Hearing History: Jake Jones

Student Body of Squak School
Jake Jones (believed to be 3rd from right, in front)
Full Record
Full Record 2



Jake Jones:  And furring and trapping and trading, so they created what they called the Chinook language.  It had something like about a hundred words.  And many of them words, the way you used them, meant two or three different things, depending on how you used it. 
And the Indians, the younger Indians, they learned the Chinook, and they also began to learn more of the English language than they did Chinook.  But not being – uh – they couldn’t pronounce the English words very good, so you might say theirs would be part Chinook and part jargon, with the Indians. 
When an Indian would meet you on the road, or you’d meet an Indian, he’d say [sounds like] klahowya.  Well, that meant hello.  And when he went after you’d talked with him a while, he’d say klahowyaagain.  That meant good-bye.  And that’s the way, they didn’t have many words and they used the same words. 
If he had something to sell – he wanted to sell the whites some clams one time – and [sounds like] nikanika means either the Indian himself or it means you that’s talking to him, or whoever the other party is.  Nika means either party.  He’d say, “Nika tikke clam.”  If you wanted to buy something, buy potatoes, he’d call them hopatoes.  He’d say, “Nika tikke hopatoes.”
So they accumulated more of a jargon of the white man’s language, but they couldn’t pronounce the English words very good, so it become more of a jargon with the younger Indians.  That was my time then when I associated with them.
Jacob Jones Jr. was born in 1881 to Jacob Jones Sr. and Mary Anderson Jones. He was born in Washington and lived in Issaquah until his death in 1959. His interview is from 1958 and contains many first person accounts of Issaquah’s early days. His interview is a fascinating picture of what life was like in early Issaquah.