't feel that I was ever inddetrinated by my family that way. My mother never aaid to me," Now when you marry your place is to defer to your husband's wishes in all things." This sort of thing never happened. But I think in general the climate was such that I was brought up that way.

SS: You were telling me that when you were in high school you felt that even though you were smart you better not show it too much.

LO: Um hum. Yes. I felt it as early as that and later too-that if you had brains it was well to keep them hidden,if you wanted to be popular. And I felt in general that the boys I knew did not care for someone who could outdo them scholastically.

SS: Do you think, by the way, that girls teded to be better students than boys when you were in high school? Or would that be just a bad generalization?

LO: Oh, I think to some extent. In a way they didn't have the range of outside other interests interests that boys had. That is, they didn't have the freedom to do a lot of the things that boys did. But there were boys who were good students and there were girls who were.

SS: You know, often it seems to get down often to a question of competence, I know my contemporaries feel that they hadn't had the opportunity or the chance to do things for themselves arid develop the kind of skills that men develop by having this much broader range of activ^ies open to them. Do you think that that would be a pervasive fact back then, that women were in a position of lack of skill?

LO: Yes, I think so. I think so. Of course, it depends on what kind of skills you're talking about. Boys tinkered with cars and things like that girls didn't do that sort of thing. They don't much yet, I don't think. However, my dad taught me how to do things like fixing a leaky faucet or fixing an electrical plug;and during the times when he was gone, when he was in Carfta, I fixed all the leaky faucets there in the apartment house. And you know, I did odd jobs and things like that. I had a certain amount of mechanical aptitude that way and I did those things. But I don't know,

SS: I think one of the things I find puzzling in trying to understand the question of equality is the differences in role When I think of the pioneering situation^ and men and women sharing that tasks, it seems like although there was a role differentiation the woman did the home and the man did the outside— At the same time both roles seemed so absolutely necessary and that I tend to look at that as an equal situationt foth had to do atot of things just for a living to get by. And so to me the frontier seems to promote equality when I look at it from that point of view. Do You agree?

LO: Um hum, Yea, I think so, I think I do. Frontier women and lots of farm wives today play a very important part. Farm wives drive tractors and do all sorts of things like that. And I think this is the kind of thing that you're talking about. Now when those really pioneering days were over^ maybe the balance slipped the other way so that women were regarded more as something to be cared for and looked after than as equal partners and contributing to the tasks and so on.

SS: I of the things I question in the re-valuation of the past from the radical woman's point of view is that often the idea of role differentiation itself is looked on as an evil, you know what I mean?

LO: Um hum.

SS: And I feel that in the pioneering situation that even if the woman was in the home and the man was doing the farming.both tasks were really on a par.

LO: Um hum, I think that's right. I think may be after pioneer days were over— in some ways I think American women have been terribly pampered—some of them anyhow. And I think some of them have lead pretty superficial lives out they're mostly upper middle class women where the husbands were pretty good providers and theie was a good deal of affluence.

SS: Well, the whole question of status is another one that really intrigues me. We often think of Americans as being really status—conscious people,and one of the things that strikes me about Moscow when I study past as compared to some of the rural places in the county, was that the aim so strongly to civilization, the oasis of luxurious living. Immediately from a very pioneer state, it seems to be aiming for a New York or a Chicago. I'm not exactly sure what I'm driving at to ask you, but it seems like a real strong motivating force.

LO: I think thatfs right. I think that's true that that did happen. And that there was, even in the days when the towns like Moscow were not very far from the frontier, there was an awful lot of concern with what other people would think and with keeping up with the Jones' or ahead of themf which is essentially the same thing that you're talking about.isn't it?

SS: Exactly.

LO: I think that is probably true, "that there was a lot of concern with that. Maybe my home life wasn't typical. As I look back on my mother I think she was, for a person with a very limited education,,the didn't quite finish high school, she married in January and would bye finished high school in May, but she stopped and didn*t graduate- so her education was really very limited. And yet, as I look back on it. he showed a good deal of independence in some ways. I'm reminded of one thing—she was a charter member of the Historical Club, which I guess was the first women's club here in town. And the Historical Club was responsible for getting the Carnegie Library and they really got in and did things. And in her later years, the local Historical Club made a great deal of fuss over her because she was the only living charter membei1 $nd they nominated her as their candidate f©y the stste—ofei what was it the member with the longest service and everything. And she was selected for that from the State of Idaho and entered in the compete with the Federated Women's Club and they gave her a plaque to say that this was what she was—the one from the state. And they really were lovely to her and just carried her around on a pillow and did all kinds of nice things for her, took her to meetings and went out and visited her when she was in the nursing home. And I don't suppose any of the women that are members now know that she quit the Historical Club years ago and never went back because one of her friends was nominated for membership and was blackballed because she smoked. And my mother didn't smoke—never smoked, never cared to. But she quit the Historical Club of which she was a charter member for that reason. And I think that showed a good deal independence on her part.

SS: This was after they had make a big fuss over her or was this before?

LO: No, this was before. This was years ago, this was probably fifty years ago at least.

SS: Oh, I see, they came back and got her to honor her.

LO: Uh huh. And they really made a lot of fuss over her. And I just feel sure that there isn't anybody that belongs to the cloub that knows that. There's a bench up in the park that is dedicated Rer memory.

SS: Well, I guess they were willing to just forget all about it because she was a living symbol.

LO: I think so, but I think they didn't know that, you know, that she had. . .

SS: She was probably too nice to tell them.

LO: She probably was and of course they were so nice to her and made such a fuss over her,4nd I don't know, in a file of clippings, I must have at least half a dozen clippings where she'd honofred at their annual luncheon or something like that. They just carried her around on a pillow as the only surviving charter member. And I didn't even know that that park bench was up there until last summer. I went up to the park and here is a plague with her name on it. And they just really did all kinds of nice things for her. But I just feel sure that nobody knows that she pulled out and never went back, and that that was the reason.

SS: Do you feel that your mother was not very status conscious? Or comparatively^ she wouldn't be?

LO: I would say maybe comparatively she was lees so than. . .

SS: She would be quite concerned about appearances though.

LO: Oh, I think so. I think she would be concerned about what people thought, and about appearances and all that", but she had a very modern outlook for a woman who was as old as she was. When I was in Pocatello she used to come down and spend, oh, months at a time with me. And she fit right in with my friends. She had just a remarkably youthful outlook. And she wasn't the

SS: I see, oh that's a wonderful story. kind of person who would try to tell other people how to run their lives or anything like that. She just lacked some of that unyielding quality that a lot of older women have. She was interested in things that were going on,and she kept up with things politically and news, and she was not resistant to change the way a lot of older women are. For years after I left there, the friends whom I had left there would keep in touch with my mother just as much as they did with me. because she just had this quality of adaptability which as I look on it now it seems to me is rather rare because I see contemporaries of mine who are not as flexible and youthful in their outlook as my mother was when she was older.

LO: Oh, the Bulgin revival Yes, well the Bulgin revival team came, and they built a temporary building at Third and Jefferson and had a highly organized program for the school children after school in the afternoons,And they worked it through the churches, through the Sunday schools, and got them to enlist the children. And we went in droves. Of course it was less than a block away from the school. And they would have this program, it was highly competitive. On the first day they divided the audience into two groups the reds and the blues. And they were running this competition and it involved things like learning Bible verses. The leader would get up and recite something or a song—it had to do with supporting the team you were on the red8and the blues. And then the competition was to see who could send somebody up the first time who would repeat this, you know, rote learning is what it amounted to. And I don't know how long it went on—it seemed to me it was quite a long time, something like about three weeks as I look back on it, but it might not have been that long. And at the end of why whichever team won was going to be the guest of honor at a banquet, was the way it was describee. Well, what it fcutied out to be was a sack lunch that everybody had to pay for. There was a minimum I think, you know, how much you had to pay for it. Anyhow, it really wasn't what it was pictured to be^ All this hot competition and we really took it very seriously so that we were temporarily almost enemies of people who were on the other fceam,which as I look back on it now was really very Christian. But it was I suppose the novelty of it that made it interesting—the competition.

SS: you got points for doing everything?

LO: Oh, I forget what all it was, but part of it was how much money the side could take up in the collection. There were points for that, and there were points if you could get new members to come and be on your side—you got points for that, seems to me that we went to it everypay after school; but it might not have been that often. And then of course in the evening they* d have these preaching revival meetings that the adults would come to. And this was, oh, it was preaching against sin and against the vices: drinking and I don't know about dancing, whelier that was one of the sins that they were preaching against, but it was pretty much the old time religion. And they had sort of like Billy Graham- they had a piano player and her husband was the song leader, and they had this tdam that came. Andjit was quite well attended. And somebody has told me since that theV stock in trade was to go into a town and stir up trouble, one group against another, and in this case it was the students that were the whipping boys and ...

SS: In what way?

LO: Well, that there were things going on on the campus that shouldn't have beem going on. But I don't know just what—I didn't go to these evening meetings. My mother went a time or two, and I might have gone once, but not ordinarily.

SS: Were the mass meetings attended by most of the denominations in Moscow? They weren't limited to just one or two as sponsors?

LO: No, no, I think it was pretty general. They were made up of the members a good of many of those congregations. And they got in to a little trouble. This is one things I do remember about them, because they were taking off against children the dancing and he made the statement in one of the sermons that parents work hard to send their up here to college,and they go to the dances and dance dances run by 'fiddling syphilitics'. And the Mann Brothers Orchestra of Lewiston was very popular in this part of the country at that time, and they regularly played for dances up here. And the Mann Brothers sued Bulgin for

SS: Did he refer to the Mann Brothers do you think?

LO: I don't think he referred to them by name. And of course it was very foolish of them to take it upon themselves. If the shoe fits...Anyhow, they brought suit and it went into court as I recall, or so the tradition island the judge ordered the Mann Brothers to go and be examined for syphilis. And they wouldn't do it, so he threw the case out of court. And at that time I had an aunt, my father's sister was running a little art and needlework shop in Lewiston and some of her old schoolmates would go to Lewiston't, drop in and chat with her. And so one of her old friends went in one time and said, "Well, Maude, what do you think about this Mann Brothers' trial?" And She said, Well, she didn't know what to think What do you think about it" he said, "Well, some of the people said they're going to quit going to the dances because of this. But my wife and I talked it over and we never heard of anybody getting anything like that off the end of a tromboneI So we're not going to quit going to the dances."But I heard later that they went on to Spokane and set up there. Ap^irently they were just itiner ant evangelists,and I imagine that they were taking in a lot of money. Because for one thing there wasn't an awful lot to do in wintertime in Moscow,and we didn't have things like radio and television in those days, and I think a lot of people would turn out foo something like that.

SS: About when do you think that this would be, that they were here?

LO: Well5 I would think around 1920, give or take a year or so. I just don't know exactly when that would have been. But it created quite a bit of interest here in town. And it certainly created a lot of interest among the children. But as I look back on it, oh, it wasn't a very good kind of activity, really. I think it was a travesty on religion, I don't think it made any great contributions to brotherly love--stirring up all that rivalry among a bunch of kids that didn't know any better.

SS: I imagine that it reached some pretty fiS^fits of anti-drinking sentiment too.I would imagine.

It must have been during prohibition.

Yeah. Uh huh. Yeah, it must have been. I've been told that the reason that. Latah County went dry by local option early- and I'm not exactly sure what year this was, but I think it was in the early teens-was because of the very strong church sentiment in Moscow. It didn't come really strongly from any other part of the county.

LO: I wouldn't be surprised. I wouldn't be at all surprised. I can rwnember, talking about the influence of women, I can remember my mother when the repeal of prohibition was being advocated, and my mother said to my father, "Would you want your daughter to walk down Main Street and step over drunks the way I used to lying on the sidewalk?" But I imagine that right about the influence of the church Because certainly the Methodist Church and the Presybyterian Church—"I imagine they were about the two biggest congregation And they would have been all for it I'm sure. The Methodists even fxtnnS on card playing and dancing. When I was in high school one could be expelled for dancing in the high school building. There were a few organizations that held dances, but they used to hold them in the Episcopal Parrish Hall because the Episcopalians didn't object to dancing. And we would rent the Episcopal Parrish Hall and have a dance and charge for it. But that was the only type of school dance that ever knew of.

SS: Was it frowned on in your family to dance?

LO: No, no, was not frowned on. Nor card playing^

SS: The school refused to allow dances because there were certain people that didn't like it. Do you think that was the reason?

LO: Yes, um hum. I think the school board was prevailed upon to forbid it because of the influence of the churches. Well, what about the time you mentioned to me that one man who was plkying in a band got in trouble with the university for playing in the band.

LO: Oh yes, of course that was much earlier. That was earlier than my memory goes back, but he was a young fella who was working his way through college partly by placing in a dance band. And Dean Eldridge I don't know what he wa? dean of then, Ae was later Dean of Letters and Science "but at any rate, he called this young fellow in and told him that he didn't want him to keep on playing in this dance band. And mother's friend said that he had to do it .if he was going to stay in school he had to have the money. And Dean Eldridge told him that he'd have him expelled if he didn't leave the dance band, and he didn't and Dean Eldridge did. He had him expelled. Thatts how authoritative the school authorities were.

SS: Did you tell me this fellow went on to become a good high school band leader?

LO: Yes, he was the high school band teacher at Walla Walla for years and years and years and highly respected in the community. And I am sure that Dean Eldridge would have no objection to his playing in a military band, but just not gonna ply for dances.

SS: When do you think this would have been? Around the turn of the century?

LO: Oh, a little later than that probably. I would imagine) 1910 or '12, maybe not that late, but in the early 1900's.

SS: I feel bad about asking you to repeat anything, but I'm thinking about the story that you told me about your brother's going out with the boys that time.

LO: Oh, yes. During prohibition, yes. Well, there had been some difficulties in the vicinity with people getting hold of bad liquor. And Mother didn't know this at the time; she knew that Jack and his friends were planning some kind of celebration. I don't know what the occasion was, whether it was the end of the semester—it sounds as if it might have been that. Anyhow, she knew there was excitement in the air about something; they were planning something, but she didn't know what it was. And what they did was to get phold of a bottle somewhere of bootleg liquor and start out to have themselves an evening on the town. And thesj went into a restaurant I believe it was.and poured a drink or two, surreptitiously I'm sure. And my brother affair ently passed out fairly soon. And these friends were scaret, and"didn't know what to do with him so they hauled him up onto the hill by the water tower out northwest—the northwest water tower—where he had a little shack that he had built for his radio equipment. And they left him there with the electric heater turned on to sleep it off md when he hadn't come home at four or five o'clock in the morning—I suppose it was about five o'clock, maybe— my father went out looking for him, and went up to the radio shack and found him there. They had gotten hold of some bad liquor So father brought him home and sneaked him in by the back door, and Jack was in bed all day and smelling to high heaven. Nobody told me what had happened, 1 had seme idea about what had happened, but I could see that it wasn't gong to be any good to ask any questions. And Dad and Mother, of course, were awfully mad at his friends. They were mad at Jack for getting himself into this predicament, but they were madder at his friends for going off and leaving him when they should have taken him to a doctor because somebody in the area had gotten hold of some bad liquor- don't know whether it was here in Moscow or not, but it someplace not too far away—there had been some deaths because they'd gottenahold of some bad liquor. But this was not menttned in the family for years and years and years. And it was, oh, I don't know how much later that I got around to asking Mother about it and found out really what went on.

SS: You didn't know or did you suspect?

LO: Oh, I suspected that it was drinking because he was so smelly, but I didn't dare ask at the time. And I suppose then later on I forgot about it. It was years later I got around to asking Mother about it and she told me whet had happened.

SS: So you really didn't see any drinking like that when you were growing up.

LO: No I didn't. Oh, I knew that there were boys in high school that drank and no nice girl would go out with them—at least the nice girls that I knew wouldn't go out with anybody like that. Well, even when I was in college, if somebody would come to the sorority house to call for some girl and take her to a dance, if he had had liquor on his breath, if she was cally a nice girl, she would refuse to go with him. But that chang ed quite fast, you know, when prohibition was over and.

SS: I have heard that prohibition increased the fascination withdrink and that this is a point of view.

LO: That may well be, Sam. I was leading a sheltered enough life that I just wouldn't have any experience to draw on with that at all.

SS: What was dating like when you were in high school? Was it quite restricted, as you get the impress ion that it was in the rural places?

LO: How do you mean restricted?

SS: Well, by which I mean the were certain rules and a girl came home and the boy didn't pass over the gate,or would never come into the house. It was quite formal, let*s say, there'd be a visiting on Sunday afternoon or something like that—there'd be a visiting time, and the visiting beau and the girl would sit in the room and the family would sort of get out of the way aad make sure they had some time to themselves. It was a very structured kind of thing.

LO: Oh, yes. Well, I think it was quite structured but not in quite that way. I mean usually it was to go to something. It wasn't so much a matter of somebody coming to visit. You'd go to a concert or a play or a movie or something like that. And then maybe you'd go and have ice cream afterwards And then you'd come home and maybe sit on the porch or something of that sort. I think it was very different from what it is now. It seems to me it was a much more artificial type of association than I undeStand dating to be now.

SS: Artificial in what

LO: Oh, planned and with an event—in connection with some event or something like that.

SS: Was theie a lot of going steady in high school?

LO: Oh, some, some. I wouldn't say a lotLbut there was some—there were some steady couples. But I'm not a very good source of information; I wasn't very social.

SS: That's okay. That doesn't mean anything.

LO: Somebody else could give you a lot better information because I was not in the ...

SS: Did girls drop out of high school because they were pregnant?

LO: 0h, occasionally. Yes, but they weren't very numerous and of course it was a great scandal when it happened and a bad example to all the other girls.

SS: Was it then just completely expected that they wadId get married and. . .?

LO: Oh, pretty much so, um hum. Yes.

SS: What about your brother's interest in radio? Would you tell me a little bit about that again? It seemed like he was in the there.

LO: Yes, he really was. He was interested in radio from the time that he was, I suppose, twelve years old. And radio was very new then, but he had this cnnampimp interest in it. I woid say he spent most of his time outside of school on that. And he was begging money from Mother all the time. He got an allowance and I got an allowance, and of course his allowance was much bigger than mine. And I usually had money and he didn't, and he'd come anfl borrow from me, and he would give Mother a sales pitch for this piece of equipment that he needed. And he very often got it. And he developed to the point where he belonged to the American Radio Relay League and was in tough as a ham operator with people all over the United States by radio. was a shed in back of the house one end of which was a garage and the other end Jack had fixed up like a room with wallpaper and everything and had his radio equipment there. Then he got the idea that it'd be much better if he could get up on the hill where he could have an aerial and no obstructions,so he built this little shack up- there near the water tower on some property that Dad and Mother owned. And he had his ham equipment up there.and he finally got even into voice radio--not only morse code, but voice radio. And later on when he was in college and studying electrical engineering, radio was beginning to come in, there were broadcast stations and so on, and radio sets were very, very hard to come by- xhere weren't very many, they weren't generally being manufactured yet.

And he used to make quite a bit of meney during summers building radio sets for people here in town—for quite a good price. I mean, three hunded dollars maybe, which was a lot of money in those days. But people were interested enough in this innovation that he was building these sets. And of course, they were the kind of sets with headphones and then later on with loudspeakers a speaker, you know, like a phonograph horn that would stand separate find they'd run on batteries, "there'd be a huge box of storage batteries that would go along with it. It didn't plug in to the electrical current until later on. He was really a pioneer but there was quite a little group of them here* Jack and some of his friends. I know we had them there hanging out in that shack by the half dozen, But Jack really was the leader and was the one who went on with it professionally.

SS: And he went on with It as a life's career, right?

LO: Yeah, with the electrical engineering part. He went on to work for the General Electric Wis particular type of work was called carrier current control, and it has to do with things like turning water heaters on and off by radio so as to teel out the peak loads on the electrical supply "turning street lights on and off by radio and this sort of thing.

SS: Father's opposition to this new fangled idea, he didn't think much of it, right?

LO: Oh, no, well he thought it was just a fad. He thought it was harmless, but you could never make a living out of it. And when Jack wanted to go to eollege and study electrical engineering, he seid that was ridiculous. He should go and take a business course so he would be able to earn a living and take his place in society, that this radio was just a fad. So it happened that the summer that Jack graduated from high school, when he should have been applying for a permit te register at the University of Idaho, Mother checked up on him and found that he hadn't sent in his credentials and applied for a permit. And she asked him about it and he said, Well he wasn't going to go to college. And she said, "Why not?" "Well, I want to take electrical engineering, and Dad won't let me. He wants me to take a business course and I don't want that. I'm not going to do it." So Mother said, Well, you go ahead and go to college and register for your engineering." And he said, "What about Dad?" She said, "I'll take care of your father I" So Jack registered for electrical engineering and went to college and graduated with a very good record. He was a good student and he worked hard* he graduated with a good record and got one of two jobs with the G. E. which were the prize jobs to get right out of college. And Father was so pleased you would have thought it was his own idea all the time. "My boy Jack, my electrical engineer."

SS: What about your father's reputation as Buick Woodworth?

LO: Oh, yes. Dad had one of the early cars. It must have been along in, maybe as early as 19 or even earlier. And it was a Buick runabout, which would be a coupe with no top, you know, a one seater. And Dad had this car and of course there wasn't much in the way of roads around Moscow. Everything was knee depp in dust and so on, but he did drive it around town, but the thing I remeker best about it is that he drove it at the county fair. And the county fair was held down in the old fairgrounds which is where Ghorrrley Park is now, and there was what I member as quite an imposing grandstand there, I donft imagine really that it amounted to very much, but it looked awfully big to me. And I can remember sitting in that grandstand and for this particular county fatt, anyhow, they had a barnstorming aviator who was hercdoing exhibition flights, and I suppose taking people up for flights too. had a racetrack, there really was an oval track there at the fairgrounds fmd Dad would drive his car around this track and the airplane would fly above him around the track.And it was billed as a race, and the announcer would announce it as being between Buick Woodworth and whatever this aviator's name was. And of course the plane always won. And the whole thing was kind of ridiculous, but , I suppose they had horse races too at the county fairs then .although I don't seem to remember anything about them.

SS: Did you r father think he was going to beat that plane one of these times- I wonder?

LO: No, no, he knew. Because I remember asking him if he thought he cold win and he said, "No." He was quite sure he couldn't. But he later drove that car to California which was quite daring. He and Jack drove it down and this was very unusual because the roads were highly problematical, and it took them a long time. I really don't know how long, I wouldn't be surprised if it took them maybe ten days or so to drive to California.

SS: Do you think they went through Boise or through Portland?

LO: Probably through Portland. I just don't know. My very earliest memories are of my Grandfather Woodworth's farm out here the end of Sixth Street, Mountain View Road. He had this farm there and he was what seems to me now terribly old, because he had a white beard, and he was crippled, he'd been thrown and dragged by ahorse and was on but he was supervising the farm and he had a little orchard, and he had a few cows, and he hada weighing scale in his yard. And he used to get a little money from that. They'd first come in and weigh the wagon, you know, and then they'd go off and haul hay, I suppose, and come back and weigh it with the hay in, taid I can remember there was quite a little traffic in and out of the yard from that. And he arid my grandmother had a horse and buggy that they used to come to town in. And my grandmother would dress up in her best black dress and they'd come in to church every Sunday. And that was considered, you know, really out in the country then. Well, up here on Right there on that corner, the corner of Hays and Sixth, the Sundelas' had a dairy. ^And that was considered out in the country. Then after a while we lived at Edmunson's, which is the building that is now the Grove Apartments at Third and Van Buren. And my mother's health was poor, so we roomed at Edmunson's and took our meals at a boarding house for some time when I was a pre-schooler. Then later the family went to California on account of Mother's health. And we were down there a couple of years. And that's where I first started to school.

LO: I went to school a little bit in California. I went to school a little bit before we went to New Mexico and a little bit after we got back, but when I came back here, I went into the second grade. And it was the old Whitworth School, which is where the high school annex is now. And it was kind of dismal brick building with oiled floors,and the first six grades were in there, except that every once in a while they'd have an overflow. I went to third grade, I believe it was, one semester over in the high school building at the est end. And then I went to Sixth grde over there because there was an overflow. And one of my teachers was Lena Whitmore for whom the Lena Whitmore School Iis named. And of course she was a teacher here in the system for just years and years and years, And was the kind that we talked about, only more so. It was very regimented. There was no provision at all for adapting to individual differences or anything like that. Everybody did the same thing at the same time. And it was mostly a matter of learning what was handed out to you, and there was very little participatory activity. In fact, about the only thing would be, oh a little artwork, and I was very bum at art. I never could make my drawings look like the pattern was supposed to. And of course ~ was always something to copy; it wasn't anything to ere ate. There was no importance attached to that sort of thing. But you'd have a picture and then you were supposed to make a drawing and the nearer your drewing was like the picture the better it was. And I never could make mine very much like the picture^so I didnft get good grades in that. And I didn't get good grades in penmanship because we studied the Palmer Method and I wasn't good at making those spirals that look like, you know, round, round, round, round round or push-pull, push-pull. I never could make mine even. So nearly everybody in the room would get an award. ^ pin or a button for penmanship and I never did. I was not good at those things.

SS: What did you think of school when you were a kid?

LO: Oh, I suppose I thought it was all right. It was easy for me. I got good, grades withouthvery much effort. But when I look back on it there was an awful lot of wasted energy because maybe you already knew everything that was on there, but you had to go over the drills just as much as the dullest one in tie class. And it really was pretty narrow.

SS: What were your interests as you were growing up of you think ebout the things that did preoccupy you when you were a youngster.

LO: Oh, I loved to read and I spent a lot of time, particularly summers, I always had my nose in a book.

SS: What kind of stuff did you like to read?

LO: Oh, I suppose most everything brother took the Youth's and read it And I used to the library and get a lot of books. And later on^are you familiar with the old St. Nicholas Magazine? Did you ever see that? Well, it was a magazine for children, and as I think back on it, it was pretty high class. And it used to have continued sihp.ries. And one of my friends and I used to go to the library and read those continued mystery stories—"The Boarded Up House" was the name of one. And it sort of like the Nancy Drew books where the kids were always solving the mysteries , you know, and we'd go and sit in the library by the hour and read those things in the bound volumes of the St. Nicholas.But I read pretty much general things, I think. I was active in all the young people's things in the Presbyterian church. My mother was active in the church and in the Ladies Aid. I went to Sunday school all the time, and she and I went to church every Sunday. My flat was not active. 1 think Dad was an atheist. But he was perfectly willing for us to go to church if we wanted to. Then later on I Belonged to a Campfire group which was really about the first Campfire group here in town. I think there had been one that waa earlier that had run for a couple of years and petered out, but I belonged to the first one that marked the beginning of Campfire Girls here^ that was continuous. And that really became an absorbing interest. And I had experience in a lot of things through that that I never would have experienced otherwise probably. That opened up a lot of interests.

SS: What were the activities that you took part in that strike you as being. .

LO: Well, for one thing I went to the summer camp. And this I liked very much, And the Spokane Campfire Camp was just getting organized. I think their first season was 1922. 6nd the next season our group went up to camp. And from then until I was out of college I was in that camp every summer either as a camper or as a counselor. And I got into swimming and just a lot of activities that I never had had a chance at before. And we did things like hiking and just the usual things that Canttire Girls do, you know, group activities.

SS: I was going to ask you about what you remember of World War I, and I was thinking particularly of the flu epidemic, but also about the effect of World War I in Moscow.

LO: Well, I was pretty small, you see I would have been under ten. I remember I learned to Wniy because Mother and all her friends were knitting, and I had to learn to knit too—that is, I wanted to. And I belonged to Junior Red Cross and we used to go do things like cut up gauze for dressings or something like that. The Red Cross was really quite organized locally and there were a lot of women involved in it. And I can remember.

LO: It really was quite active. For instance, they used to work in the old post office upstairs. They had some there. I don't remember very much about that, but I know my mother used to go one day a week I think, would knit socks and some women never could team to turn the heels of socks or finish off the toes. And so sometimes my mother would go there and spend the whole afternoon turning heels and finishing off toes after you got the heel turned then it was plain knitting again and was easier. And my mother's cousin was John Lieuallen, and his mother-in-law was a white haired old lady that I remember. Mrs. Flintoff Smith was her name, and she could knit a sock in one day—a whole sock, and finish it in one day. She was the best knitter in town.

SS: And these socks went to the sick men?

LO: No, they went to soldiers, anybody, servicemen—anybody that needed them. And the Red Cross got the yarn in and distributed it. and people knitted up the socks or the sweaters or whatever, and then the Red Cross sent them on.

SS: Well, what about the severity of this flu as you've been told about it?

LO: Well, it must have been a verirulent form because a great many people were sick, and people died. People I knew of died. The superintendent of schools died. And there was what they called the SATC the university.t was oh, student, some kind of training. Anyhow, it was aort of like ROTC except that they had training here and then went right in to service. And I have heard that when they lined up to get flu shots and so on, some of them would be attacked by flu just while they wold were waiting,just fall there in line, pass completely out. Dropping like flies was the way it was told here in town. Apparently they were just keeling over with it. And the M. R. Lewis House, which is now an apartment house on Seventh and Adams that was taken over as an And people used to go there, auxiliary hospital My dad went there and volunteered and helped nurse flu patients. And the town activities were closed up; the movies were closed; the schools were closed; no public meetings were permitted.

SS: For very long?

LO: I don't know. I suppose six weeks or maybe a couple of months woult be the limit of it.

SS: Were the servicemen at tter university hit the ? I've heard it associated with then particularly. I'm wonder ing whether it hit as hard against the town itself as agiant the servicemen?

SS: I don't know, I don't know. But I think the town was badly hit. I think that few families escaped having somebody sick and there were a number of deaths.

SS: Do you have any idea of what the course of it was? If somebody got the flu was it a matter of weeks and weeks of sickness?

LO: Oh, I don't think so. I think it went in to pneumonia with the people that died. And that they died fairly—I don't think that it'd be terribly long time. This aunt of mine that I have told you aboit that lived in Lewiston was living alone, and somebody notified my dad that she was sick with the flu and needed help. And he went down there and stayed, oh I suppose maybe ten days or so^ and family tradition has it it saved her life.because it had gone in to uremic poisoning with her. And he just pitc^d right in and stayed with her day and night and took care of her and brought her through it. But everybody said she would have died if Father hadn't gone down there and looked after her^because the doctors were just jk overworked and all the medical facilities were so overtaxed that people did just die for lack of attention. And by the time Dad heard about it and got down there, she was just not able to do anything for herself. And I can remember when he came back he brought her up here. 4Ad she was the weakest most washed out thing—even I could see that, as young as I was. I suppose she stayed with us for two or three weeks, maybe a month or so before she got her strength back. It apparently was very debilitating for people .And of course they had no remedies for pneumonia at that time. And this was just something very, very. . .

SS: I wonder if people wore gauze face masks when they were treating. . .?

LO: Um hum, It seems to me I remember people wearing face masks. But as I remember,it was a time of great gloom, that is all the news was bad and there was great head shaking and everybody was upset about it. It really brought things to a standstill in the town. There just weren't enough doctors to go around.and not enough th doctors could do for it.

SS: You know I think that I'm going to finish asking you all the things that I wanted to ask you this time because my tape has almost run out.

LO: Yeah. Well, maybe you've had enough of me anyhow, though.

SS: As a matter of fact, I haven't.

SS: About what your mother's version of the Winnie Booth-Dr. Ledbroot story was. like to know how you understood it from her. that had happened?

LO: Well, I always understood that she thought that they were in love and they couldn't face the situation the way it was, they just felt they couldn't go on and that it was murder and suicide.

SS: Suicide and suicide or. . .?

LO: Well, suicide, I don't know. Suicide pact?

SS: Yeah.

LO: Uh huh. And no, I had never heard mother advance that idea about the hypnotic influence.

SS: She held this view before Buffalo Ceat ever came out?

LO: 1 think so, yes, I think so.

SS: Did she ever give you any indication of what kind of person Winnie Booth was?

LO: No, I don't remember that she did. She may have, but no.

SS: I understand Mrs. Bedbrook. was actively involved in the Hstorical Club too,

LO: Oh, was she?

SS: That's what Mrs. Sampson says.

LO: I imagine she would know.

SS: Did she ever, did you ever hear much about the Watkins and Steffens killings?

LO: Well, not a great deal. I knew about it, and I remember having pointed out to me the barn where Steffens was killed, but no, I didn't.

SS: Did you ever have a feeling like some regret later about the way the things was handled by the townspeople. In other words, that the mobbing and the shooting and the lack of an effort to try to get the guy to give up was pretty questionable behavior. Did you ever hear about that at all?

LO: Uevfcr. Never did. Did you hear the other, that it was just okay to. . . No, no, I don't really have any impression about that. I think it was just pictured to me as a tragedy. This is what happened. But I don't think that Mother would have discussed it with me until much, much later, anyhow. It wouldn't be a very suitable topic of conversation, I'm sure—too tragic.

SS: For her daughter?

LO: Yeah, I think so. I mean just not suited to a child. But later if I had pressed her I'm sure she wofcld have talked to me about it.

1:00 - Having a career in teaching; social pressure to marry young

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Having a career as a single woman in college teaching, and not marrying until late. Social pressure to marry young. Married women rarely attended college.

10:00 - Differences in college; poor teaching at the University of Idaho

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Now a college education is seen as the beginning of a lifetime of learning, while in the old days it was the end. Most college teaching was memorization and parroting back of someone else's ideas, instead of learning independence of thought. Poor teaching at the University of Idaho—all lecture, no discussion. Antiquated English curriculum.

23:00 - Women largely in college to prepare for jobs; head of college in Pocatello taking men over women

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Women were largely in college to prepare for jobs. They would not be considered for many jobs because "We've always done it the other way", which is the worst justification for doing something. Women didn't rebel much against it, conditioned by their upbringing. The head of the college at Pocatello preferred to take men over women whenever they were equally qualified.

30:00 - Not much of a legacy of women's rights; wearing different clothing then the 1970s

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: He never justified his belief. There was not much of a legacy of the woman's rights struggle. Dressing as a boy for a masquerade party, Mrs. Otness was regarded as daring. Women wore bloomers for physical education. Wearing anklets instead of knee high socks at Camp Fire Girls camp in the late '20's caused controversy. Men and women were both victims of oppression.

39:00 - Who makes the decisions in a marriage; social climate of the day; learning to fix things in the apartments

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: The husband had more say than the wife in basic decisions. In good marriage relationships there was give-and-take; in many marriages the wife had influence by nagging. Mrs. Otness was not indoctrinated by her family, but by the social climate. Boys did not care for "brainy" girls. Mrs. Otness learned to fix things in their apartments from her father, and did so while he was gone.

51:00 - Women's equality in pioneering days; concern for status in Moscow

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: There was more equality in pioneering days; women— especially upper-middle class women—have since been pampered. Concern for status in Moscow.

55:00 - Mother being a member of the Historical club; mother was very adaptable

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Mrs. Otness' mother was for many years the only living charter member of the Historical Club, and was much honored by the club. No one remembers that she quit because a friend of hers was blackballed for smoking. Mother was very forward-looking and adaptable, having the same friends as her daughter in Pocatello.

60:00 - Discussion about the Bulgin revival in Moscow; what happened during the revival and the end results

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: The Bulgin revival in Moscow. The children were divided into two teams which competed for points every afternoon after school. The two groups almost got to be enemies, and the prize banquet turned out to be a sack lunch. In the evening there were regular revival meetings. Mrs. Otness hears that their stock in trade was to stir one group against another; in Moscow university students were the whipping boys. The Mann brothers orchestra brought suit when Bulgin railed against "fiddling syphilitics"; but it was thrown out of court because they refused to submit to an examination. A couple decided it was all right to keep going to dances because they wouldn't get it "off the end of a trombone". The revival created interest, but didn't contribute to brotherly love.

71:00 - Mother's opposition to the repeal of prohibition; dancing was forbidden; brother getting sick from moonshine

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Mother's opposition to repeal of prohibition. Dancing was forbidden in the high school A young man who played in a dance band was expelled from the university by Dean Eldridge for refusing to quit; he became high school band teacher at Walla Walla for many years. Her brother Jack got very sick drinking moonshine with his cronies, and her parents were angry with him and his friends. Nice girls wouldn't go out with boys who drank.

82:00 - What dating meant in those days

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Dating meant going to an event, and was more artificial than nowadays. Pregnancy was a scandal.

86:00 - Brother Jack's interest in radio

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Brother Jack's consuming interest in radio from its early days. Buying equipment, building a radio shack on a hill, building sets for people. It turned into his career.

90:00 - Father thinking radio was a fad; Jack doing well as an electrical engineer

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Father thought radio was a fad, and was opposed to Jack studying electrical engineering in college; mother backed Jack, and then father took the credit when he made good.

92:00 - Father's reputation with driving

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Father's reputation as "Buick" Woodworth, racing his car around the track against an airplane at the county fair, always losing. He drove the car all the way to California, a daring feat in the teens.

95:00 - Early memories of Grandfather Woodworth's farm in Moscow

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Early memories of Grandfather Woodworth's farm, on 6th and Mountain View Road.

98:00 - Whitworth School had no provisions for individual differences; reading as a young kid; belonging to Moscow's first Campfire group

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Whitworth School had no provisions for individual differences. Her difficulties with artwork and writing by the Palmer method. Reading matter as a youngster: St. Nicholas Magazine. Belonging to Moscow's first Campfire group opened up many interests.


Collections A-Z