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Latah County Oral History Collection

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

« View All Kenneth Steffen interviews

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Date: January 13, 1976 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

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0:00 - Discarding tin container

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Segment Synopsis: Getting money by hauling discarded tin containers to the hardware store in Moscow.

4:00 - Early Moscow school

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Segment Synopsis: Early Moscow school that he attended.

7:00 - Rough work for farmers

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Segment Synopsis: Rough work for farmers.

9:00 - Raising three sons by himself; delivery business; home-owned groceries

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Segment Synopsis: Raising three sons by himself after his wife died. His delivery business. Home-owned groceries in Moscow.

12:00 - Working for the bakery; buying clothes

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Segment Synopsis: Working for the bakery at twelve years of age. Buying clothes with earnings as a boy.

17:00 - Wenatchee apple harvests; event from military history

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Segment Synopsis: Working in Wenatchee apple harvests. An event from military history.

21:00 - Masonic cemetery; Dr. Watkins didn't have professional training

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Segment Synopsis: Mother gave flowers to people who were going to the cemetery. Will Steffen couldn't be buried in Masonic cemetery. Dr. Watkins, like other professionals of the time, didn't have professional training.

24:00 - Old cars; rough roads; development of Inland Motor freight

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Segment Synopsis: Old cars. Rough roads. Development of Inland Motor freight in the region.

30:00 - Moscow wooden sidewalks; dislike of revivals; working in Oregon, cutting wood

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Segment Synopsis: Moscow wooden sidewalks. Dislike of revivals. Working in Oregon, cutting wood, in 1924; then he re-enlisted.

33:00 - Harvest work; working from town to town at various jobs; IWWs

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Segment Synopsis: More harvest work: 33 horses on a combine. Free life of working from town to town at various jobs. Quitting on a farmer before he started. Smut and IWWs.

39:00 - Minimum wage puts people out of work; son went to jail

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Segment Synopsis: Minimum wage putting people out of work. He let son go to jail once.

42:00 - Father's livery stable; wealthier people in Moscow; patriotic sacrifice

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Segment Synopsis: Father's livery stable and others. He took farmers' excess hay for his ponies. Wealthier people in Moscow. Patriotic sacrifice carried too far.

47:00 - Entertainment in Moscow; fatal accident at the VFW; delivering during World War II; Inland Freight

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Segment Synopsis: Rooming on the road. Entertainment in Moscow - pool, cards, clubs. A fatal accident at the VFW. Delivering around the country during World War II. More about Inland Freight.

55:00 - Knowing Eugene Settle

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Segment Synopsis: Knowing Eugene Settle as a boy.

57:00 - Riding the trains

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Segment Synopsis: Riding the trains for free.

59:00 - Guarding American freight on the Yangtze River

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Segment Synopsis: Guarding American freight on the Yangtze River in China in the early thirties.

60:00 - Chinese boy learned English on the boat; corruption in Chiang Kai Chek's government

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Segment Synopsis: A Chinese boy learned English on the boat and got a bank job. Corruption in Chiang Kai Chek's government.

62:00 - Spitting on the sidewalk; visiting a family in the country; walking to school; the family cow

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Segment Synopsis: Farmers visited on sidewalks in Moscow - ordinance against spitting on sidewalk. Father always chewed tobacco. Visiting back and forth with a family in the country. Walking to school on crusted snow. Farmers got by by being self-sufficient. The family cow.

68:00 - Father more considerate of his horses than kids; parents separated; mother worked in town

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Segment Synopsis: Father was more considerate of his horses than his kids. Sometimes he was hungry as a boy. Mother worked in town after parents separated. She always went to church, but members never visited her when she was old.

72:00 - Childhood had been tough; family history

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Segment Synopsis: Father's teamster work after their separation. His own childhood had been tough. Family history - burials at the family plot in Pullman.

76:00 - Will Steffen's death; father spoke German

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Segment Synopsis: Will Steffen: his death and character. Father liked to speak German.

80:00 - The Pastime, the local employment agency

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Segment Synopsis: The Pastime was the local employment agency.

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