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This second conversation with KATE SANDERSON WALDRON took place at her homein Bovill, Idaho on August 25, 1976. The interviewer is SAM SCHRAGER.
SS: What was it like in your family? How your parents raised you.This is something we like to ask people because it's so different it seems nowdays than it used to be
KATE WALDRON: Well, my mother was a devout Chrisitan and my brother, John,was converted - did he ever tell you about his conversion?
SS: Actually I didn't ask him about that, but you talked to me aboutit when I was here.
KW: He was a Christian, and he's the oldest one in the family. Myfather was working as a timber cruiser, I guess it was for the Potlatch, and of course, he wasn't home too much of the time. He was home at times, but he was gone most of the time. So, it was Mama and my brother, John, and we had a Christian home. We were raised in a Christian home. We went to church and Sunday School every Sunday. And when Dad was home, my dad was just like Byers, he just loved to cook, and he was a good cook, and he'd always have Sunday dinner and we could always ask company home for Sunday dinner, because Mama knew that Dad had a good dinner going. MY dad was an awfully nice man. He was raised a Southern gentleman. His mother died in the Civil War, she had a baby and this baby was only three weeks old and they were crossing a river in the East there, I don't remember where it was, but in the Civil War and the bridge was burning at the time they crossed it, and it went down with them. And my grandmother was drowned- or nearly drownedshe took pneumonia, her baby was only three weeks old and they saved the baby bytmy grandmother died. That was my father's mother. And he was taken by an aunt and raised in the South. And he loved his dear old Negro Mammy, he just loved her, he said, "I couldn't have had a finer mother than that Negro woman." We were raised to respect the Negro people. There was no class hatred in our family, because my dad loved the Negro people because he was raised by such a fine Negro woman. That is, she was the nurse, and the aunt that raised him.
SS: Was he Swedish? I thought that he came from Swedish people?
KW: The name indicates that, but that's not so. His father was a fullblooded Englishman and h$$. mother was a fullblooded French woman, she was a French girl. And all during school years there was quite an argument. Every time I was in high school we had a teacher and they'd think that we were Swedish people, but we were not. I can't go ahead and explain why, but my dad did.
SS: From what part of the South then did he grow up in?
KW: Oh, just down South, I don't know. I don't even remember.
SS: What state?
KW: I don't remember.
SS: Did you know the Wells family at all out here? The Negro familythat lived in Deary?
KW: Well, I knew of them. I think Byers and John knew them becausethey were up here long before I was. John, especially. Byers wasn't, he came when I did, because he was just a boy, he's six years younger than I am. But, I remember the Wells, yes. I waited on the ladies when I was working in the store, I waited on those Negro ladies. They were nice women.. Nice to wait on,
SS: Speaking about your parents: what I was wondering about was- onething- were they very strict with you, or would you say lenient? The way they raised you?
KW: The way we were raised?
KW: Yes, indeed. My mother was a strict woman. We were taught obedience.And I tell you, if we got sassy, now, we were slapped down right now! Mother wouldn't put up with that at all. But we were taught right and wrong, and we were taught manners; good manners. Mother was particular about that. And we had a very happy home. We were, I think, an exceptionally happy home. I never quarreled with my brother, John, in my life and he's 92 years old and. And he has never said an unkind word to me in his life. Now, that's something! And I've lived right around him, too, t'wasn't as though we were separated, because we lived- and he was a marvelous brother. He was the oldest one in the family, and he was a wonder ful brother. In those days, you know, we burned woodstoves and we had a cellar and you had to go outdoors and go clear around the house down into the cellar to get the vegetables, you know, and if we girls would ask him, there was only two girls, and the rest were boys, why, he never ever[once refused to go. If we needed a pail of water, he got it; if we needed some wood for the stove, he got it. If my sister was making a cake and she needed sugar she'd ask him and he'd go clear downtown and get whatever she needed. He was a good man, a good boy. Of course, Byers was the baby of the family.
SS: That sounds unusual.
KW: It was unusual. We had a nice family. We were a very close family.After we were all married and Dad was up here working, we'd all come home, we lived in here, that'jj^hy we've all back in here, to be near home. And every Sunday my sister and I would make the cakes and the salads or the pies, whatever we were going to have, Mama would take care of the meat and the vegetables and we would all be at home.
SS: The whole family?
KW: Yes. The whole family and the grandchildren. So that was quiterare, too. Byers wasn't married at that time and John wasn't yet married. But after they were married it was the same thing, it was their families then.
SS: Tell me what you think about why- what it was that made your familya close one.
KW: Well, I think it was our raising, our teaching. And my brother,John, was a Christian, a devout Christian and my mother was a Christian, and we associated with the best of people; the church people. And the doctors and his wife were great friends of my mother's and father's.. Nice people. They didn't go to the same church as we did, but my father and Doc , were the greatest of friends. And Doc was our doctor. And we were just raised and educated in Palouse. But we were a nice family. We were a close family. And I know that's why my husband wanted to come back here his health broke and he was sick; he wanted to come back to Bovill. I know now it was because he wanted to leave me close to my family; I know that's the reason because we were living in Moscow and had been there for about twelve years; ten or twelve years. He wanted to come back home so I- we owned this home. We were only here two years when he was taken sick and died. We weren't old enough for our social security, so I went to work. We moved to Moscow and I went to work in Moscow; I clerked for years. And then when we got oldenough to draw our social security we came back here.
SS: When did you first meet him?
KW: I met him the 29th of March on an Easter Sunday and we went walking.We didn't have cars in those days. And there*d be a group of us girls, we'd get together and we'd go out walking. And gen erally that early in the spring we'd just walk up the railroad track for a nice walk. And there was three of us and we were walking up the track and Ray was just from Minnesota he'd come out here to be with his brother, their mother had died. And he came out here to be with his older brother, and he was working in the sawmill there in Palouse. And another nice fellow and they come walking up the track behind us. The two girls that were with me, first one would turn around and look back and the boys were laughing and pretty soon the other one turned around and looked back and they said, "Well, now, just wait, the third girl'11 turn around and look back." And I was the third girl. And Ray, my husband,Asays, "Well, I'll bet you a dollar that that girl will never turn around." And they bet with him and I didn't turn around! (Chuckles) Well, they finally caught up with us and TaV introduced me to his brother, Ray, and Ray was from the East. I had three or four girlfriends- Ray had been in town a couple of weeks- and the girls^a lot of 'en^had met him and Iwas at her home and there was a group of us there, and they said, "We've got one boy that you're not going to meet, Miss Kitty," they called me Kitty, my name was Katherine, and they called me Kate and Kitty, the girls called me Kitty, and I said, "Well, who's that?" And they said','lt's Jay's brother, and we're going to make sure . you don't meet him." And Isaid, "I don't^o meet him." Isaid, "I'm not interested in him anyway. I don't care." I had a steady fellow, but my steady fellow had taken off for Texas. He was from Texas, and he was gone at the time I met Ray. I was the girl that Jay wanted his brother to go with, and that's why he wanted me to meet his brother, that's why they were following us up the track. I learned this all later. I didn't know it, of course, at the time. But I was the girl that Jay wanted his brother to meet. And I knew Jay, and so I met Ray. Well, it didn't take me long when I got with those girls, I said, "You girls think you're so smart, but I'tell you I met that kid." And they said, "Where did you meet him? We didn't introduce you." And I said, "You didn't have to, I met him last Sunday, his brother, Jay, introduced me to him." And Ray and I went together and my boyfriend came back from Texas, but I liked Ray much the best and I went with Ray.
SS: How old were you when you started dating?
KW: Sixteen. I was sixteen.
SS: What did you do when you went out together in those days? Whatwas the dating like?
KW: There wasn't really very many places to go, we'd just meet togetherin different homes, a group of us. That's the way we spent our time. And then we'd go walking together or out in a horse and bug gy, riding. My brother, John- that was another thing about my bro ther, John; he'd be going with some girl and he always liked to have Ray and I with him or the boy that I was going with, it didn't make any difference; it made four of us, see. John was so much older but he went with younger girls, it'd be girls along about my age. And that way, the four of us were always together.
SS: Was Ray much older than you?
KW: No, he was only six months; his birthday is in March and mine wasin August.
SS: So he came out as a very young fellow?
KW: Yes, he was just a boy. He quit high school and he came out Westto be with his brother; the mother was gone, you see, and he got Jay to send for him; give him money. Jay was quite a bit older than Ray. He was one of the oldest children of the family and Ray was next to the youngest. He went to work in the sawmill there. He tied bundles. Boarded at a fine home there; big man at the mill, Maxwell was his name, and he and his brother boarded with them. And then Ray and Jay were great friends of the big Potlatch man by the name of Kendall. And they had a boy that was a great friend of Jay's, they grew up together; those kids all grew up to gether, the Kendall kids. And Mr. and Mrs. Kendall and Ray's father and mother were great friends. And of course, when the boys came out West here the Kendalls just put 'em right into jobs you see. It was a big pull for them.
SS: What did the Kendalls- what was their position with Potlatch? Doyou remember?
KW: No, but he was one of the head men. And Frank, his son, became aoneof the big men. They were situated in Spokane. They were in Palouse for a long time, but they finally were in Spokane. But they were big men of the Potlatch for years until they died. I have a deck of cards here- the largest white pine tree in the world was cut here in Bovill and Frank Kendall sent that to my husband when that tree was cut down. I showed that to somebody, I haven't any idea who, and I had the card that was in it that told of the feet of lumber and when it was cut and everything.
SS: That's beautiful. I really like that.
KW: And I have a piece of wood, that the day they cut that tree thatmy husband was right there and this is a piece of the wood from the tree. I don't know whether you can read the writing on it or not, it's getting to old, it's sixty-five or sixty-six years old, you see. I'd give my eyeteeth to know who stole my card that was in here. I've got a few other cards in here that I got from the Wanagon- you know what a wanagon is?
SS: Isn't that -
KW: That river boat. I had an 8x10 picture of it, but my nephew,Chet Morris, knew the men that were in the logging on that river the last trip that they made, and he didn't get one, and he knew those men and had worked with them, and I gave him that picture.
SS: What was it about him that made you like him so much better thanthis fellow from Texas?
KW: (Chuckles) Well, I liked the fellow from Texas, he was a dandy,nice kid. I often think about ., we called him . His mother died on the trip from Texas. His father come up and got work up in this country and he brought his mother and his two little sis ters from Texas, and his mother died on the trip. She took sick and died, just instantly, a heart attack or something like that. And he was only seventeen then, and he brought his mother and his little sisters and he went to work there in Palouse. And was just a A-number I kid; he was a nice boy.
SS: What was it about Ray that was special?
KW: Ray was kinda- he'd been raised differently. I could tell thateven though I was just a girl. His father was a traveling man. He traveled for the Mc Cormick Company. I don't know whether that company still is today or not, but it's a big company. And he was a very attractive man. He used to take first one boy and then the other^a lot with him traveling. And Ray had beautiful manners. He was polished. That travel, you know gives him a polish that us ordinary kids don't get because we don't travel around. And I think that's what fascinated me. And then he had a nice per sonality, and he was sweet and kind. He was a nice sweetheart. Very polite and thoughtful. He was the kind of a fellow that a girl would like. Women always did like him! (Chuckles) Even af ter Iwas married, women liked
SS: How old were you when you got married?
KW: Eighteen. Ray was only nineteen.
SS: Did your parents—
KW: We were married and lived with his father down in Southern Idaho.My children were born in Southern Idaho. And his father then came out West and became a real estate man and we lived there. And Dad had 160 acres of land down there, in Southern Idaho, in Parma. We were down there until- We came to Bovill when my little girl was six months old. But work just wasn't plentiful down there in Southern Idaho, and I knew that my father held a position here that if Ray and I come up here my dad would see that Ray would get a good job, you know; so we came up here.
SS: At that time and at that age did you feel that you were well prepared to raise a family?
KW: Oh, I guess so. I dearly loved my youngsters and when my littlegirl was three years old I started a Sunday School of my own. I financed it. And we lived in what's called the Old Slab Town. There were a number of families there; they even had a school out there, there were so many children. And I had about fourteen and I had little Catholic children; I had lots of little Catholic children.
SS: I'm thinking of- well, you know nowdays, a lot of young peoplefeel they need to have a whole lot of resources, to start life.
KW: I didn't feel that way. What I had was nice, but we left all ofour furniture down in Southern Idaho and I lived in a little two room shack up there at that Camp 8, just like all the other women did. We just had little houses to live in. I had one great, big room.
SS: i didn't realize that wives were living at Camp 8 along with themen. But they were?
KW: Yes. You see was the main shop that my dad had there,and at one time he had 700 men under him there.
SS: At Camp g?
KW: Uh-huh. Camp 8. John's father-in-law was foreman of that camp,Camp 8, for a long time, too.
SS: Were there many married men at camp? Any women living there?
KW: yes, we had- there was enough of children so that we had a schoolat Camp 8.
SS: was Slab Town and Camp 8 pretty much the same, or was Slab Town ina different place? Was Camp 8 right at Slab Town?
KW: Well, yes. It was about like walking downtown here. We were thatclose. I was trying in my mind to count the houses. But there was quite a number of houses, because Dad had a house out there, too. Dad had quite a big house. And we lived out there for two or three years. Then when the forest fire came, that was in 1914, after the forest five came I moved downtown here. I was the first woman in this town that had hot and cold water. And oh, boy! was that something. I was so happy. The people moved away and wanted to rent their house, that owned the house, and I rented it and I don't remember what rent I paid, but it was big rent for then in those days, and my brother, Frank, he's dead now, he just had a fit! (Chuckles) He just thought I was crazy to pay that much rent But it wasn't very much; $15, $20, I don't know what it was, I don't remember. But I Frank thought- Frank 3 younger than i am- and he w^as married, and I dont know whether he wanted the house and was mad because I got it or not.
SS: Did that house have hot and cold running water in it at the timeyou got it?
KW: Yes at the time, that's why I rented it, was because it had hotand cold water.
SS: When you were out at Camp 8; was there much of a social life?
KW: Ob, yes, yes. We came downtown to everything.
SS: To Bovill?
KW: Uh-huh. We could get on a train and come down here and do ourshopping, and it would give us two, three hours downtown here and then*at four o'clock it went back. And that gave us time to get nome to get dinner; supper. And we belonged to everything down here; all the clubs that they had, we belonged to all the dances and things like that; shows and everything we came down. Didn t have any cars, but we got down here, even if we had to walk! It wasn't too far. I walked it many, many times. But we had social life. It's always been, it is now. I was out to a big party yesterday. And my ladyfriend who lives there in that trailer, she had a beautiful party. She had a lot of people from Deary. And there's lots going on here all the time. The kids go to Moscow and bowl. They have two different bowling leagues and they play ten nis downtown, the ladies, even the postmistress plays tennis down there. And they have their church activities. There's two classes of people here; there's the tavern class}then there's the church class of people. There's two distinct classes. But they're not uppish or hateful towards each other. But there's a lot of 'em that never darken a church door. And there's a lot of us that do, but we're not enemies by any means.
SS: Was it the same way back in the teens?
KW: Yes. Yes, it was the same way. It's always been the same way.But they had bridge clubs and pinochle clubs and forget-me-not clubs. And at Christmastime I'm usually invited to all kind of parties, all the time, except the card parties, I don't play cards. Of course, they fill their tables with their friends that play cards, but the other clubs, I'm always invited.
SS: Are there people in Bovill that belong to both groups, or does ithave to be one or the other? Either tavern or church.
KW: Well, I suppose. I go to church in Moscow, every Sunday we goto church in Moscow. But when I can't go, I go over here and I go to Ladies' Aid over here all the time. I'm the oldest member of the Ladies' Aid. I've ben in that Aid for sixty-four, sixtyfive years.
SS: What did Ladies' Aid do when you were first in it?
KW: Well, on Mondays, the first of the month, we call it work day,and now they sew. We used to give big dinners, but the older women have all moved away and the younger women just won't take it up. We used to give smorgasbords and people came from all over the country. They really made big money, because the cooks were so good and they put on a smorgasbord. And we had a beautiful recreation room here downtown that the Potlatch made.
SS: The smorgasbords- would that be the first Monday?
KW: No, the first Monday is workday. Right now the Aid's making laprobes for the homes in Moscow. The old nursing homes for the old people. You know they are chilly and they like laprobe* And that's the project that we're on now. And they give food sales.
KW: - and she gives some wonderful lessons on religion on the Bible.She's very capable, very able. She's really the finest they've ever had here and I've been here a long time.
SS: 1 was thinking about the early years in the teens; what theLadies' Aid was like at that time.
KW: Back at that time it was just like that, only we had more foodsales and more big dinners. The chamber of commerce from differ ent places would come in and hire the Aid to put on a big dinner. The Eastern Star would meet here and they would put on big dinners We would put it on for them. We made good money all the time.
SS: The Ladies' Aid would put on the dinner for the Eastern Star?
KW: For these people, you know. They'd want us to because weresuch good cooks and we had a nice recreation room. Bovill was quite famous. People liked to come to Bovill. They enjoyed coming; it was in the woods and it was quite an outing for 'em and especially when cars came on the scene so that they could come in. And they used to have big dances and people would come clear as far as Garfield to Bovill for the dance.
SS: What would the proceeds for these dinners go for? Would it gofor church- for keeping up the church and that softbf thing?
KW: Yes. It went to the Ladies' Aid to keep the church going. Andit does now.
SS: What about Red Cross work?
KW: Well, we had the Red Cross. I worked on the Cancer Drive fortwelve years. And the Cancer Drive and the Heart Drive. They still keep that up.
SS: I was thinking during the First World War when they had a lot ofRed Cross activity.
KW: We learned to knit and made lots of socks and things like that.We worked very Uubity in the Aid for the Red Cross; helped, that way.
SS: Do you remember Mrs. T. P. Jones?
KW: Oh, my, do I remember. Land yes, she was just like a mother tome. Yes, I thought lots of T. P. . They used to take me, of course, I was very young at that time, but after I was up here and lived here, when my sister was sick and in the hospital there for so long in Moscow, Mrs. T. P. kept her room just like a bower. Beautiful flowers; not just one bouquet, but the room was just filled with beautiful flowers. My father and T. P. were the grea test of friends, the greatest of friends. And Mrs, T. P. she liked my sister and I very much; she liked our whole family. She liked my mother very muchVand my father. And she was very, very nice to us. salesmen that would come up, of course, that was to their advantage, I suppose, but they had one salesman in particu lar that thought so much of my dad, of course, Dad would give him good orders, you know, that's true, but my, he just showered us with gifts. I left my daughter have it, I used to have a cut glass decanter about that high. It was the most beautiful thing. He even gave my sister-in-law and I little diamond ring on our birthday. And he gave my mother just, oh, everything that was nice. She just had everything that he thought she might enjoy. He was so good to our family.
SS: As a salesman, what did he sell?
KW: Well, it would be things for the shop. It would be things for thethe shop up there. Whatever they needed, they'd order through him.
SS: You were telling me before about working as a flunky; and I waswondering, prior to that, to your doing that work, did you ever do work for pay? Or was it just the family work that you did?
KW: No the only work I ever did- I went to business school. I wentto business school in Spokane, but my sister was sick and I went for six months and Mother wrote and told me that I'd have to come home and help take care of my sister. She had two little girls, and Mama said that she just cried all the time because she wants you home, she wants to see you. I used to go down every day and see her and visit with her and I had to leave business school and come home and help take care of my sister till she died. But I helped take care of those girls, even at that, because Lela would send me money and I bought all their clothes in Spokane.
SS: What did your sister die from?
She died of tb. That's what the doctor said, but I say she diedof cancer. I'll tell you why I say that; Dr. Gibson was a wonder ful doctor, he's the doctor that we had, and he run the hospital here for a long time. And he had another doctor come up with him and they were examining my sister and I was in the room, and when that other doctor was examining my sister, he said to Dr. Gibson, there was a lump, a big lump they found inside of her here, and this doctor said to Gibson, he said, "Well, what is that big lump?" I heard him say that. And Dr. Gibson said, "That's why I had you come up here. You tell me." And I don't think she ever died of tb, I think she died of cancer. I worked for twelve years on that cancer drive, and you know, they always, every spring they have us come to Moscow and doctors show us pictures and talk to us, you know, about cancer and I learned a lot. And I'm positive she had cancer, but the doctor didn't know it. In those days, you know, cancer wasn't very- well, it wasn't hardly known at all in those days. I never heard of cancer at that time.
SS: Your sister- how did she—
KW: Her husband was head carpenter up here. They came up here whentheir baby was born and he was a first class carpenter and the rest of his life until he retired, he was head carpenter here with the Potlatch.
SS: It must have been awfully sad for her too, to be so sick with herchildren so young.
KW: Oh, yes, and Mama and I had quite a time. And it was her girl.(You know, I just got my arm out of the cast a couple of weeks ago. I fell and broke my arm in May. It was three months yesterday) And it was her girl that took care of me. She just took beautiful care of me. That's Mrs. Chet Morris. And she was my baby. When my sister died she gave me both girls. She says, "I want you to have both girls." Their father paid all their expenses. In fact, he boarded with me for a long, long time till he married again.
SS: And you raised the girls?
KW: But I raised the girls, yes. And I love 'em just as dearly as if they'relost closer than just nieces; they're just lots closer. I just adore both of them. And she just gave me beautiful care. I stay down to her house, because I wanted to be home. I wan ted my own bed and I knew it would make it much easier for her, if I was here because I got up all the time and got my own breakfast. There was one time I couldn't. I got up and my ankle was so swelled I couldn't even walk. I had to send John, when he come to see how I was, I had to send him over to Brady's at nine o'clock to come over and get my breakfast, but otherwise I got my own breakfast all the time.
SS: How old were the girls when their mother died?
KW: One was thirteen and one was about fifteen.
SS: How did they take it at the time? Was it difficult for them toadjust?
Oh, no, they had been with me so much all their lives and theydearly loved me, and I was really more of a mother to them than their own little mother, because she was bedfast for years. We had her clear to Mayo Brothers. And she was bedfast for years. She had knee trouble after Virginia, that's the second one that took care of me, after that baby. She never should have had that baby. But she had that knee trouble and we sent her clear to Mayo Brothers. But they just kept her for a month or two and then my dad went back to see how she was and the doctors told her, said, "You've got to to take that girl home with you. She's so home- sick that we can't do a thing for her." And they put a weight on her and she was in bed for four or five years, and then she got so she could be up and around and keep her house. But she had hired help all the time; had to have a hired girl. And I helped her an awful lot. And we took care of the little girls.
SS: When she was bedridden, was she at her home or at your mother's?
KW: Yes, she was in her own home and had a hired girl, but Mama was upthere, I don't know how often, but two, three, every couple of days to see about everything and I lived up close to her. I was there every day to see how she was. I used to go over every afternoon and sit on her bed and talk and visit and take care of the kids. Look after them. If they needed a paddling, I gave it. And then they bought a house downtown here; one of the nice houses downtown- it's burnt down now. Gone, been gone many years but they bought that and I lived there after sis died. I moved right in and Herman lived with me then, her husband until he mar ried again. He married a school teacher here. And then the oldest girl got married and I had the other girl until she went to college. Then she married. And she's always lived right here, the other girl lives down in Clarkston.
SS: Irving? What is his last name? Your brother-in-law's?
KW: Fisher.. And his wife, his second wife-
SS: Marie Fisher.
KW: That was his second wife.
SS: When you were in Spokane then-
KW: Yes, I was in Spokane.
SS: was your idea? What did you have in mind?
KW: I was trying to become a teacher. I went to night school forthree years while I was in Spokane just reviewed. My idea was then- I was going to become a teacher. After I had to quit business school and come home and help take care of Lela, why, I just gave up. I didn't try ever to go on, because the Depression came along and my husband went over on the Clearwater and was going to get rich digging gold. I'll show you how much gold he got! I don't know what it's worth today, but he was over there all sum mer, he and another fellow, and they worked like whiteheads and here's the gold. And at the time that he got it, it was $1.80 worth but I don't know what it would be now.
SS: That's a summer's work, eh?
KW: Yeah! (Chuckles) But he looked like a million dollars when hecame home! It was good for him. And I had moved on to Troy with my daughter. I worked in the store down at Troy for a while during the Depression. And my husband went into the post office. And then when work opened up again up here, he came back up here and we moved to Moscow. He didn't want to live in Bovill, he thought it would be better we live in Moscow. And I went to work in Moscow. Then when we became sixty-five and could get our social security we moved back to Bovill. We had this home here. And we were only here two years when his health broke completely.
SS: When you were in Spokane going to school there for six months, didyou have to work your way through?
KW: No, my husband was working and was making good money and my motherand dad helped me some. And of course, I expected to pay it all back to them. I paid back every . And that is the end of my career. But jTdid really want to become a teacher, that's what I wanted to become, and it just didnt pan out. I became a teacher I was a teacher; a Sunday School teacher. And I didn't teach little children at all, I never had that privilege. I loved little kids. But I taught young married people and college students and a few high school pupils. But generally they hadn't enough high school students to make a class and I had college students and young married people. And I enjoyed it, because I had to study like a whitehead to teach a class like that, because they could just throw questions at you all the time.
SS: Theyfd be challenging.
KW: Yes, it was challenging, and I studied, believe me. And I was theone that really learned by doing it. I never regretted it. Be cause I really enjoyed it very, very much and it was a hobby with me. And I loved the class, and I do now, I love our young people there in Moscow.
This is ft silver dish that I had; I was on the church boardtwenty-five years, when they presented that to me. I was on the church board for about thirty years and then I went to a big camp meeting and they had a minister from California, he was the best speaker, and he said, "Have any of you people in this great audience"- there was hundreds of people there- "have you been on a church board for twenty-five years, you get off of it!" He said, "That's too long!" And I had been on the church board twenty-five years! And I said to my daughter, I said, "I guess it's time I'm putting in my resignation." I said, "I'll do that." And so when I came home I had a young married man that I had worked with for about forty years, he and I had worked together in the church, and he was on the church board, and I said, "Cecil, You get off of that church board, that minister says anybody that has been on the church board twenty-five years has been on there too long!" (Laughter) And I said, "Don't expect me to vote for you, I'm getting off, I'm resigning, I'm going to tell them right off that I don't want to be on the church board any more." And Cecil wouldn't do it. And I didn't vote for him either. But he has been on the church board and now he's in his seventies, he's ten years younger than I am, and he's resigned now. But they never would let him off of that church board. They had to have some elderly person on that church board.
SS: I wanted to ask you what it was like during the Depression for youand the family.
KW: Oh, it wasn't bad for us. Ray was out of work and I was livingwith my daughter at the time. We moved right in just as the Depres sion hit because they wanted us to come to Troy, my daughter and my son-in-law, they both wanted us to come down there. And he went to work right in the post office; he got work, it wasn't very big wages at that time, but it was enough to pay our rent and our board. We lived good, we didn't have any trouble. And I worked in the store. For $15 I could buy enough groceries pretty near to last us a whole month at that time; that's during the Depression. And we paid $15 a month rent and then we had electric lights and we had fuel to buy. We burned wood stoves and we got along. We didn't save any money but we got along.
SS: What store did you work in?
KW: At Green's. It was a big drygoods store. Well, it was a big drygoodsstore and it was a big grocery store, too.
SS: You must have been lucky to have been able to get a job during theDepression at all.
KW: Well, yes. I went to the post office to get a job and the postmansaid, "Well, I'll tell you Mrs. Waldron, if I have to have help, I have to hire a man." I think his wife was a jealous woman! I've always thought that. And he said, "You tell your husband, if your husband'11 come down and put in his application, I'll hire him. But I'm not hiring awoman." So, I sent Ray down and Ray got the job. Well, I got the job at the drygoods store and worked there. So we didn't have any hard luck at all. And of course, my son-in-law was a Washington Water Power man, Me had a steady job all during the Depression. And he came of a wealthy family. And we didn't have any hardship. But John and B yers had hardships. And John especially because he had a big family. And i remember that Nogle, the head man here then, his wife was kind of a snip, and John went to ask for a sack of flour- and I don't know, John ought to tell you about it because I don't remember much about it, but anyway, she acted up about giving him a sack of flour. And she had no right to do that. John had eight little kids and if he needed an extra sack of flour, he should have had it; but he didn't get it. John was kind of timid, you know. But I've heard him tell about it. And those Nogles were just kind of snippy. They weren't people that were capable, that should have handled that, because there was a lot of complaint among other people.
SS: About how—?
KW: Yeah, about how they'd treat 'em, you know. Some of 'em would wantthe flour or whatever it was that they wanted in the food line, they were entitled to have, and John wasn't the only one.
SS: Were they in charge of distributing food for the company?
KW: Yeah, that's what they were doing.
SS: He also controlled who would be working, too, didn't he? I thinkat that time, Nogle did.
KW: Yes. Oh, well, it wasn't Nogle, it was his wife. I think thatyou'd find if you'd ask John about it that when Mr. Nogle found it out he got flour. It wasn't Nogle, it was his wife. She was kind of ornery.
SS: I have heard and I think it's kind of true in most towns, that there'ssome few people who like to feel that they're a little bit better than the others.
KW: Yeah. I think that not only his position- it give her thebighead- because she was nothing here in Bovill till he got that job. She wasn't a woman that made friends and had much of a personality she was just a big rew that's really what she was. She was just a big, fat rew. She was a good woman, as far as that was concerned, I always liked her. But that's what she was. She wasn't a very attractive person, never. And I think that ijust went to her head. I could never think of anything else. I was horrified when John told me about it.
SS: You know, when I was talking with yers I happened to mentionFrank Robinson and Psychiana. You know that fellow in Moscow.
KW: Oh, yes.
SS: And he told me that Ray-
KW: You know Ray wasn't a bit religious. He was raised- hisgrandfather was a Methodist minister and his father was a minis ter's son, and he was a religious man, Ray's father was, and his mother was a very religious woman, but his mother died when he was only twelve years old. And he had an uncle that wanted him to be come a minister. And Ray was sent up there- he had to go up there and stay over the weekend sometimes with his uncle, I don't know why, I don't remember. But he'd have to go up to the uncle's and this uncle wouldn't even let that kid throw a ball across the yard. He just had to sit. You feature a twelve year old boy doing that on Saturday and Sunday? And then his uncle'd read the Bible. Well, you know, it just hardened Ray toward Christianity something terrible. And when I first married him, why, I wasn't a Christian, Ihad been raised in aChristian home, but Ihad neveiTieally conse crated my life, you know to the Lord and really was converted until I was quite old; twenty-one, probably. And Ray, I thought he was an atheist. He acted to me just like an atheist. He didn't argue with me or anything like that, but he come out one time flatly and told me that if I ever became a Crhistian, he'd leave me. "Well, I said, "leave me, Big Boy." I says, "Pack your suitcase right now and get out. Because," I said, "I'm going to Spokane with my sister and I'm becoming a Christian." And I took it up with the church up there and told them just what he'd said, and they said, "Well," they said, "you've done the right thing, Mrs. Waldron.^You have to make your choice. If he wants to leave you, why, let him go." I came back and he never did leave me! (Laughter) He thought he'd bluff me out, see. But he was finally converted. He was finally converted as the years went by. And it was the funniest thing, you would just die laughing if you have time for me to tell it to you.
SS: Oh, sure, tell me.
KW: That's when we was living in Troy, during the Depression, and Istill thought at that time- the kids were grown and gone- we were alone, and I thought at that timeAhe was an atheist. I never argued or quarreled with him over religion. But he never tried to stop me going to Sunday School with the children or anything. .He was too fine a man to do anything like that, and I think deep in his heart he thought I was doing the right thing, don't you see. And I went to this big camp meeting and there was a Bible being sold there in the camp meeting and I wanted that Bible. Well, it was during the Depression and the Bible was $20. That was big money at that time, you know. But I bought it and I brought it home and Ray just looked at me and he said, "Don't you know, you shouldn't have bought that Bible now?" He said, "During the Depression? Wait till the Depression's over." And I said, "I couldn't have gotten it then." And I said, "it's right at my birthday, you can call it my birthday present." And he kind of grinned at me. Well, my mother and dad came down to visit us. And they hadn't been in the house I don't think a half an hour and was just talking there talking and visiting and Ray said, "I want to show you what I bought for my wife for her birthday!" And he went in and got that Bible My mother was delighted. (Laughter) My father thought it was nice, too. And I pretty near died laughing. I never said a word. I said, "Isn't it lovely and isn't it nice." Adn I let it go. But when I got my mother alone, I told her and she pretty near died laughing, too! And that was one funny instance.
Well, one time our bathroom was right straight off from thekitchen, right at the bathroom door there was a cupboard right there and there was a woodbox, we burned wood, you know right there and I reached down to get a stick of wood; Ray was in the bathroom shaving and I raised up and hit my head right on the cor ner of that cupboard, and you know how badly that hurt, it pretty near knocked me out and I just stood there, and Ray stood there looking at me. "Why don't you swear?" And I said, "What good would that ?" And, I said, "You remember you're an atheist and I'm a Christian, and Christians don't swear." And that's all I said. And he said, "Who said I was an athetist?" I said, "You act like one, I thought always you were an atheist." "Well, I'm not an atheist." And I said, "I'm to know that." And then I had a program, it was a program the same morning, Iwas getting ready to go to church, and there was a program on and there was a minister there that was preaching and he was preaching a marvelous sermon, and I said, "Ray," he was sitting there in the living room, I said, "get the name of that minister for me, will you?" I said, "That's a wonderful sermon and I'd like to know what his faith is." I said, "I'd like to know." And he says "Yes." So I went ahead dressing and he come out in the kitchen and he said, "His name is so-so," he said, "He's a Methodist minister," he says, "that's what I am. I'm a Methodist." And I says, "How do you do, I'm so happy to meet you, I'm glad you're a Methodist!" ^iied laughing, that was the funniest thing and the way he said that, he said, "I'm a Methodist." And I said, "How do you do, I am just so happy to meet you, Mr. Methodist." His grandfather was a Methodist minister. And
SS: But during all these years he didn't go to church?
KW: I got him to go one time in Troy to a revival with me, and cominghome; the streets were lighted, of course, and he saw a different men coming out of Lutheran Church, I don't remember what church it was, but it was a church there in Troy and Ray turned to me and he said- he knew the man, knew him well that was coming out of , and he said, "Look at that old hypocrite, going to church, he's the biggest old hypocrite in this country." And I said- "Going to church." He says, he said, "That's the reason I won't go to church." And I said, "Well, Ray, if you don't go to church and become a Christian," I said, "you're going to hell. you know that? And the streets of hell will be just paved, I said, "with hypocrites!" I don't know what he thought about it. He never said a word. (Chuckles) But we sure had some funny experiences the years. And we didn't argue religion or anything like that, but he was converted. He finally became a Christian.
SS: Was it a particular experience he had?
KW: No, I don't think so, I think it was just my life and seeing thatit was the better life. He was an intelligent man, you know. And he realized as he grew older; and his background, his father was a minister's son, a Christian man and his mother was a fine Chris tian woman and his grandfather. And I think that that all had it's influence on him.
SS: Even though he wasn't active, he still was a very good person?
KW: Yes, he was a good man all the time. He didn't drink or carouse,he did smoke cigarettes, but he wasn't a tavern bum or anything like that, he was a good man and his son/and his grandson, are the same way. Our son never hangs around never did hang around and when he was young he never did hang around the taverns and drink beer and whiskey and tear around like that. I think maybe he did smoke for a while, but he doesn't smoke now. And my grandson never has smoked. He don't smoke and never did drink or ca rouse and he never did hang around. It's their background. He's my only grandson and he's always admired me and liked me and he knows I'm a Christian. Well, he's a Christian
SS: Well, the time that you went to Spokane, that time that you saidyou were going anyway even if he didn't want you to go, you said you were going to become a Christian. Is that why you were going to Spokane?
KW: Yes, yes. On a Sunday up there and my sister wanted to go and mybrother, John, of course would go, and we wanted to take in those meetings they were having - and we wanted to take in those meeting. My sister was an invalid, you know, and I wanted to go with her and that was why I went to Spok .ane to be with her.
SS: What denomination was that?
KW: That was Church of God. Not that cult; there's a cult that callsthemselves the Church of God.
SS: You told me when I was here before about that.
KW: But that's not the same; no, it's not that cult.
SS: I had mentioned Frank Robinson to you.
KW: Oh, I was going to tell you about that. Ray was working in thepost office and that was before Ray was ever converted, that was an experience. He was a big man, Psychiana Robinson, a great, big man; and Ray run the post office because the man that was ahead of Ray in the office was always gone and Ray just took care of that post office, and it didn't make any difference to him that that other fellow would just take off, you know. Well, anyway he was alone in there that day and this great, big, fine looking man came in and he bought $500 worth of stamps all at once, and Ray said he never heard such cursing in all his life! He was mad at the post office in Moscow and he was going to make a first class post office out of Troy. He was going to do all his business in Troy. And Ray just was horrified. He said, "I've lived with the lumberjacks and I never heard such curS; ing." He come home and he said to me, "Well, you know, Kate I met the devil incarnate to day." And I said, "What?" And he says, "I met the Devil incarnate today. If I ever saw the Devil, I saw him today." And then he told me. He said, "That Psychiana Robinson in Moscow came in and bought $500 worth of stamps at one time and he was so mad at the Moscow post office that I never heard such cursing in all my life. I have never seen anything like that." He said, "I saw the Devil incarnate!"
SS: Did Robinson say why he was mad at the Moscow post office?
KW: No, didn't explain a thing to Ray. But he was mad at 'em andhe was going to bring every bit of his business, and it would be a lot. He had an enormous business, because he had people from all over the world. He preyed on rich widows, that'who he preyed on. And he'd buy $500 to $1,00 worth of stamps at a time.
SS: Did he come back and use the Troy post office?
KW: No, he never did come back. I don't know whether they straightenedthings out in Moscow and gave him his way, whatever it was he wanted he got, because he never came back. And Ray didn't want him to. He said, "I don't ever want to meet that man." He horrified Ray just that bad And it must have been terrible because Ray wasn't a man that was religious himself in any way and to be so horrified- But he said, "I never saw anybody like that man." He said he was had ever heard in all life, flnd he had been among the lumberjacks for years and they were bad to swear. And of course, Psychiana didn't live too many years after that, he died. But his wife never, never did accept his religion; never. She was a fine Christian woman.
SS: Did you know her?
KW: No. But people that did know her told me about her. Said she wasa lovely woman and she didn't approve of him and his business at all. She knew he wasn't right, that he shouldn't do that. But she stayed with him till he died.
SS: She went to the Presbyterian Church in Moscow, I understand regularly.
KW: Yes, he was a peculiar character. Very peculiar. I guess he hada regular following there in Moscow. I never did find out^fnever did ask; but he must have had.
SS: My understanding is that he did almost all of it by mail and thathe tried - and that he refused to sell his literature to people in Moscow because he was afraid or didn't want to get the other denominations going against him, because they weren't very happy about what he was doing anyway and if he was trying to convert people in Moscow it would have aroused a lot of anger, I think, towards him. I don't think he really had a big following in Mos cow.
KW: But he had all over the world. But I don't believe he did either,because I never did meet anybody that approved of him in Moscow. They even talk of him today, they say, he was an awful chara cter, he was just an awful character. I never did see him to know him. I didn't have any desire to meet him.
SS: When was it that you and he moved to Moscow, and you started towork at the Ben Franklin?
KW: Well, it was during the Depression.
SS: During the Depression? I was curious about that. You told me thatyou were the head clerk at the store.
KW: Oh, yes at the Ben Franklin store for years; I was head lady.
SS: What was that work like at that time?
KW: It was just clerking. I worked all over the store. And we haddrygoods and a hardware counter and stationery; just everything.
SS: Did you have much responsibility?
KW: Oh, yes, I had a terrible lot of it responsibility. I don't seehow I ever kept up it. I had to train in every girl that came in the store. I had to okay every check and I had to recount every bill The girls would put down their sales, you know, and add 'em and,they'd have to bring that slip to me and I had to readd it and Ididn't have an adding machine to work and Iwas change girl. Ihandled all the change. And I had to take care of the girls; they had fifteen minutes off in the morning for coffee. Well, they had to come to me and get permission to go, the ones that were leaving, so I'd know when they should be back in fifteen minutes, you know. And, I did buying.
SS: You did the buying?
KW: I did buying. Ihad quite a lot of experience in buying with thosesalesmen. Ihad one big fellow come in, he was just swearing like a blue streak and he was going on and on and Isaid, "Now,listen here, little boy," I said, "if you want me to look at your mer chandise, you just pipe down. Idon't swear and Idon't like swear ing." And, Isaid, "If you can't show me your stock without swaring," Isaid,"just close your suitcase and get out." And the mana ger was right up in the office and he could hear every word I said and he approved of it just highly. And you know, that man apologi zed and never did he ever swear again. That was one experience I had. And those salesmen are dirty minded, the majority of 'em, they're just full, you know, of dirty stories, and they never did tell me adirty story. Isaid, "Just go and peddle that stuff," I said, "to the ones that like it. Idon't like 'em. Idon't tell dirty stories and Idon't listen to 'em." "Well, now^this is just agood story, this is just a story." I said, 4o tell it to somebody else, but I don't trust you!" (Chuckles)
And we had superintendent every so often we had asuperintendent come in- and he came in and we were working for Jim David then, and you know Jim was only about tweuty-seven and he didn't want us clerks calling him Mr. David; he gave us orders to call him Jim and of course, I was old enough to be his mother, and he didn't want me calling him Mr. David, he said, "I want you all to call me Jim." So we called him Jim. Well, this superintendent came in. And those superintendents kind of watch the store in every way and they changed things and they talked to the clerks and tell 'em how they should do and what they should do. Well, he called us together and he said; he bawled us out. He bawled some of the girls out aw ful, he didn't say anything directly to me. He was showing the girls things that they did that I let 'em get by with, didn't bother me, but it bothered him and he was a swearing away, you know, and he got all through and then I said to him, I said, "Are you through?" He said, "Yes." Now I said, "I'm going to tell you a few things." "Alright, Kate," he says,"just what do you want?" I says, "I don't like your swearing." I wish you could have seen him! He had been swearing a blue streak, and I said, "I don't like the way you swear!" And he didn't say anything for a few minutes and then he said, "Well, Kate," he said, "don't you ever say darn or damn?" And my manager, Jim, says, "She never says anything like that,never." And he said, "Well, you know, Kate, I quit drinking I quit smoking." And he said, "I have tried to quit swearing, but you know, Kate, I can't." "Well," I says, "I still don't like it." And I looked at him and smiled andsaid, "I just don't like it. You could quit if you wanted to. That's just a dirty habit, lack of vocabulary. That's what the matter with you, your lack of voca bulary. You can't express yourself without swearing." Well, the next morning he come over to me and says,"Kate, I want to show you something." He took me over to a girl's counter, way over on the other side of the store. He says, "Look at that counter." You know Jim was just a playboy and that store went broke -under Jim and I knew it would when he took it over. I knew that it would because he was nothing but a playboy. Mr. David had no business putting him in there at all. And he said, "Look at that counter!" I looked at it and I said, "Yes, it looks bad." He said, "It looks just like the devil, don't it?" "Oh," he says, "I beg your pardon, Kate, I didn't mean to say that!" I couldn't help but laugh, I said, "Oh, that's alright, it really does." (Laughs) But, oh it was ; funny, I just got such a kick out that. He was a nice guy. I learned to like him awfully well. But he was pretty careful when he was around me with his swearing. I had another experience with a superintendent. I was a good saleswoman, that's why they kept raising my wages all the time, because I^loved to sell and I was a good salesman, if I do say it myself, I didn't have any trouble selling things. Davids would bring down everything they couldn't sell the: own store and I'd sell it. I'd sell it for 'em.
SS: Did Davids actually own this Ben Franklin?
KW: Yeah, they bought this store when Jim was working there.. That washis son, see, and he put Jim in there and Jim was only twentyseven years old. He was just a perfect playboy and I was going to tell you personally, he wasn't too bright. Jim wasn't too bright. He was one of the nicest people I wave ever known. He wouldn't say an unkind word to you to hurt your feelings if his life depen ded on it, because his father just browbeated him to death. I learned to just love Jim and I felt so sorry for him because he had heart trouble, and I just pitied him. My heart just went out to him.
SS: Which one was Jim's father? Was that Homer?
KW: That was Homer.
SS: So he dominated him.
KW: And he abused Jim. I saw him browbeat that boy something terrible.I just loved Jim, my heart just ached for him because I knew that he wasn't real bright. I don't know whether Old David knew that or not. I just don't know. But he wasn't ,1 knew it. I could tell it by the things that he'd do.
SS: When you say he was a playboy, he really wasn't serious about thebusiness?
KW: No, he wasn't, he just didn't care. I went down in the basementone time and I brought up twenty-seven articles that should have been upstairs that that girl should have had on her counter. Now that was his business; that wasn't my business. My business was to sell it and it had to be there to sell. And I said,"Jim," when he came back from lunch, I said, "come over here, I want to shttytyou something." And I took him over and I said, "I have brought up twenty-seven articles, Jim, that should be on that coun ter." "Where in the world did you find 'em, Kate?" I said, "Down in the basement." I said, "They're down in the basement. They're down in the basement, they've been shipped in and they're there and marked, but the girls don't go down there and get them." I tried to help him in every way that I could because I thought the world of Jim. I just thought the world of him. And this superint endent come and when they come they just worked him to death. And this superintendent, it seemed to me that he was just overstepping his authority. And I said to him, I said, "Do you know that Jim has heart trouble awully bad?" And he said, "No, I didn't know that." "Well," I said, "you just better lay off of that kid. And quit working him so hard, because if you don't he's going to have a heart attack. I've been with him for several years here," I said, "Jim can't work like that. You're just working him to death." And, he said, "Well, I will. I won't do anymore Kate." He said "I'm so glad you told me." And he left the next morning. He told Jim, he said, "I have stayed here as long as I can stay." But he was just working Jim to death. He didn't know that Jim had heart trouble. Jim was a great, big fellow, you know, massive man, you wouldn't think of him having a heart condition, but he did.
SS: These supervisors; where did they come from?
KW: I'd seen him when he worked there in the store and he'd have oneof those spells and he'd be just as white as that lamp shade. And, I'd say, "Now, Jim, you'd just better be quiet. You'd just better sit down and be quiet, don't be trying to do anything more." And I knew his condition. But of course, these superintendents that come in there, they didn't. They didn't know his condition. And it depended on a lot where he'd been the night before. If he'd been out gambling and tearing around, why, you see that next day working him to death, it was jusfferrrible.
SS: These superintendents; where did they come from?
KW: Well, they had men- you see, that was called the Ben FranklinStore. And there are big Ben Franklin stores over the country now, too, and they had leaders that come in that kind of oversee every thing. Well, Mr. David, the Old Man Homer, Jim's father put Jim in there and he just kept these superintendents coming and paid them, and he knew they'd be a help to Jim, which they would, of course.
SS: So the store was really owned by Davids-
KW: Yes, by Davids.
SS: But it was still part of that Ben Franklin-
KW: Yes. He would hire these men, pay them extra to come every month.They'd come every month.
SS: Did the store go down?
KW: Yes, the store went broke- went down, went clear down and they soldit to Justice. I worked for Mr. Justice for years. I would have worked at Creighton's, they wanted me out there, but Mr. Justice just raised my wages.
SS: This Mr. Justice, that's not Shorty?
KW: No. That's another Justice. No. They built 'em a beautiful homethere in Moscow. They made a fortune. , The Ben Franklin store, they bought it from David and then they bought into the other IOC store. And they ran the %store for years, and they made a for tune there.
SS: What happened to Jim?
KW: Well, Jim and his wife separated and they went down to Californiaand Jim died. He didn't live to be very old. He didn't live many years after I worked with him. He worked for a while in the David's store with his father up there. Jim was a good clerk. He was a good salesman. And I went in there time and again and Jim would always say, "Come on up here and work with us." And I'd go in there and they was having a sale and the clerk would say, "Come on, go take off your coat and come and help us." I got so I just hated to go in there. Even Homer was after me trying to get me and Virginia, My niece, Mrs. Chet Morris was with me, says, "We don't want her working anymore. Do you understand that?" And Homer said to her, he said, "You come and clerk for me then." And Virginia says, "I don't want to work. " She says, "I don't want to work and I don't want Auntie Kate working anymore, either." But I had worked till I was tired.
SS: Tell me something about the selling. You said you really enjoyedselling. What was there about it that you liked?
KW: I don't know, it just fas inated me. I couldn't tell you whatthere was about it. I was a good salesman; I could sell anything I'd start out to sell. David's would send down- I remember one Christmas- I worked for Bill Thompson. Bill Thompson run the David's store before Jim took over. And David's bought and put Mr. Thompson in there as manager; Mr. Thompson and I together built that store up. Because Mr. Thompson whenever some the superin tendents would come when I first went to work there, why, Mr. Thompson would take me up in the office and introduce me to these men and he said, "She is my saleswoman, my helper. She and I are building this store up." And when he left there and went over and took over the Potlatch store he tried his best to get me to come over there. But I didn't want to go to Potlatch. And we built the store up; Mr. Thompson and I. Mr. Thompson was a good manager. A good head man and then I was a good saleswoman and we built the store up. Well, then, Mr. Thompson got a better job Potlatch. He left and they put Jim in there. Thompson said to me when he was trying to get me to come and move over, he said, "Why can't you move over there? Ray's working in Bovill, home over the week end it wouldn't beany harder for him to get home." And I said, "I don't want to. I don't want to go over there. I've been in Potlatch, I don't want to leave Moscow." The church was in Moscow you know. "I want to be where the church is." And he said, "You know Kate, it's going to be rough here, because that kid will never put this store over the top. He'll go broke just as sure as the world." And I said, "Well, maybe he will, maybe he won't. I hope he won't." He said, "Well, he will, you wait and see." He said, "You wait and see. I'll give him two years'and this store'11 go broke." Mr. Thompson told me that. And so, when Jim's father came down; He said, "Now Jim, Mrs, Waldron has been here with Bill and they've built this store up." He said, "Now, you work. Mrs. Waldron'11 help you and you work together." That was the worst thing he could have said to Jim. Jim was a young fellow twenty-seven years old; just a boy, and his dad saying that and browbeating him down all the time like he always had. Jim wasn't going to let some old woman come in there and boss him. Can't you see it ? I could see it. I knew it just as well, but Jim learned to like me. And I liked Jim, we were the greatest of friends. And I helped him all that I could. But I couldn't go to his father and tell him I knew the store was going broke. A^ter s*x m°nths I knew that it was just a question of time until the store would be down broke. Why, it was just rotten the way that store was run. It was just plain rotten.
SS: What was it that he was doing wrong?
KW: The girls just neglected their counters and they'd sit down, havebooks there and read 'em instead of.working on their counters. And I was really the only one that paid attention to business at all. And Jim, sometimes he'd come and look at my till and he'd just shake his head. And he'd say, "I don't see how you do it." And he'd go to the other tills, the girl'sAtills and they didn't have hardly anything in 'em. They were just laying off on the job. And sometimes there'd be three or four of 'em up in the office talking, visiting, cutting up with him. It was just a regular playhouse I was just burned up two, three times that I thought I'd quit. But, I thought, "As long as I'm doing my part and not laying down on the jobt" I felt sorry for Jim be cause his dad would come down there and just bawl him out something terrible.
SS: He'd come down every now and then and be angry about it?
KW: And be angry with Jim. And Jim'd never say a word. And my heartwould just go out to him, . I would just pity him and I just couldn't leave him. I stayed with him to the end; because they paid my wages just the same. And I kept up my work.
SS: — in front of the—?
KW: No, he didn't bawl him out in front of,the other girls, but hedidn't care if I was around. But he wouldn't bawl him out around the other girls. But if he did.the other girls would have been mad at him, they stood right by Jim, because they all liked. Jim, and Jim was the loveliest person. He wouldn't say an unkind word to hurt anybody's feelings if his life depended on it. He was gentle as a lamb.
SS: He just wasn't a—?
KW: He just wasn't fit for a manager, because the clerks,some of themyou just have to talk to you know it's the manager's place to do it. Believe me, Bill Thompson did it. He said, "If you're going to work here, you get behind that counter and you stay be hind it and you keep on the job and keep your counter up or you get out!" (Laughter) That's the way Bill was.
SS: You tell me you're not so sure what you liked about selling; butwhat do you think it was that made you a good saleswoman?
KW: Well, I think that I was very nice to the people. I was friendly.I met a woman over here at this party yesterday, and I didn't know her from Adam's off ox, and she come up to me and took my hand and she says, Kate, I knew you when you in Moscow and you wai ted on me many times." And I have had that happen to me hundreds of times. I go to Moscow and I'll be sh.opping and some woman'11 come up and say, "Well, how are you Mrs. Waldron? I haven't seen you in years. And I was so sorry when you quit working." I've had hundreds of compliments. I guess it was because I like people. I love people; I love to be with people. And I was nice to them. And if there was some old lady'd come in that needed special at tention, I gave it to her. And I heard one lady say to another one said, "If Mrs. Waldron tells you that goods won't fade, it won't fade." Said, "You can depend on anything she tells you." And I guess that's why I used to sell when Iwas alittle tiny girl. You know how kids do? They see an ad. I remember I sold Cloverine salve, and I send and get that salve today. It's the finest salve, I think, on the market today. And to sell it- a little box of it- for and then there was a pretty Picture went with it. And I used to make spending money. And one time I sold silk hose; not silk hose, but good hose, they didn't cotton hose. And Mama'd let me. She'd say, "Well, if you want to try it, send and get it." She'd give me the first money, the first money you have to pay, you know. And I'd go over to town at Potlatch and I made pretty good spending money for myself. I just naturally liked to sell. And I think I lear ned a lot, too, in that, because I enjoyed my work very much. When you were at Ben Franklin's, what did you sell mostly? Was it women's clothing and that sort of thing?
KW: Well, yes. We had children's clothing and hose; silk hose, andall kind of baby clothes. I had a big counter of baby clothes. I had three big counters. And I love to decorate. I think my real calling was an interior decorator. Because I just loved it. And one time Mrs. said to me, she said, "You know, Kate, I wish we could pay you to just decorate. Not let you do anything else but just decorate. Because I would decorate the store, the walls back of me, you know, and I just loved to do like that.
SS: I can see it in your house and on your grounds now, you have thatflair.
KW: We talked about it, my daughter and my nieces, since we've gottenolder, and everyone of them think that I'm a real- my real calling is an interior decorator.
SS: When do you think that that started to show its self? Were youyoung?
KW: Yes, I think it commenced showing after I was married and had myown home. Have you ever seen my kitchaii?
KW: Well, my house is not swell, you know that, but come see my kitchen.
SS: Oh, it's pretty. (end of subject.)
SS: of faith healing.
KW: Oh, yes, yes, I have. I believe definitely in divine healing.I've had several wonderful healings. I got up one morning and I waked up in the night and I couldn't turn over at all; I was in such pain I didn't know what in the world was the matter with me, but I just couldn't move, couldn't turn over. Well, in the morning I tried to get out of bed and I couldn't. I wanted to unlock that door so when John and Byers came they could come in if I couldn't help myself, they could get in, yon know. If they'd come and the door was locked they'd think I had gone somewhere, because they don!t come till about nine, ten o'clock and I couldn't get out of bed. And I just said, "Lord, I just can't do this. You have to help me. I'm praying to the same Jesus that walked the shores of Galilee. And he healed the people, and I know you can heal me." And I laid there a few minutes and raised up and got out of bed, and every pain was gone. There wasn't a thing in the world wrong with me. I unlocked the door and I did my work and there wasn't a thing wrong with me. I was just healed complete. I felt like a- I ve never been able to express how I felt. I felt just as light as a feather. And I felt just as good as I felt when I was a girl. I was just touched completely and healed. And that was one experience y had. And not long ago I had an experience; I was getting breakfast and I was taken sick- and I faint, I know when I'm going to faint, I can tell, I get deathly sick and the blood just drains out of my face, I get just as white as snow. If I can just lay down, just as quick as I can so I won't fall. I don't know how long I lay in the faint, I haven't any idea, I was alone and I come out of it fin*tfy. And I'm alright. Anyway I was sick, and I was afraid of fainting; I didn't faint, but I was afraid of fainting, and I got up and felt that terrible nauseated feeling and I got out and I couldn't hardly get my breakfast. I put the coffee pot on; made me some toast; cooked me a couple pieces of bacon and I set down to the table. I couldn't hardly get down to the table, I just was just sick; plain sick. I turned thanks, of course,NI always do and I prayed for myself. I said, "I don't know what this is, Lord, but I know it's not your will that I be sick, I know that. I'masking you to help me." I didn't think anymore about it,just went ahead and ate my breakfast. All at once I realized that I was perfectly healed. I got up; did my work, I was just perfectly healed. Dressed and went to Lewiston and shopped. Told John it, what happened, and went to church the next day. That was one experience.
Well, I took sick once in Moscow, that's when I was clerking,and Jim knew that I was a Christian because I had told him that I was, and I wouldn't work at night and they wanted to work in the store and it was prayer meeting night, "I won't work." Told Mr. Justice that, too. "On Thursday nights, because that's prayer meeting night," and I said, "I'm going to prayer meeting." I said, "I'll work tomorrow night and any other night, but I'm not working that night." And I took sick in the store and I was just deathly sick. They sent me home and I said to the friend that took me home, I said, "I can't go to prayer meeting tonight, I'm too sick." I said, "You have them pray for me." And she said, "I will." And they did and I got up the next morning and I didn't expect to go to work; I got up and when I waked up I didn't know whether I ought to get up or not, I might faint, and I didn't want to do that. But y finally climbed out of bed and I realized that there was no thing wrong with me. I realized that I was perfectly well. I couldn't hardly believe it myself, but I knew I was perfectly well. So, I went downstairs and got breakfast and went down to work. And the clerks and Jim just like to fell over when they saw me come in the door. They says, "Why, Kate, you shouldn't come down to work today." Adn I said, "Why not?" I said, "I was healed last night. I didn't go to prayer meeting; I couldn't, I was too sick. You know how sick I'd been all day." Adn I said, "I couldn't go, but i had 'em pray for me." And, I said, "I'm healed.'* I said, "I'm not going home, now that I'm perfectly well. Why not stay on the job?" And their mouths were wide open, you know! They didn't know what to think I was there! That was a wonderful exper ience for me.
And one time the minister's wife had been sick and she'd hadquite a long siege, she'd been miserable and she was sick, and she was healed right while I was praying. She stood up after I had ha-d prayer and she said, "You know, I am healed. I was healed while Kate was praying" And, she says, "I'm so thankful; I'm healed, I'm well. I know I am, I feel it. I felt the touch." she said, "Of the healing of my body." I have told Byers and John of several of my experiences of being healed.
I was healed one time, and I knew I was healed. When youare healed, you know it. Then I started to work and all at once I was sick. And I said, "Listen here, Satan," I said, "you get away from me and you stay away." I said, "God has touched my body," and I said, "you aren't going to weaken my faith." And just like that, I was healed again. And Satan does that. He's not dead on the job, by any means, he's right there. And that was quite an experience. I told John and Byers about that, too. They believe in divine healing.
SS: I know.
KW: They believe in divine healing. You know, John, he's the luckiestold punkin, he's never sick. (Chuckles) He never has a pain in his body and he's 92 and he gets around. John was a marvelous ex ponent of the Bible when he was younger. He can't see now, hasn't been able to see for quite a number of years. But when I was teaching, I'd come to some deep question in lesson, you know, and I'd get him to help me. And sometimes I doubted him and I'd think, "I'd better go to the commentaries and do a little more research on that to make sure, and I never found that man wrong once. Not once. I just marveled at it. And if he wasn't real pcstive of the Bibical knowledge that he should give me, he'd say, "Well, Kate, you give me a few days and I'll study up on this. I'm not positive and maybe I'm not right, maybe I've forgotten a little." But he was always right.
SS: Where did you go for the commentary?
KW: For what?
SS: You said you would do some reading and research on it.
KW: Oh, I'd go to the commentary.
KW: Adam Clark. That was my favorite one. I had others. And I hadlittle commentaries on the whole year's lessons that I would send and get, and it would help you. I had to study like a trouper to teach the class I would teach, because I had college students and young married people and you had to know what you was talking about and whether it was right whether it was wrong.
SS: This Sunday School? Was this Church of God that you were teaching?
KW: Yes. Let me show you one of those books. Whatever the lessons areabout, you can send and get a commentary and it'd be the whole year's lesson. . And then we have our own quarterlies, you know. And the lessons would all be given here. Some of 'em are badly marked; my books.
SS: Can you tell me a little of what the prayer meetings were like?
KW: Yes, the prayer meetings would take a chapter in the Bible andwe'd maybe take six, eight verses of it and read the first six, eight verses and then the instructor would ask, "This verse, what do you get out of that verse?"'; certain verses. "What does that mean? What do you get out of it?" And maybe there'd be a word or two in that that they would ask us about. I love Bible study and I love a good instructor to help us. The more you study it the more you like it, and the more you love it. And we have Bible study over here. I held Bible study over here in this church for nine years. I had Bible study. And I had the teachers that comes and people that wanted to come, would come, and we had nice Bible study for nine years. And I'd take just one subject; I'd take the word 'sin' and I'd hunt up all the scriptures and we'd read 'em in Bible study. Or 'salvation' or 'sanctification' or any bibical word and I would send and get a book. I gave that book to Byers since I lost my sight. And it would give us re ferences to look up on certain bibical points, and it would just carry you clear through the Bible. That's what I believe, is what the Bible says. It's not what some theologian,Asome man, puts forward; it's what the Bible says. I play records here all the time, I can't read the Bible anymore. I have a book for the blind but I can't read only about that much, my eyes just fade out, but I have the whole Bible. And when I play a record I get three or four books. I get Mathew, Mark or Luke maybe. Mathew takes two records. It's quite a book, and all of Paul's teachings. And I never, never tire of it. I always get something new out of it when I play 'em.
SS: When you were telling me the last time we talked that when youwent to camp meeting and you were baptized; that your father sat there and cried.
KW: Yes, I was the only one that was baptized. And they didn't reallywant to baptize me, the ministers didn't, because I was the only one. And I said, "Well, I want to be baptized. I don't want to leave here til .I am baptized." And I had the awfulest time get ting my father down to that camp meeting. He went with Mama and I that time. And Ray didn't want me to go. If we'd go to Lewiston and they had camp meeting there and we could stay at the hotel then Ray'd go. But he wasn't going down there and camp out. He didn't like that, he just wasn't going to do that at all, and he wouldn't go and he didn't want me to go. Well, he talked to my daughter and he said, "I don't want you to take Mother down there." And she said, "Dad, I promised Mama I'll take her, and I'm going to take her." And Ray said, "I'm not going to help you pack." And I said, "Well, alright, you don't need to. I can pack alone." I had a neighbor that lived right next door to me, a nice old man, and he says, "Kate, I'll help you pack, I'll help you pack the car." And I said, "Alright." And so we packed and Dad wanted to go, my dad wanted to go. And I didn't know we'd put him but I said, "We're going to make room for him." Mama said, "We'll make room for him in the car." So we took my dad. We were packing that car, stuff clear over my lap and over Mama's lap and Dad's lap and we went. Well, I wanted to be baptized. My dad sat among the peopie, my dad wasn't converted, wasn't a Christian, and^fhe people saw him and told me about it afterwards, and they said when I went down into that water, the tears just rolled down my dad's cheeks. He cried like a baby. And that baptism was the most wonderful ex perience I ever had. As I walked down into that water, I just felt like I was being buried Christ. And I had a horror of being baptised. I was scared to death me under that water, I didn't want no sprinkling, I wanted to be baptised in the river. And so the minister says, "We'll baptise her, if she wants to be baptised. It's just one, but we'll have a service and baptise her." And when I came up out of that water, I just felt like a new creature, and that's what the Bible says you will feel and I did. I felt just like a new creature. I just felt like- I can't explain it, I've never been able to explain it; I just felt like I was buried with Christ and came up a new creature.
SS: Why do you think your father was crying?
KW: I think he was convicted, because that night my father went to thealtar and was converted. My father was converted that night. I think that's what it did, it just melted him, because Dad just adored us kids. He was a wonderful father. And especially us girls, he only had two girls and he just adored us. And to see me go down into that water, it just broke his heart, justed melted him, he wanted to be a Christian. That's what he said. He was going to join the Baptist Church when he was a young man, he and Mama, Mama was a Baptist before she became a Church of God woman. And they were going to vote him in, and you know, that made my dad mad. My dad knew just enough about the Bible to know that that wasn't bibical at all and it hardened him. He sat up all nightwent home- and sat up all night long; he wouldn't join the church at all. He told them that that was wrong, and he said, "if that's the way you people believe I don't that way and you're not voting me in. When I'm converted I'm borned in, I'm borned again, I'm borned into the Church of God." And he went home and he sat up all night long trying to find something in that Bible that would show, hwn that they had a right to vote him into the church and he couldn't find it; and it kind of hardened him. He went on for years then til. he was converted. Had you been going to the Church of God meetings for long before you, yourself, were born again? Had you been going there for long? Yes, I had been going from the time I was a child.
SS: To Church of God meetings?
KW: Uh-huh. Mama joined the Church of God when I was just a littlegirl. John remembers; I kind of think he remembers going to the Baptist Church, too.
KW: Yes. But by the time I got up ten, eleven years old so that Icould really remember, I was in the Church of God. Oh, I suppose I was converted when I was a girl, but you know kid*. But I guess it always stays with you more or less. You may not be living it, really, but I think that it has its effect. I think that's why it s good^to put a child in Sunday School and give them that teaching, because the Bible says, "Teach a child in the way he should go and he will never depart from it." He may wander away off into sin for a lot of years. Read the Bible, read it for yourself, study the Bible, just read it for yourself and see what it'll do for you.j, I would advise them, otherwise I didn't try to really advise them. Some of 'em had problems but they weren't along the bibical line. I could advise them, things like that. I remember one college girl coming to me and telling me that she was engaged to be married and some old sweetheart had written to her and I don't remember hardly the details, but anyway, she didn't know whether to answer that letter or not. I told her, "it won't hurt you to answer that letter. Let your sweetheart know that you wrote the letter and write this other old sweetheart."
Whatever the problem was. And I remember that. But, we had conversions; a lot of 'em were converted and some of 'em weren't. I remember one young college girl, she says, "I have tried and tried to be a Christian, and I just can't." And I said, "That's the worst lie ever told, because you can. It's just the works of the devil. He's trying to keep you from being a Christian." I said, "You know, the devil is not after the sinner, he's already got the sinner, he's after the Christian! people. He don't bother around with the sinners. He's after the Christian people; the people that want to be Christians. You don't need to feel like that." I often think of that girl and just wonder how she turned out, because she told me she had tried again and again to be a Christian, but she said, "I just backslide, I just can't." I said, "You can." And whether she ever/really got straightend out I really don't know. They graduate, you know, and go away or get married and go away. We just have one now over there a lovely, lovely girl and she's married. I'm afraid she and her husband are going to not be with us, they are moving away to a different part of the country. And we've always had that to contend with, be cause there isn't a think in Moscow for young people to really work to. They have to get out. They come back to church every few years.
0:00 - Mother and brother were devout Christians; father cooked Sunday meals; father was raise by a African-American; had a strict upbringing; her family was close
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Segment Synopsis: Her family. Mother and brother were devout Christians. Father cooked Sunday meals. Father was raised by a black woman after his mother died during the Civil War; the family has respect for black people. Strictness of upbringing: the children were taught right and wrong and manners. Her respect for brother John, who has always been kind to her. Closeness of family: Sunday get-togethers.
10:00 - Working after her husband became ill; how she and her husband met; Ray's friendship with the Kendalls; why Ray was interesting to her
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Segment Synopsis: She worked after husband Ray became ill. How they met: he knew she wouldn't turn around to look at a group of boys. Her girlfriends teased her about the new boy. Dating. Ray's friendship with the Kendalls, who were prominent men with Potlatch. Why Ray was so interesting to her - his polish from travelling with father.
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30:00 - Ladies' Aid putting on dinners for other groups; Bovill was a popular meeting place; friendship of salesman family
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35:00 - Discussion of her sister's prolonged illness; raising her sister's two children; she had planned on becoming teacher
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Segment Synopsis: Sister's prolonged illness and death. Kate quit business school in Spokane to be with her. She thinks she died from cancer, not tuberculosis. Sister gave Kate her two children to care for; her husband boarded with Kate for many years after. She went to Mayo Clinic and had a hired girl. She planned to become a teacher, and borrowed money from her parents for school.
47:00 - Learned a great deal from teaching Sunday school; quitting the church board; work in Troy during the depression; Mrs. Nogle having a swelled head because of her husband's position
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Segment Synopsis: She learned a great deal from teaching Sunday School to college students. She quit the church board after a minister said that twenty-five years was too long to be on. Work in Troy during the depression. Brother John turned down for flour by Mrs. Nogle in the depression; she had a swelled head because of husband's position.
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Segment Synopsis: Ray came from a family of ministers but had a bad experience with his minister uncle. Her suspicion that he was an atheist; his bluff to leave her if she became a Christian. Ray's "gift" of a Bible to Kate for her birthday during the Depression. He tried to get her to swear once. He declared he was a Methodist.
60:00 - Disagreement with Ray about hypocrites; Ray became a Christian through her example; trips to Spokane for religious meetings
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65:00 - Ray's run-in with Frank Robinson at the Troy post office; Robinson prayed on rich widows; everyone in Moscow disapproved of him
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71:00 - Her job as the head clerk at Ben Franklin store; her extensive responsibilities; Jim David's inability to manage the store; failure of the store and purchase by Mr. Justice
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Segment Synopsis: Work as head clerk at Ben Franklin Store in Moscow in the depression. Her extensive responsibilities - in charge of the girls, the receipts and buying. Chastising a swearing salesman and a dirty storyteller. Criticizing a good superintendent who swore. Her ability as a saleswoman. Jim David's inability to manage the store; his father Homer browbeat Jim because he wasn't doing better. She defended Jim, who had serious heart trouble. Failure of store; its purchase by Mr. Justice. Building up the store with Bill Thompson, who knew that the store would have trouble with Jim. How the store failed, the girls taking no interest in work. She felt sorry for Jim.
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111:00 - Her experience of baptism and husband's position to her attending; her parents religious feelings and the importance of religion growing up
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Segment Synopsis: Her experience of baptism. Husband's opposition to her attending. Father's conversion when she was baptised. Father decided not to become a Baptist because they voted members into the church. Mother joined Church of God when she was a child. Importance of religious training as a child. Advising college students in Bible class; a girl who said she could not be a Christian, although she tried hard. Young church members have to leave Moscow to make a living.