to celebrate 150th year in 2012, area history included
(History continued from last week)
The stories keep coming and along with them lots of memories about this time of transition.
This past week one of the buffs who came in with lots of history was Pete Johnson, who was born and raised here. My, my (as his mom used to say) what a treasure trove of history! Pete loves this country and he lights up like a light bulb talking about it. One time he asked his dad, “Slim”, how he got his crooked nose. Well, “Slim” said when he was just a kid going to school he got into a “beef” with the teacher. He ran from the school house to a nearby small tree and climbed up the tree to get away from the teacher. The teacher brought the axe from the school house and chopped down Slim’s perch. Slim got a broken nose which never healed right-Well, by golly, that’s the story!
Anyway, this week we’re to recall the late 50’s and into some of the 60’s. There is a lot of you out there that remember these times some years back when everything all at once got more costly but there we were smack-dab in the middle of it getting married and raising kids just like our folks did before us. Elvis was in full swing with his “bumpin’ and grindin’” the kids turned the radios up so high “twin” pipes made no difference. The soft gentle strum of a guitar was lost in “You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog!” But there was a group of us that held out for Jim Reeves, Charlie Pride, Willie Nelson and the old country music. All the teenagers were doing their thing and some of us traveled around the edges maintaining the more traditional dance music. It was really a great time to be alive!
Meanwhile our young men kept going and coming from their country’s service. It seems the attitude changed and this became a real part of life. Service time was looked at by most as a couple additional years of college education. All my friends often talked how their time away at the service only served to make them more thankful for the people and the beautiful country back home. Every time you watch the news on TV or read about it in the newspaper, we end up comparing what we have here with what’s elsewhere. Of course we’re prejudiced! Our homes and the people who live here are beyond compare. We all have our own faults but, by and large, our shortcomings are not for trade-anywhere at any price! I’m sure there are many who feel this way about their home town don’t you suppose? Even in Russia and Asia!
This period in our lives saw all our high-school classmates into making sounds that caused marriage bells to ring. Nowadays they call this the baby-boomers rebound.
There was a lot of adjusting to do to take advantage of all the new modern machinery. Mainly in farming and in lumbering it took less men to get a lot more done. Many smaller farms were sold to the big man on the block and a lot of older people moved into town. Quite a few of these folks followed their kids to the bigger cities. Somehow our area seemed to balance out during this time with the “base” population staying about the same. Some of the town area gave way to more people moving into the small place in the country and this trend still goes on today. A drive around this area in the evening shows a lot more country lights than 40 or 50 years ago. (Of course the lights are brighter and show up better now!) There also seems to be a bigger show of lights coming from Kamiah toward the Butte, but really noticeable is the amount of lights looking from the Butte toward Grangeville and Mt. Idaho.
In 1956 a new brick school replaced the old wood structure of St. Joseph’s School. The Sisters at the Convent always had an expansion going. Locally it started with the new annex on the south side of the main convent in 1949 and was leading up rapidly to a new high school in 1954 and gym in 1957.
In 1957 a new Catholic Church was built in Ferdinand. In Cottonwood we celebrated Dr. W.F. Orr’s Day in 1956 with a big to-do at the Community Hall, which also had been built, and now we celebrated a mortgage burning party about this time. In 1959 the local K of C’s celebrated their Golden Anniversary!
In 1960 the Catholic Church in Greencreek was lost to a tragic fire and as usual the people stepped forward and by 1962 the new church was built. In the interim the Hall was used for church services. At this time the parish at Greencreek was made up of about 90 families and included a total of about 450 people according to the Idaho Register.
Many families had a new or used second rig which was used often to pull a camp trailer and away we went! A lot of local people decided to see what was out their back door first then the trip to California or back East. I personally wouldn’t trade the view from Burnt Knob, Square Mtn., Gospel Mtn., or Buffalo Hump for any view I’ve had elsewhere. Most of us have been caught in a raging thunder and lightning storm. I recall on Sunday on Slate Mtn. All seven of us admired the hair standing straight up on each other!
Let’s look again – In Jan. 1960 John Kennedy announced his candidacy for President. About this time Elvis came back from his tour of duty in Germany. In the movies “Ben Hur” was the big box office hit. The Soviets shot down our now famous U2 spy plane. The Civil Rights bill was signed by President Eisenhower. Sputnik came in as the Space Race started to heat up. The Pirates won the World Series!
World Population 3,021,475,000. North America 204,152,000! Jan. 20, 1960, Kennedy was inaugurated President. So many things going on at once! In March the Peace Corps was established and a number of local people volunteered for this special program. The Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba fails and again the Cold War escalates. Here in the U.S. all the Civil Rights moves and counter-moves have the country in a turmoil. The Berlin Wall and the push-pull with the Russians is also going on. The fear of some kind of war, either civil or world-wide is very real. Locally the “Barbie” Doll gets a boyfriend “Ken.”
On Feb. 14th, 1962, Jackie Kennedy took the nation on a TV tour of the White House. In Seattle the 21st Century Exposition World’s Fair opened. About this time Marilyn Monroe died.
The Second Vatican Council is convened by Pope John XXIII in October and the Cuban Missile Crisis almost starts WWIII. The war in Viet Nam seems out of control.
On Nov. 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas! The whole country is glued to the TV. It seems to many of us the world stood still. The tragic event eclipsed everything. Almost everything came to a standstill. We saw the other side of us-the meaning of shock came home to us all. But, like usual, we slowly got over it to the point we went on ahead!
Area baseball team: Back from left are Ben Engel, Geo Tipton, Rudolph Wassmuth, Ben Lightfield and Tony Wessels. Middle from left are Urban Dreps, Rupe Wimer, Emery Trautman, Matt Engel, Cecil Wimer and John Willenborg. Front from left are Ferdie Willenborg, Andy Schmidt, Bud Rise, Austin Case, Tony Waldman and Fred Willenborg.
8th grade at St. Joseph’s in 1948. Back from left are Msgr. Verhoeven, Jim Sprute, Don Hoene, Phil Bruegeman, Gerald Rohwein, Tom Armstrong, John Nuxoll, Henry Rieland (sp?) and Sister Domenica. Middle from left are Jeannie Willenborg, Mary Ann Sprute, Annamarie Ross, Ramona Nuxoll, Karen Jenny, Edna Reidhaar and Imogene Jacks. Front from left are Dick Seubert, Gerald Currin, Jack Tacke, Tom Seubert, Bob Kees and Bud Schacher.
A float in the stock show parade from the early 1950’s rounds the corner from Main onto King Street. Nick Schaff is playing the accordion. The Glenn Englishes, Harold Simon and Greg Wimer are in the background. Mick Wimer provided the photo and is also the youngster laying on the float.
A first communion photo from 1936 in Ferdinand according to Don Funke (we mistakenly had from the 1950's in the Chronicle). Back from left are Marie Steiger, Richard Bryant, Patty Darland, Don Funke, Dolores Zodrow and Don Remacle. 2nd row from left are Ralph Schaeffer, Clara Schaeffer, Vince Nau, Ben Kinzer, Jack Harman, Irene Sarbacher and Sister Luitgard. 3rd row: Tony Steiger, Bernice Nau and Harold Sarbacher. Front fromleft are Sylvia Kinzer, Arnold Schaeffer, Betty Uhlenkott, Delbert Frei, Shirley Frederick, Donald Sarbacher and MaryAnn Zodrow.
Ed and Queen Armstrong had a grocery store, a plumbing shop and an implement business on the northwest corner of Broadway and Main St.? Now the location of Fred’s Body Shop and the Fire Station. I believe Ed sold Case machinery and Packard cars. You can just imagine what went on here before Frank Jenny finally got a big Packard, which he used to go for a drive on Sunday!
Do you remember the Dew Drop Inn that last operated from the old building that also sat on this corner?
Do you remember some of the funny expressions often used, mostly in this area? “Klunke-head” (an object (person or thing) blocking the pathway). “Water back mule” (one that carries water without spilling). “Bone-head” (one who had mostly bone between the ears) “Skinny like a chicken” (how many of those did you go to school with?) “Schaff Kopf” (sheephead). “She Bang” (this was the named applied to the would be roadhouse usually found at the top or bottom of a grade or at the ferry crossing the river) And of course “not?” (wanted your confirmation on what had just been said.) One more-“humdinger” a term applied to the best story (or a good looker!).
Questions and Answers
How to submit ---prefer email to firstname.lastname@example.org Other option type and drop at US Bank, Cottonwood Chronicle, Don Hoene residence or call a team member working the story
Team members who will type your story: Claudia Gehring, Jeanne Arnzen
Do I need to be contacted to write my family story? No we started last fall by calling people. We ended up with way more names and work than could be done.
Is my family able to be included? Did your family go to school, and trade in the Cottonwood, Greencreek , Ferdinand and Keuterville area. If so yes include the generations that lived here.
How big is the story to be: 300 to 1000 words and a non- professional photo
Must I include a photo –no
Describe the book. The plan is: 8 ½ by 11 inches spiral bound 300 pages front and back
Notice this is “story” Please do not make up a tale….but your writing will be a story not just names and dates:
My mother was born in this year at this town. My father was born in this year at this town. I recall them telling me about this happening. They met and married. Their home was located here and they did this for a living. Their children were. Growing up in this family I remember then tell us what the life was like in the day.
When will the book be available? At this point, our target is August. It takes a lot of time to type, insert photos, proof read plus we cannot layout the book until we know what info we have. Each story coming in is taking about 45 minutes to layout. That is after the photos are scanned and saved as well and after it is typed into word. If we have to type the story into word and scan photos you can add about another hour. This is one of those labors of Love. All of us care about the families and the future generations to come. So everyone who can send a word document to the email and attach photos as jpeg 600 dpi it is appreciated.
When does my story need to be in? Our next meeting is the 9th of February. By then I would like most of the personal & family stories if you have problem with the timetable you need to contact me by email or postal mail to: Deb Clark c/o Hoene Hardware Co Box 78. My memory just cannot recall everyone I talk to regarding the book.
What will happen with the story when it is done? With the approval of the Lions Club and the Cottonwood Chamber our sponsor organizations…The Museum is considering becoming “the keeper of the story” as the history of the area is part of their mission statement.
Next Meeting February 9th. 2pm Cottonwood Library.
The site of the Salmon River Ferry at Graves Creek.
Editor’s Note: This is one of the articles slated to appear in the 150-year history book.
Some of the area history passed down through story is the building of trails and roads to open up the Salmon River country. With each story comes two important parts the remembrance and the right person to tell the story. In this case the story is a remembrance of the Salmon River (Cooper) Ferry and the people who settled there as told by one of our true keepers of tradition, Pete Johnson.
The Ben Cooper Ranch at Graves Creek on the Salmon River was the home of “Coopers Ferry” or the Salmon River Ferry at Graves Creek. In about 1913 Ben Cooper ran the ranch and built the Ferry which he ran and operated about until the first bridge in the area was built across down around the bend at Rice Creek. This was about 1925. The first bridge was replaced in about 1951 while Prairie Land and Timber was logging across the river and up on Joseph Plains. I remember that they first used what was called “the tram” to move logs from the south bank to the north bank of the Salmon River. This was a huge cable operation by which a whole load of logs was moved across the river then the truck itself would cross the bridge empty and the logs would be reloaded on the north side, then the truck would proceed out to the highway near the Twin Houses and from there on to Grangeville.
Cooper Ranch was owned by Oscar and Tempest Thompson before the Coopers and then the last fifty years Pete and Hilda Johnson have owned and operated 1y1 Ranch there. Like their folks Slim and Mary all four of the Johnson kids have been in the cow business. Pete at the Graves Creek ranch and “on top” Polly and Lew on the Robbins Ranch, Peg at Slate Creek and Tom and Sharon on Icicle Flat...A Great traditional family. See Lew and Polly Hollandsworth story, Pete and Hilda Johnson story in the book.