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This conversation with NAOMI BOLL PARKER took place at her home in Lewiston,Idaho on September 1, 1976. The interviewer is SAM SCHRAGER.
NAOMI BOLL PARKER: Now I'm not just sure where they were having this picnic.She could tell you that, what creek it was on. And for some reason, Mother said for them to go on she'd come later. And Wallace and I, we didn t have little brother then. And she said, we were watching that fire, you know, and she said, "Well, you two stay here, because I'm going to go just as fast as I can. I've got to get down there and tell those people they've got to get back." The fire had jumped the ridge that she could see, you know. And so, she took off. Well, of course, afterNwhile we thought we d go and find her, too. And I knew one of the fellows coming back up the trail, and he said, "Listen, I heard something over there." And, she said, "Wait." and she called and my gosh it was us kids, Wallace and I. And we had come down, and I can remember that Wallace was so provoked me because I was scared to cross this creek. I had to walk a log, see, and nothin' doin', and I was fussing about walking that log. And so, anyway, when we got home, of course, Mother began packing things.
SS: What were you kids doing taking off after her? She must have told youto stay.
NBP: She did, she told us, "Now, you stay because I'm going to go sofast you can't keep up with me. And I'm going to be back here." She said, "You stay here." But, of course, I suppose I wouldn't listen. That I can't remember.
SS: How old were you?
NBP: At that time? Well, I was born in 1906.
SS: And you were four?
SS: even littler?
NBP: No, Wallace was older. He was born in 1901. But still notvery old, and she was really in a hurry. And my younger brother was born in December and this wasy September, and so you can imagine the condition she was in to run down to get these- get the homesteaders you know. And so most of the men- our dad was working out of Bovill at the time for the Potlatch Lumber Company, see. That's what it was then.^ And so, I can remember Mother and my brother was so excited, and he was scared he was going to burn, you know. Well, if you've never the roar of a terrible forest fire, it's worse than any thunder, I think. Two or three times in my life now that I have seen the sky all red - well - the horse ranch burned, we thought it was going to come- nothing stopping it from coming to take the town, and hot ashes were falling. When Slabtown burned all the ashes were falling. I can remember. You know those things make an awful impression on a child. There s things^you don't remember, but something like that you remem ber.
SS: What did she do when she got back to the house? Did she pack?
NBP: She started packing things. And she told my brother, "Now, never mind,"she said, "You go out and dig a hole in the garden. I'm going to put my silverware and things in there so they won't burn." Because it just looked like the fire was coming. You just looked out here and just in the distance here was this great big roar and red. Hot ashes falling. And she was packing her things. And she had mostly sterling silver set that she buried out there. And .: there were over four or five hun dred firefighters, but whether they were all concentrated there, I don't know, but anyway, I know there were an awful lot of them down there at the river. And they came with packhorses for us to ride out, you know. And, like I say, Mr. Morrison, took his cow and they lost everything that he wasn't able to pack. And she also was expecting a baby in December. I don't know how old- he must have been about- I think he was maybe three years old or something like that. And she could tell you all the places that burned there. I know people by the name of Soaper and Kings and whatnot, but I was too small to remember any thing like that and the only thing. I remember is just of us and how we were packing and I thought I was so busy helping Mother, but I was packing my doll clothes and stuff, you know. And she'd throw something out, you know, and when she wasn t looking I'd it back in. I can remember doing that. And Wallace was so upset that he gave her the gun and told her that, "You've got to shoot me." He says, "I'm not going to burn!" And, she said, "Oh, give me that." She took the gun and she said, "Now get out and dig another hole," she said, "I've got some more things to put in there." You know what happened? Some firefighters came and they dug up to see what was there. They even took her silverware. And she didn't think about it, she had in the little tiny cup she had sitting back in the cupboard behind dishes and everything, and she had her two diamonds there- rings- they found those, too, and took those. And they had even sharpened a couple of the sterling silver knives. Didn't take 'em. But, gee, it must have been a great shock when she got back.
SS: I wonder why they dug 'em up.
NBP: Well, because they wanted- they're the only ones that were in thereyouknow, they were fighting fire. Of course, the whole country was on fire at that time, because there was fire in Idaho, Washington and Montana all through the whole country, you know.
SS: How much was she able to take out of the house?
NBP: Oh, you took nothing. Oh, no, you're riding a horse- just what youhad on.
SS: So all the stuff that she was getting to gether was to bury?
NBP: Yeah, her keepsakes and things that she wanted.buried, you see. Well,of course, she did bury some. But, no, we just took what clothes we could have mostly, just with us. And I know they wouldn't let me ride on the same horse with her, and I was really upset because I had to ride with a man I didn't know, and I didn't like that one bit. I can remember fussing about that.
SS: Who did you go out with? Did you go out with other homesteaders?
NBP: Well, yeah. They took us all down to the river, see. That was theonly safe place they thought, because the fire was coming, and so they took us to the river. That's where they had a camp for the firefigh ters. cabin
SS: Where was the located?
NBP: The cabin?
SS: Yes. Well, now that's why I say, MrsJ\Kha/eu5 can give you allthe-
SS: Was it on Floodwood?
NBP: Oh, no, no, no. Floodwood, you're thinking of Clarkia. This is outof Elk River- Elk Creek.
SS: So when they took you down to the river-Now, whether that was- that's what I don't know. If that was Elk Creek itself- I can remember near our place there was a small stream, but down where it was the river. So I really don't know if that was Elk Creek or not. Mrs. can tell you that. NBP
SS: When you got down to the river, did they hold you there?
NBP: Well, then they- you see the wind shifted and so then they decidedthat it was safe enough £or us to make our way to Elk River. And so then of course, when we got to Elk River why we went on into Bovill. And in the meantime my Dad had decided that he would- had rented a lit tle house there for us to move into, because all the timber, everything was gone from homesteads. Although, our house did not burn like so many of the others did. But everybody- I think they just prac tically lost everything that they had, you know. And I don't know if Mrs. Michaleus might know that, too. How many did go back, but I don't think very many of them ever went back because they figured on making money on the timber. The company was logging and they were going to make- to be able to improve on it and so forth, see.
SS: That was your father's plan?
NBP: Yes. And then the rest of these fellows, too. Morrison and Kings,all of them figured on having good stake come in from the timber for them. Well, the timber was all burned. But she could give you bet ter details than anyone I know. As far as I know, she's the only one.
SS: She was an adult at the time?
NBP: Yes. Yes, she was, you see. Now, Wallace, he had such a horror of itthat he s blotted out- he doesn't remember. I have asked him if he remebered giving Mother the gun and telling her- and he said, no. He said, "I just don't," He said, "I just know, that all my life I've had such a horror of fire." And I said, "Well, I think it's because we were." You know. And again, he was just helping- he was going to high school at time, and he was greasing a donkey or something, loading, you know, and there was again a forest fire. And, golly, those fellows worked like everything. He was just a kid and fought to save the camp. Of course, that was down on Potlatch on Little Bear Creek., and they used the water out of the stream there. When sparks would set a fire, they'd put it out. So they saved the building.
SS: Do you remember living or staying in tents or anything during thatperiod of time? I think I was chatting with Wallace once and he men tioned to me that on your way out at one point- now was that set up at Elk River or Bovill?
NBP: I think that was set up in Elk River.
SS: It was a place for people who were coming in from the back country?NBP Yes, I know that we had to stay down there at the river. And I can remember seeing this big fire and all these men, and I thought, "Why have they got a fire when we run from a fire?" But, of course, what they had was a bonfire, see, and they were cooking coffee, I suppose. Makeshift deal, you know. I do know, we had lunch there. I remem ber that.
SS: You know Axel Anderson remebers, when I talked to him, he remembersbeing at your place, fighting the fire.
NBP: Oh, is that right?
SS: Oh, yes, he talked to me specifically about your home, and seeing thefamily leaving.
NBP: Well, you see, that part I don't remember when we really left.But I remember Mother working like mad, you know, just as fast as she could. And she had these boxes, see, and my brother had to take them out and put them in the garden and bury them. Cover 'em up, so the fire wouldn't- We had quite a garden spot. I remember that. And she just figured even if the house went, this stuff in the ground should be all right, see.
SS: So these fellows dug it up.
NBP: Most of the things they saw, you see, they dug up, to see what was there,
SS: They didn't take anything?
NBP: Well, yeah, diamonds were gone.
SS: Her diamonds were gone?
NBP: Her rings were gone, yeah. And what else, I don't remember.But the silverware was- such as sharpening the sterling silver knives. Do you think they used your cabin as headquarters?
NBP: Yes, uh-huh, they did.
SS: To fight the fire?
NBP: Uh-huh. After they, well, I don't know- the fire came right up to theedge- see, like there was quite a draw with water in, but, of course, you know when a fire is rolling, jumping from one place to the other, it doesn't even touch the ground for quite a while. And I know that those sparks and all, I can remember that , that if they hit you they burned. And that happened, too in Bovill when Camp 8 burned.
SS: Was that the 1914 fire off of Bealls Butte?
SS: You were in Bovill at that time?
NBP: Yes. And so, like I say-
SS: Were you in Bovill? In the town at the time that happened, or wereyou at Slabtown?
No, we were on our own place. Let's see, we moved just out at the edgeof town, I think it was 1912, Dad built the house. And this friend came up to our place and told Mother that they had the train down there waiting to take the people out of Bovill, see. And they told about one fellow that was on the train and they asked him where's your wife and babY? "Oh, my gosh," he said, "I forgot!" He said, "I don't know where they are!" And there was such crazy things would happen. And I can remember ; on that train. They had flatcars. And someone had- out of Camp 8 there, had saved their cookstove. I can see that cookstove to this day! And anyway, this friend, May 1 and she told Mother, she said, "Now you pack some clothes and come, because," she said, "there's no way. That everything's going to go." Well, our house, our place, would be the back of it would be facing what was Camp 8, see, and all that timber and all- although it had been loggedthere was still enough that it's a cinch that it was go ing to take that, too, you see. And, so, I remember Mother telling me, "Now you must have been go out in the yard there," she had washed, it. Monday, because in those days you always washed on Monday, so I'm assuming it was Mon day, "and get my clean stockings off of the line." I had nice white stockings, and I put on a nice clean dress and little brother, Kenny, and so May says,"I'll take the two kids and you pack just what you can." And she took a change of clothes for each one of us and Mother was to come. And, so of course, again, Mother began packing what she wanted to save and burying it. And do you know the train pulled out without my mother. When it got close enough, why, they just blew the whistle and took off. Everyone was supposed to be on there, you see. And I don't know if she ever got down to the depot or not, but then the wind changed, see, and it saved Bovill although it took Camp 8. The wind changed enough that they could backfire enough and save the town again. So that little town has been threatened and threatened and threatened, and each time now it's been saved just by the wind change.
SS: So your house didn't burn?
NBP: No, it didn't burn. And so then here we were.down without our motherdown to Potlatch. And that was quite a calamity. And this May Feathastorahad a friend or relative that she stayed with us. Here she wasnot married or anything, just a friend, you know, and here she had two kids to take care of. Well of course, Mother came down the next day to get us.
SS: But you probably worried about what happened to her.
NBP: Oh, were we! Absolutely, you know. And of course, we wouldn't letpoor May out of our sight! And I know she tried to get us to go out side and play and just nothing doing, just had to sit on both of us and I was as big a baby as little brother and I wouldn't let her out of my sight either, you know!
SS: What was Wallace doing this time?
NBP: Wallace was- I think he was helping fight fire, carrying water or something like that. They always had to have Waterboys and so forth car rying water to the men that were fighting fire. I don't remember just what he was doing at that time.
SS: He was in Bovill?
NBP: Oh, yes.
SS: It sounds like it was not easy a life for your mother.
NBP: It wasn't an easy life. It was a very hard life, for a woman that wasraised in the East and went to a girls' school and never knew anything and came out West- Dad did, to make his fortune. And I remember her telling she didn't know how to bake, she didn't know how to do hardly anything. She knew hofc/to do fancywork and go to musicals and what have you, and so forth. And she had to learn to bake bread; and I'm telling you, she's one of the best bakers there ever was. No matter what she put her mind to, she did. But she certainly worked hard, I should say so. After that experience out there on that homesteadand then again, when Dad built this place at first- he had the well dug, but the water was full of mineral. .Well, had that scum, so you couldn't use it. There was a very good spring down below, but then we had to haul the water then. And so, we had a place down there where we would wash and had an old cookstove and boiled the clothes; you know clothes had to be boiled in those days.
SS: This was down by the spring?
NBP: Yeah, we'd go down to the spring and wash. I can remember that, alwaysgoing down. We never went down anyplace that we didn't have a little bucket, and I can remember about a five pound lard bucket, you know. Always oome back home with that full of water, so you had fresh water. Course we had horses at that time, too. Dad was breaking land, you know, and he'd always do this, you see; when he'd get home from his day's work with the company, then he'd do this on Saturday or Sunday or wheneever he didn't work, why then, we planted the garden and all that stuff. And so he had a big fifty gallon barrel on a little drag with two runners that he had made- my dad made everything- and we'd haul the water. That was Wallace's job, you know, to haul that water. That was good enough to take a bath and wash and stuff like that, but our drinking water we had to carry.
SS: With the horse, he hauled that water.
NBP: Yes, we hauled the water with the horse. Then we got a mule. Big,white mule. Oh, she was a beautiful old thing. We loved her, you know, And about four or five could sit on her easy, you know. Oh, she was one of those great, big things. And we could do anything we wanted to with her. I can remember how much fun we had with her.
SS: Your mother- where in the East did she come from?
NBP: Well, she was raised in around , Wisconsin, but she was born inCayvo and her mother died when she was about three years old. And so she went to live with this aunt in Wisconsin, who raised her. And that s where she met my dad. He came from a large family and.had a farm there. And he had a store when they were married, he owned this store in :, Wisconsin. Then, of course, oh, gee, the big sto ries about getting rich out West! He was the only one of all of 'emone other brother, the younger one- went to Canada, and he didn't get his fortune, either- and he went farming- and my dad came- Well, of course, he came- Palouse was the town that we lived in, see, and in fact, that's where I was born, Palouse, after they had moved out. And Dad then worked with the company and they were just building the mill Potlatch. Well, then the company would lay steel, track, and he built- they moved these- well, they called them shacks that they built and built up and had a siding there and had a camp. Then They'd log there, you see and the logs were all hauled down to Potlatch. Then they kept on and kept on. That's why you've got all those like Stanford and Avon and all those. Well, so many of those young fellows were students out working in the summer, see. "Well, we'll name this place, because this is where I'm going to school." And thats Stanford. And another one, well, and Harvard. That s they named those; all those little towns.
SS: So for your mother, from what you say- and I have the idea that wascommon that young women grew up in the Victorian age to be refined-
NBP: Oh, yes, ! No. No, as you said, what good friends the older womenwere to her.
SS: Out here?
NBP: Yeah. At Palouse Kshe had to learn to bake bread and put up fruit andthings that she had never heard of before, you know, of doing, because, like I say, she was brought up to be a lady. Educated to be a lady.
SS: Do you think she welcomed this kind of life? Or do you think she wouldhave preferred the city refinements?
NBP: No, I think she adjusted to it, because I know she used to take- whenwe were out on the homestead can remember- sheK Wallace and I would go bird hunting. And decide we wanted chicken, alright- maybe we had a few chickens, I don't remember, but she taught my brother to shoot. And she had learned it herself. Although she never did hunt deer or elk or anything like the rest of us did, you know, because we grew up in it. But she did that, she was pretty good at shooting pheasants. That would be the grouse, you know. And fishing; yes, she did a little of that, too. But she did it mostly with us kids, see. Because, I suppose there was nothing else to do much, so you just pret ty near had to make your own life, you know. There was nothing else for you to be doing.
SS: Do you think there was much neighboring going on among the homesteaders out there?
NBP: There was too much isolation, I think. Although that's why they weregoing to get together on this picnic day- have this picnic. And she just decided that she wasn't going to go down there with them that mor ning, and she said, "Well, we'll come in time to have our lunch with you,
SS: Was your father away from home? A lot of the time?
NBP: Yes, oh, yeah, because he was working out of Bovill.
SS: So the full responsibility for running the place was on her?
NBP: It was on her. It really was. And so I guess that's what changed mywell, it changed all their minds, when they lost all their value , you know. And, you know, it was so hard to clear land. Well, the cost was unbelieveable the same as it is today. And, we have of ten talked about it; it's usually about the third generation from a homestead down that really can capitalize on it; have it to where they want it. Because, now, my dad built this house where us kids were born and raised there, and then of course, he left and went to Moscow in his last working years, and he worked in Moscow. He was a finisher, really, he was not a rough all-around carpenter, he was a cabinet maker by trade and of course, working for the company was all just rough carpenter work. And so, after they- well, there wasn't any real need for a carpenter for the company, why then, he was in Moscow. And he builtwell he built a lot of those lookouts that they were building, too.
SS: So the second generation got more advantage of the place?
NBP: Oh, sure, because you've got your house.
SS: It was there?
NBP: It was there. And then, it wasn't- my dad did that, too. We had topipe our own- we made our own waterline from the city water tank, which was just up on the hill from our place. It was our own line down, and then, of course, put in a meter and so forth. And again, we had to build our own electric line from the city limits up to our place. And then the Washington Water Power- we had to buy an electric range from them, or they wouldn't put in electricity! (Chuckles)
SS: Is that the usual practice?
NBP: Yes, it was the practice i. Uh-huh. And Dad made- I remember, hehad quite an argument with them- but he said, "These poles, whatever the length- and they're high enough, you put the wire up there. And I'll have down so far and I can have my phone line." No, he couldn't use the same pole. And he said, "Yes, I can." And he made it stick. And I think it's still the same way.
SS: The stove business, that's not even legal.
NBP: Yes, it was, too. You had to buy that stove or they wouldn't- well,I suppose for just plain lights, they didn't think it was going to pay them to put in, but if we used an electric range, then of course—
SS: But you had to buy from them, you say.
NBP: Oh, yeah, they were selling them; that was Washington Water Power thatsold those things. Oh definitely. They had quite a shop. I mean an
NBP:appliance store in
SS: The WWP?
SS: I didn't know that.
NBP: You check with them and see, but I'm sure.
SS: Quite a corner on the market they had.
NBP: Well, they did early days, absolutely. I wish I'd had sense enoughto invest with them. Bought it when it was cheap. I know a few that did. Bought their Washington Water Power stock. Go to school and you have your school life, you know. And we thought we had one of the best little towns ever, you know. I don't know, really- I can remember when all the children from Camp 8 had to come down to our school. They had no more school up there.
NBP: Yeah. And, oh, it was really a very good school; they had high schooltoo, you see, all of it. Course, there wasn't no gym or anything like that. The only thing you did, you played games outside til the win ter came and then you didn't. And then you played just whatever you could outside. But I think it was a good clean life, really. And then of course, as we got older, why, then there was a movie to go to. And they at one time had a YMCA there, I remember that. And I remember, too, the hard times- we made our own good fun. We had what we called our "Rinky Dink" parties. And, of course, that was justif we didn't have anybody that could play, we'd use an old Victrola. And all our chums, and we'd dance and play games and whatnot, you know, And we'd go from one house to another, and it was more, I would say a closer knit- well, I suppose when a town is small enough that's pos sible. But when you get a larger place it isn't.
SS: You called those Inky Dink or Rinky-Dink?
NBP: Rinky Dink.
SS: This was during the Depression or before?
NBP: Yes, that was during the Depression. Nobody had any money, you know.Didn't have any money to go anyplace if there was anyplace to go.
SS: So you met at people's houses?
NBP: Yes. And then there was one place there that had been a store and wasempty. And they let us use that. And that's where we had really good gatherings, you know,,adults as well as all the young people. And mostly dances in there, I can remember.
SS: What kind of dances were these? Square—?
NBP: Oh, yeah, yes. And, oh then, we had two-step and fox-trot and waltzing. Oh, yes, there were all those, which are very old-time now! But a lot of it is a great deal like what they're doing today.
SS: What about the church? Was it important to your family?
NBP: Oh, yes, it was very important. And to begin with they built, whatwas supposed to be a Community Church for all denominations. Well, then after everyone had helped build it, they were just going to have it one denomination. So, I can remember going to mass in the schoolhouse. Until finally there was a little church built there in Bovill. Then we had the Catholic Church built in Bovill. And then, of course, as the town grew and so forth, why there were other churches built too But, I can remember that there was pretty hard feelings at first, be cause everyone had pitched in to build this church and it was supposed to be a community church, and then a few decided; no, they weren't going to have it and of course there was quite a bit of narrow-min dedness, you know, at that time and misunderstandings and so forth. So I remember us having- of, course, a lot o£ times we^d have mass in the home, too. And there weren't very many, but then afterward they did use the schools.
SS: Now, I've heard about this in Bovill: Was it all but one denominationwereall other denominations excluded or was it the Catholics?
NBP: Well, it was mostly Catholics, really, but still- I don't know- well,the Nazarenes built a church, and it seems to me like there was another church and they used a hall downtown. I can*t remember what it was, but they called them Holy Rollers or something like that. I don't really know the name of that. But now-
SS: There is that little Baptist Church there now.
NBP: Is there now?
SS: I think there is a little, just a tiny Baptist Church in Bovill.
NBP: Oh. Well, now I know that we call it the Presbyterian Church now.
SS: The Community Church?
NBP: Yes, uh-huh. But there are people that I know are Lutherans and Methodists and everything else and they go there. And years afterward, after I- well, 1 think it was even after I was in high school, if the Ladies1 Aid had a sale or anything all of us went, and we'd all help. And if the Catholics gaye something they'd all help. And so, the town finally got to where, I would say, very broadminded in that respect. And in fact, I think most of my- well, nearly everyone there- I know that they thought the roof would fall in- my mother and one or two other Catholic ladies were invited to the Ladies Aid.
SS: Invited to join?
No, to spend the afternoon. You know they'd have their afternoons,and Mother and a couple of others, and, oh! they just thought that the roof would fall in, really, you know, because that was being a little too broadminded to go to something like that!
SS: Would this be the opinion of other Catholics?
Right! Oh, yes] Absolutely! And they still had that real feelingthat you didn't associate like that. It was alright to associate, y^s but not to go that far.
SS: Not to actually go to a meeting.
NBP: Not to go to a meeting,^ like that you know. But, after all, itwas mostly that they'd take their sewing and have just a nice after noon together and so forth. I know that my mother went. And I know that this other lady went. And so, with us growing up, why, there weren't only just a few of my friends that were Catholic, the majority were, like I say, their folks were something else and most of them went to this other,
SS: How large would you guess the Catholic congregation was in Bovill?
NBP: At one time when they really had a good- well, let's see, there wereI would say, there must have been about maybe twenty families, or some thing like that at one time. And that's when John and Tom Groves owned the store, you see, and they were Catholics. And the postmaster was Catholic and the depot agent was Catholic.
SS: Joe Holland?
NBP: Even before him.v And the lady that run the hotel was Catholic. Quitea few that were in business, you see, and then of course with their families. And so, I would say, there must have been about fifteen, twenty families at one time. That little church used to be pretty full.
SS: Were any nationalities predominant at that time? In the church?
NBP: Well, no. I don't think so, because you know, in a lumbering townlike that, you got all denominations.
SS: Well, Imeant within the Catholic Church whether they were mostlyGerman or—?
NBP: Well, I don't know about that. Course,my dad was German. Mother wasFrench, and Groves were German. But I don't know, Mc Donald, I don't know what he was and Mc Farlands.
SS: At the time you were growing up, did you feel a difference becauseyou didn't go to church with most of those other kids?
NBP: No. No, you just- you were just used to that. It was the thing- thatwas just that, you didn't think anything of it. Just, I don't know, it was just the way I was taught, I guess, but we didn't have - there was no distinction made. We didn't think anything because those kids went there and we went here, it was nothing to us. It was alright, you did what you wanted to do.
SS: Well, what about your religious instruction? Who ran the services?
NBP: Well, to start with a priest would come from Moscow or Potlatch andat one time he had to come clear from Orofino. On the map it looked like Orofino was across, you know. They didn't realize, the poor guy had to come clear down here and around, you know. And so it'd take him two days to get there! But it was terrible and the roads in those days, too, you know, weren't passable most of the time. (Chuckles) So those poor young priests really had a hard time.
SS: How often would they come?
NBP: Oh,as a rule, only once a month.
SS: And the other Sundays- some townsperson would—Well, our own folks taught us, and then we'd have- we had one girl there working for the summer for this family, and she- I can remember her teaching us. She taught us. And we had to learn our lessons, too. Our folks were really very particular about that, you know. You were taught at home. Every night, well, you said your prayers every meal time, every night you had your prayers and you had to study your- well it was i our Sunday School lesson. We had to study that, re gardless of whether it was going to be any priest there or not. So we always studied/'regardless. And I think nearly every Catholic fa mily- they were taught just like we were.
SS: At home?
NBP: At home.
SS: By the parents?
NBP: Uh-huh. Parents had to do it.
SS: It wasn't an organized Sunday School and church?
NBP: There was at the other-
SS: I meant the Catholic?
SS: I wonder why? Was that the tradional way of doing it, do you think?
NBP: Well, I'll tell you, it was pretty hard, because the men were workingusually six days a week, and the mothers, too. You know, the work was hard. They didn't have a lot of spare time, either. And evenings and all- and so you were at home. And it was just easier to have your kids at home and make 'em learn at home. And, of course, we knewthat when the priest came he was going to ask us these questions and boy, you weren't going to let him catch you not knowing your lesson.
SS: He would spend time with you asking you—
NBP: Oh, yes, he did, indeed he did. None of us really liked to have himcome because he was real strict with us.
SS: This would be maybe once a month?
NBP: Yes. To start with, and then, of course, it got so that the roads gotbetter and so forth, and then they found out in Boise that Orofino was no place to send a priest to Bovill. So then they decided that it was out of Moscow or Potlatch. And so then, of course, it got to be where we'd have him maybe- we'd have it twice— then we got rich enough that the Catholics bought a house and the priest^stationed there, They got a priest.
SS: At Bovill?
NBP: Uh-huh. Absolutely,
SS: Did he serve Elk River as well?
NBP: Yes, he did.
SS: And stayed at Bovill?
NBP: Yes, uh-huh.
SS: Prior to that time now, you wouldn't have a church service unlessthere was a priest there?
SS: That would be with the congregation.
NBP: Yes, that's right. But that was no sign you weren't learning yourlessons, because you were. You were really learning.
SS: Holidays like Christmas and Easter—
NBP: Well, they'd make a special effort, you know, to have someone come.And a lot of times there would be— and then sometimes there would be a young man that would come out and just be there for a short time. Something like that. And then of course, after- it just seemed like first two or three Catholic families moved out and moved out til, well there wasn't enough money left to support - to keep a priest there. So, naturally then- but now of course, they have their everyday- I mean every Sunday because he comes from Potlatch. And he arranges it so he has his two masses or whatever he needs to say. Now, I was up there a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday, and the priest from Moscow came. The one over at the University. So he had a visiting priest come in and he said, "Alright, you go, I'll to Bovill" his friend was in Potlatch and he was just going to save him a trip. Let him have the day for just Potlatch.
SS: When this priest came out when you were kids- he was strict-
NBP: Oh,yes, right, right. Well, you'd study like everything. And of course,you know with the Catholic religion, each child has to know so much before they can make their first communion. And a child that is brought up in that belief and everything, you look forward to that particular time. Then you have to get older and learn more and understand enough before you are confirmed, you see. So that was one- I think- one of the things that gives a child more of an incentive to want to- to be able to when that time came, And of course, whenever the Bishop was going to come that was going to be something!
SS: How often did the Bishop come?
NBP: Well, that would depend upon how many confirmations there were goingto be. Because that would be— well, now, it used to be that a child was fourteen years old before they ever confirm Now, I think they take them from twelve. They change the religion so, I can't keep up with it. You know, they're so modern nowdays, that I don't really know about what they go in for.
SS: Now, one of the things about the church that I have wondered about -I was told that really the- like the Italians- who were at Elk River and Potlatch mostly, even though they were Catholic, the single men, they didn't take part in the church activities, to speak of. Is that true?
NBP: That is very true, but again, that would be because of the way theywere working. And, you know most of those men were over here with the idea- they had their relatives in the other countries, and they were making every cent they could and sending it home. If they didn't send it they accumulated it. And now, I know one particular fellow that my husband befriended, and he was a Bulgarian. And he, of course, didn't trust any bank or anything like this, and he was sending everything "fast as he got it. And then he would also save a little bit on the side. Well, he got enough money to make his trip and he thought he was going to- ' she was living off of so much and he was figuring what it was costing her and she should have enough - I think he had when he left there to come oyer here, they had one or two children,so when he went back, you see, he was going to get her and bring her back here, he decided. Or they would have enough that he could really buy a good place there. Well, first thing we knew here he was back. And he told my husband that when he got there she had lived every cent that he had sent, and she had another man. And of course, that- at first he thought about killing all of them, then he just simply walked off and came back. And then, after that, why he- All he was doing was working on the steel gang, laying steel. And that's all he did. Now that's awfully hard work. Well, anyway, through my husband- he told him, he said, "This little house is for sale." Only two rooms; three rooms. And so he helped him and he helped him learn his English and forth.
Well, then as a rule it used to be when the company- whenthe roads got real- the spring breakup- there was no logging, they couldn't because the horses went out of sight and they couldn't log. They'd have to nait til it dried up some. And so, most of these fel lows all moved into Spokane; would stay there through the wintertime. Well, then a few of 'em began doing like this Old John did. And he bought this little house. So he fixed that house up and I know I went to town one day and he had the worst old bed, you know then. So I told my husband, I said, "Well," I said, "I'm always wondering what to get him." I said, the bedstead is good enough, but, I said he just had a single, you know. So we bought a mattress and springs. He didn't know there was such a good thing. He'd always lived at camp where they had just these little things, you know- And so then, later on, I remember for another gift, we bought him a chair for him to relax. And gradually he began to realize that he'd been just existing, see. So, it took those people- now he was Catholic but he never stepped inside of a church. And I said to him, I said, Well, John, I don t understand, you have no excuse now." I said, "Before, you were working out at camp; you couldn't come to town." The only way to town was really with the engine, you know,A and it only had to come in once a month to the shop for inspection. And they'd bring it in for any repairs or something like that. But there was no other way for him to come in. So, you see, those men really had nothing but just what a camp , right there at the camp was all they knew. And they saved everything. And, like I say, because most of them intended to go back.
SS: So there was really a pretty complete division between those peopleand the townspeople.
NBP: And the town. Very much so. And I can understand why most of 'emnever- well, they just didn't go to any church. Make any difference what it was. They weren't there to go. And I don't know if you re member- oh, what was his name? that he traveled, he was a lumberjack.
SS: Dick Ferrel.
NBP: Dick Ferrel. Now, I'll bet you there wasn't a man in that camp thatdidn t go when Dick was there. Everyone of 'em went. he pro fessed no - really I don't know what church he did have-
SS: He was a Methodist.
NBP: Something. But he was nondenominational when he went there. But ofcourse he left there with several hundred dollars.
SS: The camp?
NBP: camp he went to. Those men, the way they donated to him was unbelieveable.Absolutely. He never wasted his time. But he was won derful for them. And they appreciated him. He was a wonderful friend And a lot of 'em he would, if they asked for his advice, he gave it. And he would make his regular trips around.
SS: Do you think, from what you've heard, that he went fairly easy on themen? You know, the lumberjacks as a whole it seemed to me those guys were leading a kind of rough life.
NBP: They lead a rough life, but, as a rule, there wasn't a dishonest one inthe bunch. There wasn't a one, I'll bet you, that would steal or mo lest a woman or child. It wouldn't be like today when you can't trust anyone. You could trust them, it didnTt make any difference.
SS: Well, I was thinking more of the drinking and gambling.
NBP: Well, yes.
SS: Spending all their money. And that sort of thing.
NBP: Yes, that's true, some of 'em did. Some of 'em came to town and thenthey stayed in town and have a big time with their drinking until they were broke, and they had to go back and start all over again. Lot of 'em did that. But £ think a lot of 'em got disillusioned, too. You know, that would really be because- well, they had no family ties. Now, you know there's one old- Jim Salukus- Joe Holland was quite a friend V, and in fact, he retired, you know, went back - he re tired and got his pension from the WIM Railroad and he went back to Italy. His son still lived there. So he wrote Joe that he couldn't buy the particular shoes that he always had here and would Joe please buy those shoes. So, Joe said, "Well, I'm sending Old Saluk," he always called him Jim Saluk, "his shoes." Well, Joe didn't hear a word about the shoes, "I haven't heard a word? He said, "I don't know if he ever got those shoes." Well, come Christmastime and here came a letter from Old Saluk^ and all it was was a picture of him sitting there and he had his feet like this and here was this foot up like this so you saw he had that shoe on. And he had told about how his son had worn out his other shoes, because he said, "When he first began wearing them, I'd let him wear them to church." It was an excuse to wear his shoes. And I think Joe sent him two pair of shoes. So Joe was happy when he got the card, the picture of him with his shoes.
SS: Sounds like there were some pretty good friendships formed between theAmericans and the foreigners.
NBP: Right. That's true. And, you know there was certain areas where allSwedish, you know, and the Swedes were very good loggers, you know, and strong men and Norwegians the same way. But now, working on the railroads you had more Italians, they seemed to go for that more, and like this other fellow, like I say, he was Bulgarian-
SS: He was Bulgarian- not Austrian or Yugoslavian?
NBP: Well, some of them- yeah, there was, too.
SS: I mean this man was-
NBP: This one, yes.
SS: Was Bulgarian.
SS: What was his name?
NBP: Oh, it was such a funny name I don't even remember. We just calledhim Old John.
SS: Because I hadn't heard of Bulgarians, really-
NBP: Yeah. Well, there.5 that John Cubis, my husband befriended him,too. And now to show you how hard they worked, you know that he lifted and he lifted so, they were holding this- you know the men would have to lift these rails- until they finally got a machine to lift the rail, but he and some more, and they were holding it and do you know, he popped the eyeball out of his eye! By lifting! Straining so terrible! And he never got anything for that, you know. In that day and age there was nothing. So the poor old fellow had just one eye. And that's all it was was straining so that the eye-
SS: That's terrible, isn't it?
NBP: Oh, it was a terrible thing, yes, it was a terrible thing to lose hiseye. And that just shows you how manual labor really was. And of course then, they began getting more machines and all this and that. But, now, Cubis, I think he was- was he Austrian? No, I think he was a Czechoslovakian. I think so. But they came from pretty near, I think any country- they were from all over Europe as far as I know.
SS: Do you remember the Ku Klux Klan in those days?
SS: What do you remember about it? I understand they were very stronglyAnticatholic.
NBP: Well, they were. They were that, yes. But of course, all we figuredwas- that it was mostly- see, that wasn't out here as much as it was in the eastern states. We didn't see them much out here. Well, this wasn't settled enough. These states weren't populated enough.
SS: It was during the '20fs- see, I heard about them in Elk River and inKendrick and in Troy, burning some crosses, and threatening some peo ple.
NBP: Yes. They did those things. That's true.
SS: Were there any in Bovill that you remember?
NBP: No. No, I don't ever remember anything like that at Bovill. But ofcourse, like I say, for a good many years there was just a handful of people, you know, and then gradually, of course, they got enough, like I say, they got a church and then they bought a house so they would have a parsonage and so forth. But I don't believe they ever had any thing there. The only thing that I can remember is the IWWs. You know when they had the labor trouble.
SS: you were pretty young in 1917 or '18?
NBP: Well, yes. And I do remember that part of it, but it seemed like Dadwas a little bit different in his line of work.
SS: Which was?
NBP: Well, in the carpentering work, it wasn't like with this other. TheIWWs were trying to get the others to strike and most of the family men didn't want to strike. And I know a lot of the young fellows that wanted to— they just left the country.
SS: The young?
NBP: A lot of 'em pulled up and left, because they were not going to go inwith the IWW and they weren't going to strike, so they just left. Moved out. Then after all this labor trouble was settled they came back.
SS: When you say the young fellows, you mean the local men?
NBP: Yes. A lot of 'em that were just out of school and some of 'em stillgoing to school. But I know of several of 'em that just left.
SS: Was your father protected by a union?
NBP: No, there was no union.
SS: But he himself, did not like the IWWs?
NBP: Oh, no, no. He didn't go £or that, because my dad was never for anything that was any kind of an uprising. And, you know, they had threa tened quite a few and they were going to carry their guns if they had to. Their attitude, you see. Now whether they did or not, I don't know about that part of it. But I know that- well, most of us were all too young to really realize that there was any danger much. Did you know Pat Malone very well?
Oh, yes. He was our friend, you know. Anytime we had any troublesat all, we went to Pat.
What do you mean? Kids?
Yes. Yes, all the kids.
What kind of troubles would you—Well, even if there was an argument, we'd go to Pat to settle it. Really?
Yeah! No matter what it was. Well, after all, Pat was the one whowould tell you what to do. He was the figure of the town; we all looked up to him, whatever Pat said, that was law. That was it! There was no arguing whatever.
I heard that Pat really liked kids.
He sure did, yeah. You never saw him but what he had a bunch of kidsaround. ^And there was no bad kids as far as Pat was concerned. He knew 'em all. I laugh about some of 'em, they had their arguments and they'd go to Pat: "Well, we'll just see what Pat says. If Pat sayswhatever Pat says, that's it!"
Is it true that Davey Olson used to follow him around?
Oh, yes, yes. And another one, Harold Taylor, always. Well, you seePat lived at the hotel, and naturally Davey, you know, he didn't have any living there in the hotel that he could play with, so he was with Pat most of the time. And whenever his mother wanted him, she always- well, wherever Pat was that's where Davey was.
Pat didn't mind then?
NBP: No, he was used to having him, unless he had some- if sometrouble and he had to go, then he'd say, "Home with you, home with you." He'd say, "Now, all you kids, go home. Get off the streets, there's going to be maybe something here that you'd better get off. Go on, your mother wants you." , or something. Boy, whatever he said was fine.
SS: So, actually there's be a bunch of kids around?
NBP: Oh, yes, as a rule, he'd have several.
SS: Do you remember him as a very kindly person?
NBP: Yes. Yes, he was. And he was kind in, well, like I say, even thoughhe'd have a drunk or something, he could always handle 'em in a kind way. And he'd say, "Well, now, you've got to go and sleep this off, that's all there is to it. You're getting out of hand." There was no argument.
SS: So you think he knew in his way how to handle people?
NBP: I do think so. Yes, he did. And he was a big fellow. And I thinkhe was very proud of his star, and he was going to keep it all just the way it should be. Yes, he was quite figure. Maybe he wasn t so awabiding all the time, but most of the time- at least he had all of us thinking he was.
SS: When you say, maybe he wasn't so law-abiding - you mean-
NBP: Well, he could stretch the law. You know what I mean. He'd see thatyou were doing something, maybe it just wasn't on the up-and-up, but if you weren't going to extremes, why, he'd let you get by.
SS: I've heard lumberjacks say that he was really easy on the guys drinking.
NBP: Right, uh-huh.
SS: He looked the other way.
NBP: Right. Like I say, unless they began to get out of hand or somethingand then he'd have to step in. But I don't think that they ever knew of any robbery or anything or any of that sort of thing- never heard of it, if there was.
SS: Do you remember him in his last years, when he was rather old and stillacting as marshall?
NBP: Oh, yes, yes. Well, we just- that was Old Pat, you know, and that wasit.
SS: I heard he was on there right up until the end.
NBP: Oh, yes, yes, he was. As they say, he died with his boots on, or somethingto that effect, AHe was a very good figure for the town. I would like to see you go up and get more things out of Mrs.
SS: I will.
NBP: Because, she's hard of hearing and all that, but you can make her hearyou. And she remembers things so well,
SS: Well, I'll do that.
NBP: Yes, don't put it off too long, because she's-
SS: Pretty well along in years.
NBP: Yes, she is.
SS: I was going to ask you about yourself growing up. When you were growing, what were the ideas that the young women had about what they wan ted to do.
Just like now; going off to school, I thought I'd be a teacher. Nearly all of 'em , were going to go to either- either come down here to Lewis Clark Normal or- I wanted to go to Cheney- and my brothers wanted to go to Idaho, of course. And that's the way with most all of 'em. But the opportunities weren't like they are now, you know, a few years after that because my dad was one that he didn't think I should go out - and the only real work for girls around Bovill would be to go to the camps and flunky, you know. And that was out, as far as he was concerned. I wasn't about to do that.
SS: How come?
NBP: That was no place for his daughter. But I did- I was lucky, I got towork. When I was going to high school I took my lunch and t hen I worked in the post office at noon hour, so that the post master could go home for that hour because she had a baby and she wanted to check on the baby. And I earned thirty-five cents for that hour. And I saved it, too] And I was real proud of it. Then I worked in the store, dry goods store, E. K0 Parker's store, you know. And they had dry goods as well as groceries. And then the telephone office; I went to work in there.
SS: Was E. K. Parker your husband's-?
NBP: No, no relative at all. Uh-huh.
SS: And then you worked in the telephone office?
NBP: They had a telephone office there. And what's the post office nowwas the telephone office then, and I worked there.
SS: Part time?
NBP: Yeah. Just part time.
SS: While you were still going to school?
NBP: Uh-huh. Then I worked there after I got married, too. When the regular operator went off on vacation, why then I'd help out there, too.
SS: Was what you were doing pretty typical of what other girls were doing?Or was it unusual, the fact that you were working in all these ?
NBP: Well, no, like I say, most of them went to work out at the camp. Andmy dad wouldn't let me, so I had to find jobs right at home. Then I went to- then I worked part time in the post office again after I was married I worked in the- then they moved the telephone office out, you see. Then's when I went to work in the post office,
SS: When did you meet your husband?
NBP: Oh, when we were chasing around, going to dances and what not. Hewas working for the company and he was an engineer on one of the en gines. And you know, in those days they used engines instead of trucks. And so instead of going off to school I got married.
SS: Out of high school?
NBP: Yes. The year after I graduated from high school. I was going towork, you see, that first year in the post office- no, the telephone office- it was still the telephone office, Saved my money so I could go to Cheney. Saved my money some, but I got married. So then I never went off to school. And it ended up most of the other girlssome of 'em, one or two did go off to school, but most of 'em got mar ried. They didn't all stay in Bovill. Couple or three went into Spo kane; some to California, scattered all over.
SS: Did you feel that it would have made a difference if you had gone toschool and learned to be a teacher? Would you have taught after that?
NBP: Oh, I would imagine I would have. I don't know. I don't know.I can't say I didn't have a good life, really.
SS: I'm really interested in it from the point of view of the opportunitiesthat women had in those days.
NBP: Well, there weren't very many opportunities in those days. Nowdaysit looks to me like, if anyone really wants to go to school, they can almost always find something, and it seems like so many different peo ple are trying to help those that show the initiative to go to school. I think they have that opportunity. Not only that, you can borrow money- my gosh, in those days, you think anybody'd loan me the money to go to school on? What would I haye showed them f,or it? Arid nowdys it doesn't seem like that's such a big problem. Of course, we weren't brought up- we were taught to pay for what you got. Gosh, I know that I even saved and saved and saved- my husband and I we were not about to buy a car on time, either! Because look at the interest we'd have to pay! He did that before i married him and he paid straight interest all the way through, and he was paying that when we got married. And, boy, I just couldn't see that. And so we paid that up as fast as we could and we did without everything until we got that car paid for. But of course, we run that car for ten years, too. You know those were hard roads on a car, too. But, you would have the motor overhauled, you'd have new'tires and relined the brakes and what not, and it was a good car for another so many miles and so forth, you know,
SS: Did you consider when you got married, that you needed much to startout with? In those days?
NBP: No. No. No, not like the kids do nowdays. But you see, there you are,they're born into a different area,entirely different.. I went through this with Mother washing on the board, and me helping her, carrying the water and boiling the clothes and what not. Well, gee, now, you know the young people have to have all these modern conveniences. And of course, gee whiz, there isn't anything else for them to do but have it, because it's just the way of living. You can't go back to thatunless you're going to move way out in the sticks someplace, then you will, you can move back to that kind of a thing. And then, too, we went through this Depression. We weren't used to- well, we never got paid for any of our work at home. It was my job; I had to help with the housework; the dishes, the cooking and stuff, it was just natural. And, my brothers to a degree, too. But then my brothers had outside work. You usually had your chores to do like the cow, the chickens, the wood to put in and split and carry in and what not. You see those things were just natural, you had to do those things. Then you had to do your studying; and then you had your recreation, whatever you were up to and whatever you were going to do. But, nowdays, there aren't things like that for kids to do, because everything is so modern. Of course, I still think maybe parents don't realize it, but they can putgive quite a few things for kids to do, you know, like keep up the place run the vacuum sweeper and if they got the dishwasher, alright, put the dishes in there and so forth. And things- of course most mothers now days are working and I don't know. There isn't that same family touch as closely knit I don't think.
SS: Because the mothers are working?
NBP: Well, because there aren't the things to be done together. There is inthis recreation, yes. Now, I have a niece who is busy as can be, she's got her job; she's got her homework, her house and all that stuff, her cooking. Alright, she also- she goes with boys to baseball, swim ming. She takes 'em out here, she takes 'em out there, but for her to be really doing any of these things right with 'em- see, there's the difference right there. And not only that, they're taken to this place where there's somebody teaching them.
SS: So they don't really do the things together?
NBP: No. No, that's what I mean. It isn't just the same. And I think thatway- I think you get away from being as close to each other. Because now I see families that, golly, they quarrel, they don't get along, and, my stars, whatever I had was yours, and yours was mine if I needed it.
SS: You mean, between families?
NBP: Within the family. If my brothers had something or I needed anything.by golly, if they had it, I got it.
SS: Do you think most of the families got along within themselves?
NBP: Oh, yes, I do. I don't know of any of these families that I grew upwith, I don't think that there was any of this family troubles like you see nowdays,
SS: What about the strictness of the parents? Like you say your fatheritseems to me he would be rather rather strict in not wanting you to get out and work, say in the camps; it seems like he was being kind of overly protective.
NBP: Well, to a degree, yes, but you see he just couldn't get over the ideathat that was too rough of a place for me to be. And maybe because I was the only girl, it might have made a difference. But I know that we argued about it and, "No," he said. "Well," I said, "I won't get to make any money," "Well," he said, "you can just do without." (Chuckles)
SS: That strictness didn't seem doesn't seem to be present any more either.
SS: If the kids-
NBP: Well, again, this niece of mine, she's not strict with her kids. Ofcourse, to me, I think she should be, to a degree. I don't like to see- that's alright for 'em to have their own ideas and all to a point, but, I know that if you don't have something and you say, "Now, this is it. When you're in this house, this is it. This is the way it's going to be." And I really think from the time they're babies that that is a good idea.
SS: Did you have kids?
NBP: No, I didn't have any. So, I can't tell the other guy how to raise hisI know by what I was raised in- you know- how I was. And I know the way my younger brother, he had four, Wallace had two girls, but my younger brother was a great deal like our father. And he say,5 too, he said, "I still think that was the best." And he's got very nice kids. All of his grew up to be very nice. He could be proud of every one of 'em. And I was just with a friend over in Seattle, her sister was in the hospital, she wanted me to go with her, and I met her two nephews, and they're just young men, and one has been married only two years, and they were talking about how strict their father was with them. And he was telling me, he said, "Yes, you know," he said, "it sounds to me like," he says, "your father was a great deal like our father." And he said, We knew that we couldn't get away with it, and we never sassed him." I said, "Gosh, no, I wouldn't think of talking back to either one of 'em!" And, "If you wanted to do something-" but, you know, I can see now, that they were real smart in this way; they didn't say, "Oh, no, you're not]" Because most of us has got backbone enough that if anybody told me that, then, boy, I'd grit my teeth and think, "Well, I'll show you!" But, no, that wasn't their way. "Well, listen here, do you really think,"- I know one fellow I wanted to go with aw fully bad- and of course, afterward when I got smart enough to realize what kind of a type he was, I could see why they didn't want me tobut anyway, Mother said, "Oh, you really think you want to go there?" "Do you really think that you want to go with him?" "Why don't you go with so-and-so?" And, you know, before I knew it I began to have my doubts that maybe she was right. She didn't say, "No, you can't do it!" See. So there was a whole lot in the way they told us. Because I think everyone of us were pretty stubborn. You know what I mean.
NBP: I always say that we're all stubborn kids. But, getting back to theseyoung fellows that I just last week met over there, they sai£, "You know, we do give our father credit, because he was strict with us like that." And, I said, "So then when you have kids, you're going to be just that way?" And he said, "I'm going to try to be like he was." "Because," he said, I know that, I'd say, "Well, so-and-so's going," "Makes no difference,"he said, "you're not." And really, these fellows are just great. They're great. As nice men as you could ever meet.
SS: A boy like this that your mother wouldn't want you to go out with, thatwould be because he couldn't be trusted?
NBP: Right. 'Course, he was popular kid, I thought, you know, it's reallybe something for me to go with him. And then once, I wanted to go with an older man, I can remember that, too when I was in high school. Well, again, she just- she said, "Well, if you really think you want to go with him," but, she said, "my goodness sake," and she went on and on and the first thing I decided, by golly, he was just Methuselah or something like that. I didn't.think I wanted to go with him at all! (Chuckles)
SS: What about the attitude that the girls had towards the boys drinkingat that time. drinking a littlemoonshine or that.
NBP: Oh, yeah, they all tried moonshine. Some of us'd take a drink andmost of us didn't like it, we didn't- That's one thing about my home; Dad always said, "If you want to take a drink, it, and if you're going to smoke, don't you dare go around the barn, do it here, I don't want the place burned up!" And so forth, you know. And I guess that's why it wasn't smart, we didn't care about it. None of us smoke, neither Wallace nor Kenny nor I. And none of us cared about it. Oh, Wallace used to, I think, he did a little bit. And Dad smoked a pipe all the time, but he never inhaled. And he'd always say, "Oh, I wish you wouldn't smoke those cigarettes, but if you will or going to- I don't think they're very good for you." Of course, with a pipe, very few ever inhale with a pipe. And my dad din't inhale at all. Why he had the pipe, was just a habit. But- yeah, there would be a little bit and maybe one or two'd get too much and well, we were disgusted with 'em. To heck with it, you could have a drink and have a good time and don't get to much, because then we didn't want you at all.
SS: Booze. It was okay for the girls to drink a little bit, too?
NBP: Well, took one or two, but very few did. We didn t need that tohave a good time. I guess we were so slow or something- anyway, - v there's always- you'll find that, I guess, in any locality or any place there'll be some that'll overstep but not very many.
SS: I mean, they get kind of ostracized.
NBP: Right. And we got so then, you know, we began having cars and wecould drive out.places. Well, I was going with my husband then, and there was this girlfriend of mine and so the four of us- and we went to what we called- well, we went to Kennedy Ford, you know where that
NBP: And then we went to Bear Ridge out to community hall, and then, youknow that began to get really wild, and there was quite a bit of heavy drinking and all. Now just to show you- we didn't realize it, this friend and I, but we were all ready for this dance and so we started out in her fellow's car and he took the wrong road and do you know, we drove and drove and I said, "I know we went by this farmhouse now twice." And they decided that it was too wild a place that they weren't going to go back there to that see, and they didn't come out and tell us. But we just got mixed up on the road, you know. So the first thing you know by the time we come by the dance was over with, you see! So we had to go home. We were so disgusted with those two boys, be cause they neither one could find that right road down there.
SS: They did that on purpose?
NBP: They did it on purpose, so we found out afterward. And well, fromthen on- that was the night, I guess they closed it.
SS: Bear Ridge?
NBP: Uh-huh. It was really too wild. There was too much drinking, and theydidn't have any more dances for a long time. But, oh, we would go to Moscow to the show and have lunch afterward or something and " home thing like that after we had a car.
SS: Were many of the get-togethers at that time that you were dating stillat people's homes? Having dances in homes?
NBP: Well, and then card parties. The lodges, you know, and they had theirdances and things and different fundraising things and we did those things at home and as a community. And if Elk River had aomething, we'd all go over to Elk River and then all go down to Deary and so on, you know. Whatever were wanting to raise the money for. ss- But dating itself was carried on- quite a bit- within the town?
SS: Not so much going to—
NBP: No. No. We didn't. And it wasn't til, oh, quite a few years afterward, after I was married- then of course, the next bunch of kids had cars and everything else, well, then tharfun wasn't at home, you know, it was going out. They wanted to be in a car going some place. And I think that's the way it is here, more or less.
SS: It is.
NBP: And another thing, too many people don't make the home the place forthe kids. You know, they got nice stuff, and they don't want the kids to litter it up. Well, our home was for us, and our house was the biggest house around there, and it didn't make any difference, we pushed the furniture out and we had a nice waxed floor in the dining room and we had an old Victorola and we danced and maybe we had a taffy pull or popcorn or something, and we taught our high school pals to dance with us and all that, you know. We never thought about having anything to drink. Might have cider, something like that. But there was so much of that, and nowdays, you know, they still could do those kind of things with their homes if they would. Then it would be a treat, I think, for the kids. Course, maybe too slow for 'em, I don't know. But all these young people, that's what they're looking for. Is just something to do. And of course, your TV, that shows them what kind of life they can have. Of course, we had our movies, too, but I don't know. It just isn't the same as having the parents get out - You know on a Sunday, we had the team of horses, and my dad put up ice too, so we could make ice cream, and we had this old cranker, you know, and we'd get the ice cream- in the morning get to churning the ice cream and Mother'd make the lunch and all that could get in the wagon, you know, and we'd go clear up to Collins- now, what is that? four miles from Bovill? Way up there] for the day. And we'd go as early as we could get ready, see, on Sunday. And Dad would unhook the team, you know, they could eat the grass and Dad and maybe Wallace and the older ones would go fishing and us kids'd play, if we were too little to fish or something. And then we'd come back and have our lunch and*go "^ home in time to milk the cow and go to bed. But that was a great treat! To do something like that.
For the amount that your father was working, was it unusual for him tobe able to spend much time with the family?
Yeah, it was, it was.
SS: That was real special?
SS: It sounds like a pretty hard life for him, too.
NBP: Oh, it was. It was a very hard life. When I think of him clearingland and breaking that land and planting and of all the gardening, you know, you practically raised all the potatoes we needed. And, you the timber was cut, it seems like the air currents- now it's freezing weather most of the time.
SS: It wasn't like that?
NBP: Warmer because of the timber, I'm sure.
SS: Keeping the wind from blowing?
NBP: Uh-huh. Right.
SS: Well, when your father working as hard as he was, was it just to getby or was he really figuring that by doing this he was really getting somewhere?
NBP: Well, he thought that he was. And like I say, he was one that didn'tborrow for anything. And as he had the money- we lived in the house when it wasn't finished- and the first thing that had to be finished was the outside. And of course, it was a cedar house to start with, al right, then the outside had to be finished by putting what we called the tarpaper, you know what that was? and then the siding; lap siding. Now that's the way the house in Bovill was built. Alright that was on because that was necessary. That was for the warmth, you see. And then, we took room-by-room as he could afford and right then- you've heard of plasterboard? came in. You know that was one of the- Celotex know,,for a few years we had wonderful crops around Bovill, then as alright, that's what's on- in that house. And we'd move everything out; camp in the other place and he'd do that. Working all the time. And, like I say, and then of course, the one major big project was putting in a bathroom. Golly, you had to do those things. And, like I say, he^sunk everything into that homestead. Instead of making a fortune, he lost it all. So he was starting from scratch when he star ted at Bovill again.
Sunk everything in the homestead you mean by having cleared that land--and built a house. Yeah, there was a log house, and he had built that house. And then, like I say, working a lot more than that.
Oh, yes, absolutely.
Sixty hours a week.
Oh, yes, they always did. And then of course, you know, in the lastyears that he worked for the company, they worked at Camp 8^they had their shops up there, and they did most of their building and every thing. And of course, they built the snowplows and things like that. And so, a lot of times- most of the men had to walk up there to work. Golly, he got a Model T, you know, got in the money then and he could drive to work. And in the wintertime, of course, the roads were closed and of course, you put the Model T u p on blocks and we had a horse andKa cutter and usually Dad'd walk up in the morning, you see, because I'd have to go to school, but one of us'd drive up in the af ternoon then so that when he got off work, why then, of course, it was eight hours a day. But, no, the men in those days, after they got home if there was any daylight left they would make use of it. Was he American born? Your father? And his parents had come over from the old country?
NBP: Yes, uh-huh.
SS: Well, and your mother? Did you say she was working—
NBP: She never did work.
SS: Well, I don't mean out, but I mean the work she had to do at home,did that leave her free time at all?
NBP: Oh, yes, sure she did.
SS: She wasn't—
NBP: No, they had certain days when the ladies had their- I know Mothertheyhad a sewing circle and then they had Pioneer Club- of course, that was the men, too- they had card parties, you know and played cards. I don't remember what they played. I suppose it was pinochle orwell Mother played bridge some. Whis.
SS: Do you think that you and your husband were satisfied with living thereas your parents had been?
NBP: Yes, we were, because, of course, our life was with the outdoors, hun-ting and fishing. And when you live in that,.it was okay. And of course then, he had lots more land and I stayed right on the same place. Dad and Mother moved out, they moved to Moscow, so I took the place, and we went in for cattle. Oh, we tried our hand at raising silver fox and one thing and another. And we did that, too in the Depression I sold fox furs for groceries; traded over at different stores in Moscow, And one grocery store I got groceries; $100 worth of groceries for a $100 fur. And I traded at David's store. A couple of the clerks. they could only give maybe five dollars a month on a $125 fur, but that was fine. Well money was hard; money was scarce. And we did just as well then as we did when we had money.
NBP: And, nobody else had money either, so you didn't feel bad.
SS: Well, this silver fox raisingj was it difficult?
NBP: Oh, yes, it's difficult. just like raising a bunch of babies,you know. And you have to have wire fence, and this wire must be galvanized real strong because a fox has real sharp teeth, they can cut that wire if it isn't a galvanized wire, they'll cut it like no- thing. And you^ have to have it on the ground, too, because they'll dig out. And then the snow got deep enough so that we had to have it oyer the top or they'd jump over. They could climb. So at one time we had fifty-two foxes.
NBP: Uh-huh. And then you keep the best ones for breeding, and the othersyou pelt.
SS: How much acreage did you have for them?
NBP: Well, we only had- we didn't have to have very much, because we onlyhad those pens- the pens were about what? I think the pens were only about twelve by twenty or something like that. But then, after so many years, why that wire got so bad that first one fox was out and then another fox got out, and so forth. In fact, two or three got away and later different ones caught 'em in their traps, you know. And so, we decided- the wire was going to cost us a hundred dollars for just one pen, and so, well, we decided that we would just go out of the business for a few years. Well, we never went ba ck into it.
SS: Weren't the foxes pretty intelligent animals? I mean they're cunning.
NBP: They are. That is true. But of course, when an airplane came over,in those days that was almost out of reason, you know, and this one came over just at the time when they were having their puppies, and that upset the whole bunch so, and they were out there carrying their puppies and wanted to dig and bury 'em and hide 'em, and one killed two of her puppies. And you go out and you try to distract 'em and give them something- well, if I had any bone or anything so they could play with it, or something, you know, take their mind of f of it and get 'em settled down, and you pretty near had to live with them. Oh, I wrote to Fairchild and told 'em please, keep those- tell those to fly high enough not to swope down like they were doing. See that was something new, they didn't know that either what they were doing.
SS: Did they change?
NBP: Oh, yeah, they listened pretty much. Well, I know one fe How out onBear Ridge and he swore up and down it was the sonic boom that cracked his eister.. And they paid him for it, too. And, of course, that was another thing. Oh, we used to get a lot of that, you know. And all those kind of things. So the fox is such a high-strung animal and you have to watch 'em, they get wormy. You have to give 'em worm pills. And you gotta feed 'em the right food or you don't have good fur. And there's an awful lot entailed through this.
SS: You mostly wound up trading them, or you did sell some.
NBP: Yeah, we did both. And that's how come we decided the wire was so expensive and we had to replace everything.
SS: In the Depression, was it a major- was it your major source of incomeat that time?
NBP: Well, no. No, no, my husband was working all he could work, you know.They had these WPA jobs, you know and CCCs.
SS: Was he one of the people that took those camps?
NBP: Uh-huh. He did. He run a speeder- they were hauling the men out, andhe'd come in town for the supplies and back and forth. Because he had been a railroader, see, and he could- he had his license the Mil waukee Railroad. Wasn't everybody that could run on the Milwaukee, you had to pass your exams. And so he had the right to run the speeder on the Milwaukee tracks. So he was running the speeder most of the time. And my dad then was building the CCC camps, too. He did that too.
SS: Well, the work that your husband had at that time; did he get any workfrom Potlatch or was Potlatch shut down?
NBP: Potlatch I think was closed at the time.
SS: So the Milwaukee Railroad was probably down.
NBP: No, it wasn't doing anything, either. Not very much. Only maybe alittle freight is all that would be at that time.
SS: So local people did not get work, or perhaps a couple or few did, veryfew got work from Potlatch?
NBP: Yeah, that would be all. They would be mostly the night watchmen. Thatwould be what it would be mostly. And no, because I know that my dad was with the CCs and Floyd was with the CCs- I don't know what really. He was too, in the spring when there was a flood, I know Floyd was running the speeder and hauling things out to them to build a bridge and so forth. And then there were quite a few that were working- of course, you know, it wasn't beneath anybody to work regardless of what little bit you made, you worked; glad to get it.
SS: Were some local people really hard up at that time?
NBP: Oh, yes, indeed they were hard up. But if we knew of someone who didn'thave anything, why, if we had an excess of something we'd take it- may be give them a pound shower, or what have you. And the merchants would give all the credit they could possibly give, and then they'd see that they still had the staples, whatever was necessary. Yes, I know of several families- they just VKWrt^ enough to eat and that would be all- about it. I couldn't say that about us, we always had plenty. Because my Dad was thrifty in that way- the first thing you did was you put in your provisions for the winter. The cellar was full of what was necessary. If you needed a barrel of flour, you had that barrel of flour, and you had your 100 pounds of sugar, and you had canned every thing, and you had your potato pit and you had bought beans and you had canned everything you could get your hands on, and so forth. That's usually the way we were brought up and that's the way we— because, you know you got snowed in anyway. You weren't going to run to any store. We weren't used to running to the store every day. And yo u raised your own chickens and usually Dad would raise a pig and butcher and butchered a calf, you know. And the only way- you either canned the meat or you put it in a brine. You didn't have no electric icebox at the time or anything like that. And you hunted; you always had deer meat. You'd can that. If the weather warmed up, you'd can it so it wouldn't spoil.
SS: What about these families- and I've heard from others- people who werereally hard up- what do you think put them in that position that they were not as well-off as others?
NBP: Well, maybe they didn't- weren't able to manage as well. Or didn'tprovide as much. But that's what I say with my father, that came before anything else. If you needed shoes, you'd do without your shoes until we could afford it.
SS: The food was first.
NBP: The food came and the nefiessary clothes; the warm clothing especiallythat had to be. You could do without anything else. And so that's the only- I know that we didn't have money, but like I say, but then when we pelted, it took quite a bit of money to have these furs tanned and made up, you see. But I figured I could sell them.
SS: Did you do that yourself? The tanning?
NBP: No,no. I didn't. We sent them to be tanned. But, like I say, Isold to a couple of different clerks in David's store and this grocery store in Moscow- well, two grocery stores in Moscow in fact, and of course at that time, why, fox furs were very popular.
SS: For coats?
NBP: Uh-huh. And my husband was always- whenever he was out of work, hewas trapping. He was a great trapper.
SS: When did you first start hunting yourself? Start hunting deer and elk?
NBP: Oh, I was in high school. And I didrft really go- ttell, my dad wasquite a bit- would go hunting quite a bit. And sometimes I'd just tag along with him. I didn't have a gun or anything of my own til after I got married though, and then I began to hunt more. And we got a dog to hunt. We used to hunt rabbits- go on snowshoes- and the dog knew more about hunting rabbits than we did. Oh, we had a 1 ot of fun. Another couple, they^just enjoyed hunting and fishing like we did, and the four of us were always doing things together.
SS: Was your hunting more than just day trips? Would you go out campingas well?
NBP: Not very much, because we usually had chores to do and couldn't fee gonevery long. Unless it was handy for me to have someone, which wasn't very often. The only trips that we really made were back on the Sa 1- mon one time, because his father was back there. And a couple of times then we would go down to Boise, his father'd be down there, and we'd go duck hunting on the Boise River. And^one year- the year we were mar ried, we went off on quite a hunting trip, but my folks were taking care of place at the time. And so, we went mostly duck huntingwe were hunting geese at the time. And we had out of state license for California- well first, we got Oregon; we were going down to Tule Lake you know, and then we got across - from Oregon we went into California. We were just hunting for ducks. Well, we finally eneded up and we came back home. There were three of us. This fellow was a friend of Floyd's and the three of us. And we had fifty-four geese and seventy-six ducks. And we came home and we had that old Durant, I think it was a Durant car, and do you know, that it was so cold that those ducks and geese were just frozen stiff by the time we got home with them. And golly, we gave to all the neighbors and we made feather pillows. Everybody was having feather pillows- down, you know, we saved the down. But that was the biggest hunt I ever went on. But with our deer and elk you see, we could get them at home, we didn't have to go out.
SS: Did you consider yourself a good shot?
NBP: No, I wasn't really good. I was average. Could get by. But when youlike to do things- well, you do it for the sport more. Oh, when we wanted meat, that waa a different thing, you know. But to go out just for hunting pheasant, you know the Chinese pheasants, why we did it more because the dog wanted to hunt. I didn't care if I got a bird or not, you have to get a bird now and then to satisfy the dog. And we had one dog, if you missed he'd look at you just as much as to say, "Well, that's fine." But, no, I never was a crack shot. And I never did- only once or twice that I^did trap shooting. Now Wallace follows trapshooting, did until his health got kind of poor, oh, now, he thinks he's getting too old too, but still he's going to Sun Mountain this September
SS: How important part of the diet was this^during the hard years?
NBP: Oh, it was very important. Indeed!
SS: Was it the main meat supply?
NBP: Yes, it was.
SS: Before that had it been too?
NBP: Well, to a degree. Everybody thought they should have a deer or two,you know. But again, people if they needed meat, and I've eaten lots of meat out of season- gotten it out of season- not lots, but only when it was necessary. But no one would think of shooting a doe. Well, you wouldn't want it. It's be the same thing, you want to butcher a cow that was going to have a calf. The meat isn't fit to eat anyway, because it's all going to that- and that's the way we felt about a doe. Gee, if she was carrying a fawn, you were not going to shoot a doe. And you know in the spring why there were quite a few people would be out of meat, and of course, Floyd was a crack shot, he could shoot from the hip just as good as any. And I know we had a friend- ROTC man and several of them from the University, they'd come out to hunt and he told me, he said, "I never have seen anybody shoot as fast as that guy." And he said, "I know he never even aims, he just-" And he said, "He can actually shoot right from the hip." And he said, "He knows right now where."
SS: What kind of rifle was he using?
NBP: He always had a 300 Savage. But anyway, they'd always ask Floyd, "Whatdo you think about it?" And of course, they'd have to go- the deer would be more or less out on the breaks or something. But they'd pass up lots of deer til they'd see some of these younger bucks, you know. And then they'd only take for this family- well, they'd get a half and somebody else'd get a half and only for the cnes that— I know one time and two others went off and they came back with five deer. And wasn't any doe us because we had our own canned meat and stuff, you know. And so it was just for some of the neighbors.
SS: Were people worried about game wardens at that time?
NBP: No. We didn't have any.
SS: They weren't worried about any other people giving them a hard time?
NBP: No, because everybody was in the same boat, you see. Everybody neededmeat, you know. Like I say, out of those five deer, we never kept any of that ourselves. He went with this fellow to help him and so they got those and those people had fresh meat. And then if the weather changed- got too warm- why they canned it.
SS: That was just he and another fellow? Doing it for the needy families?
NBP: Yeah. That's what they were doing. And a lot of times, why maybesome of them didn't have shells either, and I know when it was a really hard winter. Especially the one winter. And like I say, we knew this family didn't have much; well, we'd made a party out of it and say, "Everybody now, we'll go up to the place and," And everybody had a pound of something, or you know, a jar of something and so on. And that way they got a variety.
SS: Had the party there at their house?
NBP: Yeah. WeJIy we'd take along maybe some- one'd ma^e a cake or a couplemade sandwiches or something like that you know, and just got to the house and say, Well, we came to see how you And that was it. And leave the box of stuff.
SS: Did the people of Bovill draw together more closely during the Depression than they had been before?'
NBP: Yes, I do think so. I think so because, like I say, we had to make ourown fun, and; nobody could go anyplace; had no money to go anyplace, or spend any money. You didn't have any to spend. So naturally you would.
SS: Do you think that would be the closest times in the community's history,or do you think that it would be like maybe it had been around 1910 or 1915 and in the real early days?
NBP: Well, I don't know that because I don't remember that. I wouldn't remember, it was only after I was old enough.
SS: But you could tell a difference in the Depression compared to the wayit was.
NBP: Right. Uh-huh, Because it just seemed like that- well, we felt likewe were all in the same situation there. We all were hard up and so forth and yet we each had a little that we could donate and we never had our Rinky-dink parties that we didn't have a lunch. And may be didn't amount to a whole lot, but it was something. A lot of times it would be just cookies, but we had cookies.
SS: So the Depression wasn't really all that bad?
NBP: No, there were good parts of it] Right. And it taught us all a lotof good lessons. You know, I laugh at different ones, "I'm still like I was then, just can't let go,, and fesltfiree.^ Maybe I'd better not do that right now. I'd better save that." And that's the way it is. And you do get that way, I think.
SS: Is that the kind of lessons you're talking about?
SS: About thrift?
Uh-huh. I think so. I think that generation much more thriftythan these people that have - well, what child is it that is deprived of hardly anything? They don't know really what it is. At least I don't know. 'Course, I guess we do have people that are pretty hard up probably right here in town and all this and that and all, but on the other hand, if you want to and if you couldn't afford it, you can still find enough that people that are willing, ' got things that they'll give you. Right now, I'll bet you that you could go from one place to another; this'n'll give you this and that and the other thing, they've got an excess of it, that you can really put in enough supplies to last you all winter. So, like I say, we always bought the staples before anything else. We never knew what it was not to have that.
SS: Did you always have that by fall?
NBP: Yes. Always waited for that certain time of the year- Dad alwaysbought the flour, another time he bought the sugar. Always watching, there was a change in the price, naturally, then you bought. Bought a barrel of flour and bought the sugar.
SS: When it was cheapest?
SS: Your husband did the same way?
NBP: Yes, we did. Well, of course, naturally, I was raised that way, so Idid too.
SS: It seems to me the only real drawback about Bovill for those timeswas that you couldn't garden the way you could someplaces.
NBP: That's right. That, right, we couldn't. But we had those, we called'em the peddlers, that came in with all the produce. So somebody'd come in and maybe came clear from here with peaches. Well, gee, you know, you'd get all the peaches you- or you'd maybe order. And then, of course, after I had the car, I'd come down here to Lewiston and I had a couple of friends that lived on different places and I picked all the cherries I wanted; take 'em home and can^ - always thirty, forty quarts, you know , of this and that and always whatever we liked the best we canned. And then we always put in- the biggest problem I had was when I was ready to move that I had the cellar so full of an elk things. I really did. And when we got I would can the bloody, shot up meat for the dogs. Always had one or two dogs, and there was still meat forjthe dogs when I left, of course I left the dog with the place too because I couldn't keep her; great big Lab, and I said, "She goes with the place." Well, the people thought as much of her as I did, so I didn't feel too bad that I had to leave her. And I go back up now and I always buy meat and take up to the dog. And does she ever know me!
SS: Does she?
NBP: Oh, yes. Oh, yes, she sure does.
SS: I was going to ask you one thing I didn't; when you were in those yearsin the late '20's when you were first married; the main things that you did like- were there certain things that you did socially- social ac tivities that were the main things that you did in Bovill?
NBP: we just did everything. Dancing and card playing and huntingand fishing, but we were taught too- you owed sonething to your community And we were on all these drives; in fact, I was chairman of that cancer Started out in high school to help this woman- well she asked me to help her and then she got sick and here I was chairman. I ended up- like forty-two years I was chairman on the cancer. And I don't know, I think that Bovill was one of the best informed- you know with the literature and the films we got on cancer and all this and that when were first educating the people and all that as well as making our collections. I worked on the Red Cross. I worked on the PTA. In fact, I used to be director for the PTA plays. Of course, there was a lot of fun in it, too, but it was hard work too.
SS: I heard that Bovill had a great tradition of plays, the townspeople.
NBP: Oh, yes.
SS: That this was really popular.
NBP: Oh, yes, it was. And in fact, we'd go to Deary with our plays and goto Elk River with our plays. You know, making money for the PTA and so on.
SS: Was there still a lot of drudge work that you had to do at home without the modern type conveniences?
NBP: Well, we gradually got all the modern conveniences, you see, and thenafter we got- well, then, like I say, then I worked in the post office- I worked part time and I could still take care of- well, the way my husband, when he was away, like I say, we began getting more and more cattle, see. We went in for cattle instead of anything else. You can keep cattle there pretty well? Oh, yes, you can- that's one thing you can do, you can raise hay around Bovill. And we raised hay —
I didn't hardly realize- I mean I've seen the meadows and the pasturesand everything, but I didn't realize that people were really raising cattle.
How many head could you keep?
Well, we had eighty acres and then we leased eighty acres of our own,see. So we had around forty- figuring pasture, see, for so many, but we always would let 'em in here for a while and then let 'em in there for a while and so on, you see. We'd rotate. And like I say, put up all the hay you needed for the winter and then of course, you sell off what you didn't want.
So you didn't have to buy anything to feed the cattle?
Well, some years we did buy, but again, it's depending on how many youwanted to keep, whether you'd buy any or not. If you did, you'd go down- I usually had high school boys help me, and I very seldom mowed you see, he usually did that, I didn't like that part of it, but the boys'd help me and we could bale and all that, and I'd drive the truck and they'd load it. And I know one- it looked like rain and of course we cut a lot of fields around, too, different places that people had lots and they wanted the hay cut, you know and so forth, and we'd do that. And then when I butchered I'd give 'em a steak or two for the hay I got and things like that, But anyway, these two boys said, "Well, we've got to haul hay." And so we stopped long enough " supper and then we kept hauling hay. And a couple of the mothers came looking for them. They thought the kids were out some place, you know, and they found us and I was driving truck you know, and one said, "Well, we just made up our minds we were going to find those kids and if they weren't hauling hay, now look out!" They were Hauling hay with me and we hauled hay til eleven o'clock that night. And we just got it in when it began to rain, you know. And usually then when it rain$ , it's just awful to dry that hay. This year has been terrible all over.
SS: Well some years you wouldn't get a hay crop?
NBP: Well, that depended on; you'd get a crop alright, but maybe not much.Now, some years you could have a real good clover crop, the next year it'd all be frozen. Alfalfa was a poor crop too, because it freezes too easy. But you want to plant so that you Mfould have pretty a gua rantee of. specially for cattle, you know. And your brome grass and different grasses that they are planting more for cattle feed, you see. So that's what we would go in for. And it is hardier than your alfalfa, which is very touchy. But, oh we got by and made pretty good of it. Like I say, though, you did your own butchering. And people got so they wanted the meat from you, you know. We'd buy our grain; go down to the farmer and get it- he'd give it to you for whatever he was going to get it and haul it home yourself, and then you just grained 'em enough so they'd have good meat.
SS: Did you sell most of your meat locally?
NBP: Yes. Oh, yes. Most: , oh, some would only want a quarter, some wouldwant a half and that's the way, especially after they got their free zers.
SS: Was what you were doing unusual for Bovill? I mean, were there manypeople raising cattle when you were?
NBP: Well, not too many. There were several raising cattle but not all of'em would butcher and very few would cut it up. And Floyd would cut it and I'd wrap it.
SS: Had your father cleared the whole eighty?
NBP: No. Not completely,no. No, we had- there was only about what? Ithink there was only about twenty acres clear.
SS: And you'd keep the cattle on that?
NBP: Yeah. Well,no the cattle were all over. Oh, yes, because- and thenthe way we did, you see, there are places where- well,now if you take thorn brush, you'd have to cut that, because your cows get cut up with the thorns. And where ever tye. would clear a patch, then we'd plant floyd clover and brouuft and so forth for pasture. And so burnedand of course, we made wood and that cleared the land. And then we'd plant that and the hills and so forth where it's steep for anything. You had to have your garden and your fields right close because of the deer and elk being so thick there, too, you know. And we always thought "Well, they're just going to trample the whole place, but do you know, as a rule, they don't hurt it much. And I've seen as high as fifty elk in our little hay field at a time, and you think you're not going to get anything , but we'd get just as good a crop as ever.
SS: Your cattle were in open pasture? You didn't ?
NBP: No, we had fences.
SS: You had a fence?
NBP: We fenced it. Oh, yes.
And they'd stay there the year around? You didn't graze them out onthe—?
No, we didn't take 'em anyplace else. No, we fed 'em through the winter. Nowdays people think that's too much trouble,
SS: Well, it seems like they do a lot of summer grazing.
Well, they do, but that's- now they belong to an association and theyhave several thousand, and so they're out in a certain district, then they have to bring 'em and they have their feedlots. And now a lot of 'em have a place down here on the Snake River and that's quite a win ter area where they keep them. But they still have to feed them.some. I don't think there's anyplace that they don't have to feed some. Just one thing I want to get straight; the amount of work that you did after you married. Do you consider that you had a lot of leisure after you were married to be engaged in local activities and that kind of thing rather than have to work for you and your husband? All the time? You know what I'm saying. What I'm wondering, if you thought you had leisure, quite a bit of leisure?
NBP: Yes, I think so,
SS: More than your mother had?
NBP: Oh, yes. Because my work was alot lg^hter. You know, Ididn't haveto pack water. And the washing machine, you pressed the button and stuff like that, you know. And although I did help with the cattle and if Floyd - but he was then driving freight truck for the company. Taking the freight from the warehouse l" Bovill to the different camps that they had.[k Had to go to Avery to the camp.
SS: Was this after the Depression?Oh, yes, this is just in the last few years; in the last years that he worked before he retired. And so then, of course, when he was gone, well I was home to take care of tihe cattle, because through the winter months you've got to feed 'em.
SS: I guess I was thinking more back in the early days.
NBP: Oh, way back— well, oh, I don't know. I had time enough to do whatever I wanted to do, seemed like. You worked- your work and your play time worked all together. Yeah.
SS: Do you remember Pete Olson?
SS: What do you remember him being like?
NBP: Pete? Well, he was quite an interesting person, in a way, he used tocome up and he worked for us some, helped with the hayAand things like that and he thought so much of my dad. Pete wanted to make cedar shakes so my dad showed him- my dad had built the barn and he put cedar shakes for the roof, and also on the chickenhouse and one thing and another, was all cedar shakes. Well, Dad had this whatever rig ging he had built, he had this block of cedar and you had your -Pr©e and he taught Pete how to do it. So Pete just worshipped my dad from then on because he learned how to make shakes. He was making shakes for everything, he had a place, you know. And so Pete was quite a lone person, He never mixed very much with people, just a few, and he'd come up once in a while. And then he always cut his hay. He had a pet horse he kept for years. And he would go out with that little cart and gather the loose hay you know, and he had the little barn for the horse. And he'd just do odd jobs around. And so as far as really saying I knew him, I couldn't say that I did. He was just a figure there, you know.
SS: John Miller talks about how he was a learned person.Yes, he was. He had books galore and he was always reading. And he amused himself mostly by reading. And as far as doing anything or associating much- he'd visit a lot with you, you know, pass the time of day, but he just read so much.
Miss Crawford had a really good drugstore.had a pharmacist working for her. And, well in those days you had to get all your drugs from someone like that. Well, there was a drugstore of course, at Elk River, too, because-
NBP: Morrison, his father had it ahead of him. And one time Crawfordhad a drugstore over at Clarkia, too, as well as the one in Bovill and she owned one in St. Maries, She came from St. Maries. In fact, of course,she came to teach school, start with she was a schoolteacher Then she bought into the drugstore and hired a pharmacist.
SS: Was she a single woman?
SS: I've heard that her stock was really outstanding.
NBP: Oh, it was. Anything that you wanted she had it. Course, we just tookit as a matter of fact. We didn't really realize she had everything under the sun there is that wft6ever needed, you'd find it there. And know in the years, you know, after she just kinda let things go, and you'd ask her how about this? Have you got that? "Well," she'd say, "go look." And you'd probably,find it. And if she didn't have it, she was willing to send for it for you.
SS: I heard she was an unusual person.
NBP: Well, yes, she was. We all liked her very much and she used to havethe fountain in there and the ice cream parlor with it and all that stuff, you know. And she had gifts and everything, just like a nice up-to-date drugstore would have and it was a great place to go, you know. And of course, she was smart enough; she made money at ither business.
SS: Iheard too, that the really gave a lot of credit -
SS: I heard.
NBP: Yes they did. And then afterward, too, when Prank was in thestore, he gave a lot to different ones that I know of- that he helped them a whole lot. And of course after Groves, well, Merle Dennivan he did likewise. But things I don't think got as hard for many peo ple in the later years as they did that first time. But when you stop to think about it, really, two depressions in one's life, that's enough.
SS: When you say two-
NBP: Because it seemed like it- and well, we did have it that way. You knowwhen there's no work. Everybody's laid off.
SS: What do you mean? The two? I'm thinking of the '30's one, but-
NPB: Well, then we had- right after the World War In
SS: After World War I?
NBP: Uh-huh. Things were really-for a while- were very tight. Then, ofcourse like I say, then, those labor troubles- really- that knocked a lot of people out, too, you see, and that caused a lot of hardships. People that didn't get to work when they could have, you know, should have been working, and all, well, that threw a hardship on 'em, too.
SS: What about the company? Do you feel that the company looked out forthe welfare of the people, or looked out for itself mostly?
Well, I think in those days it was mostly for itself, because, youknow, there was no such thing as a retirement by the company in those days. You just worked, and gee, if you weren't able to work that was your hard luck. There was nothing. There was no social se curity either, you see, so you worked. You had to, really, that's why folks were working as hard as they were because they were looking for the years ahead when they weren't going to be ab le to work. That's what you looked for, is because, gee, you weren't going to be able to work all your life. And of course, men up in seventies had to work if there was anything at all that they could do, they were doing it.
NBP: Because, when you stop to think about it- I don't know now how manyyears that the company- not many years- that they put out a retire ment. And the same thing with social security.
SS: I know that some people that worked for the company for a long timeharbor somewhat of a grudge against them because they felt that the company had used them up and had used their work as much as they could and gave as little in return as they had to.
NBP: That's right. Because that was the custom in those days. There wasn'tany company that was really willing to do much, you know. Then when we first heard of the Joslin plan, you know, where you could put so much in and the company'd match your savings, why, gee, that sounded like an ideal setup. And those that went in for it, why, it certainly is a wonderful thing because there's not too many people that had t hat opportunity.
SS: When did that start? Was it after the Second World War?
NBP: Oh, yes. Uh-huh. Because that's when, I'm pretty sure it was then.I don't remember when the company started their retirement either. But you've talked to the Sandersons-
NBP: Well, now there's an example right there. Both Byers and John, bothworked all their lives for that, and I don't know, but they say what they get in their retirement is really just a laughing matter.
SS: I think Byers gets thirty dollars a month.
NBP: Yeah, something like that.
SS: He worked for the company for over fifty years.
NBP: Right. Well, I was trying to remember. Floyd didn't do much better.Floyd got what? Forty-eight dollars.
SS: Was he Milwaukee or Potlatch?
NBP: No, he worked for Potlatch.
SS: Most of the work that he did was for-
NBP: No, he was an engineer, worked with.the engines-
SS: The shays?
NBP: Yeah, the shays. And when they did away with them, then he took atruck out of the warehouse.
SS: Well, I think one thing I heard you say that when they moved out ofBovill, when they kind of shut down the stuff at Bovill, that they fired a number of guys that were just short of retirement.
NBP: Well, no, I don't know about that. I don't think they fired verymany. There were quite a few of them that were right near retirement age and they took it. A lot of 'em.
SS: They took—?
NBP: They took retirement- several of them took it at sixty-two, insteadof staying. Of course, they were taking a loss, but it was either that or nothing, I guess. I did hear that. But then that would be a lright, too, you know. And then- now, Floyd worked for them right up til h e was sixty-five. I know everybody said that it'sunothing like it used to be, either. Now they've got their unions and all this and that, so it makes quite a bit of difference. But their retirement is a much better deal, too. And I know a fellow said not very long ago, he said, "Well,", he said, "these fellows that are retiring now are retiring at just double what we did just ten years ago." He said, "You just have no idea, the difference in the retirement."
SS: It's just too had that they didn't start it way back-
NBP: Yes, Right. Yep, it is too bad. And I know a lot of them that shouldhave had it that didn't get it, that's true. But I don't know. Like I say, it was just one of those things that wasn't done. They didn't have 'em do it.
SS: I should get going, I've been here quite a while.
NBP: Yes, you have-Later
NBP: After he had a heart attack he couldn't do as much anymore, and so abunch of us women always went hunting together , and take my dad along because we didn't work too hard at it. And I laughed- we were up on Boulder and there was just enough snow, and it was slicker than the dickens. And had married a Wells and she was about, oh, maybe she was probably Wallace's age, older than I was, but anyway, she was sitting on a stump- some of us would go through the brush and the others would be ready to shoot, you know. Mildred was a good shot, and I laughed more- my dad could tell it so funny- he says, "You know, she was sitting on that stump and she was just as black as that stump," he said, "I couldn't see her at all." ^She got down and of course he saw her, and, "My gosh," he says, "when she fell it was just like a tarpaper That was one of his expressions.
shack coming down." NWe had more fun and we got a deer. And I'm tellingyou, we were dragging that deer, and my dad was carrying my gun and his gun and Mildred's I guess, and a couple of others and we were taking turns pulling this deer. And every once in a while somebody- down they'd go, you know. But I still laugh at my dad when he said,"And when Mildred went down, it was just like a tarpaper shack!"
SS: Mildred was married to Chuck?
SS: And she went then- she married Dan Ross?
NBP: Yes, she married Dan Ross.
SS: And then they kept the store?
NBP: Yes. You see what really happened; Mildred and Chuck loaned Ross money.And through the Depression, why, he just let everything go, you know, people couldn't pay, couldn't pay, then Mildred said they had to have money back, and he said, "I just can't." He went out and was wor king. Went to work by the day. And she said, well, she wasn't going to see their money just go down the drain, you know. So she got so that she d open the store then. the people had a little money, they'd come in, and Mildred began to run that store. And do you know, as people got money, those that owed him, they began paying back. So I don't know how many hundred that Ross owed, you know, had borrowed from them, but anyway, that was one way Mildred got her money back. And, so then, of course, Chuck was drinking like everything, you couldn't blame. I didn't blame really, but of course, he jumped to con clusions, too, and of course, then Ross saw a good thing when he saw it too, because Mildred was a wonderful housekeeper. And so, it ended up why, of course, she Chuck But that was really- she put that store on it's feet. And then after she got the business going good, why then Ross come back in. But he had just simply loaned people that couldn't pay, he still lem 'em have the groceries, ' he almost had nothing much left.
SS: So you figure that Mildred was driven to leaving-
NBP: I really felt like that, and she was a real good soul. And like I say,I was friends with her before, and I was friends with her afterward, and we visited off and on all the time. And she was a friends if she was your friends, now, that was it!
SS: Where had she come from? Do you know?
NBP: No, I don't know.
SS: She wasn't from around here.
SS: I just wonder where Chuck met her.
NBP: That I don't know. Some, of those people- Lancaster Ainow.
SS: I never asked Carl about that, I may.
NBP: Yeah, sometime when you see him, ask him where she came from, he wouldknow.
SS: Then you knew them pretty well?
NBP: Yes, uh-huh.
SS: What about Chuck? Do you know what kind of person he was?
NBP: Well, to begin with he was a pretty good fellow and everything. I don'tknow, got to drinking. And he- well, I don't know. He accused her of this and that and the other thing, and he should have known better than that, well, you know-
SS: She didn't just take it?
NBP: She couldn't keep it up. She couldn't stay with him, that wasall there was to it. Because I know, she told me about some of it and I said, - well, she did all she could, I figured.
SS: Do you think he was pretty mean to her, that way?
NBP: Yes, he was, very much so. You know for a man that was brought outhere, his parents were slavet brought out by the Lawrences, you know, brought him out here; gave him his freedom long before and Chuck was brought up as a free man and all, you wouldn't have expected him to have such a mean streak as that.
SS: Uh-huh. But he would beat her and that sort of thing?
NBP: Oh, yes. Yes. And the, I don't know- at first, you know, he blamed ,her,everything that went wrong, he blamed her for. Course, maybe- and she was nobody's fool either, I think Mildred was pretty smart: person. The way she took over in that store, you know. And, like I say, first thing you know, as people began paying a little bit, why she didn't just take that money, she bought-
NBP: -put back on the shelf, you know. And the first thing you know, shehad the store full of everything again, so that it was really good. And so this store- you know it's still a good store today.
SS: Did many people look askance at the mixed marriage?
NBP: Oh, yes, you had a few that were like that, but now with us, I don'tknow. Yes, I suppose a few did think, you know- well, everybody said she was whiter than he was. Because, there too, he had a lot of faults But then, we don't know either what circumstances. You know, it's pret ty hard to judge a person by just -
SS: You mean Dan Ross?
NBP:either, but then I don't think he was too bad of a fellow either.
SS: Have they both died?
SS: Did they stay together as long as they were alive?
NBP: Yes. Yes, uh-huh. And then Mildred- the last year of her life wasvery bad, I went to see her a couple of times and she just- Well, she had developed diabetes and it just seemed like one thing after another. And of course Dan lived quite a few years after she passed away.
SS: Was she much older than ?
NBP: I think she was- not too much, I don't believe. Oh, she might havebeen four or five years older. I believe so.
SS: Did you know Mary? Chuck's sister?
NBP: A little bit, yes. But not like I did Mildred. Because, well atthat time I was working more or less, and it wasn't until afterwards that we began hunting and so forth more, that I got more acquainted with Mildred. She was in the store was when I really got acquainted with her.
SS: In Helmer?
NBP: Because I traded with her some.
SS: The one thing that I wonder about with the Wellses, is that I'veYes. And of course,he wasn't above being a little shady here and there been told by so many people how accepted they were in the early days.
SS: Some people have said that as time went on and the country got builtup, they were less accepted than they had been at the beginning.
NBP: Right. That's right.
SS: Do you think that's probably true?
NBP: Yes, it was, because I helped my husband- the AF of L had bought thisclub in Bovill, and my husband was chairman and while they didn't want to make a lot of money on the club, but they did- it wasn't being run and there was no money, it was going in the hole all the time. So they asked Floyd if he would step in there. And so at the time the was quite strong And said Well, you gotta help me out. I had never worked in a club, I knew nothing about clubs. But anyhow, it was members, and you had to ring the bell to come in."|nK And of course, it was supposed to be that you belonged to the AFL to come in the club. Well, no one could get only so much and if you got too much, you knGw you had to leave, because this was a real high class club, so we said! (Chuckles) And, so anyway, this particular timeit would be the two young people of Chuck's-
SS: Chuck's children, you mean?
NBP: Yeah. Well, they were chasing around with some other kids from Pullwhowere musicians, man, - And they came up, and so they came in- somebody, one of the mem bers brought them in the club, and so they played, and everyone had a real good time. Okay, everybody enjoyed their music, because you know how it is with the black people, they are very musical. And I think there were four of them. And I don't remember, but anyway that doesn't matter-
SS: Was this Lou Easter?
NBP: Yes, that's who it was,
SS: And Billy.
NBP: Yes. And they had two or three more with them. AnqYso, anyway then,
SS: All black?
NBP: Yes. Yes, they were all black, and so of course, some of the youngerpeople knew these because they had gone to school in Deary with them. But anyway, they put on this entertainment at the club. So they sa id they would come back at such-and-such a night. Well, believe it or not, some of the AFL members called a meeting and Floyd came to m e and said, "Well," he said, "got our orders," he said, "we can't let them come." And I said, "What? ' How come?" They could be so narrowminded, you know. "After all, " I said, "they were giving free enter tainment to them." "Well," he says, "no." And of course, it's a locked door. So I was the one that had to tell them. And I tell you, that was an awful hard thing to have to go and tell them that there was an objection. So, he says, "Well, it's alright, we expected it." So that was the first I had ever encountered anything like that. And everyone had had such a good time that night that they were in there.
SS: Was it local men from Bovill that had made that decision?
NBP: Sure. Sure. Some of 'em. Now, of course, you see, they had- wellthere were members that lived at Elk River, Deary and all over, you see, so when they called the meeting; special meeting just to protest.
SS: What do you think happened, I mean the difference in time?
NBP: I don't know, and I don't understand either, because, they knew thatthose people had lived in Deary for years, and I don't understand why all at once then that they wouldn't- didn't want 'em. And we weren't hiring them or anything. they offered to come.
SS: Well what about for Mildred? Do you think that she experienced snubsbecause
NBP: She may have some, I don't know, I really don't know. But she hadenough of us that were friends with her that I don't think it mat tered too much.
SS: Those of you that were friends never cared the slightest.
NBP: No, they never turned against her at all.
SS: Even when she got together with Ross?
NBP: No. No. No, they didn't, because most of 'em knew Chuck. Well, I'lltell you, he had threatened her life too many times. You know, she put up with him and put up with him and well, you know, he finally did burn the place down. He thought she was in it, and she got out.
SS: While it was burning?
NBP: Yes. Yes. You ask Carl. Carl can give you the straight of it, Ijust got parts of it, you know. But, no, no, he, was impossible. There was no other thing for her to do. And, like I say, she had no money. They had no money. And so after she went in that store and made such a good success of it. She paid back Chuck more than what he had coming Because, I know she did.
SS: Well, you know Joe was kind of the same way. I mean, I don't knowthat Joe ever threatened his wife that way, but Joe was a heavy drin-
NBP: Yes, yes. Yeah, that's true.
SS: And Chuck from what I hear,was drinking heavily from when he was young.
NBP: Yes. Well, I know that a couple different times he pretty near finished her. Life isn't worth that much for anybody. But like I say, she really went in there because she had no other- nothing else that she could do. It was forced onto her, really.
SS: Mildred was close enough to you that she would confide in you.
NBP: Yeah, she did, she told me that she never- she just said, "I know he'snot well," and, she said,"then he tries to overcome things by drinking, and so forth, and that just makes him worse."
SS: Did you consider her one of your closest friends?
NBP: Well, not'Ylosest friend, but she was a friend. And if I needed herwhy, she would sure been there. No, I think she, like I say, she was just as white as I was. In fact, she's the only black person I ever did have any contact with. You know, there weren't any in our town at all. And that of work and all doesn't appeal to them. I think you only find the black people more in cities. They don't go for this rough stuff.
SS: Well, it just seems like in the West they're- you don't find many inthe country at all.
NBP: No, they don't like our climate, to start with. And the work, like Isay, has never been their type of work at all.
SS: I think what I'm most interested in is this- you know, to what extentshe, Mildred, was accepted in the community. SBP: Yes.
SS: Because the barriers, I would think, could easily be pretty strong.
NBP: Yeah, well. But you know, all the kids around Helmer, the schoolbus and all, they'd come in the store and everything and Mildred would just as- oh, they all liked her very much. Made no difference to those children. Not one bit. And, in fact, like I say, she built the busi ness up.
SS: And she had other friends? A number of friends?
NBP: Yes. Oh, yes, sure she did. All the people in Helmer liked her.All that had anything to do with her, liked her. So, I think she was okay, really.
SS: Well, to me, that's the real interesting thing about the Wells family.Because you would think, I mean, if you didn't know that they might have been shunned to a fair extent, but the fact is that really the way they seem to have been accepted, to me, says something about the whole community.
SS: The way those things- color didn't matter.
NBP: No. No, it didn't. No. I have no idea where the boy is. I thinkLou Easter-May's sister hears from her.
SS: Yeah, she knew - she went to Berkeley.
NBP: Yeah, I think so.
SS: I don't know about the boy either.
NBP: Yes, I know that's where she was. And I know Mrs.Lawrence hears fromher all time.
SS: Uh-huh. Did you very much?
NBP: Oh, yes. We went there.
SS: I hear that was quite a place.Oh, it really was. It was a great place. Yes. They had such good dances. And of course,they had a nice swimming pool, roller skating and oh, gee, yes. It was really the place to go. Everybody from all over the country came. It was quite a place. They had worked up a great business there. Just too bad that it couldn't have- well, it's just like everything- in time, it runs out, I guess.
Did people mix very freely- I mean, regardless of where they come from?
SS: Wasn't like the people from Bovill that kind of stuck together.
SS: And the people from Troy stuck together?
SS: Everybody intermingled?
SS: Sounds like that would be—
NBP: The only troubles that the towns eyer had was when they started consolidating the schools. And you know, each little community- well, it's the same thing right now with any community- there isn't a place that wants to give up their school. And you cannot blame them. And, you know, it was just- well, I felt the same way- it was just terribble that we were going to lose our high school in Bovill. Just couldn't see that! Couldn't see why it should be done, because they weren't going to save any money, and in the longrun they don't. But, they think they give the kids more. They have better teachers.
SS: How much do you think it's hurt the community; the loss of the highschool?
NBP: Well, I think it has hurt the community, because, you take now- whenSimplot came in- there not one- there was not one of their- well, I don't mean their common laborers, I mean their personnel that would move into Boyill. There is no high school. In fact, most of them thought that Deary wasn't a good enough school. Couple of 'em did live in Deary.
SS: Where did the rest of them live?
NBP: Moscow. Drove to Moscow day after day.
SS: Well, the school seems kind of like a lifeblood for the community.
NBP: It is. It certainly is. That is very true. And you take a schoolout, you do, you lose the percent of people.
SS: Did you feel that Bovill had any choice in the matter at all when itcame down to the question?
NBP: No, I didn't. No. I think that it was just- well, they try to letthe people make the decision and have the meeting and all this and that, but it was done with anyway. Done regardless. And I don't know, look at the arguments Deary and Troy have had.
SS: Yeah, they can't do anything- they're not going to build anotherschool.
NBP: Absolutely not! Troy will give up anything before they'll consolidate with Deary, And of course, we always felt like the answer for all this was a big school right at Bovill. Pull in Clarkia, pull in Elk Rive and pull in Deary. Let Troy go to Moscow. And I still think that Bovill was the center. And we argued that and argued it.
SS: Well, who had the final word at that time? I mean who was makingthe decision?
NBP: Well, I think it was the state officals. More or less, the educational department of the state.
SS: Was the opposition strong in Bovill against consolidation?
NBP: Oh, yes, yes. Yes.
SS: People felt ultimately helpless to do anything?
NBP: Yes, and then for a long time the people in Deary just snapped ateach other over it- every thing- every little thing. Now, then, of course, they're over that part of it.
SS: Snapped at each other?Yes, the least little thing, why, we're not going down there, we're not going to help them and all this and that. To heck with 'em, they got the school, let them make the money down there. And you know, it was really funny. Bovill has always been a generous town. If you wanted to raise money, do it in Bovill. We could still see that, even after they had the high school. They couldn't raise half of the money and the kids would all say, "Let's have it at Bovill, we'll make more money. And they did! k It took several years for the communities to finally get to, where they felt like they were more or less together.
SS: Bovill seems to me, to be more stable as a community, or have morecontinuity in it than Deary.
NBP: I think so too. I really believe so, because I don't know what thereis about the difference there, but there's something. And yet, look, Deary's got- what? three or four more churches and seems like theyin that way- and they have their Grange, but there's not that community center business as much as Bovill. Elk River, they feel; they're Elk River. They're too far from Orofino and they're out of the district for Bovill, they can't go there either, so they're just Elk River. And they are going to stay that way if they can possibly do it. And I don t blame em a bit, because- they're going to fight for the rail- road- I hope they can keep it, but I don't know.
SS: Maybe part with Deary is that it seems to depend so much on the country- the country around it, you know is- the country rural areas are Whereas, spread out so much. Bovill has a center.
NBP: Right. That's true, too.
SS: Do you remember Bovill in it's heyday as being a thriving city?
NBP: Oh, yes. Yes, absolutely. Before the last fire, my goodness sakes,they had- well, there was three dry goods stores, I think it was, and two poolrooms, as they called them. The hotel, course they still got the Bovill Hotel, then they also had a shoe shop and they had the har ness shop and they had the livery stable and the meat market-
SS: This last fire? Which one is this you're thinking of?
NBP: Well, let's see, when the town burned, what? '14?
SS: Yeah, it burned in '14 twice- well, no, it burned the first- it burnedwhen the town burned down and almost burned again.
NBP: Yes, and then part of it burned the next time. The first time, Ithink was- and then besides that we had the roominghouse, too. And you had all those businesses and they were all doing good; making a living.
SS: What do you think the main cause has been for the town's decline?
NBP: Well, I think that the thing of it was too easy a transportation. People enjoyed going out places to shop and so forth. And they just shop ped away from home and could shop and watch prices and so forth, a little cheaper someplace else. And it didn't make any difference if they did spend more money, they had the enjoyment of going out. And I think that's probably the same way at Elk River. Most of that shop ping they do in Moscow and even St. Maries; St. Maries is a good lit tle town to shop in, you know. And then of course now, it's nothing. They go to Spokane if they want something really very much or,down here you know. And so when we all began having cars and all, why, we didn't care if there was a store or not. And then of course, too, I say, I don't know, but you've got to have- now that's one thing about Elk River- they do have two or three interested business people in the town. They keep the store up. They keep the drugstore up. And that's what you need. You do not have it in Bovill. Consequently Bovill is going downhill all the more.
SS: You're talking about Deary has the-
NBP: Deary has interested business people and Bovill hasn't. Now thelast store is gone. And why? Because, they were making a good living to a degree, only that they just couldn't just put up with- Lloyd wouldn't fix the roof for them. You know he owns so much there and they say, "Oh, Lloyd's the only one who does anything for the town." Well, he's the one that's wrecking the town. He holds his property to where— Different ones^ came to me and wanted me to make lots in the ground that I have- you know, my fence line is the city limit line, arid I told 'em they would have to have the sewer permits, they would have to have water permits and as hard as Lloyd is to deal with, I couldn't see myself going in and making lots. But he just wanted too much money- several of 'em that moved to Deary would have moved to Bovill in a minute rather than Deary. And why not keep that store going? Why don't he fix that building? Is he going to let it fall down?
SS: What do you think his idea is in holding onto the land that he has?
NBP: Yeah, why is he doing it?
SS: I wonder.
I know that this one place, this old house has got to be burned down.He's let it go to where there is nothing and the fellow next doorthat lives next door wanted to buy that. Why didn't he sell it? Why didn't he sell these lots at a reasonable price- at whatever the going price would be. Well, who's going to pay $1000 for a lot in Bovill? Even $500 4 too much. Most of those lots- that's what this one woman told me- well, it was Mrs.Lawrence, herself. She said, she went down she said, "I want some advice." And so the fellow she went to,Ksaid, "Well, it's just like this: Do you want to see Deary grow?" He says, "You've got two boys in Business there," said, "do you want more people to come in there? Live there?" "Do you want to see the community grow?" Then, he said, "I say, sell every lot you've got." And he said, "The going price- some of your lots might be worth $500, but most of 'em for $300 or $400 or so on." Of course the way the pro perty has gone, she probably could have - maybe she gets a lot more I don't know now, but this was back about three, four years, not any more than that back. And they've had that many more people come in. And when I was still in Bovill, .was doing the very same thing with the lots that he had. He asked $1;000, because this fellow came to me and he said, "I can't afford that." And I said, "No, and it isn't worth it." So he says, "Well, I guess I'll go to Deary." And I told him, I said, "I wouldn't fight with Lloyd because," I said, "I'm out of the city limits," and I said, "you know what he can do." And-fheV that they have a council. Well, they do, they do. They're all "Yes" men. One or two that have been on and have tried to fight with him- you know what I mean- not really fight with him, but argue with him and want it for the good W the town that they could see. And do you know the reason that he's got this museum started in Bovill? I suppose you saw that.
SS: I saw the sign on the old opera house.
NBP: Do you know what that did? Gets out of paying taxes, Now that wastold to me, I don't know if that's true.
SS: I haven't seen it open, since I've been coming down.
NBP: At certain times it's open.
SS: I see.
NBP: It's only open on so-and-so— But, they said, "Do you know why Lloydturned it into a museum?" I said, "Why?" So he gets out of paying taxes on it. Now if that's true, I don't know.
SS: What's too bad is that the people don't try turning him out-ofI mean you really can't stop them at the ballot box.
NBP: I know, they aren't. But that's the whole thing of it. I just tellyou, it's funny.
SS: Who's that one guy that really got mad at him- there was one fellowthat really- gee, I don't know, he- there was a big story in the paper about it. He was shutting off the guy's road.
NBP: Oh, that was a fellow moved in there after I left, and I didn't knowhim.
SS: Oh, he was a newcomer?
NBP: Uh-huh. I didn 't know him. He was really trying to-
SS: Oh, he was mad.
NBP: Yes and not only that, it's doggone funny that half of the pages ofthat of the records are gone. So, why?
SS: How long has he been there?
NBP: Lloyd was born there. Raised there.
SS: His parents were there, too.
NBP: Right. But you know- he's in business, too.
SS: Well, it hurts him. It's got to hurt him, too.
NBP: He doesn't seem to think so.
SS: Its funny to think what motivates somebody like that.
NBP: Well, of course you see now, what really put him on his feet though,was his wife's parents. His wife's brother, when he was killed, he had government insurance; $10,000, and they just handed it over to And so, of course, Lloyd had $10,000. Well, Lois has got a nice home and all. And she can't do anything with him, either, though, There's just no way. But if he would fix his buildings, these people would have still had the store.
SS: Its really sad to see what's happened on Main Street.
NBP: Right! Right!
SS: And the way that building-
NBP: That was a crime that they ever allowed that- that those two fellowswere going to do so much, you know. And they allowed them to tear it half down, and oh, that was-
SS: It was a lovely- the whole front-
SS: was so good.
NBP: That's right, it was.
SS: It could be restored, I mean-
NBP: Oh, it could be done, but I don't know. Not as long as Lloyd Hall'salive it won't be done, because Lloyd isn't for anything like that. I can't see that. You know, as long as he's going to have so much property and just hold it nobody's going to come in there. The only people that ever come in are mostly undesireables. And that's the whole thing of it. The few people that are there are trying to hang on and build it, you know, keep it going and so forth. But the more they see of it, the more they say it begins to look like they haye to move out find
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Segment Synopsis: 1910 fire on the Boll homestead. Mother ran to warn picnicking homesteaders and children followed. Her brother wanted mother to shoot him rather than be burned by the fire. Mother buried their valuables, and some were looted by the fire fighters. Most of the timber was burned, so few returned. Evacuation and a stop with the fire fighters.
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20:00 - Western life was hard for her mother; household chores; moving to Palouse; father's job for Potlatch
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Segment Synopsis: Western life was a hardship for Mother, who had to learn to work after a cultured upbringing in Shelton, Wisconsin. Father came west to make his fortune. The family had to haul water at Bovill. After work rather broke land and worked the garden. Family horse and mule. Family moved to Palouse to work for Potlatch. Naming of railroad stops. Mother found great help from local women in learning to work. Mother shot game birds. Homesteaders were generally isolated. The third generation capitalizes on the homestead. Father was a cabinet maker who worked as a carpenter for the company.
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34:00 - Discussion of Catholicism in Bovill; how many Catholics were in Bovill; where the priest came from; decline of Catholic population
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Segment Synopsis: Catholicism in Bovill. The community church was restricted to certain denominations, excluding Catholics; there was narrow-mindedness and misunderstanding, which ended with time. Mass held at school and in homes before church was built. Many Catholics frowned when Mother and several others attended the Ladies' Aid. There were about twenty Catholic families in Bovill. Children studied lessons at home; the priest came once a month and was strict with them. At first the priest came from Orofino; later he was stationed in Bovill when the church was built. Decline of Catholic population led to loss of resident priest. Incentive for Catholic children to prepare for first communion and confirmation.
48:00 - Why Eastern European Catholics didn't attend church; the Parkers helping a Bulgarian man; Influence of Reverend Dick Ferrell in the camps
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Segment Synopsis: East European Catholics didn't attend church because of their life situations. A Bulgarian friend whose wife betrayed him back home returned to Bovill; the Parkers helped him get a home and bought him a mattress and chair as gifts. There was a complete division between townspeople and bachelors. Influence of Reverend Dick Ferrell on the men in camps, where he made good money. The lumberjacks were extremely honest, though many were dissipated. Joe Holland was a good friend of Jim Saloukos, and sent him shoes after he returned to Italy. A man who popped his eyeball out from straining to lift a rail.
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67:00 - Wanting to become a teacher; what she did for money in town; getting married instead of going to college; parents giving her guidance towards life choices
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Segment Synopsis: Her desire to become a teacher. Father wouldn't let her flunkey in the camps. She helped in the post office and worked for the dry goods store and the telephone company. Like most of the local girls, she married rather than went to college. Women had few opportunities then compared to now - college is open to all who are interested. She wouldn't buy a car on interest. She grew up in a different era, when work at home was necessary for the young, and families did a great deal together and shared. Strictness of parents is necessary. Parents persuaded her by giving her the choice - discouraging her from going out with the wrong men. Parents told them to smoke openly. Some women drank a little at dances, but were disgusted by drunkenness. Rowdy dances on Bear Ridge caused the community hall to be closed.
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Segment Synopsis: Dates and community gatherings - people didn't go elsewhere for a good time. Their home was to be used, not looked at. New entertainments aren't as good. Sunday picnics at Collins, and ice cream making. Father's hard work. Gardens froze out once timber was cut. Building their house a little at a time, as they could afford it. Loss of all their money on the homestead.
94:00 - Father's work, mother's leisure; raising silver foxes in exchange for groceries; Husband working for CCC camps; hardships during the Depression
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Segment Synopsis: Father's work, Mother's leisure. She and husband loved outdoors. Raising silver foxes - exchange for groceries in the depression. Planes upset the foxes. Husband ran speeder for CCCs, and father built camps. No one was beneath working during hard times. "Pound showers" for the poor. Stress in her family on provisioning for winter.
106:00 - Her hunting such things as ducks and geese; hunting for sport and meat; hunting deer out of season and community acceptance of it
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Segment Synopsis: Her hunting. Shooting ducks and geese in California. Hunting for sport and for meat. Venison was the main meat supply in the depression. Hunting deer out of season when families needed meat, but never does. Her husband Floyd was an excellent shot. Community acceptance of shooting out of season.
117:00 - Effect of Depression on Bovill and people's thriftiness; Civic work she did in Bovill; Raising cattle in Bovill
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Segment Synopsis: Pete Olson. Miss Crawford owned drug stores in St. Maries and Clarkia as well as Bovill; her stock was excellent. Credit from Bovill store. There was a depression after the end of World War I. The company looked out for itself, not employee welfare - no pensions. When the company left Bovill many had to take pensions at 62.
146:00 - Mildred Wells taking over Dan Ross's store during the Depression; her leaving Chuck Wells and marrying Dan Ross
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