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<page 40>.  I went back, made my report, and began to gather up my belongings and some of the fellows started packing and some got up and walked out.  So there was nine of us out of thirty that stuck to the agreement to quit.  It was the best lesson I ever learned.  From that day to this there has been no pardners, if I became dissatisfied I would tell the boss and if he could do nothing about it, take my blankets and go and it proved to be very satisfactory for the best part of the fifty years that I have followed the woods as a steady occupation. 

I have found out from many years of experience in handling men that the majority of them are honest and can be depended on.  There are bums of course; there are bums in other classes of business as well as lumber and logging.  Most loggers are good hearted and free with their money, too free most of them for their own good and some of course fool their money away.  One case is still fresh in my mind.  A bunch of us loggers went aboard the night boat at Stella and the boat loaded from top to bottom and the card tables were all full <page 41>.  There was one young fellow who had been in camp for about four months without going to the city.  He was like a caged hyena, he was crazy on gambling, and the tables all-full, and so he gave a fellow five dollars for his seat at one of the tables.  He lost two hundred dollars before we landed in Portland.  He was broke all the rest of the Fourth of July vacation.  He had to borrow money to pay for his food and for a place to sleep.  Well I must get back to my story of 1888 as this young fellow’s gambling incident happened in the year of 1904.  Those who made up their minds to quit weren’t long getting ready so we started out on our fifteen-mile hike over the trail to Frankfort.  That was where the boat landed on the Washington side.  We found the going much better than when we went in.  We were late and missed the boat to Astoria.  We had to stay overnight at Frankfort; we got the boat the next day.  When we were about three miles off shore we could see something bobbing up and down on the water and pretty soon we seen a signal.  It was a fish boat bottom up and one man standing up hanging on to the surfboard.  His pardner was drowned.  They took him on board and put a towline on the wrecked fishboat and towed it back to Frankfort <page 42>.  There was a pretty heavy gale blowing and the bay was rough and the fish boat got caught in the trough of the sea and capsized.  By the time this was over with about half of our outfit was seasick and I did not feel to good myself though I never have been seasick.  We arrived in Astoria late in the afternoon and got rooms for the night.  There was not many men around town.  Most had went to the camps or to sea or fishing and it was much quieter than it was in the spring when we went over.  The next morning we took the boat for Portland.  We registered at the National Hotel and started out looking for another job.  I met a fellow by the name of Fancher.  He had a contract falling and bucking at warn station.  He asked me to go and help him on a fifty-fifty basis and I went down there and worked at that.  We got my father a job in the camp working around the team.  He finally drove the team while and when Fancher had to go away father quit driving and worked with me falling and bucking.  They were logging with oxen [bull team].  We worked there until fall and went home <page 43>.  I spent the winter with and old friend, Bob Akins; he was a well-seasoned old bull puncher and a dang goof fellow.  We did not do much.  A few chores and built some rail fence and took in all the dances.  In January, we went to work for Macken and Lent at Lent’s mill.  He drove team.  I worked around the team.  They were logging with a bull team.  We began early because there was some logs close to the creek we could drag to the bank and roll them in without building a rollway.  We called that ground logging which we seldom done because it would not do for general practice.  Where the logs were close to the creek, it worked out all right.  We had a snowstorm and it went off with a heavy rain and a Chinook wind and the creek rose to flood stage in a short time.  So the teamster and myself went and looked around the barn and decided that the whole camp was above any reasonable flood stage and went to bed on that assumption.  We had not been in bed very long when something woke me up.  I heard one of the oxen mooing and that was unusual and I walked out on the porch of the bunkhouse <page 44> The water was close to the house and that meant there was water in the barn.  Going inside I yelled  “high water!” and one fellow, “go back to bed you have got a nightmare.”  Going to the teamster bunk, I shook him until he was awake and woke the sawyer for the mill as he had a buggy horse in the barn where the teamster and myself kept our two saddle horses.  The ox hovel as the old-timers called the shed of a barn where we kept the team and horses had a narrow space through the center between the horses and the oxen.  The building stood on a gentle slope and the shed was on the lower side so they really were in danger by the time we arrived on the scene.  The floor where the oxen stood was about two feet off the ground.  At the back end of the shed we built a slip or a kind of an approach to get to the door which was eight feet wide as we put the yokes on and took them off in the shed.  Well, this approach had floated away and the door opened from the outside.  Bob Akins started to wade in and when the water hit his shirt collar he said, “Bill, I am too short for this job, you try.  My reply was, “Oh, a man’s job ha! ha!.  He gave me a sarcastic look, then grinned as he took the lantern I had been holding for him, and I waded out.  Just could reach the hasp and unhook it and then we went back and opened the upper part so we could get at the ropes and turn the oxen loose.  The water was almost half way up their sides and when they stepped off the floor leaving the barn they had to swim a short distance because the approach had washed away <page 45>.  The cause of the excess water, about two miles above where we were logging there was a small mill and a dam and just at the crest of the flood this small dam went out and it made more water than Johnson Creek could carry without overflowing.  It soon settled down and everything was normal again.  We hunted up the oxen who had not gone far.  There was not many people living near the camp so they did not bother anybody.  The camp was about one and a half miles East of the old post office at Lents where that point comes out to the Foster road.  The dam was just below the bridge that crossed Johnson Creek at that point that rises just south of the bridge.  It was a small circular sawmill but they made good lumber and most of the cut went to Portland.  Hauled by teams it was about nine miles to the city.  One trip a day and back to camp <page 46>.  Then load and be ready for an early start the next morning.  We started logging again and continued through the season until bad weather.  We shut down a short time for the Fourth of July and spent the vacation around Eagle Creek and Springwater.  We went back to work about the seventh of July.  Everything went along as usual only we were getting back away from the mill a little farther and of course had a bit more road to make.  We had a small crew, only seven or eight men, and three yoke of oxen and one extra ox so if one of the regular team got lame we would use the extra.  Macken and Lent were fine fellows to work for and Macken stayed in the bunkhouse with the rest of us and boarded where we did.  Which was the worst thing about the whole outfit.  So one day he borrowed my saddle horse and down the road he went and along in the evening a team pulled in loaded with grub and enough cooking utensils to start a small cookhouse and a man cook so we sure was all happy.  The next morning we had hotcakes, ham and eggs, and good coffee, and honest to God cream which we had not enjoyed for some time before.  We began to look forward now for winter was approaching and most all camps closed down in early fall <page 47>.  About a month or six weeks before the camp expected to close I cut my foot pretty bad while fixing the side of a log.  The axe glanced and struck the instep about the center of my left foot, making a two-inch wound.  There was no doctor or bandages so Macken looked at it and said, “Well, Bill, I will take you to Portland as this is a bad wound and will have to be sewed up.”  He got the sawyers horse and went to town.  That ended the season for me as I had a very sore foot for it was a deep cut and the instep is slow to heal up and is still tender to this day.  The next spring we went back about the first of April and it did not take long to finish-up.  Bob Akins quit about the first of May and went to work for Mike Donahue and Gilby Kelly who were logging at Bridleveil.  Macken drove the team and I tended hook and we finished-up on their contract in the latter part of June.  I went to Portland looking for work.  There was not much chance of landing a good job in a camp at that time of the year as the men did not go and come as often them days as they do now <page 48>.

I met Charles Johnson in Portland.  He worked in the mill at Lents we were well acquainted.  His folks lived near there.  He said, ”Harvey Scott, the editor of the Oregonian wanted some slashing done on the North Slope of Mount Scott and the brush burned.  There was some dead snags to and a few chunks to buck.  He was acquainted with Mr. Scott.  We went to his office that stood on the East Side of Front Street and was a small wooden building.  The man in charge said Mr. Scott was at his residence and Charlie knew where to go and it was out about Seventh and Washington.  That would be Broadway now.  He was home and appeared glad to see us and was a very interesting man to talk with.  He asked Charles about his father and mother.  He asked me what part of the country I was from.  After telling him my folks lived in the Springwater neighborhood.  He acted as though he had always known me.  He asked about some of the old-timers.  We asked about the slashing and he said, ”yes.”  We could start as soon as we wished.  He drew a small map and explained what he wanted.  We were to get two dollars a day.  We was glad to get that much.  I boarded with a Mr. and Mrs. Sring.  A very nice family and plenty of good clean food <page 49>.  The job did not last long.  We finished in about three weeks.  We done this work near where the Masonic Cemetery is now located on the north side of Mount Scott.  We went in, made our report, and asked him to send somebody out to inspect the job, but he took our word and gave us our money.  We went back and gathered-up my few work clothes and a roll of blankets and went into Portland looking for work and met a man by the name of Finger.  He was a German.  His teamster had got hurt and he wanted a man to take his place until he was ready to work again.  We were hauling wood from Woodstock and made two trips a day.  We go in got in about five O’clock and that gave me time to change clothes and get down town early.  By doing so I had a better job lined-up by the time the man was well enough to work.  The plan worked out as expected.  I met Craig Stingley, a man from Eagle Creek and he had two teams hauling lumber from H.R. Duniway and Co., who had a yard at the foot of J Street.  After consolidation, the name of the street was changed to East Oak Street.  Keenen and Sons had the contract and Stingley was working for Keenen and Sons.  We worked all summer and on through the winter on this job <page 50>.  In the spring, I began looking for a woods job of some kind and logging was not so hot, so I stayed and worked till after the Fourth of July.  There was a considerable spurt of development in Sunnyside addition and Holiday addition.  So grading sidewalk improvement had furnished lots of jobs.  No one made much money, but everybody had some to spend.  For two years things were lively around Portland.

One day I was resting the team on L Street in front of James Lyons barn.  He was sitting on a bench by the side of the barn.  He came out to look the team over.  He remarked that’s a good pulling team and they are in fine shape.  Any time you want to change come and see me.  I thanked him and drove away.  A short time after that the lumber hauling slacked off a bit and they put some of the teams hauling dirt from a basement they were digging.  Each team took its turn in loading and no one had missed a turn.  Mr. Keenen was walking down the street as I was coming back and going slow.  He said, do you think we are running a fat stock show?  No wonder your team is slick and fat!  My answer was we have not missed a trip and no one has had to take my place or wait on me, so why hurry.  Besides that why not speed your own teams up and then if we come in late, buy us out.  He said, it’s none of your business how we handle our teams and we will buy you out right now.  He was absolutely right in doing so.  He was a good fellow and we got to be good friends.  That was Doug Keenen.  That was lesson number two and I have not forgotten either of them <page 51>.

The job with Mr. Lyons’ was waiting, but instead I went to work for the Rosenthal Brothers’ who ran a big outfit on the Eastside.  They gave me a team and started me hauling bricks from the Verstig yard out or near the East suburbs over to the St. Vincent Hospital.  They worked their teams pretty hard.  I was not in the habit of trotting heavy draft animals and you couldn’t make a regular trip without trotting the animals.  So on Saturday night when he paid me I told him he could give my team to someone else.  They were Jews and knew all the answers.  Besides, he had a notion he could bully some folks.  He had already paid me.  He said I have overpaid you.  I said, how do you get that notion?  He said when a man only stays a week we take off twenty-five cents per day <page 52>.  But you agreed to pay me so much per day and I have the money for which you have my thanks.  He held-up his right hand and said, "do you see that thumb?"  “Yes”, was my reply.  He said, I got that from hitting a man this very morning and if you do not give me a dollar fifty I will have to take a swing at you.  He was setting behind the desk, I walked over and put both of my hands on the desk and looked him right in the eye, but he did not know how straight I was looking because one of my eyes was crossed.  There was a gun setting against the wall and he very likely thought I was looking at the gun with one eye.  Still leaning on the desk I said, if you want this money back, just come and take it and if you do not have more than just a swelled thumb it will be because you are a better man than I think you are.  He did not answer me so there was nothing else to do, only walk out and that’s what happened.  Monday morning I went to work for Mr. Lyons.  He would take just about any kind of work.  I had a chance at most all kinds of teamwork.  Worked there for about six years.  We logged, handled light telephone and telegraph poles and lots of piling.  I had charge of the teams when the first Bull Run water was brought in to Portland.  He had the contract to deliver the thirty two-inch cast iron pipe from Mount Tabor reservoir to the City Park.  More about pipe later.  But, I had been working for him for only a few days when he called me into the office.  He said, I understand you have been on the lower Columbia.  I told him only one season in the logging camp.  He said, I have five teams hauling lumber from Nicholi and Nephic mill and have been having trouble with the crew for some reason.  One of the men has just come in this afternoon and that means there is one team idle and I want you to go down there and take that team.  The season is getting short.  Wet weather will soon set-in and the road is so steep we cannot haul when it is raining.  We will have to hustle to get out before the wet weather sets in.  We want you to go on the Shafer boat tonight.  Your ticket and reservation will be waiting for you and good-luck!  Oh yes, he said, one more word.  The boys that come up from there say they could not get along with the foreman.  If you find out you cannot get along, just put the team on the boat, and bring them home, as it will be too late in the Fall to make another change <page 54>.  I arrived the next morning and the foreman met me at the landing and he knew me.  I had not met him very many times and did not know anything about his disposition.  So there was not much conversation for a few days.  He showed me where to bunk and took me to the shed where they kept the horses and told me to have the team ready to go up the mountain in the afternoon.  There was a few little things that needed some repair, so I kept busy until the gong sounded for lunch.  His wife and her sister were cooking and doing a good job.  It was four and one half miles from the landing to the mill.  Four thousand five hundred feet elevation.  Some climb, it took almost four hours to go up empty, except a small of freight each trip up.  We come down with a heavy load in one hour and a quarter.  That lasted about two months, as it was a nice Fall.  When it was finished he sent two teams to Portland and sent one team to a small cedar mill up Westport Creek, not far from Westport and he and I had to make two or three more trips up with freight as they had some work to do around the mill.  We could not bring anything down because the hill was too slick <page 55>.  We made two trips and then we moved the teams to the cedar mill as we could work there regardless of weather conditions.  Everything was O.K. except the cook.  That fellow was sure a libel on gastronomy, and to add insult to injury we went in to breakfast one morning and everything on the table was cold as the weather would make it.  Well, we just looked from one to the other and the gaze was mutual, everybody mad, and hungry and that makes a bad situation.  We began asking questions.  He said his fire went out and then said, the wood rats carried his fine fuel or kindling away.  I happened to be setting at the end of the table near the stove and it did not take long to go examine.  There was no sign of any fire.  There had not been any fire since the night before.  The bed of cold charcoal in the bottom of the firebox proved my statement.  I turned around and told them there had been no fire there this morning.  That started things.  A fellow by the name of Boyd and some other man I have forgotten his name, anyhow they grabbed hold of the cook and started for the backdoor.  The cookhouse stood on the bank at the upper end of the pond <page 56>.  The water was about six feet deep and there was a walk from the back door out over the water and eight feet high.  There was a bucket there with about ten feet of rope attached for dipping water for the cookhouse.  The men wanted to throw him in the creek.  The regular boss of our crew was not there.  He had asked me to act in that capacity when he was absent.  Just before they got out to the end of the walk I ran out there and ask them to hold everything.  I said, boys you know we have to use the water from this creek and you throw this skunk in there the water will never taste the same.  The chap was pretty well scared by this time and was ready to scram if he had a chance.  He showed that by his looks.  I said, there is only one answer to the question.  We are going to ask you that will keep you out of that pond so I warn you to choose your answer carefully.  Will you leave camp within the next hour if we let you go?  His answer was most emphatically yes!  You should have seen him hustle our of there and no questions ask.  Boyd ask if he could give him about two good kicks.  My answer was no.  I said none of you <page 57> fellows are cowards and he has accepted our terms and if he is here an hour from now your request will be granted.  My idea was it would be a cowardly trick to inflict any undue punishment because we were in the majority and he would not have a fair chance.  We left the cookhouse and I went to the man who owned the mill and was supposed to be running the cookhouse and explained the whole thing just as it had happened.  He said, ”I don’t blame you men atall and if you men will make this trip, my wife will have you a good breakfast and it will finish the boat load that is supposed to go out this evening.”  I went and told the boys and they did not warm-up to the idea at first, and then they said all right and we hitched-up the teams and went to the landing and that meant we would eat breakfast about ten o’clock.  But, oh! man what a breakfast.  Fine hot cakes, ham, and eggs, and good coffee, and some fine jelly she brought from her home, as she was a bride and on her honeymoon.  She was a fine young woman and not afraid of work.  She said she was going to run the cookhouse from <page 58> that time on until the mill closed and that was good news, for good cooks were just as hard to find then as they are now.  However, things began to look gloomy and one morning the timber fallers did not go out and that generally meant something especially when the mill was located back in the forest like this one happened to be.  It was not long till we know most of the facts.  They had bought their machinery from Tatum and Boer a well-known machinery company who sold sawmill and logging equipment all over the northwest.  John Yeon told me he had bought his first Mundy yarder there; it was 8” by 12” and considered a large engine then.  This mill had a financial difficulty and had to close down and Tatum and Boer had to take their machinery back.  We hauled what lumber they had left around the yard and the boss and myself gathered up our equipment and went to Portland.  It was just a few days before Thanksgiving.  I had been bothered with a bad tooth and the dentist did not want to pull it.  But the tooth would not respond to treatment and I insisted that he take the blame tooth out, finally he said it is your tooth and if you insist we will extract it.  I told him that suited me.  He began to work on me and had to take it out in three pieces and that was a very sore tooth to start with, and no anesthetic.  He finally finished.  I was working and my jaw kept bothering and no sleep.  One morning my jaw was swelled-up and neck hurt down to my shoulder.  When I got up my ankles and feet were swollen and could not get my shoes on.  There was and old pair of old-fashioned Arctic shoes setting there.  I put them on, got down to the barn and harnessed the team and told the barn man to tell the boss I would not be able to work and went back to my room.  It was not long till someone knocked on the door and it was the boss, Mr. Lyons.  He said, have had the doctor and I said no!  He got up and started out and said should go and see Doctor Refferty.  Instead I drew my wages and quit.  The boss asked me to come back when I felt able to work.  I had not seen my folks for over a year.  They had moved from, Clackamas to Linn and lived near Lebanon and that was my destination.  They put me in a horse drawn cab and drove me to the depot and started me on my way.  I got to Lebanon about three P.M., My folks lived out south of town about five miles.  I hobbled over to a livery stable and hire a saddle horse and rode out there.  This happened about the middle of December of 1891.  I soon recovered from my illness.  Doctor Booth gave me some medicine.  He was an older brother of Senator Booth.  Doctor Booth of Lebanon was a very capable physician.  Father and myself worked some for Uncle Johnny Nickels.  He was not a relative of ours, but we called him that because he was old.  He had some land just above the old Brownsville and Lebanon road just south of Rock Hill school.  He come to our place one morning and asked us to go up there and cut some scrub Oak and make them into posts as he had some fence to repair and he did not want to climb around in the brush making them himself.  We went out and done the work for him.  After that was done my own Uncle A.P. Blackburn wanted me to cut some Ash poles for wood and that did not take long, as I had fully recovered from my disability and about the time that was finished there was a letter from Portland and it was from my boss.  <continued>

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