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Latah County Oral History Collection

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

« View All Selina Smith Pierce interviews

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Date: August 02, 1974 Interviewer: Laura Schrager

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1:00 - Getting married in New York and moving to Texas Ridge; buying the grocery store in Deary; didn't like farming

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Segment Synopsis: Married her husband in New York and they came out to his farm on Texas Ridge after a few years. Bought the grocery store in Deary after a year. The switch to a farm was terrible. Didn't like the custom of feeding neighbors during threshing. Farming: hard work and earned nothing.

7:00 - Buying out grocery store and dry goods; testing cream for Hazelwood Dairy

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Segment Synopsis: Bought out grocery store and added dry goods. Tested cream for Hazelwood Dairy. Store not too much of a paying proposition.

12:00 - Reasons why the fire may have been set; almost didn't save her son; fire burning buildings in Deary; getting carried out by Mr. Wade

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Segment Synopsis: Reasons why she felt the fire was set. Went outside to help put out the fire and had a hard time to get back in to save her son. The fire burned down 8 buildings on Main Street in Deary. Stayed in too long trying to get some things out by the light of the fire, then the streamers caught fire and Mr. Wade physically carried her out.

22:00 - Rebuilding after the fire; still has nightmares about the fire; who paid the minister's salary

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Segment Synopsis: Owners of the store quickly rebuilt a brick building. The second store was smaller because they didn't have the money. Got shoes just before the fire. She still wakes up and fears she smells smoke. Church's Ladies Aid made the minister's salary.

30:00 - Taking in teachers and telephone crew for room and board

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Segment Synopsis: Took teachers to board in their new house for $30 per month. Men more easily pleased than women. Boarded telephone crew in summer.

36:00 - Other businesses in Deary and what she saved during the fire

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Segment Synopsis: Recalls other businesses on Main Street: Sam Anderson's grocery, Gorey Drug Store, Mrs. Devoine's confectionery store, Curtis Hardware, Buren grocery. Eight buildings burned. During the fire she saved worthless things and forgot the valuables.

42:00 - Curtis and Evoine selling out; Deary not recovering from the fire

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Segment Synopsis: Curtis and Devoine sell out. The town didn't recover from the fire. In the fire she busted the door to the store down with a chair.

51:00 - Raising strawberries and selling them in Moscow; first store to sell produce; other products that they sold

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Segment Synopsis: Raised strawberries out on Texas Ridge and sold them in Moscow. Their orders for the grocery store were shipped down from Spokane and men came through to pick up their orders. They were the first store to sell produce. Had smoked meat and whole cheese that they cut up.

57:00 - Credit can be bad for business; Lou Wells funeral in Moscow

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Segment Synopsis: Credit kills a person. When burnt out many people didn't pay their bills. Albert's sister refused credit to someone who owed quite a bit. Her husband wouldn't refuse anybody. Went to Lou Wells' funeral in Moscow. Mary King belonged to Ladies Aid and was one of us.

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