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This conversation with MAMIE SISK WURMAN, MARY WEST LYND, and MAMIE GARDAMMUNDEN, took place at the home of Mrs. Lynd on June 24, 1975. GLEN GILDER al so took part in this conversation, and the interviewer was SAM SCHRAGER.
MAHIE MUNDEN:, '— was her father's brother.
MAMIE WURMAN: And my father came out here and stayed quite a while and then hewent back for my mother and us kids. There was five of 'em. And so we come. We landed here the 21st day of July, in that old apartment house that burnt down.
MARY: Down here at Palouse?
MAMIE W: Well, that was a hotel. And that's where we stayed all night the firstnight.
MARY: What year was that?
MAMIE: It's been eighty-seven years ago.
MAJlIE W: It would be about eighty-six years.
SAM SCHRAGER: What do you remmmber the country being like then? That goes backso far.
MAMIE W: Well, we didn't stay right here, we went up above Princeton. We had ahomestead up there; in Idyho. But my uncle lived there, we was always down there with him. Well, you just lookfas far as you wanted to and you never saw nothing. Lot of the land wasn't even broke up. It was just sod. Course I remember^by hearsay. And then later when I was about six, we moved off of the homestead and down on the prai rie, and then we was down here from then on. But they had set out or chards then; built homes around, you know. Some of the land wasn't taken up yet. You could take a homestead, 160 acres, and then you could take a prsmption 160. And that's what my uncle did. He took a homestead and built on it and then he got this preemption and he didn't build on it. And well, Rhody's folks had a big orchard when we moved down of the homestead.
SS: Do you know why they decided to move down? Leave Princeton?
MAMIE W: Yes, because we didn't like to live up there. Nothin' up there. Justtimber, you know. Oh, we had some cleared up, but my dad went up and took it up for the timber. And then when we proved up on it, why, we moved down out of there. Nobody else in there hardly for miles,but us. They were so far apart. They was people up in there, but they was miles apart. And I know one night my mother heard, she thought a woman ascreamin' and she said, "I'm going to leave you kids now here and I'm going up and see what's the matter with her." We had a neigh bor up the gulch about two miles and she wasn't going to leave us kids noplace1 (Laughter) And the older one began to bawl and all of us, I guess, and you get five of us started- she didn't go. And so the next morning they was a fella come by and stopped and was talkin' to us and she told him about it and he said, "You're a mighty lucky woman you didn't go," he said, "that was a cougar screamin'. They just sound like a person."
GLEN G: Yeah.
MAMIE W: So she was mighty lucky she didn't go, and that just scared us kidshalf to death. We could see the bears around once in a while. One time my oldest, she was just a little over a year older than I was, always made us go out and clean out the mangers. They had broke up the land you know, and left the roots in the hay, and so we went up there and when we come out, why, we heard a cougar andAlooked over and he was way over yonder on the hill. But I just jumped up and down and started to scream. Gertie took off for the house and I just stood there a screamin'!! I couldn't a walked to save me, you know. I knowed he was agoin' a get mel But he was away over there and he didn't come toward us. And my mother come and got me. Boy, I was scared to in a inch of my life!
MvMfAl: Tell him how big you said it was. (Laughter)
MAMIE W: Oh, that was astretchin' it too much.
SS: No, how big?
MAMIE W: When my mother said, "Well, honey, how big was the cougar?" I said,"Oh, it's so big, it's so big. I said it's every bit as big as old John." And he weighed 2,000 pounds!! (Laughter) I said it was every bit as big as old John!
MARY L: You had something to fear, didn't you?
MAMIE W: Well, he looked awful big to me!
SS: Do you remember much what keeping house was like for your mother inthose days?
MAMIE W: Yes. You just didn't have anything to keep house with and you justdone the best you could. You had an old iron cookstove and you had a fireplace, and that was it. And you had some benches to set on and you had a table. And my father madeA bedsteads and we filled ticks with straw. And we had a feather bed. Yes, I remember those. Yeah. Got new straw every year after harvest.
MARY L: And oh, how nice we slept til we got it all wore out.
MAMIE M: And never had springs on the bed. It was all flat.
MARY L: eah, uh-huh.
SS: What about food?
MAMIE W: Well, you didn't have sugar. And you didn't have much fruit. Butother food, we raised it. Our vegetables. And coffee,we bought at Arbuckles and we got it at ten cents a pound. And you ground it.
MAMIE W: You had to grind it. You never saw any ground coffee. And lots oftimes they'd get what you call green coffee, and you'd put it in your bread pan and put it in the oven and turn the oven on and then shake it once in a while, brown it, and that's the way you cooked it. That is the and then you had to grxnd it, too, to make cortee.
SS: What kind of variety was there? Did you have a diet that was- I meanwas it different food all the time or was it—?
Well, we did, because we always raised a big garden. But we put whatwas raised on the ranch, let's put it that way.
Even the meat.
MAMIE W: Yes, if you had meat, you raised it. And if you had milk and butter,why, you had a cow. If not, you didn't. Some people would say, "Well, I lived so close to my neighbor I can get some milk once in a while." But then we always had a cow and we always had a beef to butcher in the fall. And we always had our pork to butcher. And I've heard 'em say, "Oh, if we could go back to the'good old days'!" I don't want to go back there! (Laughter) And you washed on a washboard. You didn't know there was such a thing as a washing machine. AndA used an old board. I suppose you've seen a washingboard, haven't you?
SS: Oh, yes.
MAMIE W: Well, that's what we washed our clothes on. Made our own soap.
And our motners worked from daylight til dark.
MAMIE W: Yes they did.
They worked all day. They don't do that nowdays.
SS: What would the different kinds of work be that your mother would haveto do that would keep her working day in and day out?
Well, we'd churn this way.
MAMIE W: Yeah, you churned with a dasher. You put your cream in a big jar and thenyou had homemade dasher. It was made this-a-way, you know. Two pieces.
SS: Yeah. Cross each other.
MAMIE W: Just doubled it up and down til you got butter. (Laughter)
SS: Took a long time.
MAMIE W: Yes, sometimes.
LYND, M: You know, you'd spend most- well, all morning washing on the boardfor a family.
MAMIE W: Well, yes.
I used to come home from sch°o1 in the evenin§ sometimes and mamawouldn't be through washing.
And You hunS your clotnes out on a clotnes line DUt xnever saw aclothes pin til I was- I don't know how old I was before I saw a clothespin.
I can't remember not having clothes pins. Old fashioned ones you knowThey just spraddled out.
SS: It would take her all day to do the washing. You start in the morning.
WURMAN: Well, sometimes. But she'd have to stop and get dinner for the hiredmen.
LYND: Yes, we always had hired men. My dad was quite a big farmer and heworked in the garden. always had men. And we had six cows to milk. And us girls- a and did the milking.
WURMAN: The men never did.
WURMAN: The women planted the garden and raised it. They worked in it.And pumped water for all that stock.
Yeah. We didn't. We took ours to the crick.We didn't have no pump, even. We had to pump it. We didn't. We just took ours down to the creek. We didn't have a pump.
WURMAN: But all day! All day, every day.Well, they had other things they had to do. Well, not every day. You wouldn't wash every day. No, but I mean others Every week. Well, you had all your baking to do. You had to bake your bread. You never bought anything that was ready to eat. You had to fix it. If you eat it, you cooked it! It isn't like it is now. And then you had to iron . . And you didn't have no electric iron, of course, you put the flatirons on the stove and got 'em hot and then you ironed it, and took it back and got another one and ironed. And that took quite a while. The clothes they wore then were so big, you know, the ladies' clothes. A Wasn't like- sssssp- up and down and getting our's done now! (Laughs) And six petticoats! Yes, all those petticoats. I remember my mother ironing and ironing those petticoats. And they'd be this wide. Yeah. Lace and ruffles and tucks. A0h, yes, everything had to have a ruffle. Do you remember Mamie Lewis? Yes. She was an old maid here for so many years, you know. And she told Mama one time that she had on six petticoats! (Laughter) Would a person wear that for just everyday wear? Oh, I guess that was when she was dressed up. They generally wore one.
Yes, but they were all starched, and that's a big job to iron.
LYND: And then„ 'knit.
WURMAN: Oh, yes, they knit all of our stockings and mittens. Stockings and mitts.
WURMAN: Everything. And they made all their clothes. You couldn't buy anythingreadymade.
SS: Sounds like the women worked as hard as the men did. When you do thatall day. Day in and day out. .
Well they Probably did.
Put in more hours.
GILDER: Driving the team wasn't hard for us.By golly, you know a bakin' and Andthey milked cows.
LYND9: But I was always.in trouble, I never could stay out of trouble!You wasn't!
Well, I was a good child! (Laughter) I was scared not to be.
I know one time I was out with my father and we had a great, big currant bush. Great big one. And he was mowin' the hay, and so he just come right up to that and he stopped and he said, Well, you sit down a little while and I'll go get me a drink." And I thought why waste time to sit down? I climbed up on the mower and told 'em to go on and I just whittled that currant bush right off to the ground! And I thought, now, he'll use one of them on me, but I guess he was so disgusted with me he didn't. He said, "I think you'd better go to the house and see your mother." (Laughter) But I never could leave things alone. But, I just wanted to help!
Did your wife remember to tell you that Reuben's folks sold out to thePotlatch?
SS: What is the story? Is that where they had the place?
Yes. They lived there. Reuben wasn't born there, but his youngerbrother and sister were born there. Well, Reuben's folks came out here from Kansas in 1884 and the grandparents had come the year before. And they had settled there where Potlatch is now. Well, Reuben's folks bought a farm right out of here about two miles and they lived there for ten or eleven years, then when the grandfather died, why, Reuben's parents and the kids went to live at Potlatch, and Reuben's father sold out to the Potlatch Company and that's when Potlatch became- came into being, in about 1905. They built the railroad there in 1904. Yeah, they started it. Did Reuben say who it was that came to his father to buy that land? Oh, they was, let's see—
Who did he say? Well, it came through the bank anyway. Belveal. Youremember old man Belveal? He came out there and he wanted to buy that land for twenty-five dollars an acre. You see he was trying to make a profit. He said he was buying it for a company that wanted to start a dairy up there and Reuben's father got wind of it. And then he sold it to the Potlatch Company for $100 an acre. How much did he have there to sell them? Well, one contract says 170 and one says 160, so I'm not sure which they settled on. But that was unheard of in those days, $100 an acre. Yeah, I've heard other stories about how Potlatch came in. One story I heard is that a guy came and said he was buying it for a mink farm, but I guess that's just not true.
LYND: Well, it could have been, I don't know. But I do know about this other,because Reuben had told me several times about Belveal coming up there.
And he knew that it was Potlatch that was going to buy it?Yes, he did. Just trying to make a profit on it, you see. Well, my father had passed away, but Mother sold her place up there, the homestead, to Potlatch. Well, that was above Potlatch, wasn't it? We lived four miles right up toward Bear Creek. Would you know what they bought it for from her at that time? Yes, I think it was fifty dollars an acre, what they bought her's for. That was about 1950, because my father passed away in '49. That was much later.
Well, they built these two railroads you know, after we came here.I remember standing up on a hill here and watching 'em work .Potlatch railroad . And now they've all been abandoned. We don't have any transportation on the at all
There must have been an awful lot of activity all of a sudden herewhen they came here. Well, before they came there was a sawmill here. We came here in 1904. And I went through the sawmill, that was here in Palouse. . It was just when you go out toward Colfax. It was just above the bridge on the right hand side there, that's where the sawmill was. . ". Yeah. Course that was all Of course that helped the country a lot when Potlatch came in. Gave a lot of work, work for the men. There were a lot of people came in then, too. Oh, yes. People coding to work from other places. They used to drive the logs down the driver, you know, for the sawmill. Cut 'em way up above here and drive 'em down the river.
SS: Did you see those log drives?
LYND: Oh, yes.
My dad and my brother would go on those log drives every year.Uh-huh. Did they think that was very dangerous work? No, I don't think so. It just had to be done and they done it. For how long would they go? Do you know? For how long a drive would last?
Well, it lasted all spring. Started early and then til the riverwould go down. But we had lots more water then than we do now. Well, the river was always high, to a certain extent then. But when Potlatch built the dam up there, we don't have so much water, that's what makes our river low down here. No, they used to go there and my brother-in-law went on the log drives.
SS: They'd be right in the river?
LYND: Well, they go down the side river, you know, and keep the logs in the Awater. Sometimes they'll be a little place that they'll float out, you know where the bank is kindof low, then the logs'd probably go out there and then they'd have to roll them back into the river. OH, I've seen the men go down the river there where we lived a ridin' on the logs.
Have their cork shoes on.
LYND: Yes. Had to have cork shoes on.
MUNDEN: And their 4 and the hand thing that they rolled the logs with.I got pictures of Joe Kimball run the logs down the river.
Yeah, they washed all the logs down the river to, you know.
LYND: Didn't there used to be a mill down there?
Well, they used to take 'em down there someplace, I don't know—I think it was Colfax, too. Cod was supposed to have had another mill down there. He had one someplace. Out by the Lang farm, I think it was from what all I can read. Aboo-f H~ Did you two grow up near each other at all? Oh, we wasn't too far from each other. No, we wasn't too far. My folks lived out west of town, til the fall of 1907 and in 1907 we moved out in Dufield Flat, out this way, so we weren't too far. But you were well behaved when you were a kid, not like her?(Laughs) Well, I never got (Laughter, and several talking at once) But I appreciate that, just let it go at that. You didn't go to the same school? No. Iwent to the D*»fy school, you know, over by Ed Curtises. And we went to the Berry school. And you went to the Berry school. And the Berry school's been moved. LiHb'. we Yeah, they use it for Will-Do Club now. „When^ . lived on the river ranch, you know, after I was married. We used to go to the Berry school to vote. It was over there then. Will you tell me what school was like when you were in the school? In those days? There was Blanche Neigels over here. I ain't gonna tell him anything about school or anything more the way he talks! (Laughter) I'm sorry. Did I say anything out of line? She's teasing you.
Oh, we had double seats, you know, two-and-two.And one teacher had eight grades. Taught all the grades from first grade through the eighth grade. forty Well, when Johnny Risley taught our school, he had -two scholars. And I told his daughter that and she said, "Well, he couldn't a taught that many scholars." But he give us a little folder, and his picture was on the outside and on the inside was the names of all the scholars and there was forty-two. That's mu husband's school. Now that was one mile north of Potlatch. Crane Creek, they called it. Well, Glen you probably know some of- Elsie Boone's in there and Lizzie and Elva La Salle. Seth Lynd, Elsie Lynd. Gertie Ross. Oh, I know Gertie Ross, she's my pal. AWell, tell me about Gertie. How Otj, she's just fine.
Is she? I went to school her out here by Kamiah.Oh, she's just fine. Her and I belong to the same ch^ich. And we go to the same missionary meetings and all that. She was my secret pal one time. ^Be sure and tell her hello for me. I've thought about writing to her. Didn't have her address, you know, after she lost her husband. Yeah, she redely missed him, she really did. See, they lived out in East Cove for a while when she was married to Clyde Barnes. Her first husband was Clyde Barnes. And they was two kids set in a seat, and there was a seat in front and they set on that and there was a whole row. Our Berry schoolhouse had a row on each side and down through the middle. It had four rows Oh, it did? Well, ours just had two out here, just two on a side. And every Friday, we'd either have arithmetic test or spelling bee. One time I was one of the last ones to stand up. (Chuckles) We had a spelling test with the Griner School. Did you find any of 'em you knew in there, A Glen?
GILDER: I wouldn't know them if I seen 'em. I didn't meet those people tilseveral years later than that. But I know an awful lot of 'em because they were still around.
LYND: And Otto Novak, he's in there.
LYND: I don't believe- well, he might be, I'm not sure.
SS: Well, what would school be like on a day for the kids there? Wouldyou spend most of your time studying by yourself?
LYND: Well, you was all settin' there. You had a seatmate, you see. We hadtwo in a seat, and they had recess.
MUNDEN: And you went from nine in the morning til four in the afternoon.
MUNDEN: No, two-thirty or three, you'd get out.
LYND: And we'd have fifteen minutes recess in the morning and in the afternoon and an hour noon.
WURMAN: And that's all they had.
LYND: We all carried our lunch, you know out in the country.
WURMAN: Did you notice how the girls all got on hightop shoes?
SS: Oh, yes, that's interesting.
MUNDEN: Long socks and hightop shoes.
My grandchildren say, "Grandma, why did they all have dresses on likethat?" (Chuckles)
SS: Well, why did they all have dresses on like that? (chuckles)
WURMAN: That was the style.
LYND: Yes, that was the style.
The same answer to day. Why do they wear 'em so short?It takes so much material. And it costs so much they can't afford to have 'em long. That's a good picture. Shows so plain in it. A man here in Palouse here took- he got the original from Otto Novak. And it was a log schoolhouse, wasn't it? Yeah, a log schoolhouse. Well, what happened during recess? Well, play ball. Blackman. . Yes. Well, ante-over, darebase. ,Us girls used to play baseball with the boys and ante-over was when you'd throw the ball clear over the building and someone try to catch it. They'd chose sides, you see. I'll bet you never heard of that, did you? No, I never have. But you caught it and then you ran around and caught somebody from the other side, and they had to come to your side, you see. You mean you ran around and caught somebody on the other side? Well, if you caught the ball when it come over the building, why then you could run around the building and hit somebody with the ball and they had to stay on your side. And the one that got them all on their side, then they won. Yes. Oh, we used to play that day after day. What else did you say you played? You said another one, too. Dare base and blackman and all them kind of things. They're all new to me.
I never played blackman or darebase, what was that?Well, didn't you girls ever play drop-the-handkerchief? Oh, yes. Mostly girls played that. Well, with darebase, they had a base there and they dared you to touch it and if they.' when you touched it, why you had to go on their side. And blackman, they'd holler run and you'd all run through. And we played stealsticks. Yeah. And if one got kinda behind and they caught him, why You had a pile of sticks over here a pile of sticks over there and a line through the middle; and then you go and steal their sticks and when they finally got all the sticks they won. A lot more games than when I was a kid.
Oh, yes, my children never played games like we did.My children went to an old log schoolhouse, looked about like this, when we was over in Oregon country. Did you? That burnt down several years ago and they built a frame schoolhouse. I seen that frame schoolhouse one time when I was a child. Ours burned down but they never it back. Then in the wintertime when you couldn't get out, the snow'd be way deep, why they used to play games in the schoolhouse. We used to play Pussy-wants-a-corner and everybody'd have their corner. Some of 'em. wouldn t be. corner^ but they'd have a desk that was sup posed to be a corner or something else for a corner and we used to play and play that. (Chuckles) Oh, several other games we played. Yeah, children had go od times years ago.
WURMAN: Had better times than they do now.Yes, they really did.
LYND: Like she said her son was feeling so sorry forher for the way she grew up and she said, "We had the best time in the world, when we were young."
WURMAN: We did. And we'd go horseback riding and things like that.
LYND: Yeah, I loved that. I'd like to have a horse right now. But it wouldhave to be awful gentle!
We used to have what we called literary.
SS: way of teasing people?
WURMAN: Yes, that's all. And then we'd all speak a piece or sing songs, youknow. Or have dalogues to entertain 'em.
SS: And debates?
WURMAN: Yes, and debates.
LYND: Sometimes spelling bees.
SS: This paper, would just somebody would read it, or was it printed out?
WURMAN: No, we didn't know what a print was. The teacher would write it orthey'd have some one of 'em to write the paper- just paper with pencil. Then at the literary, why, they got up and read it, what they'd got in the paper. You had to be mighty careful what you done around there! (Chuckles)
GILDER: You had to be mighty careful what you did, or somebody'd bring it up.
WURMAN: Yes, they'd sure bring it out! Or where you went,Oh, we used to have lots of fun. But some of 'em would really get a little mad when they'd read something about them. Charlie Sawyer one time- we was all going home from school and oh, he got smart and pushed him in the creek! (LAUGHTER) And, he said, "Don't you dare put this in the paper!" But there were half a dozen of us, somebody did, . and boy, he was mad about it. (Laughter) But then literary nights was a regular night. All the family went and everybody in the whole country.
GILDER: All the neighbors.
WURMAN: Uh-huh. And a lot of the old people; now, I know my uncle used tosing for them, you know. And they'd come right in with the program.
SS: Who prepared the programs? Did the school kids prepare 'em, or theteacher?
WURMAN: Well, the teacher would kind of get her kids, you know, she'd havethat. But with outsiders come in they'd just come in and then they'd put their name on the paper and they'd mix right in with us.
MUNDEN: And amateur night, too, they'd come in and sign up for what they wantto do, and just do whatever they want to do. And they used to be some teenage girls £hat didn't go to school and they'd get together and make up a program between theirselves. Would they have a party as well as the literary? I've heard about the party games that they used to play at school. Well, the Berry School did, quite often. But all the plays I can remember Skip-to-my-Lou,-My-Darling. It's like dancing, but A then they didn't call it that.
MUNDAN: (sings) "Oh, happy is the miller boy-"
WURMAN: Yes, and all of them.
SS: Would that be part of the same night?
WURMAN: No, it'd be different nights. Oh, we'd a stayed all night if we'd ahad- (laughter)
Well, sometimes they did!Lots of nights they had literary first and the little kids had their program and then maybe the bigger ones'd have too. And when they got through they'd play games, and sometimes even dance. These games; did everybody take part in those? Yes.
And then the Virginia Reel, anyone could do that, you knowv Yearsago, the whole family went to these things. Yes. from the babes to the grand masWherever you went them days, you took your family. / The whole family went. Didn't go like they do now and get a babysitter. And you know, the funny part of it was, every family in the neighbor hood was there. Yeah, that's right. All of 'em! Yes, they were all there. Was this a special occasion or just any old time? Friday night. Friday night. And on Saturday night, there was down.
They'd go to somebody's house and they'd play the violin all night.iAnd we had dances in the homes, you know. Family affair./ And they'd stay til broad daylight. And my kids, if they didn't get in—(Laughs) shortly after midnight, why we was pretty angry with 'em. And here, you stayed out til morning! (Laughter) And that was the truth, you did. Yeah, we did. But we had our mother and father along with us, you know! It was different.
Then, wherever you went, you took your family. If there was anythinggoing on, they mixed in, the old people just same as the young ones.
LYND: Yeah. Reuben and I had one date, when we went to a dance alone beforewe was married! (Laughter) And my dad was mad because- well, Reuben asked my dad if he cared if I went to the dance with him, and he didn't have nerve enough to say no. But then, he was ma d at me because I went. (Chuckles) That's the way it was in those days. The whole fa mily went. We didn't take off like kids do nowdays.
SS: So, if you and Reuben were going to the dance, your family would go,too?
LYND: Yes, the whole family went. My mother loved to go places. And I hada sister and a little brother- and Uncle Otis- do you remember Uncle A Otis? He used to take Mama and us girls and his family, they had three children, and we'd all go in the hack with the horses or a sled, which ever it was
SS: Would you go after supper?
LYND: Yes. And we'd start early. We'd usually leave about seven o'clock togo to the dance- and if it was any later than that it was it was late.
LYND: Yeah, was late. And we used to like to go to the Nagel's. We always had such a good time at the Old Man Nagle's. They had a big house,
MUNDEN: We and we were down on this side and it snowed our road in andwe had to walk out on top to Chaney's down here; Carl Chaney's
LYND: Yeah, I been there.
MUNDEN: And we went in the sled down to his folks house on the other side andWe got.the big wagon, and went to a dance, and then we came back to his folk's the next- well, it was gettin' daylight when we got there. And the went out to the big apple shed they had and sorted apples. And the ladies started in dressing chickens and baking pies and baking cakes and fixing for everybody to eat. And they had big, long table.
I'll bet, oh, it must have been as long as from here clear into theother room, and they had a large family, and I don't know how many ate A there.
This was after a night out? After being out all night?Yes, never even went to bed.
I've said many times; young folks don't know what they're missing now!Because they don't all go together. You know, the young folks'11 go and if the old folks wants to go, they go. This was a large house and it was an old house, of course, and they had so many children, and they built bedrooms all the wa y around the house! And so they took some of the children- like had one lit tle boy, and we took the kids in and put them to bed when we got there. They slept for quite a long while. They'd been up pretty late, too.A When you were at the Nagel's place, what kind of music did they have? Violin, and I don't know, how much music did they have days? Well, they had a violin, and maybe Yeah, and an organ.
Everyone had an organ. Harry Daley, you know, always played a violin.And they must have had some other- well, it was all donation. They weren't paid.
There was a drummer and quite often a slide trombone and^ anything- aaccordian. John used to play the accordian and he fiddled a little bit. Lizzie played the piano. They even played an old -rrench harp. Yeah, any old thing to make music. Would it be like square dancing? Or what would it be? Any kind of dance. Round dance. Square dance. Yeah, we had all kinds. Waltz, two-step. Do they two-step nowdays? Or waltz? I love to waltz.
Two-step. They have a dance in Montana, they call it theAnd I still don't know what kind of music they had with that. Beauti ful dance. Then the polka. Every time I hear Lawrence Welk polka, I think about that. We were in Montana for four years. And that's all we went to, I wasn't in a church the four years we were there. We lived out twelve miles from town and they had this Grange Hall and they had dances there all the time. And the babies'd be laying around sleeping.' - The parents'd be dancing. And we'd all take something to eat, you know.
SS: Did you do that here, too, like when you go to the Nagel's, take foodtoo?
WURMAN: Oh, sure.
LYND: Well, not at Nagel's. Because the Old Man Nagel insisted on feedingeverybody. But anyplace else we went, why, we took- well, in those days- cake and pie. They didn't start having sandwiches for a long time. Just cake and pie.
LYND: Yeah. They'd make a big kettle of coffee. They had lots of dancesat my folks' house and all the neighbors'd come. And then W^H** you know, had a big house and we'd go over there. And they had this one room that wasn't furnished; it was a huge room.
MUNDEN: And you went to Wa House?
MUNDEN: They were really good friends of my
LYND: You mean, Uncle and Aunt Molly? Well, Blanche, you know, is mybest friend. We've been friends for almost sixty-eight years. We'd sit together in school. You'd enjoy her, she lives here in town.
Blanche, she married Johnnie Nagel.Oh, I saw her today. Did you see Blanche? Did you enjoy her? Uh-huh. And John, too. Oh, were you up there? Blanche and Johnnie? Yes. Oh, well, nice. I thought all morning about calling Blanche and I washed this morning and I didn't .- have time. She spent the day with me a couple of weeks ago; well, two weeks ago today. And we really had a visit. I had arvisit with her. Buggy ride and just talked! And sometimes you took the mother and the father. (Laughter) In the buggy with you? Sometimes both of 'em. Mukden
Or you sjtt in the parlor and showed 'em your family pictures!^ Andyou always put on your best dress. Oh, yes. You always had to be dressed. ""And fix their hair, you know and everything had to be just so when A your beau was coming to see you. But they didn't take you like they do now, they'd come to see you and you'd have supper or dinner, we just visited at the house. Uh-huh. Mostly, yes. Oh, times are changed, I guess. Did very many of your friends get married very young, compared to nowdays, or would it be about the same? I think they were older, don't you? Well, most of 'em, but there was quite a few got married quite young.
WURMAN: Well, I was only seventeen.
LYND: I was twenty.
WURMAN: She was an old maid. (Laughter)
LYND: Yeah, everyone was afraid they was going to be an old maid^those days.
SS: Is that true?
LYND: Yes. Do you remember Mary Nagel?
LYND: She was two years older than me and she says, "My goodness, we got toget out and get us some boydfriends. We don't want to be old maids!" I think I was fourteen. She was sixteen. (Laughter)
SS: Were the dances and the get-togethers and the literaries, were thosegood places to meet the opposite sex?
LYND: Oh, yes. They all went.
SS: Is that where often couples got together? I mean, is that where theywould meet each other? Or had they just known each other in grade boy-hnend school, or how would you find your?
LYND: Well, the way Reuben found me, I was sittin' on a straw stack and hecame to a ballgame _ field! And my aunt and I was sittin' up there watching the ballgame and she kept atellin' me, "That boy's awatchin' me." She kept sayin' to me, "That boy's awatchin' me!" Well, I didn't know it but he had his eye on me, but I didn't realize it, you know.
WURMAN: Well, when my husband met me I was shockin* hay!
LYND: Oh, dear!
SS: You worked in the field then, in the harvest?
WURMAN: Oh, yes.
SS: At your family's place?
WURMAN: It was for my brother-in-law.
GILDER: Women quite often made a hand in the field.
WURMAN: Oh, yes, I ttted to do everything in the fields.
LYND: I used to work, too. I was the, oldest child in our family, you know,and I did a lot of work outside.
MUNDEN: I , too. I was the youngest one.
LYND: And I liked to work with the horses. I hauled grain into town one fall.I enjoyed it. My dad would load the sacks and then the boys at the warehouse would unload for me. All I had to do was drive the team.
SS: How old were you when you started working on the harvest?
WURMAN: I was ten years old when I started driving binder horses . They alwayshad to have somebody ride the binder horse, and I was ten years old. And from then on I had to do anything and everything.
SS: What else did you do in the harvest besides?
WURMAN: Oh, I shocked bundle and I run the binder. I . run themower and the rake and the binder.
SS: That's really interesting because I had heard mostly only about womencooking on the threshing crews but not working in threshing.
WURMAN: Well, my mother always done the cookin'. I never. ,Well, when theythreshed, probably, the men always did the threshing- but the girls had already done their part in running the binder or shocking and getting it ready. But I think, most always they had men on the bundle wagons and sewed sacks.
SS: Were you expected to help out around the house very young?
WURMAN: You was expected to do anything that had to be done. In the house oroutside. You didn't just have a special job. Generally the older girls stayed in the house.
LYND: We always helped in the house when we were real small, you know.But when you was big enough to work, why then, you went outside.
WURMAN: And then they didn't go downtown and get their grain already treatedand all. You fanned. You ran the grain through the fan. Then you took it out and dumped it down the barrel that blew vitrol in and put it on some posts to drain til it got dry so they could run it through the crib. And that was all done at home. That used to be my job was blue vitrol. Well, my job was turning that. My dad would feed it and I'd turn the fan.
Turn the sack around. And we had to get down neath and paw it outwhere it'd run out. Oh, that was a job! We used that one for years. It took just a little kid, you know, to do that, rake it back where it would run out.
I hadn't thought of one of those for years. Those old fanning mills.We finally got one with a sacker on. But, well, my dad died- we hadn't had it more than two years. I was going to ask if you learned to cook and all that when you were really young.
Well, they started in just as quick as they could do anything. You Alearnt to cook before you was big enough to do anything else, almost. And I used to make noodles. How I hated to roll noodles] And I'd stand on a box and roll noodles. And roll and roll! Til you got those noodles all rolled.
Now in a package.
I haven't made noddles for years.
Well, I do yet, yeah my family thinks there's nothing like grandma'snoodles, so I don't get out of it yet!
Well, they are good, but I don't have much of a
GILDER: Well, they say they wouldn't like to go back to the good old days,but, you know, as far as eating, I would go back anytime.
LMD : Oh, I would for that, but .when you had to go and carry your water andput it in an old boiler or something and heat it on the stove and get it hot, and then carry it out to where you was going to wash. flWitfWi: But then you boiled your white clothes, and put them in the boiler and you boiled them, on the stove. They got disinfected.
Yeah, you got to keep 'em white.
WURMAN: There's lots of things I'd like to go back to, but nothing like that.The literary meetings and things like that, that we used to have,; wouldn't that be wonderful?
SS: What kinds of things would they do in those literaries? Can you rememeberany of the topics and things that people ?
WURMAN: Oh, yes. They'd speak pieces. They'd get up- they'd be a little poemeach one of 'em- I don't know really what they would debate about. Anything that they was interested in. They'd draw sides and then they'd 4* be somebody up there, just like there are, you know, put down so many points for everyone.
SS: I've heard one was resolved: A broom is handier than a mop.
WURMAN: Probably did.
LYND: Yes one time it was: wdid the most good George Washington or AbrahamLincoln. I remember that. I don t remember how it come out.
SS: Could come out either way. (Chuckles)
WURMAN: But the teacher would have the program and she'd call your name andyou'd get up and go up on the stage and speak your piece. If they had dialogues, why, they'd all be up there. They had curtains drawed, you know. Had a big wire across the end and curtains hung on 'em. Drawed 'em that way.
What we call plays nowdays.Uh-huh. We called 'em dialogues. They'd be just like a movie. Yeah, we used to have lots of 'em.
I ^* m one one time and it was supposed to be in a country store,and we stove out here in the middle and they had benches around and the boys they were settin' in there talking and telling dif ferent things, you know. And so, I had one of the little boys, he was supposed to be my boy, so I sent him down to tell my husband to come home. So he went to tell him and he told him, but he wouldn't come. He was this great big kid. So I went after him, I was supposed to get him by the ear and I was so mad ;, he got clear behind that stove and I had to climb over these others to get to him, and when I got ahold of his ear, boy, I didn't turn loose, I just hung on. (Laughter) And oh, everybody sure did laugh! (Laughter) He didn't need to get in be hind that stove, he could have set out a little bit closer to me. The schoolhouses always had a great big, old stove settin' right out in the middle.
Well, this was up on the stage.. There was another chimney went up, twochimneys went up. we was at school and it had two stoves.
Well the hall was upstairs. We had a hall upstairs over the school P*and we used to play basketball up there and had dances and everything. It was a nice, big, hall. And, a stove in each end, and so this one stove set up on the stage and it was already there. And it was a real stove alright and they put benches around it. And we had a store just like that downtown, and that's where the men would gather up there and set around that stove and talk.
And when we'd go out late at night we'd always put - take a lanternand put it on the dashboard. They had a thing, you know like this, you could always slip over the dadhboard and the light just shone between the horses. We didn't have no headlights! (Laughter) Like they have now.
When women sat around and talked, they talked about altogether differentthings than the men would? I heard the men used to talk about politics , They didn't talk about politics them days, they had other things to talk about. Things they were interested in. Well, what were they interested in? Oh, their work and what you was going to do if you had been anywhereif you was going anywhere. Just such things as that. Common everyday talk! A person's interest was built right into his own private neighborhood. That was his life and everybody else's life, and you didn't need the rest of the world, something to talk about. Well something else you haven't mentioned yet; is how they took care of the sick. Well, the neighbors did. The neighbors come and helped you take care if there was anybody sick at your house, and if there was anyone sick at the neighbor's house you went to the neighbor's house and took care of them. There wasn't such a thing as a hospital around anywhere. Oh, if anybody went to the hospital, theyAgot well, they was too stck to care. They didn't have 'em them. You had to go for miles to get to a ..hospital.
LYND: What year did Gritman Hospital start?
WURMAN: I don't know.
LYND: It's always
MUNDEN: No.It's always been there since I can remember. So I don't know. I try to gather up history like that.
Well, the doctor came to the house, you didn't go to the doctor, likeyou do now.
If you sick, he came and doctored you and the neighbors came andtook care of you. And we had our babies at home.
LYND: The doctor'd come sometimes, even if he had to stay all day, you know.MUNDEN: Or all night.
they didn't have no hospitals like they do now.
SS: It wasn't all that risky to have a baby at home, was it?
WURMAN: It wasn't any worse than having it in the hospital.
GILDER: I guess everyone of us here was home.Had all my children born at home but the last one and I said if I have to have another one I'll go on up to the barn by myself, I'm not going to the hospital! (Much laughter) I think I would, too!! Now, they think they have to have specialists and everything.
SS: Were there midwives?MUNDHN: Oh, yes.
LYND: Well, years ago, but I never seen a widwife.
WURMAN: Well, I never either, but they used to have- never have a doctor.
MUNDEN: But my dad,he always had to have a doctor when us kids was born, why,they had a doctor come. But lots of people they didn't have a doctor.
LYND: Well, Lana La Salle, she never had a doctor; she never had a doctorwith any of her children. Did you know that?
MUNDEN: Curt La Salles, you know.
LYND: Well, she was a Bowler and Mrs. Bowler had fifteen children and shenever had a doctor. Lena 0ur mother taught us what to do. Isn t that remarkable? -
WURMAN: Well, you know the " up there: Mrs.Adairs mother, Mrs. Scanlon, thatwas her profession. She went around and took care of all the women in the country.
LYND: Well, I think Reuben told me about Mrs. Pledger; Grandma Pledger. Andshe was— well, I don't know, she was a doctor, but I don't know if she had license to practice. They had come from Canada. And everyone had her. And I don't know if they had- I suppose they had her for babies. because way up there and the only doctor was here in Palouse. And there was no telephone any farther than John Anderson's up here, up by the Grange Hall. They used to come down there to phone for a doctor.
GILDER: Then it was all over before the doctor got there, half the time.
LYND: Well, yes, probably was. But , well, Reuben's was telling about thistime his father had an attack of appendicitis and they finally sent for a doctor and he got up there he wanted to take him to Spokane. Supposed to go to Spokane for surgery and his dad wouldn't go. Well, he never did! He was lucky, he never had another attack. But they had come down as far as— have you been up this road to Potlatch, to the Grange Hall, right close to the Grange Hall, is where Andersons- well, the boy still lives there on the farm.
SS: Was that Fay?
LYND: Fay, uh-huh. And they had a phone there.
SS: Would it put a person out of commission, having a baby, as long as itdoes nowdays?
LYND: Well, the only thing, they made us stay in bed ten days and by thattime we got pretty weak!
SS: Is that a rule?
LYND: Yes. Oh, yes, a doctor wouldn't let you up!
SS: That's a funny idea to me.
Well, I don't think it's the proper thing, really. I think they getover any surgery, anything, the quicker you get up now days.
LYND: One thing, you don't have adhesions.
Well, then I think it was a good thing, though that they did keep youin bed because there was so much to do, you see, when they got up. So, I think it was really good idea. And I don't believe they had as many female troubles as they have now. Really. Do you?
LYND: No, never heard too much about it.
Well, I had nine children and they kept me in bed and I never had anytrouble at all.
LYND: Well, I can't say that because I had to have surgery. And I liftedtoo much.
MUNDEN: Course my dad he wouldn't have heard of her gettin up. He always gota hired girl to come and she never got out of bed.
LYND: I try to tell my granddaughters,
SS: What, about home cures for sickness? Instead of getting medicines.
WURMAN: Oh, we had turpentine and coal oil- and all them
LYND: And lard. (Laughter)
WURMAN: Lard, yeah.
SS: What would you use that for?
WURMAN: And sulfur.
SS: What would you use 'em on? What was the lard for?
WURMAN: Well, you rub it in with your turpentine to keep it from blistering.
LYND: That was to put on your chest, when you had a cold.
Well, you just take some of this, you know, paper like the sacks yourgroceries come in; just take some of that and stick it up around in your lip and crush it down and it'll stop your nosebleed. I use a little paper under my lip; it does work. We used that brown paper. I never knew that.
But those were the kinds of medicines that you just had around to use?That's all we had, you might say. .Didn't have too much medicine then, really to what they have now. Not, not penicillin and drugs like they have nowdays. Had Carter's Little Liver Pills. Nature's remedy! (Laughter) Ex-Lax, I remember. Yeah, they had Ex-Lax when I was a girl. Mentholatum. Had Castoria, I guess always, and they gave that to the babies, no matter what they got wrong with 'em, give'em a dose of Castoria! (Laughter)
Well, sure. My uncle said when he come out here from Illinois, hesaid, "Why people out here, if they'd break the wagontongue they'd put mentholatum on it! "(Laughter) They had castor oil and epsom salts. We weren't going to mention that. That makes me think of Johnny Nagel, I just heard the other day he put epsom salts around tomatoes to keep the bugs away. So, Johnny Nagel he sent word over to me to h\k*- ^«- (the rest is drowned out with laughter) What's so funny about these epsom salts? What's the deal? Well, they're a physic. Oh, I see.
LYND: A pretty rough one. Oh, it tastes terrible- well, no worse, I guessthan castor oil.
MUNDEN: Well, it don't taste good.
GILDER: Epsom salts were the cathartic. And there were two stages; mild andwild. (Laughter)
SS: Was there any tuberculosis around?
LYND: Yeah, but they caled it consumption in those days.
WURMAN: There was a lot of it in Illinois. I only know of one case that washere and that was that Burton, what's his name, John?
LYND: I never knew the Burtons too well.Oscar. I knew Oscar. But I know there was lots of that in Illinois.
WURMAN: Well, there wasn't here. That's the only case I ever heard tell ofhere.
SS: So there wasn't any sickness that plagued the area?
WURMAN: No. Not what we have now, no.
MUNDEN: But the children, they had all these children's disease, they didn'tvaccinate.
SS: Which ones? You mean like the mumps.
MUNDEN: Yeah. And the chickenpox and the measles.
LYND: And the whooping cough.
And the whooping cough.
LYND: My children all had the whooping cough except the two younger ones.Joe was vaccinated for it.
MUNDEN: That was quite dangerous then.
SS: With a big family, if one kid got it, why it was pretty likely thatothers in the family would.
Just go through the family.
They would all be exposed before you knew they had it.
WURMAN: But there was never any deaths from it.
WURMAN: Yes, but that was in later years. Not when I was growing up, younever heard of that. Yes, scarlet fever. They was deaths from that
LYND: Reuben said he had that,
Well, daddy had something.
Was it scarlet fever he had so bad?I don't know. -Something my dad had when he was growing up, I know. I know my uncle's children had the scarlet fever. They had three. darkAnd his hair was red. And he had red hair. Amd my father was working there and he come and got my mother to stay with us kids. And when he let his mustache grow it was .fiery red-, find o-f- floors And I don't know if it was the little boy or the little girl that died. .. help you And none of the—because they was so afraid of it. And so they got him and buried him. Just buried him. And when they got feack the other one was gone.
And that's all the scarlet fever we.had around. We never had it,but my uncle's children had it. Did the father take any part in the raising of the kids? Or was it all the mother's job to raise the kids? Well, it all depended. If the father- if they had a ranch and he was home he helped, but if he worked away it was up to the mother to do it. She had it to do if the father worked away from home all the time. Course, he'd be home part of the time and he'd do his share of it.
SS: Was discipline usually up to the father?
WURMAN: Either one of 'em.
LYND: Either one of 'em. Either one of 'em'd take care of you.(Laughter)
SS: Was discipline strict?
LYND: Yes, I think so. My parents were strict.
WURMAN: My mother wasn't so , but that dad of mine, you had to watch him!
LYND: My dad was awful strict. I was scared of my father.
WURMAN: Oh, was you?
LYND: Yes, I was.
WURMAN: I didn't have much to do with mine, unless I had to. But after Igrowed up older, I was alright.
LYND: I love to watchmy granddaughter, Mary Gay. Her and her daddy aresuch good friends, my Joe. They joke each other and Mary will tease her daddy, and I just sit there and ejoy every minute of it. I think, my goodness, I wouldn't dare to say that to my dad! But she teases A him because his hair's getting awful thin, you know, on top. And they just have a good time teasing each other. And I wouldn't have dared to say anything like that.
WURMAN: I wouldn't to my Dad.
SS: The fathers didn't have much to do with their kids, if they could helpit, or they thought they had to lay down the law.
LYND: Well, I guess they were so busy trying to make a living. That has quitea lot to do with men looking after families, too, I think. And even with my family, Reub en was always busy and he never took time to go fishing or hunting or anything with the boys. And my older boy misses that. He mentions that once in a while. And I think that is one one of the reasons.
WURMAN: Well, I think some families was that way and some wasn't. I don't know,I think they was together more than they are now.
LYND: Well, they was always together at mealtime.
MUNDEN: That's what we were saying the other day. When mealtime came, everybody was there.
LYND: Yeah, that's right.
WURMAN: And you always had to be there at bedtime. But, I think they livedtogether more, you know, what I mean. The whole family lived together more than they do now. Now, the mother don't hardly see the kids only just out and in. They don't live together. They live wi other kids and other people. But when we growed up, the families lived together.
LYND: I don't like mothers aworkin' all the time. they be contented to stay home. They could live on what their husbands make. I don't know very few people that couldn't.
WURMAN: Well, that's right. I always say a woman's place is home with herchildren.
SS: Did your mothers feel strongly that way? That they just wanted tojust be at home, and stayed home with the kids?
LYND: Well, they never thought of anything else; that was the way of life.
WURMAN: That was that was their job.
LYND: Even the older generation didn't even let their girls go out to work.They wanted to keep the girls at home. Well, the mothers never thought about going out to work. That never crossed our minds.
WURMAN: The only time the mother went out to do anything, was to help a sickperson; the neighbors. The mothers would leave their families and go and help the neighbors, but outside of that, they never went out.
LYND: But there was no money involved. They never charged for
WURMAN: No. But they would go and take care of sick people
SS: But your folks let you work out in the fields in the harvest, but thatwasn't—
WURMAN: But I was home.
SS: You were home.
WURMAN: Yes, I was home. No, they never let me go out and work like that.Sometimes they would let one of the older girls go and stay with my uncle6when they had so many men to cook for, they'd go work for them. A
SS: Why was that? Was that just to protect - feel that the girls neededto be protected, or what?
Well, you was supposed to be raised that way.MUNDEN: There wasn't so much work for girls, you know then.
WURMAN: There wasn't so much work anywayT People didn't have hired help likethey do now. They done their own work.
SS: What I'm thinking is that; I think boys had a lot of freedom if theywanted to go into town, they could go into town.
WURMAN: But they didn't. They didn't go to town.
SS: The boys?
WURMAN: Why yes. Not til they was grown. My brother never did, he was always home. There was nothing to go to town for. You know there was no picture shows nor nothing like that. And probably you never saw anybody because people stayed home them days. They didn't go like they do now. I guess its hard for a person to realize that now.
SS: It really is.
WURMAH: Yes, it was that way. They never went. If there was a show in town,a circus, everybody was there.
LYND: And that was a highlight.
LYND: Sells-Floto Circus would come to town.
LYND: Sells-Floto Circus would come to town every year and that would be upon the south hill but of course there's houses all up there now. And we usually got to come in to the circus.
LYND: And then when the movies came, pictures came, what a thrill. Go tothe show for a dime.
WURMAN: Every Saturday night.
SS: Did . go in every Saturday night?
WURMAN: Every Saturday night, everybody went to town.Well, we used to before the show houses, didn't we?
WURMAN: We'd work all day and then they'd have the stores open and then werdgo down and the folks'd do their trading at night and everybody went to town on Saturday night!
LYND: The stores stayed open, you know.
WURMAN: Yes, they stayed open.
LYND: Til nine, ten o'clock.
SS: Saturday night, you'd do the trading?
Yes, that's when they'd do most of their trading. I've'been downtownwhen you couldn't hardly get up the street there was so many people. Now, you wouldn't believe that, nowdays. Because you hardly ever see any crowds down at Palouse on the streets any more. But then when the show came, you know- one time they had the show_Shepherd of the Hills, and there was people standing back over a block waiting to get into the show.
WURMAN: Well, it used to be that people gathered there in the afternoon andvisited asked me if they did yet, and I said, "It's been so long ago since I was in there, I can't remember when it was.
You know they don't go that way now.We lived here about forty five, six years ago, they still went to town on Saturdays. Yes. They did then. tlM wvldi *e there I know we used to go in and see Liz. A and Uncle Joe. And neighbors, Yes. We'd all be there. Well, it changed a lot after television. Yes, I think that changed.a lot. It changed because they tried to have movie here two or three times afterwards and they couldn't get enough crowds to pay. I think it changes us all over that way. Now down where we were, I don't know who lives on the other side of me in that house.
Oh, don't you?Well, the woman that was there before was there a year and I didn't ever know her either. But people just stay to theirselves anymore. And it used to be people. in and out of your house all the time.
If any new person came in everybody went to get acquainted with them,to see what they could do for 'em. Ask them to join your club and everything else. And also what church you went to. Now they could care less, seems like. .Well, while I think about.. , you know Jerry, little grand- n A son, he was asking his granddaddy a year or so ago when he came here if there was timber from Palouse all through here. Can you remember? If there was much timber? Yes, all up on that side there was. Was there? Yes. There wasn't quite so much on this side. They were big patches of timber. Now up there on Uncle Louis' place where we lived after was married, there was, oh, about seven acres, maybe. Just big timber, you know and brush and we sawed off most of it. And we never cleared it up though. Was there less and less timber as you got over to Palouse from Potlatch? Yes, oh, yes. The farther you go up that way the more timber trhere ±s. I've always wondered if there was lots of timber here. When we moved here, there was two big pines tres there on the sidehill, well, three, actually, one on the Woods' place. And then those two trees up there they stood the stiorm a long time. Well, you see, you go up that river road and there's quite a few trees along the road there on both sides. Yes, there still is, isn't there? I haven't been out there They sure slaughtered 'em off the last year. Gottcheck? Yeah. He cut all them trees clear out on that road and lot of 'em just layin' there, he never done anything wiim 'em. Oh, he did? Don't know why he cut 'em. It was such a waste. Did you get shivareed when you got married? Uh-huh. Thought they was going to tear the house down, didn't you? (Chuckles)
Jim went to Charley Dailey's shivaree and he went when he got marriedand then he went to his funeral. And I said, "That's all you could do for him. Went to the fiftieth anniversary. Well.
Charlie was the last one of that big family to go, wasn't he?Yeah. Charlie Dailey.
WURMAN: I didn't know the Daileys, only Charlie and Dick very well.
LYND: I went to school with Harry.
WURMAN: Well, I got acquainted with Harry and his wife at Grange.
LYND: And his wife was my teacher.
WURMAN: They lived just between us and town when we lived up there on theI knew her real well. And she went to Nelson's to a dance one night, A She couldn't two-step and she couldn't hardly learn but she kind of got the hang of it. Somebody seen her going to school next morning and she two-stepped all the way. (Laughter) She was going to get it whether or no. Seen her going down the road two-stepping.
SS: Well the shivarees- it's really too bad that it's not done much anymore.It just sounds like such a great thing to subject a newly married cou ple to. Yeah, that used to be all the go.
Used to have to invite 'em in the house and have treats, you know forthem.
LYND: Cigars for the men and candy for the women.
SS: Were they supposed to make as much trouble as they could before youlet 'em in the house?
WURMAN: They never made any trouble, they made noise.
If you didn't let 'em in, they'd make trouble!
WURMAN: Yes, but then, you had to drive 'em to it.They'd shoot their old guns and they'd have a lot of fun out there.
MUNDEN: And they'd all sneak up there real quietly wasthere, and then hear all these guns and cowbells. And all those old tin pans and a banging all at once and then you know you had it. (Laughter)
SS: That was part of it? You were supposed to sneak up on 'em and takethem by surprise?
MUNDEN: Yeah.Because if you didn't they'd run off and be gone when you got there.
WURMAN: started up the hill and met her husband acomingdown with a shotgun.
WURMAN: They thought sure they'd got away.
MUNDEN: to their fortieth wedding anniversary. He only lived till theywas married forty-four years, I guess. But they had a regular fiftieth wedding anniversary when they were married forty, because he wasn't well and they thought he'd never make it to fifty. And so I was there and they said, "Well, we just don't know many people that knew us forty years ago." And I said, "No, not when you lived in the chicken house." (Chuckles) The house they planned on living in burned down. So the folks had this chicken house.and it had been an old summerhouse, but they'd put chickens in it. So they just cleaned it out and in there. They wasn't going to move in with the folks. And of course, we had to tell it. "Yeah," he said, "we lived in the chicken house." And we told about the shivaree, and my husband said,% getting away, across the field. And he came down and we went to Anderson's
EYND: I didn't know you was out by Stanley Anderson's.
MUNDEN: We used to work for Stanley Anderson.
LYND: You worked for Stanley?My oldest boy, Elmer, worked for Stanley about four years.
GILDER: So did I.
LYND: Did you?
MUNDEN: You worked for him, too.
When you got married, did you start with nothing?
Uh-huh. I think Reuben had twelve dollars when we got married. Hewas farming with his father. Nowdays, most couples wouldn't consider getting married like that. Most couples, I think, would expect to have something to start with. They have parties and give 'em a lot of things, too. Showers, you know and in them days they didn't.A Didn't give you nothing, only a hard time! (Chuckles) They've had four showers for Mickei Joe. Well, you see, she'll have a lot of stuff to start with. What did Reuben do then? Just went to farming with his father, after you got married? Well, he'd been farming with him. You know, he was raised on a farm. And he had always farmed with his dad. And then about two years later we went to Montana and bought some railroad land up there, but we only stayed four years then we came back here. Didn't like it as well as here? I didn't like it. No. Just prairie country. There wasn't a tree in sight. And then the crops kept getting shorter all the time. The first year our wheat made thirty bushes to the acre, well, the last year, I think it was eight. Wasn't very No rain. Not enough rain up there to^ a crop. And then the soil was light and rocky. So different from here. I was glad to get back here, although Had to leave all my relatives up there. My father and mother and brother and sister had went up there, too. But they stayed a few more years and then they left. WHAT DID YOUR HUSBAND DO?
LYND: My husband? He farmed.
SS: Was he farming with his father, too?
WURMAN: His father wasn't here, he was in Portland. He worked on a farm andhe worked for people and then was married, and me and my mother had a farm and so he moved in with us. He. farmed after that all the time. A U*iKt : Most of our friends were farmers.
WURMAN: Then sold out and went to Canada. We farmed up there, but we didn't staytoo long.
LYND: Like we were in Montana.
SS: When did you go up to Canada? Do you remember about which year thatwas?
WURMAN: 1918. We left here April 1st, 1918.
LYND: And we came from Montana October, 1918. (Chuckles)
WURMAN: We wanted to sell our place, but we didn't get a chance to sell it,and we saw a ad in the paper where they had Washington property to trade for Canada property. So I wrote to 'em and my husband went to Calgary and I gave him the letter and when he come back, why, he'd been back three or four days in town and I said, "Is that my letter in your pocket?" And he said, "Yes." "Well," I said, "why didn't you mail it?" And he said, "I was afraid it would sell us out." "Well," I said, "when you get in town, you mail that letter. Will you?" And^ said, "Yes, I'll mail it." And that's the very one that traded us out. We traded it for that Okanogan country place up there and never even come to look at it. We didn't have the money. We didn't have the money to come look at it, we wouldn't a got out of there if we had, because it was dry there. We put in four crops and we never raised a crop.
Oh, you didn't?
WURMAN: We raised about twenty acres of barley and that's about all we everdid raise up there. So we come back down there. Oh, A that old log house, one door in it and one window in it and the rest of 'em gone and we stayed there a couple days and I said, "You know, I'm going home." "Oh, no, we can't, we've got to stay here and do something A a with this." And I said, "I don't know where you get that "we" stuff." Because, I said, "I'm going." (Laughter) He said, "How are you going?" "Well,"I said,"youj either take me or else I'll go on the bus, it goes right by the door." But, I said, "I'm going out of here to morrow." "Well, them kids is not going." I said, "All of 'em can stay with you but the two little ones," And I said,"I5 take them. You can have the rest of 'em." (Chuckles) When I went to picking his clothes out of the suitcase and putting mine in, he said, "I think you'd better put them back, I'll go, too." (Chuckles) So we come up and went down to Mamie's and down to my sister's there and around. But he wanted to go back. And I said, "Well, I'll go back and stay til the first day of November." And then I said, "I won't stay no longer." I said, "I'm coming back down here." Well, that was fair enough he thought. So went back up there and the first day of November we had about fifteen inches of snow and you couldn't even hardly get to the mailbox. You couldn't a gotten out of there to save you. So I stayed all winter; and I stayed four years. (Chuckles) But there wasn't a day that I didn't want to get out of there. But we made good money there.^Went out and bought me some milk cows and I milked cows and sold cream and I done alright.
SS: Then you came back down there?
WURMAN: Yes. We come back down here and rented land and stayed down here.
He always wanted to go back and I said, "Well, I'm going down thereand stay as long as my mother, I'm staying down there." But I said, A "When she's gone, then I'll come back." And, you know, we was down here five years and there never was a word said about it. And when she passed away it wasn't two months til he said, "Now, you know, we're going back up to Okanogan." I said, "How come?" And he said, "Ain't that your promise?" And I said, "Yes." So that time I stayed twenty years. Boy, I didn't like it! You never did like it up there? I never did like it up there.
Why didn't you like it up there, as compared to being down here?Well, I think it was the first experience I had with it is what stuck with me. There was an old log cabin there, and there was a hill right in front of it, just looked like it would slap you right in the face any minute! And up there in Canada it was level, you could see as far as you could. Now, we've got hills here, but, boy, up there they've got mountains! But I just never liked it. But I lived there a long time, and I liked it down in the valley, but we were twenty-five miles from the valley. But I didn't mind to live down there. And then we sold our place and moved down there in the valley and.we lived there A as long as he lived. You had fruit trees, didn't you? Oh, yes, fruit trees. There's an awful lot of, apple orchards around there. . There's lots of fruit raised around there; apples and pears. But all my relatives lived up in Canada, only a few of 'em down here. None of 'em here. folks lived at Clarkston and that's about it. I didn't mind to be down in the valley. I liked that alright, but being up there on that mountain! We built us a new house when we went back.
Oh, that was nice.When you had kids, was it a lot like it had been when you were kids? When you were raised up by your parents, or had things changed a lot to be raising kids. I don't,so much with the four older ones. We lived out on the ranch and it seemed to me it was about the same. It was about the same with my oldest ones, well, with all mine, we all stayed right up there and lived like we did here. Well, my youngest girl, she livetf about four miles above us there in the moun tains. You couldn't pry her away from there. That's the only country there is! And all the 1 - kids lived there at Omak til- well, I But it didn't bother me,vwasn't interested. A lost the three sons and^ad the two daughters left. And one daughter lives in Omak. I was up there and stayed four days with her, before I wouldn't stay all night with her. (Laughter) Passed our old place going up there. They didn't keep it nice like we did.^-"Bought us a radio and took it back up there with us, but they didn't have Tvs them days up in there.
We had a telephone out there on the Eric place you know, out here atAnd that was the fall of 1907, my folks moved out there. Well, they've got telephones up in there now. Electric lights. All these people on and they rubbered your neighbors talking. Didn't dare say anything if you didn't want it known, because there'd be rubbernecks on the line! Rubbernecks?
WURMAN: That's what they eddied 'em!
Somebody who listened in on the phone?Yeah. Well, I remember one of boys one time, oh, he was about seven, he called Mrs. up, you know her. Oh, yes, John
And he said, "Well, Mrs.^. ,what have you got on for today?" Andshe said, "Nothing." And he said, "You better go put something on!" (Chuckles) Of course, Frank, he was the oldest one, he thought that was a disgrace to humanity for Bill to do that. And he had to have a good tanning for it! We didn't allow 'em to meddle the phone. We didn't allow 'em- if our phone rang they could answer it, but when the others rang, they wasn't allowed to touch it. But I guess they did when I wasn't there!
Times has changed up there just like they are now, they got electriclights all up there through the timber, you know, and up at the lake3 . telephones, which we didn't have. If we'd a had anything like that I settled down and liked it. But I'd been used to that and it seemed to me I was so far from nowhere. And I used to think, well it was my fault we was living there. If I hadn't a wrote that letter I wouldn't a been there! Well, I think if I had to get along with everything taken away like it was then, if I could have one thing: it would be my refrigerator. Yes. I just don't see yet how I got along without the refrigerator. And I didn't have a refrigerator all those years, I shouldn't a forgot. \That refrigerator, that's the finest thing I ever had.
LYND: Well, when I got water in the house in the house, that was the biggesthelp that I ever had.
MUNDEN: Well, there wasn't any water in the house where j^fe live now whenmoved there.
On the river ranch, we did have water in the house, it was piped infrom a spring, and we had a sink.
We had water on the Stanley Anderson place.We had a bucketvand just turn on and let it run.
LYND: They tell me that still getting water from that spring, it'sacross the road from place. Used water out of that spring all these years. I guess they have.
Because I've lived in this house forty-six years, and it was not toomuch over a year or two before that we left the ranch. Getting close to fifty years.
Yeah. When we lived in the mountains we had to carry water andWe went around a hill something like that one there and then you crossed the fence and went down into the draw and the trees and there was a spring, and you'd come back and crawl through the fence. There wasn't any gate there, I don't know why, when they built the fence they knew where the spring was. They didn't put a gate, course, we didn't build the fence. That's the way it was.
MUNDEN: And in the wintertime we had so much snow we used to go out andget the snow and melt it and use it so we didn't have to carry water so far. And the icicles would come down on the house, I'd open the window and reach out and break off the icicles and put 'em in the dishpan to make dishwater!
LYND: Where there's a will, there's a way.
MUNDEN: That's right. Sure a lot of snow
SS: Did you have a hard time getting around in the winter? I imaginethe kids must have had a hard time getting to school sometimes.
LYND: Just wade the snow!Yeah, just wade the snow. We just had one little boy when we lived up there.
WURMAN: Up there where we lived on the homestead, there wasn't no snow in thewintertime, they just had it in the summertime. Because the children couldn't go. They had to go way back past our house, we was three miles from the schoolhouse.
LYND: You were?
SS: Where was this? In Okanogan?
WURMAN: No. - up above Princeton, you know where that s at. We livedup four miles above Princeton and the schoolhouse was three miles the other side of us.
LYND: Was it in Harvard? The schoolhouse?
WURMAN: No. Harvard wasn't there then. It's built back way above Harvardquite a little ways. The Lenharts they lived up there above us then. And the schoolhouse- I guess they was the ones that kind of got it in there because it was closer to their place.
Another thing they used to do is have butchering bees. When it wastime to butcher, neighbors would come in and help you butcher and then you helped the neighbors. And the pork, you could cure it, you know, salt it down and keep it. Then they'd come A back maybe and there'd be several ladies getting- getting your sausage made. Then you smoked the meat. Then you salted it down for a while and smoke it a little later. Everyone had a smokehouse.
MUNDEN: Yes, everyone had a smokehouse.
LYND: was asking me that on the phone one day. "Mama, you still got thatWe had a smokehouse out here. You can still see on the roof. Elmer A smokehouse?" (Chuckles) The rafters are all smoked up out there.
WURMAN: Well, all the meat we had. just what we cured in the winters.Some of 'em would put it down in big barrels.
LYND: And chickens.You know, put it down and you made brine and put it down. You made the brine stout enough to float an egg, and then pour it in over it. And then when you took it out you'd have to soak it a while to get some of the salt out, but it was good.
LYND: Yeah, and kept.smoked meat But my mother she'd been used to ., so she didn't like it. So she told my dad she wanted a smokehouse built."Oh, I ain't going to build a smoke house!" Well, he didn't do it and it went on for, I don't know, a couple of years, I guess and maybe longer, I can't re member, 'cause I was small. Anyway, we had a log house right back of our house and there was a breezeway in between 'em. It had a roof over it.. And in the back of this log house he had a whole bunch of wheat, I guess for seed wheat probably. So he was gone one day and she went out there, and thought, "I'll just fix him! Wouldn't build me a smokehouse!" So she went out and she took the meat and she hung
LYND:it up there, and she started a fire in this log house. Oh, boy, when he come home, I tell you, he was really mad! But he went right out and started building her a smokehouse out away from all the other buildings! (Laughter) And I think that she knew he would do it, pro bably. Oh, was he ever mad! Boy, she was taking chances!
Yeah, could have burnt that house, too, you that we lived in, becausethere was just a breezeway, and then all that grain. I think she must have watched it.
LYND: But she got a smokehouse!
She got a smokehouse!
LYND: Well, there's ways and then there's ways! (Chuckles)
When my husband built our smokehouse, he dug a hole out here and heburied an old heater and then just run the pipe in. We didn't have ... fire in the smokehouse. Yeah, that's the way our's is. Yeah, that stove stood out there for a long time. Well, she built the fire under an old tub. With apple wood. We had lots of apple trees. Yeah, that was good. Supposed to be good, apple wood. Oh, yes, that's all we ever had to use, and our meat was really good. And after grandpa died, when we moved, Daddy wasn't long in moving the smokehouse down there to the other house! (Laughter) Didn't dare leave that behind, did he?
MUNDEN: No. And there wasn't one down there, so he moved it down. (Chuckles)
LYND: Well, we rendered our lard out in the yard in a big round kettle. Ialways wondered what went with the folk's big, black kettle!
Well, Mama didn't have one of those but she had a long kettle and itwas iron, and she'd take the lids off the stove and it would just set in there and she rendered her lard in that.
LYND: Yes, I've got one of those out in the shed belonged to the Lenz.
MUNDEN: And she used to heat water in there to wash clothes, too. And makesoap in it.
LYND: Rube always said that was his inheritance!
MUNDEN: I guess we left it on the ranch.
LYND: Then, you didn't have soap unless you made it.
Mama used to make applebutter in that, too, out in the yard. Hire awoman to come and stir it all day.
Well then, would you boil down cider.
Yeah, put cider in it and spices and sugar.
And then if you didn't have sugar for it, boiled the cider down andthe cider would be the sweetner- would sweet that way.
WURMAN: I made it like that when I lived down here in town. I'm still usinghomemade soap. I made a lot of soap several years ago.
SS: Was it a simple recipe that they used to make soap? In those days?
LYND: Well, Mama used to make the lye from the ashes. In Illinois we hadhard wood, and she'd- or some way- do you know how they did that?
WURMAN: ; Don't know how they done it, but my mother used to tell about doing it
LYND: Seems like I could see that plank there where the water'd go down inthe ashes and then come out and it made lye. And they'd use that towith the grease to make soap. Now, you know, we buy a can of lye and mix it with water and with the warm grease and just stir it and make soap. It was kind of mice to have a little perfume to put in there!
In case you wanted to take a bath!
LYND: I don't know, it was too hard on my hands, I couldn't- some peoplecould use it for dishwashing and everything, but my hands wouldn't
We used it for everything,we did, too. My hands just wouldn't take it. But -^Tgrated mine. I had to grated it, I grated it all. And I'm still washing with that. Are you? Yeah, I've got enough in the cellar to last me the rest of my life! Got a apple box full! I made a whole lot one time. Someone donated an awful lot of grease to me one time, so I made it up in soap. Did you make soap when you were first married? Were people still making soap then?
Well, they were still making it. I didn't start making soap then, because I used to get the bar soap. We used to get- Crystal White, do you remember? Oh, a bar about this long and about that wide and that high. Nice white soap and you could get, oh, a hundred cakes, you know in a box like that. And I used to use that to wash with for a long time. And there was another; Fels Nap/itha. Wonder if they have that now? That was an awful good soap. fm^i^X I think they do by any soap now, only toilet soap, you know. I buy the powdered soap. I use ALL, I usually use ALL.
MUNDEN: Well, in hardtimes in Lewiston, I don't know about Lewiston, we livedin Clarkston, they was lots of us made soap.
MUNDEN: Just a lot of us made soap.
LYND: Well, I started making it during the Depression.
MUNDEN: That's what I mean, during the Depression.
LYND: I could get tallow at the drugstore- or at the butchershop, we had a butchershopthen, and beef tallow makes awful nice white soap.
SS: Did you have to tighten your belt a lot during the Depression?
LYND: Quite a bit. Yeah it was pretty rough because the men couldn't getwork. That's what made it so— We were living right here and Dad couldn't get any work you know, only in the summertime and my children were all in school and it was pretty rough. We did raise a garden and I canned what I could.
MUNDEN: We used to, too. And of course, I'd been raised on farm work. Wealways prepared for winter, you know. So, I still did it, after I was married.
LYND: I still do.
MUNDEN: Well, I do, too. (Chuckles) And we used to get us a pig and weMraise a pig and had our own pig and it'd get to be a pretty big hog before we'd butcher it. And that'd make quite a bit of meat to help get us through the winter. And then summer why, there was always some kind of work we could do. Always something down there.
LYND: We kept pigs here for several years and Reuben could get feed down atthe pea plant. Well, they'd give him the stuff, you know, that they couldn't sell. And a lot of times we butchered those pigs and weren*t out very much. It was a big help.
MUNDEN: I know in hard times— my folks'4 always go up to Juliaetta-Kendrick'swhere they got it- and bring down a gunny sack of beans. And then they'd always share with us kids. And we always had plenty of beans to eat. And some way we always managed to have potatoes.
LYND: Yeah, we always raised potatoes.MUNDEN: We always had those. And then our meat, why, we'd stretch it along, make it go as far as it would, you know. You'd have enough lard to use for shortening for a long time. But I'll tell you, we ate lots of meals without any butter, because we had to buy butter, you know. Yeah,we ate lots of times without butter. I had an old cow. I had butter. We did get a cow later on but we didn't have one all the time. We had a cow here til Joe went in the service.
But after we cow, we had it made. We lived like kings then!Yeah! (Chuckles)
Well, what about the kids' clothes and school supplies and what theyneeded? They weren't as high those days as they are now. Well, out there in Idaho they furnished the books, but when we came to Palouse, then we had to buy them. Well, they didn't require so many as they do now. Not near as many. they didn't require as fancy"clothes. Now, when they go to school, they look like they was ready to go to church. They dress just as good. And the boys, even in Clarkston schools used to go barefoot in hard times to school. Did they? Yeah. During the Depression. I can't remember any girls doing it. Girls used to go barefoot in the summer but I can't remember my girls barefoot to schools. i Some of 'em do now, you know it's a fad! (Chuckles)
Yek, it's a fad, but if they had to do it they'd probably holler.Was taking care of kids a fulltime job? No, the older ones took care of the little ones. I can't say as it was. My older children we were on the ranch they weren't any trouble. They all played together. Took care of theirselves. And the girl was the oldest. And when she got old enough to help with the meals, that was a help. I'd call her and she'd get breakfast and I'd go to the barn and milk while Reuben was harnessing the horses. Go***0'*1" -/» ^And that was a help, when she got old enough do that. I started her in when she was about nine years old and I guess I was pretty rough with her. Make her do things right! Now, I can't keep up with her! (Chuckles) She does things better than I do. But it didn't hurt her any.
Well, I didn't think it was *Hy trouble when I raised mine. Prettywell took care of theirselves. When they went to school we moved to town. New baby in the family, how's the other kids going to accept it? Well, that's what they say now. And my goodness, my kids, well, when we was getting a new baby, so excited about it they couldn t wait hardly for it to get there. And I remember the kids, they'd run down the street and was telling all the neighbors when Bobby was born! And it sure was happy for me to think that the kids was so happy that we was going to get that - we had the baby then, you know. They had A a new brother. Yeah, I remember even when I was in high school, one time Wagners got a new baby and they had these two girls in high school and they was really put out, Mother having that new baby! But not baby was born how I'd always iron the clothes, and then as the other babies come along, I always put their clothes on top and they got pressed a little bit. And I always pressed their little nighties out a little bit. And he said, "No matter how many we get, you always took as good care of the last one as you did the first one." (Laughs)
LYND: AAnd Mama used to iron the diapers, for my brother.MUNDEN: I never ironed diapers. I never went that far. family! And my husband, we used to say, you know, when our first
LYND: Well, he was a little special, you know, I was thirteen when my brothercame along and my sister was ten. And my sister-in-law says that we spoiled him! Well, she tells us, "Well, I'm not like you and Pearl," that was my sister, "I don't think my brother's perfect!"(Chuckles) I didn't know mine was either, £aifde(he was pretty special, cause we did want a little brother. We had to wait so long to get him! (Laughs) They might up for the wedding, I'm not sure. Live in Southern Idaho. Rupert. My brother does. One thing that I've heard that I've wondered about is- I've heard it said that divorce was almost unheard of in those days. And people that did, it was really considered very bad to get a divorce. We didn't associate with them kind of people. Yeah, I think that's right. I can't remember many divorces, can you Glen: ? I can't either. Nope. Very, very few. No, there wasn't very many then. I don't remember when the first one I ever hjeard of was. I guess Josie and Elmer. That's the only one I can think of.
I guess that's about the^ one I ever remembered.I wondered whether that was because people got along a lot better then or whether they accepted whatever they had; whether they were happy or not.
WURMAN: Well, I think they were happy with what they had. Because that's allthey knew, you know. They never had anything else and they were just happy with that and they all got along. But now, they all want more than they've got. I think that's the divorces coming up.
WURMAN: I do. I think that's the cause for a lot of 'em.
Well, another thing, where the women work and the men work, theynever have time for each other much.
LYND: And then these taverns have caused a lot of trouble, too.
MUNDEN: But they don't have all the time, to you know, time together.
GILDER: I think with all of us, we all of us, our wives and husbands,Awe. wasboth struggling to raise our children and to keep them in good shape, healthy and otherwise and we didn't have a lot of people - outside interests, we had our own to of. And we got along fine. I think everyone of us was that way. These women and men both have too much free time on their hands and no ambition to get to any point up the line.
LYND: That's right.
MUNDEN: Some that lives there by me. He works days, she works nights. seecom£ and go'. Of course, on the weekends, there she is and he s busy, too, and she has to get the washings done up and get her house cleaned up and everything so she can go- and she works ten hours a day.
LYND: Yes, but they ain't like most people.
MUNDEN: They get along. I don't mean they don't get along.
LYND: I know that, but what I mean, they're not like a lot of the couples.They got the headstart and they're going to meet that, whatever it is, they both of them is a working to meet it. They're not aworking to get the money to get to go someplace on or buy something.
MUNDEN: They don't spend their money in the taverns. They don't go thereeither.
LYND: They're working for that money so they'll make it.
They've got them a good mobile home and a,ll and theyVe got somethingto look forward to. And they're going to work for it. Did either of you work out after you were married at all, or do work other than at home?
I never worked out after I was married.I worked down at the bakery, two days a week for while. About a year and a half, I guess. One of my sons was working down there. I kind of liked it. After I was married? Where would I work? You said you worked in the restaurant.
That's after my youngest child was in school. I did, too, the lastyear that he lived, I worked in the restaurant. During the war they couldn't get anybody and when they couldn't find anybody to do it, go help 'em, til they could get somebody. And I done apples, too. Used to go pick apples. Well, he went with me. I never went without the whole family. But I worked- where did I work first? I worked in the laundry . first. I worked there a week. And I told 'em, "Now, I'll work til you can get somebody." But I thought that was my duty to do it. And then so, the next place I worked; I went to the drier, they was drying apples. They come and said they wanted to get so many carloads out, you know to ship and they had to have help. Well, I went and worked there, I guess about three weeks, maybe almost a month. And then I never worked anymore for about three years and then they had to have somebody in the restaurant one time and they come down to see if I'd go and I went. And I worked there time. But that's all the king I ever done. But family was all gone except just me and my husband and he was always busy. But if it hadn't been for the war I wouldn't have been working then, I've never worked since, (Chuckles)
SS: Did you or your husbands decide how the money was going to be spent?
WURMAN: Well, we always had a place for it. (Laughter)
LYND: That's the best way to put itJ
WURMAN: The money come in. Our money was everybody's money! We didn't keepit separate. And if they was a bill to be paid, why, it was paid out of that money. If I had the money, I paid it. If he had the money, he paid it.
GILDER: Never your money or my money, it was our money.
WURMAN: But, of course, I never worked til during the war there.I used to milk cows and make a lot of money. Milked nineteen one whole summer.
LYND: My goodness sakes alive!
WURMAN: And the cream checks was mine. But it went for everything. But Ihad the pleasure of saying they were mine.
LYND: That sure come in handy, too, didn't it?
GILDER: Worked a few weeks. fylhar San+A in order to get yourhousehold goods started, you have to take a job. A
But I had mine when my husband married me. He just moved in with me](Laughter) Me and my mother we lived together and we was farming a place. Which one was that? Right below the Berry schoolhouse. The Campbell place. Our fence was the schoolyard fence when it was setting way out there before they moved it We was farming that place. Well, that was right by the Spencer place? Or just above
Well, they set way down here, but their place run up here and ourswas here adjoining them here. But our house was back out this way on the other road. That road that cut across from the schoolhouse. Uh-huh. You know where Dick lesser lives? We lived right across the road from them.
Oh, I never got mad. But anyhowsametime)
I was only about years old. And my mother was sick— And mybrother had to go and fix fence and things like that, well, he had brought it in. She was laying on the bed— Well, I come along and seen it- ) all are talking together for some time at this point, can't sort them out!) Cut her finger off right there, and cut that one a little bit you know.
My mother said I cried worse than she did. Of course I thought I'ddone an awful thing. Well, I never thought, well, I just seen it there and went on out. And we was trying to dig a hole to build a barn. She had scraped it out just as I went to Here's a quilt about seventy-five years old. Oh, that's beautiful. My mother and my grandmother made that and I just got to looing at it the other day, and all the stitches! See here! That's what they put a lot of their spare time in at is quilting and piecing the quilt, too. Mama usually quilted a quilt or two every winter. To keep up with the bedding, you know. (two or three talking at the
I guess they had to.Well, yeah, I've made a lot of quilts, myself. I have, too. But those stitches are so small. I've did a lot of quilting. I didn't last winter, but I've got a quilt ready to quilt. and had a pair of.quilt frames and the auctioneer held em up n and he says, "What am I offered for this pair of moldings?" Moldings?!! He didn't know what they were. He held up some quilting frames and he said, "What am I offered for these moultings— moldings?" I have quilt frames. I don't know what pattern this is, do you Mamie? It's the fan quilt. Is that what you call it? Oh, sure, it looks like a fan, doesn't it? My, that's sure pretty. If Mary Gay wanted to take something down to the fair, Mickey always wanted to take a quilt down, and I said, "Oh, I don't want to send my quilts down, I don't think I do nice enough work." Fred used to say, "Why would a woman want to set down and take a big piece of material and cut it up in little pieces like that and then sew it back together again. He never could see that. It looks so nice when you put it back together again. Here's the last one I made. Oh, that's a pretty one. Saw one in the paper like that and I those. I've made about twelve of these.
Oh, you have.Oh, you old smartie! Well, this is just about big enough for a spread. ..But anymore, we don't put all those stitches in like they did in those. And that's what my daughter-in-law- those little fine stitches in there, just one on top of the other. And so close together. It takes so long. I've got a top like this to quilt, I don't have the inside yet, but I have the one. So I thought maybe I'd quiltReuben made me some quilt frames. I had some quilting frames and when them people I sold the house toand I said, "Above all I want my quilting frames." And by golly, they took 'em out and burned 'em. Oh, my land! Just cleaning up things. Didn't know what they were. Well, I'd told 'em my quilting frames is up there and I'd come and get 'em. When I went to get 'em, why they had been burned.
Well, that's sure pretty, beautiful.Were you supposed to get naturalized when you came here from Missouri? Oh, yeah. . The Missourians— They've got to be shown. My son; can you remember him making fun of the Missourians? Do. they? Oh, yes, they do. I've heard the Arkansawyers ma||e fun ofYes, the Okies. (Laughter) The Okies.
WURMAN: We owned an apartment out there in Omak and we had a lot of Arkiesthere. I just loved to hear 'em talk. They talked, you know, dif ferent than we do. I love to hear Southern people talk. Well, Missouri's just about the South. Well, I guess Illinois is - well, we heard several people, last time I was home, you know in Illinois; they have a Southern--- My son went in the Air Force, he was in four years, and he was going overseas, they sent home papers for us to fill out, you know, where we were born, his parents, and where his grandparents was born and I don't know what all. And what nationality we were. And if we were foreigners, oh, a stack of papers about so high! You had to go through and fill all that out. So when it come to my mother, I didn't put her name down, I just left it out. And oh, she was scared. And I said, "I didn't want to have - she was born in Missouri- and I didn't want to have to fill out all those foreign papers!" (Laughter) Well, that wasn't all/ part of it was because I didn't know enough about her. I didn't know what town she was born in, what county, or anything like that. And so I thought, well, heck, why don't £ just leave it out. ViVt0t*f^» — a little town called Vibbert, it isn't there now, it's about oh, twelve miles from St. Louis, and I didn't know enough about it.
SS: I guess it all depends, if you are in a place like Troy, whereeverybody is Swede or Norwegian, you don't hear too many cracks about being a Swede.
GILDER: stayed to themselves. We didn't have anything but just a conglomerate of Americans.
WURMAN: We never had any Indians, only they'd go through our place in thespring, and we was always watching for the Indians to come through.
We was the only ones that had water close and they'd camp down atour spring. And we was always awatching for the Indians to come.
SS: And you weren't afraid of 'em?
WURMAN: Oh, no, I'd go out and talk to 'em, Gertie wouldn't. She'd tell mewhat to say and I'd say it.
LYND: But Reuben said
WURMAN: We used to go and they'd visit with us, you know as nice as could be.They'd come up to the house and visit with my mother. And if we had anything- eggs, milk or butter or anything to sell, they'd buy it.
LYND: Did they dig camas up there?
WURMAN: I don't know. They went way on beyond
LYND: They did at Potlatch, when they came where Reuben's folks lived, theywould dig there.
SS: On the flat there, where they built the mill?
LYND: They'd dig camas. I don't understand much about that, but they dryit I believe and pound it up and it makes a flour, doesn't it?
WURMAN: Yes, that's what they do with it.
MUNDEN: They used to dig just below our house there. But they used to comethrough sometimes peddling watermelons and peaches and things,
LYND: Oh, did they?MUNDEN: Yes, sometimes. So one time they came, we went out. Course, we always went when anybody came, stuck right together, my sister and I, she was just a year younger than me. So they talked, we couldn't understand everything they said, but we tried to, and Mama talked to 'em, course she wasn't afraid. We was a little bit afraid. After while he said, get something from under the seat, and my sister thought he said, "Get the rope from under the seat." (Laughter) She grabbed me, "Let's get out of here, let's get out of here!" So away we went and I said what was the matter, and she said, "He said get that rope, he was going to tie us up.!" (Laughter)
SS: You know, one thing I've been surprised at, to find that people don'tseem to- people relly seem to feel the Indians got a raw deal around here.
WURMAN: I always thought they did; we took everything they had.
LYND: Yes, they did.I don't know how else you'd explain it. I love to go to Whitman's Mission down at Walla Walla, have you been there? Down by Walla Walla?
SS: I've been by, but never in.
LYND: Oh, you should go. I love to go in there.
WURMAN: They's lots of Indians up there around Omak.
LYND: I love to go there, you can press a button and it tells the story ofthe massacre. There's no charge in those, whatever you call them. When you go in there, you know, if you want to hear about it, you just press a button and it tells.
WURMAN: I know there was some Arkansas people there and they had three children, one of 'em looked like he was about nine and the other one s even and then a smaller one. And there was some Indians up above us, that went right past the apartment, you know, to work, to go down across to the mill there. So they come in and.asked their mother what that was went by. They'd never seen anybody like that. They'd seen Negroes, but they'd never seen Indians. And they couldn't imagine, And she didn't see 'em and she come in and asked me and she says, "What kind of people do you have around here?" And I said, "Well, we have awful nice people around here." I said, "They're all whites and In dians." "Oh," she said,"then that's what went by." "Well," I said, "there's some that goes by here every morning to work." And you know them little kids was setting out on them steps every morning to watch them Indians go to work. They just got a kick out of it. Everyone should read The Vanishing American. I got such a thrill out of that.
We took to see the Indian dances down at Lapwai. Andthe Indians charged all the rest of us for a ticket to go in, but they wouldn't charge Aj ?ffa a cent. I don't know, they thought she was Indian, and they never charged her a cent. Well, we went to see them in the Expo there in Spokane. And then we went down to Nespelem, and that wasn't too far from where we lived.
Parkins was standing on a sidewalk and team, and the team would go to pulling, andsaid, Oh, oh. and the team stopped. And Red didn't say a word. He went over and pulled a 2x6 off of the sidewalk, hit old Webb right across the top of the head. Laid it down, went back and drove that team just as though no thing had happened! (Chuckles) That Wilbur Parkins, he was a little rascal. He liked my sister!! (Laughter) He was a spoilt brat, if there ever was one. He didn't live too long. I remember a Frank Lowe. Do you remember him? Had a black team that was pulling. Yes. I'd like to see Hal's horses pull, they've got some pulling horses. That's a beautiful team. I heard they sold that team lately for, I believe it was $1,400. I know they sold 'em, but I didn't know how much. They went back toi They said one of and got another team now. died af ter he was down here at Palouse and he got another one. Oh, he did? That's what I was told. When he was pulling? mhil'C y4ormrttll Yeah. No, he didn t die when he was pulling, no. Later on, he died. They'll have pulling horses again here. They'll have Palouse Day this fall. Be nice if you and your wife could come over. Wonder if they'll have any good ones. Johnny's got that team and who else has got a team? Nagles has got a team and then they come from Mount Craig, way over there.
And they came from Lapwai last year.
Yes.Did they used to have pulling contests very often in the old days? Quite often, when there was a celebration of that type, or anythingcounty fairs,,.. had it.
Fourth of Julys.They nearly always had a pulling contest, besides the horse racing. They had several teams there, I can't remember how many at Palouse Days last year. I didn't get to see them. I didn't know where they were. Just across the river, below the bridge. Did they used to bet very much on that, Glen? Oh, not very much, but they bet, you bet. A couple of dollars to bet. Side bets, they did. People didn't have much money, but they done some betting anyway. It would be about 1939, they used to have races and ball games out herer At Kennedy Ford.
GILDER: Well, the Indians from Lapwai come down there and the ones from uphere at De Smet came down , too and they had a fistful of money and they were betting on the horses. And they had an old looking, kind of a rough looking sorrel standing out there in front of the grandstand, he just stood there, he wasn't tied up or anything, had a rope around his neck and that's all. And when the race started all these beautiful horses that they had been showing off, they got 'em in the track and then somebody went out and got on this crummy looking sorrel that was out in front. The Indians all had their money bet on him. And I'll be doggoned if he didn't clean up every cent in that. (Laughter) They really had some fun at those races.
SS: Do you remember gypsies coming through?
LYND: Just one time after we moved here, the gypsies came through. And Ihad a neighbor, an old man lived right by the road down here, and there was a barn right straight out here, and he had went out to milk, it was in the evening, and those gypsies were right around him, you know, trying to get his billfold out of his pocket, and he always wore two pair of trousers. So he said when he seen 'em acoming, he slipped his billfold in the inside trousers and they fooled around him a while and couldn't get ahold of any money and they left. That's the nearest escape I had.
WURMAN: They used to come through when we lived on the River Road, a lot of'em.
LYND: I think they would have scared me to death.
WURMAN: When we lived down here. We was just about six miles, I guess, fromPalouse.
LYND: I don't think they're around here any more, are they?
I don't know, but they used to be a lot come through and they'd wantchickens, or they'd want food or anything and one woman asked me for some soda, and I said, no, and she said, "Well, you've got it," But we wouldn't have any dealings with them. We wouldn't sell 'em anything
Well, I never did have 'em come. That's the closest.There used to be about three wagons, maybe four wagons of 'em, you know.
One time the folks had a farm at Lapwai, up A Gulch, and they wassome gypsies up there and they'd go around to other people's farms. she heard the dogs in the night, they had about three and they . were pretty good watchdogs, and when she went out to feed the chickens why she saw something red out on the hillside there above the house, just on the other side of the smokehouse, and there was a red cap and they figured that the dogs had been after the gypsies. And they gaf Ahold of lost their hat! They'd lost more'n that if the dogs had them! (Laughter)
That was kind of a giveaway.Yes. But when we were little kids over by ., gypsies used to coma tjfeico^ugh and they were horse traders, and they used to come through. And they d camp up on the second hill from our place, just a small hill, and then another one over there, the Stevens place. No body lived there. They could go in there and put their horses down around the pond and get water. And they'd camp up there for several days trading horses. And the come out and watch the horses along the road, because the roads weren't wired then and there was lots of grass on each side and they'd let 'em eat the grass along the side. But us kids stayed pretty close to the house! They never did bother us though.
I don't know why we'd be afraid of them.They used to tell stories, I've heard that gypsies stole kids. Yes! That might be what you were afraid of. Probably what I heard. Yeah, kind of put the fear into you. Maybe there aren't any gypsies anymore. Oh, I think there are, but they come through in automobiles and you don't notice: them. I think probably, but I used to hear about them, even in Spokane. And in Portland, I know there is a big town of gypsies. Oh, there is? That's where they wanted to bury the gypsy kin* that died recently. In Portland. I don't know if they did or not, but it is one of the cities that is a Gypsy capitol. I have a cousin living there. But you probably saw a lot of lumberjacks, too. I know they say there were a lot of guys that were not hobos exactly, but guys who were coming in and out on the rails, when there were so many lumberjacks and construction workers in the early days. Do you remember them? I do, but I don't think there's any lumberjacks around anymore. Not anymore, they're awful hard to find. Reuben used to work in the woods.
Lumberjacks, but they re not carrying their bindle any more.
Well, the most of 'em I ever saw was when they would have logdrive.They'd be about maybe thirty in a crew, you know. One year they cam ped right square in front of our house. Quite a little ways back from the house, not as far as you are from the road- from the river. They camped between us and the river. Oh, did they? But we didn't mind 'em. We thought they were just alright. Neighbors. Just working men, yeah. They had to carry water from our spring, you know, to camp there. when the water would be a little high- if the men couldn't get river toed 'em in, why, then they brought teams in to haul 'em. Float 'em out.
LYND: YEAH, I can remember seeing the logs down here, clear across the riverThere was a sawmill right down here by the bridge.
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