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EMMET UTT: It might self-destruct.
SAM SCHRAGER: Yeah, well that's what it should do. Yeah, after you listen to it,it just shrivels up and dies.
EU: It does huh? Want a cigar?
EU: You go ahead and light that one. I got some more in there. I'll let youtake it out.
SAM: You got some more? Do you want to get one?
EU: No, I got my pipe here. I just smoke about one or two of them a day.Get up in the morning, and then after dinner I smoke one. Yaah, I'll smoke one of yours when I get's somebody around I want to show off to— a Cuban cigar, I'll let 'em smell it. Oh, it has been some, boy. Everything changed so much though. You can't hardly imagine a courtry changing as much as this has in one man's lifetime, around here.
SAM: It's funny that you say that, Emmett, because it seems like this countryhas changed a lot less than most places have, y'know?
EU: Well, you could strike out from here and go clear up to Bovill and ElkRiver, and the only cleared land you'd see was like Hog Meadows up here, y'know, the meadows this side of Bovill. And there was a few little cabins, log cabins along the road. But, I can remember when you could go clear from here go right up by this house here and go up the old Bear Cree road, and by gosh there wasn't hardly a field between here and Elk River. Bovill was just setting out there in the jungles, timber all around it. When you'd leave Bovill to go to Elk River, you left civilization. Well, they had a wagon road in there, but then you'd get over with it a with a team, about four horses and a wagon, up and down them mountains. Railroad was the thing that went in there to Elk River. Now you go up and you've got a highway all the way in. Oh bother. No, it was a two day trip from here to Elk River with a team and a wagon. Folks used to go up there--oh someplace on this side of Bovill they'd camp overnight, and then go on in to Elk River til© mext day. Used to fishing. Imagine people go fishing if they had to do that nowadays. Take a four-horse team and a wagon and load up all your grub and stuff, blankets, and start out by gosh for Elk River. It's two day's trip. How many people'd go fishing nowadays? But boy when they got there, you could really catch the fish. Oh gee, unbelievable, you wouldn't hardly believe it. I helped my mother fish up there on that pond, that Elk River pond. She had two poles. She had me taking the fish off the hook and rebaitin it while she fished the other'n, and aboufe the time I'd get it baited she'd come up with another fish. That just kept me going, taking the fish off and baiting the hook. T*ain't that way no more.
SAM: I've heard that a lot of the creek, like around where I live, used torun year round. And you'd never know it to look at *em now.
SAM: They're just dry as a bone.
EU: Sure, sure they are.
SAM: And I heard you could catch fish in 'em all year round.
EU: Yeah. No, I don't know. I don't know whether you've been back in the backcountry, the other side of Clarkia, up in there. Oh, they got them crecha. One creek that I remember we drove down a few years ago, went with my wife's brother-in-law up through there, Glover Creek—you know where that is? Well, anyway, you go down there and you go down the canyon, mountains on both sides of you there, it's just forest, you know. And someplaces down through the sun never hit the ground. And then we was up there a few years ago and they've logged that off. And there the hills was, there wali't hardly a tree standing on the hills—if there was a tree standing, they knocked it down. It was something, there just wasn't anything left there. And down where the creek was—you could hear the creek when we was up there the first time, but this time you could see it. And just logs criss crossed like that all the way up, and trashy and hot—why the fish couldn't live in that water. Just, just ruined it, there ain't nothing left there. They talk about reforesting—if they're doin any reforesting thee, I never seen no sign of it. They didn't just take the big logs out and leave the little ones they just cleaned the side hill off. What do they call that— clear logging? Nothing left. They went in there and never left a stick of wood standing up there—for miles and miles down that damn canyon, not a tree standing. You could see the little trees laying on the side of the hill that had been knocked over. It was total destruction.
SAM: I wanted to ask you Emmett about when you were a boy, and ask you what youremember Princeton being like when you were a kid.
EU: Oh, let'8 see. Oh, I can go back and remember saloons. Used to have oh,let me see, about five or six saloons over here in the town. Money made and lost, by gosh—lumberjacks would come down there, and they'd have a roll of money on *em. They'd probably stayed up in the woods probably all winter y'know, and then they'd come out, by gosh, and like I say, Princeton was rip roarin*. One old guy that lived over here- I ain't gonna mention no names, but anyway--he run a .saloon, and by gosh they'd take a guy and get him drunk, y'know, give him free drinks till the guy was drunk, and then they'd roll him, take his toll off'n him and leave him laying out in the ditch where somebody would find him or he'd lay there till he woke up. He'd be broke. Oh there was a lot of that done, from what I heard. Of course I didn't see it, I was a kid. I know one celebration they had over here when I was a little kid. Oh there used to be big crowds come here to Princeton for the Fourth of July celebration. They had ferris wheels, and a merry-go-round, and they'd throw balls at the cats y'know, just penny ante things. But we was going to go down to my granddad's down below Princeton about two miles for dinner. And by gosh we drove down the road, and all the way between Princeton and Hampton drunks was laying in the road. And my dad had to flrive the team around this way to keep from running over *em. And they'd lay there—"Don't you dare run over me, you-you-you-you just leave me alone." I can remember them saying that, them drunken sonofoguns. I don't know how they got down the road, I guess they started down the road and got as far as they could get. They'd keel over and lay down. I know my dad was driving the horses by gosh around this way to keep from running the wagon over 'em. And them guys, some of 'em would lay there and cuss, y'know, just dare you to run over 'em.
I know Iwas at one of them celebrations, I think that was after the saloonsgot kicked out though—might not have been. They had aconcession over there, you could get three baseballs for a dime. And if you could knock three cats off, why they'd give you a quarter. I don't know, boy, oh I used to throw at chipmunks and everything, I always had a pocketfull of rocks, and slamming rocks at some damn thing or another all the time.and I got pretty good. So by gosh, I was throwing at them cats. Boy I could take three balls and knock them cats down as fast as he could set 'em up, y'know. And I thought, gee whiz. I had quite a few dollars in my pockets, just from that two bits a throw, y'know. I'd pay ten cents out and I'd win fifteen cents, it was actually, because it cost me a dime a throw. Well by gosh, the guy finally barred me from throwing, he wouldn't let me throw no more. So oh boy, I tell ya I was walking ten foot tall—I gt barred from throwing, that was pretty good. So anyway, I happened to loll around, and I come back there, and the old guy was a-squawkin around trying to get somebody to throw. Finally the old guy told me, "There! Come here, kids," he says,"and show 'em how to do this! It won't cost you nothing to throw, just show 'em how to do if! Boy I strutted ip there and I got three balls. I decided to knock them cats without looking at 'em and I missed every damn one of 'em. I never knocked a cat down. Bo£,that crowd around there,"Yeah, you sure showed us how to do it!" My face was as red as that lounge, and I got the heck out of there and never went around there again. That ruined my day. That ruined my day— I was tall cat around there till that happened. It just goes to show you. No, ordinarily, I could of got two of 'em anyway. But I missed every one of *em, and I was trying to hit *em but I just tried too hard.
SAM: You were showing off.
EU: Showing off. Yeah, that's what ya get for showing off. Just don't pay. Yeah.So outside of that I don't know. There was quite a little booming town over here. They had two stores, and a livery barn. And I guess, some of the earlier part of my life there they had the saloons.
SAM: And the houses of ill repute.
EU: Yeah, yeah, I guess in the early days. Well I don't know, I was pretty little.They kicked that out a long time before they got rid of the saloons. Yeah, that went out of there. I don't know what law or what went through that happened to that. I can just remember that when I was a little kid, kids used to go over there and play around there, hide and seek aroundthat damn place. But it was out of operation then. But still had saloons in there until 19. . .When was it the Prohibition went in?
SAM: Well, I guess they outlawed it around here before it went in in the country.It was in the teens when it was illegal.
EU: I think it was about someplace in there that the saloons wentout. I don't know when Prohibition went in.
SAM: Well, what I hear is that after that, pretty wet even though itwas illegal, everybody started. . .
EU: There was bootlegger, Montana was still wet.
EU: Well, I don't know, they used to bootleg a lot of whiskey from Montana overinto Wallace, Idaho, and Kellog. Oh, my cousins was up there, I used to go up there and visit them. But them guys would -fake, them big old Studebakers-- old Studebaker President, I think they called that big one. They was a big sonofagun. They'd take and armour plate them things, and build the armour plate right down in back of the tires so they couldn't shoot the tires. And they'd go over to Montana, by gosh, and of course the cops would be laying for them. Oh, they used to have them some rip-roaring days, boy, them guys a-runnin the liquor into Idaho, (chuckles). But them guys all prehear used them big Studebakers, and they'd armour plate *em so you couldn't shoot through 'em, by gosh.
SAM: What was it like around here? Was there much trouble from the law about that?I know that up in Bovill, Pat Malone didn't give a darn, he just looked the other way.
EU: No, it was the same way up at Clarkia up there—I don't khink they everdid know if Prohibition ever took effect up there. Cripes—or anything else, anything else. Law didn't count, that was wide open at Clarkia.
SAM: Was it tougher down here or was it about the same?
EU: Oh well, of course after the Prohibition come in, why they quietened downpretty much here; but Clarkia, I don t think they ever knew the law, I don't think the law ever got to em before it was throwed open again. But I've heard by gosh everything was wide open up there. Even by goshfthe women part of it, I think^by gosh^ is still there yet. I don't think they ever did get rid of that. I don't know. Of course, they had a lot of ways of bootlegging from Canada. I know a neighbor of ours over here, Adair—did you ever hear of him? He lived right over in that big white house over there. Okwhen I was a kid, he got an airpane, he went up to Spokane and took lessons up there flying, and his dad bought him a plane and he done everything, evrything was running crooked, and he was trying to make all the money he could with it, I guess. But he got to going to Canada, and then he'd bring booze down from Canada. Well they had two places to land- one place right down there, you know where Highway 95 goes north there to Couer d'Alene, that field off ysiur to right there? Well, if you was watching, at a certain time you'd see cars going down there and they'd line up across that field, all the headlights pointing towards one another, and they'd make a mark for him to come in, after dark. He'd always come in after dark. And by gosh they'd get the cars all lined up out there across that field, and he'd come down and land down between the cars. They'd all load up their booze they had ordered and take off. He'd land and then be taken off, in about 15 minutes there wouldn't be nobody there. If anybody notified the cop, by the time he got there they'd be all gone.
And that was even down here on the field down here. I know one night Iwas coming home on my cayuse, and I heard old Virgil coming in, and boy, he used to come up the valley, and then he'd circle right over here—the old road used to run right over the hill. I was caning over there, and by gosh, I don't think he was over twenty feet above my head. He just come r-igtvt I couldn't see, I could here him up there, I couldn't see, no light or nothin Boy he just rode over top my head, about scared the cayuse to death. And then there was two trees down there bra Ms ^lsce9 that was his landmark. He'd go down there by gosh without no lights, no lights down there or nothing. He'd go down there by gosh and go right between them two trees and set her down. He was right on the runway, them two trees was his mark, y'know. He'd get up here and he'd line them trees up , and then he;d go right down between them trees and then just set her down. Darker—black as a hat. I don't know how in the devil he done it. And he bootlegged a lot of whiskey in from Canada.
Then he went and got a bigger plane, one that would haul about, I thinktwenty-five passengers or something, and then he got to mauling Chinks, Chinese in from Mexico. Get so much a head. By gosh, someway he got a hunch that they was laying for him up at San Francsico, I think it was. He got a hunch by gosh they was a-fter him, and he had a whole load of Chinks in his plane. So he spotted a cow pasture down there and he landed the plane. Then he told them darn Chinks to set tight and he took off^ left his plane setting there and he never did claim it. Of course they found the plane but then they couldn't prove it was his. Oh they had quite a time over it, but by gosh he got out of that one. They couldn't prove it on him, that he flew it in there. But he lost the plane.
SAM: What was he doing with Chinese?
EU: Oh, gosh, they was paying—I don't know. The Chinese would pay to get in here.I don't know, probably a hundred, 150 dollars a head or something. I don't know what his price was, maybe it was $500 a head- he was making good money, so long as it lasted. He used to kaul about twenty-five of 'em in.
SAM: Do you know what they'd be working on after they got here?
EU: By gosh I don't know what the heck they was getting 'em in here for.
SAM: I mean the only thing that I knew was that they were working on was in themines.
EU: Well mines, and oh they had some over here that was natives, born here. Butit wasn't the people in the United States that was paying Virgil to get 'em in, them Chinese was paying him. But they wanted to get into this country, and it was against the law to come in Illegally. I guess they can now—I don't know what the law is now, but at that time Chinese couldn't get in here at all.
SAM: He wasn't bringing them all the way up here, he was bringing them toSan Francisco?
EU: Just up through California there. Kick 'em off where he could get rid of'em up there.
SAM: What do you know Emmett about the ordering of the Chinese on Camas Creek?
SAM: Yeah, when they were mining. I mean, we know that that's happened, and Iwant to know what you've heard about it.
EU: Well, all I know is just (chuckles)by gosh, hearsay. I know there used tobe there on Gold Hill, a bunch of Chinese up there got--I guess they killed a whole bunch of »em up there. I've heard figures from fifty to a hundred and fifty of »em. And another of course up there this side of Spokane, well t's up at Hangman Creek—that's where it got its name, I understand, because they hung a bunch of Chinese up there. And that's where that creek got its name, Hangman Creek. I don't know.
SAM: Well about the Chinese that got killed around here, what happened? I meanwas anything done? Did they look for the people who'd done it? Do they know who did it?
EU: Oh, I don't think they looked very hard (chuckles). They just got somebodyto go up there with a bunch of shovels I suppose, and bury 'em. I don't know, I don't think they looked too hard for 'em. I know Wallace, one time there, they wouldn't let a Chinese get off the train, and a bunch of 'em got killed up there at Wallace. And finally it just got flown to where the Chinese couldn't get into that country at all. "Cause they'd go legal in there and they'd mine, y'know, and they'd eat rice and nobody made any money off of »em. They'd eat rice and then when they got a fortune made, why they'd take off. I don't know, TYey done a lotof prospecting, youpan go up on Gold Hill there, and there's just all kinds of spts, prospector's holes dug up around that hill up there. They're dangerous. Fella could fall into 'em. I know a friend of mine had a homestead up there on Gold Hill, and we was going up there one day, and he showed me an old prospect hole. It's been so long since he'd seen it, he didn't know exactly where it was. But it Rind of open ground there, it went out in this buckbrush, a bunch of buckbrush there. So he told me,"Be careful, by gosh, where you go." So we were going in there awful close and went through the buckbrush part, and finally there it was—a hole straight down. No cover over it or nothing. Well, he didn't know how deep it was, but you could drop a rock down, and it'd drop quite a little ojuihile until clunk, that'd hit. I bet that was two hundred feet deep, I don't know how long it took that rock to go down, y'know, but it seemed like it took quite a little bit, it was deeper than you'd think it was. The animals or even a hunter could go through there; getting dark or something, y'know, and he'd walk through that bunch of buckbrush, why down he could go! No cover over that whatsoever.
SAM: I want to ask you about the law and order in the early days, more thingsthat you heard or remember. Are there other murders that you have heard about, or violence?
EU: Oh, one sad thing happened. Oh that was way back there in the twenties, Isuppose. No it was about that, right back in there, maybe the last part of the teens. I was jut a kid, it had to be in the teens. And they had a bank robbery clown at Colfax, had a big reward out for it. And my granddad lived down there below Princeton, between Princeton and Potlatch there. So this old tramp come in there and wanted a place to sleep. Of course--go to the barn, y'know, all them old tramps would goto the barns. I think we gave him something to eat that night, and he went down to the barn and slept till the next morning, gosh he took off. Well instead of going up the road he went up through the barnlot and right across the road, and then headed north— it was all timber out there them days; it wasn't logged off or nothing, all timber. But anyway, they got word out there's a reward. Well, anytime a stranger would go in a new country, why if something happened, he was guilty That seemed to be the thing of it. And so a couple you^g bucks down there, they thought they was cors-and-robbers, so they got on their horses and went after him. And they caught him up on Gold Hill way up there in the mountains up there, and by gosh, as quick as they seen him, why they just up and shot him down. And of course when they went there they thought they was gonna get--he probably had a lot of money on him, with the bank robbed. Well all he was, he just had a few crusts of bread in the packsack. Nobody knows where he was going—what he was doing or where he was going. So he was an innocent victim , and they shot him down. Well, I don't know—everybody was neighbors, and he was a stranger, and everything just shit up. Never did—nobody got punished for it or nothing. But them two £uys was murderers, straight out. Didn't give a guy a chance to explain himself or nothing. Just a couple of punk ass kids, y'know. And there never was come to a trial or nothing. I guess they just buried him, and that was it, far as I know. Yeah.
Oh they used to go crazy over that bank robbing. I know another time,I was living in Potlatch, oh, that'd have to be back in the thirties, when I was married. A bank got robbed down at Colfax and so they had a call out, what kind of car they was driving. And just to show you how crazy the Law was, the cop down at Potlatch, the sheriff come over and deputized me. And there used to be an old lumberyard down below Potlatch, an old building set out there (it ain't no more). They put me in the \indow facing down the highway there. "Now if you see a green car coming up, let him have it." Well I had a 30-30 rifle and "Now if you see a green car coming up that road, by god, cut loose on him." Because that's what the bank robber was supposed to be in, was in a green car. If there had been fifty green cars, I wouldn't have shot at one 'cause (chuckles) oh hell, some old farmer might of gone to town in a green car, you know. But that's orders they give me. Can you imagine that?
SAM: This wasn't when the cars first came out either, there were a lot ©£ carsaround then.
EU: Oh yeah, that was back in the thirties. Yeah. That was after Anna and I weremarried, that's in the thirties. Bat even that, wasn't that a crazy thing for the sheriff of the county to tell you to do? A green car coming up that road,by gosh, I was standing in the window looking right down the highway there. "If a green car comes, by golly let him have it." That'd have been the craziest thing I know of. An old couple—I don't know *em, I read in the paper, I think it was over in Wyoming—had the same thing happen. Had guys stationed out on the highway and there was a certain colored car the robbers were supposed to be in. So they was sitting up there on the bank and here come that car, by gosh and, "Bang! Bang!" they went. Killed an old man and an old woman. Yeah, killed 'em. I suppose they had orders to shoot a certain colored car. Nojpe
SAM: Hershiel Tribble told me that it was easy for a guy that committed a crimeto get away in the early days.
SAM: He could go to Canada or just leave here.
EU: Well, they didn't have much communications, you know. Cripes almighty,a guy could go up here in the Hoodoos, go up there and get an old cabin and stay there. I don't suppose there'd be anybody question him. He'd say he was up there prospecting. He could stay up there till it blowed over and then go on about his business. I suppose there's been a lot of it done, I don't see why not. I don't see why they couldn't. I bet more crooks by gosh got away that they was catching. No, the only way you could get caught was witnesses, y'know, if the neighbors arrested him. That'd be about the only way they'd get caught.
SAM: One guy told me that you could tell who did it, usually, if something happenedwhen it was just real a close community, you know. Something happened, well you could'figure on who was probably the one that did it.
EU: (chuckles) Oh that works out, some guy gets in trouble with the law, and then-I know a kid I went to school with lived over here, by gosh, he got in a mess. He robbed the post office over here one time, he had to do a little time for that. But he got out, and it didn't make no difference what happened, it wasvold Bob done itl Yeah, old Bob done it. It didn't make no difference what the devil happened around here, by gosh, old Bob done it. He probably didn't have,,anything to do with it, but they had a scapegoat. Anybody that robbed something, or something stolen, vhy automatically it was old Bob. Well finaltr7 by gosh he got such a reputation that they kicked him out of P tlatch and told him never to come back. So he was a pretty good kid—I don't know, but one time I was working down at the mill and it was storming, snowing I guess it was, and I had to put my chains on before I could get up out of Potlatch. So I pulled in the gauge down there art put my chains on, and who walked in but old Bob—I guess I shouldn't say names. And so he was tickled to see me, y'know, and wanted to know if he could ride to Princeton with me. I says, "Sure. As quick as I get these chains on, we're off and gotag." And pretty quick here come the town cop in there by gosh and grabbed him and took him down and put him in jail. It's all he'd done was just come in town. Took him down and put him in jail and I haven't seen him since, that's the last time I ever saw him.
But I was talking with his brother, his brother was living in Detroit,worked back there in tie Dodge factory, and he was out here when his dad was sick. So he was out to see me and I was asking him about Bob. Well the last he heard of him, his sister lived there in Seattle, and by gosh, somebody knocked on the door, and she went to the door, and he wcsnted a handout. And he didn't know who it was there, he just knocked on the door, just one of them things. A million houses there in Seattle, and he had to knock on his sister's door. And che went there, and he always kind of had his head down, but she looked down—!,Why it's Bob!" she says. He looked up and seen her and he just turned,away he went. That's the last anybody ever, even the family never seen him since then. Even the family never seen him since then! That must have been awfully emabarrasing. Yeah, he happened to knock on the door by gosh of his sister, and she didn't get to talk to him or nothing, he just took off when he seen what he done. Far as I've talked to the family since, nobody's ever heard of him since, whether he's still alive or not. Poor devil. Yeah, that was pretty irony.
(End of Side A)
EU: Let their homesteads go when Potlatch bought all this timber back up inhere. I think the homesteads went into Potlatch land, the fact of the matter, I know they did. They just turned their homesteads back, and nobody went in and did anything about it, so it just reverted back to the government. And then when the government sold the land to Potlatch, why them homesteaders all went into it. Oh there used to be a lot of cabins up there, homesteaders. Oh right around here, there used to be—I don't know what the Indians used this place for, but right back on the hill there, you can go out there and walk around, pick up arrowheads. There must;been a camp where they camped there some times, because you can find arrowheads that looked like kids been learning the trade, y'know. Some of them wouldn't be in very good shape, but I think it was just kids practicing, learning to make arrowheads. And then hauled rock in, but there's no rock around here like that. Oh you can go out here and pick up arrowheads, sometimes you can pick up darn good ones. I haven't got any right now. Frank, my son, he collected all my arrowheads I had, and the ones he found out there. But every spring there's guys come out here and walk over the field for souvenirs. Pret aear every time they find two or three of 'em. Every time the ground's plowed it plows up some more.
SAM: Do you know any stories about the Indians around here that you heard when youwere a kid or that you saw?
EU: Oh, no, not right around here. See there wan't a reservation close. But overwhere I was born, of course, I was moved away from there. I was six months old, over here at Peck, Idaho, up on a ridge up there. But that was an Indian reservation. (His wife Anna and Laura Schrager have come into the room,) I bet by gosh you ain't peddling the B. S. I am.
ANNA UTT: You can't tell what I'm doing, (chuckles).
EU: No, but the Indians used to go, there used to be an Indian reservation, over,there at Washington. They'd go up through here every year and go up to huckleberry, y'know, up here in the mountains. Oh, I can remember Indians going back and forth, the old horses, some of 'em riding old horses, some in old hacks. They'd go up through here all the time. So my folks lived back up there, and there used to be a short cut over and hit that old Bear Creek road across through the timber. I had a little mare, oh a little short-legged thing couldn't run fast enough.to leave her shadow. And I was just a little fella, and I went across there. I got on the road, and I got curious, wondering what's around the next corner and around the next corner, and I kept a-riding up in the back country there, probably two or three miles back u$there. Oh them days, y'know, they used to hear about Indians sol pin kids y'know, and oh, the horror stories, oh man, the Indians was terrible critters. And I went around a sharp corner in the road there, and here come a whole bunch of Indians up the road, and two or three guys riding horses in front. My old hair just went up just like that! And I turned that cayuse around, I just about beat her rump off! And them Indians yelled, y'know, and they run their horses behind me a ways. I pret'near runjthat poor little cayuse to death getting home. I just pounded her butt all the way home, (chuckles) I was scared! I bet them Indians never had such a big laugh. Boy, I just pulled out of a corner, about half asleep, and all at once here come that whde bunch of Indians, wagons and hacks and two or three guys riding horses in front. Man. I could feel my scalp going off right there, and I beat that cayuse to death getting home, (chuckles) I'll bet them Indians thought that was the best show they've ever had, scaring that damn white kid. Oh boy.
SAM: It's so funny how people seemed to stay afraid of the Indians for a longtime after there was anything to be afraid of. . .
EU: Well, it's parents' fault. Why, to be out with an Indian and run acrossan Indian was just like loosing your scalp you know. Cripes,they didn't think more of an Indian than they thought of a wolf or a coyote or something. It was just something by gosh to be destroyed I guess. I don't know. It wasn't quite as bad when I was a kid yguess as it had been before that. Oh boy, it was terrible the way them poor Indians was used! Yeah I know my granddad had a flat down here, a meadow, he used to raise timothy hay on it. And they used to camp in his barnlot, and Ije'd let 'em camp there. Well the old camas would grow down there, just yellow, it used to be just yellow camas. Well of course that was part of the way they used to make their living, you know. They'd come in there and they'd just beg him to go down there and pull that camas. "No, you can't do it.
But anyway, they used to camp there. He'd let 'em camp, and use his water,and set up their tents , whatever they had to do to camp that night. One day when they pulled out, I and my cousin was down there in the barnlot the next morning, we found an old frying pan. Oh, it was a dilapidated old frying pan, the Indians forgot and left it there. So we took it up to the house and showed our folfethe frying pan the Indians had. So my grandmother just laughed, and I guess it went out in the junk. So by gosh, that fall they come back, and they all stopped out on the road there, and set there on the road, all their horses and wagons. Two damn buck,' Indians come down in the yard. They just come down there, and they just squatted down, like kind of hunched down on their foot, just setting there and didn't say nothing. And my grandmother knew something was wrong, but she didn't know what the devil. And she couldn't talk to 'em much, they didn't talk. But finally by gosh she was getting pretty worried. And finally she thought of us kids finding that frying pan. She didn't know where it was so she went and got 'e^one of her good ones, took it out and give it to 'em. That's fine, that's all they wanted, and avay they went. Never said a word, just set there and looked at her. Oh, tey can give you the creeps. They can give you the creeps, just tfee way they're just silent, y'know. If they'd just say somethin1, , but boy, they just come there and just set there and look at ya, just sat there and sat there and sat there. Finally she thought of what the devil must be wrong was that frying pan. And she didn't know—I guess the other went to the junk. Then she went to got one of her good frying pans, went and give it to 'em and may they went, happy and lucky. Cause all they wanted was their frying pan.
And another time we was up huckleberrying, up here by Avon. And theIndians of course, they used to go up there huckleberrying, and so the Indians had a camp down below where we pulled in tfcc**e. Of course with the white man there's always one smart aleck, always one in the. Hunch. So this guy watched his chance. And the Indians always thrashed their berries, they'd thrash 'em. Well he went down there, and oh, I don't know, they had the berries sitting on, I don't know if it was a bucket or a hide wrapped up around 'em or what it was, but he went down and stole a bunch of berries. And oh boy he thought he pulledsomething smart. Well, that evening just about when it was starting to get dark, here come a couple bucks up there. And they just sat down on a log and just looked at the camp. Never said a gall damn word. And by gosh, they sat there and sat there and finally by gosh, they got up and went back. The fools harnessed up the horses,and got the hell out of there that night. I guess they had to pull up and get out of there that night, they wouldn't stay in that camp. The rest of *em knew wt that guy done, you know, that was what was the matter. Anyway, they pulled ' their freight out that night and got the heck out of there. I remember that, them Indians sitting there, I can still see them. They just set there and don't say nothing, just look at ya. Silence says more than words sometimes. It can sure get to ya after Ihile. They get their messages across. What we should of done by gosh, is took that guy and led him out there—"There he is." (chuckle) It could have got the whole bunch of us killed over that. Could have been the whole bunch of us killed. No, there is always one in every bunch tries to pull something smart. So outside of that, the Indians used to come through town there and they always had a race horse, they liked to run horses. If they could got a horserace worked up while they was going through town, why they'd do it. But they wasn't as bad for that, as these gypsies that used to go up through here. Ever see gypsies?
SAM: I've never seen 'em. I've sure heard enough about 'em. But I've never seen*em. What were they like around here?
EU: Oh boy. They was something'. Old man Guernsey used to run a store over there.Gypsies—I don't know where they go, they just drive horses around the country and they trade horses and steal everything they can get their hands on. So, he always had anybody around there, if they see those gypsies coming to town, to let him know so he can just lock up the store. Well by gosh they slipped into town there one day, and the women, you KflOuJ they'd wear about four, five dresses, you know, or five dresses. So by gosh they slipped in town and tobody told old Guernsey. Of course they stopped and all the women come in the store, there must have been thirty-five or forty of *em just piled in that little store. They was stuffing stuff in their dresses, you know, and when they all walked out--he finally got 'era out of the store--they had about half of his damn goods in their dresses, (chuckles) Of course the old men out there, they'd be out there trying to—they always had racehecses—they'd be trying to work up a horserace. I never did see 'em when they ever had a horse race. But they'd keep the men out there to entertain by gosh, horsing with horses, looking horses over to try to get a horserace up. The women was in there robbing the store blind. Old Guernsey was running around there Just pulling his hair, them damn women in dere. (chuckles)Boy, he was mad. They just had them big blouses you know, they could shovel in a lot of merchandise and walk out of there, (chuckles) Old iternsey was mad because nobody notified him so that he could lock his store up. But the gypsies, I don't know, I was reading something about them the other day—there's quite a bunch of 'em around Spokane. But they're getting away from their old tribal ways. I see that some of em getting in some secondhand car business now. Thy're dealing with secondhand cars. So if you want to get gypped, go up and buy a car from a gypsy, they know how to gyp ya.
SAM: They didn't get arrested though, for doing that in the Guernsey store?
EU: Oh, you couldn't catch 'em. It you'd start taking clothes off of 'em, you'dhave a pretty good job because they'd probably have four or five dresses on. And you couldn't prove anything, there's nothing out in the open. They just go around there and by gosh, while he was trying to get one woman out of there, there'd be a dozen around there filling up their blouses and under their dresses. They was rigged up to haul a lot of freight.
SAM: Were they good horseracers?
EU: Oh, I guess. Yeah, I guess they'd get a bet up and I guess they had prettygood horses—outrun the ordinary plug unless a fella had a real racehorse. The biggest thing waa to keep the men occupied while the women "cleaned house." That was the big thing. Keep ya entertained some damn way and then of course there'd always be a couple of 'em out there trying to tell your fortune too. They were always trying to tell your fortune.
SAM: Did they rob homes?
EU: No, I never heard of it. I know one time they had a celebration over here,I guess the gypsies come through there, but my dad, he had several bills in Ks pocket, and he'd bought somethin', and I guess somebody seen it, you know. So that night we went home back up there where we lived then. And that night my mother and my aunt went home with us—and they was sleepin on the first floor. And all at once my mother woke up in the night, some guy was pounding on the bed, you know, looking for my dad's pants. And of course she woke up and yelled, he crawled right out the door and was gone in the dark. I think it was one of them gypsies followed him home you know, and by gosh, he was gonna get that money. But it happened my dad slept upstairs, and he wasn't even there. But he was feelin across the bed trying to feel his pants in the dark. I guess that £ve my mother the creeps like nobody's business. Anyway, she woke up and yelled and (chuckles) of course he just sneaked right out and was gone.
SAM: Did they camp around here, would they stay around, the gypsies?
EU: No, just go through. Just go through, just travel around in wagons and they'dcamp. They had certain places to camp at pret'near everytime they'd go through, but they'd just make ther rounds every year. Sometimes twice a year there'd be a bunch of 'em go through Princeton here. I don't know where the heck they was going, I suppose they was heading up to Bovill, making the rounds of towns. They'd make the whole country, go through every damn town. By the time they'd get the complete summer put in, why they'd do a lot of lootin. No, I don't know why the law didn't get after »em. Couldn't get no pro. f on 'em, I guess. There just wasn't much law period. Every man for himself. There just wasn't a heck of a lot of law.
Were the Indian horses pretty good?Indian horses? Yeah. You were saying that they raced--
Well, I just don't remember, I was pretty much of a kid. These Indiansthat come through here, they come from down around Sprague, what Indian reservation is right out there? I know they had trouble when the settlers— my mother was raised over there and her parents lived over there, they homesteaded over there around Harrington. Of course when they made roads in there, they made 'em line fence, they'd go to this corner and then they'd go this way, follow the line of fence. The Indians, when they'd go huckleberrying, they'd come through there, and the farmers used to get mad at 'em. But they had the old Indian trails* Well when they got to a fence, the/d just tear the fence out and go through. TheyVJ follow their trail, they wouldn't fcllw the darn road, 'cause the road didn't make sense--it went this way and t*at way, and the Indians wouB go straight across, they had their trails. For a long time they had trouble, everytime the Indians'd go through there, they d just tear the fences down, follow the trail right through. Oh I don't know, poor devils.
SAM: Were there still Chinese around here when you were a kid, or had they allbeen cleared out?
EU: They were pretty well cleaned out. Yeah. Nothing left but the tales; thestories the oldtimers told about 'em. No, they killed that bunch up here, nobody knows how many for sure. It's just one of them things that happened and they let it die, y'know. No record made of it or nothing.
SAM: Are there any other tales that you can remember that you were told aboutwhat they were like, 'cause they seem to be a forgotten chapter in the history ofthis country.
EU: Well, like I say, this never was Indian country as far as I know of.
SAM: I mean Chinese.
EU: Oh, the Chinese, oh. Oh gosh, I don't know. Outside of that bunch that wasup on Gold Hill, they finally slaughtered them. I don't know no more, like I say, they pulled somfching like that, y'know, and it all quieted down. You don4t get very much. All I know is one cabin a bunch of 'em lived in up here. But they always thought maybe by gosh they'd have a lot of gold buried there when they got murdered, and they always figured, by gosh, someplace around that cabin they had all their gold stashed. As far as I nobody ever found So I don't know.
SAM: Well nobody else seems to know either.
EU: No, nobody'11 know, all rast history. No, there's always a suspicion thattham Chinese--there's a whole bunch of »em stayed up there in that one shack up there, and they was all mining up on Gold Hill, washing them creeks out. And they figured by gosh, when they'd find gold, they'd probably bury it. Of course they mur dered that whole bunch of Chinese, there was always that, "Where's their gold? It must be buried up there someplace." Well, if this country don't watch out, the Chinese might take it over yet. The final chapter of the Chinese race hasn't been wrote yet. Old Nixon just the same as invited 'em in. You know, I think this government is the craziest thing. By gosh y'know here five years ago, we wouldn't give those Chinese the sweat off of nothing, y'know. By gosh y'know, they was dirty, they wouldn't l€t 'em in the U. N., and all of asudden they was Communists, all of asudden Nixon goes over there. And by gosh, now they're great people,athey're wonderful people. Y'know, if they were so damn bad, how could they be so good all of a sudden? Can you figure that one out? Same as Russia. Oh a couple three years ago, they wouldn't sell Russia a kernel of wheat. Now last year, Ndxon got so big hearted, he sold 'em damn near all the reserves we had. Yeah. Sold all the reserve wheat we had. No^by gosh, we're so short of wheat, they're saying probably this time next year you won't be able to buy a loaf of bread. Well, Iwas just readin in toda$aper where bakeries are shutting down all over the country. They can't charge what the bread is really worth, costs to make it. Bakery after bakery just shutting their doors. So, I dn't know where it's gonna wind up at. Kit.d of like the Russians, those family cartoon, you probably saw it. Old Russian and his wife, couple kids sitting there, eating and their kid didn't eat all his bread. Did you read that one? It says, "Son, you eat the rest of that bread, think of them poor starving Americans over there." (chuckles.)
SAM: Hey, talking about starving Americans, what were you told or what do youremember about the depression in the 1893 around here, and about the Hypottek.
EU: Oh, the Hypothek. . .I don't know, just some old abstract my dad had on theland. And people go in and they'd pay so much on the land and they'd borrow the money from that Hypothek, and then the first damn payment they'd miss, why.zoooop, they'd take it. And then they'd sell it over, I don't know. That one place up there, it was under Hypothek, 160 acres up there. Old abstract on it, I don't know, it just changed hands, seemed like every year, by gosh, somebody else would sign up a new contract. Every time it changes hands on your abstract, it'd show, y'know how much you'd paid down on it, and how long you had it. Seemed like thre was book that thick on that place up there, just in abstracts. Every page somebody else sold it or let it go and they repossessed the land, and then it was sold over again to somebody else, and then repossessed.
SAM: Did you hear anything about 1893, about how the people got through the bottomfalling out, no money?
EU: Oh, that depression they had that time? Well, no, y'see, I wasn't born till1903. Oh I'd know just about what you read in books. The oldtimers is all gone now that could tell you anything. It was really tough, I know. Well, like my dad, when he first come but to this country, that was right after '93, it was about that time. Anyway, they started mining up on Gold Hill, and some of his pals come up from Kansas with him. Palouse was the closest town. Well, Princeton was there but then it was just a side-track road there. Anyway, it was just a little store down here or something at that time, '93. And Palouse, there was no:railroad Up1 here yet. So they had one horse up there. So thed all go to Palouse at the same time on that horse. But they'd ride-and-tie. You've heard how to do that? You know, two guys 8tart walking and they're so far apart you know. They walked. And the other guy would come along with the horse, lhe passes them two guys and goes on down the road a ways. Then he ties the horse up, and then he walks. The next guy comes up and gets on the horse and rides past the first one so far. Then he gets off and ties the horse up and walks. And I think they said they could go to Palouse on that horse, 'cause the horse could rest everytime they'd tie hiiii up. They could ride him pretty hard and then tie him up, y'know. I don't think they said it would take em over an hour and a half to go to Palouse from up here on Gold Hill where the mining claim was. They'd ride-and-tie, and that's the way they come home. Put their groceries on the horse, and walk and ride, walk and ride till they got home, (chuckles) Ride-and-tie they called it.
SAM: Not much like it is today.
EU: That's the way they went to Palouse, by gosh, they d take that one horse,and they'd ride-and-tie, and then go get their groceries and whatever they'd need. Put it in the saddlebags and tie it on the back of the saddle or however they carried it.
SAM: Well when you were a little kid, how rough was it at home? Had they come outof the hard times, or was it still pretty rough?
EU: No, no. People didn't work for money much. Pret'near the whole communityaround here would return isork. You'd go work for me and I'd work for you, and if I had some garden and you didn't have, why you'd come over and do so much work and I'd give you so many vegetables, or half of a hog or milk or somethin, y'know. But they d just exchange work. Well, like harvest time would come, why then a dollar a day for twelve-hour day was, and then they firftly got a little higher than that. But if you could make a dollar a day, why that was pretty good wages. It sound awful small now.'Course we're operating under a two-bit dollar now, but nevertheless, that wasn't much money. You didn't go out and buy Cadillacs on that kind of money. No, and I remember the first car my dad had. He|iad six horses. Why that applied to the car, vue and then he had to pay the difference if there was any, y'know. I know it was an old Velie car that he bought. I don't suppose you've ever heard of that car?
SAM: Yow mentioned it to me before.
EU: Velie? Yeah. Anyway, it was a six car. As far as tie motor wasconcerned,th-ere isn't all that much difference between that motor there and the ones they got net. It was a six-cylinder car. Outside of the biggest change, it's high compression and four-speed lubrication. They used to have them little dip-cups on the bottom, that the connecting rod that dippen on it and scattered it around,oiled the machine. Now they got hollow crankshafts ftar that oil, since the depression. But then that's the biggest difference between the motors as far as the crankshafts and everything. Never changed. It's the same old crankshaft. I got an old black book, I'll bet you'd be interested in looking at them old cars..It goes back to '19 I think, up to 1919. It's got cars in there you've never heard of, old cars. No, that's the way he got his first car, he traded horses in on it. I think the car cost him eleven hundred and eighty-five dollars if I remember the price on that old Velie, eleven hundred and eighty-five dollars. Of course nobody knew anything about driving cars, y'know, it ain't like the kids nowadays that grew up with 'em. A car was something foreign, y'know. All the oldtimers knew, when you anted to go ahead you say, "Git up!"; when you stop, you say, "Whoa!". You d be surprised how many farmers try to ston their cars by gosh, by hollering "Whoa!" (laughter) Ljke my wife, one time her did had a binder on the flat down here, had one of them,an old job there Internationals, they called 'em the "Steel Mules"--had them big lugs on it, y'know, steel wheels with lugs on it. And tiey was hard to steer. My wife was driving tractor for him and he was binding. Well, always before you had line to hang on,y'know,and levers to pull on that binder. He done a lot of binding, oh boy, he bound a lot of grain. He had the tractor on this time. Of course the only way you had was to tie a piece of twine around Anna's arm, and put it bak there—she'd be sitting there driving the tractor, and if he wanted her to stop why, te was supposed to jerk her arm with that. So I guess the darn "th^ng started kicking bundles out that wasn't tied. He was sitting up there hollering "WhoaJWtioa! Whoa!" and he never did pull that string, (chuckles) Oh,he was riled up when Anna finally looked around and saw him. He was a-waving his hand cut there. Boy, he was sure riled up, because he hollered "Whoa!" at her and she didn't stop, (chuckles) Yeah, there were a lot of cars that got away, by gosh, just 'cause they wouldn't stop when they hollered "Whoa!"
SAM: It sounds like you got around pretty good on your horses when you were a boy
EU: Oh yeah.
SAM: You know, you never think now about a boy having a horse.
EU: Oh no. Heck, they had horses them days. No I know my dad never thought aheck of a lot about it. It he wanted something down at Palouse, I had a little cayuse, I called her Buster, a little mare. And boy, I'd saddle up that cayuse and go to Palouse and get sonething for him and bring it back all in one afternoon. Why, the horses they've got nowadays, you couldn't get down there without 'em being played out. And I rode that thing with a slow gallop everyplace it leveled out. Slow gallop. I know I left in the afternoon, and I was back home there by gosh for supper. Clear to Palouse and back. And that's when the road used to run up over the hills here, it didn't run down the flat like it does now. You had to go up and down hills up here, and then over up this hill here, and then down across the river. And then by gosh,instead of going down straight the highway down to Potlatch, it used to run up over the hill^te^ to Palouse, pretty close to where the road is now. The road wasn't too far off--they've cut corners off and things like that. So the old road to Palouse and Potlatch is pret'near the same. No, I would ride a horse to Palouse and back and think nothing about it, but my dad used to get on the saddle horse if he wanted to go to Moscow, he take on over the mountains here, y'know, old wagon road up there in the mountains. But there was a way going over Twin Sisters up there on the mountains, and go^to Moscow. Ride over to Moscow and back in a day. Yeah, take off.
(End of Side B)
EU: In 1919 after World War I, we had hard times then too. It wasn't like it wasin 1929, but like after those other wars, the bottom usually drops out of things. It was around 1917 or'19 somewhere in there, it might of been during World War I. There used to be an old farmer over here, he was a dairyman, and I heard him down in the stors one time talking when I was just a kid. Anyway, he said, "If you get ahold of an old cow's tail, hmg on and she'll take you through hell and high water." That's just what he said, you know, you could just stay with an old cow. And you hang on, he says, "If you get ahold of a cow's tail and hang on, she'll take you through hell and high water. Well that's the way he went through that depression, by just milking cows and making a little profit. It brought him through that hard times. So he just made that statement, and I just never forgot it. I thought it was kind of funny- "Get ahold of a cow's tail and hang on, she'll take you through hell and high water." (chuckles) That's just about the size of that one. You know just things a kid hears. Of course a kid don't remember depressions.You get three meals a day, and it don't bother kids any. But it sure bothered their parents, by gosh. Don't know where the next day's meals coming from. But them days though, farmers, y'know, ain't like this crazy, goofy mess ottChere on the farms now. Cripes, they had pigs, they had chickens, they had gardens, they had cows to milk, they had their meat. About all they had to go to town and get was salt and pepper and maybe a few spices. They had their lard, even hcd-fke wool, y'know. Of course my mother never carded wool. I've helped card a lot of wool. You know what carding wool is?
EU: You got your card, y'know, you get wool there, and you work it bactfand forththough them needles and it gets all the seeds and stuff out of it, makes it fluffy. But they used to make quilts. Everyoody had their quiltin; frames, and nobody thought about going up town and buyin a quilt or anything, not like they do now. They made em. And they'd take that cotton and put it all over the the bottom, and sew it together, Sew and tie and sew and ties, and that makes the Guilts. Well everybody, they made their own quilts that way, and then they had their own wool to do it with. And you could get cotton, what they called cotton batting--cotton about so just rolled up in a big roll. You could get a roll of cotton batting and then you could make bedding out of that too. Of course the dresses was all gingham. Gingham dresses, I don't suppose you could go to town and buy any gingham to save your neck now. Underclothes was flour sacks,, Yep before kids went to school, by gosh, you know they used to have, oh what in the hell do they call 'em? Underskirts?
SAM: Slips? Petticoats?
EU: Petticoats, I guess theyd call em. I don't know, something. Ninety percentof the kids, girls that were going to school, had fbur sacks. Well, that was good cloth. They washed the cloth up, y'know, sewed 'em up, by gosh. With their dress off it might have had Blue Stem written across goes across the back of it. Most of the flour around this country was Blue Stem flour, because they had a mill over at Moscow. Old J. P. Miller Milling Company. They made Blue Stem flour. Ninety percent of the flour around this neck of the woods come from there. Whether it was Blue Stem or whether if was some oter brand, why that skirt would have the brands of flour on it, they couldn't wash that out. (laughs) Oh, yeah. My dad, though, I've been with him many a trip. He'd take so many sacks of wheat, take it down to Palouse, they had a flour mill down there. And you'd trade the wheat for flour—you'd take so many sacks of wheat end ivring home so many sacks of flour. And they used to call four sacks was a barrel. You'd probably take enough wheat down there and get three barrels of flour, and that'd be our winter's flour, y'know. Trade the wheat in, with no money, just t'tmie wheat for the flour. So that's when they got through way back in them days, just didn't take much money to change hands. If you had a grocery bill down here at the store, why you'd go out and make wood. And haul it down, pay the bill by so much, a dollar and a half a cord or whatever it was they got for their wood. Trade--that's the way they paid their grocery bill, what little gt eery bills they had. But like I say, they wouldn't be big because everybody lived right off the land. All you'd have to have, by gosh, was just common necessities like salt and pepper. They always put their fruit up you know, they'd get their fruit. I know my dad had a big orchard up there on the place. They had peaches, by gosh there, and prunes and apples, pears, p ''near all the fruits. All year they'd just can fruit till they had the cellar just lined up with old fruit jars.They had their fruit:and that's the way they got their flour, y'know. They d trade their wheat for it, that didn't cost no money. So you didn't have much money them days to get by. Now, it's everything. Everything is money here. . .
It's likeus living out here,we might as well be living in town. We buy everything out of the store. Njnety percent of the farmers are the same way. Very seldom will you see a farmer around hereby gosh where they really raise part of their living on the farm. I can't think of a one off hand. I can't think of a farmer out here, by gosh, where the people are living on their farm are milking cows, raising pigs. Only one guy up here is raising pigs up here, and it's up the creek here a ways; I don't think there's anybody else up creek that's got a hog on the ranch. So, like I say, they had the depressions. By god, people kept on eating. They didn't have much money to spend— they didn't run around in Cadillacs. You know, it didn't bother them like if the deprssion now hit the people. My gosh, it'd be most helpless damn mess you ever saw, if the depression hit this country. People are so darn helpless. It'd be pitiful. Do you want another cigar? You might as well smoke one, by gosh, while I'm smoking this.
SAM: They're good. You're talking me into it.
EU: No, I don't know, No, sir, if the depression would hit this country justimagine. Everything, inflation so high. Well I read the other day, it come over television by gosh yesterday since things went into inflation now, if you're below the forty-four hundred dollar mark a year, you're in poverty. Me. Of course, I can't figure it out. Yeah, if you've got less income than $4,400 a year, you're in the poverty area now.
SAM: Emmett, I wanted to ask you about the IWW's. Because I've been hearing a lotof different things about 'em, po and con. I want to know what you think about what they did.
EU: They was one of the best things ever happened. They got the eight-hour dayaround the country here. The unions tried to take the credit for that eight hour day, but everything was ten, twelve hours a day. Then the Wobblies—they called 'em Wobblies—they got organized. Of coursf nobody knew, you'd meet a guy on the road, you wouldn't know he was a Wobbly. He didn't have no credentials on him. They couldn't prove it, they couldn't really arrest 'em because they didn't have no mark on 'em or nothing that they could call *em a Wobbly.Maybe by gosh, just like you and I sittin here talkingw-you could go back to them days, and maybe I'm a Wobbly, and you wouldn't know it unless I told you. You could strip me off, but I wouldn't have any credentials on me to prove I was a Wobbly. But there was a lot f things blamed on the Wobblies that actually never happened. Now, during the time of the Wobblies in this country, why you'd go out here and you'd see a wheat field go up. Now whether the Wobblies done it or not—but everything that happened was the Wobblies, the IWW's. It was them that done it. I know Potlatch got so scared down here~-they had logging camps up—and by gosh, they even hired guys to sit up along the right-of-ways, the railroad tracks going into these logging camps, By gosh, if a Wobbly come along there, by god they had rifles. Some of the guys that drawed wages for that, they wouldn't shoot 'em, y'know, but you'd never know who'd shoot and who wouldnft. If a guy come up there, go on the railroad track, walkin upjto thatcamp, by gosh if you didn't know who he was, why they had orders I guess to just shoot him, put him under arrest or something, I don't know what they was supposed to do. I know my uncle went ip there—he hired out to do that. Heck, said he just went up there and laid in the shade all day. He said he vouldn't have shot nobody if there'd been a dozen of 'em going up the road. I know a friend of mine was cookin up at a camp. He got wise to a guy--he was what they call flunky;Vbull cook. You had a cool: and then a bull cook—this guy was a bull cookin. Anyway, this fella was Ellis Tribble, Hershiel Triblle's brother, was cookin' up there. Anyway, he said he found out some way that/Tguy was a Wobbly that was bull cooking. But the boss didn't know it, and he was just as good a guy as ever. He done good work, he was a good guy.
Anyway, he didn't fire him when hefound out he was a Wobbly. He said he was too damn good a help, by gosh, he wan't gonna fire him. Well, it's just the same as you and I. Why, if you was a Wobbly, you was way out, y'know. But they finally got the eight hour day, by gosh. And after they got what they wanted, they got the camps all cleaned up, y'know. Oh boy, them logging camps—they had the bunk houses up there, all lousy with bed bugs, and you had to pack you own bedroll in. I can remember when I was a kid, tramps going up the road, by gosh, up to the logging camps. They always had their bedroll on their back. They had to take their bedroll in, and when they'd come out they'd have to pack it out. No bathing facilities or no nothing. They just lived like animals. Anyhow, theWobblies got that cleaned up. They made 'em put in, by gosh, bathing facilities, furnish their bedding, and give ya decent meals and eight hour day. So when they got the things they wanted, there was just no more Wobblies. They just wasn't nothing--they like the light of day, just no more. That was the end of it, when they got what they wanted. But everything that went on around the country was blamed on the Wobblies. And I think a lot of them wheat fields was set just to blame it on them. But anyway, one of the thingss trfy'd do, you know, they'd. . .A lot of damage was done. Who done it, You take this phosphorous, you know what that is?
EU: Oh, it's stuff they used to use for poison. You'd buy it in little sticks,kind of a yellow stick about so long, about so big around; there's about five or six of them in the water, in a jar. Well you'd take that out of the water, and you'd throw it out in the field and let the sun shine on it e while. Then it just gets so hot and all at once it just flames up and away she goes! Maybe it might take a half a day or something for it to get warmed up to go, but it would sure do it. I pret'near started a fire down here one time down here at the barnlot. I had some sitting down there in the well down and I forgot about it, and the water just dired up. One day I was down there by gosh, and I seen the smoke curling up there. It was right by a building, smoke curling up and boy! I got that job by gosh, it hadn't blowed up, hadn't flamed yet, but she was smoking. Went out and dug a hole and buiied it. You know, you can throw a stick of that out in a wheat field or straw pile or even in your house maybe, and if you didn't Know it, you could be clear n another state by the time it finally took off. It might take two or three days you know, dependin on the weather. That stuff's got to be kept in the water all the time. Long as you keep *em in water, why it's all right. They let it dry out—
SAM: What do you know about the strike that happened here? Now I've beentold that they did strike camps and that's what -changed conditions here.
EU: The Wobblies? Oh yes,they struck the camps, yeah, you betcha. Yeah, theytied 'em up. That's what they tried to do, break the strike, y'know, byt putting guys up there with guns, and then get strike-breakers in and keep the camps a-goin. But 6ti no, they tied things up pretty good.
SAM: Were most of the Wobblies foreigners, or were they mostly—
EU: Could be anybody. Just like you and I, far a I raember about *em. I wasa pretty goodsized kid when there was Wobblies around. You never knew who he was. It'd be just lik? you and I or the neighbor across the street. Just like them damn £u Kluxers, they was in here at one time, too.
SAM: Were they?
EU: Yeah. You didn't know who they was- it was a secret organization. Oh yeah,there was^Lu Kluxers in here one time. I don't know who all belonged to it.
SAM: What did they do?
EU: What did they do? Oh, a lot of skill duggery. If people by gosh said somethingthey didn't like—like I say, they didn't have no law hardly out in the country. Oh, like some guy by gosh, trying to pull something, y'know, why they'd go out,by gosh, and warn him by burning a cross in front of his house. If that didn't wake him up to what was going on and get the hell out of the country, by god they'd ride him out on the rail.
SAM: Do you know about when this was? Was this about the same time as World WarI?
EU: Let's see, Kb Kluxers. Well, I was just a kid. I imagine it was back in theteens or someplace when that was going on. Just right during World War I, I think it was.
SAM: Do you remember anything that happened, any of the guys that got run out?
EU: No, I can't recall anything that actually happened. Not around here. AllI know, there was an organization in here, but I carft think of any body burning a cross. But then around the country and back East it was terrible. The Ku Kluxers, they was all over. That was a big organization time. But I can't say whether they was a good deal or a bad deal. I dn't know. Being called a Kluxer was about as bad as being called a Wobbly; but I think both of them had their good points. Kind of a vigilante outfit, but you say "vigilante" by gosh and a guy'd run twice as fast if he heard "vigilantes" as he would from a sheriff. I don't know.
SAM: Yeah, but it depends, if it's gonna be a of terror then it might notbe so good.
EU: Oh, I've kind of been told a little about what the organization was about.You know, by gosh, if you living here, and some guy,by gosh, was running with another man's wife, y'know, doin it on the sly, well, if the Wu uxers get ahold of it, why they d warn him by burnin a cross in front of his house. Usually one treatment was enough and that was the end of it. It was just kind of a law and order, trying to keep things on an evan knell. Somebody , by gosh was around stealing things around the country, why they'd serve him and notice the same damn way, pretty good hint to get out of the country.
SAM: Well, that sounds like vigilantes. And you hear about the Ku Klux Klan inthe South, you think of them as terrorizing the Negroes. What it was like here I don't know.
EU: Yeah, that was in the South all rgiht. They used it there to raise heck withthe Negroes, but we didn't have no Negroes out here. I dn't know what the Ku Klux Klan stands for. KKK- what in the heck is that stand for? They just called em Ku Kluxers. I don't know.Three K's. But the vigilante, I don't know whether that was all the same thing as the Ku Kluxers or not.
SAM: It sounds like a vigilante group.
EU: Yeah, it was. The Ku Kluxers, they'd get their hoods on, y'know. Theywas secret, plum secret y'know. You d see a group of 'em out on a night. When they went on a march, they had them hoods over their faces and looked like a bunch of ghosts. I've never seen any, I've seen pictures of 'em. But nobody knew anything about it, they had their ropes and their hoods over their face. And they'd go out there by gosh and burn a cross and then they'd all disappear, take their clothes off. It might be your neighbor. You didn't know who in the heck it was doing that.
SAM: Well, I really shouldn't have gotten off the IWW's because I really want toknow what you know about them, what you remember as things that went on about that time between them and the law.
EU: Well, all I know is- in the woods, they was on strike for more wages, betterliving conditions, even on the farms. Wasn't only the lumber companies, it was the farms. By gosh, y'know the farmers by gosh would pay a man—well a lot of 'em wouldn't hardly pay any waged at all, y'know. They'd come in and work, by gosh, and get their board and mom and a place to sleep. Maybe they'd give 'em a little tobacco money. That was wages for a farmhand. Well, that wasn't good enough for the working man, by gosh. They burnt up a few wheat fields by gosh, I guess to kind of convince the farmers that wasn't satisfactory. I don't know just what the heck it was all about. Anyway, it changed the whole thing around the country. Farmers used to work by go^h from daylight in the morning till dark at night. No hours, no such thing as so much an hour or nothing, it was just a day, by gosh, and a day's work was from daylight till dark. Same way the camps was. They was runnin ten hours a day up here in the woods, maybe some of 'em was twelve hours. When this vrdll was first built down here, it was a twelve hour day, runnin two shifts. That's the way they started that mill up wien they firsnbuilt it in 1906, when they opened it up and started running. I was in that mill the first day it ever run.
SAM: No kidding?
EU: Yeah. Uh it was quite a sight, you know. That was the biggest mill inthe world one time. Oh, I was just a little kid, but I've still got a vivid idea of them carriages goin back and forth, y'know. That's how it started cut, a twelve hour day, two shifts. Run two shifts twelve hours a day when they started that mill up. They finally got it down to a ten hour day when the Wobblies got through with their work, by gosh they was down to eight hours a day and it'd been that way ever since.
SAM: What do you know about the Four-L's?
EU: Oh, the Long Lazy Lousy Lumberman was just a company union. It wasn'ta national union, just a company union. And it was just organized to keep the national unions from getting in, like the AF of L. Well, that was about the only union they had, everything was of L. It was a national union. But to them out, well, they had two or three unions, one was the Four L's, and it was still company controlled. All they done was take by gosh a dollar out of your paycheck, pay your dues w^ery month to belong to the union. The company call8 the score; the union didn't have no power whatsoever, it was just a jofe. The only thing it was, it was organized so the big unions couldn't get a foothold here. And they didn't get a foothold in here till Roosevelt got in. When Roosevelt got in, by gosh, they put a stop to that nonsense. Yeah, they had they IEU down here one time. After the Four L's played out then they got another one called the IEU-~Idustrial. . .1 don't even know what the initials stand for. That was just another company organization, but that was the last one in before they finally ket era vote, by gosh, to get the union in.
SAM: Did you have to belong to the Four L's if you worked for Potlatch?
EU: Oh yeah, that was automatic. Oh,yeah, that was automatic when you signed upfor a job down there. A dollar out of your paycheck every month by gosh to belong to that union. You betcha, you had to belong to that.
SAM: Some guys I've talked to, they seem to feel that the Wobblies were fine, theyliked what they did,and yet they kept workin when a strike was called. And they were just local boys supportin their families, they just kept workin. And they liked the chillUges that came about. I wondered if that was generally true that the local guys that liked the Wobblies and what they doin didn't strike and kept on workin.
EU: No, they didn't strike that I know of, by gosh, they just keep right onworkin, but.
SAM: Does that mean that most of the local people didn't strike and it was justthe loggers In the camps that.
EU: Well, I'll tell you, the strikes that the Wobblies had was kind of a differentas e damn deal than what you know a striker nowadays. But nobdy knew a Wobbly. Well you'd go up them and hie a man t in the woods. Well, by gosh, all at once they'd have a log fc*05* in the woods that would have a wedge or somethin drove into the log and bang it hit the saw. Well everytime theyfi hit a saw down there, by gosh one of them big steels or trail dogs or somethin left in the log, why it'd be about five hundred dollars for a new saw. 0h it was like old Nixon, they had £, * lot of dirty tricks. Well, they just drove the damn companies nuts! You know, they couldn't know who done it or nothin, butl'just dirty tricks. But my gosh, they'd leave everything. I was sawin down there* and I don't know when come in, was put in the W but a big hollow log runnin the carriage, sawin. And I sawed tHbugh and hit the hollow part of the log,and I seen a flare. And I stopped the rig and looked and when I pulled that out of there, why it was thy it a stack of dynamite and caps, no I don't know it was put there by the Wobblies or whether some lumberjack put it back in that log sometime, by gosh, and forgot about it, or quit that night or something. But that log come down to the mill. Well if I'd hit that dynamite with that saw, I probably wouldn't be here talking to ya now. I dn't know what would of happened. But the darn stuff was dry. It laid out there in the pond, but it was a big cedar log that floaaed high. And by gosh up there in that log where that damn dynamite was, by gosh the water hadn't got to it and it was just as dry as a bone. I'll tell ya, boy, when I pulled that gunnysack out of there and got to lookln to see what it was, it just about scared the living heck out of me. I sure looked all the hollwu)logs over after that before I run that saw through. X don't suppose the Wobblies down that, but it could of been them. Maybe it was put in there a long time ago, maybe some guy thought.(Break)
SAM: People have said to me that they don't think that the IWW's did much actualsabotage in this area.
EU: No, they didn't do much. They just done enough, and then other people donedirty tricks that was blamed on the Wobblies. And so actually they just drove the company nuts. And they coidn't pin it on anybody 'cause like I say, they didn't have no card or anything that they could find on 'em. I don't know how they communicated with one another, I suppose like any lodge, I suppose they had a signal so they could make the other guy know who he was. So anyway, I don't know. They the ones that realy got the eight hour day and better conditions in the mining camps. They wasn't only working in the lumber camps, they was up in the mines. They was in all industry—all over the country. It wasn't local, over the whole United States. It was a United States-wide organization. It wasn't just Potlatch here or just a few lumber companies. It was all the lumber companies all over the Northwest or wherever there was lumber companies. It all worked the whole thing. So they finally give up and went on the eight hour day and cleaned up the camps, after everything was all done. The mining camps was the same way; they was a loused-up mess too. Take a guy down and work him, y'know. It was a heck of a mess. But when they got everything all cleaned up, and had a decent bunks for the guys to sleep in, decent blankets and quilts, and cleaned up the bedbugs and lice, cleaned 'em all up, got a place where a man to take a bath. Why before they done that, they didn't even have a chance to—if you come in out of the woods, by gosh, your shoes were soaking wet, they never had any place you could dry your shoes off. A lot of guys slept with their shoes on because if they'd take *em off, they'd shrivel up. They didn't dare take their shoes off because there was no place to dry *em. They didn't have no stove or nothing to dry 'em by, by gosh, * an old cold bunkhouse.
Like I say, Idon't know, they just had the way of harrassing the companies and different things happening. They was just full of dirty tricks and just drove the damn miring companies and mill companies nuts until finally they had to give up, by gosh, and give em what they wanted. Then after that, no more Wobblies. Why they just disappeared. One year you'd hear nothing but Wobbly taies all over the country and who was a Wobbly and who wasn't, and everybody would be coming down the road, you didn't know whether he was a Wobbly or not. You didn't know if your next-door-neighbor was. But anyway, by gosh, they got what they wanted. And just like that—they was gone! Never heard no more about the IWW's. They just disappeared. When they needed it.it was the^re, and they all seemed to get joined up with it some way. I dn't know where their headquarters was or nothing, hobody knowed nothing about it. They didn't seem to have no headquarters. I d»rt know whether they paid dues or- don't know eothing about it. Just one of the mysteries. Like an epidemic-- come and take a neighborhood,by gosh, and then gone! When they got what they wanted, by gosh that was it, they was just gone. . .No, I'd a been better off if I'd been born about fifteen years Before I was.I just missed all that real "go-go" stuff that they was having around 1890, '95, and up to 1900. Oh boy. Shoot 'em up, kill a guy by gosh.
(End of Side C)
EU: Justlike the propaganda that got the people down on the Viet Cong, or theNorth Koreans, y'know how they do, or the Germans. By gosh, the Germans was nothing but pigs—oh, they wasn't even human beings, you know how the propaganda goes. Why it was almost to shoot a German one time, you'd think more about going out and shootin a daggone wood rat.It's just how propagand can get people down. Well, that's the way it was when the Wobblies was in. Why, all the newspapers was full of it. Why it was the most terrible thing that ever happened to a country, to hear the newspapers. Like I say, they didn't seem to have no set organization. I don't know the secret. They couldn't get no dope on 'em. And they didn't know who in the heck was who. And they didn't know when they hired a man whether they was hirin a Wobbly or whether they wasn't.
SAM: What was it like in the community, like around Princeton here? Among thefamilies that lived here, was there real hard feelings one way or the other?
EU: Toward the Wobblies?
SAM: Yeah. Wasia family you either going to be sort of pro or against? Or didpeople keep shut about it and not want to say anything for fear that they be thought one?
EU: Well, it was pretty damn quiet, yes. But there was lot of antagonism because,like I say, y'know, some farmers' fields out here were burned up. Well, it didn't make any difference whether somebody throwed a cigarette out there accidentally and set it afire; but it was automatically the Wobblies burned that field up. Well, you know how goes with wheat fields going up around the country and thrashing machines. Another trick they'd do by gosh, is put dynamite in wheat bundles, in bundles of grain. Only when they'd throw the damn machine why gall damn it would hit them cylinders that thrashed the wheat. Bang! Blow that damn thing sky high. Raise hell. And then they'd put spikes in the grain, and put a nail in the daggone bundle. Of course when that hit the daggone cylinders, why, it wouldn't blow up anything, but it would swre wreck the damn thing. And that was a way of getting these darn guys, working guys twelve hours a day, by gosh, for a dollar a day or something, just almost nothing. Why gosh when a few cylinders went out on a farmer, by god ,they started to thinking about it. It just drove *em by gosh to where they started to pay 'em more and running shorte hours. I thinkthey cut from twelve hours down to ten hours.
SAM: Do you think that it had an effect on the farming country too?
EU: Everything. Everything that was working men for nothing, and giving themno living quarters you know. It was terrible the way the working man was done in the early days. Just terrible, they didn't him no respect—a lot of farmers would give a dog a better place to sleep by gosh than what they was giving the working man. Most of them slept in the barn. That's the only bunkhouse they had, was out in the barn.
SAM: Was there much difference between the farmers now, were there some farmsaround here that have afforded better to the men and other farms that were just dirt-poor farms? What was the difference among the farms in those days?
EU: Well, the farmers could of afforded to do« better. It's just like everythinge|es, y'know. If they can get a man to work for nothing, they'll do it. There was no laws—if a man didn't work quite hard enough to suit a farmer, why they sent him on down the road talking to himself, get another guy. I don't know, just a lot of hard feelings between the working man. I don't fA think the farmers was as bad off though, the farmer hiself. See the whole country used to have big stationary machines they'd pull around the country, thrashing grain, y'know. Well, them guys, they got hard on them guys. A lot of machines got rimracked. Some farmer, by gosh, you might see his barn go up in smoke. I don't know if the Wobblies done it. There was barns still burnt up when there were no Wobblies in the country. There was barns burnt up once in a while, mys teriously. There ain't no Wobblies to blame it on this time. . . (Anna Utt and Laura Schrager enter the room.) I quit.
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30:00 - Native Americans in the country; Emmett riding a horse as a boy; huckleberries stolen by Emmett's gang
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60:00 - Pulling through the Depression; farms were self-sufficient; making petticoats from Bluestem Flour bags
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79:00 - Potlatch mill first opened; Four-L's; IWW's sabotaged the company; Emmett almost saws through a sack of dynamite
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Segment Synopsis: IWW's fought for better conditions for farmworker too. Potlatch mill first opened with two twelve hour shifts a day. Four-L's, the "Long, Lazy, Lousy Lumbermen," intended to stop the men from organizing. IWW's did just enough sabotage to drive the company nuts. Emmett almost saws through a sack of dynamite.