West of our place, Marvin Blood settled on a forty acre place. He was one of the very early settlers and was married to the mother of E.B. and Violet Haye. Mr. Blood sold the place to my Uncle Ted Berry. I believe he stayed on the place five or six years, cannot be sure. E.B. Haye cleared land and put in Prove Up Crops for people. He was married and had three children, Erma, Lester, and Stanley, also a stepson Myron. Lester was born near the Russell Lane School. Other settlers west of Skeleton Butte at this time were the Days, Fords, Shannons, Cochrans, Browns, Rileys, Claiborns, Elomquists, Davis, Nulphs, Baldwins, and Larsons.
Mr. Brown had an orchard which he planted when he first came here and owned it for many years. I think he was the most successful of any of the orchard men. Joe Day also planted a big orchard, but has been gone for many years4do not know of any other orchards in the area. The first School Board at Russell Lane School was William Riley, Tom Shannon, and Charles Vinyard.
I remember many funny things that happened to different people I have known. One event happened to a family named Mot. They had raised a big garden and had lots of cabbage, so they decided to make some sauerkraut. Having never made kraut, they inquired of the neighbors how to make it and set about the task. When winter came, they were going to move to town until spring. Before leaving, they went to get the kraut which was still fermenting. Thinking it was spoiled, they just left it in the Prove Up shack. When they returned in the spring, the neighbors told them that was the best Kraut they had ever eaten.
Another funny event that I know of but will not name the people involved concerned water. One neighbor knew a fellow was stealing his water and went to him telling him if he didn’t stop he would take him to court. This fellow just kept stealing the water, so one night the neighbor took a Bear Trap and a long steel rod to his head gate, drove the rod in the ground until he could not pull it out, then secured the trap to the rod. Next morning he had the fellow in the trap, and the fellow was lame all summer.
Clearing the sagebrush which covered all the ground presented a considerable undertaking for the people who cleared the ground with the equipment that was available. Some people tried to burn the sagebrush off as it stood, but were unsuccessful. Others cleared the brush by cutting it off with a tool called Grubbing Hoe which was much like a Foot Adz. Still others obtained a railroad rail and put a team of horses on each end of the rail and drug it back and forth over the brush breaking it off. This process of clearing the brush was referred to as Grubbing or Railing Brush. The women and children gathered the sagebrush and placed it in piles, then at night they would burn the piles of brush, and the fires could be seen in all directions as far as you could see making the country look like a very large Indian Camp.
My grandmother Berry lived on her forty acres with her youngest son Ted. Her daughter Fanny was married to a man whose name was Guy Milner. I am not sure where they lived but guess it was Milner. He brought Fanny home to visit Grandmother. The roads through the sagebrush were very poor, only wide enough for a wagon, but I remember they same in a White Steamer Automobile and to my great surprise and pleasure, I was given a ride in the car. I had never even seen an automobile before, so I was so thrilled and happy I could hardly contain myself, and I really thought I was somebody.
My uncle Bill Berry, grandmother Berry’s oldest son went to the mines in Jarbridge, Nevada to find work to help support the family as times were very bad and money was scarce since folks who took up farms were mostly without much money and had to wait at least two years before they could harvest a crop and then there was very low prices. Grandfather Berry had been dead for many years, he was a veteran of the Civil War and grandmother received a pension from the government. After she got here it was raised from thirteen dollars to thirty dollars a month.
My grandfather Vinyard was a veteran of that war too. I do not know if he got a pension as I was so small when I saw him and he never came to this country to visit. He died in California. My grandmother Vinyard came from Scotland and my grandmother Berry was Irish and I believe grandfather was Irish also but I have no way to check back on them as they left no records and few letters of business records.
The railroad was in Twin Falls, but on the northside where we lived, they were just building one from Minidoka to Bliss, and all work was done with horses and mules. The early farmers raised grain and hay, and the railroad work gave them a market for their crops. Also under construction at this time was the Northside Canal, the Sugar Loaf Dam built on the canal, and the Wilson Lake Dam. The Canal Company drilled wells ever so far apart to have water for the construction camps. My father raised hogs and could sell them to the camps for meat which gave him another market for his produce. The Oregon Short Line (O.S.L.), and Idaho Southern Railroads were trying to get through the natural gap in the Lava Rock Ridges at Perrine, which was known as “Perrine Siding.” The Oregon Short Line went straight through and the Idaho Southern crossed the Oregon Short Line, which is now known as the Union Pacific.
The only trains that ran on the Idaho Southern ran from Gooding to
Jerome and they only ran a short time. The Old Idaho Southern Grade came across the desert through the farms here in the First Segregation, crossed the river and was headed for Salt Lake City, Utah. I don’t believe it got as far as Oakley, Idaho before the company building it went bankrupt. The farmers leveled the grade down and farm over it now. It went just west of Russell Lane School House, where I received my schooling, as much as I have.
The Russell Lane School House was built in 1912 to replace the little wooden school called Lakeview where I started my schooling. I went to school with kids my age up to 18 years old, both boys and girls. I remember I could smoke and chew tobacco when I was in the first grade. My Uncle Ted smoked and chewed, and he would give tobacco to me. He was ten years older than I, so he went to school with older boys who could handle the tobacco, but I did not do so well, though it did not make me sick. The first grade teacher, an old maid, caught me chewing and I got a spanking. I was only in the first grade but I took my spanking and when we got through, I told her, “Go to hell, I’m going home.” I went to get my cap and lunch bucket, and that time I got a good spanking, and she really make the fur fly. The teacher also told my father, who never used tobacco at that time, so he decided to make me smoke until I became sick. He had a neighbor bring some tobacco, “Dukes Mixture,” then he had the neighbor roll me cigarettes and told me to smoke them. I smoked many of them and never got sick, so Father gave up on curing me of the tobacco habit, gave the rest of the tobacco to the neighbor, but kept his eye on me thereafter. Mother could smell the tobacco on my breath so I gave up the use of tobacco.