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Mary Frances Kravic
Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Louise Adams
Interviewed by Kathleen Rignall
Date of Interview - 8-5-1979
Mary Frances Kravic
Date of birth - 1917
Parents – Samuel Herlyck, Anne Rogers
Maternal grandparents - Bill Tom Rogers
Paternal grandparents - Henry Herlyck
Ethnic group – Welch
Family origin - Wales
Date of family arrival in County – mid 1800's
Location of first family settlement – Plaza de Leones, Santa Clara
MFK: I grew up in Santa Clara and partly in the coal camp Rouse. I went to grade school in Rouse and I went to the high school here (Walsenburg). And., well, we all got along, the neighborhood in Rouse, we had to. You know, we had the neighborhood store and we had our movie house.
KR: Was there a movie?
MFK: Yah, we had a little movie, of course it wasn't like - we had the writing underneath it - the old way, until we moved to Walsenburg. And then my father had a ranch at the foot of the Spanish Peaks—a cattle ranch. And then when I was thirteen, we lost my mother and I have two sisters. One lives here and one lives in Louisiana.
KR: Are you the oldest?
MFK: Yes. And I have a younger one, she just left today. She's two years younger. And the one that lives here is four years younger and she taught at the High School. What else can I answer? I was born on the ranch – my dad's ranch.
KR: Did somebody assist your mother?
MFK: They had a doctor and well, my aunt. And the doctor from Rouse.
KR: Do you remember his name?
MFK: Yes, Dr. Stanley, Doctor Francis Stanley. And he was the doctor for all three of us. When we moved to Rouse, when my dad, my mother wasn't well so we had to get where a doctor could get to her in a hurry. And so then we moved to Rouse and my dad went to work in the mine and kind of ran the ranch and worked in the mine, too. Then my grade school years were there, from the second grade on. I went through the eighth grade in Rouse. Martha Thorne was the County Superintendent, all the years I was in grade school. I don't know if you know her or not - do you know Martha Thorne?
KR: I know of her.
MFK: Of the Thorne Ranch out at Badito. And then of course Ruth Claire, Mrs. Claire is her stepdaughter.
KR: My mother knows them.
Where were your mother and father born?
MFK: My mother was born just about three or four miles from where I was. She was also born...
KR: What was her maiden name?
MFK: Rogers, she was a Rogers. She was Anne Rogers. Just about a half a mile from where she was born is the Rogers cemetery. Most of the Rogers - my grandparents, all my aunts and uncles, and I think there were nine or ten cousins are all buried there. All my aunts and uncles and my mother, it's a family cemetery but there are other people buried there, beside my mother. But all the Rogers' brothers and sisters and children of Bill Tom Rogers are there, all buried there. It's way up against the Peak. It takes awhile to get there.
And my father was, is, Sam Herlyck. He's still living, he's ninety. He's in the hospital up here and we almost lost him last week, but he's making it today. The doctor says he thinks he's going to make it for a while now. And he was born - they had a litt1e ranch at the foot of the West Peak, but I think he was born in Trinidad. Now I'm not sure, his birth certificate says Gulnare but I think that was the address of the ranch. But I think he was born in Trinidad. I'm not sure but I think he was. And of course now he's got it all mixed up till, we can't find out for sure because his birth certificate says Gulnare and they came here from Maine. His folks did.
KR: Did they come in a covered wagon?
MFK: No, my dad's folks didn't but my mother's folks did. Yes. My mother's folks came, too. This was not Walsenburg when my mother's, when the Rogers came. It was called Plaza de Leones. And it was just a little Plaza when they came here. And they homesteaded some land on the Santa Clara and that's where the Rogers' ranch is.
KR: Early days outlaws, what about law?
MFK: Now, outlaws, Grandma, my grandmother Rogers, was here quite a bit earlier. She did not meet any outlaws, but they camped - a tribe of Ute Indians camped - not far from where they had their homestead shack. And grandpa worked down here on, they were building Walsen, beginning Walsen Mine and they were building the tipple out there. He was from Wales. My Grandpa Rogers, he couldn't speak a word of English and neither could my grandmother. And this Ute tribe stayed up on top, upon this little mesa, plateau-like, and grandma was down there and they'd never seen, they'd never seen bread rise. These Ute Indians had never seen bread rise. And these squaws were very interested in grandma kneading the bread and letting it rise, kneading the bread and letting it rise. And then of course when she made the loaves they just loved the loaves of bread. They had never tasted baked bread before. So, she made quite a hit with them and -
KR: What kind of oven did she use?
MFK: She had a kind of a stove of some kind. I never, I don't remember, that any of my aunts and uncles that got over, ever saw that stove. But she had an oven of some kind, it wasn't an outdoor oven. It was an indoor oven because she ah, put the bread upon the top of it. Because they, when it would rise, wanted to see how high it would go. They (she), didn't want her to knead it down. She did. And then she gave them loaves of bread. And they killed turkey and rabbit and stuff, that whole winter. That was the way they got by, this Ute tribe and my grandmother.
And of course, the first time my grandfather came home and saw all these Indians up there, he just figured that he'd find my grandmother and the two babies, my oldest uncle and my aunt, that he didn't know what he'd find. And instead of that, they were just gettin' along fine. So there wasn't any trouble there at all. And they, Ute Indians, made my grandmother a squaw dress, dress made out of deer skin. So when, long in the winter, she had a kind of a sewing machine that she had brought from England (course now it wouldn't be that) now, but it was real old. But it would sew. It was a sewing machine-kind of thing and so she made the Chief's squaw, the Chief's wife, a dress out of gingham, calico, gingham I don't remember which, calico I think they said.
And so, in the Spring, they had a, like we have a track meet, these Indians all had a track meet. My grandmother wore this squaw's dress and the squaw wore the dress my grandmother had made. So they got along fine. Yah, you could never tell my grandmother anything about, ah you know, about Indians because she had had that one encounter with them out there, you know. She thought that...
KR: So she got along real good?
MFK: Oh yah, she wasn't a bit, she never thought of... As she grew older, she always said - it never - of course in Wales she had heard stories of the Indians, you know, till she was scared to death of them. But after she was up there alone, with the two little kids and these Indians up on the mesa, they just got along fine all winter. They stayed there all winter.
KR: How many Indians were there, did she say?
MFK: I never, I've never heard, I never knew my grandmother. It's just stories have come down through my aunts and uncles because she died before I was born. So, I never got to know her. But ah, she, ah, I think, they claimed about two hundred. But, I may be, I wouldn't swear to that.
KR: Ya, but still that's quite a bit. And it was by the East Peak?
MFK: Uh-huh. In front of the East Peak. As you go from here to Aguilar, you come to where it says Pryor turn-off, and you turn to your right and you go straight. And you keep the point of the East Peak right in front of you. And you come right to the Rogers' Cemetery. You come right to…
KR: Is there anybody up there?
MFK: No, well, no, it belongs to Sam Capps. The land, now it belongs to Sam Capps. So he owns the cabin up there. I go to the cemetery once in a while. It's kinda hard to get to. Now what else can I answer?
KR: Oh, about the schools, you could tell me something about the schools. What were the schools like in the early days? Like the one-room schools or something or even when they were going to school. Did they have any schools?
MFK: Well, my mother and father both went to schools, rural schools. And, of course, there were all grades, first through eighth, in the same room, you know, a rural school. But I didn't. I went to grade school in Rouse. It was graded, kind of, you know, classroom. Each grade in Rouse, each grade had a teacher because there was quite a few of us in Rouse. So, I went my first year, my very, very first year, I went to a rural school. But I wasn't very well and we lived a long ways from school and so I didn't get to go very long. So then, we moved. Daddy could see that I wasn't going to get very much of an education that way. So, and then mother's health, so then we moved and I went to graded school.
KR: Do you remember anybody? What about the political leaders? Like somebody who ran the town?
MFK: Well, the CF&I, it belonged to CF&I. And of course you always had the superintendent of the mine, who was usually kind of the camp, you know, what he wanted for the camp that was what went.
Rouse was a very pretty camp. It was one of the prettiest. The women had flowers and lawns and things. Probably more than any other CF&I camp. 'Cause I remember coming to some of the others, and Rouse was one of the prettiest ones. They grew flowers, and dahlias and flowers like that in their yards. And they had lawns, we had lawns. Each yard was fenced. And we didn't have – we didn't have bathrooms.
KR: Were they all outhouses?
MFK: That's right. And the pump for water was just outside the kitchen door.
KR: Were, they individual houses?
MFK: Yah, yah. They were in rows and numbered. I think our house was twenty-three in Rouse. And it had a store and post office, and then two Y's, YMCA's. They had a bowling alley in the bottom and we used to bowl down there. And then they used to dance, they use to have dances there. Three churches! They had the church on top of the hill, it's still there. And the other one was a Catholic Church and the other for the Colored people, their own church.
KR: Were there quite a few?
MFK: Oh yah, quite a few miners were Colored people.
KR: Did they get along pretty good?
MFK: Oh Fine! We never… That's why I say, I can't understand people not getting' along, because I went, they were all nationalities and races out there. And we never even thought of thinkin' who was what, you know. There were Colored people, there were Spanish people, and a lot of, well, Slavs, and a lot of Welsh people. Welsh people did a lot of mining. And a lot of Italians, an awful lot of Italian people come in, in the coal camps. And so we never even thought of anyone's race or nationality. We just went to school and that was it, if there was any troubles, it'd be over a pencil or a book or somethin'. It wasn't never anything over anybody's nationality. 'Cause nobody even thought of it. We never even thought of anybody's nationality.
KR: Everybody in the coal camp mainly they worked in the mines, didn't they?
MFK: Oh yah. All but the store manager and the post office, the United States Post Office, of course, would have a postmaster.
KR: Do you remember their names, at all?
MFK: Well, Mr. Nutz, up here. Well he's dead. He died last year. He worked out there some. And the superintendent's was, I can't seem to remember right now… Davis was one. Yah, I remember Davis; don't remember what his first name was. Then there were two after him. Can't remember what their names were. I'd have to think a little bit, it would gradually come to me. I'd have to think about it.
KR: Was this with the store?
MFK: No. This was the superintendent. Now, the superintendent of the mine was hired by the CF&I, by the Colorado Fuel and Iron. And the store was what - a chain of stores - was called the Colorado Supply. I guess it was kind of owned or a subsidiary or something of the CP&I. And they don't have them now. But in them, in those coal camps, they had a Colorado Supply store in every, in every coal camp. And we had buses. When we got to high school, we had two buses; a girls' bus and a boys' bus. From the camp - from there into high school.
KR: When did you move into town?
MFK: Well we moved to Cameron and when I was in high school we moved to the coal camp out here. And I didn't live in Walsenburg until after I was married. As a child I never lived in Walsenburg. I was either on the ranch or in the coal camps.
KR: Well, when did Walsenburg sort of be a town?
MFK: Oh I imagine around 18… We tried, my sister and I tried with these Territorial Daughters. And our folks we come from, our folks been here in 18... We thought about it, we thought they came here about 18.., about right after the Civil War. But we can't find any record of it. And according to the family, and I don't know what happed to the Rogers' family Bible, but we always thought it was about 1869 or something like that. But we can't find any record in the Courthouse until about 1878. And it was a state by then. You see, in 1876. And of course Walsenburg had changed. See, Walsen was the man that opened Walsen Camp. That's where they changed the name, when they opened Walsen Camp.
KR: And Walsen Camp had a mine right there too didn't they?
MFK: Uh-huh. You can see parts of it up there, you know, if you know where to look. Right above town, right above Walsenburg. And each one of the old mines, CF&I mines, well it didn't make any difference whether it was CF&I mine or not. You know, you can still find the old mines. But they were bigger, because there was more money. See, John D. Rockefeller was behind the CF&I at that time - and of course his money was behind the CF&I. He, John D. Rockefeller, came to Rouse when I was a kid. I saw John D. Rockefeller. Yah, he came to Rouse when we were kids. He was the main interest for the CF&I. We had quite a thing at the 'Y'. He was old, John D. Rockefeller, he was gettin' up in age, then. Of course later, they sold their interest in the mining interest and went into something else. But at that time, and when the old _____ mine, John D. Rockefeller used his money behind it. That's where Rockefellers made a lot of their money - the Colorado coal mines. The CF&I steel mills - they were going to build them in La Veta - because that is where the water was at that time. And, for some reason they didn't get it. So, then they build them in Pueblo. But they were, my dad always used to say, that he could remember the story that the CF&I steel mill, that they wanted to build, it in La Veta. There was something came up, I don't know what the heck it was.
MFK: What is this for?
KR: We're trying to write a history of the county, etc.
KR: Special remedies - the Indians?
MFK: They helped my grandmother that year. You know, when the kids had colds or anything and then when we were growing up why, we had a doctor. And it was mostly _____. Of course, we didn't have penicillin to give you shots. It was aspirin, go to bed.
KR: Did you lose anybody in your family?
MFK: No, there were three of us, and we're the only ones. Of all my, my mother had six sisters and one brother and we're the only family that have all three of us are still - my mother had three daughters. Of the Rogers' family and we're the only ones. Being it's the county, I'll tell you more about the Rogers. My dad came here from Las Animas County. When he was about 24, 25 years old, he came here to Huerfano County. So, no, we're all three - We lost our mother, but we're all three still living.
KR: Where do your sisters live now?
MFK: I have one sister here. She's Alice Davis. She used to teach at the High School. And then my other sister lives in New Orleans. She just left today. Our dad's been real bad. She just left. I hate to see her go, but I know she has to get back to her family.
KR: When did you get married, what year?
MFK: When did I get married? 1937. I was married in '37.
KR: Where did you marry, in what church?
MFK: In the Methodist Church in Walsenburg. And my youngest sister and George's half-brother, Ben McCoy, were our witnesses. And then, we had George's mother was living. We just had a small party. His brother, my two sisters, just us. We didn't have a big wedding because his mother wasn't able to, and I didn't have a mother to give me a wedding. And my aunt wasn't able to either. We were married just lacking three weeks of thirty-one years. If he could have just lived… But lacked three weeks of thirty-one years. In August, we were married on the 26th of August. We lived in La Veta the first year we were married. We lived in La Veta for about five or six months because he was from La Veta. And then we moved up on my dad's ranch. He ran my dad's ranch for seven years. And then, the altitude was kind of getting to me and Dad was getting up to where he couldn't run it, you know. He had a locker plant. Things were just - and it was too much and too big for George to handle all of it. So, daddy sold the place. So then I moved, I moved to Walsenburg, 19——, the first time I really lived in Walsenburg was in 1934.
KR: Did you have any children?
MFK: I have two daughters. They both graduated from the High School here. One lives in Colorado Springs, Black Forest, out of Colorado Springs. She teaches the sixth grade. Now, its name is something Heights. It's out by - you go out by - I'm not quite sure the name of it the school. She said it, but I can't remember the name of it. And then my other daughter lives in Springfield, Colorado. And she was a Spanish teacher at the High School. And she has a little boy. I have one grandson. And she didn't work after she had him, she didn't want to go back to teaching. So she's not teaching. In fact, today is my grandson's third birthday. So, I'm going down over the weekend to my daughter's, to celebrate his birthday over the weekend. So, I just have the one grandchild.
Been kind of - I've seen a lot of things, but I haven't seen as many things as Daddy has. In his ninety years he, you know, there was already the telephone and the railroad. And cars were just coming out when I was little, you know. I remember the first car I ever saw. I thought, my gosh! But Daddy, you know, we knew there were such things, but Daddy is the one that's really seen a lot of things like that. In his ninety years, you know, a lot of that. But I've seen a lot, too. Men walk on the moon, and television, which is something I didn't have, and radio.
KR: When did you get your first television? Was it after you were married?
MFK: Yes. About 1938 or 1939. No, it'd be more than that, it'd be about 1945. Because on the ranch we couldn't get it; it was too mountainous. So it'd be about 1945, we got our first television.
KR: Could you get radio?
MFK: Uh-huh, we had a radio on the ranch. We had two or three radios. We had a radio in the barn. We listened to a lot of radio on the ranch. We could get the radio, but even after T.V. came out we couldn't because of the mountains. The mountain va1leys.
KR: Did you make a lot of your own food, like butter? Did you have cows?
MFK: Oh yes, a lot of butter. We had a fire, and my churn but not where George and I lived, but in my aunt's house. I had given a lot of the stuff to her. I don't know what happened. I guess it burned in that fire. I had a churn, oh yah, and I - we would cure our own meat and all that kind of stuff. And I raised a lot of chickens and turkeys. Oh, I like chickens. Turkeys were kind of out of my line. I did raise them, but I didn't have as much good luck with turkeys as I did with chickens and ducks. I had a lot of water so I had a lot of ducks. Had an awful lot of ducks. Every time I heard of a different breed of duck, you know, I had to go see if I could find one.
KR: You went through the Depression, too?
MFK: Yah. I was in High School during the Depression. We had our 45th class reunion a couple of years ago and we were laughing and saying that they called us the 'Depression Kids'. The teacher told us we wouldn't amount to a darn, none of us because, you know, we didn't have anything and the mines were beginning to close down and everything. Oh yah, when Wall Street closed I was a sophomore in high School. So we went through that. I remember that very well. They were laughing and said - called us the 'Depress ion Kids'. I don't know why our class. We had an awful good time with that. A lot of 'em came from many miles around for that. And just - there are just two of us here in Walsenburg that were able to do it, and one in Pueblo. So the work kind of came on the three of us. We sure…
KR: Did you get most of the people?
MFK: We found out where most of them were after 45 years. There were very few we didn't find. We were really surprised. It took us two years to plan that thing. In fact, the first one we had at 40. 40 years is when we started it. And when they came, some of 'em would tell us, 'Well, I know where this one is. Why didn't you say?' Well, we kept sending out letters but I guess they didn't realize. So they said, 'have another one in five years and we'll come.' We really had a good time. And the funny part of it was - some that came the first time didn't come the second time. You know, for some reason or the other. And that way we got to see some the second time if they didn't the first time. But we really enjoyed it. It was a lot of work for me but I enjoyed doing what I did.
Went through the Depression - could buy a hamburger for 5 cents! Could you imagine going to a hamburger stand now and gettin' a hamburger, bun, pickles and onions and everything for 5 cents? We sure did.
KR: Did any of your relation go to War?
MFK: I didn't have any brothers, so of course there was just the two sisters. I had five cousins, first cousins. One of them was a second cousin. Two of them did not come back, three of them did. And then my husband's younger brother went. He was Ben McCoy. He was through the whole thing, North Africa, Sicily, England and Normandy D-Day. He was through the whole thing.
KR: Was he an officer?
MFK: I don't know what his rank was. I did at one time. I'd hate to tell you now because I'm not sure. He lives in California, now. He was raised here in Walsenburg. He went through the whole thing. But George wasn't able to; he was deaf in one ear. He had broken an eardrum and they would never pass him because of his eardrum. They said you wanted to be able to hear. If there was anything you needed in the Army, it was hearing. So they never would pass him. He was called up two or three times and they wouldn't pass him because of that. I didn't know how I was going to run that ranch myself. But he was just wild to go, he really was. But ah, I wasn't.
Finally, just before the war ended, they were kinda cutting down, if you couldn't hear in one ear, you might go. And then the Armistice was declared. And I was glad of that.
KR: Did you raise a lot of cattle - at all?
MFK: On the ranch? Oh yes, we had, oh I imagine seven, eight hundred head. We had seven, eight hundred head I would say.
KR: Did you raise them for yourself or did you sell then?
MFK: Oh yah. Now, they truck them to these sale lots. We drove them from the ranch to Munson and then they took them on the train to Denver. Cattle train come through, you ordered your cars, you know. Then we shipped them to Denver to - there were three or four different Cattle Companies that would buy them. And we shipped them to Denver. Well, till the last, that was the first few years, then the very last two or three years, why we trucked them to Denver. But we still trucked them to Denver to the sale rings. You know, like they have around here now. They hadn't opened up yet when I was still out at the ranch. So we still trucked them to Denver. We didn't sell any cattle around here - my Dad's brand nor our brand, they all went to Denver.
KR: Did you like, trade things with your neighbors or something, like eggs? Did you sell eggs?
MFK: Well, not so much eggs. Well, I sold eggs yes, here. I sold eggs to Safeway. I sold a lot of eggs to Safeway Store on 7th Street, where it was before. I sold a lot of eggs to them. And I sold chickens when I lived on the ranch there was nothing against selling chickens. I sold a lot of chickens you know, and turkeys. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas I sold a lot of turkeys and chickens.
Then out, oh, about two miles from the ranch there was an old country school and I taught it.
KR: When you were how old?
MFK: Well it was after I was married. I was about 23, 24, somewhere around there.
KR: Did you go to school, like to College?
MFK: Yah, I have a degree from Adams State.
KR: What year did you graduate?
MFK: 1937. I got married the same year. Yah, I got my degree on the 7th of June and got married the 26th of August. Went up to the ranch. Lived on the ranch for seven years and then came down here. That's why I could add up 37 and 7 is 44.
KR: Is that when you started teaching?
MFK: No. My first year of teaching school, I was 19 and of course I was married. And I taught up above Gardner just about where the CC camp was. I taught there by the sawmill place there. And then the next year I taught over on Turkey Creek.
KR: Was that a rural school, one room?
MFK: Uh-huh. I had all grades on Turkey Creek. I only had five at the saw mill. Can you imagine? Then when I moved the next year I wasn't married then when I moved. In fact, I didn't even know my husband then. I moved the next year over on Turkey Greek and I had forty-four! I had all grades - from kindergarten through the eighth. And I had five kindergartners and I had nine little eighth graders to get ready for eighth grade examination. I never worked so hard in my - I think in - Now what did I do with those youngsters. We sure - oh I really worked that year. I stayed with a cousin of mine I knew on a ranch in Turkey Creek there. And I taught that school. And I had forty-four of them. And the little kindergartner came in couldn't even speak English. It's a good thing that I could speak Spanish. Not real fluently but enough that I could get across to them, you know. Enough, they could understand me and I could understand them. How I could get English to them. And, you know, I'd get pictures in English and tell them all the ones in Spanish.
KR: So you taught them English too?
MFK: Oh I had to teach them English too.
KR: Doubly hard.
MFK: That was it! The little rascals. You'd get busy with your eighth grade - you had to get ready for eighth grade graduation in those days, you know. And I'd get busy with those eighth graders so they wouldn't fail their eighth grade tests, and those little kindergarteners, oh! But, one good thing about it, I had some good seventh graders and they would listen to them read or give them an English lesson, or something like that. Kind of one-teach-one deal there, you know. And a lot of times if I'd take the fifth grade or sixth grade why then, when my eighth grade - I had one boy in the eighth grade that was very good at it. And he'd take the little children and teach them.
KR: Do you remember his name?
MFK: Uh-huh, Victor Pino. Do you know the Pinos down here? He was – Oh, yah, I have a lot of youngsters around here that went to school with me out there. I said I didn't mind having children of the children that I'd taught, but when I started having the grandchildren of who I taught then it would be time for me to quit. And I don't know it, but I think I've already had the grandchildren, but they just haven't known that I had grandma or grandad in school. I think that was the main thing. 'Cause that was a long time ago, 'cause I started when I was 19. And then when my girls - then after I married I taught country schools till we moved to town in '44. Then in '45, our oldest daughter was four and I didn't teach those years. The girls are just two years apart it was about three or four years there that I didn't teach. And then when they got a little older, where I could leave, I went back to teaching. And then I taught two years in another rural school. I taught out at Veta, four years. And then the one with Victor Pino up there. I got one year over there - I don't remember what his name was. Ray - was the boy. Victor was the boy at Badito. Well, out at Badito I had 25, 26 all grades. So, I had quite a few there, too, through eighth grade, to…
KR: They didn't have high schools?
MFK: No, they all came into High School. They came into Walsenburg High School.
KR: Do you remember any strikes in the mines?
MFK: Yes, when we lived at Rouse, they had what we called, I guess the name for it was the IWW - Industrial Workers of the World Strike. It was, now I don't remember of course the other one - you know, Ludlow - when that happened. I don't know anything about that. But in Rouse, it was bad. They had these big gates and when you came into the camp - I was 7th grader then, 7th and 8th grader - you had to have identification to get in and out, you know. And they had these big search lights all around at night, you know. And anybody walking around the camp, you're just libel to have the searchlight put on you. And it was a kind of - as a child at that age, 7th and 8th grader - it was kind of fearsome. We were afraid of it. And then ever once in awhile why they'd come in, you know, both sides would come in. Bring their cars through the camp, blow their horns, flags waving, you know, and this and that. It was kind of a scary thing at that time.
KR: How long did it last?
MFK: Well to tell you the truth I don't remember. You'll have to ask somebody that remembers it better then I. Because I don't remember how long that IWW strike lasted.
KR: What year was that?
MFK: Trying to think - about 1928. '28, '27, I guess '27.
KR: What was it all about'?
MFK: Better conditions, better wages in the mine and better working conditions in the mine. It was against the CP&I. Maybe not so much housing in those days, as was better conditions in the mine and better wages. Because, gee, some of those men were working four and five dollars a day - not an hour - but a day. Things like that - and I think it went up to $7.75 a day, after the strike. I won't say they got everything they wanted, but they did bring up the wages a bit. It was kind of awesome when you lived there. You never knew - you had armed guards at the gates, you know, the main gates on the roads that come in to Rouse. They were guarded day and night by armed guards. In the cars were machine guns and all. I just used to hate to go through those gates, you know. I used to like to go, but I didn't like that they'd flash those lights around and any suspicious - I know sometimes in the camp the kids like to get out and play kick-the-can, hide-n-go-seek and stuff like that, you know. We'd get together and start and the first thing you know, there was that great big searchlight on you, you know. They'd find out it was just the kids, why they'd let us go ahead and then they'd let us play. It was kind of scary for awhile. It was scary, you know, all of a sudden you'd play, and that great big old searchlight come down... And they were powerful things.
The main one was the IWW Strike. The only strike I went through. They did - they'd come in - they'd let them come in and wave their flags and make their speeches, you know, the officers. I don't remember who the officers of the IWW were, I don't remember anything about that. I was just a little bit afraid, pretty young, you know. But ah, they'd let them come in and speak, they'd let them come in and parade up and down the streets of the camp, you know. Make their shouts and defiance and this and that. So many minutes or so many hours I don't remember what they had - so much time that they had. Better living conditions - that's about all I know.
KR: Are there some stories that you can remember him telling you that might be of interest?
MFK: My dad's mind is so confused you know. He wasn't much to tell the stories it was mostly on my mother's side. The time he came here, things had kinda settled down. Now, my father's people came to Trinidad by rail, by railroad, see. In between when my mother's people came and my father's people came, they had brought the railroad into Trinidad. But ah, my grandparents on my mother's side came on covered wagon.
MFK: I know grandmother, my grandmother used to say - I told the kids at school this - she was up there and they, she had a milk cow, a couple milk cows, you know, for milk and stuff for the kids. And she had a little boy, my uncle, well, I guess he was 2, 3 and then she had a baby And she would go out after the cows and that's the first she knew that the Indians were anywhere around. And she went to go down this trail, you know, that the deer - really was a deer trail - because the cattle, there weren't any cattle up there then. And a cow went across it and she went to cross, too. There were two, three squaws just stepped out in front of her and they just scared her and she thought, oh boy! Here I go, I guess. And anyway, they motioned for her to give them the baby, to give the baby. My grandmother was afraid not to obey, so she did. She just handed them the baby. And so they motioned for her to sit down. So they made a cradle, fixed it on her back, laced it across the front and snowed her that way her hands would be free, see. To get, to chase the cows, or to get through the brush and watch the little ones. And so, that aunt of mine, or uncle of mine, his cradle was on her back. It helped her to have both hands, so that she could go and everything. They made her a cradle on her back and showed her how to strap it, you know, and put the baby in the back and carry it that way. It was quite a...
KR: And they just kind of communicated that way?
MFK: Ya, from that way, hand, sign language. Because she couldn't speak a word of English, she spoke Welsh. And they couldn't speak English, they were Utes. So, don't tell me people can't get along. She'd come halfway around the world.
KR: How did she learn English?
MFK: Just, by hearing it, just by hearing it by people around. 'Bout the time they started settling up there other people been, too. And, she just learned it. And by the time she died, they'd said, she was 62, or 64 when she died, she'd completely forgotten Welsh. Isn't that something'? You'd a thought she'd a kept it, but she didn't. They said she'd once in a while, she would make an exclamation or something in Welsh, but she never (spoke). I used to ask my aunts and my mother, you know, 'Would she ever speak in Welsh?' and they said, 'No.' .And she made no effort to want to. She had three brothers and two sisters, I think, in Wales. And she made no effort to go back. Had no desire herself to even go back to see them. But she left money in her will for my mother and my Aunt Mary, my mother's sister that never married, to go back to Wales to see them. She never went back, but she left the money and it was to be used. So, my mother visited Wales.
KR: Did she visit her people? Were there still some alive and everything?
MFK: Uh-huh. She found three uncles, two uncles and one aunt. My mother's one sister and two brothers are still living. One had moved to London and the other one was still there. And she found all kinds of cousins in Langau and Wales where they had come from.
KR: Have you ever been there?
MFK: No, I've never gone. No, the people mama talked about, I know, are gone by now. But I would have liked to, if she would have lived. If my mother would have live I always said that I would have liked to taken her and gone back, because she had such a good time in Wales. She loved Wales.
KR: I bet it's a pretty country.
MFK: Yes, it's a pretty country, you know. There are Holstein cattle you know, they don't have Hereford cattle. They have an awful lot of cattle, cows.
KR: Is that what her family did? They raised cows?
MFK: Yes. Now my grandfather's people - Tom Rogers' people - she never found not any relative of them left. And they were neighbors when they were married, when they came over here. But she couldn't trace – she found one, they figured about a fourth cousin. And that was all she found of her father's people. But she found her mother's people were named Davis - and she found and accounted for all that my grandmother had spoken of. Yes, she spent five months up there.
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