Honoring Issaquah’s Veterans

If you haven’t seen it yet, you should take a look at the Issaquah Press’s special Memorial Day section, “Lest We Forget”. This special section profiles the residents of Issaquah who died serving their country. These same people are memorialized on the granite marker outside the Senior Center. The section also features photos and brief biographies for other Issaquah Veterans who have served during peacetime and during war.

The Issaquah Press and the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars worked hard to represent as many servicemen and women as they could in the pages of their special section. One name and face not included (and I regret now that I didn’t send the photo and suggestion to them) was Bill Evans, a long-time Issaquah resident and veteran of World War II. I had the opportunity to visit with Bill a few times over the years, and he was a warm, personable fellow and an excellent story teller. When we put up an exhibit called Wartime in Issaquah, he stopped by to contribute his picture and ended up staying for nearly an hour, telling me stories. I was completely captivated, and Bill must have been also, because his wife finally came in to retrieve him — she’d been waiting for him in the car!

We are very fortunate to have Bill’s first-hand account of his time at war, thanks to the oral history project we conducted in 2006. Our oral historian, Maria McLeod, was talented when it came to drawing interesting stories out of subjects. After the interview, Bill suggested that we edit out the World War II stories he’d told, since they weren’t “really about Issaquah.” I responded that although the stories he told were not set in Issaquah, they were vitally important to telling the story of Issaquah during World War II. They tell the story of a generation of young men who left home to travel thousands of miles, and serve alongside hundreds of other young men. I’m not sure that I succeeded in convincing him, but he gracefully agreed. Excerpts appear below, and I think readers will agree that we are lucky to have these stories.

Bill Evans passed away in January of 2008. He is missed and remembered.

[interview has been edited for length]

BILL EVANS: So I was shipped from Fort Lewis to Camp Roberts, California, by Paso Robles. I went right into the infantry. When I get there, I thought, Ohgod, the worst possible thing that could happen to me now has happened to me [Evans had wanted to enter the Navy but had been assigned to the Army instead].

I was on KP the following Sunday morning, and the first sergeant came to get me. I said, “Where are we going?”

He said, “Down to get your gear. You’re going to a different barracks.” So you don’t ask any more questions, you just go. They transferred me because of my scores entering into the Army, the test scores, they sent me to message center and code work training. So I thought, Well, at least I’m not carrying a rifle in a foxhole. So I took my training there for three months. Now, I’m shipping out. I had graduated with a diploma and everything, talking about message center and code work.

Then I got to Hawaii for more training. I was there two weeks, and the commanding officer called me in and he said, “Soldier, we’re over-strength. We’ve got too many men in our outfit.”

I thought, Well, this is strange. “You’re a combat outfit and you’ve got too many men? If you get into combat, you’re going to lose men! You’d think you’d be building up.”

He said, “No, our table organization is too high. You’re one of the last guys in our outfit, so I’m transferring you out.”

I said, “Where am I going?”

He said, “Oh, you’re staying in the same battalion, same regiment. But,” he said, “you’re going to be a medic.”

I said, “A medic? The only thing I’ve ever had in the way of training is high school public health, you know? How does that qualify me?”

He said, “Well, you’ll get training.”

So they sent me out to north central Oahu… Two weeks after I joined this infantry outfit, I got my medical training. When I talked to the first sergeant in this company, out at the Dole Pineapple plantation, I said, “When do I get my training? I was told I was going to get training. I don’t know a darn thing about medicine.”

He said, “Oh, you’ll get it. It starts tomorrow.” He said, “After breakfast tomorrow, you report back to your tent.”

They were wood frameworks, but tent top. And he said, “I’ll have another guy go with you. He’s going to take medical training, too.” So they came and got us the next morning, and we went back to our tents.

The guy said, “Now, you straddle this cot, the Army cot that you’re on. And you face him this way, like you’re sitting and looking at each other. Here’s a needle and a syringe. Now, you stick him in the arm till you can learn to hit the veins. Because you can go right through a vein, you know, if you don’t hit it proper. Then you have to pull it back out and try it again, until you get it.”

And I said, “This is the first training we’re getting?”


And the other guy didn’t know any more about it than I did… One would stick the other one until he could hit a vein, or an artery. When you’d get sick to your stomach from the needle and the pain and everything, then it’s your turn to stick the other guy. That was the first medical training I got. I didn’t get much more for a long time.

Then we shipped out to New Guinea. That was our first time in combat. I had four amphibious landings from one end of New Guinea to the top end.

Other than the ones we fought on the landings, further up – we mostly set up crews out on the trails. The jungle trails were just like a tunnel. They’d grow right over you. You’d get just off the trail a little bit, and we’d set up machine guns. When the Japanese troops would come along, we’d just mow them down.

Then we’d have to bury them. Some of the guys said, “Well, the heck with this noise.” An arm would be sticking out, or a foot would be sticking out, or something, which would give away our positions.

The rest of us were on the beach – the Japanese would bomb us every night. We did have army cots there, I’ll say that. But right alongside it, we’d have a foxhole. So we’d get to go around the bed into the foxhole.

MARIA MCLEOD: Did you sleep in your foxhole?

BILL EVANS: I did in a lot of them, on those landings in New Guinea. But not at Sansapor, which is the northern tip, when we were ready to invade the Philippines. Then we took off for the Philippines.

…It was a kamikaze that came over. And again, the 5-inch gunner on the front end, when he spun around, he shot part of his tail assembly away. So the kamikaze knew he couldn’t get away. So he just banked around and come from behind us again. Dropped his bombs. But they went between our ship and the ship behind us and just exploded in the water.

Then the pilot tried to drive his plane down the stack because then we’d have gone up, the whole ship would have blown up. But he missed it by about 25 feet. But he got the whole deck on fire, gasoline and everything. And twenty-three sailors were killed, right at their gun mounts.

Two days later, we made our landing on Luzon. I was in the fourth wave hitting the beach. I almost drowned because the medics have something like a jacket without sleeves. Their bags on either side had all their medical supplies in there.

MARIA MCLEOD: How much did it weigh?

BILL EVANS: Well, it didn’t weigh a lot in itself, but when I got into my first combat, where I came close to getting it. We even took our Red Cross armbands off our arms because they’d pick the medic first. The snipers would aim at the armband and get you in the chest someplace, went through your body, anyhow and killed an awful lot of medics that way. Then they’d go after the troops. So I didn’t wear an armband. I wasn’t going to give them any more chances than possible. But I went down after my first combat, I went down to the supply office, and I insisted in getting a carbine.

MARIA MCLEOD: What’s a carbine?

BILL EVANS: A carbine is a small rifle. Holds 15 shells in a bracket on the gun itself. I think it’s a .32 caliber.

And then you always have a case on the gun, too, holding other brackets. You’ve got them on your belt. So you’ve got about a hundred-and-some cartridges on it. Semi-automatic.

MARIA MCLEOD: Were medics usually not carrying guns?

BILL EVANS: No. They weren’t supposed to. By, I guess, a Geneva law or something from World War I.

MARIA MCLEOD: People weren’t supposed to kill medics. You weren’t supposed to shoot at another’s army’s medics, were you?

BILL EVANS: No. You had rules to play by, but the Japanese didn’t honor that. And so I carried it through the whole war. But when I landed in Lingayen Gulf in the fourth wave, we almost drowned. In my outfit, we lost about 28 men. Because there was a sandbar that nobody knew about. The coxswain didn’t know any more about it than we did, running the landing craft. A lot of them came in and hit that sandbar, thought it was the beach, and lowered the ramp. Guys went out with all their equipment on, and drowned.

But our coxswain, we were lucky because he came to the same sandbar, but he didn’t lower the ramp. He might have seen something, or else somebody else radioed him or something. He gunned it when he hit it and went over the sandbar. And hell, we went another probably 100, 200 yards before we finally did hit the beach.

We were still up to our waists in water. But I was so loaded down with my medical equipment, and my ammo, and my gun and other stuff that if we didn’t have the beach under us, we’d have been in real trouble. Might not have got ashore.

MARIA MCLEOD: Tell me about the first time you were in combat, and you were dealing with actual wounds, what that was like.

BILL EVANS: Well, I wasn’t much more educated than I told you about. I got to New Guinea and I appealed to my commanding officer, who was a medic, a doctor. I said, “You know, I haven’t had any training at all yet, except this episode with my arms.” I said, “Can’t I get some training if I’m going into combat?”

He said, “Yeah, that makes sense. I’ll send you down the beach about 20 miles.”

There was a station hospital, and down there they had a series of big squad tents. That’s a station hospital. They’re all tents.

He said, “We’ll get you some training at the hospital.”

So I said, “Fine. Great.”

And he said, “You’ll be down there about two months.”

I said, “OK.”

So I packed the gear I needed to go down there. Still took my rifle with me. And got down there to the station hospital.

But they had so many wounded. Broken bones caused by gunshot. These guys are coming back from the Marshall Islands and those places that were invaded before we got to the Philippines – not by our outfit, by other outfits.

You get wounded and shot with rifle shot or shrapnel and so forth. A lot of times, you get broken bones as well as the wound itself. So they were having a lot of them coming in by the boatload to the station hospital down there – Navy men, Army men, everybody.

And so what did they do? They sent me into cast surgery.

MARIA MCLEOD: What’s cast surgery?

BILL EVANS: Well, I thought I was going to learn something about surgery that would help me. But no, what they had me doing was making casts out of plaster of Paris on people who had back wounds – their backs were broken, or some part of it. We had them on ropes – lines. Their feet were down, and their back and shoulders were down, but their body was up in the air, like making an arch.

So all I was doing was wrapping plaster of Paris, learning how to make a cast for a broken back, but who’s going to do that in combat? In combat, you get somebody who you’ve talked to a half an hour before, and thirty minutes later, he’s laying on a litter, covered with blood, or lost an arm, or ribs are all shot up or whatever.

You couldn’t put a cast on. You would do what you could to bandage him up, stop the bleeding, give him a transfusion or whatever, and put him on the back of a Jeep and send him out of the jungle. So I learned the hard way.

MARIA MCLEOD: You said something interesting. You said when you came back to Seattle, you were afraid of people. Is that true?

BILL EVANS: See, my folks, as I told you, still lived on Beacon Hill. They could see out in the bay. It was right across from the Veterans Hospital on Beacon Hill, on Beacon Avenue. My folks bought it. Had the home built in [19]42. And so when I got in the bay, I could see my house from there.

I got out of the service right before Christmas. So I was downtown, buying my folks a Christmas present … And the signal lights … I’d been three years in the jungle [chuckles] and I was just afraid of people. I’d stop at the intersection and I was afraid to cross the street. I thought, You’ve got to get a hold of yourself!

MARIA MCLEOD: When you were in the jungle, did you think of home? And when you thought of home, did you think of Seattle, or did you think of Issaquah? What were some of the things that kept you going?
BILL EVANS: I’d only lived, all my life, in Issaquah and then Seattle, so yeah. But, you know, when you’re in combat – and seeing death all around you, and being a medic – I was involved with it every day, hour by hour – you didn’t dare think about going home. You thought about making it through another day.

Mary Colton Lucas, Squak Valley Teacher

The spring newsletter, on its way to your email or mail box as I type, features a truncated version of the following oral history interview with Mary Colton Lucas (1898-1982). The full interview appears below. If you’d like to join a discussion about Lucas’s experience in early Issaquah, visit our Facebook page.

(IHM 94.41.1)William E. Colton, right, with unidenitifed worker at the Neukirchen Mill, circa 1912.


[Accession # 88.1.7B]
UNKNOWN INTERVIEWER:  This is Mary Colton Lucas and the date is September 14, 1973.  Mrs. Lucas was a teacher in the Upper Squak School  She will be telling of her experiences as a teacher there.  for the year 1917 to 1918.
MARY COLTON LUCAS:  … the way I wrote it down.  And I took it, and she wanted to, you know, glean a lot out of it and so on.  And she changed her mind and forgot it for a time.  But I don’t want to forget it, I want to keep something of it, you know, this whole class.  And she’s a lovely teacher, a wonderful person.  It’s really inspiring.
You want me to just start now?
UNK:  Yes, go ahead. 


ML:  [Reading onto the tape]

If you should drive out of Issaquah southward on Front Street Road, keeping left, you will come, in something like three miles, to an attractive building, which houses a real estate office.  Across the road stands a fine group of tall cedar trees, symmetrical as though just [pulled?]
You can’t see it from the road, but there is a very large pond beside the cedars.  Across the pond is a modern, red, rambling house, a rustic patio extending its length towards the woods behind it.  With the red house reflecting in a little lake, you might be quite taken with the beauty of the scene and wish you had brought your camera.
If the lady who lives there should be about, she could tell you that this home of hers was built around an old one-room schoolhouse.  She might also tell you that there had been, about 50 years ago, a mill and logging camp just about a quarter of a mile down the side road, where several families had lived.  These children, as well as those of the farmers in the surrounding areas, attended the school.  In the fall of 1917, I was the new teacher of that school.  And my brother, 14 years my senior, was part-owner and superintendent of the logging camp. 

Proudly, on the day before Labor Day, I left my home in Snohomish in possession of a teacher certificate from the Bellingham Normal, now the Western Washington State College.  I boarded the old Northern Pacific train and got off at Woodinville, expecting to transfer to a small local line running from there to Issaquah. 
You want to shut …?  Too much?
UNK:  No, go ahead.
ML:  My brother had neglected to tell me that the local train didn’t run on Sunday, so I was in a quandary as to what to do.  Then, I remembered a family who had moved from Snohomish to Woodinville.  After inquiring where to find them, and walking down a rocky road about a mile, I came to a brickyard, in which the Shaws operated, and where they had their home.  They greeted me warmly, and after I had told them of my predicament, I was invited to spend the night with them.
The next morning, I walked back to the little depot and soon was aboard the local.  It was a rickety little passenger car at the end of a logging train.  We wobbled along between tall virgin fir trees, and eventually arrived at Issaquah.
I was shocked at the primitive look of the town.  My brother Will met me with his friend, Leo Gleason, who was on the local school board.  They had planned that I should stay in the old Gleason family home and board with his brother’s family, who lived just across the creek.  I was not happily impressed with this arrangement. 
We drove out to the place and all entered the house.  I found that Mr. Gleason’s old father occupied a room on the first floor, and that a room upstairs had been prepared for me.  It was neat and clean but there was no evidence of any bathroom in the house.  It didn’t seem that I could possibly spend a winter in this empty, cobwebby house.  It was spooky.
We went across the creek to where we were given coffee and cake, and this house wasn’t too bad but very small.  They seemed friendly, and the children, three little ones, were quite awed at meeting the teacher.
So, the long-awaited day arrived.  The two little Gleason boys and I walked a mile through the woods to the little unpainted school.  Now, I was facing the first real challenge of my 19 years, I realized as I unlocked the door for the first time.  Opening the door, I was greeted by that old schoolroom odor.  There were the various-sized desks, grubby and carved with the initials of long-vanished pupils.  The only partially clean window through which the morning rays of the sun slanted … gave evidence … no, I can’t say [tape recorder turned off]
… of the great trees that were on the floor and I can’t read it.
UNK:  Oh, the shadows came through the window.
ML:  Yes. 
It was strangely quiet until the door burst open and in pushed a half-dozen children of different sizes and types, all rather poorly clad but healthy-looking.  The scrambled for the seats they each thought best, and settled down to stare at me.
Now, the mothers of the beginners were coming in, and I was busy greeting them and trying to look delighted, although this made the proportion of little tots in the total count of only about 16 pupils in all.  How could I find time to break six tiny humans into the mysteries of the four R’s when there sat 10 larger ones scattered over the other seven grades?  No two seemed to register [for the same?]
I couldn’t help noticing one in particular who was bobbing around, grinning and making silly faces at the other boys, and poking at them with a ruler.  I had a foreboding that this boy was going to be a real problem.  His name was Boyd Greenfield. 
Now, maybe …
I finally – I’m giving the real names – I finally got all their names and their probable grades down; and after we had sung a few songs known to most of them, dismissed them for the day.  I had plenty to do, [inaudible] making up a chart to accommodate all the subjects and still take care of the starters was too much for me this first day.  I home and went back to my bleak room and cried.
UNK:  What kind of songs did you sing?  Can you remember?
ML:  Oh, My Country ‘Tis of Thee and …
UNK:  Yes, patriotic songs?
ML:  Yeah, and I taught them songs, too, you know.  Like [singing] “Good morning, merry sunshine, how did you wake so soon?”  Some of those.
UNK:  Uh-huh. 
ML:  And, oh, about a rabbit and different things.  I had trained for the lower grades, see, and I didn’t expect to be –
UNK:  Upper grades, yes.
ML:  1917 was the first year of our involvement in World War I.  Almost every girl of my age had a boyfriend who was either in the service or just about to join.
I also had one [inaudible].  [laughing]  Mine was a very handsome lad who had attended Snohomish High with me, and lived on a farm about five miles from the school.  I thought that he was the great love of my life, so was very upset when he joined the Air Force. 
One Thursday afternoon, I received a phone call from Seattle.  Harold’s sister.  His name was Harold, too [laughing] and this one was named Harold.
UNK:  Oh, how interesting!  You had Harolds in your life, huh?  [laughter]

ML:  Yes, I had Harolds in my life.  Harold’s sister was calling me, telling me that he was to be sent to training camp in Texas, then to France.  She invited me to stay overnight with her, as he was leaving next morning and would be able to spend some time with me that evening.

Wanting to be by ourselves, Harold and I sat for hours and shivered in the cold November night on the steps of an old, deserted building at 5th and Madison.  He had to return to Fort Lawton by midnight, and we tearfully parted, engaged, at his sister’s door.
The school work proved to be as difficult as I had surmised.  It seemed impossible to give each child the attention he needed, as they all never had had a fair shot.
And this nine-year-old boy, Greenfield, was certainly what we’d call retarded now.  The poor little fellow was never clean, and in spite of the dirty little sack of astafittida [sp?] – have you ever heard of that?
UNK:  No, what is it? 
MALE in background:  [Inaudible]
UNK:  Oh, you put it around your neck to keep from catching cold.
ML:  Yes.  It’s supposed to spook them away, too.
UNK:  [Attempts to say the word]
MALE:  I don’t sure.
UNK:  I don’t remember the word, but I do know what you’re talking about, yes.
ML:  … the sack of [stumbles pronouncing the word] on a string about his neck, he always had a runny nose.  The sack was filled with some putrous [sp?] herbs to chase away the evil spirits and disease, and smelled horribly.  He would rather have lost a leg than that nasty item. 
I didn’t know what to do with him.  I asked the clerk of the school board if something couldn’t be done, like sending him on to a special school, but he knew nothing about such things.
This was Mr. Ogden.
In fact, he could only sign my pay warrant each month.  That was about the [chuckles] sum of his learning.
I have to be careful.  I really am [inaudible] [laughing] next generation or two.
The fall was beautiful, and I enjoyed the walks to and from school.  But with winter weather setting in, with the rain and snow, I thought it better to take advantage of a chance to move to a farmhouse closer to the school.  A girl in the upper grade lived there with her mother and stepfather.  We usually got a ride going home.
The food served there was not at all tasty, nor adequate – boiled beans, potatoes and canned tomatoes every evening for supper.  Then they butchered a hog, and we sat down to all the parts, which had never been on our menu at home, from brains to pigs feet.  [laughing]  So I didn’t eat any. 
This couple was always quarrelling, especially at meals.  And an intentional remark from me almost involved me, and the woman turned to me and said, “What are you butting in for?  Keep your mouth shut!”  [laughing]  So, I would have to move again!  [laughing]
Now, it was to a rather attractive log cabin with a new section built on.  They were a younger couple and seemed quite jolly at first.  I had the log cabin section for my room.  It had a fine [inaudible], which I enjoyed, but mostly had to use a little wooden heater – a little wood heater, not wooden. 
Now, I wasn’t getting much getting sleep at night because of the mice and rats that came in through the fireplace.  After I blew out my lamp, they scampered over my papers, and squeaked and had a ball, while I lay awake shuddering.  [chuckles]
I believe I would have put up with this, except that there seemed to be something wrong here, too.  There was no conversation at meals after about the first month.  The food was very good and I was a little closer to the school. 
I couldn’t stand the gloomy atmosphere at dinner any longer, so one evening, as I was helping with the dishes, I asked Mrs. Nelson, “What seems to be the matter?  Have I done or said something that offended you people?”
She hesitated a moment and then replied, “I don’t like having girls making eyes at my husband.”
And I was stunned but finally snapped.  “Do you mean me?  I never made any eyes at your husband.  Anyway, he is too old.”  [laughing]  He must have been almost 30.  Now, I would have to move again!  [laughing]
UNK:  I see what you mean about getting yourself in Dutch all the time.
ML:  Yes!  I didn’t know from nothing, you know?  As a kid, I hadn’t lived around people, and I was scared all the time that, you know, I might get in the doghouse [inaudible].
This time, I was lucky.  My brother had a friend [inaudible] who talked his wife into taking me in for the sum of $20 a month.  She was a fine cook and housekeeper.
And should have put in front that I got $60 a month for this job.
UNK:  I was just going to ask you how much they paid you.  You paid a third of it for your board and room?
ML:  Oh, yeah.
The Christmas program was the big event of the school year for the children.  Of course, we had a beautiful tree, all decorated with a dear, old-fashioned paper chain, strings of popcorn and cranberries.
I loved all the children, for what is more beautiful than a child with an expression which seems to cling to them all at this season?  I only hoped that none would be disappointed.
Parents dressed in their best came, and proudly watched their girls and boys as they did their little parts in the playlet, or spoke their pieces.  All went home happy, and would discuss the merits of the party and the teacher over for a month at least.
The winter dragged on with heavy, soaking rain, and sometimes beautiful, white snow.  It was lovely in this park-like area, where the trees glittered with icicles on the crisscross frost January morning. 
I was still feeling very inadequate about getting enough recitation in each day.  They were not a very ambitious group, and much prodding was necessary if they took their work home.  There was not as much diversion for a young girl in the big – And the biggest thrill was getting back to my room after school to find some mail waiting for me, especially if it was from France.
One Saturday evening, Leona, the daughter [tape recorder turned off] as Leona Neukirchen.
UNK:  OK. 
ML:  Leona, the daughter of the mill owner who lived in Issaquah, came out with two high school boys in a Model T Ford to take me along to the Grizzly Bear dancehall.  But we never made it.  The little car broke down, and we waited back by the road, as hooting cars passed on the way to the dance.  A logger with a kind heart finally stopped, and drove us all to our homes.  That was my only social event of the year!
Now, there began to be signs of spring, as pussy willows sprouted on the trees by the little stream running through the schoolyard.  Late in March came the trillium, and the spicy-sweet fragrance of red currant.  The children deluged me with new bouquets daily.  The surrounding woods were bursting with new, pale-green leaves and lovely flowers. 
But there was something wrong.  I began to have a feeling that perhaps the parents thought I wasn’t teaching their children enough.  Sometimes I would come on a little group of girls who immediately stopped talking and scampered off.  Or, when I lifted the telephone at my boarding place, I would hear some reference to some “she” in quotation or “who” in quotation, maybe wasn’t as good as she, or any better than she should be.
Do you get that?  I don’t know.
UNK:  Yeah, yeah.
ML:  I wonder why I had ever wanted to teach school.  Boyd Greenfield, that kid, was still my big pain in the neck.  One day, as I came out after recess to ring the bell, he threw a rock at my little first-grader, Mary Bogdan.  She was screaming, and a big lump was forming over her right eye. 
I lost my temper and grabbed the handiest stick I could find, and took after him.  He headed for the flume, which passed the school en route to the mill.  He climbed on the flume and I was right behind him.  The flume was very high above the ground in some places, in this rugged terrain.  But as I didn’t take a chance of looking down and getting dizzy, I kept right close to him.
He ran to his home and I confronted his mother at the door.  I could soon see that she was much like her son, so there was not much use in discussing his behavior with her.  The boy didn’t come back to school, and nothing was ever done about it [chuckles] in those days.
I was enjoying the comparative peacefulness around the school when one afternoon, as I was dismissing the pupils, a little third-grader looked up at me and asked, “Are you going to stay to the meeting, too, Teacher?” 
This looked like something I should be in on, and must have had some connection with, this secretive business, so I stuck around.  About a half an hour later, they began to arrive – the farmers in their wagons and the mill people on foot.
I went back into the school room and sat down at the desk, and pretended to be busy correcting papers.  As the people straggled in, I looked up and offered a “Good afternoon.”  But most of them evaded my eyes.  Some of them took seats at the school desks, but there were not enough.  So I went to the closet for a few chairs to place at the back of the room.  They acted self-conscious and seemed to be waiting for something or someone.
Mrs. Sidell [sp?] – I’m mentioning the real names, you know, which …
UNK:  Uh-huh.
ML:  Mrs. Sidell, a very matronly and unattractive woman with stringy gray hair, kept looking at a paper in her hand, and talking behind her hand to a younger, dark-haired woman who still showed signs of former beauty. 
There were a few men in the crowd, mostly farmers, I noticed.  Then, in walked Leo Gleason.  He smiled at me and faced the room, one hand resting on my desk.  He was a fine figure of an Irishman, even in his working clothes, with curly brown hair that stuck up in a bunch on one side, and bright, blue eyes that could sparkle with fun, or look solemn the next minute.  He looked very romantic to me that day, even if he was an old man of about 35.
His flashing glance passed around the little group, until it lit on the two women huddled in private conversation.
“Well, well,” he mused aloud.  “So you two are at it again.  What have you got there?”
The paper was passed up to him by the man in the front seat. 
“So, you’ve got up a petition to fire Miss Coulton, Mrs. Sidell?  Just what has she done to make you do that?”
“Going into Seattle, running around with soldiers and not getting back here till noon the next day.”
And the other one cut in.  “And chasing around to dances with that wild Neukirchen girl.  She ain’t teaching these kids nothing neither.”
“Just a minute!” yelled Mr. Gleason.  “You two are the last people to be making such statements about any girl.  There’s been plenty of talk around about how wild you both were when you were young.  Now, I’ve known this Miss Coulton and her folks for some time.  I’ve never seen or heard anything but good about her.  In fact, I think she is too good to wipe her feet on either of you!”  [laughing]
He was tough.
He turned to the chagrined group and waved the petition in the air.
“Anyone want to sign this?”  Nobody did.  “I feel we ought to apologize to Miss Coulton for this shameful accusation,” Gleason said in a calm voice.  “I have been considering suggesting that we offer $5 more a month to come back next year.”
There was an embarrassed silence.  Then he added, “All in favor, please stand.”
They all got to their feet, with much shuffling, and hurriedly left the school, not glancing at the two women, who tried to look as small as they must  have been felt.
Mr. Gleason turned to me.  “The old vultures, they really aren’t mad at you.  It’s your brother they’re trying to get even with.  You see, he fired their husbands because they never – they were absent from camp every time something needed them at home [inaudible].  With this war rush, he had to have men he could count on and those old devils just took it out on you.”
UNK:  [Laughing] Huh!  Isn’t that a cute story.
ML:  Well, it isn’t [well-shaped?], you know.  And then she said … she didn’t like it too well.
UNK:  We can take care of that.  But I want to ask you a couple of things.
ML:  It was interesting, though.
UNK:  How did the mail come?  You said you were anxious to get home to see if there was mail.
ML:  Well, the mail carrier came by.
UNK:  On horseback?
ML:  No.  He had an old rickety Ford of some kind.  He came by.
UNK:  Uh-huh.  It was a rural route in the country?
ML:  Yes. 
UNK:  And you spoke about the Grizzly Bear dancehall.  Was that in Issaquah?
ML:  Yeah, it was out there in the country.
UNK:  Out in the country.  Around the camp?
ML:  Around the camp. 
UNK:  Around the lumber – uh – logging camp?
ML:  Yes.  I couldn’t tell you just where it was now, but they called it the Grizzly Bear.  And they had these country dances, but I never really went.
UNK:  Were they hoedown-type dances?
ML:  Yeah, uh-huh.
UNK:  With a fiddler and …?
ML:  Yeah, with a fiddler type of thing.
UNK:  Yes. 
ML:  I never got to one because the war was on and they didn’t do too much that year, see.
UNK:  Uh-huh.  Well now, during that winter, did you have snow and ice at all?
ML:  Yeah, we had some snow.
UNK:  Did you have to shovel any part of –
ML:  It was awfully pretty.  I know it sparkled, and it was very cold.
UNK:  Did you have to do any of the shoveling?  Did the students do it?
ML:  No. 
UNK:  Somebody else did it?
ML:  I can’t seem to remember any shoveling.
UNK:  Who kept the fires going to keep the rooms warm, because I remember there was a potbellied stove –
ML:  Well, the kids came early.  They came earlier and they built the fire.  Not very modern.
UNK:  No, a potbellied stove.  Would you use wood and coal?
ML:  Yes, wood.  Big hunks of wood.
UNK:  And the farmers would bring the wood in?
ML:  Yeah, I guess so.  Maybe Mr. Bogdan got it over.  It’s 56 years!
UNK:  Fifty-six years ago.  Can you imagine?  Do you remember any animals around the schoolhouse?
(IHM 94.41.4) Mary Colton Lucas in 1973, at age 75

ML:  There were no animals. 

UNK:  You didn’t see any wild animals at that time?  They had hunted them all out then?
ML:  I guess so.  I can’t remember seeing any.
UNK:  You spoke about ringing a bell.  What kind of a bell was it?  Was it a hand bell, with a handle?
ML:  Yes, I had a handle.
UNK:  Oh, it would be wonderful if we had some of these things left!
ML:  Yes!  Mrs. [Inaudible], I wonder if she has anything.
UNK:  No, the people before her was [Collins?].  And my husband and I had known them, and they bought the building pretty raw, and never did change it very much.  And we used to go and visit them.  They had a piano in there.  It was one big room.  And upstairs.  There was an upstairs.  Well, they put in, I think they put in an upstairs.  But they –
ML:  [inaudible] and then just an entryway, you know, where you’d come in and hang your coat and then go in.
UNK:  Uh-huh.  Well, the Kiers [sp?] are the ones that have done the most remodeling.  How many months of school were there?  Did you start in September?
ML:  Nine. 
UNK:  Nine months of school.  Through May.  And now, you spoke of the flume.  You know, I’ve always wished that we could find a picture of one of the flumes.  There were flumes around here.  The one you speak about came by the school and went to the lumberyard.  Then, there was one that went from the lumberyard –
ML:  Oh, yes.
UNK:  All the way down into Issaquah.  There was a flume all through the Squak.
ML:  I don’t remember.  I remember this one coming to and chasing that kid over it over to the mill.  His folks lived in the mill –
UNK:  What did it look like?  Could you describe it to me?
ML:  What?
UNK:  A flume.
ML:  Well, I could show –
UNK:  Was it like a trough up on –
ML:  I can show you.  [tape recorder turned off]  There was a walkway along the side of the [inaudible] and then this thing, it was big enough to handle –
UNK:  Logs?
ML:  No, not logs.  [inaudible]
UNK:  [inaudible] 
ML:  I don’t think logs ever came, because they couldn’t turn the corner.
UNK:  There was water in it?
ML:  Oh, yes.  There was a spring over there.
UNK:  It was like a trough?
ML:  I think it was [inaudible]
UNK:  There was a trough with water in it.
ML:  It couldn’t have been [inaudible], could it?
MALE:  [inaudible]
ML:  [Inaudible] kept the thing buried, you know.  It couldn’t have handled a log.
UNK:  I see.  So this was a shingle mill?
ML:  No, it wasn’t just a shingle mill, though.  They put out lumber.
UNK:  They did.  But they didn’t come in this flume [to the?] shingles?
ML:  I don’t think they could have.
UNK:  No.
ML:  Because, you see, it wasn’t just measured …
UNK:  For the big [inaudible]
ML:  [Inaudible] so a big log could turn the corner.
UNK:  I never have found a picture of a flume.
ML:  I think my brother [inaudible] pretty near all of the big timber [inaudible].
UNK:  Have you any more pictures, do you think, anywhere?
ML:  I’ll look more.  See, he has some old boots, I think.  [Inaudible] we did after the time [inaudible].
UNK:  Now, a picture like this, the people are known to you.  But to me, it’s the background of the picture that is the most important.  Because, now, you tell me that is the store at the mill, the shingle mill.
ML:  Yes, the store at the mill.
UNK:  The store where they went to buy things.  Well now, in this picture, this is the store building right here.
ML:  Yes, that’s the same thing.
UNK:  Well then, what is this building?
ML:  I know my brother –
UNK:  But you said there was a blacksmith –
ML:  They had bunkhouses, you know, very crude, that a man had to just get in this bunk and have his own blankets.  There was no linen or anything.
UNK:  No, no.  No, no. 
ML:  Nothing like that.
UNK:  No, you’d just roll up in your blanket. 
ML:  But my brother had his own little house.  He was a bachelor at the time.
UNK:  Was there a blacksmith shop there, too?
ML:  There was a blacksmith shop.
UNK:  And what did they shoe the horses – what did the horses do at the mill?
ML:  I don’t think they were so much horses.  I think it was machinery.  See, there was a [lokey?], we called it, a train that ran.
UNK:  Oh, yes.  A little [shay?] or something.  A little locomotive. 
ML:  So, did they call that other thing a donkey that they had out on the works, the donkey engine.
UNK:  Yes, yes. 
ML:  It was for pulling the logs.
UNK:  Right.
ML:  But this train came and delivered the logs.  I’m not sure, I’ll have to ask Will.  Because he’ll know just exactly what they did.
MALE:  I’ve worked in the woods, and the blacksmith, his main job was keeping the tools sharp.  You could bring in a saw twice a day and have it sharpened, or an axe.  You had to have them at top sharpness, you know, because you couldn’t do your work properly if you didn’t.
UNK:  I see. 
MALE:  If you got a saw pinched [inaudible].  Even if you had a sharp one in the morning, you could bring it in at noontime and [inaudible] another [inaudible].
UNK:  I see.  And the blacksmith was the one that sharpened the saws and axes.  Oh, OK.
MALE:  That might be the case here.
UNK:  Oh, I’m sure it must have been, because they used – well, the [flow?] had to be sharpened, you know, to cut the shingles, sure.
ML:  I’m sure they couldn’t have been [inaudible].  I’ll talk to Will.  I know he’s kind of confused now.  He’s in a nursing home.  Had quite a serious illness and he’s coming out of it.  He’s a very strong –
UNK:  Well, pictures, you know, that tell a lot of the story.  And if we could just find a picture of the old flumes.
ML:  [Inaudible].  There might be.  I’ve got the whole thing.  See, he took suddenly ill and had to be operated on.  We didn’t think he’d live.  And because his old house near the University of Washington was in a kind of a position where people … a lot of the hippies around, they were breaking into things.  So we took a lot of things to our home.  He bached in his house.  He didn’t live anywhere else for years.  And we picked up a lot of things like that that we want to be sure and keep and took them to our home, my sister and I, see.  And there were a lot of loose pictures, all kinds of stuff.  But I didn’t go over them very well.
UNK:  Oh, well, so there’s some kind [inaudible].
ML:  I took what was of interest to me and took it home.  But my sister has some, too, now of them.
UNK:  Well, I’d appreciate it if you’d be able to have a look and see if there’s any more of this caliber picture.
ML:  Yeah, that’s –
UNK:  Well, anything found here in this area that you might have pictures of.
ML:  There might be something.  This was – this man was a nephew of Bogdan’s.  He came to join him from [inaudible].
(IHM 94.41.2) Neukirchen Mill crew, circa 1917.

UNK:  Do you mind if I write something on the back of it if I don’t write through?  This was your brother, right here?

ML:  Yes.  And this man, this was the blacksmith, the heavy man.  That was his little girl.
UNK:  Oh, I see.
ML:  And she was the cutest kid.  I don’t think I ever knew a more amusing child.  She was just a … a very pretty, cute …
UNK:  What was your brother’s name?
ML:  William.
UNK:  William Colton.
ML:  Uh-huh. 
UNK:  And then the next one was the little girl, the blacksmith’s daughter.
ML:  Margie Provits.  P-R-O-V-I-T-S, I think.
UNK:  P-R-O-V…?
Ml:  I-T-S, I think.  I don’t think there was a Z in it.
UNK:  And that’s the blacksmith’s daughter?
ML:  Uh-huh.
UNK:  And then you said the next man was Bogdan’s nephew?
ML:  Yes, the one on my – my near right.  Maybe Alice will know.  [Inaudible] his name.
UNK:  Uh-huh.  And you don’t know who the last man is?
ML:  This one?
UNK:  There’s another man there.
ML:  No, I don’t know who he is.  This, now, they may be some of the – their name was Hallwood [sp?].  He was a half-brother.  His name was Hayward[sp?].  He had one sister.  I knew the sister later in Bremerton.
UNK:  Now, this other picture shows buildings of the mill site, too.  And that’s the little girl, you said, that Margie.
ML:  Yes, uh-huh.  Yeah.
UNK:  Oh, there’s a flagpole in front of it.
ML:  Uh-huh.
UNK:  There’s a flagpole in front of the store.
ML:  Yes.  Yeah, there’s a flag on it, too.  Yeah, it was pretty rough.  [tape recorder turned off]
UNK:  You lived here twice after 1917?
ML:  You see, I was married and separated, and I had this baby, and my mother kept [inaudible] in town here for my brother while he went, continued with his mill and [shake?] business.  And we lived in one of these houses up Front Street where it turns?
UNK:  Yes.  Yes, and I think the back of the Darigold Creamery.
ML:  It was on Front Street, and then it makes a turn.
UNK:  Yeah, in back of the Creamery.
ML:  I can’t tell you if it was the back.  I’m thinking of the creek.  Maybe it wasn’t there then.
MALE:  [Inaudible] street at the end of it [inaudible].
ML:  No, that’s a different one.
MALE:  Oh.
ML:  I’m talking about the one on Front Street.  You go up Front Street and then it makes a [partial?] turn.
UNK:  Yes.
ML:  And it was after that turn, about the second … and we lived there a little while.  And I, yeah, I went away again.  I think rejoined my husband.
UNK:  Quite separated, yes?
ML:  Yeah, we lived away from here.  And then later, I did separate, and we – then Mother and Will moved up on this house next to this one – I mean, the street next to this.
UNK:  Oh, on Mill Street?
ML:  This one – no, the one over there.
UNK:  OK, Hill Street.
ML:  Well, just before it ends up in the woods.
UNK:  Yes.
ML:  And it was, I think, the second house down from the woods.  I liked that place so well, because we had such a nice yard.  So my mother had a garden and my brother, of course.  And I’d come up weekends.  And she was looking after the baby for me and I was going into Seattle.
UNK:  Uh-huh.  How did you get – oh, you stayed in Seattle during the week.
ML:  I had a sister.  She stayed in Seattle.
UNK:  You went by train into Seattle and back?
ML:  No, we went in this great big old red car.  Not a red car but I mean –
UNK:  Oh, a Stanley Steamer.
ML:  We’d have to get to – oh, I could tell you about this, too, a lot.  We used to come down – you’d have to go out to Cedar Valley, and the milk train came through.  And you’d have to get there early in the morning, something like seven o’clock, and it stopped for milk and then you had to hurry up and get on.  And it went into Renton and in … at least at First Avenue of Seattle.  But it seemed like I always went over on this red streetcar into Seattle.  A long, red streetcar.
UNK:  The one from Renton to Seattle.  How did you get to Renton?
ML:  On that train.  On that milk train.  [crosstalk, cannot understand either of them]
UNK:  I see.  From down at the schoolhouse, right?
ML:  Yes, uh-huh.
UNK:  When you went from here, how did you get to Seattle?
ML:  I didn’t come from here.
UNK:  Oh.  I thought you said you worked in Seattle and your mother –
ML:  Oh, you mean that later time?
UNK:  Yes.
ML:  Oh, yes, that wasn’t much of a [inaudible].  I think, I’m not sure, that could have been when we had the red car.  But no, I think that red old streetcar was going.
UNK:  But that didn’t come to Issaquah, that was only Renton to Seattle?
ML:  I can’t say for sure.
UNK:  Uh-huh, uh-huh. 
ML:  I can remember the railroad in Renton and the big train.  Maybe it went all the way to Seattle then.
UNK:  But you only came to Issaquah on a train that once?
ML:  Yes, but there was some man that ran his own private car, what they called a … seven-passenger car. 
UNK:  Yes!
ML:  And ran it as a bus from Renton into Issaquah.  Because they weren’t too far from where I lived, but we had to walk a mile or so off of that.
UNK:  Yeah, I think I have a picture of a similar – of one of those I’ll show you.  [tape recorder turned off]