Partial Transcript: - (WT) Did you know anybody that was with the Bellevue Fire Department, the volunteer fire department?
Segment Synopsis: Kentner talks about various elements of the Bellevue community, including the fire and police department, Bellevue College, the Community Center, the Orchestra, and prominent community members. He also tells a few stories about the flood of 1932.
Keywords: Bellevue College; Bellevue Fire Department; Bellevue Police Department; Bellevue, Nebraska; Flood
Partial Transcript: - (WT) What kind of a house did you live in?
Segment Synopsis: Kentner talks about the home he used to live in and why he eventually left Bellevue for Iowa: the bad roads. He also discusses the cars he had and farming equipment that he used when in Bellevue, and he tells a few stories of farming and going to school.
Keywords: Bellevue, Nebraska; Farming; Farming Equipment; Fresno Scraper; Steam Threshing; Transportation
- William H. Turner, Jr. (WT): An interview with Mr. Willard E. Kintner,
Former resident of Bellevue, Nebraska by William Turner,
26 October, 1978.
Now you say you actually born here?
- Willard E. Kentner (WK): Yes.
My folks came here from Howard County, Nebraska, 1913.
I was born here about two weeks after they got here
and it was down here at the end of Washington Street,
in this Bellevue .
- (WT) What did your dad do?
- (WK) He was farm, farm.
And I went through all of grade school here
and the grade school at that time was at this Mission Street
and just an old gray single building.
I mean since, there's been built onto two or three times
and I went to high school up here in old sheep shed,00:01:00
what they used to call it sheep shed, north into Bellevue
and got through high school and I got through
one year at the University of Nebraska.
I was going to Nebraska 1931, '32
and corn was $2 and, let's see.
Corn was 10 cents a bushels and hogs was $2-and-a-half, 100.
You could buy a 200 pound hog for a 10, a
five dollar bill, I guess it was.
- (WT) You got quite a bit more education
than usual at that time.
- (WK) Oh, I suppose that might have been.
I don't know.
I guess there's quite a few of the kids
that went on to school.
- (WT) What was here in Bellevue at that time?00:02:00
- (WK) Well, the houses were scattered all over.
It was about 1,000 people at Bellevue at that time
and there was a house on one block and lots of houses
had a block or maybe two blocks of ground to them-
and there's a story.
I don't know whether you want to, maybe you want to cut
this out, but anyway.
- (WT) No.
- (WK) My dad, course we farmed
Well, we always had a bull.
you know, and a cow- a milk cow, we milked a few cows
and there was a lot of people in Bellevue that had cows
and they used to take their cows down there
to have them bred at my dads.
I don't know, there were a lot of them here.
There was corn patches all over Bellevue.
And, what else?
- (WT) Church, the Presbyterian church.
- (WK) Oh yeah,
The only churches, the Presbyterian church00:03:00
and the... What was that? Oh, yeah, what they called
The Holy Roller Church, and that was up from the depot,
west of the road going down to the old depot
and we were, wife and I were married in this old
Presbyterian church here.
It's been restored, I think.
- (WT) Did we catch on the first when you said
when you were born?
- (WK) 1913.
19th of April.
My folks had just been here about two weeks
and I was a... little colt and I was born the same
day, and they called the colt Barney.
That was really (laughs), it was quite a thing.
I don't know, I guess they thought more of me
than they did Barney (laughs).
Anyway, it was kind of a coincidence.00:04:00
And what else have you got?
- (WT) Let's see, you were too young for World War One for sure,
but there must have been a lot of the boys
from this area, I guess, that left to go.
- (WK) Well, my brothers were just ready to go.
I had two brothers.
They were a lot older than I was and I can just remember
when the first World War ended, I can remember hearing
the whistles, they blew the whistles in south Omaha
and it happened to be the wind was right.
so we could hear those whistles. I can remember that.
Of course we moved away then and when we were married,
we started farming out in Boys Town
and we farmed there two years and then we moved back down
here to Bellevue in the bottoms
and we had some experiences down there too, on the bottoms.
Floods, it flooded the year before we went there
and it flooded the year after.00:05:00
We were there five years and we didn't get any.
- (WT) And what year would that have been?
- (WK) That would have been..
We moved there in what, '38?
Moved down to the bottom in '38, I think it was.
And of course, they were building this bomber plant
while we were down there.
We could hear those night and day.
It was only about a mile
and the one time
I'd gone over to our neighbors to borrow a cultivator,
it was after the bomber plant was in operation
and I just was coming home with the tractor.
I had some potatoes I wanted to cultivate and I was coming
home on a tractor
and an airplane took off.
I saw him take off and circle the field and I just
got inside the door and heard the engine just screaming,
just the roar and he just stopped.
Woom, you know?00:06:00
You hear that thing itself about a mile north of our place
and the pilots, one of 'em got out and I didn't see him,
but the fella that stayed with the plane,
he just, oh, he just ground up.
He just little pieces of, this lady taking a dishpan
full of hamber and and scattered it around there.
And then there was another one that fell or lit.
He didn't really fell, he just lit over in the mud
and they drug him back out and he stood up there about.
They had to rebuild the road on the bottom.
The road went south right of our old place down there,
but he was there all summer and they had to rebuild
the bridges and they towed him off. Finally got him off.
- (WT) What did you do for entertainment as a kid in Bellevue?
- (WK) Oh, we used to go over.
You know this
the Omaha yeah Omaha Airport.00:07:00
When the mail first was delivered in Omaha,
Omaha didn't have an airport and they used Fort Crook
and another kid and I spent quite a bit of time
going over there to the old Fort Crook dump,
picking up used airplane parts and trying to make
something out of 'em and oh, I don't know, what did
we do as a kid?
- (WT) There was no movies?
- (WK) Oh yes, oh yes, there was movies.
Yeah, up there in old McDermott Building.
I don't know how you designate that now or how it's made.
I guess it's still there.
Kousgaards had a store right across from what they call
the McDermott Building, and they did have movies.
We had Rin Tin Tin and Tom Mex, we used to.
They had some of that and I don't know if it was
a player piano or somebody played the piano,
but they had, yeah.
We used to go up there, the movies and well of course,00:08:00
in high school I played basketball and baseball.
We used to play Springfield and Gretna, Papillion,
Who else did we play?
I guess that was about it, that was our circle of basketball.
Baseball, we went out to Boys Town a couple of times.
We played games with Boys Town.
- Mrs. Kentner (MK): Tell him about the baseball team when you were a kid.
- (WK) Oh yeah, summers.
Yeah, they was two baseball teams here in Bellevue
and they had some good baseball teams.
- (WT) Who sponsored?
- (WK) That I can't tell you, I don't know.
One of 'em they called The Bellevue Independents
and I don't remember the name of the other.
I had a brother who played on one of the teams.
I don't even know which one he was now.
I know Bill Trent was the manager and the one00:09:00
that my brother played, and he was a catcher.
I used to go over there and chase baseballs,
so get a nickel apiece.
I used to get.
Every Sunday, I got enough to have three or four
ice cream cones out of chasing balls (laughs).
- (MK) Who were some of the others on the team?
- (WK) Oh.
- (MK) Grays?
- (WK) Yeah, Andy Grays.
Charlie Carper, and there was Frank and George Langhein.
Well, Andy Graves used to pitch.
I guess he was pitching when he was 50 years old.
He lived right across the road from the baseball diamond.
- (WT) Did you know anybody that was with the Bellevue Fire
Department, the volunteer fire department?
- (WK) Yeah (laughs).
The fella of the name Rance Jones.
He was a great fireman.00:10:00
In that old model T fire truck.
- (WT) They have a picture dated 1923 of the Bellevue
Volunteer Fire Department and they're trying to find out
who all the people are.
They've only been able to identify about three of them.
- (WK) I'll bet you Rance Jones was one of them on that.
I'm sure, I'm almost sure.
Who the others are, I don't remember,
I don't remember either.
I might be if I can see the picture.
- (WT) I think I have a copy.
- (WK) I might be able to pick one
out or two.
Oh, I think Cost, Wilbur Cost.
I believe Wilbur Cost was in the fire department.
I don't know, I don't remember.
- (WT) What kind of sized police force did you have?
- (WK) Police force, who was the police?
That'd be about a one man job, I think and I don't.00:11:00
- (WT) John Reickes had said that at one of the fires,
the entire police force came out, both of 'em.
- (WK) (laughs) Well, that sounds about right.
Sounds about right, yeah.
I never got (laughs), I never had that much
trouble with them, I guess.
- (WT) Bellevue College was?
- (WK) We went to high school one year
when we were juniors, right?
Yeah, we were juniors.
They tried to reopen it.
Well, they did reopen it a year or two,
about that time.
Was that before we went into the?
No, we'd gone to the old sheep shed for a couple years
and then we spent a year over at the college
as a high school
in high school and then we went back and graduated
from the old sheep shed.00:12:00
We played all our basketball games down here at the,
it was a park built next to the Presbyterian church.
- (MK) Community center.
- (WK) Community center,
built onto the south end of the church.
Actually, we played all of our basketball games
and oh, a lot of other.
We had banquets and all kind of these things.
We used to play in a, I think we had well over
13 of us, I think, in the orchestra.
I played in the orchestra.
I think it was 11 or 13, or something like that.
- (WT) An orchestra or band, or?
- (WK) Well, we called it an orchestra, but.
- (MK) You had violins.
- (WK) We had violins.
- (MK)You had a city band.
- (WK) We did. Yeah, we used to play in the city band, too.
We held our practices up in the old courthouse,
the old Bellevue Bank Building and the top of that
is where we used to have.
Boy, there was some good musicians here.
Bill Woodrain, and Glen Woodrain,00:13:00
and Homer, Pete Homer,
We were good musicians.
This Glen Woodrain, he was good enough he went on tour
one time with a, what are they?
The Omaha Elks Band would tour the Great Lakes one summer.
He was a great guest soloist.
- (WT) What type of music were you playing?
- (WK) Well, that was band music.
That was regular marches, and.
- (WT) No jazz or anything of that?
- (WK) Oh no.
No, no, it was strictly
- (WT) I guess you had social outings, you probably went to hayrides
and that sort of thing.
- (WK) Yeah, in the wintertime we had more fun.
Sled, at least, to go on
sleigh rides and that old college hill,00:14:00
that used to be a great place.
Boy, you could go clear up to the top there and go clear
down to the post office used to be down.
You'd go from there clear down to the, near the
bank and edge of Bellevue there.
- (WT) Were you here when the bridge was built, then?
- (WK) Yeah.
No, (mumbles) we'd move away, hadn't we?
- (MK) I don't know, we were here when...
- (WK) We were here when the South Omaha Bridge was built.
- (MK) Yeah, not the Bellevue Bridge.
- (WK) The Bellevue Bridge,
that was built later, after we had, I think.
See, we moved, we lived on the bottoms down there
five years and then we moved to Illinois.
We farmed in Illinois.
So we got away from a lot of this later.
- (WT) You remember who you considered prominent citizens
during that time?
The mayor and that sort of thing?
- (WK) Oh, an Oscar Kaiser, Alan Fraser, let's see.00:15:00
- (WT) They were public office, or?
- (WK) Oh, I don't know.
they were just.
- (MK) They were just (mumbles).
- (WK) Yeah.
They were just good people is all I know.
I don't remember much about them.
I don't know, I don't remember about mayors and that.
- (MK) There was the county commissioners.
- (WK) They didn't have a mayor of Bellevue.
I guess they must have, but I didn't pay attention to it.
I don't know.
I know my dad was on the school board for several years
way back from about 1914,
'16, '18, or something around in there.
He spelled his name at that time K-I
and that kind of saved me a licking one time
because oh, there was once nice, bright day where the boys,
we were all out playing up here at the old sheep shed00:16:00
and somebody said, "Let's play hooky,"
and boy that did it.
And away we went.
There was all but about (laughs) two boys
and I'd been spelling my name K-E-N-T.
Well, they looked in the phone book for K-E
and they didn't find it, so they never called my parents.
They called all the kids' parents,
but they missed mine (laughs).
Well, I was there during the '32 flood.
That's quite a thing, too.
The old dike, the dike that starts up here.
You know, at the,
well, right at the edge of the bridge there was a dike
moved down through there.
When we were living here, the river run right along
that dike and there was no dike there until after
this 1932 flood.
The water came from the Papio Creek.
We got rain one night here and my brother-in-law
had a five gallon bucket sitting out in his yard00:17:00
and it started raining just about midnight
and the next morning, that thing was running over.
Well, by the next afternoon, this little Papio Creek,
it was just going all over into the Missouri River
and all up and down the river, it just run over the banks
and then it kept, as the water went down, it kept
cutting back and it cut ditches.
Oh, some of 'em 40, 50, 60 rods back into the land.
Well, that was in the lower land.
The next year then, the river didn't have to get very high
and it was all over everything.
Well, then they got busy and they had a drainage district
here and they put in that dike.
Well, that was the time I was telling you about the water
about the watermelons.
We was down there...
It's where the park district buildings are now.00:18:00
We were out there in a boat.
My dad had rented that.
I think it was 11 acres and he's rented out two
and oh, fella by the name of Smoky Hollins
and he had watermelons in there and they were just
getting ripe and we collected those watermellons
and tried to save a few of 'em in the boat.
We broke one trying to get the thing (laughs) in the boat
and that was the best watermelon I believe I ever tasted.
And then we went on down from there.
We went down, oh, clear down on the bottoms
and we just, we'd go right over fences and they were
just thrashing at that time and there was a load of bundles
right down just across the road from my dad's place,
of oats, and they were thrashing oats.
And putting out whole bottles and small grain,
that whole big old park ranch down there and small grain.
And that load of bundles,00:19:00
there was a pitchfork.
Guy left his pitchfork and well, we could just see
that pitchfork sticking up off of the loaded bundle
and when that grain all let out, I saw that.
We could stand up here on the banks of the river
and the grain, the river was just yellow with grain.
It was just solid.
You just see all that grain going down the river.
- (WT) Feast or famine, drought or flood.
- (WK) Yeah, well, that was a,
boy, it was a bad one.
Tore the railroad tracks.
Of course, these railroad tracks used to run
right through our farm even though now they've moved
them out on account of the barn right before the,
or the SAC Air Force, before that was there.
Why it run right through our farm and we had a pasture
and most of our fields was out across those tracks.
I'd chase cattle and hog, or not hog, but horses.
Putting down their little tracks.00:20:00
Lot of experience with those.
- (WT) Those the main tracks, the Burlington tracks?
- (WK) Yeah, yes.
Well, they used to go right through our farm.
They just kind of followed the bluffs right around,
not sure, our place.
I know when that flood came, our cattle was clear down
at the south end of the pasture and I rode a little horse
down there to get the cattle out and that was the most
sickening mess I believe I've ever seen.
There was snakes, and rabbits, and rats,
and skunks and everything you could think of
floating in and the horse had to swim two or three places
and the mother was standing up on the banks.
I don't know what she was.
- (WT) What kind of a house did you live in?
- (WK) Oh, it's a big house.
It's still down here at the end of Washington Street.
I believe it's about, I don't know how many00:21:00
rooms there is in the house.
To me, that looked awful big, but it don't look
so big anymore.
And then the old barn is still there too,
right down at the end of the street.
It's 40-by-80 and I thought, "Boy, that's the biggest barn."
Since we've grown up, they don't look big at all (laughs)
anymore, but always a real good, nice house
and they've taken care of it.
It's in good shape.
We've gone back over there a couple years ago
and they really kept it up.
Its four stories, that old home.
- (WT) Were you still here in, hold on a second, 1947? No, you'd left.
- (WK) No, we'd left here in 1943, we left.
- (WT) Why did you leave?
- (WK) Why?
Well, we were down there in the bottoms now.
And when we were kids there was always...00:22:00
Half the time the old gumbo roads down there
and you couldn't get in or out and we just felt
we had to get out of there.
And so we, well, my wife had relatives back there
in Illinois and always telling us what a wonderful country it was,
and we went back there and rented a farm and moved.
- (WT) What kind of transportation would you use?
- (WK) Well, when we were married, we had a 1924 Dodge Coupe
and that was our first automobile and the first car
I ever drove was a 1921 Buick that I ever drove,
an old four cylinder Buick and oh,
I drove a Model T. Fords.
I know when we used to go to
game, baseball games and that, most of that
was Model Ts and then later we got model A.
Model A come along in '28, I guess it was
and so my kids, we furnished our own.00:23:00
Whoever had a car could get their dad to say yes,
well, that's the way we got there (laughs).
- (WT) The roads weren't very good.
- (WK) No.
I can remember... what was it? 24th street, when they graveled that.
That was when a fellow here in town had seizures
and they were working the gravel.
They grated that up with four horses or four mules
and what they call Fresno scrapers.
That's what they used to build 24 Street up
when they put the gravel on it.
And I was just walking home from school one night
and I heard the horses a-tearing around,
an awful commotion up there and this kid gone in
some way, he'd had a seizure and he got in behind
those horses and here he come out the front of 'em,
never got a scratch, never got hurt or nothing.
And I looked up there and the horse was a-jumpin'
and kickin' (laughs) and he went through that00:24:00
and never got a scratch.
- (WT) What's a Fresno scraper?
- (WK) Well, it's a thing about five feet wide
and I think it's kind of.
- (WT) Like a blade?
- (WK) Yeah, it's got a blade and it pulls,
got a basket-like thing only it's all iron or steel.
It's got a big, long handle on it.
Big, long, steel handle.
You put four horses on that thing and boy,
if you ever hit a rut or a rock, look out
because that whole handle would come up and if you didn't
let go of it, it'd slip you right over into the,
flip you right over.
If you hung onto it, I've seen those things just.
Oh Lord, they'd hit you in the chin and they weren't very...
It was dangerous.
And we did our farming in an old, well,00:25:00
Oh, it was about 1921 or two,
dad bought an old Fordson tractor and we used that old thing
'til I, we just wore it out.
It finally gave up.
You pull on the bottom, 18 inch plow,
not very good, but we'd pull it (laughs).
Not very fast, I mean.
- (WT) Did you plant mostly corn, or...
- (WK) Yeah, we had corn and oats, corn and oats
and we raised lots of sweetcorn.
Course we put up hay, you just throw a
pitchfork in and you didn't...
Well, we did finally get a hay loader.
Now I think that was worse than trying to fix one by hand.
That was a miserable job, trying to load it here actually.
Then when I was a kid, we threshed with steam.
A fella by he name of Lawrence Isky00:26:00
that had a steam rig and also I was...
Let's see, he bought a new tractor in 1928,
I believe it was.
They come out with what we call a Model L Case.
He bought a new case and put it up all then.
I know all the thrashing, we'd never done them
in the bottoms.
It was with steam, and even after we were married,
we moved up by Boys Town and we threshed there
for two years.
We used steam for threshing.
- (WT) I'm not sure I understand how you thresh with steam.
- (WK) Oh, you a steam engine.
You have to pull the separator even though
you use a separator, and you use it.
Iske had a Case steam engine.
We used it.
That's what pull the separator, we got that tractor.00:27:00
And you have coal and haul water and water, boy.
I build a model, I got a model of that Case
that I built that's, it's an exact model.
- (WT) So you finding that a lot of the people that you
grew up with are still here, in here?
- (WK) Oh no.
Well, there's a few.
Boy down here the name of Harold Hanson.
Boy, I don't know of any others.
- (MK) Schulze.
- (WK) Private Schulze, yeah, Schulze.
- (WT) Bressmans.
- (WK) Yeah, there are some of the Bressmans.
The Bressman boys had, what was there?
Nine boys and one girl, I think it, wasn't it?
I guess some of them are still around.
I haven't talked to them or seen them.
Fella by the name of Bill Price is still here,00:28:00
or he was a couple of years ago.
Most of them are,
there's none of them in our neighborhood,
ours that we lived in down at the bottom.
- (WT) Postal service.
- (WK) Well, the postal service, you just, you hired,
rented a box and went to the post office
and got your mail, which for us was about,
oh, a little over a mile I guess we had to go
to get our mail.
And I mentioned earlier that we milked cows and we sold
cream, we separated the milk.
Sold cream and I paid a lot of trips
down to the old part of the depot down there
with a can of cream to ship it to Omaha
and I think we shipped to Fairmonts in Omaha.00:29:00
We did part of the time.
And then my mother at the same time
used to churn lots of butter.
She sold a lot of butter and all the people
would come down there and get it, and buttermilk.
I remember one of our best customers with buttermilk
was a Doctor Mitchel.
He was a, I think he was a teacher
at the Presvyterian Seminary in Omaha.
- (WT) Come all the way out here from Omaha?
- (WK) Oh, no, no, no.
He lived in Bellevue.
- (WT) Oh.
- (WK) No, he lived in Bellevue, but he taught.
He taught, he worked from home.
- (WT) You said you left out something about the school.
You wanted to talk?
- (WK) Yeah, the kids from Fort Crook used to come over00:30:00
and well, it looked like an old hearse.
It was drawn by mules.
Usually in good weather, they'd have two mules on it
and if it had got muddy, well they put four mules in that.
Well, I don't know how many kids.
I suppose 10 or so kids, but maybe a dozen kids
or something like that that used to come
from the fort, Fort Crook.
- (WT) That the high school?
- (WK) No, that was grade school, that was grade school.
I don't know what, I don't know about whatever happened.
When they got to high school, they didn't have that
to go to high school, but when we were going to school
there at the Old School Mission Street,
they carried those kids over with mules.
Every morning they'd come take them there.
At night, the bus was there to pick them up.00:31:00
- (WT) Army brats!
- (WK) Our buildings was just, only just right east
of what is the SAC Air Force Base there now
and I know we've been out there times
when they'd have a searchlight and we'd stand
right out there in our yard.
- (WT) You had mentioned the streetcar
between Omaha and Bellevue.
- (WK) Yeah, (mumbles).
I don't know how often they used to run it.
I think they run two cars and they passed.00:32:00
They had a place up there someplace they could pass,
I think, if you go on coming.
Now you always met one if you was riding into Omaha,
you'd always meet a car coming out.
And then to get to this old high school,
what they used to call the sheep shed,
we would walk up the tracks to that, to the school.
That was pretty nice walking.
After we got up from our old house, from Washington Street
up to the depot, an urban depot.
Boy, it was just an old.
Not many houses and not many trees or nothing.
That was a cold old walk.
And then when we got up to the streetcar track,
it was in a cut, blocks, and that was pretty nice.
(laughs) That's pretty nice going.
- (WT) You had mentioned that for entertainment
you raced cars up the hill?
- (WK) No, we didn't race but there was what we call00:33:00
the road, what street is it that goes down
whatever it is down on the bottoms there now,
they used to been known as Henningson Hill
and that was where we used to test the cars.
See, the tracks used to cross.
Train tracks is right there and you had to cross
those tracks and make a turn.
That's where we used to take the cars to try 'em out,
see if they'd make that hill on high.
If you could possibly made it, well you had
quite a car.
There wasn't very many of 'em that'd do it.
We had an neighbor that had an old Dodge touring
car and that old thing'd go up there just a-flyin',
wouldn't bother it at all.
My dad had a Dodge a little bit newer than his
and no way you could get it up there (laughs).
And then we used to, that college hill too
from the east going past the station up around the college.00:34:00
If you had to, there was hardly any cars ever to make that.
I think a Model A Ford came out and they'd go up there.
And then the Model A Fords, when they come out,
most of them would go up Henningson Hill.
- (WT) Where'd you get gas for the cars?
Did you have a gas station?
- (WK) Why sure, we had a gas station (laughs).
- (WT) Bellevue?
- (WK) Yeah, yeah.
We had George Holts.
He was the first that I remember.
And the building is still, there's a station
right where he used to be.
That was out there then.
It was 24th Street, right where 24th Street ends now.
You got to go either way, and that's where we used to
get our gas, was George Holts.
What was it, about 12 cents a gallon, I think?
12, 15 cents a gallon.
And boy, a lot of times we'd have maybe enough
to get about two or three gallons.
That'd get us to Omaha and back and (laughs) besides,00:35:00
that's just about all on there in the '30s.
It was pretty skimpy (laughs).
Yeah, in later years, we had a station
downtown, the Freelers.
Freeler brothers had a station and a garage
right down across from used to be the old steps,
Step In, they called it.
A fellow by the name of Step... Oh I don't know,
I bet he had pool tables, and soft drinks, and ice cream.
And Freelers had a filling station right across
from his... That was down
just south of the little church,
Presbyterian church, a block or two
- (WT) Any other businesses right in the area?
- (WK) Well, (mumbles).
Let's see, no.
Don't think so.
The grocery store.
Trents owned the grocery store, and that was down00:36:00
across from the park, catty-corner through,
you go through park there from the church
and you'd, and a block over.
I think, where was that, on Main Street, or Main Street I think it was
- (MK) A lumberyard.
- (WK) Yeah, there was a lumberyard then just north of...
- (WT) Crawford Lumberyard?
- (WK) Yes, yeah.
When I first, as I remember, the old lumberyard.
The fellow by the name of Gile ran
- (WT) Erwin Jewlry was here too then.
- (WK) Who?
- (WT) Erwin Jewlry.
- (WK) Mm-hmm.
No, there was no jewelry store.
What else was there?
I can't think of.
The station that the old innerurban station.00:37:00
That was kind of, they sold little groceries
and candy and it was quite a little store
they had in there.
And then yeah, that was run by Short.
I can't think of his name now.
Anyway, they had a boy that, Ernie Short,
that he drowned when we were seniors.
We were just out of school.
And he was one of the best athletes I've ever saw,
but he went swimming one time, he drowned.
And he used to ride that streetcar from morning 'til night,
that kid, when he was little, he just.
Of course it didn't cost him anything.
He'd ride it day after day on that streetcar.00:38:00
- (WT) Okay, what was your first job?
- (WK) (laughs) First time I ever earned any money
was the result of that terrible rainstorm
that had, it was a road 'round the bus,
south of Fort Crook and the rain, it just rained
so hard that it washed that bluff.
It just slid, the mud just slid down over the road
and I got a job.
The county hired me to help clean the mud off of that road
and that was the first time, first money
I'd ever earned in my life that I remember, it was that.
- (WT) Did you have any tornadoes in the time?
- (WK) Yes.
We had one, let's see.
We were in high school.00:39:00
About, what would it have been?
Probably in '29 or '30 up the west of Fort Crook and north
and it went through what was known as Daniel's Woods
or Daniel's Lonesome Woods out there and I guess
they were oak trees, mostly oak, and they just
stripped those trees for years and years afterward.
You could see the effects of that and one of 'em
crossed northeast and some folks over there just built
a brand new house and it was a real new house,
and the old house was still standing there
and guess which house it took (laughs)?
It took the new one and tore it all up
and left the old house stood there.
And then this old barn down there in the folks' place,
if you, I think it still leans and they had a tornado.00:40:00
I think that was 19, eight.
Of course, that was before my time.
But that tornado was, when that tornado.
The barn always leaned, it was never straightened up
and I don't think it is to this day.
I think you could go down there and you'll see
that barn is not perfectly true.
That same time took the steeple off the old
Presbyterian churches, I think.
And that was never put on all the years
we ever knew it.
Well, stupid it was never put on.
I see it is now.
They've restored it, but all while we knew it, it was
they never put that back on.
- (WT) I guess that's the one that took the top of the bank off too?
- (Wk) I suppose, yeah.
That's all the ones I've ever heard of
that really tore things up. I don't know of anymore.
- (WT) You had I guess pretty good supply of lumber for building?00:41:00
- (WK) Well, yeah.
I don't know if there was any sawmills around my time.
I don't think so.
It was all shipped in lumber, all that I ever.
Well, there was sawmills around too
because some of the buildings were made
with cottonwood lumber.
No, not of ours.
Well, yes, it was too.
Dad got it some place.
Got some cottonwood lumber to, he put it on the roof
of an old hog shed, I believe it was.
And that's real good lumber 'til it gets wet.
If it gets wet, it'll last two or three years
and it's gone.
It won't last, but cottonwood is real good lumber.
Some of the buildings down on the bottoms,
there had been a sawmill down there some time,
but I don't remember because I know people that had
cottonwood lumber as, I guess it most of it00:42:00
would have been around here then.