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Latah County Oral History Collection

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

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Date: August 24, 1973 Interviewer: Sam Schrager

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1:00 - Came to Moscow in 1902, jobs, killing of Steffen

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Segment Synopsis: Moscow was small in 1902 when he came. Work he did in and around Moscow. Killing of Steffen.

5:00 - Testifies in Egan case, details of case, moving

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Segment Synopsis: He testifies against Mrs. Egan, who was contesting her brother's will. He said that her brother was "sober as a judge" when he made the will, and the court broke out laughing, because he wasn't the soberest judge. He accused Mr. Egan of drinking, and she lost the case. He had been boarding there, but moved.

13:00 - Stories about mortgaged farms, Potlatch jobs, timber land in Washington

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Segment Synopsis: Hypotek sold mortgaged farms for less than $17 an acre. Potlatch mill brought lots of jobs. An old friend of Mr. Wells' bought up timer land for Vanderbilt in Washington.

17:00 - Moved west from North Carolina after Civil War, left California and Seattle

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Segment Synopsis: He came West with friends from Ashville, North Carolina, because after the Civil War, times were bad in the South. He wouldn't stay in Seattle because of the rain. Too many nationalities for him in southern California.

22:00 - Life in Moscow (downtown, taxis, clothing store)

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Segment Synopsis: "No fishing allowed" signs on Main Street, Moscow. Hotel taxi would get stuck, and passengers had to walk. He's bought clothes from David's since he first came to Moscow.

24:00 - Discusses Woodrow Wilson presidency

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Segment Synopsis: The last days of Woodrow Wilson: Elmer predicted he'd get into big trouble over the League of Nations; his cabinet tries to meet without him; his wife signs his bills.

28:00 - Idaho a Republican state, state politics, Governor Steunenberg

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Segment Synopsis: Idaho heavily Republican. Steunenberg had innocent men thrown into prison camp as governor, and so he was later killed. People got along well here in the Depression, (continued)

31:00 - Elmer travels east for bank information, as courier for bonds, credited with saving Moscow bank

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Segment Synopsis: Roosevelt's bank holiday. Elmer sent back East to look into the bank situation because of the lack of information, and he finds they're in a big mess. Elmer is the courier for $200,000 in bonds from Moscow to Spokane, which shocks the Spokane banker. Elmer's warning is credited with saving the Moscow bank. He goes down to California to personally collect a mortgage.

44:00 - McConnell was a friend, gave him reading material

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Segment Synopsis: McConnell was a friend of his, and used to give him reading material.

46:00 - National politics (Harding, Coolidge, Republicans)

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Segment Synopsis: Harding: how he was picked behind the scenes. He is bought by oil interests. His choice for secretary of the interior is murdered by his woman, who threatens to expose the Republicans. Teapot Dome. Coolidge asks Borah for advice on cabinet corruption. A drunken politician who decided sites for hospitals said that he was no worse than the others.

57:00 - Watergate scandal, President Nixon, Panama Canal

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Segment Synopsis: Watergate lying. Nixon ages overnight. Panama Canal shady dealings.

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