Family History as Remembered by Dr. Francis Haines

Interviewed by his daughter, Margie
December 1982

Would you tell us your date of birth?

June 3, 1899

Would you start by telling us as much about your mother's family as you remember having heard about their orgins and who they were.

Mother's family came from the Rhine Valley of Germany near the town of Cologne. Her father was a son of a miner and a school teacher and such like; just a rather ordinary chap but he married this daughter of a well-to-do landowner of a family named Yost. After her father and mother were married , the German Empire was formed and the LeJeune's didn't want to be conscripted into the Imperial German army under the Prussians, so they sold out their holding and migrated to Wisconsin where they took up some land and homesteaded in the virgin forest about 12 miles east of Rice Lake on the western side of Wisconsin. They lived there on the farm the rest of grandfather's life; he died at about the age of 91 and the place then passed to his son Ernest and is still in the family at the present time. He had a family of thirteen children and mother, who was called Marie or sometimes Mary, was the fourth child, the second girl, in the family. She was born in 1875 in Germany. The family came to the United States in 1879 when mother was four years old.

They all spoke German, isn't that right, even though they had a French name?

They had a French name but they came from a German settlement. The Rhine Valley was solid German although it was a mixture of of all sorts of racial stocks, and German was the family language in Europe and after they came to this country. They didn't speak French at all as far as I know.

Now you said that when they came to Wisconsin he was the most well-educated person and became the clerk of the school board. But he was still speaking German and then learned English after he was here?

He learned English very rapidly after he came here. He was reasonably educated for the time. He could read and write quite well and do arithmetic and such like. About an ordinary high school education now, I would judge. At any rate, after he got settled on his homestead and some other people moved in around him, they soon had enough people for a small district school. In this district of maybe a dozen families, he was the best educated - he was the one who knew the most about running schools and how to keep records, so he was elected clerk of the school district and he kept that job for fifty-two years before he finally retired, being a little bit worn out after that many years work.

Didn't some branch of the family go to Belgium or am I mis-remembering?

No, down in that country some of the ancestors were from over in Belgium and Lejeune is obviously a French name so it possibly came from the southern part of the Belgium country There was so much movement of armies back and forth in there that it is hard to trace people. It is easy to trace the other branch, that is, mother's mother and her family, because they were landowners near the town of Cologne and so of course they were on the tax records and that sort of thing; well established people.

That was the Yost family?

Yes, that was the Yost family. But the Lejeune family I don't know a thing about except that mother did say that her father had one brother who was a priest. That is all I know about the Lejeune family.

But they were not Catholic in Wisconsin were they?

Yes, all the family were Catholics in Wisconsin, but when mother and her older sister, Annie, who was two years older than mother, got to be about 14 or 15, there was some difficulty because the local priest wanted one or the other of the two girls (maybe they were a little older, like 16) to come and be his housekeeper. They didn't like the idea so Annie got real busy and went out and grabbed herself a non-Catholic by the name of Frank Doolittle and married him. Mother went over to the neighboring farm and grabbed herself a Methodist, Howard Haines, and married him. So while the rest of the family, as far as I know remained Catholic to this day, these two broke away and were never in the Catholic church again.

I hadn't heard that before. Do you remember the names of all your mother's brothers and sisters?

Oh, my. I'll try. Mike, Hubbard, Annie, mother, and then I don't know the exact order of them but there was Joe, Josephine, John, Olive, Amelia, Ernest, and Julia and Bertha. I might have left out one or two - there was a Helen in there.

Then your sister Helen was named after your aunt?

Yes. I think that was the whole family.

Now that we have your mother meeting Howard Haines, let's go back and start as far back as you know anything about his family.

This is a little bit vague, but there are Haines' in the upper Thames Valley and three of them migrated to William Penn's colony back in 1703, and settled around a little hamlet, Sample's Manor, which is a few miles from Hagerstown on one side and Harper's Ferry on the other. The family stayed there at least until Civil War times, and the story that the family told was that one of the Haines', back about 1800, married Betsy, the niece of Davy Crockett, child of Davy's older sister. So they kept that tradition in the family but I have no record to prove that. But dad said that was a good family story. And Granddad Haines, my Granddad was born at Sample's Manor in 1842 and grew up there. He was 19 when the Civil War broke out, and he decided to join up in the big war, and his dad said to him "What were you thinking of joining?", and he said "Oh I thought I'd go over to the Shenendoah Valley and join up with Stonewall Jackson and his army". His dad said it would be better if he joined on the winning side, so Granddad took him at his word and signed up with the Army of the Potomac and served for four years. He was a rather bright young fellow although he couldn't read or write at that time, he had just been a farm hand, but his captain took an interest in him and taught him to read and write. Just how much duties he had around and about I don't know, but he was wounded four separate times. The first three times he recovered and went back into duty, but the fourth time he was wounded rather badly at Cold Harbor in November 1864 and invalided home as permanently disabled and given a pension of $12 a month for the rest of his life.

Am I mis-remembering or is that when the spelling of the name changed?

When Granddad Haines went in the army and couldn't read or write the clerk wrote his name down as Haines although Granddad said later it should have been Haynes but he never tried to change it because he didn't want any difficulty about his pension, so he kept it Haines; although his brothers, if he had any, I don't know for sure how many he had, they kept their name Haynes.

If they got here in 1703, do you know anything about what they might have been doing during the revolution?

There is a family story that one of them drove a team on a big supply wagon for Washington's army when they were around Pennsylvania, especially in 1777 to 1779, through that winter at valley forge and so forth. But that's all I have is just that he was a teamster on a supply train.

Do you know the first names of any of these..

No. Oh, I know that Granddads name was Henry, hmm, I'd have to look that up. His father's name was John and his grandfather's name was John, and then I think his great- grandfather's name was John, and that's suppose to be the John that married Davy Crockett's niece. But this is rather tenuous, I don't guarantee it.

O.K. Now, do you know anything about any of the people they married or those families?

No, I don't know anything about granddad's relatives except that when granddad moved west from Maryland he was already married. He got married about 1869 to a little Pennsylvania Dutch girl by the name of Catherine Snow. At any rate, they were married in time for the first boy, my father, Howard, to be born on January 4, 1870, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Shortly after that, just how long I don't know, he moved out to Indiana and his father went along. Just what sort of place, or two places, I don't know, but it was rather a sickly place becusse one of the girls and one of the boys of the family died quickly, one after another from one of those terrific diseases they had in those days. After that the family packed up and moved on out to Wisconsin and got there right out of Rice Lake in 1880, the year after the Lejeune's had settled in there. They settled on 160 acres quite near - not adjoining but quite near; the children went to the same little country school. These were both homesteads.

O.K., now they moved back to West Virginia, to Buchannan?

Buchannan, and Dad had some money saved up from his work in the lumber woods (he was a saving sort of chap) and he bought a place about three miles out of town. He wanted to go to the seminary there, which gave work equivalent to about a freshman/sophomore high school work today, in addition to what we call grade school today, but they weren't graded in those days. And he wanted to go to school there, and so he did. He started nights. Mother tells about how he would walk up and down the kitchen floor carrying me because I was a baby and fussing a little bit, while he learned his work for class the next day.

Now, is this suppose to have had an early influence on you for education?

Not that I know of but Dad was dedicated to people having education so he wanted all his children to have an education when they came along and he went out and taught country school there in West Virginia back in the hills. Taught for three winters for something like $22 a month; he worked in a tannery for $1.50 a day; he worked terribly hard. In West Virginia, during the panic of '93 which was a depression, he just hit at the bottom of things and it took him nine years to scrape enough money together and get enough market built up that he could sell his little farm and take his family and go west. So in 1902 when he had six of us, he climbed on the train and went to Wisconsin.

Now that left quite a few Haines' in Buchannan.

He left Granddad, Grandma, Charlie, Sadie, Autella, and John. None of them went back west. Charlie came much later but the rest didn't. So, he went back to Wisconsin and stayed nearly a year.

What did he do?

He was working around on Granddad Lejeune's farm some and then he got a job cutting timber, poles and railroad ties, up a little to the north. He cut them at so much a piece, so if you are a hard worker, you can make some money. That took us through the winter.

You lived out in the woods with him then?

For a couple of months anyway, because I can remember Christmas there, and how I broke Bee's (Bernice) doll - I didn't mean to break it, but I broke it and it was a brand new doll she had just gotten for Christmas and I was teasing her. Anyhow, Helen was born that November, just before we went up into the woods. And we went out then, the next May, and landed in Helena, Montana about the sixth of May.

Was there any reason for going to Helena?

Dad liked the sound of the name and it was right by the Rocky Mountains and he wanted a nice place where there was good hunting - he was quite a hunter - so he picked on Helena for a place and landed there on a beautiful morning with the sun shining brightly and a beautiful blue sky overhead, just the day after a big spring storm (it had snowed practically all night), so the snow came down on the hills around the valley only about one hundred feet of elevation above Helena. There was just glare rock, this saucer of snow, and down below this beautiful green valley in the spring sunshine. I remember that.

It must have been quite a sight after what you were used to seeing all your life.

I don't remember landscapes or anything like that before that, but this I do remember. I remember the little place we had; two rooms up in this crummy place, Steamboat Block, for a few days while Dad was finding us a little house and getting himself a job, and then we moved into a little house up at the head of Rodney Street. - it is still there I think - and we lived there for only a month or two because Dad got a job at the BN freight depot, moving freight, unloading cars and the like, and so we moved down into the sixth ward to be right near his job. And how he managed to get the school teaching job at Lump I don't know, but in September we started school at Helena: that is, Harry, Kath, and Bee did; and Mother wanted them to take me in Kindergarten but they wouldn't because I was only four years old, but I could go visit one day. I remember going to visit one day and we played Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candle stick and there was a candle out there and when it was your turn, why you jumped over.

That's the summer Teddy Roosevelt came through. He was President at the time and he drove by up the street in a big open carriage, tall silk hat and the rest and I was standing there about 20 feet away and watched him go by.

So then Dad got the school at Lump and we all loaded into a two-seated surrey-type thing. There was Harry, Kath, Bee, me, Jess, Helen, and Mother and the driver; whoever drove it I don't know, maybe Dad drove that one. But we had another wagon, what we called a lumber wagon back in those days, just a farm wagon with an open box on it to carry the household stuff and Paddy Conway owned that, he owned both rigs. We drove out to Lump, about 12 miles, maybe 13, the way the road was in those days.

Lump was essentially what kind of community?

A little, decaying mining camp. It was already past it's peak as a producer. It had started in the 1870's a a placer gold diggings, fairly rich; when that went out, why they started finding veins of silver ore, so it developed into a nice silver producing place, and it had a fairly good population, little bunkhouses and boarding houses for the miners and so forth and so on, and little cabins that individuals built for themselves and their small families. Probably 100 people lived there when we went there. I know that the school, the first year, had 42 children in it, one room, ungraded school, with ages from 6 to 19.

Was there still some mining going on?

Yes, there were still some mines, two or three mines still working. The Little Nell and the Liverpool for sure, and I don't remember if there were any other mines, right off hand, but those two were still working so there was enough to keep the place going. It kept going until the panic of 1907 when the bottom dropped out of things, and especially out of silver. This was the day of William Jennings Bryan and the free silver and so on and so forth and the mines closed and stayed closed until World War I and then two of them opened briefly but they couldn't make a go of it so they collapsed and Lump became a ghost town and there isn't even a house left there now.

It hasn't had any build up of vacation homes or that sort of thing?

Oh yes, but not where the old place was. On the little hills nearby, yes, all over the place, yes, people all over the place, but in what used to be pastureland when I was there, not even fenced yet.

And your dad was the only teacher, right?

Oh yes, he taught the school.

Did you get a house with it?

Oh no, we moved into one of the houses belonging to the Little Nell mine that wasn't being used. It was a three room log house, the three rooms all in a row.

That wasn't much room for a family of seven.

Oh, it wasn't too crowded for the way things were in those days and it was a mile from the school. We lived there for a couple of years, maybe three years, and then Dad decided to buy this old building right next to the school and turn it into a little general store because the nearest general store was in Clancy, two miles away. So he did that and got his little general store going, guess what, just in time for the panic of 1907. So all the miners moved out owing him money. He couldn't pay off the wholesalers, it took him about five years to pay off the wholesalers. So there he was, not only broke and in debt and the family was bigger then because we had Merle and Bennie and Florence. So there we were. So he found a little patch of land on Lump Creek, a mile up the creek, just down from the Little Nell where we had lived before. There was a space in there that wasn't covered by any of the patented mining claims because it was just bottom land with no mineral lodes on it so he staked it out as a placer claim which he was entitled to do because he panned some dirt from it, enough to show color and that was all you needed, you know, to show color. That was how we got what we called the Lump Creek place. It had five or six acres of reasonable good usable land altogether.

When he had the store you lived in that building?

We lived in the store. It was a big building. we had the back half for cooking and the bedroom, and this and that, and then we had this full attic for the rest of it.

I'm interested in the housekeeping that you mother had to do. What did she have to work with in any of these places. Do you remember any of that?

Well, she had a cook stove. Not a range, a cook stove. It had four lids on the top, a firebox and an oven. Not the nice big ones with six lids and a water reservoir and a warming oven up above, no that comes later. I remember that washing was quite a chore with that many children and Dad bought her a washing machine about 1905. It was a wooden tub with a wringer and dasher attachment on the top. The dasher thing had five wooden fingers about 8 or 10 inches long, they went down into the water. Then there was a wheel with a handle, gear, and a shaft through to turn it. And Harry had to turn this wheel to make it run and he had to turn the wheel for wringing out the water. She had that for a couple of years anyway, but she didn't have too much. Short on cupboard space, storage space. Down at Lump we had more room, not too much more, and then we built our house up on our placer claim place, cut our own logs off our own place and built a three room house there. That one was still going strong - I don't remember when they tore it down, probably around 1930-35.

How long did you own the property?

He never had a title to it because it was a mining claim and you have to do a certain amount of work before you can prove up and get a title on a mining claim and he never did that. All he had to do was what they call representing work, $100 each year, and hold it indefintitely as a mining claim so he held it until World War I. They passed a new law on homesteads, put 320 acres for dry land homesteads and he found the 320 acres up there in a nice place, the present homestead, and he filed on that in 1913 I think. At any rate he had it firmly with a building on it in 1914, and of course he got title to that, and it is still in the family.

Now, the Lump place, after he moved off, just sat there and they then had a new law that a person could take up land and use the surface land for grazing and so forth even though there was mineral under there that might develop into mines. But the law was that anybody who came along and struck ore on there, it was theirs and the poor guy who had the surface claim just got paid for a road across his land.

We were in the Lump house until 1914 when we had the house up on the homestead finished, and we moved over the summer of 1914. So we still held the Lump Creek place, without any legal title, just squatters, and there were four more 40s of land back toward sheep mountain, rough stuff that could be taken under this homestead dry land act. And Dad thought "Oh wouldn't that be great if I (Fran) could just take up that land". But I was only 17 years old. He said, "Well, if you were married why you could have it as the head of a family". He said, "Why don't you talk to one of these younger teachers down at Wesleyan", that was where I was going then, "and see if she shouldn't want to marry you just so you could have the homestead". Well, I never got around to doing that, but when I came back from the war in 1919, the place was still open, and so I went down since I was older then and I could file on the land. So I filed on this scrub stuff and all and then there was a flurry of activity, I was off to college, a little flurry of mining activity,and one of the miners who was hired in this mine just up the hill wanted to rent the from me for he and his family so I said OK, he could rent it for $10 a month. He moved in then wouldn't pay any rent, he said no he was going to own the house so he staked out a mining claim, not a placer claim, but a mineral claim, that took the house in as part of the surface country and claimed the house was his. So I had to go to the federal land office and get them to swear or decide that this wasn't valuable mineral land and so it was open to filing as a homestead, and then I had to go to the county court and establish that the house was mine legally.

Who put the house on there?

That's the house Dad built in 1909 when he moved from Lump up there, but now it is my house because it is my land. There is a stable there and a hen house. So all of this cost me $300 - $400 and since I was going to school I had $100 a month coming to me from Uncle Sam and I saved up some and paid off my bills over a year or a year and one- half and so then I had clear title to the place. And all I had to do was live on it for six months, because my time in the army would count, instead of being three years like an ordinary person. Six months and I could get title to it . So I took your mama up there and we discussed and we decided that if we stayed there six months we would have a piece of property that wouldn't be worth as much as I could earn in six months and it would be pretty tough sledding besides. So my brother Jess wanted the place so I sold him all my surface buildings, improvements, and fence and so forth, and he took it over and proved up on it. Then younger sister Florence gypped him out of it with a lot of sweet talk and this and that and as soon as she got her hands on it she sold it out to Merle Marks down the river, down the creek, for about half what it was worth. Quite the family deal.

We skipped ahead there. I would like to know something about your schooling. We didn't really talk about that.

My schooling. O.K. When I was four I learned my letters off Quaker Oats boxes and such playing on the floor while Mother was busy working; she'd tell me a letter when I got stuck. When I was five, cuz' Dad was teaching the school, I was allowed to go to school. I could read better than the six and seven year-old first graders in just a couple of months. At any rate, I don't remember anything special about the school. I went three years while Dad was the teacher. Then he put in the store so we got another teacher, a Miss Haynes, but no relation, from a family down in Clancy. And she was a good teacher and after her we had a poor teacher and she lasted a year and never taught us anything. After her we got another pretty good teacher. She was a young lady just out of Normal school, 19 years old, but she didn't have any big boys in school then; I was the biggest and I was 11 years old and weighed 75 pounds so you can see she had no problem with the boys.

What was the average education that most of these teachers had?

You had to have eighth grade state examination plus two courses that I don't remember exactly what they were. One was something about school management, and the other probably something about the method of teaching. But not very much, you see, and they didn't upgrade this third grade certificate for around four more years, so after this good teacher for two years then we had a very poor one. She was a local girl who had taken two years to get through her eighth grade exams and got through them only because her dad had some political influence and got the county sup (superintendent) to upgrade her test papers and give her a passing grade. She went down to Helena to go to high school and flunked out absolutely flat in all four courses in six weeks. So she went back home and wanted a teaching job and so she took the little bitty exam they had for third grade certificate and flunked it. And so her dad went to the county........

When you say a third grade certificate, you are talking about a level of certificate?

A third ranking, it was called a third grade certificate. And when you get a little better you go up to second grade and a little better you are up to first grade. And when you are up to first grade you are eligible for a job in a fairly good graded school, like Townsend or something like that. So then her dad went back to the county sup and says "That little school up there on Big Buffalo Creek has only three students in it, a second grader and two third graders, and she can teach them just beautifully, you, know, that wouldn't be any trouble, so you give her a temporary certificate so she can have that school and teach those little ones". So the county sup gave her the certificate and immediately her daddy got her hired as teacher at Lump Creek where there were four of us in the eighth grade. My older sister Katherine and her friend; older sister Bee, and me.

How did all three of you happen to be in the eighth grade at the same time?

Well, Kath was there because there was no way for her to go on to school because we didn't have any extra money; this was about 1911 and times are real tight in the Haines house. And Bee and I were together from about the third grade on because I caught up with her. Kath is four years older than me and Bee is two years older than me. So we decided, the four of us, we would walk down to Clancy every day and go to school where they had a two-room school and they had a new teacher in the upper grades who was the local Methodist minister, who got the job as an emergency because the teacher they had hired went off his rocker at the big Christmas tree celebration and tried to carry the red-hot stove outside - I never saw the thing, but this is the story - anyway they took him off and put him "Over There" and hired this man, Putnam, to be the teacher and so we all trotted down there.

How far is this now?

This is over three miles from our place and two miles from Lump and that is where this other girl lived, but Kath and Bee and I walked from our place down to Clancy and back, not too regular because there was this big rancher, Marks, and Mrs. Marks was a very kindhearted woman and she had Kath or Bee, maybe both of them at the same time, one or two nights every week and I could stay at her house one night every week. She had a boy two just years younger than me, about my size, but younger. Anyway, I could stay there one night a week; I think just in the bad weather because when it got to be good weather I can remember hiking across the hills for home all the time.

How big a town was Clancy?

Clancy at that time had about a couple of hundred people. The school, in two rooms, had about 50 children in eight grades.

Now is this a mining community too?

This is a railroad town. It is a division pont on the Great Northern from Havre to Butte. And so there is some railroading there. There is a little mining around, but not much. There is some ranching, a sawmill or two, that sort of thing so there is enough to go along with about 200 people.

So you went there a half a year?

Half a year. Passed the eighth grade exams and was ready to go to Helena High the next year, but Bee didn't quite make it - she had to go to eighth grade in Helena half a year before she could go to high school, so she was always a half a year behind me in high school and it just burnt her up. Kath went to Montana Wesleyan which was a little church school.

Why did she go there instead of the high school?

I'm not sure but the Montana Wesleyan people came out and talked to Dad and it sounded like a good deal, the way they told it, and she went there. Oh, Harry went to the Clancy school too. Anyway, he went to high school with us. Because he's six years older than me he should have been all through. That was the year that I was in the seventh grade, when I was eleven years old, that I was the school janitor and swept the place, and wiped off the blackboards and dusted, and cleaned the erasers. The essential one was to have the fire going by 8:00 in the morning so the little children would be warm; it was one of those great wood heaters with the extra jacket around it to make the air circulate nicely, quite a nice one for the time. And I did that for six months and never missed a day.

When you were going to school in Lump what sort of books and supplies did they have for the children?

They had text books furnished by the district, approved by the state. All the paper and pencils and that sort of thing, you furnished your own. In the poor districts you had to buy your own books, but Lump, because of the mines, was a fairly rich district. We paid better wages to teachers than the others did. We had books and they even bought $50 worth of new library books every year.

That sounds pretty good. So you did have a lot of other things to read then?

Had some other things to read, yep.

O>K>, now high school in Helena, your folks aren't there, you're on your own?

We had a little house, a little three room house, furnished for $10 a month, that is on the back of a big lot where the main house is, where the woners of the two places live, and four of us, Harry, Kath, Bee and I, stay there and "bach".

I'm assuming there other children doing this too?

There were some other children doing the same kind of thing. Then the next year we got another house, same size, but it had a little yard and on the back of this lot was a shed and a place to keep a horse. Outdoor toilet of course, and no running water. I had to carry water for the house and for the horse from the neighbors who rented this house to us. This is the fall of 1913 that we rented this house.

So you never really lived on the homestead on any kind of permanent basis?


Did he build that house himself?

Yes, he built everything out there. He was pretty handy that way. He cut all the stuff there on the place and we had nice fir poles like that for rafters and joists, squared a little bit for the joists and so forth, quite neat.

That's quite a roomy house.

Well, it is now but when we first built it, it was two rooms. Just the downstairs and the upstairs of the cabin part and all that other part was built while I was away to war, or most of it anyway.

Now when you were in school in Helena where was the money coming from?

Dad had to pony up the $10 a month rent for the house. We didn't have to pay tuition but we had to buy our books. We got pretty smart after the first time when we registered as freshman; after that we bought secondhand books. Some of them were pretty tacky but they didn't cost much, maybe 40 or 50 cents. then the spring of my sophomore year, in February, I got a job carrying papers and used this little horse for it and got $16 a month for that.

Which newspaper was that?

That was the evening paper, The Montana Record which was later combined with the Morning Independent, years later. Anyway, I had to pay for the horse's feed out of that $16 and what ever was left over was mine.

Whose horse was it?

It was one of the family horses, that little Prince horse.

Oh, the one that was born when you were down at lump?

Yup. We had two and that was Prince's mother, Bess. We kept Bess until the end of World War I. She was getting old and a tough winter was coming up on so I took the 30-30 and shot her and skinned her and took the hide down and sold it that fall. But Prince was still around into the 3 0s. Anyhow I rode Prince about three weeks and then I'd put him out in the pasture and I'd ride Bess. We'd give Prince a little time to rest up and this way I didn't have to feed him quite so much. They would lose weight while I had them in town but they could go back out there and they would eat plenty of free grass. So then I carried papers for 22 months. All through one summer I rode in from the homestead to town. Eight miles around the paper route, eight miles each way in and back, a total of 24-25 miles every day six days a week, carrying the papers.

That must have taken quite a little while.

Yeah, I'd leave around three in the afternoon, or two-thirty, and get back around dark. But I made my clothes and books and all my necessities.

What about the other's, were they working? Did you pool your money?

Bee had a little bit of work once in a while.

What about Harry?

Harry quit school. He wasn't ready to go to school. Harry was rather an odd person and I don't know to this day just how to evaluate him, but I am very thoroughly convinced that most of Harry's troubles were directly Dad's fault. Dad didn't like Harry at all. Harry wasn't his kind of person; he didn't want to admit that Harry was his child. Harry couldn't do this and that and that and that, you know. That sort of thing. He was a little slow in his movements; he wasn't stupid, but he was a little slow. And, of course with no encouragement from Dad he couldn't feel very well. So, Harry had gone to high school about a year and a quarter. He finished the freshman year and started the sophomore year but a couple of months into the sophomore year he quit.

How old was he at that time?

Oh, me. This would be about 1913 so he was 20 years old. He was born in '93 so he was 20 tears old, but he was not getting a thing out of school, not passing. He did a lot of reading at the library but that was all. And he didn't have the knack of picking up odd jobs for a little spending money around and about. But the first year, we would walk out home every Friday afternoon, ten miles across the hills, and then on Sunday evening we would go back in and Mother would give us four loaves of bread and we would have some potatoes, a few eggs, some butter, and not too much else. Skimpy.

No wonder you were small.

That was part of it. You know, until I got in the army I actually never had enough to eat. I mean, I would have enough for this day or these two or three days or something like that, but I mean over like a period of a month. Well, anyway that was the way we went to school.

And Katherine was still with you then?

Katherine was still with us but then very soon she was going to Wesleyan, she got work with a nice family on the west side, housework, but she stayed at our little place on through when I left for the war in 1917, she and Bee were still staying in the place. And she was still working for these people, she had quit school. And part of the large family she worked for, some of them had a ranch down at Cascade and so they had Kath go down there to help them on the ranch in the summertime. She liked that very much and on the next ranch was this young Irish fella named Johnny Kelly who actually seemed like a worthless person. All the things were against him. But he and Kath fell for each other very strongly. He was just my age, I believe, four years younger than Kath. And Johnny became a very good husband, a very good father, a very hard working person. He gave up all his wild ways. He was a poolroom bum, you know, that kind. I was very perturbed when Kath decided to marry Johnny and I was totally wrong, because Johnny turned out to be a very good man. He was a little rough, his language was a little rough, but he was a very good hearted man and he was honest and he was sharp, he was a hard worker and he worked intelligently. So Kath stayed there and Bee had some part time work but I don't know how much. She had little odd jobs a time or two. Harry went back out to the ranch and stayed there.

You wouldn't think he'd go out there if he wasn't getting along.

There was no place else for him to go. He doesn't leave home until the spring, january of 1920, after I came back from the war. See, I had some money saved up, Jesse had some money saved up, we decided we would go to Kansas City and take that auto mechanics course and come back and set up a little Ford garage repair place in one of the smaller places in Montana and amount to something. Well, then the State of Montana appropriated $200,000 to help G.I.'s learn trades, especially disabled ones. So I went trotting down there to the office in Helena abd said "This is what I'm planning to do - would I rate a small help from this fund"? And the woman, who was also in charge of the federal education for vets from Montana, said "No, but if you want to sign up with the federal I can give you a four year course in mechanical engineering". Because, see, I am interested in auto mechanics, she doesn't suggest there is anything else I can get, and yet now I know that I could have taken any standard college course there was, but here it was all clear. You go down to the doctor and have him check out how my leg was coming along and in about three weeks I was all set up to go to Bozeman and start a four- year engineering course. And Jess was all set up to go to Kansas City for the auto mechanics course, so I said to Harry, "Here's this $200 of mine, I can get along so go ahead and take it and go to Kansas City with Jess and learn to be a mechanic, and you can pay me back after you get to be a mechanic". So that is the way Harry got to leave home.

So did he go?

He went to Kansas City, but it didn't work out to well, because Jess thought it was going to be too much of a load on him, so while Harry was out rustling a job in Kansas City, Jess went down, without telling Harry and bought a railroad ticket home for him, put him on the train and sent him home.

That's very strange. Harry was eight years older than Jess.

I know. But anyway he went back home, and stayed there I don't know exactly how long. Then he went off on his own and we didn't hear from him for 20 years.

More than that, I think.

Maybe 30 years. anyway he went out to the state of Washington worked on a ranch there for at least 20 years and never wrote home.

We didn't finish, really, about the high school. You went through the four years?

I went through four years and graduated in June, 1916, eleventh in a class of 60.

And you were still pretty small?

I was five feet and three inches tall in my school shoes. I weighed 103 pounds in my school clothes.

What was the story about when you went to get your hair cut for graduation?

The barber said "Hey, you are pretty young to be finishing the eighth grade!". I told him I was finishing high school and he didn't believe me. I was 17 years old.

What did you do the summer after graduation?

Oh dear. That was the summer that Dad was going to make a first class salesman out of me. He got a sales kit for me and sent me to all the ranches and farm to sell a general line of things, odds and ends. I worked all summer, riding a little horse uo and down those places and I came out with about $10.50 for 40 days work. So I went over to Schuele's and got a job splitting wood for a day and they were real happy to have me and I got $10 and went off and started at Montana Wesleyan down in Helena.

You said that when Katherine went to Montana Wesleyan it was a high school and supposedly something higher than that?

When she went I don't think it was higher than that, but when I went they had one class they called college sophomores, three or four young fellas studying to be ministers, they said, because they got half price tuition that way, and then there were twin girls and me in the freshman class. There were four grades in what they called the academy, it was really high school, and then there was a room full, about 10 or 12, in the seventh and eighth grade trying to get coached through for the eighth grade exams. A student body of 55 altogether, and five or six of them were out of high school.

It wasn't a very high level of academic load?

No, but the credits I got there counted. I was able to transfer them went I went to Bozeman, they accepted them. I took college algebra and trig which were good standard courses and since I was the only one in the class in each of them I got quite a lot done and had a pretty good deal there. Then I took freshman English.

I would like to ask you about some of the childhood work experience you had. We mentioned some of them earlier, like carrying newspapers, but I know there were other things you did to earn money as you were growing up and still going to school.

The first regular job I had was school janitor ub the one- room rural school at Lump when I was 11 years old. My job was to keep the floor swept, to clean the blackboards each day, dust the erasers outside, carry out the ashes from the stove, the firewood carried in, have the fire built by 8:00 each school morning, and see to the fire all day. The wood was furnished by the school board and came in 16" blocks; all I had to do was split enough off these blocks to make kindling for the stove. For all this I got five cents a day and it counted up as long as I let it sit and didn't draw it out. I know that when Christmas came I had $2 and that went quite a long ways. When spring came and school was out I had $4.10 more coming which was a pretty good chunk of money, although I think I earned it.

Now when I had a little bit of work Saturdays, two saturdays one fall, I worked for a rancher named Marks. He had a big horse drawn potato digger and several acres of potatoes and he had some men, two or three men, hired to pick and sack the potatoes as they were dug and he took me and my younger brother Jess to help and so we picked and sacked potatoes all day long, about a ten hour day. It was cold, a frosty October and quite chilly. You had to sort the potatoes, the commercial grade into one bucket to go into a sack and the poorer grade into another sack and you had to do this very rapidly and keep it up all day long.

How old were you?

I was about 12. It was very hard work. I think that was the hardest work I have ever done for that amount of money - 50 cents for the day, 5 cents an hour for that work. Then for two summers I helped a grazing herd, Mark's ranch, out on the open range on Uncle Sam's free grass. Had to take the horses, about eighty of them, mares and colts and a few yearlings and such like, but mostly mares being brought in for breeding by the big Percheron stallion. Had to take these out to be up toward the pasture by 8:00 in the morning and were not allowed to come back to the corral gate before 5 in the evening. Usually we got there five or ten minutes after 5. So that was a nine-hour day because you don't get a lunch break on that. The horses are there all the time, so you are there all the time, so you usually ate luncH while you were sitting on the saddle and rounding up a few horses in between. This is fairly rough country with copses of trees here and there and little gullys around so you have to watch them that they don't get away.


Were you and wen the only ones in the family who fought in World War I?

No, Lou was in the army too, he was in the air force. A mechanic, ground crewman, in the air force. And that was the only ones of us that were around there that were the right age. Harry tried to get in, but he had frozen the toes on one foot very badly and they wouldn't take him.

How did he do that?

Oh, out working on a very cold day and not realizing they were frozen. They told him to come down and sign up for the draft and he wouldn't. So they got ahold of him and made him sign up for the draft. And then they told him to report and he wouldn't. So then they came and got him and took him down to the draft board and put him before the doctor. See, he had it figured this way: If he went down there willingly they would take one look at his feet and say no, but if he made them drag him in they would be ready to take him if he was a tall possum. But he got an awful blow when the doctor took one look at his feet and threw him out, 4F. It was really rough on him because he tried so hard and he was just a good age for that, age 24, and in good health except for that.

So you got your severance pay and ended up in Cheyenne?

Then got on the Burlington train and went back home.

Did they have the bands out?

No, I got off the train at Clancy and Dad was there with Prince hitched to a little old buggy, and he says "hello", and I says "hello" and he says "glad your back", and I says "I'm glad to be back, and climbed in the buggy and we went off to the homestead and after a little while he says "I hope you didn't pick up one of those filthy diseases while you were over there" and I say "no". Before I left he never mentioned that I should be careful about filthy diseases, but the first thing he wanted to know when I got back is if I picked up one. Well, if I hadn't done that, well o.k., no more interest, no more questions. Very odd.