When I worked at the bank, I met Alice Davis, who was going to school in Eden. I liked her very much, and we went together for a while after she got out of school. We were married in October of 1924, and at this time I was working at the Sugar Factory. My daughter Vivian was born the next year and I was working for my father as he had sheep. I also worked at the Sugar Factory. At that time, the factory worked 12 hour shifts and paid forty cents per hour. When you had to change shifts, you had to work 18 hours for one shift.
Before Alice and I were married, I had traded my Maxwell car for a motorcycle. A cousin, whose mother was my mother’s oldest sister, came to visit the family, and when his visit was over and he was ready to leave, I left my wife at the ranch and went with him as he was miner and was headed to the Coeur D’Alene Mining District. I could make five dollars for eight hours work. Also the temperature was always the same in the mine whether it was summer or winter, and no snow to fight. I worked in the mines about two months and made enough money to build a small house, since the mine had a saw mill and would sell me lumber for eleven dollars a thousand feet. I was able to send for my wife and baby girl and had a house for them to live in. There was a store at the mine where we could buy groceries.
The mine was on Pine Creek, one of the few dry mines in the district, and we were there about a year, then returned to the ranch by train as we didn’t have a car. Alice’s father had a store in Deeth, Nevada, and after I had purchased a Ford automobile and had transportation, we went to visit her folks. Alice had two half sisters and a half brother. Grandpa Davis was widower and wanted my wife to help him in the store, since the brothers and sisters were quite young and not much help in the store. I went to work for the railroad. We stayed about one year until Alice’s father found a girl who was without a home as her folks had left her. I quit my job on the railroad and Alice and I returned to the ranch, as she was expecting our second child and in September, our son Bryson was born in Twin Falls, Idaho. We stayed at the ranch that fall and I helped father take care of the crops.
My father’s uncle owned a garage in Jerome and sold Whippet and Willys Knight cars. They were made by Overland Car Company. I went to work for my father’s uncle and I sold one new Whippet and one used Model-T Ford. I soon realized that this was not my calling. While I was still working in Jerome, my wife took Vivian and our new son Bryson back to Deeth so her father could see his new grandchild. They went by train, from Twin Falls to Wells, Nevada, changed in Wells to the Southern Pacific Railroad, and got off in Deeth to be with her folks. I helped my cousin run the projector and the movie in Jerome while he took a vacation.
In March, I got a telegram saying that Bryson had pneumonia and I had better come down. The road to Wells was snowed in and the train was snowed in at Summer Camp on the railroad. The only way I could get there was to fly. Lionel Dean had an airplane. There were no airports at Twin Falls but he had a runway on part of a farm where Pay and Pack is now located in Twin Falls. Since Lionel was unable to go, he had another pilot, Lamoine Stevens, fly his plane which was an open cockpit double wing. It was cold but we took off with plans to land at Wells where I could catch a train on to Elko where Bryson was being taken care of. When we arrived at Wells, we were unable to land as the snow on the runway was too deep so we flew on to Elko where we were able to land, and was where I wanted to go anyway By the time I arrived where my wife and son were, he was better. My wife’s brother Golden, his wife, and daughter had come to Deeth and rented a house. His wife and daughter helped with the store. A When my son came home from the hospital, I was doing very little and as I’ve always said, “Everything happens to me and Dick Tracy.” There was a fellow who left Deeth owing Mr. Davis, my wife’s father some money so Mr. Davis sued the fellow in justice of the Peace Court in Deeth, and had won a judgment against the fellow. The justice of the Peace had the Sheriff of Elko County swear me in as a deputy and sent me to serve the Court Papers on the fellow who was at a cattle ranch out in Ruby Valley. There was lots of snow when I got to Halleck, Nevada in my car, and travel beyond Halleck over Secret Pass to Ruby was snowed in and I could not drive my car any farther. I was lucky as I caught a fellow going to Ruby Valley in a sled with four horses and he took me to the ranch where the fellow worked. I did not know the fellow I was to serve the summons on, but was made acquainted with him and was able to serve the papers on him.
The owner of the ranch told me to spend the night, so I had supper and breakfast at the ranch. The next day the ranch was sending a sled back to Halleck so I got a ride to my car and arrived back in Deeth that night. Another fellow who owed Mr. Davis had left a barrel of traps. a man in Elko was buying Badger Fur hides, and they were worth twenty to twenty-five dollars each. Mr. Davis ran over one of these badgers on the road from Elko, so he took the hide to the man in Elko and was paid twenty-five dollars, which prompted Mr. Davis and me to take the traps in the barrel and try our luck trapping. We took a tent and supplies so we could stay a few days at a time and headed out north of Wells as well as east and west towards Metropolis. We had a long trap line and caught quite a few badgers, so when the weather warmed up and the hides were no longer good to sell and had lost their value, we sold our hides and returned home. I then went to Spruce Mountain south of Wells and went to work in the mine there which was a silver lead mine. We used dry machines and the dust was very bad so I did not stay too long. It was an English firm called “London Canadian Company” with offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. After leaving the mine, we returned to Idaho.
I went to Montana to work at a mine run by Mrs. Channel, who had a Bond and Lease on the property owned by an old fellow who had become too old to work it. The mine was located near Marysville, Montana, about one half mile down the western slope of the Continental Divide. The wife stayed at the farm and kept the kids. When I got settled, Mrs. Channel asked if the wife could cook for the crew of twelve men. My folks had some stock in this mine, and wanted to see it so they brought my wife and kids up to the mine and then took the kids home with them. Our first job was to tear out an old Horse Whim which is a way of hoisting ore with a horse going round and round in a circle, turning a hoisting drum which would lift the ore out of the mine but was very slow. After the Horse Whim was torn out, we built a Hoist House, a gallows Frame with a fifty ton ore bin in the Gallows Frame, built a Skip Way to the top of the Frame and we were ready to start mining. We put new rails and skip track in the shaft, as the old fellow was only down fifty feet or so. We went down to one hundred feet and cut a station on a small stringer and started to drift from the station on this small stringer which assayed several thousand dollars per ton, but as we drifted, the vein never got any bigger and the rock was very hard and required a lot of dynamite to break it. The snow got ten feet deep and it really got cold. I saw temperatures drop to sixty-five degrees below zero, and we were there for the winter.
Also while we were there, they had the earthquake but the wife and those working outside were sending signals and yelling down the shaft asking if we had an explosion or a bad cave in. We came up and things were pretty well shook up. It shook the dishes out of the cupboards in the Cook House and shook the wood stove off of its base. It raised hell with things in Helena, about twenty miles away, nearly all of the brick buildings were shook down.
Caroll College was not hurt nor the Cruz Bank but the streets were full of brick and stone in Helena. A cat and dozer opened the road to the mine in May and we left the mine. I remember while we were still at the mine, three fellows from a mine about a mile farther down the mountain from us, went down to Marysville and got drunk, I mean really drunk, and then decided to return to the mine even though the man who owned the saloon in Marysville told them they should stay in Marysville that night and return the next day as there was a storm coming up and they had to climb about four miles up the Continental Divide. The men put on snow shoes and started out. Since the man at the saloon was unable to talk them into staying, he called the mine which had a phone, and told them the men had started out and were drunk. While these men were climbing up the mountain, the storm started and they could not see where they were going and no one could see to go out looking for them. The snow was at least ten feet deep on the hill, so they took off their snow shoes and dug a cave in the snow, crawled inside and shoveled the entrance full, drank what liquor they had left and huddled up together and slept the rest of the night. When the snow stopped the next morning, a couple of men started out from the mine to look for these fellows but after a short distance to the top of the hill, met the men who had stayed in the cave coming and they were all okay and sober, it was about ten o’clock in the morning.