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SAM SCHRAGER: I want to know how the Steffen family came to locate out here.
KENNETH STEFFEN: Well, this grandfather, he supposed to divorce his first wife,my father,mother in the east, you know, and he took my father and his sister Mary with him.Then the rest stayed with the mother, see. So anyway, he married again. And he married a woman name of Floser. And had this family. And his brother-in-law was named and he was a German-Canadian. And he settled and homesteaded over in Union Flat here. Ply grandfather settled up at Farmington. Now I heard that a long time afterward. As a youngster I didn't know that at all, but I used to go over and visit this over in Pullman. 'Cause my father and him was good friends all the time see.'Cause he was a youngster, he probably knew him, stayed around. Well it seemed like my father was 39 when he married, but during that time he left, he wouldn't stay with his father very long. And the girl Mary, she married somebody name of, lived over in Shelton, Washington, around in there. And then she had a daughter and that daughter and granddaughter visit me here one time and I had an address someplace, they lived in Oregon. But I only roe 'em one time. But my sister kept correspondence with them.
SS: How did your grand move to Moscow?
KS: Well,they got acquainted this way:Now my father tells me this and I'm quiteyoung. He said he was a teamster working for the army on the Mexican border. Dohn Charles Fremont Steff«n, named after 3ohn Charles Fremont the explorer you know, and army general that did a lot of surveying in the west. Someone said there was a man here in the army name of Steffen. Any relation. Said I don't know. He didn't know he had a brother or sister, he was too young. They met and they got to talking and it was Franklin and he was the oldest one of the boys and he was in the army. He eventually I think retired.. That's how my father met. Well he'd been out east and west, back and forth, see, and as near as I know, that's the reason they come, but I don't know for sure at all. I know that the other family come out. So anyway, and they came out here, why, Will had this little piece of property and how he worked and so on, I don't know, but he brought his mother,'cause his family stayed together that way. Henry, he homesteaded down at Agatha on this side of the Clearwater River was Agatha, was just a little railroad station right across the river. And after Will was killed, or killed himself here, he didn't get, they didn't hirii, they can talk all they want to. My grandmother, according to my mother, had the pistol under her skirt when she waved the white flag at 'em to quit shooting at the house.Hearsay stuff.
SS: That's all we got.
KS: So anyway, Henry took my grandmother to live with him down here on thathomestead at Agatha. Now in there, there"s this girl, Louella, she's a sister. And my father met her later on and knew her, she's only four or five years old yet. She married a man named Ferdinand and he was from Germany. And he was a Spanish-American war veteran. He went to the Philipines to fight there, see. Come back. Well then they homesteaded down there right next to this Uncle Henry see. I can take you right by the place. The old barnhouse still stand. I been down there as a youngster, by God, four five, six, seven, eight years old.
SS: That's near Duliaetta, right?
KS: Well you go out Guliaetta, there's a road crosses that little Potlatch creekand go.over the hill. The Clearwater, see, and you go down there, like about a mile or two miles being down to the Clearwater River. They get all their wood off the Clearwater River in the spring by roping it and pulling it in, logs and everything floating down the river, years ago. But when Henry had my grandmother down there, he and some neighbor got into a scuffle about some hog running lose, what it was I don't know. But anyway, get in the garden, or some damn thing. He was setting at the table eating his dinner at night, it was dark, the light was on, grandma was serving him, this guy shot through the window and killed him. So she had two sons killed.
SS: Your grandmother saw him get killed?
KS: She was right there, see. So then this aunt had her come and livewith her.
SS: What happened to this fella that shot him?
KS: Well, he got ten years.(laughs) That's all he got out of it, and I don'tknow how many years he served. I don't know what the name was, but I was very, very young, seven or eight years old, something like that, when got word in Moscow that my father went down, went to the trial, it was down in Lewiston too, see.Then Mrs. took care of this grandmother until she passed away. Now you must remember she's getting up in years quite a bit. Didn't speak very much English and my mother couldn't understand her you know, very well, so they didn't get along too well as I understand, but I think my mother should have made more of an effort too, but she was Prussian-German, quite set in her ways, see.And you got books wrote that Will was mean to his mother, that was a crock of shit, by gosh. He was good to her, took care of her. And so did Henry took care of her. And then Louella took care of her..He came into Moscow, and hell, I was so little I can just merely remember him. He helped lay the sewers and the water mains in Moscow used to have privies and wells, you know. He worked on that and he ended up living over til he died over here at Richland, Washington. My father went and brought him over and buried him too, so all of em are buried in Pullman cemetery. The grandmother and the four boys are. From my father's first family, see?
SS: Sounds like your grandmother saw a lot. She was born in the old country?
KS: She was born in Germany too, so was my grandfather. Born in Germany.
SS: To see two sons die.
KS: But you know, back in those days,that was something, hell that was the onlyone. There's kind of a history talking about it,'cause Dr. Watkins was kind of popular. But hell,there was all kinds of shooting around, killing. There's a guy shot his neighbor over a fence out in Viola. Had 160 acres filrland out there, Oversmith got it for defending him and got him off! Back there before WWI, there was lots of things going on around.
SS: You told me there was one that had to do with a drugstore?
KS: I think his name was Willis. By god, his wife, he got pretty dcunk, shetook a few shots at him, he run down the streets a few times.(laughs)That's what my father told me. Now I didn't see these things. I'm telling you...
SS: That's all you're saying.
KS: I'm just saying what it is, see.
SS: What did Will do for a living?
KS: He was a butcher here. He had a slaughter house and he butchered cattleand sold, the whole damn trouble started about. The building's still standing out there on that place where its, the walls are about two feet thick and all sawdust^and the door's a foot and a half wide, goes in there you know and stays tight. Overhead of it the sawdust. At the back one time had a platform to pull in ice, we pulled in ice and put it in the top over there, and that stayed all year round in that sawdust. That was a cold room. Trouble was, Watkins was kind of a crusader. We all needed 'em, I guess. But critizing or doing something, my Uncle Will's beef. Hell, he took care as good as anybody else did. In fact, he had the best place there was,he had a better placettve ever tnougnt of having. 'Cause they had a butcher and bring right to town, to the cold room in town. The last one of those kinds of rooms they got out was the Sanitary Meat Market, is up there on Third street, three buildings in there, you know, before you hit the Market Time Drug,that was the Sanitary Meat Market, and they had a cold room, same damn thing, with sawdust walls, by god. Eventually it got fixed a little better, but before they tore it out, by god that was their cold room.
SS: So your uncle had the meat hanging and he could just leave it there.
KS: It was cold enough, meat should age jwst a little bit. General rule, allthese shopmen, meat, hang it up for two weeks to age. Its much better.
SS: So you think that Watkins didn't think he was keeping his meat good?
KS: Well, I don't think he was mad, I think what he did was brought up thatthe meat, something was wrong with it.Now that's what dad said. Course, that's heresay, 'cause he was killed before dad come back out here. That was heresay so I don't know anything true about it or not.
SS: But your dad thought that was the reason your uncle went after him.
KS: I tell you, as a young man I grew up, well a man died here, his name wasTom. Kimbrting. His wife Hattie still living, she had a place over on Elm Street there, and Hattie, Tom told me he knew Will, hell, he said he was a hell of a good fella, said he had a temper all right.Carl Smith was our first fire chief in Moscow,he had a transfer, grey hair you know, had horses first, trucks, hati- all kinds of moving things, you know. work...
SS: He was the fire chief here from many years.
KS: Yes. Well he knew Will.Those are the only two people I knew that knew Willthat I ever met.
SS: What did he think?
KS: Well, we never talked about it too much. Then our Earl Cornwall, he's olderthan I am, he has a paper that you have, a Spokane paper, not the one you have. But that's taken off that's one that old Earl Cornwall give that to the photo guy for him to copy that and you got it in that paper, see. I had both copies here, my mother, see.She had to destroy them.It's too bad, she's just set in her ways, she doesnfi want anything done about it. But it's too bad she had to do it. But I had 'em and I want to keep 'em.
SS: What, the way you've heard it, what happened the day they both got killed?
KS: The way it happened: he had his horse, you know. And the watering troughwas on Second Street there. Well anyway, where he met the Doctor at, I don't know. He shot him and he slumped over his dashboard and his horse trotted on down to the office is what they said. Anyway, he watered his horse there, someone said the doctor was killed and Will said,"I did it." And as he rode off down through Main Street he shot Creighton through the arm. And then his horse was shot out from under him on the way home. And this here girl out here, Driscoll, said he went up over Sixth Street hill, why'd he run a horse^over Sixth Street hill when I think there's an easier route through there, which he did do, but he lost his horse.The field out there's all full of shocks, they had gr .ain out there, you know they bound it and shocked it.It was standing , hid behind that creek too you know. There was three bridges on a half a mile there one time. They only got the cement one there now, but there's two on past that.AClear out in the field and come around. Then they dug it right down along side the road see. Our place there had the creek run through it. Dad had three acres in there that was uncle Will's. And we came here when he came here, why he just paid the taxes on it for several years on it and got was called a tax deed, see. But he did go to the expense of getting this tombstone for uncle Will, plus he buried my grandmother and my uncle's over there too.
SS: So Will went home, and then what happened?
KS: Will got home and then he didn't have very much ammunition, they were shootingat the house all the time. Shooting at it, you know,shot out the windows I guess. I saw a bullet hole in the house as a youngster, but the house is burnt down, but he'd run out of bullets so he shot himself. He knew they was gonna get him, I guess. That's as near as I can find out about itJ don't know for sure. It's all heresay is all it is.
SS: The story I heard was that all these guys went and broke open the hardwarestore and took guns out of there.
KS: Collins had a hardware store, and I don't know, I think everybody had agun. Creighton got shot in the arm, by god. I guess he talked when he should have been listening.(laughs)
SS: Was there notes that they found on him? They said he had a list of men thathe wanted to get.
KS: I heard that too. But my father said he didn't know about it, but I've heardthat thing that he had a list. But you know, after I was a youngster,now there was had slaughterhouses just about a quarter mile due east of our house where we lived -there. And I don't know. Anyway, my father knew how to butcher. All the people in those days knew how to do it. He used to go up and help him butchac a lot for these people. But, hogs as well as knofcked beef down.
SS: He worked at ., and Kittley?
KS: Worked steady, but every once in awhile when he wanted to work, but at thattime you know,you didn't save all the things you do today.They save everything on a pig but the squeal you know. The only thing you throw away on a cow is the tail.That's only the hard part. But I ate a lot of heart and liver in those days 'cause it was free, see. We didn't have a place big enough there. We had a cow and later on oe had a pig or two we'd feed and go out and butcher, but my mother, the head of the hogs, you know, they'd threw 'em away. But those days, you know, the wash, a woman had to call a boiler. Put it on the stove and boil the water, they put soap in and boiled the dirt out! Anyway, she put couple of these hog heads in, boil 'em for a day. And clean em up and my father help her and grandmother made head cheese. Now that's real head cheese, I'll tell you, not like that crap you buy in the store now. We ate a lot of head cheese in those days. Now they had a pan that was probably 10 or 12 inches in diameter, 2 inches high. That put in there, that was settled real good and they cut it out and there was . 5 chunks like that to eat, see. We had a pantry in the house, but we had a place that my uncle kept cool and we put ice in it, we put things in there and it would keep fruit, would keep vegetables, we keep everything in there all winter long, never would freeze and keep nice, see.
SS: Did your father and uncle learn how to butcher before they came out here?Were they trained?
KS: No, I don't think they were. But the whole thing of it was that everybodyin those days, eell all the farmers, they get together and there would be what you call a butchering bee, butcher a bunch of hogs. They had an iron tub and had a fire on the end, the water boiling and dip the old hog in there and pour out on boards and scrape the hair off of it. But they had a slide and so on and everybody got doing things like that. And yeujhung em up and cut 'em open and got doing things like that and those kind, you either down and salt pork or if you had a smokehouse, you'd use that there, put all different things on it, salt 'em to beat hell, you know and smoke 'em, see. You didn't have this type of way of taking care of your meat like you got today. Some of 'em used to can some meat too, you know, that was good, have something real quick. But mostlyyall the hog meat I ever had when I was a kid was salted, went down in a big wooden barrel, salted, see. We made a barrel of saurkraut every fall too. That was just kraut and put your salt on it, it goes down and ferments, had a board over the top of it and a rock to hold it down in there. That saurkraut was the best medicine a kid ever took.
SS: Did it help your ills?
KS: I tell you, you drink a glass of sauEekraut, in 15 minutes, you take a crap,it just runs right through you praciiclly.
SS: Cleans you out?
KS: I'll say it'll clean you out. Saurkraut, used to be buy it inthe stores in a can, you know, saurkraut juice, but now I don't think they put it out anymore, but it was good. We used to drive clear over to the Germans over there at Uniontown and bring back two or three sacks of cabbage, by god, and then had a board and cut it, you know, slice it off and work it so you wouldn't cut your hand and $*t it in there and push it back and forth over these cutters, you know. That way it would go down in the barrel and so on. You had to do things like that to have anything to eat.
SS: Your family did it because it was old German custom?
KS: Oh yes, but then a lot of people had it too. It was a damn good thing tohave, saurkraut.
SS: What other parts of the pig did you use? You must have used most of it.
KS: You take the jowls of a hog head, you know, you cut that off, you havejowl bacon, they call it.
SS: They call it bacon?
KS: You could cure it. They take the whole thing and boil it off good and cutit out and everything you know goes into making this headcheese. I don't have the recipe, I wouldn't have no idea. I was young in those days. The last memory I have of doing it out there I probably was 12 years old. That's good eating* Course, we raised quite a garden. We used the various things in the ground. Did you ever see how they pit vegetables and potatoes? You dig a hole in the ground maybe about a foot and a half, two foot deep and you put a lot of straw in it and you put some burlap in it or any oidcloth and put your potatoes in there and different vegetables and you cover it over with a cloth and you cover it over with lots of straw and then you put the dirt over it about a foot and a half thick..It can't freeze, see. When you wanted anything,you open a little hole in it and got in there, my dad pushed me in there to pull out stuff. He didn't want it too bit} so anytime, pull out them potatoes, by gosh, and carrots and like that and then he'd close it up good, put the dirt back on.If it was too frozen,why go get a wheelbarrow full of manure. See, that would stop it up so no air could get in and freeze it.
SS: Did that work better than a root cellar?
KS: Worked about the same thing, see, but that way you didn't have any expenses,by god, only just your labor, see. You can do it pretty easy. A root cellar it's just like a cellar inside of a hill, boarded up and everything else, it keeps things from freezing see. Ordinarily, its like that building out there we had. They didn't freeze in that building either. Mother had her fruit in it and so on like that. But you didn't have too much room so the potatoes were buried in the pit lots of times.
SS: Did you get a whole bunch dug at one tiae so you wouldn't have to go backvery often?
KS: Oh yeah, they'd get out enough to last for two or three weeks probably.They got quite a little bit. But hell, you probably buried aboyt 12 or lb; sacks of potatoes in there.
SS: Did you garden much in those days?
KS: You had to raise everything. You didn't go to town and buy anything in agrocery store. You didn't have anything like that. You made butter, took it, put it, you had your own thing to put in one pound or teo pound thing and you had your own wrapper on it. And you brought it in the grocery store and they put it in there and people come in and„ buy, knew what day you were gonna bring it, they'd buy butter, see. They didn't even have any refrigeration for it! But you had it wrapped up good in kind of a silken like, paper like, you know. But you could buy some lemons and some oranges, you know. And you could buy potatoes and a few things like that in a grocery store. But, sugar, you know, all those kinds of things. But you didn't have these type of vegetables in the store in those days you now. You didn't have, in season, yeah, you might find some in season.
SS: Did your father make a living doing this stuff? Or did he have to work outtoo?
KS: He was a teamster but he was of that cemetery in Moscow for twoor three years one time. Got 60 dollars a month. Got paid in three twenty dollar gold pieces. I remember seeing 'em. We had that little acreage, didn't pay nothing, only taxes was only ten or twelve dollars a year. We raised potatoes, raised garden, lot of garden, had few fruit trees on it. Had the team, did work with a team. Had enough, had some hay doon there, had some hay for 'em. He raised a colt every year, maybe two colts, sold 'em, and those things happened you know. They don't take so much to make a living back then. He didn't want very much, I remember the first telephone we got. Cost a dollar a month for it put in. I can remember the first phonograph we had, we had an old Edison, circular disc, by god. But we didn't have sense enough to keep it, it'd be worth something today.
SS: What about the first car?
KS: Well, we didn't have cars in those days. We had horses. I had pony up tilI mas In my 20's. I didn't have a car. I had some damn good ponies to ride But then, I had a car before I went in the service too. The first car I had was a Ford T model.
SS: You used to get where you want to go on ponies?
KS: Well we rode the trains, go to Spokane, go to Colfax or Pullman you rodethe train all the time. Didn't cost only twenty five cents, thirty cents to ride over to Pullman in the train. We had a little bug, they called it, one car. from here to Colfax and back. Went down twice a day.
SS: Service was good?
KS: Oh yes. That was the Great Northern, but there was electric train from Moscowto Spokane. The depot still stands there/dpwn on A Street. That was all electric come through there. All the freight come in,all the cars weren't electric, but the motors, I know was brought 'em in was all electricity. That was built in the 1900's early, that's when this Mrs. tell you about the whorehouse being down there on A Street where you know, that was built with They didn't have no tractors back in those days. It was all teams by god. The roadwork was all done by plows and breaking plows and teams and scrapers. Some was four horses and some was two horses they use on it, see. You go out, it's called White Avenue now. Well, when you go up on the corner, and that creek comes out and comes down along that road for a quarter of a mile,now used to be bridge come out our place and went on across from Ssattsf boe field and then come back. So they took those two bridges out and cut right down along that road. And they used horses and teams by god and dug the dirt out and put it in the middle of the road and scattered her out and so forth like that. Anyway, man name of Stiliinger was road boss.And they gave me 50 cents a day to carry water to these men. And I had these water bags stuck along and I'd go to the farmhouses, our and different ones and fill 'em up and keep 'em going 'cause it was hot in the summer, and drink quite a little water. I got fifty cents a day. And they worked twelve days on that and I got six bucks. It came to me as a warrant from the county. My mother brought me to town to get some school clothes and Penney's store was then called the Golden Rule. And she got me a pair of shoes and stockings, ribbed stockings, they come up above the knee. I got two pair of those and I got a blue oxford suit with a belt across the back of it and two pair of pants for that six dollars. She got all that for me for that six dollars.(laughs)
SS: Didn't sound like much when you said six bucks, now it sounds^like more.
KS: Yeah and a pair of shoes and two pair of stockings and this suit. Wellthat suit I think was about $3.95. Something like that. Two pair of trousers. Wore it all schoolyear. As it progressed, and then I had an old pair of pants to put on anyway. Shoes, by god, were only about a dollar and a half.
SS: What was the work they were doing moving the dirt?
KS: They dug the creek. They dug the creek and you see it right now.Comes rightalong side the rode. And they bought the land, I think they bought the land off of the White Addition there, I think it come off of the White,well I don't think it came off the Skattstboe property, I don't know. But you drive up the rode there now, you'll see how the creek, Cros-b, that bridge see. There were two bridges between that and Mountain View Road. Then you turn and go north on Mountain View Road, there's another wooden bridge there. Now they've got a culvert in there. Big culvert.
SS: Were you just a boy then?
KS: I was born there.
SS: You were just a kid when you were carrying water?
KS: I was ten, eleven years old, something like that.
SS: Did they have many men doing that job?
KS: Oh, yeah. My father worked on it, I think. Two horses on a scraper andsometimes they used four horses on a scraper and they'd go along and plow so that there'd be sluice enough to pick up and then they'd bring it up and so on. And they worked it in and put a fence in afterwards. But I think twelve days I think I worked on it 'cause I know I got a check for, warrant from the county for fe dollars.
SS: What's the way you heard that whorehouse story?
KS: Well I've heard a few stories as you grow up and so forth. But the onlyone I ever heard about was Mrs. Baker telling about.She said Hodgins went there and. by god, to take the place of. He slept with his own wife and she snuck his watch. Said next morning, they always turned the plate upside down, he turned his plate over for breakfast and there laid his watch.That's what Mrs. Baker told me. But the Shannon sisters had a btuidiAy my father used to talk about when I was awfully young. He heard the Shannon sisters were graded or something like that and they lived, would be the university property, off of Sweet Avenue, just off of Main Street down there. The last old whore house around the country was the Pioneer over in Colfax.Hell, I've been into that several times, when I got big enough to go, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, you know.They had a business over there. Course, Lewiston had whorehouses up and doon Main Street and over on the river up until WWII. And when they brought the soldiers and the sailors here to go to school for training for six weeks, something like that up at the university, they had those co-ops like Willis Sweet Hall had^navy in it and Hayes hall and Forney hall had their army up there.Linley hall had eome army in that too.
SS: They went down to Lewiston?
KS: They had weekends. They were off Saturday afternoon, by god, they'd godosn to the whorehouse if the guys had a little money. Of course, the goody-goody people, goddaran, they couldn't hack that. They're just like you got in the paper here, Lewiston paper here about this abortion law. Jesus Christ, they're crying their goddamn eyes out some of these people that got religion about abortion. I don't know what your feeling is about it but I lived in different countries there and I think England, they got an abortion law, but you should do it before three months and Dapan does it all the time. Too much pop ulation.But here they hoUler their heads off. N0w I don't think it hurts anything after three months it's alright, I don't think you should take something alive,'cause I know my daughter-in-law has two babies born by cutting her, what do they call that? Caesaraan.She had too. And both of 'em was taken thirty days before their time. Theyre good, healthy babies. But I don't believe in taking a child from an abortion when it's six months along something like that,'cause lots of children live at six or seven months.Of course, a lot of girls have babies six or seven months after they get married.That don't mean that was conceived in six months.They used to say they come a little early(laughs). I remember some woman, by god, she was knocked up and she was gonna have a baby and her little girl was about four years old. She said,"I'm going to have a baby sister for Christmas." And her mother said,"Well if you do, it'll be sorefooted, "(laughs) So you see, she wasn't gonna come quite that soon. I put in some time, I didn't retire, I was in the service for nine years, Marine Corp. Traveled quite a little bit too. My mother was alone so I took a special order discharge, asked 'em to discharge me, came back in Moscow. I got married, three boys.
SS: When did you go in the Marines?
KS: 1924. I got my final discharge in 1941. 'Cause I had reserve assignmentin between there too. I had active duty plus reserve. I got five discharges out of the Marine Corps.
SS: Where did you serve in the early years? In the 20s?
KS: In the 20's, in late '20's I went aboard a ship. 1925 went to Australia,New Zealand and fku islands and so forth and then I came back and California, I was over in Bremerton quite a little while and then I was out of the service for awhile. And then I went back and that time why, I went to Islands and then to China, in Shanghai for four years. Not quite, in there. Last night I was showing Bill here, you know you save things, saving things from China too, but the first time I boarded that ship we had a little weekly paper we put out, telling about things. I got copies I saved three years,1925, '26 and part of 1927, just two pages, telling all about things we did, athletics and going to all those trips and so on like that, as well as that magazine of all those things in it.
SS: Do you have any exciting adventure happen to you in those early years?Any close calls in a foreign country?
KS: N0. It was all peace time that way. The only thing about it, was bad aboutit, our government was so chintzy about doing anything that they wouldn't spend any money. I got 21 dollars a month and a horesblanket when I first went in as a private in the service. And when I got discharged I was a saargant and I was only getting 54 dollars. Course I got 10$ longevity on top of that plus rifle qualification. Now that was the pay, that was up to 1941.
SS: Rifle qualification?
KS: Well, they paid, you got to be a sharpshooter or an expert you know likeI used to shoot pretty damn good I thought, we had those old Winchesters, you know. 30 ought 6
(End of side A)
SS: You said that maybe he wasn't really a doctor?
KS: Well, he was a doctor, it just seemed like^somebody was a lawyer and stillthey didn't go to law school.Maybe he studied with a doctor, all mention I ever heard afterward, maybe it was ten years that he learned all that doctor doing, see.N0wadays you'd have to go to medical school, wouldn't you? Now you take for instance Rogers, Adela Rogers St.Johns' father,he was one of the best criminal lawyers ever was in Los Angeles. dut he studied with a lwayer, he never went to a law school. And you take Harvey Smith, he was our city engineer here for years and years. But his father by gosh, was an attorney and he studied with a lawyer, did all things like that, but as attorney but he wasn't graduated from any law school or anything like that.
SS: Sort of like an apprentice.
KS: He learned to do a lot of things. Learned to make deeds. He learned things.
SS: What's this business about the sewage. Was Watkins against having good sewagetput in town?
KS: No. No, he was a crusader. He wanted to get rid of all of the priviesand the wells, he wanted it all in like that. And it was a good thing, I think, too. My uncle Franklin, when they were putting in some, why I tell you I helped work for the city one time in the late 30's, '39 it was on South Washington street. We dug up some old water lines in there. You know what they was made of? Wood! They was wood with wire around 'em! Four inches. That's when they first put it in, they didn't have this here tile or pipes that they have today. Didn't have 'em. It was wood what is was.
SS: Was Will the first one in the family to be buried in Pullman?
KS: Yeah. My grandmother buried him over there, Helen, and Helen got the deedto it and I had the deed. To the ceaetery lot.
SS: Your father went and got a good stone.
KS: My father put a stone up there, yes, to Will. And it's there. But the reatof us have never got enough money to put stones up on the place. But we have a lot. Course, the city takes care of that, the city thing. They mow the grass and things like that. It's just one of those things. The next person to be buried there was Henry that killed. See, Will first and then Henry. My grandmother Helen was buried there and afterwards when Franklin died over at Richland, my father brought him over and buried him there. Then when my father died I buried him there. My father died in 1939.
SS: Did you think that there were ever hard feelings that you knew about? Forthe family?
KS: I never had anybody ever mention to me when I was a kid going to school,anything about that. I never had anybody mention a word about it. And the first time it ever come out in the local paper is when Earl Cornwall pointed out that Spokane paper he had. Came out and was in August, that be about '51 or'52. My second boy was born on August the 4th, 1948. And I think he was about 4 years old I think would be about '52. So anyway, old Bill Marineau had that article. I went down and chewed his ass out, I said,"You're running a yellow sheet are you, goddamn you." I knowed him a WWI veteran,I said,"You're running a yellow sheet, aren't you?" I said, "The hell you ain't! You had to go back a hell of a long ways to give me a bad didn't you?"AIt didn't hurt me a bit, nobody knew anything about it. But I chewed his damn old ass out anyway. He had it coming, I thought.You don't see that much in the paper so much anymore about something, digging up something that happened way back, years and years ago. What reason he had I know more, you know as much as I do. Dad said.he was giving a little bad time. I guess he had a temper.
SS: Usually every town has a couple early murders and they bring 'em out totell you,"this is what it was like in the old days." There wasn't much law.
KS: I don't know if the sheriff had a deputy, I think he had one. And therewas one day man and one night man on the police force in Moscow when I was a kid growing up. That's all they had.They had one night police officer and one day police officer. You take, Grant Robins was a police officer here in the daytime for years. And Stanley, he was a night officer. He used to go into Pastime, where that there Deranleaus, had a place in there, and he had his gun hung up in back in the kitchen, by god. And he wanted to go out, so on he goes, put it on, goes out, looks around, walk around. But you didn't have the transportation to have the things. You had a horse, buggy, eventually iey got to have a few little cars, but you know, you didn't have that thing going.
SS: You mean there wasn't so much crime because it was harder to get around.
KS: Harder to get around. Well I don't know, we had a little thing or two.We used to have sleigh rides, you know, like that. I drove a team, dad had a cutter, a sled. And hell, you could go out usually drive around and get a Big and have a hayride, get all the kids off from the church, Sunday School. Young people, you know. Put a blanket over you and sit there and by god, take a ride in the hay. Go out for two or three hours, have four horses, they trot along, you know, have quite a time.Bring a foot warmer along with you if you wanted to. Have quite a time. Have a lot of fun, in those days. You have a little, meet at houses and have a dances around there. Maybe they had a place where they take the furniture out and have a dance. Have a little fun in the country houses.
SS: Did the dances go on late?
KS: They start at eight o'clock, people got there, they drove or come in acar. I went down lots of , when I was a youngster, and they broke up about one o'clock, something like that.
SS: Did they have music?
KS: Well, they had, one woman would have an organ, another guy would have aviolin. Maybe they'd have a Jew's harp and that was about the size of it. Or a harp. They didn't have very much. Two pieces was about all. You'd dance a circle two step or a two step or you had a waltz and that was ate ut all you had. Course you didn't have the jitterbug like you have today.
SS: Did all the kis\Kthere know each other?
KS: Oh yeah, most time they knew everybody.
SS: What else did you do to have a good time.
KS: You got up at five o'clock in the morning so you were home, you didn'tstay up too damn late.You didn't have ^ radio, Ayou got a radio that was one of the radiea right there in that thing there had a radio in there but it had a battery in it. Six volt battery. And it was often run down, take it up town and have it charged up again. Then you wouldn't have no I took the thing out, made a little catch all,put some things into. That was a radio back in the days when it first same out. Cert-Warner radio. That car radio thing, cabinet cost one hundred and twenty five dollars.
SS: That's pretty expensive.
KS: I know, but radios are pretty high. You take them old victrolas you usedto wind up, they was from 100,150, 200 dollars too.Back in those days.
SS: Did you ever here how Marshall Hayes got shot in Troy?
KS: My father-in-law, he lived out there between Troy, he was born out therebetween Troy, and you've heard about some rustlers in there. But he had a theater, see, my father-in-law had that theater in Troy one time. Til the roads got good, and then the people come to Moscow, different better pictures. I think this here guy was kind of rude to his wife'a bit, Sly, wasn't that his name? Jake?
KS: Paine.Well Paine Sly wasn't it? Well anyway, I guess he was outside thecity limits where Sly lived and he come up there to do something, I guess he told him to stay away, itw as none of his damn business. And he got close, he had the door partly open and a gun there and he shot him. He got some time out of it.During that time his wife divorced him.And married again, I think.But old Jake Sly, he used to be out there, he come to town I remember Jake. He had a daughter married a fellow by the name of Smith here.This was a WWI veteran.I knew him, well, we worked together, in that Ralston grocery store^quite a while, sold down to Lewiston, its still down there. Married Thelma Sly. He had another girl and she was married two or three times.She'd go to bed with most anybody. There's a boy or two in the family. But I get a kick out of old Jake, by god. He got religion in his later years up around 80. Before that time he didn't have any.
SS: What did he do when he got religion,tell you about it?
KS: Oh, not so much that, but he had the preacher at the house most of the time.Y0u know some of these off brand religions.Then after he passed away his widow got married again to another old man. And I don't know, I think he passed away and she ended up in the Latah County home I heard, passed away.
SS: He came back out after your uncle died, did that have anything to do withwhy he came back?
KS: Well I tell you, I have no more idea....
SS: He'd been out here before?
KS: Oh he'd been out a couple times I think, maybe more. He'd traveled aroundhere and there til he was 39. My mother was 24, there's 15 years difference in their ages. Back in those days I guess they didn't think much about it. Of course, eventually my parents, they separated and divorced later on too in life as far as that goes. My father was77 when he died, my mother was 81 when she died.
SS: Did you know Pat Malone?
KS: No, I knew Moody, but I didn't know Pat.
SS: Didn't you tell me a story about Pat?
KS: Well all I know, my father-in-law told me this story,'cause he was aroundthat country.They had these girls in the houses in Clarkia. They didn't have 'em in Bovill at that time, they went over to Clarkia. So Pat made a trip over there about 15 miles, there was a train run over there. Well one of these girls got in a fight over there and she got a little beatin' on her, cut her I guess, with a knife. The first train was supposed to bring her to Bovill, take the train out, had her laying on a platform on a stretcher. Old Pat was there and sb© said,"Pat, how many times have you been over to my house and been to bed with me?" Ah,Pat says,"The poor girl's awfully bad to hear. Out of her mind. Out of her mind."(laughs)
SS: Did you ever hear about Pat aod the moonshiners out there?
KS: No, see my father-in-law was janitor of the courthouse quite a number ofyears up there and Moody was the sheriff.And they'd gone after a bootlegger. Now that was before I come back here. And anyway, that old at was gonna get this guy and I don't know, the guy, I think he did some shooting, see. And shot Moody's heel off. In the heel. That's what my father-in-law was telling me. But then they had Klaus Peterson, Klaus Peterson was an oldtimer, well as far as that goes, Agnes and Bob Peterson, attorney eas the son and Agnes, and one of 'em, Ellen, I guess Agnes was driving the car over to Pullman when they went over a bank and Ellen was killed. She was a schoolteacher til she retired. Hell yes, I went to school there even. Long time ago.
SS: What about Klaus?
KS: Klaus was the father. And he was a widower and the old liked to playaround a little while. Anyway, to tell a lot of stories on him, but he had some moonshine he bought and he had it hid someplace and somebody stold it. So he come to the sheriff and he was gonna complain, but he didn't want to say he had the bootleg with him,said"I had a thief, I had a thief."
KS: Said,"I had a thief." Instead of "I had a thief." Then they tell anotherstory on him:Where the parking lot is now is where the Christian Church the city bought and tore down there, right across from the Market fime, on Third Street there was a vacant place in there and so they have a revival meeting once a year. They had one of those things. And some roving preacher come here and saves everybody that sins for thirty days and then they forget about it in another week. They put up a big tent there, see. And somebody went out, and here they had these little sawmills and brought in a lot of sawdust. And among this sawdust, some slivers, some shavings. They put it on the ground so it was damp. Then they had some wooden here. So theyN old Klaus to going but he had an awful habit, about every thired word was Jesus Christ or Goddamn or something, doing a little swearing.So asked the preacher how to break the habit. He said,"You carry some silver dollars in your pocket, and everytime you say a seear word you think about handing the nearest person to you a dollar and you'll break yourself of the habit." Well old Klaus thought he'd try it. So he went to the meeting that night and course, it comes time to do a little praying, h e knelt down and by gosh, one of those slivers stuck in his knee, he said, "God damn son of a bitch!" you know,and he just thought, and he pulled a dollar out of his pocket and he handed it to the person next to him that happened to be a woman that was a widow and she leaned over and said to him,"Where should we go,Klaus?"(laughs)
SS: That's a good story. Klaus was a character
KS: Yeah. You know whefce the Thatuna building is on Mains Street? In part ofthe Thatuna building at one time was a second hand store. In the windows was different things to sell, but had a little curtain across it see, to 30 back to the store, had a door to come in. And a fellow that run it was And he was one time was a furniture man, worked for David's in furniture and so on. Klaus was buying the booze pretty heavy, and I guess kids got out and they said don't sell him any more. So he'd get the to get him a pint and he come into the store. And one day, he got pretty well keyed Qp one day, and he thought he was going to the bathroom so he pulled that curtain to that little window and stood there and urinated right out in the window.(laughs)
SS: Was it right out in the street?
KS: No, no. See, he was standing right in the window, window. Oldkicked him out then. He wouldn'tUet him come in any more.(laughs) I'll tell you, a lot of things happened to the old man.
SS: Did you ever...(break in tape)
KS: He had a pretty good, witty mind, he did. Oh the things he used to tellaround, you know, of course you make up stories as far as that goes.My father-in-law, being in the sheriff's office up there and around there, the janitor and everything. Old timer like, out at Troy. He would tell about quite a few old things that happen. Of course,he's passed away now, he died down at Twin Falls. He died in Lava Hot Springs. No, I take it all back. He was living, they took him to the big hospital there in Salt Lake City. He had a tumor or something like that. But he was buried in Twin Falls. Mother-inlaw lives in, I think its Soda Springs where she lives with her youngest daughter now.(break in tape) There's lot of stories that come out of there, just jokes, you know, jokes, like that.But you know, there's only so many jokes and then they're dressed up.
SS: That's like, there's stories that are told all over. They go from one placeto another.
KS: I guess they are.It would fit most anything,you know. Ask Lola Clyde ifClifford Ott can enlarge that picture of the school. I gave her a post card with And of course, you know the Russell school. That wasn't the Russell school til after they tore down the old building there. It was Irving school there. Stood on that property and there were poplar trees all around there so you don't see the building too well in this picture. But then below it, where the playground of Russell school is,now, was where the Russell school was and it burnt. Then the school was where the annex was. That was called, I don't know if it was called the school, but I went to school, my first grade teacher was Miss that's why they called it the school.
SS: Do you remember her
KS: Oh yes. She was an awful nice teacher. Whitworth, buther father lived to be 105 years old, lived right over here on Morton Stfceet and she taught school and that's where that Lena Whitmore school's named after her. Old time teachers that were here. Where the old high school is there, that was built after that there Russell school burnt.
SS: Do you know how that salmi.'burnt?
KS: No.It was all het(sic) by wood, had a big old wood furnace in there, andI suppose something happened.Then where Pearl Cornwall lives at 730 East 8th street was a school and I went to school up there.After I left that old school down there, had the first, second and third grade down stairs and the high school was upstairs then, see. And had a basement on each side, one side for the boys and one side for the girls. Like that where they had. I used to go doan both sides. I didn't know which side to go on I was so little. I was only five years old when I went to school. I wasn't quite six.
SS: What was school like when you were in grade school?
KS: We had longer hours then you got now. Had one teacher for the whole thingto start with, and then eventually you got up where you had teachers for different classes.
SS: Even here in Moscow was one teacher for everybody?
KS: When I first started out, up to when I got to about the fourth, fifth, sisthgrade. Something like sixth grade had a teacher for just one class. She had maybe 30-aO kids might have.
SS: And theyfd be all grades? One teacher?
KS: Yeah. No. The teacher teach all subjects.
SS: But a different teacher for each grade?
KS: Country schools there's one teacher that teach up to the eighth grade, andthen you had to take an examination in town. Up at the university.Now take Molly Carlson for instance. She was my fourth grade teacher. And she had a little roWW hose there in her desk, and by god, you'd better pay attention. She had false teeth and mine are sized. Her's would click when she talked. But she was a good teacher, I don't mean maybe. 'Cause you didn't fool around with her, you was scared. You studied. I learned something that gr^de.
SS: What kind of hose did she have?
KS: Little rubber hose, by god, she'd give you a few cracks with it real good.Up there at that place on 730 East 8th street, thev bought that land up there and on down both sides of it was prune trees! Way, way back it goes in there, I don't know, about 300 feet. All we had in school. Well right around the cemetery there, I think this here, I'll tell you his name that lived in the place, a fellow name of Jensen lived there and didn't have any children so they, house, home for some children so they brought two boys to live. Walked to school, instead of^ that road around, they i went right down, walked down the railroad track. Well, they go up the schoool out there where we went. Now we had the same thing down the basement, each side, one for the girls and one for the boys. But they had a fountain in fche, hallway and they had it just running about an inch or two aboue, running steady, get kids a drink. A kid got to fooling around and he turned the valve down below on the basin in the boys' room, guy shot the water clear up to the ceiling, pressure did see. And of course the teacher run out,she run down and shut if off. Well, that was alright, course, we knew who did it. So she sent some kid out to get her some switches.Now that day, by god, they just beat the hell out of ya. And this kid cut some switches off of that prune tree, they were as big around as my thumb. And she took that kid up in front of the class and beat him on the legs and back til he was had welts! It was a shame but these here people were adventists and the adventists.kids suffer^iike that. We all felt so sorry for him, but he was a tough little bastard, by god. He didn't cry, but he had welts on him. Can you imagine that? Hell, you figure about the third or fourth grade it was, about fourth grade I guess, aybe third grade. It was the third grade.
But god dang, nobody, under ten you know. Qet beat, the teache'r should havehad her damn ears knocked down. Nowadays the teachers don't dare lay a hand on you. But I've seen in the schools, some kids those days missed school, maybe couldn't go every year. Or only go two or three months. They worked you know. They was pretty big and they would give the teacher a bad time. I know a fellow name of Randall was principal of the school one time, he knocked ontkid down with a top off a desk that was loose, by god, he was going to attack him. And he didn't get nothing out of that. Well, maybe he had a damn good reason to, but he was a big kid, kid was about 14,15 years old. Probably was in about the sixth grade, trying to learn something in winter months, for three months, you know. Those things happened all the time like that. I had an aunt, she died of cancer here several years ago. She married a man by the name of Wilcos over at Palouse and she taught out at taught out at Randall Flat. Now Randall Flats is north of Troy, that way, you go out by Robinson Lake, and she taught in there, she taught on a school down here at Juliaetta,non top of the hill, climbing that grade going across Juliaetta before you drop down to the Clearwater River. She taught school there, I know.'Cause that's where my grandparents „moved out here from Kansas and she used to come and stay at our house in vacation time. I was just a kid. One time, we liked her so well, we used to hang around her and pester her, something like that. And one day she says to me,"Kenneth, if you don't quit bothering me I'm going to cut my suspenders and go right up through that ceiling."(laughs) And I just thought, by gosh, she's gonna do it! Just things like that, (laughs)
SS: She was gonna cut her suspenders?
KS: "Cut my suspenders and go right up through the ceiling." That's kind ofa, men didn't wear belts or anything 'cause they wore a pair of suspenders on. Sometimes they had them over all, you didn't have biboveralls, I wore a pair of suspenders. Now my father wore suspenders and they had rubber in them, you know, stretch, a little bit. That's what she said,"I'm gonna cut my suspenders and go right up through the ceiling." She was quite an aunt she was. She had two children, a boy and a girl. The boy farms around the other side of Palouse, whe's got 400 acres in there, he has. And the daughter, she married a man,been for years and years living back in New York state someplace.The girl does, Bernice, she's a graduate home economics from WSU and Stanley graduated from WSU too. They're first cousins.Look at the rain come down.
SS: It was snowing this morning. Was it snowing here?
KS: Just enough so you could see it. Not too much. Well, we won't have too muchyou know.
SS: When did you first drink moonshine?
KS: Well you see it went dry in '18, I was 16 so I wasn't drinking any then,but we didn't have it come back til '33. In between that time we had a little moonshine, around you know. Drink a little bit here in Moscow and I was doian in Oregon for awhile in a place there and we made a little bit out there, the place I working at. We put our 50 gallon drum in o manure pile. And covered it over, put our mash in there til it fermented, because the heat from the manure pile in winter months ferment it. Then we had a crock, a jug, we hold, with a top on it, just like, had a cork on it and the coil went in there and the mash we put in down in there and then it got hot, put it on a stove, got it hot and then the steam come out and went through the coils, water and dripped out into another jug. That way you get a little alcohol out of it that wayy You didn't have to mix it up. You didn't have to mix it but twice with water, by god, it would burn your guts up 'cause that was one way of make a little moonshine. For Saturday night dance, something like that. If you wanted to go to the drug store and buy a little buraon flavor, you could buy it those days, a little flavoring and pour in it, color it up a little dab. Because other wise it would be white. They used to call it white lightening, you know. White lightening. That's what it was.The first comes off of that stuff you know, you can do that two or three times, about 200$ alcohol. And then you can run it two or three times, put some more water in that mash and you take and you dilute to first get it down to about 100$. Now you buy whiskey you get hardly anything over 90$ proof you know. 86is...
SS: So it had a kick?
KS: You're damn right it was made good. But most people didn't have sense todilute that like, I use something, like now you take a, have a mixed drink wouldn't you? Have 7up in it, or something like that. But everybody tried to drink it straight. Some people take a little water chaser. Some kids starting out, didn't have brains enoagh, by god, to know what to do. When I went to China we damn near had the same thing.You couldn't buy any soft drinks odif in there. You had coke,like that, or Pepsi-Cola or something similar to that, but they had Russian stuff called vishnic(sp). That would be flavored with cherry, rasbatry, or something like that, be a flavor. Like you used to buy years ago in pop, some kind of a flavor color, you know. You don't get it much anymore, but, 'cause the last time we had anything like that over here, I know it was made in Pullean. I had kind of stuff like that to drink. But you get this vodka and call it Big Bertha jar. That would be a 64 ounce of vodka. That was strong too. So we'd take and put this here, mix it with this vishnic, see. Get a color in it about half and half. So you'd drink it. My god, that stuff was powerful. Vodka. That's the lastuvodka I ever drink was°in China. Walk right through a wall, get drunk on that stuff.
SS: Were there many guys got arressted here for moonshine?
KS: Oh yeah. Get 30 days. I served with a guy in the service one time out inChina did 30 days up here in jail bootlegging, he was running whiskey in and he lost his car and everything. Lived at Pomeroy at the time. Yeah, old Charlie Summerfield you know was the sheriff. He used to drink the damn stuff up, he died of cancer. No, he died from self inflicted gun shot. He killed himself, Charlie Summerfield did. His widow, I don't know if she's alive or not. I know the son is still alive. There's a couple girls in that family, but...
SS: I'd heard Summerfield was pretty hard on moonshiners.
KS: He'd get 'em but then he'd drink the booze up too.(laughs) Summerfield,he picked up quite a few. But a guy lived down in Linville district, had a mortgage on his farm. I heard someone said he was from Tennessee, but "X don't know. He made moonshine. He had a deal with some guy in Seattle and he brought him the juq, gallon jug. But anyway, he never sold anything around here. They come in,take his load out over to the coast. He made awful qood stuff they said, but he never got any around here. He paid the mortgage off.
SS: He didn't sell it around here 'cause he didn't want to get caught?
KS: That's just an nld story that we told about. Possibly so, too.
SS: Sounds smart to me.
KS: Well there were alot of bootleggers around. Iknow them guys, go buy apint from a guy. Buy a pint of whiskey, see. It generally was three dollars for a pint, by god, but you got a full pint. Full 16 ounces. The,guy says, "Well, I'll tell you where it's at in a little while." So when he come back, he sit in the poolhall, something like that. He says,"You go down a certain street and there's some grass down there around a certain telephone pole, a certain place. And you reach down there and you'll find a pint of whiskey." That's how you'd pick it up. He didn't give it to you, by god.He'd take your money and tell you where to go get it, see.(laughs) Guy stayed in business for awhile, he did something smart like that
SS: Do you think most of the stuff drunk here was bootlegged in or made here?
KS: It wasn't made too damn far from here. Those days they didn't have it toofar away.When I came back from California one time I bought a King 8 roadster car. Painted red..
(End of side B)
KS: That was a powerful car. I drove it up from California, had it down therea while. I was in the service. I had a little racket going. I was working in a resturant, or in If I needed anything I could always throw a in the car.Back then, didn't have to have so much money. But anyway, I got here and I was going on over to Seattle and this fellow by the name of Babcock wanted to buy, oh, I suppose he's dead now. He wanted to buy this car from me. So I sold it to him for 150 dollars. Well he only had part of the money. So he said,"I'11 send you the money." Well I only had three of* four months, going over to Seattle, stay three or four months. So he drive it to Canada, bring back some,I took that car back when I come back and had some bullet holes in it, I guess he'd been chased. Course that time, that V8, it travelled 90 miles an hour.
SS: Probably out run any police car.
KS: That could have been what it was V8, King 8. Damn good car. I had a touringcar one time too. Saxon.That Maxwell car that Jack Benny used to talk about. They had those here. Star car, Graham car. Had a Moon cap. Liberty car. And of course, the big companies took 'em in. Like General Motore took in a lot of 'em in, you know. And.cr.Chevrolet alright.They had lots of kind of cars by god. Chandler car. Chandler. Chalmers car. Those are name that, companies just started up and sold some cars, but they either got bought up or went broke, something like that. One little car, had a Star. Four cylinder car.
KS: I had a Whippet, a Whippet car one time, a four cylinder one. Hell,nicelittle car. Bought it at a sale for 9% dollars. At an auction sale. In Moscow.
SS: Did you drive very far when you had the first cars?
KS: That Whippet car I drove down to, my brother was in the service down inVancouver, Washington.He come up and I took him back down and drove back again. But you couldn't make only 30, 35 miles an hour with it. It took a day and a half to drive from and nowadays you can drive to Portland in six hours. Five, six hours. Course, the roads are a lot different, and everything. You got a lot of things different. That little car I got out here has been to California nine times. I've taken it down every year, up through was the last year I was down there.
SS: IWW, what you heard about them.
KS: Not much of anything. I know WWI was on and so on. I had a fence down therewhere that West Park School is. A place down there, where the fair grounds is what it was that time, they had a track there.They had something put^ up and put it in there. Some guys they said was IWW. But every once in a while those days we had a threshing maching here and everything was shocked you know. Someplaces they headed. They said these IWW stick these wooden matches in and go through that cylinder on that threshing machine and started a fire. But mostly it was smut that would cause it. I don't think they was doing any damage. Course, those days they hired these guys to drive teams or pitch in the fields or sew sacks, they're all transient pepple they were, they call winter stake, by doing that kind of work. One time when I was a youngster I was working knoRkin9 aPP in Wenatchee.I and another kid said let's go over to Seattle. So we went down to the yard, had a freight train, see. They had one change on it,I rmember,cross over the divider there* one place was hung up for a little while, probably went and. got something to eat. Anyway, there was some guys on there come by."You boys got to pry this chain, you got to join up." Five dollars a piece to join I WW. Well we was young, tough. I said,"Be ain't got any money so I guess we ain't going to join." "You got to get off the train." "I guess we'll have to get off the train," I said. So we got off the train. It pulled out by god, empty boxcar, going to Seattle, we swung on again, see. And pulled the door. But we didn't pull it shut so nobody could lock it. We stopped again. As long as the guy couldn't swing over and get in see, 'cause he couldn't get down to open the door. This way we could walk over the tops, so we rode it in.To Seatile see, and then we got out. But that was the one and only time I ever had anybody jump me about joining the IWWs.We had some money but we didn't want to spend it on that. Riding the rods we were, by god. And you get three or four ouys pretty tough* they think they got you. You pay up. We just ain!t got it.
SS: Was there many guys riding the rails like that?
KS: Oh alot in those times, yeah.I never paid any fare between here and Spokanehardly ever. I always rode the blinds. You know where the blinds are at?
KS: Get right in behind the coal car by gosh, the baggage car, there's aplacein there to stand by god, you can stand in there for ashort distance, you know.Ride.
SS: id you pick it up here in Moscow?
KS: If Iwanted to go to Spokane,might want to come out of Spokane, Imighttake it out as far as Marshall, get off before it got started again, jump on that way, ride the rest of the way into Moscow. Yeah, you could. Lot of people rode 'em that way.
SS: What about the dicks?
KS: In these here terminals you'd have these here railroad dicks in the terminals.You'd come down there and hang around, they might run you out, in the terminals, you know. Like Wenatchee and Spokane. li)*rA hgd fl big terminal and Wenatchee had a big terminal, and Seattle did, like that. But those things could happen like that, but in these other little towns, branch line, nothing to it.
SS: I guess a lot of these railroad men didn't care.
KS: No.They didn't care. They ain't going to get out of the caboose to ridethe freight train anyway, if they can help it.
SS: What was it like working in the orchards in Wenatchee? Was there alot offamilies over there picking too?
KS: Mostly transients. There was families too.I paid, Ithink it was three dollarsa week for a bed on a porch.Canvas around it, sleep there.Course, it's summer months, fall, it's October.You kept warm. You got five cents abox for picking apples. You'd pick like hell for ten hours, by god, for an Irish lug like me to pick maybe 100 to 120 boxes of apples, see. Five cents a box. That's five to six dollars, most you'd make in aday, see. And you had to pay, had to buy food, Ihad to eat in aresturant and have alunch packed up for me and so on. Course, you know, meals those« days wasn't too awfully expensive. Buy aheck of agood meal for 50 cents, sometimes 30,35.
SS: Did you make good money when the work was done? Did you have alot?
KS: Oh you'd save alittle money, you'd spend alot too, as far that goes. Ihad a little trade and I used to run around the country when I was a kid before Iwent in the service.Those days they didn't have washing machines in all these resturants. You'd stop into a resturant,"Need a dishwasher?" Damn near all of 'em needed a dishwasher. You get your, something to eat by god, and get paid a couple of dollars.
SS: How long would you stay in a place?
KS: Well you'd stay at a job quite alittle while, til Iwanted to move on.
SS: You did that around a lot of the country ?
KS: Quite a little bit around.Foot loose and free,
SS: Sounds pretty good.
SS: Did you have your own car at the time?
KS: Oh no. Didn't have a car.
SS: You were just footing it around?
KS: Getting around, getting arouad. Different things. When I was in Seattledown there, there was Ssattle, by gosh had a totem pole down there to guess their way and so forth. I went in there one tine and by gosh, you couldn't get any job, you know. Be damn hard up. So a fella there had a show he was trying to get started, a wild west show. He had some horses and he wanted get started. So I was on the bum, I say we was on the bum, but tents up, got some tents ~ and had these horse and put the seats up and people would come and pay, I don't know, 25 or 30 or 40 cents, whatever it was and see this guy ride a few horses. They'd buck some, you know. Some guy get throwed off - Course he never got paid anything from the guy, but he give us a meal ticket to work in a Japanese resturant. So we'd get something to eat.
SS: What did youjdo?
KS: I just kind of feed the horses and do a few things like that around. Ididn't step on any of those broncos. I didn't want to get thrown.
SS: Just stayed the whole time in Seattle?
KS: I wasn't there very long.
SS: I mean the show.
KS: I don't know how long it was there. I really don't know. I was only withit about ten days or two weeks I fiddled around. And I pulled out by god. Got into a little aarmer place.Little less rain.
SS: Where else did you go?
KS: I'd go over to Everett and go over to Wenatchee and then I'd come back overhere, Idaho. Around you know. Just wherever you might find a little job. Folks at home here, I could come home any time. But you didn't go to school, you didn't have work steady, you didn't care you work steady. Long as you ate and so on.
SS: Sounds like a good life.
KS: Lot of 'Qm doing it today, ain't it?
SS: Idon't know if they move around as much.
KS: Course then ,eventually you get oldsr, you learn afew things. 1workedoonstruotion work alot. Semi-skilled, like that. Eventually, Iworked as atruok driver and Iworked in the motor trade for quite alittle while. Idrove out here to Clarkia, Washington, Idaho up here. It's now, it-s Garrett Freight Lines. In more things. And then Iworked in Moscow Transfer and Fuel after Icome back to Moscow. Worked for the city of Moscow. Then Iworked for myself. Iworked for myself in -44 and Ibought my livery system and Iworked for myself damn near ever since. Imight work afew weeks for somebody else, but Iwork for myself most all the time.
SS: Who's livery system did you buy?
KS: well, Ibought aguy out, grocery livery system. Icontracted these stores,Ihauled groceries out to houses all over town, university, sorority and fraternity, co-op. Damn good business it was.
SS: where did you stay when you were working around in these different towns?Would you stay in a boarding house?
KS: No. Hotels, they had rooming houses for four bits anight. Or two and ahalf aweek, something like that, you could stay at. Hell, Istayed in Pullman over there in that old Raymond Hotel, burnt down, two and ahalf aweek. Worked in aresturant over there. Icooked in it part time, did the dishes up. Did alittle night cooking, fry cooking. I'm apretty good cook.
SS: What was the cooking like in the 20s? What did they serve?
KS: Daytime cook, he would fix up something like good vegetable stew. He mightwant aroast, different thing, or ham. They'd fix up all kinds, they'd fix steaks. Idon't know, much of everything. Iused to eat, well mostly steaks those days was pretty cheap. Oy god, you get agood steak dinner for 75 cents. All the trimmings. You'd have asteak and boiled potatoes and take the jacket off of 'em and have 'em German fried, put 'em on the old grill, warm 'em all up for a dish and like that. Lot of things they did.They had hot pots of beans, served hot beans. Bowl of beans for 10 cents. Have a little ham in 'em or a little bacon. T hen youi,season it like that. And get you a bowl out and get some crackers with it for ten cents. Yeah.
SS: Did you meet many girls when you were travelling around?
KS: Oh yeah, you meet some now and then. You'd meet a few. You didn't most ofthe time,I had some pretty good clothes and I was over knocking apples, I'd go over there, dress up a little bit. Go out with some of those girls that were apple knocking.They transient coming through, they are. They like to have dates and so on, just like then, same as it it now. You get a room, you was all set.
SS: Sounds like in a way it was pretty easy.
KS: No responsibilities. I only needed a couple dollars, hit a freight and rideback over home if I needed to. You didn't need to worry much.
SS: Was there a lot of work?
KS: We had lots of manual labor those days. Didn't have the tools they gotnowadays. Lots of manual labor. That's what it was.
SS: What was it...
KS: Fifty cents an hour, forty cents an hour, something like that. For work.Used to unload all the coal by hand in these yards. Now it's machinery. I've unloaded many and many a ton, by god, for fifty cents an hour. I got in, unload maybe two or three tons or four tons an hour. You'd be surprised how many tons you can throw off in an hour. You take a 50 ton car. Two guys unload a 50 ton car in a day.Stoker coal, like that. That was all hand work.
SS: You shovelled it?
KS: Yeah. Use a shovel, you're damn right. All hand work it was. That waslabor,see. Now you have to know how to handle machinery of some type. These two boys fill up that bin with coal, I worked for a man in town here who had a tractor. Sold that coal for eight dollars a ton in carload lots to schools and so on. Heating, They went for ten loads so on around town for nine fifty, see and same thing 'cause you have to take 'em from all that livery. But there's 42 dollars a ton it was, attd-ymi put that coal in there. They drove up there with a truck, took their little auger out and set it up over there on the ground. Put the truck right, hoisted it, lift it up, open the tail gate just rigt right and they just stood there til the coal all run out and went into. When I was a kid we did it by hand. When I was working on that. They got about five dollars an hour for standing there doing it, too. And no wonder coal is 42 dollars a ton, huh? Isn't that so? That's quite high.42 dollars a ton.
SS: WhBn you were working around, did you run into any union at all? Were anyof the workers organized then?
KS: No, my first union was when I come back to Moscow here in '37, worked onthat school up there in '38, up here, built that school and I belonged to the hod carriers then. I worked in there, cement work and brick work. pepple you knowy and so on like that. And then when I worked, then I belonged to the teamsters until I sold out, I mean, quit then, went to work for myself. I tried to get a withdrawal from the teamsters, but the guy was so chinzy, he come out of Cour d' Alene, he didn't want to let me have a withdrawal card. I said well I'll just drop my dues altogether. I won't pay dues 'cause I'm working for myself. I never did have to work for anybody else afterwards anyway. I worked for myself.
SS: What about when you were in Wenatchee. Were there many migrants working?
KS: Always was. You come in there in the fall of the year, they come in inspring to thin apples, by gosh and then prune, then they come in in the fall to pick these apples. Gosh, there was lots of apples. Most all golden or red delicious in there. They had had some winesap and different apples. That was a big one. And then they had the warehouses. They come to the ware houses, work in the warehouses and load cars out. All went out on refrigerator cars, all the apples. And I worked on that too. We put 'em in, they had a burner in the end of these things that was gonna get cold. They'd have heat on the very ends of these refrigerator cars. You know, you got a little trap door you open up there, see.Ventilation. You can also put heat in there too, so it won't freeze. In transit. Railroad take care of those things, see. In the winter months or fall, they got cold. You want to ride home,you carry a stick so long and you climb on top of this refrigerator car. And you open up that little vent, see. Then you prop it open so it couldn't shut with that stick, see. And then you get down in there and keep warm at night and ride, see.All those^things you learn when you get cold.
SS: Did you ever get in the hobo camps? I heard they had quite a few.
KS: They would go down, most of those yards they would have a hobo camp in asense of the word and the guys get certain things. I could always hustle better than that. If I got in town I could always get a job or something. I could go do several different things. Or wash dishes at a resturant. Hell, they always wanted dishwashers. They had a union place over in Wenatchee one time, I went in there. I got to work a day and the union guy come in and said,"You want to belong to the union?" I said hell no. I ain't going to work here and belong to a Union. Said,I'll hang up my apron. So I didn't work any more. good job. We were union, we can't help it. Needed someone auful bad to put me on the job. So then the union had to turn around and get them a dishwasher pretty soon. But et paid good. And you didn't go hungry. That's the main\thing. I worked in a resturant, it wasn't a resturant either. They put that terminal in in Wenatchee, it was a railroad terminal. They were just putting it in. They had a big place there where a man could stay at, sleep and cook. They had flunkies by god, I worked in there, what they called a bull cook. Get a few things ready for the cook to go. Things like that. And I did a lot of dishwashing.When Istarted in, you wear a pair of white canvas gloves on your hands to wash dishes with. That's what used. You know, you handled your dishes that way. And go wash »em and rinse 'em. That's the "ay, you don't use awash cloth or anything like that like that like yo u do now. We just put these white canvas gloves on. We really did agood job.of washing those dishes.
SS: Did you stay there for very long?
KS: Awhile, yeah. That terminal. Iwasn't interested in, getting alittle stakeyou see. Then travelling on. After you get a little stake. If you got 50 dollars you was rich. Keep, yourself in decent clothes and go someplace else. There was no reason to get excited about anything. Inever carried a bedroll or anything. I always stayed in a hotel or something like that. I never carried anything like that. Icarried asmall suitcase quite abit^with" some things in it, achange of clothes and so on. I'd get my laundry done in alaundry. They'd charged so much for each garment, those days.
SS: Ever worry about getting robbed?
KS: No. Inever thought about it. Nobody ever did. No, they didn't do it thosedays like they would, they might be somebody, if you left something, pick it up. Nowadays where they mug you and things like that. Inever heard of any mugging back in those idays. Never did. Oh, we had a lot of fun. Did alot of stupid things. That's growing up, isn't it? Idon't know anything else to tell you. Ihope you don't write that all down. You should see those pictures for the home up there.
SS: There's one more thing. The old roads, their shape. You were telling mebefore that the mud was real bad in the early days?
KS: Yeah, they were. Mud, those country roads were real bad. They started inon some of the roads, you know, these creeks run through and they got sand; they have sand in 'em. Lot of these buildings were built out of sand, hauled to town before they shipped it in out of Spokane, so when they used it all up around here. The sand would gather and wash down in the spring from up in the mountains, where it was rock. Just small, sand gravel. Well they used to take that and dump that on the road on the middle of the road. Long in the middle and you'd drive over it and incuts out, spreads out over the road more see. So they had some roads with that sand on it.And some of the farmers, they'd have a wagon and they'd haul this sand. Certain times of year and the county'd pay for it. Nowadays they graded it up and^they bring in this crushed rock and put in lots of it amd more and more and so on. That helped like that. But them days they used sand. They'd take the running gears of a wagon and usually called dunk boards on it. They were two by sixes. and they'd make on each end, they'd cut 'em down, trim down to a hand hoe, see. Then they had a size of 'em setting up, and a piece and a cross. Now you take the end piece out and those sides out and you just turn those boards and the sand fall out. underBeath those wagons. And drive right on ahead. That's how they dumped that. Not by hand. They had it shovelled on by hand.
SS: I see.
KS: That's how they did that.
SS: How bad did the roads get in the spring?
KS: Well it take four horses to pull-it, a two wheel wagon sometimes wouldbe hub deep. Those country roads, hell they're just dirt roads. They'd drag 'em and so on. In the spring when it kind of leveled up.then they got packed down hard, why they wasn't bad.
SS: What did they drag 'em eith?
KS: Well they had a wooden outfit with a steel piece on the front of it maybe.And they'd put some heavy rocks or sand and sacks and they'd put two horaes or four horses or six horses, what ever they need. That would kind of smooth out that clod and dirt going down the road. They'd do that when it got practically dry. Not maybe, enough to smooth it out. And every district had somebody, some farmer that had one of these things and he had a mile or two to keep up, see. Maybe two or three miles like that he'd take his team, horses on it and drive back and forth. I knowTworked with some people over here on four mile had about a four mile stretch down there, back and forth, used one of those things on it. Take and make your road passable.
SS: Would the farmers do this themselves?
KS: Yeah, the farmers did it, but they got paid by the county. They got paidfor it, sure. Most things those days was all horses. They weren't, when we lived out there that place we lived, my dad had a triangle like this and it was about a foot deep, foot or 14, 16 inches high, wasn't it? Cross piece on it. And you put a rock on it. add weight on it, not a rock but I mean sand or dirt and sand. And that sit there and it'd snow all night, so if we had to get to school or anything, so he'd take the team onto that, and we'd either partly ride or walk behind. Make a thoroughfare right straight down the old road. Push that snow out so we wouldn't have to wade two or three feet of snow.
SS: Tnat worked pretty good?
KS: Yeah. The city had the light ones here injtown and they had one guy witha horse hit them sidewalks all over town when it snowed by god, and clear 'em off. Yeah, they did. I can remember that up until the late '20's by god."fhen of course, old wooden sidewalks, the horse walk along there and in the spring you had to fix a lot of broken boards.
SS: Horse walk right on the sidewalk?
KS: Yeah. Sure, they had to do it. People didn't always clean off their snow.They always had wooden sidewalks.
SS: Was it ever so bad that the horses couldn't get through in the mud?
KS: Well there were times when it would have probably been hard to ride a horseand get through. But pull a wagon and so forth is really rough. The farmers had to be careful, by god, they come to town in a wagon, they drove over them crosswalks on Main Street when it so bad and drop down and break the reach out of their wagon. Be hub deep, the mud on each side was. Main Street is filled in with rock. Especially from Third Street on south. That's all, that sidewalk was four feet high. Off the ground. Hell yes, at one time. It was high.
SS: Four feet high.
KS: Well, it was high, I can't quite remember exactly. Hell, it stood up maybethat high off the ground. That's three or four feet.
SS: Did Moscow Bain street get bad 'cause of all the use it got?
KS: guy name of West here. Bob West he was a law officer.He was amarshall. And over where that there Parisian is on Main Street up there was, well Eagles d-»ub had the building up there one time, but he had an office up there right on Main Street. Farmers come to tonin with their dogs following along. He had a slingshot. God, he was good at it. Bingo!, he'd hit a dog and the dog,yap, yap, yap. By gosh. And he wouldn't know where it come from. And one time, where Owl Drugstore is there was a hardware store. And a guy bought a can of kerosene, a five gallon can and going to carry it out to his buggy. He set it on his shoulder and walk along and old Bob, Bingo!.Little hole in it and the kerosene run out of the thing going down the street, by god. No he was good at that old slingshot. He used little pellets. But he hit them dogs. That was the thing. City dogs got wise, they never came up and down main Street. It was right in front of the hotel, Moscow Hotel. And farmers'dogs would crawl underneath the wagon, behind it, that's the one he'd get. They didn't know. But the city dogs, they never got out there.
SS: Did a lot of people know that he was doing it?
KS: Sure, they knew he was doing it.
SS: Was he cop at that time?
KS: No, he was United States Marshall. He built some houses up there on SeventhStreet. Corner of Seventh, started on the corner of Seventh andflefferson Street, house there and then, looks like the log house is gone up the hill, he built two or three more there. I don't know.
SS: Was he an iagle or did he just use the place?
KS: That was way before Eagles ever got started.
SS: What was there?
KS: Up in there, 'cept for his office was where Dr. Blakemore had a dentistoffice, but we had a dance Nin there every Saturday night. Some outfit run it up there. You had those stairs running up, by gosh, I guess they still got the stairs up there. But what's up there, I think Charley bought the whole building now. He's got his drugstore down below. Carter bought it. Eagles went down on North Main Street where the old barn was down there.
SS: How long is the news on for?
KS: Paul Harvey comes on for fifteen(rest not transcribed)
SS: Did you know Zufflhoff at all?
KS: The blacksmith? He shod many a horse for me and knew Coilins too. But youknow, I'm gonna go back before WWI and tbt's a long time ago, 50 years ago or better, you know.
SS: What was Mr. Zum hoff like?
KS: A damn good black shoer, I'll tell you, a blackemith is what he was. Heshoe horses and do all kinds of things, Collins was the same thing. Oh, he had, Zumhoff would show a little temper once in a while but not bad. They kept the fire kept up and the old cart and everything right next to the blacksmith shop and they had drays of teams of horses, you know. The fire bell rang, why some guy was close by had a team, would pull up there and they'd hang this here old hose cart on behind. 0ut they'd go to the fire, with the old horses galloping. And some guy catch on and some guy come there and then they'd hook the old fire hose up and they had these fireplugs in places around town then, you know, going back right after WWI. That's how they run it. They had teams on the street here til the '20's. Doing dray wark and all kinds of it like that.
SS: What was, whoever got the horse* out got paid?
KS: All volunteer. Nobody got paid. That's when they started this here fireman'sdance. Didn't you ask about fireman's dance?
SS: What about it?
KS: Well they used to hold it(in the gym up at the university. They'd sell ticketsto everybody for-,a dance. They'd have New Years Eve, go up to the university and dance. At the gym, the new gym for the fireman's ball, we'd call it. Well afterwards it got too crowded so now they have it downtown. They have it in the and the Eagles and the Elks.
SS: In the early days they had the ball?
BS: They had it there at the university.
SS: Was it to raise money for the fire department?
KS: Well the fire department, they had a little dinner now and then. But theybuilt that building with that kind of donation down where the fire station is down on South Main Street. And damn near all of it was done by donation. And part of it donating, this new thing they're building out by the fair grounds, that was donated money too. I started out paying a dollar I think I paid two dollars last tine for my ticket. I bought one but I didn't go.
SS: Did you ever see »em fight fire? The old equipment? What was it like?
KS: Just had hoses and they'd go there, old wooden buildings, but thewater on it all the could. They'd bring hoses out as long as they had «em. But they didn't, those days, they saved quite a lot of it. It was one of those things. I saw Main Street, by god there burn damn near doon one time. They were starting in there where the Crosier building is, this side of it...
(End of side C)
Hall. The whole damn thing, they had to build the whole thing over. Ithappened by gosh, in the '40's. Shorty O'Connor, he had a pool hall. He's dead now. But his wife is still alive, is still alive and the son worked for the Pontiac people out there, Zimmer, I think, that sells cars. son did. But they had a pool hall there. Tables and card tables, drink and so on. Building by god, damn near went down. Burnt the hell out of it.
SS: Was there lots of pool and card playing?
KS: Back in those days there was. That was an entertainment. The Pastime hadabout six or eight pool tables and one billiard table and a card. They played lot of rummy. They didn't play bridge, they didn't play anything like that. They played mostly seven card rummy. Sometimes it was ten card rummy. And these pool tables, you paid, I don't remember, I think it was damn near four bits an hour you paid for to play pool. And we play pool the loser would pay to play. Sometimes you'd be pretty good so you'd say, "I'll split." Go in and pay and two guys would flip, pay two bits a piece playing pool or two hours, whatever the wanted to do.That's the way they used to do. Shorty had one and they had one down on South Main Street. That was about somewhere in there close, maybe somewhere around the Nobby Inn, I don't know, some building around in there.
SS: Were there many good pool players?
KS: Yeah. Some were no trouble to knock down. I used to be able to knock doenfifteen without no trouble. Course I lived in a pool hall when I was over in Bremerton Washington.
SS: What do you mean?
KS: The thing of it was, what are you going to do? We didn't have a televisionin those days, and there wasn't no theater. You had to go out of town to a show. So go in £ pool hall there. We had a few tables and play. Fellow name of Williams? he was a pharmacist's mate in the Navy. We used to play maybe five, six hours a day.It cost 30 cents an hour and we just split the bill. He was a good pool player and I was pretty good. We racked our balls a little different than we do now. We'd^down fifteen balls a lot of times, or more.Playing. The fifteen balls they are in the rack, you know. And nowadays, you rack 'em all up, leave one out, you knock down fourteen, and if you're good shot, you break the balls up. But we used to stand em up in a line, those days, a straight line. And you start in. You had a cue ball and you get your first ball and you bring it back and then you eventually go on through and around. Then you eventually break 'em a little bit more. If you're lucky.
SS: Was it easy to put a ball in the first shot?
KS: Oh yeah, you come right off the wall. Make it off the wall, it was easyto do that. You'd get on to it.
SS: WEre there many pool sharfes?
KS: Not pool sharj5s but guys that 3hQot eightlike that. Little gambling went on in pool. Not too much gambling went on. There was a little bit. And they'd have high score in a pool hall, give a little prize for whoever had the highest score for the week. Something like this. Gust get somebody to come in. It didn't amount to very much but it was something to do.
SS: What about poker. I heard that in the logging camps, a guy would come inand just clean 'em out.
KS: I never was in them. But there used to be some pretty good poker games inMoscow too. But they were pretty fair. Some of these old timers around here play with, I don't know if they since play, I don't know. Course, we all played poker. I used to play poker as a kid too. I mean in the service we gamble a lot, in the service. You didn't have much money but :you had to pass away the time. In China the thing to do was, you had the Bank of China, you had to get Bank of China money. You always had some bank going broke. Had American Bank, y some missionary started it. You could buy his money. The money change a hundred dollars worth of it for a dollar next. So you buy some of this funny money up, it looked good. And you go around to different barracks, get in different poker games. It didn't matter how much you lost, but you always got change for your money. So we'd come out pretty good.(laughs) Little cheating on the side, you know. That was one thing. They didn't have sense enough to know the money was good or not, was their own fault, I guess. Guy,"Where'd you get that moaey?" Well,somebody got it. It's no good. But very seldom anybody thought anything about it.
SS: Would you have a hard time in China, the stores knowing what was good andbad?
KS: The stores yeah. We had our clubs out there too. The club where you go inmey had Chinese waiting on ' but they didn't charge only enough to break even you might say, like that, and pay the help. Now beer was all in fifths out there. Wasn't in quarts like we have it here.It run twenty five to thirty five centsAa fifth of beer. And you wanted to buy a drink it was about thirty five cBnts for a mixed drink. But you could buy a bottle of whiskey for, well that Canadian Club, that was only four dollars and fifty cents for a fifth. And the exchange rate was twenty five to one, so you see, that was just about a dollar and a nickle for a fifth. Johnny Walker Black Label, you like Scotch was cro^nd six dollars and a half. Or about a dollar and a half for a fifth. All whiskey was in fifths, they were, They are now.
SS: Around here, were there any black people that you knew?
KS: Yeah. Well, the-early days, the Settles here and Gene's still here. Helost both legs, he's a WWI ...
SS: Did you know him?
KS: He used to live out there in the Joel district. He rode a horse theuniversity here. He come to my place when I was a little devil, living out there. He'd reach down and get^ahold of my hand and pull me up in back of him. And I'd ride in to town with him going to school, lot of times in the morning with Gene. I worked with him on a France farm I was running a team, I wasn't doing too much. But he was a bigger man, he was older than I was. We'd put up hay. I could drive a team like that. But then he had some brothers. I went to school with one of his brothers, Booker. And he died young.
SS: Was it Gene who gave you the ride into town?
KS: Gene. They live right over here on Washington Street. Lost both legs. He'sold timer here. Went to university up here, and worked for the...
SS: Did you ever hear that he had trouble because he was black?
KS: Hell, he was a chaplan, he was a veteran of the foreign war. His brotherJohn graduated^here and he's a professor back at George Washington University in Virginia, his brother is. And Jess, the brother, he died not long ago. And Booker died young. And there were one or two girls in that family too, there are, but I don't know what happened to them. But Gene married a woman, well, you know, the nigger race are kind of mixed up. Little white got in the wood pile. So he married a girl and she had a little white blood in her and they had a daughter. She's a very pretty girl, but she had thin lips. She didn't show that negro. All the kids played with her and went with her nice when she was going to school. But when she got old enough to go to the dances and so on, they had that racial thing, and they kind of ignored her. But she went to university up here and she married a boy from New York. He was a Jewish boy, and had a baby by him.^They separated. Now she's married again but she lives in California. And Iguess she's doing real well.(pause in tape) Nigger baby.
SS: Joe was pretty tough?
KS: All those loggers used to waar those cork boots. And old Joe was prettyhandy walking over somebody that picked on him. They run a little place there where tht teamsters would stop and get something to eat.Didn't they? I think they did.My father told me. I never was in the country.My father in-law used to tell me,^he'd take his whole family and go up to Elk River and fish. Stay a week, they would.h was real little then, and take the wagon, team of horses, take hay, enough to last, by god. Take a tent. Place to cook, and fish, fish. We'd catttb a hell of a lot of fish.
SS: That was in the early days.
KS: First time I ever went fishing in this country, little story about it,funny, I came back here and I was married in'38 and my father-in-law, in the spring of '39 wanted to go fishing.I don't mind that. So we were going to go up to Elk River, and a name of Johnson, he was of the ROTC up at the university, he was an army man. So we fixed a lunch up. I had a car. I think I had a DeSoto car. So we went fishing. It rained. Well I didn't have any fishing pole, but my father-in-law had one of these steel collapsable poles, you know. Pull 'em out. So we used worms. So we got out to Elk River, aboue Elk River there,the stream. So they was fishing along and I was fishing. I caught one little thing, about five or six little trout. Had a fishing basket my father-in-law give me. So I got to a place where a log had fell across this stream. And dammed it partly 'cause it cut under there, both sides, it cut under there. The water did real deep. But there was a little patch of ground that filled in the middle of that, I guess limbs probably caught it, so it be about five foot square.I was standing on there and I had a collapsible pole because I had to shorten it up around those trees and limbs.And I drop it over there big worm on it, all at once I'm clear out of sight and I reared up and there was a two pound trout on it, and it fell off my hook right on that little patch of land. It fell on it and captured it, put it in my bag. I only caught two fish the only time I was out. So I came back down to the car, we was gonna eat lunch. So my father-in-law said we better go clean our fish. I went over there and I'd only caught two, I says.I really was dumb, I thought they catch a big fish like that oo. And they cathch a little six ounce trout was all they had, six or seven inches. They had four, five something like that, and I pulled this one out. Their eyes bugged out. They didn't think it was possible to have that big a fish in there. I didn't know it either. First tiee ever went fishing there.
SS: Where was this?
KS: At Elk River. Just where the pond was, you go upstream. I guess some bigfish comeKout of that pond down in there, must have. They had a dam there and a pond there. I guess gone out now. They used to have a sawmill there at Elk River, quite a thing going there.
SS: Did you know any Chinese in this area?
KS: Not any more than Mi Lew had the resturant^In town. Before Mi Lew coeehis wife's parents had a resturant down near where the Nobby Inn is there. And those girls went to school. And I guess the old piece went back to China. But Mi Lew come here and he married one of these girls. I can't think what their name was.
SS: None of them are still around?
KS: Well Mi Lew is here and his wife. And he got some children
I don't know. But these other Chinese had the Chinese Village outhere in Pullman, they come here later on. The people that have the Chinese resturant on Main Street, Mi Lew sold out to them. But Mi Lew is a graduate of WSU over here in pharmacy. And he married this girl. Her father had this resturant, and took over that and never went in to practice pharmacy. Isn't that something? They had some children, I don't know how many children. Mi Lew has this place, property back of the university here, back of Ridge Road going past the stadium. And theyfoot, a mobile home court, you saw it in the paper. I don't know what the name of it is. Stadium Way mobile home court. And he owns that up there and I think he lives up that neighborhood too, he does now. He got so he retired, he made a lot of money. It wasn't too many years ago him and his wife went back, around the world trip and stopped in Hong Kong and her parents in China got a chance to come there and see 'em. Hong Kong, I'm pretty sure did.
SS: So his wife had been here a long time?
KS: Her name was Lee. Her father and mother came here from China.
SS: Were they from the real early days?
KS: Well no. Hell, they weren't here when I was a kid, but they come here probablyin the early 20's or before that maybe and they had this resturant, where they come from. But anyway, they made a small fortune here, they went back to China to live. And the kids stayed and then they couldn't get out when the communists took over. Now when I lived in China, Chiang K'ai Shek was the head of it, but the Choong dynasty controlled all the wealth of China and he married a Choong girl, Chang K'ai Shek did. He was quite a bit older. He run Formosa down there and he wasNin his late 80*s. But she was a graduate of some women's school here in the United States, thkt girl was. They controlled the Bank of China, Choong's dynasty did. So that way, kept him in power. In all those foreign countries, comsa(sp) you give something. You charge so much and then you got to give 'em a little something extra. That's comsa. Well the army would have been alright to take care of the communists. They called when I was there. After WWII was over with, my brother was in Shanghai there, living at the u«t^*^Jj Hotel and he was a fly eeargant. And they gave all this stuff in the islands, there instead of bringing it back, they give it to China. So these officers sold it all to the communists and that's how come they whipped the hell out of 'em! Sure, they give a hell af a lot of that stuff, I don't know how much stuff. So when my brother was there he said one dollar gold by god, you get 20,000 Chinese dollars. Something like that. But the government paid for a hell of a nice hotel room.(break in tape)
SS: You got the flu when it was during the war?
KS: I was working on the farm out here as a kid. I had a horse. So I come totown and went to the barber shop, get a hair cut. Jack Wilson and also Bill Humphry had a barber shop together. So that was on a Saturday. So I went out to kid name of Haddin up here towards the mountains, stay with him a few days.His mother died and his father and him were batching there.I got up one morning and I was sick as a horse. Didn't have a saddle, I had a on a blanket on a pony...
SS: Had a what?
KS: Servesingle. 'hat's just a wide thing with a buckle goes around a horse,and I put a blanket on him. .On a"L0Sanket so he sweats. I was sick. Got me on that horse and put that servesingle over my kneee like, tighten it up so I rode the horse home. Hell, I had six or seven miles tn go. 1 got in* I was pretty sick. So they got me off the horse and put me to bed and I was in bed 30 days. And all the rest of the kids got sick 'cause they was all at home,Kgot the flu. By gosh, they didn't have much care, but this Jack Wilson, he died! That I got it from. Yeah, he died. Bill Humprhy didn't, he come out of it fine. But a lot of people died of flu. Just like Mrs. Baker will tell you about it was the old they had alot of boys staying in there, sleeping on cots. They got the flu and a lot of them died too. Had no care, they didn't know what to do with flu in those days. I don't know ff it was flu or what it was.
SS: What eas it like when you were sick?
KS: Just weak and you would sleep and pass out, you could eat- hardly anythingat all. Give you some soup they would. Some women come out from Moscow and help you.Mother took care of us and she never got sick.Dad run alivery stable here in town, feed yard and so on, so he didn't get out, get out and chop the wood. They had wood stoves and like that. War was just over with 1918.
SS: You could have died pretty easy?
KS: Anybody could. Lot of people died.They was a hell of a lot of people died.It was one of those things they didn't know what to do with it. Now they take flu shots and things like that. But you know, all the flu and everything I've been since, Imust have got immune to it'cause I?ve never had it. I never got it asecond time or anything like that.^d^som^thing like that...
SS: They didn't give you medicine?
KS: Ithink the doctor did prescribeoeomething, but Iwas only aboudl.6, Idon'trecall exactly what it was. But it might have something, but more, just laid in bed is what you did. That's all you did. You would sleep alot. Idon't know you would pass out or not. but anyway, we would just lay there is all you would do. Pretty bad it was.(break in tape) They way about 5^600 pounds, but those steps going up that river,bluffs on all sides, its all cut out and so on.If you want to see things, you could walk up those ends, but not ride ahorse up. Hang on to his ears going up and his tail coming ..(laughs)
SS: Mongolian horse.
KS: I call 'em, yeah, they're just a little pony.
SS: And you scratch your name where?
KS: In pogodas, those are temples. Temples like they're ground, up so high.Steps about two feetEverytime you step, and we- carry a stick to beat off dogs. is dog in China.
SS: stick. Where was this?
KS: That was over in Chung King. Way up the head of the Yangtze River, notclear at the head of it, I don'ii mean, but as far as boats can go on the river.The Standard Oil Comoany had a dock five miles above Chung King where they brought in kerosene. Standard Oil Company made their millions to start with by god, selling kerosene to China. Oil for the lamps of China, ever heard the word? Well they use kerosene r. Kerosene bought. At they had another big tanks up there about all kinds of kerosene up there, by god. Standard Oil sent there and then on up the river.Chinks bought that for the* lights.
SS: What were you doiog there with the Marines?
KS: I was an armed guefrd on this merchant vessel 'cause the communists, wecalled them bandits in those days. They was commandeering a ship once in a while. In fact, old Chang K'ai Shek eas taken off once and they had to^+h*- pay quite a little money to get him free. Hell yes. And then they would take off passengers off of these ships for ransom. And sometimes they'd take, some of the stuff they carried. Carried a lot of stuff on there.On these ships. They only drew five feet of water is all they did, flat bottom.
SS: You ever see any trouble on there?
KS: Yeah, I damn near got drowned once! Well I'll tell you what we did: we gotdrunk one night with the captain and his brother. We don't travel at night on the river, we tie up on a sandbar, tie up, you stay there. Put the anchors out^ and the sand keep the old ship standing there. We got drunk. Now we got a Chinese pilot knows that river from A to Z. But next morning, we got up early, the captain thought he'd be smart, he' take the boat out and go on up the river. Chinese pilet said he'd take it. But he was the captain. But he went over too far and come back over the reefs, by god, t he rock reefs and tore the bottom off of the damn thing, he did. All the rivets out of it! We were standing up there rocking on that damn thing. So we had to get off of the rock, so he took the anchor out, ' the deck there and dropped it on another rock. And jused the deck and pulled ourselves off of there. We got back across the some sandbar before she sank. There we are.(laughs)So that was on the so ru. come along tnat night and Ued up with kept standing up straight so they got the pumps going and pumped her out, and 6e-e Mud and went on up to Chung King. Got in there and then we had to lie like hell to the council. Laid the whole thing on the Chinese pilot. He couldn't say a word of English.(laughs) But had to govover and tell the American ambassador.I happened to be a non-com too, so I had to go over with the captain and explain it.
SS: What was the story you told?
KS: That the pilot misdirected us, something like that. It's been a long timeago. Hell that's back in the '30s. That's along time ago. About '34.
SS: You were an armed guard, did you ever run into any trouble?
KS: No. We tied up at night. Now at daytime we didn't have to worry nothing.One of us was walking around now and then. But at night time we took turns watching. But, so nobody would come aboard ship. That was the idea. Now we had guns, plenty of guns,had hand grenades too.
SS: How many Americans were on ship?
KS: Just four. Just four Marines was all it was.
SS: And the Chinese pilot. Was there a Chinese crew too?
KS: Crew, cooks and so on. Anyway, one of the guys was taking abath when thatthing hit.Now he's all soaped up and the tub is around thing about four feet across and stands about five feet high. And you pour the water in, the chink did, for him to take abath. He's taking abath in there by god and it hit. Here he come out of there, all soaped up real good. We rinsed him off.(laughs)lt was in morning. They had aplace they called the Wailing Woman.We tie up after. She'd come down and wail and wail by god, for alms We'd send.over some food or some copper for it. Beggars, beggars, bh Christ! They're a thousand per cent better off than they were. more. You'd be surprised. Under the communists they're all working, they're all working, doing nice. That time, Christ, it was terrible what they were doing. Selling theirselves. Woman were sold, girls were thrown out. Every morning the Chinese, the Catholic organization there in Shanghai would go out and pick up the babies out in the street, by god, they'd only save about one per cent of them 'cause they'd throw the girls out they would. They didn't want to aave them. And the boys they'd keep. Girls couldn't earn any money 'less they made a prostitute out of her. I went out to that Catholic organization and I can't remember the naee of it. They teach 'em trade and so on. So they can do things.
SS: The capital was moved there?
KS: To the church.
SS: Is that the capital of China?
KS: Yeah, capital was Nanking and they move it to Chung King when the japs andchinks, you can probably look up the history of it you'll see the japs come in there, did alittle fighting,that started in 31. I went in '32, was just finishing it up. I was in a block house in Sucow Creek there with a machine gun nest when I went out there. Ue was in international settlements, so they didn't come in there and bother us. Had the French, I talian. British and American. The international settlement, see. But they bombed the part of the railoay station in Chapai. Different places. And they'd come up the gun boats, jap would, and they come by the Sucow forest down there course it's all dirt and mud and rock. Didn't hurt nobody. Then they get up to Shanghai and River there they,d salute the American flag there and turn around and go back and fire another round side, the japs did. They were just practicing a little bit, war.That was in late '31 and '32, they was doing something.
SS: They moved the capital to get away from the Japanese?
KS: Well the Japanese went up the river. Course they took the capital.No troubleto take the capital.
SS: They took Chung King?
KS: They took Nanking. Sure. But the Army Chainn he thoughthe was fighting them there. They thought they had him surrounded.but he sneaked away and got away. And the Japanese, they didn't know what the hell happened. But then they finally give it, all it was just trying out something. But they took outer Mongolia, up there. The northern part of China.the Japanese controlled it up to Mill and then the Russians controlled it. Ain't there some trouble over it? Beiween the Russia border and the China border. Up there, that's Oy ter Mongolia?
KS: I'm not toopossitive about it.
SS: The years you were in wenatchee, what time period was that? The '20's.
KS: very early '20's. '18 and ,19 and ,19 on up m abQutI went in the service in '24. Igot kind of tired and I talked to some people when I was akid, so Isaid, well I'll try it out. So it W t so bad. Isaw alot of couatry.I had my board and room free. Ihad certain duties to do. Ilearned afeu, things in there. Istarted acorrespondence course and studied alittle bit of things. I.as pretty stupid, still a.; but Igot by. It was just one of those things. It was no hardship. Isaw a lot of good country.
SS: In the late teens uhow come you didn't want tojust stay was as exciting?
KS: ell it could be, but you know you stay home, you work, they had alittlefarm work. We didn't have the things here going on that you would be in other places. You get over that and by god the and saw. Just something new. Iwent down to Montana one harvet down in 3udith Basin out of Great Falls, went down there and harvested, but I wanted to seesomething else. I drove a T Model Ford over. SSi These people that were in the harvest ,were alot of them like you, just want to see the world?
KS: Some were local people. Those apple knockers come from all over. The peopleliving in town, they rented rooms out. Bed out on the porch or something. Naybe they, had extra room. Irish woman, had fp'lace, big house on Mission street there in Wenatchee. Istayed with her two or three different times over there. Canvas on this porch, all around and a door. I don't know what I paid her.About three dollars a week.
SS: Did you eat there too?
KS: No. A resturant. But you had to go through their house, one toilet in thehouse, you needed atoilet.Outside of that, I should ramember her name, but she was Irish.
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Segment Synopsis: How the Steffen family came to the Palouse country; family history. Will Steffen was not killed by the posse: he killed himself. Grandmother saw another son, Henry, shot to death through a window on his homestead near Juliaetta, after an argument over a hog. Will treated his mother good, not badly, as is said.
7:00 - The Warkins killing; best butchering operation in Moscow; Will's motive for killing; killins of Watkins and Steffens
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Segment Synopsis: The Watkins killing is talked about because the doctor was popular, but there were plenty of other killings . Will Steffen had the best butchering operation in Moscow, because he had facilities to let the meat age. As Ken heard the story from his father, Dr. Watkins had given Will trouble about the cleanliness of his operation, and that was Will's motive for the killing. Mr. Kimberling thought Will was a fine guy, though he had a temper. Account of the killings of Watkins and Steffens.
13:00 - Utilizing butchered meat; making cheese from hogs' heads; storing and salting meat; making sauerkraut
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Segment Synopsis: Utilizing butchered meat. Father sometimes helped Kitley and Held (one of the men said to be on Will's death list). Making head cheese from hogs' heads. Storing and butchering meat. Salting meat. Making sauerkraut. Storing produce in a ground pit; it was cheaper than building a root cellar. How the family got by on the farm.
21:00 - Getting around by train; doing road work with horse teams; digging creek channel on White Avenue
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30:00 - New years in the marines; cleaning up Moscow sanitation; Steffen family plot in Pullman; Uncle Will's murder
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Segment Synopsis: New years in the marines from 1924. Pay was poor,government cheap. Dr. Watkins learned about doctoring from another doctor; he was a crusader for cleaning up Moscow sanitation. The Steffen family plot in Pullman. His uncle Will's murder was never brought up to Ken by anyone when he was growing up; he gave Mr. Marineau a hard time when the story was published in the Moscow paper 50 years after the event.
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Segment Synopsis: Fermenting moonshine in a manure pile. White lightning: most people didn't have sense enough to dilute it. Summerfield, the sheriff, drank up a lot of what he confiscated. A smart moonshiner in Lenville sold all of it elsewhere. Smart bootleggers took the buyer's money and told him where to get the goods.
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66:00 - Working the apple harvests in Wenatchee; washing dishes in restaurants; working various jobs; restaurant fare; unloading coal
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Segment Synopsis: Working the apple harvests and warehouses in Wenatchee. Washing dishes in restaurants from town to town. Working in a Wild West show in Seattle. Working various jobs, and then running a grocery delivery service. Restaurant fare. The free and easy life, living on the road. Unloading coal. Keeping warm riding a refrigerator car. Had to quit a restaurant after one day because he wasn't union. Washing dishes with white canvas gloves.
81:00 - Dragging roads; making a furrow in the snow with a home made plow; horses broke boards in crosswalks
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Segment Synopsis: Getting sand on roads in the early days; using dump-boards on wagons. Mud so bad it took four horses to pull a two-wheel wagon. Dragging roads. Making a furrow in the snowy roads with a home made triangular plow. Horses broke boards in crosswalks; wagons broke crossing them. Bob West (federal marshal) harassed farmer's dogs on Main Street with his slingshot.
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