The following Information is taken from an interview with Elmer and Emma Taylor in Richland, Washington during the years 1967-68. They have been transcribed from tapes and recopied in 1985.
Don: First we want to talk about your grandparents on your mother's
side, Ephraim Brown. Her name was Ida Brown. That was your mother.
Elmer: Yes, Ida Bell Brown
Don: O.K. What do you remember about your grandparents?
Elmer: Well, I never saw my mother's mother. She died before I was born, and he remarried again. I was well acquainted with his second wife, the stepmother of my mother. They lived in Sedan, Kansas where we lived and spent many pleasant hours at their place.
Don: What year was this, Dad, and where was she living?
Elmer: As I said before, they lived in Sedan and this was from 1904 to 1911 when we moved to Idaho and moved away from Sedan. That was the last time we ever saw them was when we left there.
Don: What was Sedan like at this time? Can you tell us a little about
Elmer: Well, he operated a livery barn and they lived right back of it in a little four room house. I used to go there to the barn and have a lot of fun with Granddad and Grandmother used to fix meals and stuff for us. She had us there quite often. Sedan was just a little place of about 1,800 population. However, it was the county seat of Chatauqua county and was in Southeastern Kansas. It was in the Spring and a pretty little place. They had lawns and lots of trees. I got a warm spot in my heart for it because I was born there and graduated out of high school out of Sedan.
Don: How many were there in the graduating class?
Elmer: Thirteen (ha ha). Seven boys and six girls.
Don: Were there any automobiles in Sedan at that time?
Elmer: Just one. This automobile came to Sedan about 1909 and was one of those little ones that had big wheels like a buggy on it. All of the gears and stuff was on the outside. The driver sat on the left side like they do today. However, he took his left hand to do the shifting with the handle, a brass handle, and then he would guide it with a bar, a handle bar. This was a straight bar across that would move the front wheels and guide it. They would get a real good speed out of them, they could get 15 miles per hour ln good roads.
Don: Did the dogs bark at it and the kids run after him?
Elmer: All the dogs did and the kids run to see what the trouble was with them. The worse trouble was the farmers all would cuss him because they would have a load of hay on and their team would get scared and run away and upset the hay. So finally, every time he saw a load of hay coming he would pull off to the side of the road and shut it off until it went by. The team had the right of way.
Don: Well, now can you tell us a little about your father's parents?
Did they live in Sedan?
Elmer: Yes, they lived there. However, Grandfather Taylor died before I was born so I never did see him. I lived with my grandmother one winter and went to high school. She was a fine old lady. Her maiden name was McPherson, a cousin, I believe to General Mc Pherson that was a general in the Civil War.
Don: O.K. Let's talk a little about your father and your mother, Ira
Taylor and Ida Taylor. Do you want to start talking about them?
Elmer: Well, they were married there in Sedan and I was born there. I was the first of seven children to be born. My Dad was a brick layer and stone mason and he always seemed to have work. Mother was a very nice gal and her family always seemed to come first.
Don: O.K. Let's go back to Grandfather Taylor? What was it you were
going to say?
Elmer: Well, when the Civil War broke out, they lived in Illinois. Their oldest boy, Sam Taylor was only seventeen years old, but he and Grandfather enlisted in the Union Army as volunteers from the Illinois 1st Volunteers. They went to war together, however they were separated before they both came home. While they were gone Grandmother was one of those handy souls that kept the family, the rest of the family together. By the way, she had ten children. They had a little farm and her and the kids, the rest of them kept the place going and lived while Grandfather and Sam was in the service.
Don: Let's talk a little bit more about Ira Taylor and when they went
down to Oklahoma.
Elmer: In about 1901, they opened up Oklahoma to people who wanted to go there to get land. Well, Dad at that time went to Oklahoma to Elrino where they had a big land drawing. He didn't draw any land but his friend did and he wanted to go down to Lawton and go to work together there. This fellow was also a stone mason and a brick layer. So they went down to Lawton and worked a couple of years there and he moved us down. We lived two years in Lawton next to Ft. Sill. Work kind of ran down a little so we moved back to Sedan. That was the only two years I missed in school in Sedan was while I lived in Lawton.
Don: O.K. We'll talk about when your folks came out to Idaho. How did
they come out?
Elmer: Dad had a good business. He was contracting and building bridges in and around Chataqua County. Uncle Fletch, Dad's brother, lost his wife. She had tuberculosis. So he persuaded Dad to sell out. He would go up into Iowa and sell out his farm and they would move to Blackfoot, Idaho where they both filed on a homestead, out west of Blackfoot about twenty miles.
Don: What year was this?
Elmer: This was 1911. However, we weren't very good dry farmers and nobody else and they had a long drought each summer it seemed like. So we never did raise anything much on that place, only enough to prove up. So Dad finally sold his piece of land and so did Uncle Fletch. Then they contracted together in Blackfoot. I worked for them for, oh about five years and then I got a job in Pocatello and got married and we moved to Pocatello.
Don: Let's go back and talk about a couple of your Uncles. Let's talk
about Uncle Bill first.
Elmer: Well, Uncle Bill was sheriff and under sheriff of Chatuqua County for fifteen years. He was a real good sheriff. He caught several bad men and got good rewards on some of them. He had a farm out north of Sedan and raised hogs. He had a big 525 acre farm and his boy Leo and I were real buddies. We used to go out there weekends and I would go in the summer and work on their farm. I had a real good time. We would hunt and fish and swim and ride horses. It was a lot of fun when I was a youngster.
Don: Who were some of the bad characters that he went after, Dad?
Elmer: Well, he captured the Appleby boys, who were a gang of bank robbers. The most famous of all was a fellow by the name of Three-fingered Jack. He only had three fingers on one hand but he was a real bandit. He held up several banks and robbed the train and killed one or two people. I think Uncle Bill got $1,000 reward for capturing him.
Don: About Uncle Fletch, Elmer, how did he have his accident? He always
Elmer: Well, when he was a boy, he had a fever that settled in his knee.
Don: This is Don Taylor and we are now interviewing Emma Dean Taylor.
Well, first of all let's talk about your mother's parents, Joseph Howard
and Ann Shelton Howard.
Emma: Well, I just barely knew Grandfather Howard. I was only about three years old or four when he died, but I can remember he was a tall, slender man. He walked with a cane, he didn't need it and he wore a stovepipe hat. He was a real gentleman. Grandma Howard died crossing the plains. I never knew her, she died when mother was just a child. She was a wonderful woman and their wagon was so loaded that they had to walk most of the way. When she took sick they sat her in a chair in the wagon and she couldn't lie down even when she died. Aunt Emma stood back of her to brace her up. That was the way she died, with Aunt Emma brushing her hair to kind of sooth her. She had long, auburn hair that came to her waist.
Don: They were born over in England. Would you tell us a little about
how they lived over there and how they came over to this county.
Emma: Well, Grandfather and Grandmother were converted to the Mormon Church and they had the baptismal fount on their place. They were trying find where the people were being baptized and when they found it they took Grandfather and nearly beat him to death. That was when he decided he was going to fetch his family and come to America. So he sent two of his boys ahead to make a home for Grandma. I have a letter she wrote to the boys counseling them to listen to the Bishop and doing what he told them to do. They would soon see them but she died before she ever reached Salt Lake and she was buried on the plains.
Don: They came from Kings Norton, Staffordshire, England to where, New
Emma: They came to New York and then joined a caravan that was emigrating to the Salt Lake valley. They had a family of eleven children and they were all born in England. They came by covered wagon to Bountiful, Grandfather and family. Grandmother died before she reached here.
Don: Now let's talk a little about your father's father Charles Dean
and Mary Cope.
Emma: It was John Dean's father and mother that I knew a little better. I didn't know Grandfather Dean very well. He died when I was just a child, but I remember Grandmother Dean real well. I lived with her one winter and went to school. She was a little, tiny women and had a grocery store in her home. She furnished all with groceries for this little place, Woodruff, Utah. They also had a family of eleven and Grandmother really supported the family with this little grocery store she had. They worked really hard for everything they had.
Don: What was her appearance? What did she look like?
Emma: Well, she was a little, tiny, short woman, kind of fat and very English. The winter I stayed with her we sat in front of the fireplace to eat our dinner, which was a biscuit and moldy cheese. I used to watch and when she would go out of the room, I would stick my cheese in the fireplace because it was moldy. I could hardly eat it, but Grandma thought it was the best thing for you. When I would go to school she would put my lunch with a biscuit and cheese in a tomato can, then put a newspaper down in there to help fill it up. On the way to school I'd ditch it so I wouldn't have to take it out in front of the other children. My sisters would bring me a lunch to school from home.
Don: Your Grandparents on the Dean side were also born in England?
Emma: Yes, they were born in Audley, Staffordshire, England and they had their complete family in England. They had a family of eleven, also.
Don: Charles Dean was Scotch?
Emma: (He was English but he had a real Scotch temper.)
Don: Now Charles, did they cross the plains to Salt Lake?
Emma: They crossed the plains to Salt Lake and then they moved on to Woodruff. How they came to settle in Woodruff, Utah: The president of the Church at that time wanted to settle that country and he chose a certain amount of people to go there to settle it. My Grandfather Dean was one of the families that he sent there. It was a project that the church wanted to get settled, on the Bear River. It was in kind of a hilly country and couldn't raise much of anything there but stock. I can still remember the cold winters we had there. It seemed so deep that it covered the fences and when we would go to school, we would walk on the crust of the snow.
Don: When did you move to Blackfoot, Emma?
Emma: We moved to Idaho, I think it was 1900. My sister had moved there before that. In fact, two of my sisters had married and moved up there. The one sister died when she was just a very young woman, about twenty-eight years old. Mother was too ill to go with him, but Father went to the funeral. When he came back, he said, "We are going to move there." So we sold our farm and went by wagon to Idaho. It took us eleven days to move our furniture and stock.
Don: You went to high school in Blackfoot. Can you tell us a little
Emma: I went to high school in Blackfoot, but my mother was very ill. The third year of high school I had to quit and take care of her. Two years later I went to school in Logan at the Agricultural College. It was called Agricultural College then, and took several courses.
Don: What were some of the courses?
Emma: I took music, violin, and art which I was never sorry of because it stood me in great need for after I started working at the store. Also, I took gymnasium and millinery.
Don: Who did you stay with when you were living in Logan?
Emma: I stayed with my sister (cousin) Carrie Neilson. Her mother was Emma Corbridge, one of my favorite aunts. In fact, that was the aunt I was named after. This old auntie lived to be 102 years old.
Don: That was your cousin that you stayed with.
Emma: Yes, it was Carrie Neilson.
Don: How long were you at A.C.?
Emma: Two years.
Don: Then you came back to Blackfoot. What did you do then?
Emma: When I came back to Blackfoot, I worked in the art store for a while and then I went to work in a general merchandising store until I decided that I wanted to get married.
Don: Let's talk about your father John Dean. What did he do for a living.
Emma: Well, when we lived in Woodruff, he raised cattle, beef cattle, and alfalfa. That was about the only things that you could raise in that country. It was so cold and the seasons were so short. Then when we moved to Idaho he bought a farm out at McDonaldville. We cleared the sagebrush off of the place and mother and father had ten girls and only one boy. The boy died. He was the tenth child and he died when he was just eighteen months old. So father had to do all the farm work with just the girls to help. My older sisters took the place of hired help on the farm. We younger ones used to herd cattle and do some of the milking, but the older girls worked in the fields right along with father.
Don: Do you remember what it was like back then, Mother? Did you have
an automobile and what were the roads like then?
Emma: No. When we lived in Woodruff of course, we ten girls and father use to go to Evanston and buy material by the bolt. We all had dresses off from this bolt of material. Mother would change the pattern a little bit to make them look a little bit different, but we all looked pretty much alike. After we moved to Idaho, things were a little bit better. It wasn't quite so hard but we still worked awful hard.
Don: What was the transportation like in those days?
Emma: Well, we didn't have anything except a horse and buggy. That is the way we went every place we went, until the year Elmer and I were married. His father and my father bought automobiles, but Elmer and I, when we were going together always had a horse and buggy, where ever we wanted to go. The first two years that we were in McDonaldville, we walked to Groveland to school. It was two and one half miles each way so it made it five miles walking both winter and summer.
Don: Would you tell us a little about what your father was like?
Emma: Well, my Dad was a real fine fellow and he had quite a sense of humor. He loved to tell jokes. They were really nice jokes but he loved to tell them. You could have a lot of fun listening to them. My mother was sickly after I was old enough to remember, but I can remember the good times we had when we were children growing up. We always had a fireplace in our home and every evening we would all gather around this fireplace and some of the older girls would play the organ and we would sing songs, mostly hymns. Father and Mother would sing a lot of the old time songs to us girls. When Mother was just a young woman she used to sing in public. She had a lovely soprano voice. Father couldn't hardly carry a tune except when he sang with mother and then he did real well. I can remember my childhood when mother would gather three or four of us at a time and we would kneel around her knee and say our prayers before she would let us go to bed. Every morning when we got up everything was held until the whole family was together and then we would kneel around the table and say our family prayer. Then we would turn our chairs around and say the blessing on the food. That is one of the fondest memories I have of my childhood.
Don: Let's talk a little about your folks flower garden. I can remember
them in Groveland.
Emma: Well, they loved to raise flowers and after they moved to Idaho, where it was warmer, they always had beautiful flower beds. They had lots of peonies, roses and other flowers.
Don: The first question I would like to ask you Dad, was when did you
Elmer: It was in August of 1912. We were making cement blocks out on the school when Ethel Parker brought a pretty girl along with a big, wide brim hat. Oh just as nice and here we were all just in overalls. She introduced her to all of us.
Don: What did you think of all those fellows, Emma?
Emma: Well, I thought that was the most fellows I had seen in one spot before, and I couldn't hardly believe they were all brothers. They all had double names and it was awful hard for me to keep them straightened out.
Don: What do you mean by double names?
Emma: Well, like they had one or two nicknames and I couldn't keep all of those nicknames straightened out. It was hard to keep all their own names straight. The first dance I went to after I met Elmer he asked if he could take me home and I said, " yes." He said, "Now which one am I?" For the life of me I didn't know, but I finally told him I thought he was Country. He said, "I am not Country, and don't you ever call me Country again." So he told me which one his name was. It was Elmer, Pard, Homer, and Pokey.
Don: Elmer, who was Ethel, this women that was with Mother?
Elmer: She was our cousin. They lived on one end of this place and we lived on the other. Her Dad and my Dad were contracting together. She was over to our house a lot and I will always owe her a debt of gratitude for bringing Mother along.
Don: Now let's talk about when you were married. Can you tell us a little
about that? Dad do you want to start?
Elmer: Well yes. We were married in Emma's folk's place in Groveland. John Dean's place. We had Bishop Buchanan marry us at their place. It was late, it was just breaking up in March. You had to go out there with horse and buggy and we were both late. Emma didn't know if she was going to have a bridegroom and preacher or not. Finally we got out there. You understood all the roads were soft and it took a long time to come out even with a horse and buggy. Then she will tell you about Mary and her breakfast.
Don: What is this about Mary and her Breakfast, Emma?
Emma: Mary was my oldest sister and was a darling. She wanted to make the wedding breakfast for us. I think she was kind of upset also, as long as Elmer was so late in getting there. The breakfast didn't turn out too well, but we ate it any way. I can't remember now what we had and I doubt if she could. It was a very thoughtful thing of her to try and make it for us. After the wedding we told our best friends we were going to Pocatello in a car to try and fool them. We stopped at Elmer's mother's to tell her goodby and Ethel was there. They all told us goodby and his brother Lynn took us to the train. When we got there we thought sure we had fooled everybody. When we got there all of our friends were there with old shoes, and rice and everything you could think of.
Don: What were you doing in Pocatello, Elmer?
Elmer: Well, I worked. That kind of work was seasonal, you couldn't work in the winter time. I knew I couldn't support a wife and household with out steady work. So I had a cousin who lived in San Francisco. He wrote to the boss in the boiler shop in Pocatello and asked him if he would give me a job. He said yes and so we went down on the train as Emma said. I had a place rented, a little apartment in Mrs. Cook's house. She had three apartments in this old house she had remodeled. We started housekeeping there. It cost fifteen dollars a month rent.
Don: What was your salary?
Elmer: Well, the biggest salary check I got that year was $86.00.
Don: How long did you live at the apartment?
Elmer: Until we moved to Blackfoot. I quit my job in the boiler shop of the railroad and went to work for Fred Murphy's Cigar Company. I was working in a nice place that they had there. They had billiards, soft drinks, tobacco, and stuff. I went to work there and my salary was three dollars a day. We worked there until the next year and then I was going to go in with a fellow and put one of those places at Mountain Home. We went over there then and I was to quit and come over on a certain date. He was to call me but I never heard from him so I was out of a job and you were born in the meantime. So I went to my boss there, Don Talmage, who was a very fine fellow and got them to put me on at Blackfoot. So we moved to Blackfoot.
Don: You were telling me once about what that three dollars a day would
buy in food. Do you want to tell me a little about that?
Elmer: Well yes. Every time I went to work, every day up on the cash register, would be three silver dollars for me and three silver dollars for the other fellow who worked there. Well I would stop on the way home and I would get a can of corn or tomatoes for a nickel, a couple of pork chops would be a nickel a piece, a loaf of bread was a nickel and a quart of milk was a nickel.
Don: When was it you went to work for the Boise- Payette, Elmer?
Elmer: Well, Dad said to me there is no future in that job at the cigar store. Why don't you go over and make an application at the Boise-Payette. Dad was trading there, he and Uncle Fletch. There was a fellow by the name of Archer who was manager. I went over to talk to him one noon. I think Dad had gone once already before he had talked to me. So I went over and talked to Archer awhile. So he told me, "Yes I'll take you on. We are going to have a fellow go out to Moore, January 1st and run the Moore yard. You better come in here June 1st and work here and we will get you on and pay you for this job." I went in June 1st, 1917 and went to work for the Boise-Payette. This fellow was a real fine manager. He knew a lot about the lumber business and I liked him very much. We got along fine. About that time the war broke out in Europe and the bookkeeper there was a fellow named Rex Dunlap. Rex was the first fellow called to service because he had been a lieutenant in the Missouri National Guard. So Mr. Archer said to me, "Well Elmer, you don't want to go to Moore, that's just a little old place up there. Why don't you stay here and be my bookkeeper. I'll raise your wages." In the meantime I was getting $90 a month over at the cigar store and when I quit he offered me $75. Well, that was a $15 reduction in a month's salary. So I wondered how we were going to get along but we made it alright. He said, "You'll get up to $90 before this year is over." He did. I stayed there and worked until the last of October and he died. So here I was with about five months of experience in a big yard like that. I had a couple of real nice fellows who substituted and helped me in running the yard but we had lots of business. I kept the books a couple of weeks and ran it myself until they sent a new manager named Don, a fellow with a lot of experience. Well that was a real tough job. I was the bookkeeper, had to figure estimates, and the whole thing. I never got home any night until midnight.
Don: We are going to back up a little to Pocatello when I was born.
Emma, will you tell me a little about that?
Emma: Well, we had paid $50 to pay for your birth and we thought we had done real good. When you were born it was breech presentation. We were both left in a terrible state. We both fought for our lives for a long time trying to come out of it. Finally Elmer thought he had better get me to Blackfoot and his mother and my mother could maybe help us. It wasn't possible. We had three doctors and they decided they would have to operate on me. When you were six months old they took me to Ogden. They took me to the train on a stretcher. I went through a very severe operation, they called it a terrible case at the hospital. Dr. Vicks called in all the doctors around there and explained my case to them. In fact he called me his little Indian squaw from the Indian reservation. He was a fine doctor and pulled me through. When I came home I hardly knew you. You had changed so. My sister Dorothy finally took you and breast fed you in order for you to live. We both had an awful struggle to begin with but we are both whole and hardy now.
Don: O.K. Let's talk about your first move from Blackfoot.
Elmer: Well there was a new yard up at Ucon and they wanted me to go up and take that, that day. I accepted it and we moved up there. That was in June 1918. We moved up there when you were a couple years old, a year and one-half old. We went up there and I ran yard until 1919. Then they moved me down to Paul, Idaho.
Don: What was your move between Ucon and Paul when you left the Boise-Payette?
Emma: We moved from Ucon to Arco. You were only about two and one-half years old when we moved there. We went there and put in a little variety store. We could never get the lease on the building. Before we could do anything about it they sold the building out from under us and a cigar store went in there. The superintendent of the schools and the citizens all tried to get a petition to keep from putting it in so we could keep our store there. Nothing at that time could be done and Elmer was discouraged so he said forget it.
Don: And what did you do from there, Elmer?
Elmer: Well, I got a phone call asking me if I wanted to come back to the Boise-Payette to work. The District Manager said "You come down to Idaho Falls and we will put you on and let you work here until a yard comes up. We moved our stuff all down to Blackfoot and then I went up to Idaho Falls and went out on an inventory crew for about thirty days. Then this yard in Paul came up.
Don: When was that?
Elmer: That was in 1919.
Don: Then from Paul where did you go?
Elmer: Well, we stayed in Paul about a year, a little longer I guess. Then they sent us back to Firth. We were at Firth a couple of years, then they sold the yard.
Don: What year was this when you were in Firth?
Elmer: About 1921
Don: There were several things happened at Firth. Do you want to tell
us about some of them?
Elmer: Well yes. You were about school age. We wanted to send you to school with Jack, Jack James, but they advised against it because you were a little younger than he was. So you didn't get to go. Oh, we had a lot of things happen. Mr. Fisher was our neighbor, Al Fisher and Mrs. Fisher. They had chickens and one of their old hens came over and got in the top of a barrel and laid her eggs there, in the lumber yard. She sat on the eggs and hatched them and Mrs. Fisher gave you the chickens and the hen as pets. They really were pets. They were certainly characters around that lumber yard.
Don: Emma, you and I had a few bouts with illness there didn't we? Do
you want to tell us about it?
Emma: Yes. We moved to Firth on the train and you got exposed to the measles. Before we could get straightened out around there you broke out with the measles and I was terribly ill but I didn't break out for a long time. Finally I broke out and I was going to have a baby. It just about took my life. I lost the baby and I was a very very sick person. After that we got along pretty good until they decided to close the Firth yard. When they decided to close it, they tossed a coin the Firth Yard and the Anderson's Yard. Of course it was our luck, Elmer drew the wrong side of the coin and we had to move.
Don: O.K. Elmer, I broke my arm while I was there. Do you remember that?
Elmer: Very well. I was on the upper deck of the shed getting out some boards for a fellow. You climbed up the ladder and some way or another when you started down you slipped and fell and broke your arm. Right close up next to the shoulder. So we had to take you to the doctor to get it fixed. You couldn't wear your suit or anything. You went around with a big old A-frame underneath your arm to get it healed.
Emma: No one would believe that your arm was broken. I held you in my arms all night long. You cried all night. The next morning your arm was so swollen and in such bad shape we took you to the doctor. Sure enough, it was broken and your shoulder was out of place. Like Elmer said, we had to make this A-frame to put around it. I took you down to Blackfoot on the train and the old conductor got quite a kick out of that. He said, "Why don't you put a funny paper around there and he would have all the kids in the country following him around to read the funny paper."
Don: When you moved to Kimberly, what year was this Elmer?
Elmer: About 1924.
Emma: It was 1923 and we lived in the lumber yard down there. We lived above the lumber yard and that was where Marjorie was born?
Don: What year?
Emma: That was in 1924.
Don: Let's see. I started school in Kimberly, didn't I? What was my
first teacher's name?
Elmer: Mrs. Gill.
Don: Then we moved to Moore. When was it we moved to Moore?
Elmer: We moved to Moore in December of 1924. Then we moved to American Falls.
Emma: There hadn't been anyone living in the house and it was bitter cold. I think it got down to forty below that winter. Oh it was dreadful. The tea kettle on the stove would boil over and freeze on the floor. I had to sit with Marjorie in my lap, right by the heater, in order to keep her warm.
Don: The fishing and hunting was pretty good up at Moore, wasn't it?
Elmer: Well, you tell them Don. We had a lot of fun up there fishing and hunting. Even in December when we moved there, we went down and fished through the ice and caught fifteen nice trout. We had a nice fish fry and old Donnie ate six.
Don: Do you want to say something else about Moore, Emma?
Emma: Yes. Elmer always smoked and he was feeling quite ill from smoking and very, very thin. One day he said to me, "I am going to try to quit smoking and I'll be pretty cross and mean, so don't you say anything." So I took you to one side and I said, "Now Daddy is going to try and quit smoking so we must go along with him and mustn't cross him in any way because he is going to be kind of mean. We will have to put up with it because we want him to quit smoking." You said, "I will Mom." Two weeks later you took me to one side and said, "Mama, when is Daddy going to get mean?"
Don: Elmer, you smoked a pipe at that time. Didn't you?
Elmer: That is right. I smoked a pipe all those years and a cigar every evening. Then I quit. Anyone can quit if they make up their mind to do it.
Don: Then you went down to Salt Lake and you and Emma were married in
Elmer: It was Logan. We went down to Logan in 1925 and were married - 1926. I guess it was. We were marriedd in the temple and you guys were sealed to us down there. When you came into the room where you were sealed to us we had on those white robes and old Donnie and Marjorie got to giggling.
Don: Well then, let's see, you moved from Kimberly to Moore and from
Moore to American Falls.
Elmer: Yes, we moved December 26th to American Falls. We really thought we had it made. We stayed there nine years. This was longer than any yard I was ever in. We really had a lot of fun down at American Falls.
Tape not clear-something about the trip from Moore to Blackfoot and then to American Falls)
Don: Do you remember anything about that, Elmer?
Elmer: Well, I can't remember a great deal about it. I remember driving about half way across (the desert). I was hurrying because I had quinsy. I hit a bump and threw you against the top of the car. So then Emma took over the driving from there on in. She wasn't going to trust my driving.
Don: The roads were just a little bit bad back then.
Elmer: Oh they were real rough. I tell you they were bad across the desert. They were all gravel.
Don: O.K. then we went on to American Falls. Do you want to tell us
a little about American Falls, Emma?
Emma: Well, I used to tell Elmer when we lived in Kimberly and we would drive to Blackfoot quite often. I told him that he didn't need ever accept the yard in American Falls because I just wouldn't move there. Then the company moved us there later and I, of course, went right along. We decided to remodel our home. When they started, they tore the whole thing down, except the half of one side and across the front. We just got it all fixed. I hadn't even got my curtains up, when they decide to move us to Blackfoot, and yet when I first thought we would live there, I swear I would never live there. Then I didn't want to leave, we had made so many nice friends and had such a good time there.
Don: Did you cry when you left?
Emma: We all did. I think we all did, unless it was Elmer. I know you did. Marjorie cried. We all felt very bad about it. We were all loaded up to go and the Thompsons were moving us. He put the broom on and then he said, "Mrs. Taylor, I think I'll throw this in the yard, you don't want to take that." Then I said "Of course I want to take it." He said. "Definitely, I'm not going through this again." He said, "Well this is Friday the 13th so we better throw the broom in the yard to wish us good luck." He went up with my broom and threw it in the yard and wouldn't take it along.
Don: Let's see Elmer, do you want to tell a little about American Falls.
Elmer: Well, yes. We liked it there very much after the first year. I served on the school board down there about six years. We had a lot of problems. The really funny thing about it was that when you graduated out of high school I was president of the school board. They said they would let me pick the speaker, so I picked a fellow by the name of Tubby Vincent. I went to school under him in Blackfoot and so had Emma. When I went to pay him, write him out a check for his expenses, he looked at Don. He said, "Don, did your Dad ever tell you about the things he did when he was in Blackfoot going to school?" Don said, "No, I always thought he was a good boy." "Well," Vincent said, " I would like to tell you a little story about him chewing tobacco there. I caught them all down in the basement chewing tobacco, so I marched them all up to the Assembly Room. First one would start to get pale and then another one. Finally, all seven of them had left the room a heaving. Well, he didn't do anything real bad, but that was real funny."
Don: Dad, you joined the Rotary when you were in American Falls, didn't
Elmer: No. I never joined the Rotary until 1938 in Blackfoot.
Don: When was it you moved to Blackfoot.
Elmer: We moved in September 1935.
Don: O.K. Do you want to say a few things about Blackfoot, Emma?
Emma: Well, we moved there September the 13th on a Friday. You didn't live with us very long there because you started school down at the University of Utah in September. You didn't live around Blackfoot much of the time, except in the summer time. Then you were out surveying most of the time. Marjorie graduated from high school there at Blackfoot. She was in the sixth grade when we moved there. After she went away to school, I decided that I wanted to go to work. I was so lonely because she had always had the house full of youngsters. So I told Elmer I wanted to go to work. I went down and applied for a job. I worked for about three months. Then there was a jewelry store there that was looking for a new manager. They asked about me. They asked Mr. Boyle about me. Mr. Boyle told them if they could get me they better take me. I went over there and started working for them in June.
Don: Who was this?
Emma: Mr. Kugler. I went to work for the Kuglar Jewelry Store in June. I didn't know anything about the jewelry store. In fact, I hadn't been in one very many times. They left me there alone. The war was on and I didn't have a watch maker. I didn't have anyone to help me out. I just took the store over and managed it for seventeen years, with out much help. I did have a watch maker when the war ended and the watchmakers started coming home. They told me again that they would never hire another manager as long as they could keep me. I stayed with them for seventeen years.
Don: Let's see. Elmer, when did you retire from Boise-Payette?
Elmer: I retired January 3, 1957
Don: Then you went to work later for the gas company?
Elmer: Yes, I laid around the house- worked around the house for about six months. Then I told Emma, " I am going to put in an application with the gas company and see if I can't get on with them. They are coming in here and they are going to need some help." I wrote to them in April and never heard from them until the last day in May. They interviewed me and hired me. I went to work for them, Intermountain Gas Company, who were coming in with natural gas. I was with them two and one-half years and then I quit. I resigned January 1, 1960.
(End of Interview)
The following articles were in the Blackfoot newspaper and have been shared by Don Taylor)
PERSONAL: Fall: Mrs. Elmer Taylor back on the job at Kugler's after suffering a head injury at the store, March 14. She slipped getting out of a window and was home several days.
Mrs Taylor Retiring? Idea is Unthinkable, Her Employers Declare
Tuesday Afternoon, December 27, 1955
A slight error in the Elmer Taylor Story Friday referring to Mrs. Taylor and her work at Kugler's has upset her employer and a number of friends.
The cutline under the front page photo of Mr. And Mrs. Taylor quoted her as saying that Kuglar's wanted her to retire this summer. A prompt reply to the quote from Mr. Kugler in Idaho Falls stated that Kugler's never had such an idea and in fact the very idea was "unthinkable". Many a patron expressed concern. Mr. Taylor claims he was the one who made the statement not the Kugler's management. He said he wanted his wife to retire along with him, but it still doesn't sound enticing to her after 14 years in the store. Sorry to have caused concerns in the Kugler household. But actually we are a little pleased when making an error to find so many people reading the paper so carefully. When no errors are made no calls come from people.
Mrs. Elmer Taylor Retires After 17 Years of Store Management
After 17 years as manager of Kugler's Jewelry Store in Blackfoot, Mrs. Elmer Taylor is retiring this week. She began working for this firm June 28, 1942 when the store was in the same location but the building was leased from the late Neil F. Boyle. Now 17 years and three fires later it is housed in the same location but in the modern brick building owned and constructed by Kuglars after the last fire some five years ago.
Mrs. Taylor affectionately called Mrs. Kugler by many who have known her long association with the jewelry store - came to this position - inexperienced. Her son Don was married and living in Washington and her daughter Marjorie in college. She, wanting to keep active, began her business career. In those days of second world war it was impossible to hire watchmakers so she ran the business singlehanded.
She learned how to keep the books, figure the luxury tax, fill the delivery orders and all the other duties of operating a business and in her own words "has loved every minute of it." She has helped many a young swain pick out a diamond for his beloved, advice the young couple selecting their silverware, china, crystal and other items for their new home and for gifts and later helped many of the same couples buy jewelry and gifts for their children.
In the early days she sent watches to the owner Don Kugler, for repairs. As it was hard to get help in those war days, he sold all of his jewelry stores but the one at Idaho Falls and Blackfoot. These he and his wife continued to own until five years ago when their son Kenneth took over the business.
Three fires have struck in the years Mrs. Taylor has managed the store. The first one about ten years ago when a fire started in the upper floor over the J. C. Penny Store. This fire almost destroyed the entire building and the stock was moved to a building across from the Boise Payette Lumber Company. There she continued in business until repairs to the building were complete. The second fire a few years later started from the furnace in the basement and the damage this time was caused mostly from smoke. The last fire began in an adjoining café and much damage was suffered. It occurred two weeks before Christmas and when the buying was heavy for Christmas. The merchandise was moved to an old building by the post office and there business was conducted until the new building was constructed.
Mrs. Taylor has had many watch makers assisting her during the years since the war. Her son in law Robert Crowton worked eight years with her. After retiring she and her husband plan to spend their time in a leisure way and do some traveling. They have a cabin in Island Park where they will spend some of the summer months and will visit their son and wife in Washington and his family in California.
Mrs. Taylor said she will enjoy having more time to spend with her grandchildren but she will miss her association with the Kuglers and her many friends and customers.
Mr. Taylor retired three years ago as manager of the Boise Payette Lumber Company after working there 42 years. After one year he became manager of the office of the Intermountain Gas Company. He plans to retire from this position at the end of this year so they may have more time for leasure and travel.
Dale Jones who has ben with them the last two months will take over
the Management of Kuglers. His assistant will be Mrs. Wayne Bird.
The Daily Bulletin, Blackfoot, Idaho Friday Afternoon, December 23, 1955
Young Man Coming To Blackfoot In 1911 Is Retiring This Week
In 1911 a young man fresh out of high school at Sedan, Kansas came to Blackfoot with his parents. For a few years he work with his Father and uncle who were contractors. In 1916 he took a job in a cigar store. Each morning a Mr. Archer came for his cigar and newspaper and a chat with the affable young clerk. Later he offered the young man an opportunity to learn the lumber business.
Elmer Taylor the cigar clerk was making $90 a month. The new opportunity offered $75. The young man was married and a child to support. Taking a salary cut was not itself enticing, but a chance to learn the lumber business was. He took the job. Thirty- eight years later he is retiring from that job with the Boise Payette Lumber Company. He believes he made a wise choice in taking that salary cut. Mr. Taylor believes he holds the record for being in a number of yards in his time, the Boise Payette - nine in all Yards he managed including Ucon, Paul, Firth, Kimberly, Moore, and American Falls besides Blackfoot. He was also in Idaho Falls and Twin Falls yards.
After landing here in 1911 he worked for his folks and uncle. He must have been doing alright for two years later he met Miss Emma Dean and married her in 1918.
After taking the job with Boise Payette in Blackfoot, things began to happen. Mr. Archer manager of the yard died with in a few months and it was up to young Taylor to run the yard for a month, for the bookkeeper himself was to be the first man drafted in Bingham County in World War 1.
With only six months experience I was left with a yard to run for a month. He recalls the long nights of that month when he found himself burning the midnight oil doing the books. He also recalls "it was some initiation." Not long after that he was sent to Ucon to manage his first yard. On Friday September 13, 1935, the Taylors came back from American Falls to manage the Blackfoot Yard.
Three years ago the Taylors built a modern duplex on South Stout in Blackfoot. Their daughter Marjorie, Mrs. Robert Crowton, Mr. Crowton and children occupy the other half of the house - to be more convenient for the grandparents to follow their hobby of coddling their granddaughters.
Few people believe Elmer Taylor is ready for retirement, but company policy seems to demand it. Blackfoot knows there will be no retirement for Mr. Taylor as far as being a useful citizen is concerned. No doubt he will continue his many community activities for he loves to be around people.
He is a member of the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Republican Party, and a member of the board of the Bingham Memorial Hospital. He served on the school board And was president of the Rotary Club and is an active member of the LDS church. He is interested in whatever makes for a better community. His plans for the immediate future call for resting for three or four months and a little "running around" before settling down again into something, "I don't know just what." He plans to take a little time to build a cabin on a lot he owns at Island Park.
To a Great Guy - Every now and then along comes a great guy -
and in our opinion Elmer Taylor is in that category. As you see in today's
Daily Bulletin ( December 23, 1955) Mr. Taylor is retiring as manager of
the Boise-Payette Lumber company in Blackfoot, and it has given us pleasure
to go to his home and take pictures and get his story. It was 9:30 p.m.
when we called. Mrs. Taylor had just come home from her work at Kugler's.
Mr. Taylor had kept the home fires burning. Both cheerful selves. We have
known Mr. Taylor eight years and have seen him cheerful, ready to stop
and visit and express an optimistic thought. Retirement for Elmer Taylor
will not be done in a rocking chair. Though he has been 38 years with the
company, he appears to be a man with another 38 years of service ahead
of him. We know the community will join us in congratulating Mr. Taylor
and wishing him many more years of pleasant living right here in Blackfoot
among his many friends.
Emma & Elmer Taylor
Emma Dean Taylor
Emma Dean Taylor
Emma & Elmer Taylor
Emma Dean Taylor
Elmer & Emma Taylor