Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting From Here to There!


I find it interesting to look at my family’s travels to go from one place to another…and why they made the journey.  My mother’s family has been in the Lewis Clark Valley since the late 1920’s and they were in the general area since around 1910.  My father’s family came west in 1935 and settled up on Hatter Creek near present day Princeton, ID.  Each family had several crossroads before they arrived at their homes!

Mom & Pop Friddle with son Claude - about 1947
There is a story that my great grandfather, Pop Friddle, got into a bar fight and had to leave quickly from Mountain City, Johnson Co., TN.  I’ll never know if that is correct or not – but I do know that he came west in the early fall or late summer of 1910 and claimed a homestead up on Grouse Flats, Wallowa Co., OR.  Pop Friddle chose that location because his older brother had been there since the late 1880’s and their sister had moved there after 1900.  Pop had a brother who still lived in Tennessee but I doubt there was much opportunity for a young couple there – so they came west.  Pop came first and built a home on the homestead and my great grandmother came out in November.  She was 16 years old with a 1 year old child.  (That whole trip deserves a story all its own).  Anyway, Pop took Mom Friddle up to the homestead and then promptly left to work at his job for the railroad.  By the mid 1920’s, they had sold off their land and moved to Pomeroy, WA.  Mom Friddle wanted her oldest son to go to high school and Uncle Jack graduated from Pomeroy around 1927.  Soon after Jack’s graduation, they moved to Lewiston where Pop Friddle got a job with Irrigation district and Grandma Cappy could attend high school in the brand new Lewiston High School Building.  She graduated I 1930 and Claude graduated from LHS in 1942.  In 20 short years – Mom and Pop Friddle had moved from Tennessee where their families had probably lived in the area for decades and moved first to a homestead, then to a small town and eventually to a larger town with more opportunities.  That is quite a journey.

Grandma & Granddad Gage came from Mapleton, IA, sort of J  Granddad Gage was actually born in Duanesburg, Schenectady Co., NY.  His family lived in Knox and Esperance, NY as well.  IN 1908, his parents died and Granddad Gage brought his younger 3 siblings out west to live with their maternal grandmother.   Granddad Gage immediately went out and found a job and worked as the local postman for a time.  He eventually ended up working for Linus Brenner and courted my great grandmother, Florence Shawver.  She was born in Lyons, NE and had grown up there.  I suspect that Granddad Gage and Grandma Gage had met a few years before they were married.  Granddad’s uncle – Hugh Gallup was married to Grandma Gage’s sister, Jessie Shawver – so you might say there was an opportunity to meet.  After they married in 1917, the Grandfolks quickly had children and worked their farm in Mapleton, IA.  Things were good until the depression hit.  Granddad could make the payments on his farm but he couldn’t afford the taxes.  Rather than have the government take the land away – Granddad signed it over to his old friend, Linus Brenner.  They took their family to Philip, SD where there was supposed to be a great opportunity to raise cattle.  It wasn’t so great and within a year, they were traveling west to Idaho.  They lived in Dover, ID for several months, while Granddad looked for land.  The best deal that he found was land on Hatter Creek which was $ 8.50 an acre.  So the family moved to Hatter Creek in 1935.  I have an uncle who still lives on the Creek no more than a few hundred yards from the original home place.  We have family reunions up there every other year.  I heard someone say that their family had been there at the turn of the century and ours had come so much later.  Their line was dying off and we just seemed to be multiplying.  We normally have around 150 plus people at these reunions.  We all return to the home place to reacquaint ourselves with each other.  It is a grand tradition. 
Granddad & Grandma Gage - abt 1987
Granddad Gage and Grandma Gage left Hatter Creek about 1946 and lived in Potlatch, ID for a while until they moved to Lewiston, ID.  They weren’t done with their travels though…they lived in Genesee, ID and then went west to live on the ocean at Yachats, OR.  In 1975, they moved to Canby, OR to be near their widowed daughter…they were there until their deaths in 1990 and 1991.  I think they stayed in Canby, OR for the longest period of their married lives. 

Once Mom and Pop Friddle moved to Lewiston and then to their home on Thain, they stayed there for the rest of their lives.  Pop Friddle died in 1955 and Mom Friddle survived him by 25 years and died in 1979.