Back to Finding Aids
Washington State University Libraries
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Pullman, WA 99164-5610 USA
(509) 335-6691

Cassette Tape Collection 16
Farm Family Oral History Project, 1982-1984

The farm family oral history interviews conducted by Rayner Thomas in 1982 and 1984 were transferred to the Archives in late 1984. (MS 84-62). They consist of three cassette tapes.


The tapes comprise three interviews of people from early inland northwest pioneer families.

The tapes are maintained in their original order.


	1	Tom Wahl
	2	Ruth Wysong
	3	Lola Clyde

Interview Identification Number: 16/1
Interviewee: Tom Wahl
Geographical Areas Covered: Scotland, New England, New York, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho.

Interviewer: Rayner Thomas
Location of Interview: Pullman, WA
Date of Interview: 11 May 1984
Length of Interview: 35 minutes

Abstractor: Carmen E. Petersen
Date of Abstraction: 22 Jan. 1985

Release: Yes
Restrictions: No

TapeEstimated time on tapePrincipal subjects covered
Tape 1
Side A
0 - 4Mother's early family, genealogy, migration history. McFarlands were outlaws in Scotland and forced to migrate to United States. Re lates the many deaths of wives and infants. Continuation of family migration to the Palouse country. Great grandfather built first mill in Spokane in 1852.
4 - 6Grandfather a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, was a tinsmith and also shipped supplies to various areas in the Northwest, includ ing the John Day country and Pierce, Idaho. Homesteaded near Goldendale.
6 - 7Father's genealogy and family migration. Refers to family in California.
7 - 8Discusses his grandfather, Christian Wahl, who was born in Baden-Baden, Germany. Tells how he and his family settled near Buffalo, NY. Basically were farmers although Christian Wahl held a Civil Engineering degree received in Germany.
8 - 10Christian Wahl's migration to San Francisco, CA, where he met his future wife and her family and the subsequent move to Oregon. Discusses his father's birth in 1870 in California. Family moves to a pioneer camp north of Johnson.(State?)
10 - 11Story of an infant girl from the pioneer camp who later was arrested for murder.
11 - 13Timber claim in Genesse, Idaho. Acquisition of land. Merchants financed farming families from year to year and were paid after the harvest. Family gathered prairie chicken eggs, shot grouse for food. Lack of "big game."
13 - 15Childhood pleasures. Riding wild horses.
15 - 17Humorous story about a cow and calf.
17 - 203 minute pause
20 - 24Account of family relationships, occupations, and land ownership in Oakland, CA.
24 - 28Story about his wedding trip. Visited cousins in Oakland and Hayward. Relatives names, associations and stories.
28 - 29Uncle's epilepsy and eventual death.
29 - 30Affirms that family lost contact with relatives in Buffalo, NY but that Alice Cooper maintains many of the family records.
30 - 32Norman Shupe's grandmother drew pictures and kept letters of family members.
32 - 35Stories of welcome to Endicott by townspeople. Discusses the frequent deaths of pioneer wives and children. History of McFarland families in cluding an Uncle Peter who walked across the U.S. twice; once to the gold rush and once to bring a child home.

Interview Identification Number: 16/2
Interviewee: Ruth Wysong

Interviewer: Rayner Thomas
Date of Interview: 11 May 1984
Length of Interview: 35 minutes

Abstractor: Carmen E. Petersen
Date of Abstraction: 22 Jan. 1985

Release: Yes
Restrictions: No

TapeEstimated time on tapePrincipal subjects covered
Tape 1
Side A
0 - 5Family traveled on immigrant train from Kansas to Spokane. Homesteaded at Deep Creek. Father's occupations: making butter and raising poultry for eggs, meat and feathers. Planted a large garden every year. Lists the many berries and fruits that were available then.
5 - 10Preserving food by drying, pitting, canning. Owned cattle and pigs. Mother made cottage cheese. Methods of cooking; woodstove and heavy cast iron pots and skillets were used. Mother baked all of their bread with their own wheat.
11 - 14Disease, pests, insects. Lack of worm problems that now exist. Used their own seeds from year to year for planting the garden.
14 - 15Mentions her mother using whole cinnamon and nutmeg . and grinding it for use.
15 - 20Abundance of wild huckleberries and the keeping of bees by neighbors. Discusses the difficulty of finding good wells while living in the Pasco area. Parents used buckets at first to bring up the water from the well. Later a pump was installed.
20 - 21Coal from town was their primary heating fuel. In the fall her parents cut and hauled pine, tamarak and cedar with team and wagon. Preferred tamarak and pine for cooking.
21 - 22Different types of equipment for washing clothes.
22 - 23Parents stored large amounts of sugar, coffee and flour for winter. They always had eggs, vegetables and milk.
23 - 24Butchering of cows and chickens.
24 - 25Mentions living in Pullman for 22 years and Kamiak Butte for 30 years or more.
25 - 26Harvesting and work crews.
26 - 30Gypsies, peddlers, "tramps and hobos."
30 - 33Indians.
33 - 35Discusses illness and home remedies. Her children suffered from diptheria.

Interview Identification Number: 16/3
Interviewee: Lola Clyde
Location of Interview: Moscow, ID
Geographical Areas Covered: Kansas, Oregon Trail, Lewiston, Moscow

Interviewer: Rayner Thomas
Date of Interview: 25 March 1982
Length of Interview: 60 minutes

Abstractor: Carmen E. Petersen
Date of Abstraction: 22 Jan 1985

Release: Yes
Restrictions: No

TapeEstimated time on tapePrincipal subjects covered
Tape 1
Side A
0 - 3Husband's grandparents, William Zigler family. Migration from Kansas to Oregon in 1876-1877 following 2-year grasshopper plague in Kansas. William Zigler was a civil war veteran. Detailed description of grasshoppers eating Kansas' crops, clothespins and fences. Letters from relatives describing better conditions in Idaho. Left Kansas in May 1987. Traveled up the Lewiston Grade. Abundant supply of apples.
3 - 5Bringing of supplies and equipment by her Pennsylvania Dutch grandparents named Zitler. Making of plaster houses, pottery, lard, lye soap, and apple cider.
5 - 6. Carrying vegetable and flower seeds wrapped in calico swatches out west. Lilac shoots brought from the east and preserved by putting the shoots inside potatoes which held moisture.
6 - 7Saved garden seeds. Wrapped them in calico and hung them from nails in the rafters to protect from mice.
7 - 10Raised and preserved meat, vegetables, and fruits. Discovered a large abundance of wild berries, wild watercress and grasses which were used for "greens."
10 - 15Women's responsibility to raise a garden and preserve it. Preservation methods including hanging in flour sacks, canning, and stringing beans.
15 - 18Raised and sold chicken eggs. Produce traded for baking items. Lack of pests, worms and maggots.
18 - 20Traveling to Walla Walla and Fort Vancouver to have wheat ground into flour.
20 - 25Lists all the varieties of apples they grew. Lots of them rotted on the ground. Released hogs into the orchard to clean them up.
25 - 30Grew herbs, garlic, keebler onions, sage and thyme. Mention of lilacs, rose bushes, many other flowers that were propagated. Poems recited entitled "Mary Loved Lilacs" and a story about flowers.
Tape 1
Side B
0 - 2Pause.
2 - 5Raised cattle, pigs, ducks, turkeys, geese. Self sufficiency of pioneers. Used goose feathers for pillows. Bride's social obligation to make a feather tick and pillows before marriage. Carded and spun wool. Raised bees and robbed wild bee hives from May through June but discontinued because of bee stings. Then honey was bought at the store. Rhymes about bees.
5 - 6Brought cattle and horses behind wagon trains as well as pigs and chickens purchased in valley. Valley settled in 1871. Care of animals by women while men worked in the fields.
6 - 8Abundance of water and springs, digging of wells, --soft water from the mountains. Ran water into the house by the force of gravity. Reservoirs stored water.
8 - 9Traveled to Walla Walla in 1877 for clothing. People frugal in caring for clothing to insure longevity.
9 - 10Railroad came to Moscow in 1884. Increased volume of latest fashions and supplies.
10 - 11Peddlers, Watkin's salesmen, and the "meat man" who delivered fresh meat daily. Hung beef from a tree until a crust formed and would keep for several days.
11 - 12Would love to see the Gypsies. Told fortunes.
12 - 15Lived by Nez Perce trail. Father was a missionary to the Indians. Indians were invited and ate meals with their family.
15 - 18Children's chores. Brought in cattle, milked cows, gathered eggs, fed chickens, and worked in the garden. Rode horses for recreation.
18 - 23Disease and illnesses. Moscow scourge of "Black Diptheria" in 1884 claimed the lives of many small children. Mr. Johnson's "secret remedy" which was a worthless hoax. No remedies for whooping cough. Children died. White children with immunity survived measles. Indian children with less resistence who were exposed, died.