Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Family continued:

So Mom and Dad married in 1933 in Cascade ID.  This was during the depression and Dad went to work on the Rainbow Bridge on Hwy 55 going from Banks to Cascade. 

(Idaho Department of Transportation project description) - Rainbow Bridge is the largest single-span concrete arch structure in Idaho. Built in 1933, it remains today as a major achievement reflecting leading-edge bridge engineering at the time, and exemplifies a conscious effort to meld a modern structure with a picturesque natural setting. Listed on the national historic register, the bridge’s enduring popularity among residents and travelers alike is a tribute to its design.

Designed by Charles A. Kyle, the first Chief Bridge Engineer for the Idaho Department of Highways, Rainbow Bridge began construction in July 1933 and was completed in December of the same year. C.C. Dinsmore & Co. of Ogden, Utah was the construction firm.

Rainbow Bridge

On the average, fifty-three men per day were on the job, with Burton F. Dinsmore directly in charge of construction. The total cost of the structure was about $74,000. The bridge construction itself was paid for through emergency relief funding from the federal government and was part of the much larger longer-term effort to eliminate hazardous grades and obsolete bridges between Boise and McCall. The effort provided employment to local residents during the depression.

Dad was the oldest male in his family and he didn't talk a lot about growing up.  One thing he did talk about was he and his brothers participating in the Fourth of July races and they would always come in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

I came across another family story - this another one about my mother's family.  It is written by my cousin, daughter of the youngest son, Cash Crawford.  Here it is with my comments in brackets:

My Daughter has asked me to write down all the history of the family I can remember.  No one in our family ever did anything interesting like going to the moon or discovering a cure for some dread disease.  With a few exceptions, most of them were just common hard working people. 

I’ll start with my Dad’s side of the family.  They all came from Kentucky and Tennessee.

Elisha Jurdon Crawford - Born May 17,   In Kentucky   

Christina Ellen Tuttle (Crawford) - Born April 10, 1871  In Indiana

I don’t remember Granddad Jurd (Dad’s Dad). He died when I was about four years old.[He died about 4 years before I was born.] From the stories I’ve heard he must have been quite intelligent even with no formal education.  He came from Kentucky hill people.  He always said he was “Black Dutch” (German to the core).

His Mother and Dad were John Crawford born about 1825, died before 1880 and Myria [Mariah B] Weaver, born April 11, 1829 and died March 4, 1899.    Granddad had nine brothers and sisters.   Pete, Louis, Ike, Evangline Eaton, Millie, Jerry, Fanny Hamilton, Jake, and Joe.

He married Grandma Christina when she was only 16. [He was 6 years older than she.] They were married November 23, 1887.   She was from Cumberland Gap Tennessee. 

Her Mother and Father were Dan Tuttle and Lydia Scott (no dates).  Grandma was one of eight children:  Frank Tuttle, Jerminia Kathern Phelps, Roda Jones, Renna Elam, Grandma Christina Ellen Crawford, George Tuttle, Tommie Tuttle and Levina Tuttle.   Dan Tuttle had a second wife Sara Elizabeth Tuttle and they had four children: Carol Ann Cup, Kate Moore, Jay and Joe. As with the customs of the area and the time they had lots of children.

They decided to come west to live.  I believe that Granddad’s brother Jake had written him and told him of all the opportunities in the Idaho area.  The area in Kentucky and Tennessee that they were from was very poor and life was not the best so the decision to come west was probably a very good one.

Aunt Nancy Jane was born in London, Kentucky on January 11, 1889 and when she was six months old the family of three moved to Indiana and then to Arkansas and Granddad worked in the timber.   While they were there a son Will Jake was born July 15, 1890.   From there the family of four moved to Texas.  It is not known the name of the town in Texas where they lived or what kind of work that Granddad did but Aunt Nancy did remember that they lived among the Negroes.  Uncle Joe was born while they were in Texas on January 29, 1892.   All the while they were there Granddad was trying to make enough money so that they could go West.  While he was at the train station buying the tickets to go to Colorado, he was robbed of all his money.  All they had left was $3.75 that Grandma had in her purse.  They had the tickets so they went on to Colorado where Granddad got a job and the man he worked for furnished them a little log cabin with a fireplace in it and gave them some cooking utensils such as a dutch oven and a coffee pot.   Granddad bought some groceries and a broom with the $3.75.  Grandma had some bedding packed in a big box so they made a table out of the box and put some straw in the corner for their bed.  They stayed there for a short time and then Grandma went back to Tennessee with the three kids and Granddad road a freight train to Idaho and stayed with his brother Jake.  Jake was a bachelor and had a little homestead just below Montour.  Granddad worked at anything he could and it took him eight months to save enough money to send for Grandma and the kids.  He had an old boot that he hung under the stairway and when he would get $.25 or $.50 he would put it in the boot until he got enough for a ticket.  He only got $.50 for a days work.

Aunt Nancy told about when they were in Tennessee waiting to go out west with Granddad.  She said they stayed with Grandma’s sister Roda Jones, her brother Frank and her father, Dan Tuttle.  She liked staying with Grandpa Tuttle.  She could remember walking across the hill to their house.  The forest was so thick it was almost dark when they were walking through it.  While they were in Tennessee a baby girl Roda was born.   There is no date of birth.  She lived only three months. 

 It was not a good time for Grandma during that time.  When she was a girl they didn’t send girls to school in the hill country of Tennessee so she never learned to read or write.  She had to depend on someone to do everything for her.  The family kept telling her that Grandpa would never send for her so she must have worried a lot.

When Grandpa finally sent her a ticket to come west, the whole family got busy fixing a lunch basket for them to eat from while they were on the train.  Roasted sweet potatoes and baked corn pones.  It took them five days to get to Caldwell, Idaho, where Grandpa met them.  It was evening when they got there and he took them to some peoples home named Roberson for the night.  Aunt Nancy remembered them as being so nice and that they fixed them a nice supper and breakfast.  I would think that anything would have tasted wonderful after eating sweet potatoes and corn pones for five days.  She said that they had biscuits for breakfast and that they had never had them before.  They left after breakfast and she remembered the hills they crossed to Emmett as being pretty.  The grass was about two feet high and the wind waved it like water.  It took them all day to get home but they were happy sitting in the back of the wagon box.  They camped for dinner at what they called box springs.  She said that Uncle Jake’s house was quite homey.  It was just a shack with an upstairs.

Grandma didn’t know much about cooking so Granddad did most of the cooking.  He always made the biscuits. Della was born August 1, 1895.

Grandpa told Grandma if she would shock the hay for him, he would get her a new sewing machine.  She did and got her sewing machine.

Nancy started to school while they were living on the Anderson ranch. They stayed at Uncle Jake’s for about two years.  From there they moved to Uncle Joe’s homestead below Emmett on the river.  They lived in a small cabin for one winter and Granddad built a new house and a nice cellar.  He dug a ditch about three miles long and brought water from the river to the house.  The ditch ended in a waterfall.  He also built a big barn and covered it with shakes.  They planted fruit trees, berries and lots of vegetables.  Granddad peddled vegetables and berries in Idaho City during the gold rush there. He must have been a hard worker.  He built all that, dug the ditch, milked the cows, strained the milk, and took care of the kids when he was home.  Grandma was sick most of the time.  She was sick in bed all summer before Hattie was born in August 31, 1998.  Aunt Nancy did most of the cooking after she was seven years old.  She and Will rode a horse to school and she told about the coyotes following them all the way. 

Granddads brother Uncle Joe was killed by a man named Mickey Morton and they took over Joe’s homestead.  It was three miles down the river from Emmett on the North Side.  They didn’t live there very long.  He sold it to Jim Little for $1200.  (I remember hearing the story that Uncle Jake was the one killed by Mickey Morton.  I heard that he got into a fight with Mickey Morton and bit his ear off.   Mickey later hid behind some sagebrush and shot him dead.  The story was that his wife was cheating on him with Uncle Jake.  Jake is buried in the Emmett Cemetery with Grandma and Granddad) [The tree planted by Uncle Joe’s plot in the Emmett Cemetery was one brought to Idaho from Kentucky and was planted by Grandma Crawford.]

 They moved from there to Emmett on the McNish & Allen place and Emma was born there March 16, 1900.  The family moved around the Emmett area for the next few years.  Alice was born May 16, 1902 , Walter Lee was born Jan 29, 1904 and Mary Marie was born Feb 11, 1906.

 Grandma kept having babies.  She said that all Grandpa had to do was hang his pants on the bedpost and she was “in the family way”.  She had thirteen children that lived to be adults and lost either three or four. There were conflicting stories. 

Grandpa packed the family into wagons and moved to the Palouse Country.  He hired a man to drive one of the wagons but the roads were so narrow and steep that he quit so Granddad made his oldest daughter, Nancy, who was 16 drive the team and wagon.  Nancy married Cleve Gifford while they were in the Palouse Country.  I think probably because she didn’t want to drive the wagons back.  Cleve’s family was homesteaders outside of the Moscow, Idaho area.  We went there one time to visit with Aunt Nancy when I was young.  They are still probably in that area.

The rents were too high in the Palouse Country so Granddad moved on to Montana.  Ernest was born there November 24, 1907. Then they moved  back to Emmett.  Where Dora was born October 4, 1909, Cash Norman was born September 6, 1911.  Dad was a baby when they moved to long valley in the fall of 1911.  When Cash was born Grandma gave him the name of Cash Nickels but when he applied for his birth certificate in later life it was mistyped as Cash Norman.  Dad had always hated his middle name and was kidded about it when he was younger so he just left it as Norman and never had it corrected.

Granddad bought a ranch in Round Valley, Idaho, South of Cascade and just over the hill from Smith’s Ferry.  They raised cows but mostly I think that he made moonshine.  He spent time in jail for his talents. 

He built log flumes in McCall, Idaho.  The logs were skidded by teams of horses to the top of the flumes and then shot down the flumes into the lake and then floated to the mill.  Uncle Cleve drove the teams of horses that skidded the logs.  There is a photo of him and his horses and a huge log and also mother was painting a picture of this.  I’m not sure if it was ever completed.

One winter there were nineteen people living on the ranch in Round Valley.  Dad said they would butcher a cow and it would last only a week.  There must have been a lot of moonshining going on the Valley because Dad told about being hired by a couple of guys to sit on a hill with a twenty-two rifle and watch for revenuers.  He got caught by his sister, Mary and she beat him with a belt.  Child abuse must have been common place during that time.  Mom and Dad both tell of getting beat with a belt or a razor strap.

The homestead in Round Valley

Dad only went to school through the fourth grade.  Grandma got mad at the teacher and wouldn’t send the kids back to school.  It was only a one room school house with a big pot belly stove and an out house. 

Revenuers must have been a problem.  Dad told about Grandma chasing them off once with a stick of stove wood.  They also fed the mash to the pigs, which made them drunk.  They would squeal and walk up to the trough on their knees.  The revenuers were coming one time so they fed the mash to the horses and made them drunk.  I can’t see that would have been too good for the animals but I don’t think that health care for animal was a very high priority at that time.

Dad said they buried four gallons of moonshine in a fence corner at the ranch.  He was always going to go down and dig it up.  It must still be there.  It would now be about eighty years old and would probably have quite a kick.
Granddad rented his ranch in Round Valley to Mom’s folks, Ray and Sara Rumiser.  Granddad and Grandma Crawford moved to Emmett.  They lived in a stucco house just below the cemetery.  The house had a grape arbor all over the house. 

JE and Christina Crawford abt 1940

Granddad Crawford must have been a vain man.  The family story was he went to Texas and got a monkey gland transplant to improve his libido.  He died not too long after that.  I’m not too sure of the validity of this story. 

When Granddad died, he left Grandma enough money to be comfortable and houses and property in Emmett.  Granddad died while we were living in Lewiston during the war. 

Grandma Crawford was a real character.  I don’t remember her being very lovable.  She was always good to me but she wasn’t much of a cuddler.  She was quite heavy so didn’t have a lap to sit on.  I always remember her having snow white hair.  One of her Granddaughters gave her a permanent once and turned her hair green.  She always wore dresses and aprons. 

She did not like her in-laws.  She ran Alice’s husband off with a stick of stove wood.  That must have been her weapon of choice.  She said the devil owed her a debit and paid her off in daughter-in-laws.  She lived in Emmett in the stucco house and then later in the little house down the street.  She always had a big garden and spent hours working in it. 

She had nightmares and walked and fought in her sleep.  Mom told of going to visit them one time and Granddad was sitting with his boot on a stick over the heater. Grandma had walked in her sleep and peed in his boot.  Grandma was laughing and Grandpa was cussing.  One of her kids bought her a gun for protection when she was living alone in the little house in Emmett.  She put it on top of a cardboard closet in her bedroom.  She walked in her sleep and tore the closet all to pieces but never found the gun.  The kids took it out of the house after that.   I remember her screaming out during the night.  As a child I never had to sleep with her when she came to visit or we went there because it was too dangerous. 

She never learned to read or write because she never went to school.  Dad always said she knew more that she admitted to and no one ever got away with anything.  I don’t see how she could raise thirteen kids and not pick up a little.

After Granddad died, she had Mary and Walt help her with her finances.  Grandma always loved a good fight and often pitted her kids against each other.  She was always saying that Walt or Mary was stealing her money and she would give it first to one and then the other to keep them stirred up.  She put the property in Emmett in Mary’s name.  Mary had it insured and when Grandma died the little house that she had lived in last and had all her things in burned to the ground twenty minutes later.  We had to drive by the burned out house on the way to the cemetery after the funeral services.  It was really hard on my Dad.

Grandma was staying with Uncle Walt in the Garden Valley logging camp  before she died.  Mary lived across the river.  The only way to get to Mary’s was to walk by the log pond and across a bridge with just two tracks and no railing.  Grandma decided to go visit Mary and when Walt’s wife Lola said it was too dangerous for her to cross the bridge because she was too unstable on her feet and tried to keep her from going Grandma attacked her.  Walt and Mary decided that it was time for her to go into a home.  Grandma told them that if they put her in a home she would die.  They put her in and she died two days later.  She was really a woman of her word.

Grandma got to make two trips back to Tennessee.  Uncle Walt took her once and Bill Gifford took her once.  She brought me back salt and peppershakers (little brown jugs) and a small pink cream and sugar set.  I was about nine years old at the time.  She also about that time gave me the compote dish that belonged to Great Aunt Mimmy. (I’m not sure which of the Aunts she was)  Grandma had over sixty grandkids, so I felt honored to get it and it has always been a treasured possession. The name of the dish is “Westward Ho” and was made by Corning to commemorate the railroad across the United States.  It has raised buffalo, elk and a log cabin.  There is a dish like it in the Smithsonian in Washington DC. 

One of her trips, this one with son Walter

I remember Grandma’s house having pictures all over the walls.  Most of them were cut from magazines.  One that always fascinated me as a second grader was a picture of a two-headed calf.  She had huge weeping willow trees in the yard at the little house in Emmett.  Dad was always upset with them because they dripped sap on the cars.  There was also a big cattail patch by her house and we loved to, as kids, play in the trails that went through them and weave mats out of the cattails.  They were a fun memory.  Uncle Will lived across the road from Grandma and kept an eye on her. 

The Crawfords were a scrappy lot and had their share of troubles as kids growing up.  When Dad was a young man in Cascade he got beat up one night by a couple of other young men.  He took his brothers back to town with him and they finished the fight.  I guess that one of the men ended up in the hospital.  During the fight Dad was stabbed in the back three times.  He was so mad that he didn’t even realize that he had been stabbed until he got home.  I remember seeing the scars on his back.

Aunt Mary told me that Grandma spoiled Dad.  He was the youngest boy and her favorite.  Dad didn’t like his food to touch on his plate when he was a kid so Grandma made the girls give him a clean plate for everything that he wanted to eat.  The girls really resented it.        

Aunt Nancy delivered her younger brother Walt when she was only fifteen.  Granddad went to bed and let her do it by herself because he had to work the next day and needed his sleep.  After all, Grandma was just having another kid. 

Cash Crawford
Dad had polio when he was a baby.  I think he was only nine months old.  He always walked with a limp and was blind in his left eye.  His left eye pulled in.  He had surgery when he was 21 and straightened it a little but it still pulled in and he could only see shadowy objects out of it.  Another story about this was that he fell out of the baby carriage on his head and had “Brain Fever”.  He probably had both happen.  He was not a healthy child.  He suffered from terrible headaches his whole life.                

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