Sunday, March 6, 2011

A NICKEL TO COME ON, NO MONEY TO LEAVE

 
 

1928-30 were the really tough years, not only in the valley of the Clark's Fork River, but all across the nation. However, since gathering their own fuel, growing a garden, raising chickens, pigs, and cattle could always be supplemented with a rifle, ammunition and a steady aim, staying warm and dry and having enough to eat wasn't the grim reality city dwellers faced. About the worst that could happen was losing their property to delinquent taxes -- but then, after the majority of property taxes went delinquent, neighbors were in the same boat they were. So life went only slightly out of kilter for most, and there generally was something to laugh about.
Twins, Clyde and Claude Jenkins with older brother,
Richard 'Dick' Jenkins. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes
Hampton collection.

The kerosene lamp, standing sedately on the one table in the little house made from a section of the old school house lightened the evening gloom, late one afternoon in 1928. Clyde and Claude Jenkins, "the twins" were fascinated by the flickering flames inside the sparkling cone of chimney glass.
"That glass'll break if you spit on it," one said to the other. "No it won't." "It will too." One twin spit on it. Sure enough, the glass chimney shattered into a million fragments. The seats of both twins pants got warmed."1. 
Ina King, one of the two first graduating seniors from Noxon High School met Cyril Mercer at Dover, Idaho, fell in love, and married him. They moved back to Noxon where Cyril worked in timber up on Rock Creek. As the lumber industry faltered, work became increasingly scarce. Cyril and Ina left Noxon.2.

Annie Allan, Grandma, with Robert,
Agnes, Clyde and Merle Jenkins.
Circa 1920s. Courtesy Stewart and
Agnes Hampton collection.
In the springtime, Audrey Moore wandered through the cottonwoods west of Noxon, searching in the drying mulch of fallen leaves for "pennies". Picking morel mushrooms, delivering them to Ethel Bartholomew's restaurant brought her $1.00 a gallon.3.

School children trooped down the hill from school, along main street, stopping in Larson's Store occasionally for a candy bar, or trading in "hickies" at Brown's pool hall for an ice cream. Early summer sunshine made them restless for summer vacation, about the time C. L. Maynard wrote from Yakima, Washington, asking to rent the old People's Commercial Store building to put in a barber chair and possibly a pool hall.4.

But Everett Jenkins was buying the building and stocking up for a general merchandise store like Larson's. (He added a room, operating an eating house in 1929-31).5.
C. H. Norton, weary of the silent movie fad, noisy kids and sweeping up popcorn, sold his big hall to Marineus Larson and Henry Larson November 21, 1928. Marion shoved the velvet seats to the wall and held popular dances.6.

Lanky Jamison, always the storyteller said,
"Ed Raynor, a blonde kid, died. Bob Jenkins and I was diggin' the grave. We dug all the graves. It was free gratis. Somebody had to do it. We were digging about five feet or so, and we run into an old coffin. We'd started that morning and the funeral was 1 o'clock.
"It was getting around noon so we just shoveled dirt in and covered it up. We never knew the name of the first one.
"My dad had new lines from harness. We used them to lower the coffin because we'd have a hard time pulling a rope out. Then we'd cover the grave afterwards.
"Lois Raynor died [later on]. I think there was three Raynor kids died [altogether]."7.

Mr. Dettwiler raised 300 chickens in 1928. Crossing the Heron Ferry and bumping along the old road on the south side of the river, he crossed the bridge into Clark's Fork. From there he made his way around the new Denton Curves, across Pack River, down through Kootenai flats and into Sandpoint; an arduous trip. Gas cost 9 cents a gallon.

He took along eggs from his farm, but found storekeepers reluctant to take them in trade at 5 cents a dozen. Prime steers were only bringing $7 and $8 each in Spokane, Washington.

The family lived on their big gardens, raising rutabagas, carrots, spuds, corn, peas, beans and spinach. Hundreds of quarts of them went into the root cellar, which also kept cabbage, hung upside down by the roots. It was relished all winter because it was "fresh" and not canned.8.

Spring of 1929 was barely greening up the valley, with bees visiting the apple blossoms, robins nesting, gophers once more chirping, and Audrey searching for morel mushrooms again.

Laughter burst forth at every community gathering, often over humorless situations. The topic of relief sobered them, though. Times weren't good, for sure.

Farm Relief is the major issue of Congress during its 1929 session.9.

With more and more taxes becoming delinquent land ownership became a liability some could not afford, in spite of the common hope that 'you wouldn't become homeless in the valley.'

Dan Conner, who once mined gold from the banks of his ranch on the Clark's Fork, wrote asking Clifford Weare to sell his land for him. Weare offered to take an option on it and try to sell it for $5 an acre. Conner wanted 1/2 down at $5 an acre, 25% down on $8 an acre, if his sisters are agreeable. They've been paying taxes on it for several years, and he asks how much commission will Weare want?10.

One of Noxon's earliest settlers, Isaac Engle, died. The whole community set aside whatever they were doing to attend his funeral. Engle had lived on Rock Creek over twenty-five years, longer than almost anyone but his brother, with whom he arrived in the valley on horseback.11.

SANDERS COUNTY INDEPENDENT LEDGER
July 10, 1929
 DRY LEADER SUGESTS USE OF ARMY AND NAVY TO SUPPRESS TRAFFIC IN LIQUOR
"A program of prohibition enforcements embracing radical changes in the Volstead law and suggesting that even the Marines might be called upon as they were once called to put an end to mail robberies, was advanced today by Dr. Clarence True Wilson.
"Wilson, who is secretary of the Methodist Board of Temperance Prohibition and Public Morals, outlined his plan in an article written for the July 13 issue of Collier's Weekly."
Wilson proposed punishing purchasers the same as sellers; deportation of aliens who violated the prohibition law; make it mandatory for courts to padlock for one-year premises where the law is violated. Wilson claimed,
"Two governors have led their states to rebel against the Union," New York and Maryland. Two other states, he said, Montana and Wisconsin, "have voluntarily taken themselves out of the Union. He pointed out the oaths taken by the president and every man in the armed services to uphold the laws of the land - and that the 18th amendment was one of them."
###

Federal officers swooped down on the west end of Sanders County in mid September. After the atmosphere had cleared, they had three alleged violators in their clutches. The men, Andy Doyle of Bull River, John Burton of Larchwood and Tom Taylor of Tuscor were taken to Missoula for arraignment.
"From information gained, several other places are being watched by federal officers and we may hear of some more getting a free ride to Missoula."12.
Almost every phase of prohibition enforcement work in the nation increased during 1929. Criminal prohibition prosecutions instituted totaled 56,786. The number of cases terminated was 56,455. 18,690 were pending the end of June. There were 47,100 convictions. All jails were overflowing with persons who committed this federal crime.13.

A good bit of envy skewed the hearts of those who couldn't afford such a luxury, when Mr and Mrs. Henry Larson, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Larson and Mr. and Mrs. Marion Larson, drove up to the one-night-only, big tent production on at the county seat, July 11: The Georgia Minstrel Show.

The Georgia Smart Set Minstels, famous Georgia radio broadcasting band and orchestra from Station KTHP National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas were in concert at Thompson Falls, at 7:00 p.m. A grand afternoon street parade featured the 50 people; singers, dancers and comedians, and the noted Smart Set Dancing Girls, peak of the winners of the leading colored bathing beauty contests.14.

Larsons weren't the only ones spending money, although Clifford Weare's money went into a fine new home that was the envy of many. After he finished building the highway construction camp at the Bureau Camp hill, George "Doc" Ostlund moved over to Clifford and Ethel Weare's ranch. He spent the the balance of 1929 and a couple of months in 1930, carpentering. A roomy two-story house took shape, overlooking the Clark's Fork River and, north of it, the beginnings of a gas station was still only piles of supplies along the proposed highway route.
"My family and I arrived in Noxon in 1929 when I was six years old," Viola Vorderbrueggen said.
"Fran (Dad) and Mary (Mom), and my brother, Bert. We came from Minnesota by way of Longview Washington." Garner Vaughn enticed them to come west.
The Vorderbrueggen's had decided to return to Minnesota after about nine months in Washingon, Viola said, "where we almost starved to death." Mr. Vaughn had traded for land at Noxon, sight unseen.
"He asked dad to stop in and have a look at his land when we headed back to Minnesota.
"We arrived at Bull River on a hot July day in 1929. We had a flat tire just before we got there. Dad got out to change the tire and as he passed by another wheel, that tire blew and when he started to take the spare tire off it's place at the rear of the car, it blew too. He spent some time patching tires before we could continue on.
"We camped that night in an old house on the Pilik place, after cleaning out all the manure left by horses and other animals that had been in the house.
"Vaughn's land proved to be worthless to him. He either rented or took a contract to put up the hay on the Thomson place on Bull River and talked Dad into staying to help with the hay. By the time it was up school was just starting. Since I was just starting school, Mom said we were not going to continue on our way to Minnesota until spring.
"We moved in to Noxon and rented the house, where Fanny Hampton planted the oak tree, from Sheldon Brown. The following spring our neighbors, living in the house just above us, became ill with typhoid fever. Frightened by that, my parents moved us to the Weare place at the mouth of Pilgrim Creek. We enjoyed the large orchard there to the utmost.
"Eleven year old Bert used to take a dozen apples to bed with him at night. In the morning there would be a pile of a dozen apple cores under his bed." ("I was not to move away from Noxon until I got married in 1942.")15.
SANDERS COUNTY INDEPENDENT LEDGER
September 11, 1929

BIG BUSINESS - BIG GAMBLERS
Public's Credulity Capitalized by Big Business Speculators
Wall Street Manipulates Behind Scenes.
The editor published a 'Special to the Independent Ledger by American Press League.'
"There are two forms of business mergers going on in the country. One is operated upon a lesser scale and has for its objective legitimate economic conservation of resources, production and distribution, with a resultant lessening of cost to the consuming public.
"The other, the huge scale consolidation combinations of business and finance, engineered largely thru stock ownership manipulations, and promulgated under the guise of beneficent service to the public, in reality capitalizing the public's credulousness in buying stocks, and having for their secret objective the capitalistic control of the nation's resources and wealth.
"This latter group of mergers constitutes a menace against which the hostility of the people is slowly rising.
THE PEOPLE TO BLAME
"The general public is to blame for the rapid growth of the tremendous combines which increase in number each week. It is the public's money that is being used by the masters of Wall Street to make it possible to assimilate these vicious combines into the economic structure of the country.
"Back of the scenes a few men are reaping the profits, while the stock-mad public holds the bag.
"These manipulations of Wall Street dump on the stock exchanges and into the investment markets huge issues of stocks created in the legerdemain of corporate consolidations and combines and coated with the artful guile of attractiveness to the stock buying public.
"These stocks represent the money the big business gamblers use to form their gigantic trusts, the secret purpose of which is not one whit less nefarious than a Simon pure gamble with the credulous stock buying public. If the actual business of the combine becomes prosperous there is a chance the small investor will make a few dollars, but the greater chance is that he will lose all that he puts into the stocks of such enterprises by the time the organization securities have been 'Wetted and Squeezed' in the course of developing further and permanent consolidation and control, or an untimely end of the combine is reached in the graveyard of business ...
"Of late the public has fallen for stocks, something the average investor knows absolutely nothing about. During the recent 18-month stock market orgy, it is estimated that some fifteen million small investors (little gamblers) gambled with big business (big gamblers) to the tune of approximately $15,000,000,000 but the government income tax department is not able to find any new millionaires in this group of little gamblers.
LABOR BEWARE
"Labor is but another name for the 35,000,000 man-power of industrial America, which constitutes the most important part of its consuming public and no small part of the small investors who have been and are gambling with the big business gamblers. And well it behooves labor to remember that the gobbling up of business properties by capitalistic combines bred and reared in the Machiavellian unscrupulousness of Wall Street, is leading to wholesale dismissals of wage carpers and the ultimate enslavement of American labor."
In subsequent issues, the editor of the Sanders County Independent Ledger continued to warn readers against investing in the stock market.
 ###
Ernest Snyder arrived at Noxon the summer of 1929 from Rapid City, South Dakota. He and his wife, Rena, had sold their homestead and then learned the work situation was not good in the area. A friend convinced Ernest that Sandpoint, Idaho was the place to move to.

Ernie and his two oldest sons, Les and Art started west with a camping outfit in a 1925 Dodge Roadster. Two weeks later, needing supplies, they stopped at a store in Noxon. There they met C.R., who offered them work, splitting posts.
"Cliff offered the job of making cedar posts, which started a long term association of friendship," Les Snyder said.
 "The previous winter, C.R. had used the river to drive a raft of cedar to the lower Bull River Bridge. As far as I recollect, that was the last log drive down the river. Making the timber at the Bull River bridge location lasted 3-4 months."16.
While the sons were making posts, Ernie returned went back to South Dakota and brought his wife and their three children out to Montana. When all the family arrived they moved to C.R.'s old logging camp on the Connelly Meadow,17 south of the Lincoln-Sanders county line. There was a house, bunkhouse and an old barn for the horses.18.

C.R. Weare  gave Snyder a contract for cutting and delivering posts and poles; poles and round cedar posts – peeled and sawed square at both ends, manufactured to Western Cedar Association specifications; all posts and poles made and delivered on the main road to Troy opposite C.R.'s Bull River property, to be inspected and paid for once every thirty days.19.

Art said, "After that, we made cedar posts and poles in the upper Bull River and Bull Lake area for him."
Their association followed the typical Bull River rules of neighborliness of that time. The Snyder kids shoveled manure and fed horses. Ernie filed saws. C.R. and the Snyders were getting poles out near Bull Lake. Long, straight cedar poles with average 36" butts and 9"-11" tops. One pole measured 115 feet long.
"Using a team of two horses, the poles were loaded onto two trucks, one of which had no cab," Art said. "Twenty feet of the pole hung out over the cab base and another truck under the pole where it bunked up high over the tail. The two trucks could negotiate the pole over the heads of the two drivers, like a broomstick on roller skates. Someone stopped traffic on the curves, out ahead of the load. We'd generally haul one long pole and two smaller ones.
"During the winter, with ice on the lake, we had poles to haul. Buster, C.R.'s son was driving team, skidding out 35 and 40 footers. Les, Dad and I were using cant hooks. C.R. was cussing Buster. Buster walked off. C. R. asked Les to drive the team, so Les took them.
"Poles were stopping perfect. Then two of them shot out ahead on the ice. C.R. began cussing. The same thing happened with the next pole. C.R. again cussed Les. Dad said, 'Hey, knock it off! That's my kid!'
"C.R. was on the stack with a peavey and when he aimed it at Dad, I throwed my can't hook, hitting C.R. in the belly. He ended the day. We all went home."
Cliff Weare told his own version of his agreement with Snyder.
"I give Snyder a place to live, on Bull River. He wasn't much of a post splitter and he was a drinker, but he had a nice, little wife, you know. Tall, skinny woman, and a family. Two bigger boys that could work. He didn't have nothin' and no place to go. Whenever I could I got a venison for them and brought them spuds, too. He worked for me awhile there."20.
Art Snyder said, "C.R. was always hard and slow to get pay from."Dad had to pressure him. We came down to his house to get money to pay off our credit at Larson's store. C.R. was in the house reading his paper. When we came in he dropped it over his six-shooter on the desk. But Dad saw his gun. He told C.R. he needed money. C.R. offered a check, but Dad didn't want his paper, so he said, 'No, I'll take cash.'
"Both reached for the gun, Dad getting to it first. He held it on Weare. Just then Mrs. Weare came in. She said, 'I knew it! I knew you'd mess around and someone would get you!'.
"C.R. directed her to get the cash from the safe and pay Dad. Dad threw the shells on the desk before we left. It didn't faze C.R. Within the week he came back up to our house for coffee. Mrs. Weare, Ethel, was a really nice person. We used to bring a grouse or two to her. It was her favorite dish," Art said.
During 1929, Pend d'Oreille Creamery Co., of Sandpoint, Idaho had been paying reasonable prices for shipments they received: Butterfat, Sweet Cream, 42 cents; sour cream 42 cents. Prices f.o.b. promising correct tests, honest weights, prompt settlements and courteous treatment.22.

Now only a year later, creamery prices dropped to 31 cents, severely depleting cash incomes from the cans of cream shipped on the Dinky, that most farmers relied on.23.

SANDERS COUNTY INDPENDENT LEDGER
March 5, 1930

NEW COMMUNITY HALL WILL OPEN AT TROUT CREEK
The new Community Hall is finished and will open in ten days with a dance. Saturday, March 15teh, Mac's Melody Boys of Sandpoint will furnish music and prizes and supper are on the agenda. The hall was built by the people of western Sanders county with donations, on land given by the Blackfoot Land Company, to be used for community purposes.24.

It seems that at last, the community of Trout Creek is finally rebounding from the decline that followed when the Northern Pacific Railroad dismantled and removed its Division Point from the vicinity years ago. On May 21, 1930 the headline story in Sanders County Independent Ledger heralded a remarkable story submitted by B. M. Baligrodski.
"Colonization of the Clark's Fork valley west of Thompson Falls and near Trout Creek is assured according to B. M. Baligrodsky, immigration agent for the Northern Pacific Railway, [who] said that for two years representatives of the party of settlers, which recently came to the valley, had been investigating its possibilities.
"They came more and more to realize the opportunities that the valley offered for diversified farming pursuits. As a result ... ten families came here a short time ago to cast their lot on the logged-off valley lands of the Clark's Fork valley. They represent only the advance guard of the others that are to come.
"A combination of circumstances has made possible the start on the colonization of the valley. Industrial conditions in large Eastern cities, it is said, has caused many of the Polish people, who previously farmed in Europe and later in America, to turn the West where they can escape the cities and again engage in farming.
"The valley offered a wonderful opportunity, fertile land with good water and many small streams. The people attracted here are men who will make the most of the opportunities that are offered by the soil and nature and you will find that from now on the Clark's Fork valley will expand rapidly.
"Lands are not more than five miles from the railroad. Handy shipping facilities will be available.
"The new settlers, who arrived a short time ago, are already clearing their lands and building homes in the new country, which is to be their home in the favored spot of Montana.
"During the last week, two families arrived in the district from Wheeling, West Virginia, after an inspection tour made the year before. A Butte man, who became interested in the settlement work in the valley, purchased the Hotel at Trout Creek and also acquired farm land, logged off land of the Blackfoot Land and Development Company of which Dan Arms is manager."
###
An article appeared in the weekly county newspaper that didn't particularly excite many settlers, probably because no power company had yet brought electricity to the region. Still, some read it with interest for they believed that when enough people got determined to have electricity, the day would come when  ... Even though times were tough right now at least they could dream it might happend during their lifetime.

SANDERS COUNTY INDEPENDENT LEDGER
May 28, 1930

TELEVISION IS SUCCESSFULLY DEMONSTRATED WITH TALKIES
in Schenectady, NY May 22
"The youngest and most precious child of electrical science had its world premier as a theatre attraction. "Merrill Tranor, laboratory assistant of Dr. E. F. W. Alexanderson, television pioneer, was seen and heard as he explained the way in which the pictures and the sound reached the theatre. Dr. Alexanderson is a consulting engineer of the General Electric company and the  Radio Corporation of America." This is the culmination of several years' experimentation.
With tongue in cheek humor the editor included an encouraging bit of unsigned verse as well:
"Don't worry if your job is small
"And your rewards are few,
"Remember that the mighty oak
"Was once a nut like you."
###

On June 17th, Ray Raynor and Roberta J. Olver, both of Noxon, were issued a license to marry, bringing joy to their friends.25. Perhaps they were encouraged by reading about, "The Dollar Buying Power Raises."25. The county newspaper held that the old high cost of living Two of the little communities had cause to mourn again this year. E. E. Thonmson died during August int he N.P. Hospital in Missoula, age 62. Three children survived him: Ruth Thomson, Chas.., C. L. and Dewey.28. And, at Eddy, another one-time NPRR employee, and long-time resident, John H. McKay died.
"isn't the terrifying figure it used to be, and the slump in the commodity prices threatens to make it still less formidable.
"The consumer dollar goes much farther than it did in 1920, and a bit further than in 1929. Purchasing power of the retail of 'home' dollar applied to foodstuffs last May was $1.056 compared with $1. in July 1929."
A family spending $50 monthly for food saved from $2.50 to $3 a month,
"no small item in homes were pennies are potent."
Average cost of living decreased 20.8%. Peak costs were in June 1920, and rents and home furnishings declined steadily since 1923.26.

However, when Miss Isabel Braden, county nurse, resigned, her action created a furor the length and breadth of the county. Women in particular were up in the air over it. Petitions circulated, pushed by clubs and churches in each community.27.  The weekly newspaper informed readers that nevertheless, the county commissioners, guardians of the taxpayer's dollar, meeting in August,

The Weares were about to see some of their dreams come true in 1930, due to the continuing downturn in the economy.
"Ed Hessman come along. He was a tramp from  Blue Hills, Nebraska," Clifford Weare said. "He knocked at the door one morning just as we'd got through eating breakfast. In 1930, during the Depression. He wanted something to eat.
'"All right. Come right in,' I said. 'There's lots of stuff on the table yet.'
"'Oh,he says, 'I'm too dirty. I don't want to go in there and eat. If you give me some potatoes and a little piece of meat and some bread, I'll go up inthe woods and cook it up myself.'
"I give him some pork and potatoes and stuff and some butter. I was starting the service station that morning. A fella was gonna help me build the service station. When he come along we went to work at that. Clearing up the ground there to put that concrete building up. I was chopping the line out where I wanted the building, you know. I staked it off. And here come Ed Hessman back.
"'I'd like to do a little something to pay for the feed that you give me,' he said.
"Well, alright. I don't need you but you can stay if you want to. You can commence to shovel around.' He stayed with me three years."29.
Supplies used in the building Weare's service station included 5 ton of Red Top plaster, 50 sacks cement, 5 sacks lime, corner beads, oriental stucco, shingles and tin, ($135.55), and windows ($178), plus frames with pockets and pulleys and moldings.30.

George Ostlund, who had worked for Weare earlier had gone up to Thompson Falls for some promised carpenter work.  Ostlund had gotten on a drinking spree and went back to Spokane, where Weare had first engaged him to build a two-story house, down closer to the Clark's Fork River that bordered Weare's homestead.

On March 31, 1930, George sent Weare a plea for $15 so he could get back to
"do the work at Noxon I promised to day, the deals at Thompson Falls are canceleld for the present, nothing doing here [Spokane] at present either."
Ostlund owed Henry Larson and Mrs. Jenkins and in his letter to Weare he wrote, "I am in dire need of funds ..." and said that he'd sue Weare to get wages owed him, if necessary.

Ostlund calculated 254 hours between September 23, 1929 and March 13, 1930. At 75 cents an hour - $190.50, deducting 19 days board ($23.75) store ($10) and advances of $55; laundry, cigars and envelopes, leaving a balance due him of $90.20.

Two weeks later, Ostlund again wrote to Weare, from Spokane.
"... I see your attitude toward me is not pleasant, yet I presume that you deem it a great act of charity to have me stay at your ranch ... if you had settled with me before I left during Xmas, you would not have needed to extend this charity in my behalf."
Ostlund goes on to tell Weare he had understood he wouldn't be charged board "in consideration of looking after things," and that he [George] was to keep track of the work done on the house. He wrote that he'd been warned that
"the outcome of our dealoings would not be satisfactory, and now that you have refused to help me in anyway ..." it distressed him.
"I regret very much that you and I should end our affairs in controversy ... In conclusion, I wish to thank you for any past favors by you, and I can assure our acquaintance has been a happy one, but I never thought our dealing should end in such a manner, wishing you every success."31.
In November, Ranger Cramer transferred from Noxon to Supervisor's Office to act as assistant to Supervisor,32 and just before Christmas, Vivian Olver sent his son, Felix, to Weare,
"to fix up a note and mortgage for $45" so Olver could pay his store bill at Larson's. Mortgae terms, six months "so as to have plenty of time, but I''ll pay as soon before that date as possible. P.S. Will you let Felix have some potatoes. We could use from one to five sacks, the field run are good enough for us. What you can spare."
Weare helped Felix load the car with sacks of spuds, put in some jars from Ethel's canning, and rounded out the transaction with his booming hearty laugh, along with assurances that times would get better.33.

Before Christmas, Weare paid Ostlund another $10 on his account - balance due $35.

Clifford R. Weare wrote out a holographic will leaving everything to his wife, Thel, except for $1 to each of his children, stipulating that son Clifford would help his mother and she to settle up with him. Enough post and poles were on hand to clear all his debts: $500 the the bank, $720 for his truck, $315 to Henry Larson, and $400 to his mother, Emma Weare, plus a "few small debts." 34.

Volunteer lunchroom helpers enjoy a Ladies Club meeting in the afternoon. Note the childs clothes cut out on the table in foreground. L to R: Marion Carner, "Grandma" Medora Hart, Carrie Gore (school employed cook), Emma Noll, Dorothy French and Mabel Torgrimson. Note the child's clothes cut out on the table in foreground. Courtesy Emma Noll, Carrie Gore and Mabel Torgrimson collections.
The school lunchroom became almost a necessity for some children, providing them with a hot lunch on school days. "The Willing Workers," as they were called, were the Noxon school lunchroom and janitor crew. Long before the days of government subsidy programs, these big-hearted people kept the school lunchroom in operation, mostly with donated labor, vegetables from their gardens and meat from their ranch herds, plus plenty of venison donated by local hunters. The women rode to school and back on school buses each day with the kids.

Never missing an opportunity, they also held Ladies Club meetings in the lunchroom, and often as not hand-crafted garments and quilts as they passed the afternoon, waiting to ride home on the schoolbus that brought them to town in the morning.

"The Willing Workers," the Noxon school lunchroom and janitor crews, circa 1940-50s. Florence Madsen, Andy Helmer, Katie Engle, Bill Hlemer, Mabel Torgrimson, Helen Hart, Vicie Helmer, Golda Taylor, "Grandma" Medora Har and Pauline Hart. Courtesy Emma Noll and Mable Torgrimson collections.

THE SQUIRREL'S DIET
You've been around the world a bit
Perhaps in Timbuctoo
Crossed the old Mohave Desert
Down the pike to Kalamazoo,
From the Blue Ridge to the Rockies
On the frozen arctic waste
Partaken of the fruits and wines
And tarried in your haste,
To connoisseur concoctions and
To judge them in their kind
But you've overlooked a morsel
Which has been our lot to find.

There are nuts which grow on bushes
Others come from underground
While some are from majestic trees
There's plenty all around
Some are in the 'Nut Hatch' while
Some others walks the street,
There's a light suggestion everywhere
In everyone we meet.
But nuts are nuts regardless
They're all classified as such
Whether English, French or Spanish
Likewise Polish, Jap or Dutch.

You've roamed the woods and mountains
Felled the giants where they grew
Giant Pines and Firs and Cedars
But the thing you never knew
Was that somewhere in concealment
With each Cedar which you cut
There reposed serene, delectable
One luscious Cedar Nut.
We have hoarded up a store of these
And kept the secret well
Till Santa Claus just woke us up
And 'told' the Christmas Bell.

Page & Hill Company sent the unsigned poem to Clifford R. Weare, along wiht a package of 'cedar nuts,' and wishes for A Merry Christmas & A Happy Prosperous New Year.


"disregarded the wishes of a few hundred people petitioning them and have decided that  Sanders County is to have no county nurse.
"Economics can be carrried too far it seems to us when the health and welfare of our young people are concerned. But the above is the decision of the county fathers at this time. We cannot predict what the future will bring forth, but we suggest an election and let the people decide."
FOOTNOTES
  1. Loren "Lanky" Jamison, oral history 1990.
  2. Cyril and Ina Mercer, oral history September 22, 1983.
  3. Audrey Moore Brixen, letter February 6, 1990.
  4. Clifford R. Weare papers, march 12, 1928.
  5. Stewart and Agnes Hampton, oral history November 18, 1983.
  6. Margaret Cluzen, letter, Henry Larson sold out to Marineus January 16, 1935 after Marion made the front part of the building into a beer parlor.
  7. Loren "Lanky" Jamison, tape-recorded oral history December 26, 1986.
  8. Ruth Dettwiler McQuaide, oral history April 19, 1988.
  9. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 1, 1929.
  10. Clifford R. Weare papers, February 24, 1929.
  11. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 29, 1929.
  12. Sanders County Independent Ledger, September 25, 1929.
  13. Sanders County Independent Ledger, December 4, 1929.
  14. Sanders County Independent Ledger, July 17, 1929.
  15. Viola Vorderbrueggen Ekstedt, letter January 6, 1987.
  16. Les Snyder, letter January 30, 1974.
  17. Les Snyder, letter January 30, 1974.
  18. Art Snyder, oral history, 1990.
  19. Clifford R. Weare papers, October 5, 1929.20. Clifford R. Weare, oral history, var.
  20. Clifford R. Weare, tape-recorded oral history. var.
  21. Art Snyder, oral history, 1990.
  22. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 29, 1929.
  23. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 28, 1930. Also May 29, 1929: New NPRR train schedule - West; Local Gas Train 3:05 p.m. No. 3-2:22 p.m.; No. 5-3:50 a.m. East: Local Gas Train 12:22 p.m.; No.4-12:39 p.m. and No. 5-2:14 a.m. No. 1 and No.2 don't stop. R. A. Hartman agent at T. Falls, May 29, 1919.
  24. Sanders County Independent Ledger, March 19, 1930.
  25. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 21, 1930.
  26. Sanders County Independent Ledger, July 16, 1930.
  27. Sanders County Independent Ledger, June 18, 1930.
  28. Sanders County Independent Ledger, August 27, 1930.
  29. Clifford R. Weare, tape-recorded oral history March 10, 1972,
  30. Clifford R. Weare papers, 1929.
  31. Clifford R. Weare papers, April 1, 1930; var.
  32. Sanders County Independent Ledger, November 19, 1930.
  33. Clifford R. Weare papers, December 15, 1930.
  34. Clifford R. Weare papers, October 8, 1930.

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