digital initiatives logo library logo

Latah County Oral History Collection

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

« View All Byers Sanderson interviews

Report a problem with this interview.

Date: August 25, 1976 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

Search This Index



Download the PDF transcript

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

BYERS SANDERSON: There was thousands of acres just black as your hat. The farmers all lost their crops. The biggest majority of them. Some of them took and bought hogs, all the hogs they could buy up. Fed the hogs the grain.

SAM SCHRAGER: That was in '27? I heard of that, that it was a wet harvest.

BS: All the way from the Canadian border clear down to this lower country it was- the grain was just shocked. The tops of them was black. And I mean, they was black!

SS: What were you doing in Canada?

BS: I had a mining claim up there. I walked away from a million dol lar project on account of my pardners went crooked with me. It was a lake bed. I had forty acres and it run from eight, ten down to fifty feet deep. And it was just like flour. Decomposed was an old lake and the animal life was still in it from the snails and things that way. I suppose years ago that the water receded and left that in there. The Pepsodent Toothpaste- I lacked one point or I could have sold them the whole thing. I made 1,640 in two days,Aone man and my self. I come to the States and got backing to put in a little mill and a jig outfit. I went back and my pardners they- in just a little over a week they spent that money throwing parties. Made me mad and I walked off and left 'em. I had it leased of the Wolf Brothers and as soon as I left the Wolf Brothers took it over and then the CPR grabbed it.

SS: CPR? Canadian Pacific?

BS: Yes. They sell it all over the world today. There was lots of opportunities there then. There was another outfit that come over from Windermere, over sixty miles where I was and wanted me to come over and look at his property. Well, I asked him what he had and he said, "Gypsum." Run forty percent. "Well," I says, "I'll come over and look at it." I went over; went out to his place. The meadow was as long as from here to the woods over there, about three quarters of a mile long, and this gypsum come up like a big ledge and it run sometimes 500 feet high and 500 or 600 feet wide. Nothing but solid gypsum. I looked at it and I says, "Well, man, you don't want to sell this." "Well," he says, "I'll tell you, Mr. Sanderson, you see these kids?" He had four or five kids there. I says, "Yes." "Well," he says, "the law says I've got to get 'em out to where they can go to school. I can't hang onto it." "Well," I says, "What do you want for it?" He says, "5,000." "Well," I says, "I'll go to the States and I'll get the money and I'll come back and I'll take it." Well, I come down and got the promise of the money and I went back. Well, this crooked pardner that I'd walked away from on this other project, he was a sneak, he was a shark. The Bank of Montreal President told me all about him, when he'd spent that money onparties during the week, and he says, We ve had trouble with him up in Saskatchewan." And he says, "You let him get his fingers on any money and it's gone. And he does it legally." And he got this old fellow and wanted him to sign a contract. "Well," he says, "I won't sign it until I go in and see my lawyer in Cranbrook ." And he went into Cranbrook and seen the lawyer and the lawyer told him, "That's the most crooked deal that I ever seen put up for a man to sell his property." He says, You sign it, and he wouldn't have to give you a thing and you wouldn't get anything." Well, I got back six, seven days later and Iwent over and he says, "I've sold it." He says that pardner of yours come over and tried to get me to sign up acrooked deal." Isays, "I ' have any pardner." "Well," he says, "that Mr?Goff." "Well," Isays, "that's the one,I throwed up this other property on and walked away from it. He's just snooping." And the old fellow was really sorry, he says, "I'm sorry," he says, "I'd like to've seen you had this." I said, "Yes, I'd like to've had it."

He thought you were in cahoots with that other guy?

Yes, that's what he thought. Well, I walked off and left the other two pardners and I told the Bank of Montreal that I was leaving. I says, "When they pull crooked stuff like that with me, I don't want nothing to do with 'em."

When you say they were throwing parties, just what did they do? Was it money that you had together?

Well, yes, you see.Mr. and the other feller, Iput 'em in as secretary and KGoff was the field manager. Well, the secretary and him got together and they went to throwing drunken parties and they spent 1,760 that I'd made, and I figured get ting this mill and put in, you see. I had the backing from a Spokane outfit to put the mill and everything in.

You weren't around there when they spent the money?

Oh, no. I was here in the States. And when I went back, the President of the Bank of Montreal, I f by the window and he called me in and then's when he told me all about this-

SS: Whereabouts was that?

BS: Out from Kimberly.

SS: What province is that? Is that BC?

BS: Yeah. Yeah, that's Kimberly, BC. And now, where I had my of fice they are building probably five or six stories high. And the town is as big as Moscow. And when I was there was just a few shacks. There was lots of properties up there.

SS: Did you spend much time in Canada?

BS: Oh, yes, I spent several years there.

SS: Mostly looking for mining property?

BS: Yes,-looking over mining property. At Yaak,we had- my father, I was with him, had oh, there must have been 100 or 150 fellows that all had property in Canada there and each one wanted him to take over their property; work it. But at that time money was real money. (Chuckles)

SS: This in the '20's?

BS: Yeah. '27. When Lindberg went across the pond. I was setting in the office and they come in, said, "Well, he made it!"

SS: Did you know who he was talking about?

BS: Yes. Lindberg.

SS: Had you quit working for Potlatch at that time?

BS: No. I was- I took a leave, you see. I took a leave from the Potlatch and I'd come back every so often and work and then I'd go back. Used that as a sideline.

SS: Do you think there were really pretty opportunities for a guy to make it rich up there?

BS: The opportunity was 100 better than it was in this country. Now, I had this property and it was five miles into it; I went down to Cranbrook , went in and I told 'em I'd like to have a road and wanted to know what it would cost me to go on up to the mine. They went and got one of the other fellows, mining fellow, and I told 'em about the property I had and everything and he said, "I'll tell you, Mr. Sanderson, you take your crew and you cut all the trees and brush. You don't have to pile it. Just clear the right of way and we'll come up and we'll put road in." I says, "What's it gonna cost me?" He says, "It won't cost you a cent, you're the kind of menwe want to settle in the country here." And they come and put the road in. Brought the dozers and the scrapers and things and put a nice road, gravel road, all the way up. And I had a fine road right to it. I had this property up on the mountain here,A and it's a good proper ty, and I went to the forestry and to the Milwaukee Land and the state; it's about five miles to put a road up to it, and seen 'em about putting in a road, and they give me the right of way, alright but he says, "To give you the right of way, you've got to put your own sixteen feet wide roadbed, steel culverts in all the creeks, and bridge the creeks and gravel it." I says, "Man, if I had that kind of money, I wouldn't want a road." "Well," he says, "We can't give you right of way at all into the mine. That's the specifications that's gotta be filled." And, he said, "You've got to keep track of the timber that you cut, and you've to salvage it and pay stumpage." "Well," I says, "Mr. Man, " I says, "that's just out of reason. It would cost 50,000 or more to put a road like that in there." "Yes," he says, "it will." Then's when I told him, "If I got this kind of money I wouldn't do it." And that was the difference between the two countries. Now, at that time, you coulda bought timber up there for just a small down payment and they'd give you so much timber, if you'd put in a sawmill and let them- they'd pay you 60 a thousand and they'd come and get the lumber at the mill and they'd give you all the timber that you wanted, and they'd back you. You couldn't do that in this country.

SS: Did many people that you actually knew go up there and live and not come back?

BS: yes. Yes, they was lots of people went up there. They was lots of 'em that went up there- I forget their names now- they was strangers but they'd left here and went up and several of 'em put in mills, little mills, -

SS: What about yourself? What made you decide to stay here instead of trying to make a go of it up there?

BS: Well, when I lost this other property and I throwed up this other, I come back down here, because I'd put up a lot of money on this other property and I had to come back and get to work. I had a family coming on. So I never did go back.

SS: I wanted to ask you about the CCCCs. That's something I haven't asked you about yet, and I know that you worked for a CCC camp. How did that come about, that you starting running the-

BS: The CCCCs?

SS: Yeah. BS. Well, that was in the Depression. When they shot those CCCCs out here, they wasn't men educated in the woodswork, onlythe men that they had right in the localities. And they give you an examination and they'd put you right into the Forestry. Well, that was pretty good money, that was 145 a month and board. Where you was getting- well, they was getting 30 a month, these CCCCs that we had in under us and board. And I worked every year, run the REA camps.

SS: REA? What's that?

BS: That was a government camp. They took on all the local men that were out of work and put 'em to work. Of course, they was a good deal like this road crews that they put on during the Depression, too. You had to be awful lenient with them, treat 'em with kid gloves. The most 'em- I had- what was their names? The head lumber salesman for the Potlatch when the Potlatch shut down in '27 out at Spokane. Office men. And I had him running, pulling levinskies (Chuckles)

SS: Leviskies?

BS: And bitter, talk about bitter! You never heard men so bitter as they was against the country. You see, they lost their jobs and they come down there- I had him in as a crew leader and he got 45 a month and board. And I had fishing captains from up at Alaska there that was in there, and he said that's the best job he ever had in his life, and yet he was a captain on a- retired captain on a steamship. He says, "I got my board here and I got a good bed." And, he says, "I don't have to work hard, and I can come home and read," and he says, "my meals are all ready for me." And, he says, "I've got nothing to worry about. It's the best job I ever had in my life!" (Chuckles) But he stayed till fishing opened up and then he had a fishing fleet.

SS: You said pulling levinskies; what's that?

BS: That's a wild gooseberry bush.

SS: That what levinsky is?

BS: Yeah.

BS: Yeah, levisky.

SS: Levisky. Oh. Ribes.

BS: It's a gooseberry bush and a currant bush. And the spore breed on those bushes and you pulled 'em and pile 'em up and they die. And they killed the spore. Well, that was the blisterrust.

SS: These guys that were bitter against the country, they had been management, themselves?

BS: They was office men and never done a lick in their life. And they come out there and they thought they was badly abused. But now, this army captain, he said it was the best job that he ever had in his life, and here one of the head lumbermen of the Potlatch said- just a salesman- why, he was bitter against the way the country had gone.

SS: And the way he was being treated?

BS: Yes, the way he was being treated. He thought he was too good to be out doing a common day's work! (Chuckles)

SS: What was your job? Were you running the camp, actually?

BS: Oh, yes.

SS: What was it your job to do? How did you oversee these fellows?

BS: Well, I'd take 'em out in different territories- I had two to three trucks, you see, and you take aboutithirty in each truck or maybe more, take 'em out to the fields and they'd run strings. You had three workmen and then you had a crew leader. And the crew leaders would take this string ball- they had this twine in spools about that long, and they'd run a line up, oh, twenty, thirty feet wide, then the three workmen would- one would get in the middle and one here and the other here, and they'd work out that line to the other end of it, you see, and maybe it would be a half mile long. And . crew leader would come behind 'em and he'd seesaw back and forth and if they missed a levisky or gooseberry or anything why they'd pull 'em. And then the Forestry had a checker and he'd come in after you got your territory worked out, he'd come in and he'd go through the same process, and it had to pass by a certain percent; it it didn't, why, you had to work it again. Well, that's what the CCCs were doing, was cleaning these— Now up here at Collins, we had a road crew? and they put roads up to Beulah's Butte and all through this country. Good roads. And today, you take the Forestry and the Fire Patrol and the Potlatch, they've cut outthey don't maintain thefroads anymore at all. Now, you take even the Potlatch, all their sideroads, they'll take a bulldozer and they'll bulldoze a ditch, eight, ten feet deep, two or three of 'em across the road where they take off to keep you out of there. That's where the monopoly comes in- onAthe big concern. It won t be only just a few years till a man won't be allowed into the woods. And they pretty near got that now. The government put gates across different places here, locks on 'em, and the Pot latch started it, but they made so much fun of 'em that old Ritz- Heimer opened 'em up. He was the superintendent here then. Well, the old iron gates- you can go out on the East Fork and every sideroad has got big iron gates, put up with railroad irons where they'd lock 'em to keep the people out of 'em. these city kids

SS: I want to ask you about that came out here. Wasn't there quite a few of them in the CCCs. Didn't they come from the East?

BS: Yes. Yes, I had letters from their folks- When they first come out the CCCs didn't have any cook? they just put green kids in there cooking. And you oughta seen some of the stuff that they- They'd take three of 'em at a stove- and one of them had baking powder, and they'd stir up flour and they'd make hotcakes! The kids, they wasn't a decent hotcake, they was just- you might saybaking powder and salt and water stirred up.

SS: A little flour, too?

BS: Oh, well, yes, flour. And I've seen as high as six of those fifty gallon garbage cans, you know, them big, I guess they're thirty gallons, garbage cans a day go out of those camps full of hotcakes! they wouldn't eat 'em! Well,.the Forestry wasn't supposed to say anything, but we did. And we got cooks. A good cook from the Potlatch when they was shut down; they was cooks- we knew of 'em and in this territory we got the cooks in there and in a little while they got them kids fed up and they had donuts and milk and cake along with thefregular meals and they had meat two or three times a week. Well, now, up on Elks Butte in '34, we had trouble with that camp there. They was going over the hill, that is, going back home, beating their way back home, rather than to stay and work at the camp. And George and myself, I was his assistant, we got with the captains and lieutenants of the army and told 'em that their grub wasn't sufficient for this kind of business out here for climbing these hills. And they wouldn't believe it. Well, . and I says, "You come and go with us and spend just one day agoin' up these mountains here, besides working as you go up the-" SANDERSON U BS. Yes. "Oh, that won't bother us." They says, "In the morning we'll be right here and we expect you to go up with us."

SS: Two sandwiches of peanut butter?

BS: Yeah. And the next morning here, the captain and lietenant and staff sergeant was all right there. Well, when we started up the mountain they walked a little ways and they stopped and they puf fed and George says, "Come on! We've got to get up and get be hind these kids. They're already up there working. And here you fellers are puffing and sweating." We pulled 'em about a quarter of a mile more and they was wiping the sweat offa their heads and they says, "Well, I don't believe we can do it!" Climb this mountain. Well, ' says, "Just what I told you. Now, he says, "You expect these boys to get up here and work all day long and climb these mountains and they go up one string and down the other." And he says, "On two sandwiches, and they can't do it, and they have to find the spring water and drink water." And he said, "You fellers are setting down there getting good pay and these poor kids don't even have a decent food." Well, they agreed right there! They says, "We'll see if we can' do something about that." And they ordered milk in the little milk bottles. And they went to baking donuts, making cake and meat. Well, the first month they went way behind. And they was going to stop it. says, "Just try it another month, and see how you come out." Well, the kids got fed up, you see, and they commenced to eat less and eat less and at last they couldon their allowance- they was allowed I think fifty-seven cents a day apiece, and they come out fine.

SS: Were these kids ready to do that kind of work when they came out SANDERSON 12 from the city, or were they real softZ"

BS: Oh, yes. No, they was soft, but the ForesIyf was lenient with them. Of course, all they wanted with the CCCs wasAto keep 'em on the job. You couldn't get hardboiled wiht them or anything that way. You had toAtreat 'em like a white person, I had safe breakers, what they clled second story men, kids, kids out of the reform school - that they took out of the re form school; put 'em on probation, put 'em out here. But you'd get 'em out onto the line and talk with them and go with them and pull levisky right along with 'em. And treat 'em like a person, why, we didn't have any trouble with them. Did they get along well among themselves? Or did they fight? Oh, yes,there was a lot of fighting. We had pugs, all kind of pugs. Kids with the boxing gloves. That was one of the main sports they put on. Every weekend they'd have different camps fighting against one another. And some of 'em were pretty tough. The first year there at Elk River, we had a bunch of Negroes; well they were tough. They'd take a ballbat or anything else and they'd wade right into the crowd and fight. Knock 'em down and knock 'em unconscious. But they had to bar them out of Elk River; wouldn't let 'em come SS BS SS BS in. Couldn't come in town, you mean? On their days off? fcn their days off because they was terrible. And they had camps over here on the other side of Center and up from Clarkia that had the Negroes in. They'd come out of where they thought the Whites was down on 'em, you see, because they was black, but they got out here and they had a differ ent breed of whites. The white men never spleened against them at all, but back East they was herded around in- it was Hoboken, it was down in what was that part of the Negro settlement there in New York?

SS: Harlem.

BS: Yes, there was lots of 'em from Harlem and they were tough. But after they was out here a while, they become civi lized- we called it civilized!

SS: But they were segregated out here? They were kept together?

BS: No, they weren't.

SS: They were mixed in the camps?

BS: We had Negroes mixed all up. And some of 'em were as fine a lads as you ever talked to. That's one thing the Forestry wouldn't stand for was the segregating. You had to treat 'em all alike.

SS: But still, if they couldn't come into town-

BS: On account of they caused so much trouble. The towns splee ned against 'em. Not only the Blacks, but the Whites. The Whites would get in it with the Blacks and they'd take the campsthey come from and they'd make 'em stay in camp. They would compel 'em to stay in camp. That's the reason that so many of the kids jumped- went over what they called over the hill. They'd go back. And the captains of the army went to firing out, making them go over the hill.

SS: Went to what?

BS: Firing 'em out of camp; undesireables. And I turned loose up here at Squaw Meadows onto the army captain, and I says, "Looky here, mister, you turn those fellows loose, no money and make 'em bum their way clear back to New York." I says, SANDERSON 14 "What are they going to do?" I says, "They're going to loot, rob or anything else to get money to get back home on." And, I said, "The government says that you'll send 'em home. Undesireables you'll put 'em on the railroad and send 'em home." And, I says, "That's what you're going to do. You're not going to take and send these kids over the hill. I'W( AO't raising a family and I'm not going to put up a guard at the house to guard the house." "Now," I says, "You fellows are going to be taken over the coals if you try to put 'em over the road- or over the hill."

SS: Over the what?

BS: That's what they called running them out of camp. They turned lots of 'em loose. And I had one fellow on the Elks Butte and he come down- he liked me- but he was an orn ery kid- and he says, "Mr. Sanderson, I'm not going to work. I'm going over the hill tonight." I says, "Where do you live?" He says, "I lve in Hoboken, New York." That was before we'd got after them and made them ,- . the kids decent meals. I says, "I tell you what you do. Just keep your mouth shut. But you come down when we come down with the truck tonight and tell me in front of all these boys that you're not going to work anymore, you're going over the hill, and "I refuse to work."" And, I says, "I'll send you into camp to the captain and he'll have to pay your fare- the government will have to pay your fare back home, and you'll have three meals a day while you're going home." He says, "Alright." I sent a truck in with him before we got there and when the other three trucks was coming into camp, why, here the army captain come with him and they took him down to the railroad SANDERSON 15 and put him on the four o'clock train and sent him home. Give him a dishonorable discharge, but that didn't amount to nothing! (Chuckles) Now I had lots of them up on east I had lots of 'em that I made 'em go into the captain- refuse to work and go into the captai and they'd take 'em right down to St. Maries and put 'em on the train and send 'em home.

SS: This boy at Elk Butte, was he Black?

BS: No, no, he wasn't Black.

SS: Why would a kid, just say, one at a time, decide he couldn't take it anymore? Was there any reason?

BS: No, there wasn't, outside of the- Well, just think yourself how a young kid- they hungry- you take a young kid and they're always hungry. Well, at that time they had these kids in there cooking and they couldn't cook. Once a week they had meat in the camp. I've seen 'em just slice off a thin slice of raw beef and put it in one sandwich and then jelly on another and give it to 'em for the lunch. And I even had there at the camp- they pulled their lunch out and says, "Looky here, Mr. Sanderson, look at this meat here." Pulled it; just raw beefsteak, thin,Afor lunch. "Well," I says, "let me see some of these other lunches'.'and every one of 'em was that way. I stopped the truck right there, I says, "You're not going in the woods." And the superintendent come around and he says, "What's the matter?" "Well," I says, "Herb, look at these lunches. Would you eat it? And he took 'em and looked at 'em, and he made up a face, "No, I wouldn't eat 'em." He says, "Take 'em back into the cook house and make 'em cook that meat." The kids in there} they didn't know any better, they'd never put up a lunch in their life before they come out here. I've seen those kids come out and they had shoes that was two times too big for 'em and the army give 'em pants, they'd take the upper part of the pants and pull it clear around over here and buttonwell, you've seen these fellows on the stage where they had loose pants and clowns and stuff- well, that's just what they looked like. And they didn't have any decent clothes till later after they got organized good, why, then they commenced to getting clothes that would fit 'em. But after we got 'em ironed out, they was good kids. There wasn't nothin' wrong with 'em. They were just kids that what they got to eat, the majority of 'em, what they got to eat they had to steal back in New York there, especially around . And that was why- well, when the train come in, brought the first load in, they had bread baked in long loaves, about that long, like this French bread, and they throwed it off of the coaches and the kids'd catch 'em and they'd lay 'em right on the ground and pile 'em up just like cord wood. Then they was segregated out and taken out to each camp. And that's the way they had to feed 'em. This bread was hard crust, just like French bread. I've seen stacks of bread twice, three times as long as this room here, piled up four, five feet high and five or six loaves wide. Whole coach of nothing' but bread. Well, that's what they made the sandwiches and stuff out of.

SS: Sounds like they were probably not eating too good when they came out here.

BS: Well, I've had letters there that these kids that was going over the hill, they'd write home and tell 'em they was gonna go over the hill and come home. You see, they only got so much of their check and the other part, the government give to their family. And one mother says, "You think that you've got it hard out there, you ought to be home here with us. And there fourteen, two families, sleeping in a 12x14 room. All we got is a curtain between us and we take turns cooking on the stove." And, she says, "It's terrible!" Well, it was terrible. I had dozens of letters like that.

SS: The kids would show you the letters?

BS: Oh, yes. The mothers would even write to the captain and the captain would bring the letters around and have us talk to the kids.

SS: To try to get them to stay? BS. Yeah. Yes, I'll tell you- them kids, I've had 'em tell me about- they'd stealAanything he says, that was loose. Go up to a fruitstand and one kid'd go up and root the apples and things and they'd roll all over the street and they'd pick 'em up and away they'd go! That was the way they was gettin' something to eat.

SS: How did they get along, say, like in Bovill or in Elk River or in the towns? What would happen when the kids would come to town? What did the townspeople think of it? BS. They was pretty skeptical to start with but afterwards,- they'd come in on a payday, when they got their checks and they'd spend every nickle. Well, it wasn't no time at all SANDERSON 18 till the town picked up and the kids picked up. And just like put ting the kids back to work- well, they was to work. But it got the money circulating around.

SS: What were they spending money on in town?

BS: Oh, they'd buy pop and sandwiches. Places they bought beer. They was lots of moonshine.(Chuckles) And the army captains and the army personnel, they was paid pretty good money. They was spending too. I've had kids come by here; the main road used to come right by the house here, and I had three, four milk cows and all we used was cream, oh, we kept some milk to drink, butl've had kids come by out here; and on a Sunday I always made two or three five gallon freezers of ice cream, I always had a big bunch. It was nothing to have twenty-five, thirty here at the house.

SS: The CCCs?

BS: No, no, the town kids. It was hard times and the CC kids would come by here, "Hey, Mister, can we turn that freezer for you? If you'll give us some ice cream?" I says, "You're just the huckleberries I'm alookin' for, get over here!" (Chuckles) And they'd come over and sometimes I'd make two ice cream freezers full- five gallons freezer, one of them big freezers, and boy they'd turn till the sweat would just be arollin' off of 'em. Hot; some of fem eat two, three dishes of ice cream, and I'd fill 'em up! You know, at that same time the kids in town, they was starving to death, before that CC started here. Lots of families. There was a family lived right up on the hill here from me, all they had was flour and salt when I found it out. We had our own cattle and we'd butcher and we give lots of 'em meat. And I was cutting wood and Damon was hauling the Potlatch had four or five hundred horses here, and he'd bring in a Load of oats for the Potlatch to feed SANDERSON 19 the horses and he'd take a load of wood, he had a lowboy, and accord he'd take eight cord of wood. I got two and a quarterfor sixteen inch wood out on the road and he'd load it up and he'd take it down to Genesee and around in there, he lived down there. Well, Old Bill Damon, I guess you knew him, and he'd trade it to the farmers and get coffee and sugar and lard. Coffee, I've had coffee come up twenty pounds at a time; sugar, two, three hundred pounds at a time, and I couldn't get no cash. I got just enough to keep my woodsaw arunnin' - Damon give me that much- but Damon never got money out of it, he'd take trade. Once in a while he'd get money.

SS: So, he'd get some of that trade, too?

BS: Well, yes, he'd take and buy my wood, of course, he probably got six, seven dollars a cord for the wood, but you couldn't sell wood here at that time.

SS: So he was giving you two-fifty-

BS: Two and a quarter.

SS: Two and a quarter in cash, and then besides that-

BS: No, no cash.

SS: Just in trade?

BS: Just in trade. LandI had aroothouse out here; Ihad twenty sacks of apples at a time, twenty sacks of spuds at a time come in. And you could buy a sack of spuds if you had the money for thirty-five cents; but you didn't have the money.

SS: You had told me before about some of the other families, but I was thinking about how hard it was for your family in the '20's and in the Depression. Did it get a lot harder for your family to get by? SANDERSON 20

BS: Well, yes, it made it hard because7 didn't have any cash. Your light bills was almost the same then as they are today, and just a few things like that is what you had to have cash for. Well, it was hard to raise any cash, and other families didn't have. The Washington Water Power cut off family after family in here because they didn't have the money to pay for their lights.

SS: Once the CCCs came in, did that make a big difference to the whole country?

BS: A wonderful difference.

SS: That's what turned it around?

BS: Right from the time them CCCs come in prosperity started to pick up. It wasn't no time at all after the CCCs got here that people commenced to get a little money and they commenced to flourish. They've got the same thing right today; if the Unemployment Bureau would stop and the food stamps'd stop, we'd go- within two week's time we'd be right into a civil war. There's no question to it, because they won't take it like they did during the other depression.

SS: How come you think they won't take it anymore?

BS: Because, these young kids- you can see what they do- you call 'em hippies and all of that, but if they didn't get the food stamps they're not going to starve to death, that's a dead mortal cinch, and they're going to get it the best way they can. And you take the monopoly of these big companies- you take Safeway Store and Rosauer? they've drove all of the little stores- down in the coun- try, they've drove 'em out. And you take the Potlatch and these logging outfits, they've bought ninety percent of all the timber in here. Well, they've got timber and cedar and stuff that they SANDERSON n won't use for a hundred years. It's stood there for a hundred years and go through and they've taken the cream off of the country, but this other stuff is standing there and they've never go back and get it in the world. Even today they're taking young stuff 'stead of the matured timber, and this other stuff is stan ding there. Well, the little cedar fella going out and getting cedar, he made a sale for it; now the Potlatch is buying allAthese little shingle mills and things out that'll sell to 'em and they're duplicating what they've made and now they call 'em cedar thieves because they're trying to make a living! They haven't got work. Now, it used to be, the Potlatch had two, three thousand men right here at Bovill working in the woods and today they've got forty, fifty men that are doing the same work with mechanized machinery. And here is kids downtown there they bellow all over the country and they're trying to get permits to buy the cedar to make cedar, and they won't sell- the government won't sell 'em any cedar unless they put down 1,00, 1,500. If they had 1,000, 1,500 they wouldn't want that permit. But to make cedar, they're trying to get work, and then they wonder what their generationgoing to come to. And the Potlatch won't sell 'em any timber. They won't buy any cedar.

SS: You figure that the hardtimes now has got a lot to do with the monopoly that's going on?

BS: Well, here's the Potlatch; they've got hundreds of acres back East there that they're clearcutting, and they can raise soy beans and stuff onto that ground and make more than they make on their tim ber. And that's what they're doing. They're working right against the farmer; well, that's making hard times. And, you take right SANDERSON 22 here; yesterday I was out, I run over a hudjired miles through the woods, and the roads are terrible.

SS: Worse than they used to be?

BS: Oh, they don't maintain 'em at all any more. I went into ditches that I could just barely crawl down in - and just a tew roads that you can get through on. I went through places that cedar, they've cut the timber and there's just cedars all over. Well, they'll never go back in the world and get that cedar. And yet, you take right here in town; this town would just flourish and go ahead leaps and bounds if they'd turn these companies d sell it to 'em on a small basis and make 'em clean it up and let 'em market their timber. Here's fellows here, right down here, that got the WnWiboff of the cedar poles of the cedar company here and they make, a few of 'em, are making 100 a day. END SIDE B

BS: Here, they've got iron gates, the Forestry's got iron gates on thefroad and the Potlatch had iron gates on all their roads, and when they get through going in, like going into a certain part of the road outside of the main road that goes in there, like in there on Floodwood, all the side roads that go up the canyons and things, they take a dozer in and they dig a ditch eight and ten feet deep; two or three of 'em across the road so you can't go in there. What's that doing? Just exactly that- This woods stood here millions of years, thousands of years, before the Potlatch or them ever got into1, and it never burnt up at that. That's one of the hooks that these companies use to keep the people out of the woods. They was thousands of people go up onto the Butte to pick huckleberries; the roads is washed out and they can't get up SANDERSON 23 there today. There was lots of people all over the country liked to pick huckleberries; same way with the garnet digging. The gar net is a mineral. I can take the minerelogy- it's a form of iyfllfiwi. And they locate emerald mines and things all over the world, gold mines, and yet She Forestry, our government, closed it up, and yet, they take it and they will lease you a little piece of ground and let you dig and you only can take a certain amount of garnets out, but they want 5 a day and then you've got to fill the hole back up and somebody else'11 dig. Well, that's not right, it's a public domain to start with.

SS: Do you think that the common man is in a worse position than he was forty, fifty years ago when the Depression hit? Yes, yes.there's no comparison at all. You take forty, fifty years ago when you could come out and take a homestead and you could prove up on it and sell it for a certain amount or you could make a living on it. These fellows would put in little mills, like here, Sam Frei had 160 acres up here and he pti in a little sawmill and he didn't get much for his lumber but he raised a nice big family and he always had acreage enough that he could run the cattle. My folks has sold nice, big, three-year old steers, 25 apiece. Well, today, that same steer'd bring 400, anyhow. And you take all of these little farmers and things that was through the country here; Deary, Troy, all of those towns fifty, sixty years ago were made, but today if you was to strike a good mine up here on the mountain- I had a copper mine up here- if you'd make a million dol lars the government'd take half of it. And then to run the mine and to get the state and them all paid off and everything, you wouldn't have any money. But Spokane, when the Coeur d'Alenes

BS: SANDERSON 24 was discovered, if a man made a million dollars, he come into Spokane and put up the old Paulsen Building and he put up a lot of big buildings there. He had the money to put it in, but now the government would take it away from you.

SS: Do you really think that- I think about that when you talk about rags to riches in the old days, they used to think that rags to riches was a real thing that could happen; I kind of wonder, be cause maybe a few people made it, but it seems to me that most peo ple always had a fight to make a good living.

BS: Well, they did. They didn't really fight in this country to make a living. You take in the early days, they depended on threshing a lot. Well, most of the groceries- grocery stores, now like in Palouse, Old Frederick, and all of them old-time merchants would carry the common family for 500 through the year. Well, during threshing season and other work they'd pay up their grocery bill. That's the way they lived. That is, the common people, but the rancher, he'd haul his wheat in and the warehouses would handle thr wheat for 'em and they always come out alright. You could go out to those ranchers and they all lived good. And the average: per son lived good, because you could buy a sack of flour for thirtyfive, forty cents.

SS: What about hoboes? Weren't there quite a few guys that come through the country?

BS: Not at that time, there wasn't. The hobo was more into the time of the Depression. Time the railroads got into this country and there commenced to be what they called a hobo.

SS: What were they like?

BS: Just like these young hippies!(Chuckles) Going from town to town. SANDERSON 25 Some of the best workers I've ever seen were hoboes. Some of the best welders, they called 'em floaters a little later on. They was floaters 'stead of hoboes. Down here in the '20's for the Potlatch, they'd come into the shop and show some of their welding with acetylene, and once in a while you'd strike one with an arc welder. But they were good workmen. Well, they'd work on this job and on that job and they had the experience. But the hoboesnow we had a jungle down here- they'd be forty, fifty men in the jungles. Well, they'd all chip in together; one would buy bread the others'd buy something else in the summertime, like when the corn was on the market and stuff like that, they'd take an old five-gallon oil can, cut the top out of it and fill it up with wa ter and take the corn and fill it up- well, the fellow that had ten cents would buy a loaf of bread, and they'd all go together. They'd have a good meal. I've seen 'em lots of times. And they didn't have anything only old tin cans to cooki). They'd put up little shacks, enough to keep the rain and shelterA | of r» 'em, and sleep and maybe spend a week there, if they had a bunch that had a little money; had earned a little bit, they'd all want to buy one thing and the other the otherthing. And they'd go to gether. Well, that's what they called the hobo! (Chuckles)

SS: Were many of these guys also lumberjacks?

BS: There wasn't so many lumberjacks. There was lumberjacks, yes. The lumberjacks, they'd get broke and they couldn't get work, and they'd go up to the hobo camp and with the few nickles they had they could buy a loaf of bread or something and go in and they'd eat. At that time they packed their own beds with 'em. They'd take the boughs off of the trees down in here and they'd fix 'em SANDERSON a bed on top of the boughs. They might steal a chicken now and then, if they saw a chickiJe out. I've seen 'em walk along with a little wheat in their pocket and throw it out and the chicken'd come up and pretty soon they'd reach down and they'd have the chicken. Well, a man gets hungry (Chuckles) he's going to get it one way or another! Right today, I was thinking when I was going through the woods if the Potlatch and the Diamond and the Milwaukee would turn loose of their cedar, little jobs, so these little fellows could handle it, they'd be making cedar all over and these other outfits handle their post and stuff, they Jell it out and the town would flourish- Not only here, but all over, where ever you get the circulation of money, that's what's the trouble of our country right today; there's no jobs here for these young fellows. And if them big fellas in Washington, D. C. would go through- Now the \tlatch hollers, they're spoiling the tim ber and making it im passable. Well, when they had the donkeys in there, I've seen 'em knock trees down and ditches where they'd pulled the mainline in fifteen, twenty feet deep. And you go through there today and you can't find a ditch. It's all filled right back up. Well, that's within a fifty year time limit. And what little that they would do - harm to the country- if they'd put their government inspectors and have the other inspectors come through that sells 'em the timbers and see the Fire Association, see that they cleafc up the ground and pile it and clean it up be fore they give 'em another strip, it'd put the men to work and it'd take 'em off of the streets.

SS: Do you remember, I'm sure you do, what Bovill was like when it was a flourishing town? Back in the teens and early '20's. SANDERSON 27

BS: Yeah. I've seen 500 or 600 people in that park down there. And they was lots of money. There was more money at that time a floatin' when the wages was two and a half, three dollars and four dollars top. There was more money in the town then than there's ever been since. Now, had 2,000 men working in the woods. And some of em'd stay there a month or two months then they'd come into town and in a couple of weeks they were broke and they'd go back and go to work. But to show you- the town down here- we had three hotels and they was always full. And we had Grant Giles and we had E.K. Parker and we had the Grofe Brothers and we had two butchershops; A. A. Anderson had a barbershop;two chairs in it, and you could never get out of there before twelve, one o'clock at night. Al ways full.

SS: The barbershop?

BS: The barbershop. We had a dentist, and we had a drugstore; Mrs. Crawford had one of the finest drugstores there was in this coun try. had abank. Well, at one time there was three butchershops here. We had three poolrooms, and they was all making money. The town had a band. They give the town 1,200, the businessmen did, among theirselves, to start this band. I played in the band myself. And they wanted suits for the ball players; they'd buy the club all suits. And if they wanted to raise any money to help out any other way- we had excursions from St. Maries, and we had Moscow. Our band played against a contest, against Moscow and Potlatch. All the towns had a little band. There was always something doing. We had the governor several times down here in the park, come down to make speeches. Well, we had, a good deal like Troy, puttin' on their Troy Day. The old-timers. But today, all you got is saloons! SANDERSON 28 You haven't even got a grocery store! You have to go to Moscow to get groceries! UNKNOWN VOICE: They have too got a grocery store.

BS: Yeah, the backend of the saloon, there, andAthey got a half a dozen different articles, that's all! You can't buy anything that you want. Bread and sugar and butter, but you can't get nice, fresh vegetables or anything that way. Bullet 'em stop giving the unemployment and the food stamps and we're going to have it. We're going to have hardtimes. That's the only thing's keeping the coun try up right now is the food stamps and the unemployment. You see, we didn't have that in the other depression. We didn't have the unemployment. You had to get out and make it. If you didn't you starved. I've seen the Pottllaattcclh down here have a whole ware- VAi house full of gallon cans of fruit and flour and sugar and coffee by the tons; you think they'd put it out to the people of the town? No, they wouldn't. And Old Nogle, he sold it to other fellows that had the money for 25; three big truck loads for 25! Put it out because he said it was going to spoil! 'Stead of giving it out to the people that needed it, and lettin' them have a chance at it. Hubert Hall is the one that bought the most of it and h e turned around and made five times out of it what selling it to other peo ple. And he wouldn't sell to anybody that didn't have the money.

SS: Did most people stay during the Depression, right here?

BS: Oh, they stayed! You couldn't leave; they didn't have no transportation. KDidn't have cars like they got now, and they couldn't buy gas for it if they did have.

SS: I think your sister told me of a story that you told about- there was one army man in a CC camp that thought a sunset was a fire? SANDERSON 29

BS: Yeah.

SS: What's that story? (Chuckles)

BS: Well, that was up on Elk Butte where I was the assistant- George and the ForestA - we got that camp set up, we had a nice camp. These fellows was from the East, well, they'd never practically seen mountains till they came out hereA the West. All the CCCs and the Forestry- or their personnel- come arunnin' up to the Forestry shackf or tents, and hollered, "Fire! Fire! Fire!" Well, of course, that was one thing we was on the alert for in the hot weather. We bounded out of tents in the evening and we asked 'em where it was, and they says, "Down around the bend!" We went down there and the sunset on the side of the mountain was just all red. It was just like you had big flashlights throwing in there, beautiful! One of the most beautiful sights you've ever If it looked at. And George, I was with George,Asays, "Where's the fire? "Can't you see it?" He says, the whole country's afire!" George looked at him, he says, "Man, don't you knew what that is?" "Yes, I know what that is, that's a forest fire!" "Well," he says, "that's the sunset on the side of the mountain! That's nothing unusual here. We have that in the mountains all the time, in the fail." And his countenance dropped, "WelJ I never seen anything like that." He says, "You'll just to have to forgive me for sayin' that was a fire. I've never seen anything like that." Well, born with a gold spoon in their mouth and never seen anything like that. There was 250 CCCs ,up there, getting ready to fight fire! (Chuckles)

SS: Did these boys stay up there very long?

BS: Oh, yes, they stayed till the snow, practically. The last camps A went out just before- the last of September. SANDERSON 30

SS: Then they went back home?

BS: Yes, they took 'em back home.

SS: Would the same kids come out the next year?

BS: Oh, yes, lots of 'em did. Lots of 'em stayed out in this country. He 's the results of the CCCCs. My daughter married one. But I've seen them poor CC kids when they come out here, they had shoes' that the army had give 'em, some of 'em was too small for 'em and they'd take a jackknife and cut out parts of it around to loosen up the shoes so it wouldn't hurt their feet. And after they was out here for a month they commenced to shipping clothes in that would fit 'em. But that's what Roosevelt done, is to get them off of the streetsAaround these cities. That s the reason that the majority of 'em were kids out of the cities; to get 'em off of the streets.

SS: How old were these kids when they first came?

BS: I had kids fourteen years old.

SS: That young?

BS: Yeah. I had lots of kids that was only seventeen. Steal! When they first come out here, the cookhouse - they dunload the truck with grub and the kids that was on detail, they'd throw grub off of there and they'd grab it and take it up in the woods and they'd hide it and then they'd go up and eat. Well, they was starved to death. But after they was out here a month or six weeks, why, they didn't do that at all. They commenced to spruce up and kids got fat on the job. But, I'll tell you, it was a pretty hard thing. There was a little town up here, Slabtown, there was families up there that all they had was a sack of beans some farmer had give 'em. I went up there and enquired and found out about different families. But, 111 tell you, - The Herman boys when I found them, all they had was just flour and salt and water to mix up and make a gravy out of that to eat on their hotcakes. And three times a dayJ Then I took 'em to get 'em to help me with wood couldn't get no money out of it, the wood- but we could trade it inWnd where 1 traded it in that way, they'd come up to get stuff to eat. Of course, we had the place here and we had milk cows and we had beef. You didn't need to shut your cattle up at all, we had the whole range, but now the cattlemen has got in and they've got all the range, and your cattle, you've got to keep 'em closed in.

SS: Was your wife a local person?

SS: Did you meet her in ?

BS: Yes, she was a local woman. She was from Rockford up here by Coeur d'Alene, and then her folks moved down here. That was in the late '20's. Just before the Depression really started out in this country.

The Depression started at that time back in the East. It was back East there four, five years before it ever hit the West. But it gradually hit us. And the Potlatch in - I think it was '33 shut down completely broke. Then after they started up- they had to borrow a million dollars from the government to get started. But after the CCCs came in- Now the businessmen when the CCCs left, they'd go and buy these silver dollars at the bank and they'd get 1,000 or 2,000 worth of 'em, Billy Watson and them, and they was broke before the CCCs come but after the CCCs was here, why they got going, and they made lots of their money that way. Now, the CCCs had never seen a silver dollar and they'd pay a dollar and a half for a silver dollar. They'd go to the bank and get 2000 of 'em and in four or five days the 2000 of 'em was gone, they was buying 'em as souvenirs. They'd pay a dollar and a half for 'em. I've seen Billy Watts come up with sacks, canvas sacks, 500 in a sack, and they'd sell 'em out before night. Or if you'd get a little garnet, these kids; that's what they'd spend their money on for souvenirs. They'd buy it. Lots of 'em went to prospecting and they'd get a little chunk of gold and then they'd sell it to the other kid! (Chuckles) That'sAwhat they need right today is something to put these kids to work. I get the Potlatch paper every week, they put out a —


— all their loading rigs and the shays and marians. I didn't want the master mechanic, " but there was too much grief. At that time you had to look after all of these machines. My father wasthe last real master mechanic that they ever had. But these other fellows that was put in as the master mechanic, they wasn't a master mechanic, they was just an office man, that all to keep the books. And each department had their— the motor department had their head mechanic and in my department, I had four shays, two Rob. five marians and one McGifford. Any time they'd break down they'd just phone in and I'd have to go out and locate the trouble.

SS: What was your department called?

BS: Well, I was boilermaker and Ernie was over the lathes and stuff that way. And the motor crew was over their end of it,Athen they had the electrician shop and the blacksmith shop, welding shop and if there was a welding job or anything.the office crew would come in and tell the departments such and such a job- you had to go out onto the job and fix it.

SS: Who did you take your orders from? Who was your boss?

BS: The superintendent. was the best old mechanic that the Potlatch had for the logging end of it, and then they put Johnny Grow in, but he was no mechanic. He was just an office fellow and something would break down he'd come and tell you so and so needs help and you'd have to go out.

SS: Did you join the union when they got one?

BS: Oh, yes, yes.

SS: Do you remember when they finally did get a union?

BS: I think that was in '44.

SS: Was that CIO?

BS: AFL. Then later it was turned into the CIO.

SS: Was there much opposition from the company at that time?

BS: There was for quite a while. It took quite a lot of these labor unions leaders to break Ritzheimer in. Curly Wunderlich, Ritzheimer fired him right off of the job because his brakes wasn't up on his : truck and he had a halfway runaway. Well, the labor union- he went to the labor union over it. The labor union went over and checked the truck that next night and the truck shouldn't have been allowed out onto the highway at all. Well, it wasn't the drivers fault that the brakes was that way because he wasn't a mechanic and Ritzheimer fired him because he had that little runaway. And Old Schwartzman.says, "How many trucks you got that are roadworthy?" He says.they all were. He says, "You haven't got a truck that if the law would shut down onto you, that would go out onto the road." And he took 'em around and showed 'em. And Old Ritzheimer pulled in his horns and he hired Curley back on and paid him for the time he was off. And that's the way the Potlatch (Jot into the union, it was through forcing of the union labor. They had a strike down here at the shop and they had the shop practically shut up. The Potlatch stayed with the men, mnAhad been with them for five or ten years steady, and the union couldn't claim 'em. Well, there was a bunch on the start till we got to see what the union was, that didn't go in. But after they found out what the union was they all went in. And then the Potlatch got this in surance started and that's how the Potlatch got the insurance on their men.

SS: Do you remember the Four-Ls at the end of the First World War?

BS: Uh-huh.

SS: I've heard that was a company union.

BS: It was more or less a company union. But that's the reason the Four-ts quit was because the Potlatch made a regular company union out of it. The Potlatch was always square with their labor, but they didn't want the union. As far as the Potlatch, if you worked for the Potlatch they treated you fine. That's the reason it was so hard for the unions to get started in because the Potlatch al ways went along with the other countries around if the wages should raise in the other country, the Potlatch would raise. That's one thing you can say for the Potlatch, they was awfully good with their men.

SS: I did hear that when they shut down at Bovill here, that there was quite a few guys that were just short of retirement that canned.

BS: Yeah.

SS: That doesn't sound good.

BS: No, that wasn't good either. No, and they cut 'em out when they shut down. I, for myself, I worked fifty-two years, but during the Depression there was a stretch in there that we had to work for ourselves, all the men, because the Potlatch didn't have work. And IT " when they started up they didn t have work to put all the crews back. And they wouldn t count that along to your (retirement) Of course, it wasn't the Potlatch, I'll tell you, it was the men that thought they was running the Potlatch. He wouldn't give a local boy a chance to go to work, but yet, let a stranger come in and ask him for work he'd put him right out on the job. I went to work for the cedar yard; well, the cedar yard was the Potlatch owr cedar yard, and I worked there for three or four years, and yet, he says "That don't count." He says I wasn't working for the Potlatch. I says, "It was the Potlatch." Well, he says, "They don't figure it that way."

SS: This was toward a pension?

BS: Yeah. Consequently I got beat out of five years after I was sixtyfive, and I got beat out of about five years before. That's the reason from the Potlatch pension I get 39 a month. I was too old, you see, when it started to get a good pension out of it. Ernie Smith was too old, he got 33 I think, and he worked fifty-two years for 'em.

SS: I was going to ask you about Clarkia. I heard that Clarkia was really a wide open town in the early years.

BS: It was.

SS: That there was more prostitution and bootleg than probably any place around the country.

BS: Well, there wasn't any more than there was here at Bovill. They had two big sporting houses here and then they had several women in the hotels, too. But all of these towns- the St, Maries and then there was another little town this side of St. Maries and then there was Santa, Fernwood, Clarkia and Elk River, they all had the houses and wide open. You could buy any liquor or anything else that you wanted.

SS: Do you think that the women would stay in one house for a long time? Did they move around from one place to the other?

BS: No, they stayed in one house. They was just like a family. You take up at Elk River, them girls was there five, six years till they got 'em out. Same way down here. They'd stay right there. And they had a doctor for the health right there, pretty regular. Then they put 'em out and they went to the hotels and went to Spokane. And that's the reason the lumberjacks always went to Spokane.

SS: But they'd been here in the earlier days? What happened? Did they finally get kicked out by the town?

BS: Oh, yes, the town kicked 'em out; got rid of 'em.

SS: Was that because of the churches, probably?

BS: Yes, I think it was. Cleaned the town up. Remember prohibition was on, too in that time.

SS: Did they kind of go together?

BS: Oh, yes.

SS: Did you think yourself, when you got married and started a family, did you figure that you were just going to stay and raise 'em right here, or did you think much about going elsewhere?

BS: I figured on staying here. You see, I started in 1912 working for the Potlatch and I always had steady work. I did, one time in 1914, World War I, I put my application in at Bremerton and I wasn't called till 1916 and I went over and I worked a while at Bremerton and then I went into the navy. I was working in the navy yard, see, I got an awfull bawling out for going into the navy in Spokane. I come home on a vacation and I went into the navy up here. And the old adjutant he says, "I'll tell you, Byers, we need men here twice as bad as we need 'em on the front or out on the boats." He says, "In order the the navy to carry on we've got to havemechanics.' And, you see, I was experienced in; the boiler work and that's one of the first jobs I took up, was boiler work for the Potlatch. I worked for the boiler maker for years to start with, and blacksmith work. And of course, when I wentN Bremerton and put in as boilermaker, soon as the opening come they sent right for me. And he says, "We need the mechanics here twice as bad as they need 'em on the boats or on the front." He says, "We can get all the men we want that way, Ahe says, "men with experience, they haven't got." He says, "If you wanted to join the navy why didn't you join here?" But, I'd a never got out of the navy yard if I had of.

SS: How long were you in? For four years?

BS: Yeah, I was in for seven years. I joined up for four years and then they put us in . reserve for three years or four years, I forget just which it was.

SS: Did you see any action in the First War?

BS: No, I didn't get to go over. Just before the Armistice was signed, our company was due to ship out to France, but the Armistice cut it out. And then thirty days after the Armistice was signed we was all home; they sent us all home. That's one thing they done right off of of the reel. There was 25,000 in our camp right there on the Gulf of Mexico, and they sent us all home. That cut down a big expense on the government.

But if they don't do something with these large companies getting monopoly on things, they're going to see some hard times. And some of the big fellows are commencing to notice that now. Not only the Potlatch but these other concerns. , like your com puters, look at the office people that put out of work. In one building alone there in New York they put over 5000 stenographers off of the job; just out of one building, one of those big office buildings. Well, you take all over the United States, look at the people they put out of work; they had to find other jobs. Now, they haven't got the jobs. has taken hold like the Potlatch here. Now they've got the loader, I call them crawdad machines, the full crew and a train crew and handling the logs and everything, one man on that loader will do the work of ten, fifteen men, and do away with two or three shays. Two men down here take those trucks they come in and it only takes four, five minutes to unload a whole truckload of logs, where it used to take all kind of time before.

SS: One thing that strikes me- you talk about what some of the bosses were like- seems to me that there were a lot of two bit bosses.

BS: Yeah, there was. There was a lot of two bit bosses and there are yet today.

SS: What do you think make those guys be like that?

BS: It goes to the head. They think they're a boss, it goes to their head. Now, Wallace Bowles, he quit here, he was a log loader on the marion, I fixed his marion year after year for him, and he went over on the other side, and he was a nice fella, and they worked him in as a boss and then he got to be the superintendent. Or assistant superintendent. And it was train boss first, he got to be a train boss, lining the train crews out; three, four en gines and they'd line 'em put to different camps where they had to go out and switch 'em out and he went hog-wild. He commenced calling the men sons of bitches and everything else, and the su perintendent racked him over the coals. Told him if he carried on like that, he says, "We'll have to get rid of you." He says, "This job isn't a king's job at all. Those men's got feelings just as well as anybody else. You've got to treat 'em as such." Well, that was Blackberry that bawled him out, and they made a fine man out of him. But he's retired now. It went to his head.

SS: They forget where they're from.

BS: Well,Tornley was another one of 'em. I knew most all those old fellas. Now Axel Anderson was altogether different. He was like the old-time bosses. "Well, what are you doing? I see you're not doing anything, what do you figure on doing?" "Well, I'm looking for work." "Well, go up to the camp, tell 'em I sent you up there, they'll find something for you." And away they'd go, they'd go to work. But these other fellas, unless you got down and begged 'em for a job like Chet down here, he thought he was part of the company. But after they took this office away from him downtown and put him up here as a common clerk into the main shop, he. 'em, "Chicken shit!" He says, "The way the company's getting now, I don't even want to work for 'em." He got his shingle cut from where he thought he was something and he found out he wasn't any thing.

SS: It's a funny thing because you would think that these guys would want to help the town.

BS: No, my son-in-law, he went in and he says, Is there anything open, Chet?" "No,"he says, "there's no jobs open." He says, "Not putting any men on." Well, Ritzheimer was in the office and he looked out and he seen Euler, and he says, "Euler, I've got a job for you." Took and put him on a job right up here where they needed a toploader One of the best jobs around. Made Chet madder than a header. And, my boy went in time after time and, "No, nothing showed up." Well, there was a kid come from the university that didn't know sic 'em and Chet put him right on. So Max, he went to Ritzheimer, and he says, "Ritzheimer, I've asked Chet for over three months for a job. And he puts on these college kids and won't give a town kid a job." Ritzheimer says, "You go up to the shop and you go into the welding shop." Max was a welder. And he went in there and he worked for two, three years steady at welding. And Chet says, "Why didn't you come to me? Instead of going over to Ritzheimer?" He says, "I did come to you for over three months and every time I come in there, there wasn't no job, wasn't no job." And, he says, "Right after you told me there wasn't no job, I went to Ritzheimer and he put me right up there in the shop."

SS: Do you remember Mallfe" Anderson? Axel's brother?

BS: Yes.

SS: I heard he was a good foreman.

BS: He was a fine foreman. One of the finest men they had. Axel was a fine foreman. Billy Watts was a fine foreman, and Larry Murphy was a fine foreman. All them old foremans. they was workingmen theirselves and they knew what it was to be a foreman.

SS: Was that the difference? Those foremen didn't forget what it was to be a workingman?

BS: Yes. Now, Old Hector Mc Farland he was a railroad man, steel gang, before he ever come out to this country and he was used to handling foreign Greeks and Serbians and Bulgarians and a white man wouldn't work for him when he come out. Well, he'd cuss the men out and swear at 'em and call 'em all the foul names that he could think of, and they'd just more than dance around to his tune. And this Dick Kammeyer's brother- his wife's brother went to work for him and he was a white man and the first time old McFarland called him a son of a bitch they had a fight on their hands. He went and he just knocked the supreme socks right off of him. He says, "And you fire me off of this job, and I'll give you another licking!" And they kept him too. But he done him a lot of good, he cut out that rough talk.

SS: Why is it that you didn't want to be a big shot yourself? You say you didn't like the headache.

BS: No, because there was too much grief to it. Now you see, you had the warehouse, and you had the ordering and you had the bookwork, all of those things one man had to do. And if you was a master mechanic, that's what you done. You took on ordering all the mate rial, and you took care of the bookwork and you took care of your crews working. The machine break down and you had to know what to tell 'em to do. My father used to get up at four o'clock in the morning and get onto the bookwork at five o'clock and by seven o'clock he'd have his bookwork done and take over and line the crews out and then he'd have to go into the warehouse and figure out what they had to have. And I used to tell him, "You've got men on the job that are drawing just as much money as you're getting and they don't have to get up that time in the morning and get onto the job and they don't have the grief that you've got." And, I says, "I wouldn't have a job like that for no money." And I wouldn't,


Cat man there was in this country, and he'd know just exactly when amachine'd break down what to do and everything else. And he had the whole thing in user him, but yet when they changed the superintendents around and they put Joe Parker in down here as a superintendent, that was because Parker was amonied man and he wasn't amechanist all. But because he was over the mechanic and they got rid of Freel because the new boss wanted new bosses. Well, every man on the job over Freel. And when they got rid of Freel they give him apickup and told him to go out and look around and see if he could find a job with some of these other companies, after he'd been here twenty, twenty-five years taking care of their cats and keeping them on the job and they had fifty some cats at that time.

And he was good, right?

He knew his business. (knew more in aminute than any man they've ever had since. And they put Johnny Zedro in there; he wasn't a mechanic at all, but he'd read anything and remember it and these big shots from Lewiston come up and they'd hear Johnny talk and they thought he knew what he was doing. But at the last they changed- this fellow from Spokane; Deer Park come down, took over. Deward was one of 'em after Johnny had been five or ten years master mechanic they bought him aset of tools and told him to go out in the woods: "When amechine'd break down, you go out there and repair it." Well, Johnny come to me and he says, "You know, Byers, they know that I can't go out there and repair ma chines out in the woods." I says, "No, and no other mechanic is going to go out there and repair 'em. The shop is what they built here to repair then machines, now they want you to go out there and repair a machine that's broke down and you've got to have cranes and everything else to lif 'em and get it around." And, I says, "It's just that they want to get rid of you." Sure enough, they brought another man in there to oversee the shop while Johnny'd go out and he went out once or twice and then he come in and he says, "I can't take it." And he felt bad; they took him to the hospital but his heart exploded before he got to the hospital. He was sick and they knew he'd been doctoring for several years. I didn't like that at all.

SS: What happened to Freel? Did he find another job?

BS: He went down to Lewiston and Lewiston put him on- not the Potlatch but those welding shops, he was a welder. I learned weldingunder him and the government man years ago.

SS: Seems like the people who had been living here for years, and they've got no choice if the company should fire them.

BS: They called a strike, but-

SS: Over Freel?

BS: Over Freel. And we all talked 'em out of pulling a strike, that it wasn't no good, because Freel said he wouldn't come back anyhow. But there was five or six of the head mechanics quit over that.

SS: They actually quit, and didn't come back?

BS: Oh, yes. George Bill and several of 'em quit and wouldn't come back at all. Went over and made a shop there in Fernwood; put up a machine shop and these gyppo dealers all over the country- he made more money than he ever thought of making here.

SS: Were these guys that worked under Freel or the guys that worked with him?

BS: They worked under Freel.

SS: They were his mechanics?

BS: Yes, they was good mechanics. And then when they brought this and Ward here, their good mechanics walked away from 'em, because they changed the men around. De Ward put in Rosie A'Day over the shop after Johnny. Rosie never was a mechanic. He had the gift of gab and that's what De Ward liked. But Harry Glazier, Vern House and the electrical engineer and the head man in the motor division, they all quit and left, said they wouldn't work under him at all.

SS: I'd like to ask you just a little bit about your family; when you were raising your kids. I'm just a little curious about how they've changed, if they've changed through time, they way they are now and the way it used to be because kids seem kind of different now than they were years ago. Did you spend a lot of time with the family?

BS: Oh, yes, I had all the time with my family right here. That was one thing with my job I was always right at home every night. That's one reason; You take all those kids in town during the Depression there. There was one Fourth of July that they never had a dime, the people never had a nickel to put out at all. I had an old truck and I took two tubs- three tubs, I guess- went up to the- into the heavy brush up at Beulah's Butte and got three tubs of ice on the Fourth of July, that is, snow and ice and brought it down and lx buy this pop that we're buying today, I could buy it for five cents a bottle, well, I bought a couple hundred bottles of pop and I bought four, five boxes of weinees in a box about that long and about that wide and buns and I had a grill out here.Got the grill to going and I put water in these tubs and put the pop in there and I got every little kid in town and the wife and two or three of the women in town, their mothers, helped run the grill and roast the weenies and put them in buns and they'd have pop and ice cream. Made several big five gallon cans of ice cream, because I had the cows. And you know those kids, there are several of 'em live in town here yet and they've got kids some of 'em going to college today, and they remember that and they tell it very often,

SS: pop?

BS: Well, pop and hot dogs and ice cream and they played games. And they'd take a stick and hold it over the grill and fix their own sandwiches. But I had any kind of pop they wanted, you know; ice cold. Well, they didn't have a thing in town. Nobody had any money.

SS: Do you feel you were strict with your kids, or lenient?

BS: Oh, I was probably pretty strict with 'em. As far letting them stay downtown after nine o'clock, that was out! Of course, that was out at that time anyhow; nine, ten o'clock was- even if they went to a dance they had to be home at eleven o'clock. But everybody was that way at that time. If they danced till twelve o'clock they'd shut the dance hall up and everybody went home. They'd go and eat lunch and then they'd go home.

SS: Between you and your wife, did you share the decisions about what would be done or did you make them?

BS: I let her handle that pretty much herself.

SS: How the house would be run; what the kids would do and that sort of thing?

BS: Yeah. But kids were a whole lot different then than they now. They didn't have cars and stuff to tear around with like they do now. If they had a bicycle they thought they had the world by the tail! Now, unless they got a car and a motorcycle and all kind of money to spend they think they're badly abused.

SS: Do you think you spent more of your time or paid more attention to your kin like your sister and brothers than anything you did with just local people?

BS: Friends?

SS: Friends.

BS: Yes.

SS: A close family.

BS: One thing, the old lumberjacks there, that way they didn't have very much moral standing with theirselves. Now, I've heard lots of them old lumberjacks saying that they- one especially- he had cancer, and he says, "I'll tell you, a cancer is not going to eat me up alive," he says, "I'll take a gun and blow my head off." Well, they was a lot of 'em done that. They had cancer and they done that.

SS: When you say, moral standing with themselves, you mean they didn't have respect for themselves?

BS: Oh, they had respect, but you know, a Christian would never kill himself. And they was hard. And they never had any fear. I was up in the hotel down here one one, went up to see, I forget what his name 'As, and he says, "Come in, Byers, Some in and see a man die like a man." AAnd he died just about an hour after that.

SS: From what?

BS: Well, he a

SS: He talked to you while you were there?

BS: Oh, yes, yes. But they never had no fear.

SS: They weren't very religious, were they?

BS: No, they was't religious at all. Some of 'em were and some wasn't

We had lots of in through here at that time. Didn't be lieve in any creator or anything.

SS: You, yourself, did you become religious as you got older?

BS: Oh, no, I was born in a Christian home. I had a man in Anderson, Indiana that's been a minister all of his life named me when I was born. He said, "What are you going to call him?" "Well," she says, "I haven't named him." He said, "Would you call him Byers? His first name; name him after me?" And so they did, they named me after him. I got writings in a book there just come out the other day from Indiana, been in the gospel work all of his life. My mother was a very devout Christian. John was a very devout, Kate was and Lela was. All of our family, all but one, Frank, my brother next to me, he catered to it, but he was wild. (Chuckles) That's reason that I walked off of two jobs that would have made me a millionaire; well, I walked off of another job with the Potlatch that would have made me 200,000, 300,000. You're not going to take anything out with you when you go and if you condemn your soul to get a few riches, and you're going to meet the Lord someday and no getting away from it. And worldly possessionstnd to lead you away from the gospel word. The more money you get, the more greedy you get. Very few Christians you find- like Jesus when he was talking to the young ruler who was very wealthy, and he asked him what I should do to inherit the Kingdom of God. And he told him, "Keep all the Com mandments." And he says, "All these things I have done since my childhood." Jesus turned to him and he said, "One thing thou lackest, go and give to the poor all of your possessions and follow me and you'll become great Heaven. Well, the young ruler he was wealthy and he wouldn't do that. Well, in just a little while he lost all of his possessions and he died. He lost everything and Jesus turned to some of his Disciples and told 'em, he says, "Harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven than 'tis for a camel to go through the eye of a needle." Well, the eye of the needle that he spoke of was a small gate in Jerusalem and they'd take the packs off of the camels and make 'em get down on their knees and then they'd take a rope and tie around their head and another on the back of 'em and they'd push 'em and work 'em through till they'd get 'em through. These jobs where you could have made a lot of money, would have been wrong?

No, they wouldn't have been wrong.

SS: Nothing illegal or anything?

BS: No but it Just has a tendency to pull you away, to follow world amusements and pleasures instead of leading off for the gospel. And that's wrong. There are lots of rich men that are wonderful gospel men.

SS: Do you figure that religion is more in going to church than in the way that you live your life?

BS: 0h yes- You're accountable for your own life and you're judged by what you do. The Bible- to fulfill the law, says the 'command- ment I give you; "Love one another as yourself." Jesus, when he was crucified, he says, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do. Although they kill him, he had no hate against 'em. You can't hate a brother. If you hate a brother, why, you're guilty. And who's your brother? Everybody's your brother. You've got to be meek.

SS: was talking to your sister one day and she was telling me about her experience of rebirth over near Colfax. A lot of persons who are Ciyiistians it seems to me haveA had that experience.

BS: .You know the Bible- there are very few people that read the Bible. They let somebody else tell 'em about it, but if they'll get in and study the Bible it would change a lot of their lives. You'd need no law, commercial law , against a divine Christian, because he won't do anything that's wrong anyhow. All government ordained by God and you're commanded to pray for the President or the Kings or the rulers. Now the and Pharasees they thought they was gonna trap Jesus one time over that, and he told 'em to go and catch a fish and the first fish they caught to bring it up to him, and you'll find a coin in its mouth. Well, they caught the fish; brought it out and the coin was in his mouth and it had two in scriptions on it, and the harasee priest he says, "Cesar's; render to Cesar what is Cesar's, and to God what is God's." Just as much as to tell 'em to keep their nose out of politics. Pay for your enemies as well as the others. But I don't believe in politics agoing out and running one down and holding the other up, because if the government's ordained of God then they're in his plan of salvation. Now, I've known some of the worst old hippocrates that was in the country right here. Old Havelin had a beauti ful home but he was about as low as they ever got, and yet the last four or five years he had a Bible and he preached all over Califo rnia. A complete change, he turned right around and he was just as good as he was bad.

SS: I wonder what happened to him?

BS: He probably got knocked down several times and he realized that he was wrong. Paul.the greatest Apostle that we got,one of the greatest, he got knocked down on the road by Jesus. Knocked him down and blinded him and then he realized there was a God. And he told him to go into, I forget, I know his name, too, and he says "You'll receive your eyesight when you go into him." And he went in to him and stayed with him a while and he received his eyesight. But the Lord told him what to do and he turned out one of the greatest ministers that we had.

SS: Did you have yourself, any personal experience like Kate talks about that she had?

BS: Divine healing?

SS: Yeah.

BS: Yes, I've been healed- I had cancer twenty-seven years ago and I was healed. And when I was a kid I run in under my sister, she had a cast iron skillet frull of boiling hot gravy run down over my head took all of my hair off, burnt all the skin off of my face. And the doctors looked at me and said I'd be scarred for life. Mother was a devout Christian, all she put was vaseline onto my face and head and you can't never tell it. I've been healed time after time, different things.

SS: What is that experience of being born again? Is that something that is important?

BS: Yes. Except ye be borned again, you cannot become the Kingdom of God. You're buried with Christ spiritually on the cross. You die with him going into the water and immersed, you die with him, and as you raise you're raised with him and it's a commandment. One of the greatest commandments we got.

BS: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be borned again he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Nicodemus said unto him, "How can a man be born when he is old?" That's the priest, the old priest under the mosiac law; "When he is old, can he enter the second time through his mother's womb, and be born?" Jesus answered, "Ve rily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be borned of water and of the spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God."

SS: What is that passage?

BS: It's John 3. "That which is borned of the flesh is flesh and which is borned of the spirit is spirit."

SS: What does that mean in your life?

BS: Well, spiritually- You see, a man is both spirit and a common man. He's got a spirit as well as a- And you are baptisedjit shows you that being baptised you die with Christ and you raise with him, therefore you can become- Christ intercepts between you and God for your sins. That's why lots of denominations claim that you can't live without sin. But the atonement of the blood of Jesus Christ frees you from all sin. If you do commit a sin and recognize it, you immediately ask forgiveness, then- Christ interceptshe is the mediator between you and God. Now it used to be under the mosiac law it used to be the priest would go in the tabernacle once a year and he'd go in with the bloods of goats and bulls and purify 'em into the tabernacle and ' forgiveness their sins. But that didn't please God at all, and he sent his son into the world for the sins. And he made a new covenant and he done away with the old covenant. Lots of people claim he didn't do away with it, but he did do away with the old covenant. he said, "Low, I come to do thy will, oh, God. He takest away the first he established the second." Well, that's the First Cove nant. You see, the first was just a shadow of the good things to come; the image of Christ, For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin. Therefore, when he cometh into the world he says, "Sacrifice and offerings, thou wouldst not. But a body has Thou prepared me. burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou has no pleasure. Then said I, low I come in the volume of the book that is written of me." That's the prophecy of Christ, then. To do Thy will, Oh, God. Above, when he said sacrifice and burnt offerings and offerings for sin, thou wouldst not, neither has thou pleasure therein, which are ordered by the law. That's the law of Moses. Then said he, "Low, I come to do Thy will, oh, God, taketh away the first covenant that He'.miay establish the second." Now, here's where he takes away Hebrews 8.

BS: (On Robinson) He was just a grafter. He got money, he'd swear like a pirate. And he had his home fixed- he believed in God but he also believed in the Devil. He had the locks on his house fixed for burglary, because he expected they d kill him.

SS: They? Enemies?

BS: Yes, his enemies. And yet, he wouldn't trust God for his protec tion. You've got to trust God.

SS: This Robinson had quite a mail order-

BS: Yes, he had the Psychiana- he was the psychiana. One fellow there in Europe, Turkey, give him a 25,000 car. You've probably seen him ride up and down the streets in Moscow with it.

SS: Dusenburg?

BS: Yeah. And he come down to Troy, he changed buying his stamps, left Moscow, and come down to Troy; my brother-in-law was running the post office there.

SS: His brother-in-law or yours?

BS: Mine. And knew that he was supposed to be a minister and he flew mad and he called the town of Moscow all sons of bs and everything he could think of. And he just used the awfulest language. says he put him in the mind of looking at the devil himself! (Chuckles) But it knocked clear off of his fence when he commenced to swear and cuss that way. I heard him; the time the bank was held up in Moscow and he lost some money in the bank and I was in the bank and he says, "I wish I had a been here and I'd a killed the son of a bitch." He says, "He's not fit to live." because he'd robbed him.

The reason so many people are off on the Bible teachings; the Bible only has one truth, and that's the truth all the way through. If they'll read their Bible and study it, the truth'11 come out. I've met" congregation there at the church on Para- dise Hill, that is just the building that we meet in; some of those young converts they're just commencing to learn that they've got to study theA Bible to really understand it. How nice it would be to let the people of the whole state of Idaho buy- they wouldn't be losing anything- they won't never collect it. It's stood there for hundreds of years and it'll stand there for hundreds of years more before they ever use it. And to bring the country out of theA depression, if the big compan ies'd turn loose of thfci stuff- and yet they'd get the money out of it and furnish jobs. This little mill right down here started in- they ve done everything possible to tryK run him out of business, and yet he's had fifteen, twenty young kids of the town aworkin'. Well, if the Potlatch won't sell you a stick of cedar and the government won't sell you anything only what they're put ting out at sales and you've got to put up bonds and everything else to get it, why, they have to go and get food stamps or what ever means they can of living, their unemployment. And I was just a thinkin' riding through there, what a blessing it would be to let 'em bring it in and sell their stuff to the Potlatch and let them handle the sale end of it and they'd make their money any how, and it would furnish work.

SS: How come they don't see it?

BS: All they think about is where they can save a dollar. I've made machines down here that's saved 'em thousands and thousands of dollars; now this ' machine that they use on the loaders out in the woods, we made them first right here, and made a lot of stuff that way. It does away with manpower. A man should a never made anything for 'em at all. No, no, you shouldn't. You'd a been better off, there'd a been more work. They used t o be doing the same loading- now this landing down here, they used to be a hun dred and fifty, two hundred men working. They was only getting 3.50, 4.00 a day a doing the same work that two men and six truckers are doing. Well, these other men ha got to live. Then they bring the graft in- They're gettin' so now that you can't touch anything 'less you got money. Well, they haven't got it and Nthey wonder why these kids are running around the country. I've seen 'em at the courthouse there; come in to get the food stamps, and I've seen those fellows in the courthouse shake their heads, "That's what we're paying taxes on!" They don't stop to think that they got feelings, too, they've got to live as well as the other fellow. It's not their fault they're here.

SS: If you had to figure, to say, what the one cause of the trouble is do you think it's political or economic or what?

BS: Yes, it's greed; political. It's these big companies, monopoly. When I first come up here you could go out and cut your winter's wood and you always hunted up deadened stuff, whether it was down or up and cut your own wood for your winter's supply. You never set the woods on fire or anything else, but you go out there and cut a tree today and they've got a cop; the government's got a cop. And they got an airplane flying over watching every move, and yet if they get a forest fire they'll come around and want you to go out and fight a forest fire to protect their interests. And now, in the East, this clearcut proposition in the East, they're clear ing the land up and not planting it to trees again and they're going against the farmer, raising soy beans and stuff. They found out they can make more money off of it than they can off of the trees. Well, that's working against the farmer. They're buying all these little mills and putting 'em out of business. They've offered to buy him. But they don't want to pay anything, (recorder off) -turn loose of your money. He say That is, they had all the bankers in the United States together, when the banks was going broke. He says, "If you don't turn loose of your money, we'll annul it and I'll and I'll make new money, and your money won't be worth anything."

SS: That's what Roosevelt said?

BS: Yeah.HeScared 'em. I heard him right over the television when he said that.

SS: Do you think Roosevelt was really a good man?

BS: Yes, I think he was one of the finest men that we ever had. He was wrong in lots of things. But he give the big fellow- showed him that if he didn't turn loose of his money and put the people to work that they was going into a chaos, and they was on the verge of it then. Banks was going broke- what was it?- a thousand a day. A hundred a day, I guess it was all over the United States. And we all lost money in this bank here, down to Deary.

SS: At Deary?

BS: Yes. They tried to take the money from this bank to save Deary and it finally went broke. And Old Hoover set there and never done a thing to stop it. First thing Roosevelt done when he got in there he put a moratorium on it and investigated the banks.

SS: Was that bank in Bovill here, was that owned by Harsh? The same guy that owned the Deary bank? Harsh ran the Deary bank.

BS: Old Harsh- this Parcher up here he had 2,400 in there. Had cut wood all his life while he was here and worked for the Potlatch and they went broke, shut the doors. Well, Old Parcher got a chunk of coal dropped on his head before, and the back of his head come right down in and he was never right after that. I rode on a load of wood with him coming down, and he says, "I'll tell you, I'm going to take a shotgun and I'm going down to Old Harsh and he's going to give me my money or I'm going to kill him!" Well, I was a kid and I didn't pay too much attention to it. Sure enough, he took a shotgun and he went down there at night, went up 0 his house and this other fellow that was running the bank for himat that time, Peterson, he went up to the house and throwed the gun onto him and says, "I'll give youfive minutes to give me my money here or I'm going to blow you in two." Harsh give him the money. But he'd a killed him, right there. And that's what he said.

SS: What happened after that? Did Harsh try to have him arrested?

BS: He told him, "You have me arrested-" he said, "and I'll kill you." He put the fear of the almighty in Harsh, and Harshwent over in Montana then,out of here, because he was afraid he'd get killed. Harsh come up here to this bank- this bank was 100 and they had good security and everything, and Harsh come up here and transfer red all the bad debts they had down there up to this bank and took the good security here down to bank and tried to save the other bank but he went belly-up.

SS: So Harsh did have controlling interest up here? He had both banks?

BS: Yes, you bet he had.

SS: That was kind of a crooked deal for the people in Bovill.

BS: Of course, the whole thing. My uncle went to the bank after the bank had closed and he was the shoemaker here, and he had a 100 check, he held it up to Peterson and says, "Put this in the bank for me. I don't want to carry it around." Old Peterson opened the door and took it, after hours was closed, and Uncle Bob come down the street the next morning; he always got up early, walked down the street and here after he'd went out of there that night, they put the Jgvernment sign, "Bank is Closed". Well, all of Uncle Bob's other money was in the bank, and he seen that and he come and told Dad about it. Dad says, "Go and annul that check," he says, "they can't take that. stop the payment on that check and they can't take it. So he did. Went and called 'em up and that money carried him through till he got more work, you know.

SS: Who had written that check? Who was that check from?

BS: I don't know.

SS: He just got 'em to stop payment on it though?

BS: Yes.- work that he'd done, and he had them stop the payment on that check. Old Harsh and Peterson both, jumped a 11 over him for stopping the payment on that check.

SS: So he could have the money?

BS: Yes.

0:00 - 1927 wet harvest

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: 1927 wet harvest.

2:00 - Troubles mining with crooked partners; Mining in Canada and America

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Throwing up a rich Canadian mining claim near Kimberly, B.C., because of crooked partners (1927). He lost a gypsum mine because of the same partner. He took leaves from Potlatch to investigate mining prospects. In Canada a road was built for free to his property; here the government made it impossible for him to build a road to his land. He had to come back and work to pay off his investment and raise the family.

18:00 - Running CCC camps; Monopoly tactics used by Potlatch

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Running CCC camps. A Potlatch head salesman thought he was badly abused. Working on blister rust control. Blocking off roads to keep people out of the forests is part of corporate monopoly.

28:00 - Cooking in logging camps

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: The early CCC cooking was done by green kids and was inedible; the forestry men got logging camp cooks for them. Challenging the army men about the adequacy of the food,

30:00 - Juvenile delinquent workers; Treatment of African American CCCs

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: The army men learned how hard the boys' work was. Leniency with the CCCs; many were juvenile delinquents. Fights for weekend entertainment, Black CCCs were barred from towns because they were troublesome and resented whites. Many were from Harlem, and became "civilized".

38:00 - Treatment of boys by army officers; Bad supplies from the army

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Boys were "turned loose" from camps by army officers instead of being sent home; Byers was angered by this practice. Persuading boys not to "go over the hill" by running away. Discontent because of poor food - raw beefsteak sandwiches. Ill-fitting clothes from the army. Bread on the trains for food. Letters from home about the suffering of their families. Stealing for food in the East.

49:00 - Treatment of CCC kids by Bovill; Poverty during the Depression

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Towns didn't like CCC kids at first, but they brought business. Byers made ice cream on Sundays for town kids, and CCCs helped. Severe poverty in early part of depression. Byers got $2.25 a cord of wood in trade at Genesee. Living without cash; WWP cut off many families who lacked money. The CCCs brought in prosperity.

56:00 - Effect of food stamps and welfare during the Depression; Corporate monopoly hurt Bovill

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: The country would be in the same condition today, were it not for food stamps and welfare. Monopoly of corporations has destroyed work for local people, who can't get permits to cut cedar. Decline of Bovill could be reversed if Potlatch would let people buy cedar.

60:00 - Closing of forest roads and mining restrictions were hard on Bovill

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Closure of roads stops people from using the woods. Restriction of garnet mining. People formerly could make a decent living around Bovill. Common people were carried by stores until harvests.

67:00 - Hobos in Bovill; Stealing chicken

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Hobos. They came to the shop and showed good welding. The jungle at Bovill. Going together on food. Stealing chickens with wheat. Former destruction of woods by donkey logging.

74:00 - Bovill started as a flourishing town, but declined to just saloons

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Bovill as a flourishing town. Lumberjack trade; town businesses. Bovill support of band, visits from governor, local celebrations. Today the town is just saloons.

79:00 - Potlatch exploited Bovill during the Depression; Youth of CCCs

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Potlatch sold surplus food in the depression rather than give it to the Bovill people. CCCs mistook a sunset for a forest fire. His daughter married a CCC. Cutting tight shoes with a jackknife. Youth of CCCs. When they first came they stole food.

87:00 - Hunger during the Depression; Potlatch after the Depression; CCCs prospered

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Hunger of local people in depression. Wife's background. Potlatch needed government money to get started after the depression. Local businessmen sold silver dollars to the CCCs for $1.50; the CCCs bought garnets and prospected.

90:00 - Potlatch shops in Bovill; Difficulties unionizing Potlatch

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Organization of Potlatch shops at Bovill. Unionizing Potlatch - getting a man rehired. Reluctance of long-term employees to join union at first. Failure of Four-Ls. Potlatch opposed unions but were good to men.

99:00 - Prostitution in Bovill was eventually kicked out; Working at Bremeron in 1914; Joining the Navy

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Loss of money from pension plan. Prostitution at Bovill and nearby towns; eventually they were kicked out by the towns. He had steady work from Potlatch. Working at Bremerton in 1914; joining the Navy. Impact of automation on employment.

111:00 - Working with poor bosses; Good bosses like Axel Anderson

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Poor bosses have power go to their heads. Sobering up a new boss who forgot about men's feelings. Good bosses with old-time views, like Axel Anderson. A boss who lost faith in the company after he was demoted. Hard to get a job from a local boss. Good foremen knew what it was to be working men. A foreman who swore at foreign lumberjacks got beaten by a white man. Byers didn't want the headache of being a master mechanic as his father was.

120:00 - Firing mechanics almost caused a strike

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Firing of Freel, an expert head mechanic, when a new supervisor came in. A mechanic who had a heart attack after they tried to make him quit. The men almost struck over Freel, and other lead mechanics quit.

127:00 - Fourth of July during the Depression; Raising the family

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: A Fourth of July party for Bovill children during the Depression. Raising the family.

135:00 - Lumberjack views on death; Many were Infidels

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Lumberjacks were willing to kill themselves rather than die slowly. A lumberjack who died like a man. Many lumberjacks were infidels.

137:00 - Byers' religious background; Experiences with religion

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Byers' religious background. He was named by a minister. He felt he should not become rich from opportunities because it could lead away from the Gospels: parable of the rich man. Accountability for actions: "Love one another as yourself." Few people study the Bible and let it change their lives; Christians will not do anything wrong. A hypocrite who became a good preacher for the last years of his life. Paul's enlightenment. Byers' experiences with divine healing. Need to be born again.

150:00 - Forgiveness from sin through Jesus; Replacement of old covenant with new

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Forgiveness from sin through Jesus. Replacement of old covenant with new.

155:00 - Frank B. Robinson's views on God

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Frank B. Robinson swore up and down and didn't trust God. The Bible has only one teaching - the truth.

160:00 - Potlatch put people out of work and kept them from making a living; Corporate greed and monopolies

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Potlatch won't let local people make a living from cedar. Byers made machines for them which put people out of work, and he now wishes he hadn't. Food stamps are necessary. The root cause of the trouble is the greed and monopoly of the companies; surveillance of timber.

166:00 - President Roosevelt; Harsh held up the Bovill bank to try to save the Deary bank

Play segmentSegment link

Segment Synopsis: Roosevelt was a fine man who got work for the people. Parcher held a gun on banker Harsh and got the money the bank owed him. Harsh took money from Bovill bank to try to save Deary bank. Byers' uncle stopped payment on a hundred dollar check, angering Harsh.


Collections A-Z