Friday, July 8, 2011


On June 6, 1933, Ina wrote as follows: “Yes, Roosevelt seems to be bearing with a big auger, but we’re wondering how long this can last going into the treasury so, but something had to be done. I’ve read some short articles of F. R.’s [Franklin Roosevelt’s] life, and he’s really some character, but what can one man do with this awful “money power” that is like a huge octopus clutching the government. It is above politics, for politicians will cut each other’s throats for it. Think of J. P. Morgan, whose operations ran into a billion, not paying income tax since ’29 because of his losses! No use to try to talk about it. Times really seem to be looking up a little, food stuffs are higher because wheat went up a little. Cream fat is $.20 now. Oh! Why talk at all -- it is so disgusting!”

Later she added: “We got our business settled up with the Federal Bank; they seem very reasonable. They didn’t want the land, you know, and after July 11, the interest rate is 4 ½% instead of 6%. It makes it $100 less to dig up each year, and it continues for 5 years. So we go on – why worry!” In other letters Ina stated that they paid as they went at the store in Orofino. I think she traded eggs, cream and butter, and chickens for what she needed at the Mercantile.

And about Pearl and Al’s struggle on the farm in Alberta, Ina reported to Vance as follows in her letter of July 30: “Pearl is the same old Pearl. It was like she’d just been gone a few months. She was quieter or seemed so this time, and Stan [Pearl’s son, now 13] has improved tho there is still room for lots more. He gets around with only a cane now, but his hips and back are not strong . . . He is taller and not so fat as before. Al is very thin and needs rest. He’s 44 and Pearl 40.  . . . . Pearl says she looks for the bank to close them out any time, but it won’t as long as they will stay and dig up for it on the farm, but they can never pay out, and Al is getting fed up on long cold winters and the political game. He does so much for his constituents that he never gets any peace or rest. [ Al served 14 years in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, sitting with the United Farmers caucus.] Pearl is interested in the government work and plans etc, and has a good head for such things, but she’d be glad to let go up there . . ."
About Earle’s job as a high school teacher: “Forgot to tell you that Earl got his contract for his position again in Idaho Falls. They gave him a raise of $100 on the salary for the whole term which is fine in view of the times, isn’t it? He is rated as a superior math teacher and a good disciplinarian.” Earle had expected to take a cut in pay so was especially pleased to get a raise. 

And about Myrtle: “I think Myrtle probably has a good job in her fingers too at Markham’s [a photography studio in Portland, Oregon, where she was a re-toucher], so the prospects are more encouraging in some ways aren’t they? Here’s hoping they may brighten for you, too.” 

[The top photo of Albert Sanders was taken in 1916. The picture of Al and son Stanley was taken here at the Gilbert farmhouse, and I'm guessing the year was 1926. The next is a studio portrait of Earle Julian Dobson. And the photo of Myrtle was taken in Portland.] KW


Leah said...

How interesting to hear about the financial problems of 1933. It's painful to read, but an important aspect of a family's life in that era. Living within one's means is something people should do today.

Did Stanley have polio? The Wikipedia piece on Al Sanders doesn't list his wife & son. But the facts were from Alberta, Canada election results data. Have you ever submitted anything to Wikipedia before, Kathy? Maybe you could do that and add Pearl & Stan added.

Thanks for the wonderful photos. I'm just like a kid. When a story has pictures, I perk up!

Chris said...

I was wondering the same thing about Stanley. Thankfully, there are much fewer diseases for children these days, thanks to immunizations.

Kathy said...

Stanley had osteomyelitis or what in that day was also called "tuberculosis of the bone." It started in his legs, I believe, and went into his hips and back. In adulthood, he was quite crippled but walked with a cane. He was a gifted draftsman. Mike and I were just remarking today that had he not been crippled he would have been tall and strong. He had big hands. He passed on in 1996 at the age of 76 and is buried alongside his parents at the Gilbert Cemetery.