Oregon State University Libraries and Press

W. Waldo Ball Oral History History Interview, April 19, 1979

Oregon State University
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JL: Dr. Ball why don't we start with what you remember about your grandparents.

WB: My grandparents homesteaded on the plains of Nebraska following the Civil War. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents lived in sod houses on the open plains of Kansas. My paternal grandfather was a civil war veteran and I remember very distinctly as a child visiting them in these sod houses.

JL: What do you remember?

WB: There were no fences and no banks. No telephones. The only communications that we had were the Western Union Telegraph on the Burlington Railroad where my father was a train dispatcher. And the first incident that I remember as a national incident was McKinley's assignation. I was a boy of five then. I remember that. 1901.


JL: Tell me about that.

WB: It came over the wire. No one knew it. My father had to convey this to the people that lived in this little town of McDonald, Kansas. He was sent from one railroad station to another and during the early years of my life we lived in probably 10 or 12 different towns where he would be sent as a railroad operator for the Burlington Railroad. And I was born on the main line of the Burlington Railroad, between Chicago and Denver.

JL: Wait a second before we go to your father. Where did your grandparents come from before Nebraska...

WB: My...

JL: ...Why don't we start with your mother's parents? What were their names?

WB: My mother's name was Harlan.

JL: Harlan.

WB: And her people came from Pennsylvania and her mother died when she was young and she was a student at Drake University. Her mother was a half breed Indian. 00:02:00Cherokee Indian. Which makes me a eighth and it was one of those tragedies of life in those days, following the Civil War, when some people would intermarry with Indians and that was one of the things that happened in our family.

JL: Do you know how your grandfather met your grandmother?

WB: He was a farmer in Iowa, in central Iowa, before he went out to Nebraska and he met my grandmother in 1870 following the Civil War and she was the daughter of a well known family in Iowa and how where they met I don't know where my 00:03:00grandfather and met his wife. This Indian. But, my mother was an only child and I we have a family reunion and I have some people coming next week. They want to know just what you're asking me about. My past and because I have gotten up a book for my grandchildren showing the paternal side of my family. Now I'm getting the maternal side.

JL: Great. That's great.

WB: And that's about all I can tell you about my grandmother because, as I say, she died when my mother was about eight and my mother was an only child.

JL: What was your mother's name?

WB: Dorothy.

JL: Dorothy Harlan.

WB: Dorothy Harlan. Yes.

JL: So you didn't know your grandparents at all?

WB: No.

JL: Or your grandmother, anyway?

WB:I knew I knew my great-grandmother. My grandfather's mother. I knew her.


WB: She's...

JL: This is on your mother's side?

WB: Yes.

JL: O.K.

WB: And I have a four generation picture showing my great-grandmother, my grandfather, my mother and me when I was about six years old is all. She wore a long black mother hubbard dress with big pockets and smoked a clay pipe. I remember as a child watching her put this clay pipe down. She had tobacco loose in these pockets and she filled this clay pipe and light up this...

JL: (Laughter) That's great. Was that a common thing for women to do?

WB: It wasn't uncommon. Yes, it wasn't uncommon. We didn't think anything about it and it was a very interesting thing to remember.

JL: Do you remember any of the stories that she'd tell?

WB: Yes. They were very suspicious people. Some of them. They thought they believed in hoaxes and witches and witch craft and they thought that certain 00:05:00things happened because certain other things had happened. They were they just believed in witchcraft.

JL: This is your great-grandmother?

WB: Yes. But she was an intelligent person. Lived to be about 100 and we always took care of our people. None of our people were ever put in nursing homes or any place like that. We just they were part of our family, you know.

JL: She lived with you then, yes?

WB: Yes and...

JL: Tell me about some of the stories she'd tell you about witches and witchcraft.

WB: Well, it I remember as a boy listening talk about balls of fire in the sky. I suppose they were planets or, you know, these things that drop out of the sky.

JL: Meteorites?

WB: Meteorites. Yes. And they were very suspicious that those were acts of God and that there was significance to them and they called them "soul sleepers". I 00:06:00don't think they were particularly religious fanatics but they what else was there to talk about. There wasn't anything else happening out there. So anything unusual happened like these U.F.O.'s that we talk about now they were talking about meteors and things like that. And they were Dutch reformed and they came from Pennsylvania and they weren't Mennonites or anything like that. But they were Dutch origin on my mother's side.

JL: And then you're talking she was on the Iowa in Iowa, did you say?

WB: Yes. And then she came out to live with us in Nebraska.

JL: Nebraska. With your grandfather then she...

WB: My grandfather had a farm out there. A homestead and in these sod house and they were some of the early pioneers about 1870 in Beaver City, Nebraska. 00:07:00Incidentally, I'm going back there this summer. I haven't been back for 50 years. I want to go back there.

JL: Oh, how interesting.

WB: Reminisce. One of my sons and his wife is going with me.

JL: To Nebraska, how neat. So your grandfather farmed and your great gra--. Did your great grandfather farm also?

WB: They were all farmers, yes. On my mother's side.

JL: O.K. How did they happen to move from Iowa to Nebraska?

WB: Because the land was open for settlement and they could go out and take a timber claim and get free land from the government. They could take 160 acres. Plant a few trees on it and the wife could take 160 acres and have half a section of land. It was free land. Open to settlement. That's how my family got it.

JL: O.K.

WB: All open plains. No fences or anything. Just open country.

JL: What about your father's parents?

WB: Now, my father's side I go back to about the 13th century when William the 00:08:00Conqueror came through England and he came to a place called Beecham that he liked and that was were the Ball family originated. And he became so fascinated with it that he didn't decimate that as he had the rest of England and settled there. Made his home there. I'm talking about William the Conqueror and my people came to this country in the 17th century and part of them came down into Virginia and part went up into New Hampshire. One...

JL: Do you know why they came?

WB: They came because of religious persecution. And they wanted freedom of worship and all. And George Washington's mother was a Ball and we have direct lineage from my family from George Washington's mother down to the present time and I have it all documented in a little booklet for my grandchildren.

JL: Wonderful. Wonderful.


WB: So that my side of the family came into Virginia and down into Indiana where the Ball University is and the Ball fruit jar people. Muncie, Indiana and then my grand-father at 14, my paternal grandfather, went into the Civil War as a drummer boy and after the civil war settled out in the same part of Kansas where my maternal grandparents lived. They lived in a sod house also.

JL: You didn't know your grandparents?

WB: Oh, yes. They are buried out here in Crystal Lake Cemetery. Both my grandfather and grandmother. They were born in 1848.

JL: What do you remember about them.

WB: Well, he became older. He had his original teeth. He didn't wear plates. He didn't wear glasses and up to the time of his death when he was about 90 he pitched horseshoes and played a good game of checkers. Very alert person and he 00:10:00has many of the facial characteristics of George Washington and there's a very strong family resemblance there so you can see that there's no question but. And the things I'm telling you are documented in the Library of Congress in Washington. That's the source of part of my information along with other information. And another branch of the family went north of the Ball family that came here, as I've said, in the 17th century and founded Dartmouth College and then came west and the first teacher west of the Rocky Mountains was John Ball who is memorialized at Vancouver Birch, you know. There's a monument there in his honor. That's part of my family.

JL: What do you remember about your grandfather Ball?

WB: He was a very alert, intelligent, pleasant person. And, of course, English in origin and the father of seven children. My dad was the oldest. My dad was an 00:11:00artist. He painted these pictures. He spent his life as an artist and...

JL: Your grandfather was an artist too?

WB: No. Just my dad.

JL: Your grandfather was a farmer though?

WB: Yes.

JL: And then during the Civil War he was a drummer boy?

WB: Yes.

JL: When did he marry your grandmother?

WB: 1873.

JL: And that was in Nebraska?

WB: Nebraska. He married a her name was Dooley. She came from a well-to-do family and very pleasant. Beautiful person and the mother of seven children. My dad was the oldest.

JL: Tell me about what did you do with your grandparents? Did you talk with them or were they unapproachable or...

WB: No, They visited in our home many times. We visited in their homes. We were a very close family and have been all through these generations and now I have 00:12:00some great grandchildren due in couple of months. Couple of the girls having babies. It will be the sixth generation in Corvallis.

JL: Gosh sakes. Well, how did your mother and father meet then?

WB: My mother went to Drake University in Iowa and came after her when she grew up after the death of her mother as a child came out to Nebraska to teach school and my dad was a telegraph operator on the railroad and they met in Nebraska and were married in 1895 and that's how they happened to be together.

JL: Was your father educated?

WB: No. I think my father had very little formal education. In those days there weren't the facilities available and I question very much if he had... He had no college education. And I doubt if he went past the eighth grade in school. But 00:13:00he always had a flair for art and he painted beautifully. Our home is replete with beautiful landscapes and things he did. I have a the first picture he painted was 1891 when he was 17 years old. He went back to the Corken Art Galleries in Washington as a boy and studied art. On his own and...

JL: Think he was encouraged by your grandparents?

WB: No. I think that he just had a flair for it and he just wouldn't let anything stand in the way. He just went back on his own and they had no way of sending him or supporting him.

JL: But they encouraged him didn't they?

WB: They didn't discourage him. No.

JL: Did he sell his art work or...

WB: No, he would never put a price on it. We had there were several of his pieces in the Horner Museum for years. Some of his landscapes and seascapes and loaned to the Horner Museum. And he was a very close personal friend of Jackie Horner.


JL: I want to hear about that.

WB: They did a lot of research on Fort Hoskins and Professor Horner was a close personal friend and he was an orphan born up at the near the Walla Walla mission and he used to take me fishing with him. We'd go on a train over to Elk City and I'd row the boat for him. So he'd fish. We had no modern gear. We'd put a fish line on a beer bottle and I'd row the boat. And he had two daughters. So one of the daughters was with us on one of these trips and she was lying down in the bottom of the boat along in the afternoon and the he had a fish on there that got off and this Professor Horner, for whom Horner Museum is named, was a very religious person. There is a stained glass window in our church in his memory. 00:15:00But he swore a little bit and his wife, I mean his daughter, heard him and she said, "Well, father. You're waxing rather profane, aren't you?" He wore a toupe and his toupe slipped off to one side and he got red in the face, and he said, "Well, daughter you're sitting in an ungainly position in the bottom of that boat aren't you?" That was his only response. But he was a great friend of our family and I on several occasions took fishing trips with him. He loved to fish. He's part Indian and he liked to excavate these mounds over along the Calapooya.

JL: Yes. I know.

WB: And his wife, Mrs. Horner, taught in the public schools. She was my history teacher in high school and in later years of her life she wouldn't have anybody but me take care of her. I was part of everything she did. She was a Skipton 00:16:00when she was born and raised here.

JL: Before we go onto that I want to hear more about your family and your mother and father. Your parents got married in 1895...

WB: 1895.

JL: ... and when and who was the first child born to them?

WB: I was the first of six children. Six boys and always as a boy I my mother never let me loose sight of the fact that I was to be a doctor.

JL: Really? Why is that?

WB: She just had a feeling that she wanted me to be a doctor. The oldest one in the family of six boys and no girls. So when she'd clean a chicken or anything. I was always there just right in her way wanting to know what the gizzard did and everything and I always had an interest in what made things happen in animals and taking care of sick animals and things. I never knew anything else but that I was to be a doctor.

JL: Is that what you wanted to be too?


WB: Oh, yes. I got sidetracked in World War I. I lost three years of my life in the war and but my mother wouldn't let me get into any other study. In fact, she it was almost an obsession with her. That I was to be a doctor. Well, the youngest of the six boys was also a doctor and some of them were photographers like my father in the photographic business and one of them is a cattle rancher up in eastern Oregon. But there were two doctors. I was 15 years older than the youngest of the children.

JL: Wait a minute. (Chuckle) I'm confused. There were six sons and you were the oldest and you grew you spent the first years of your life in Nebraska and then your mother and father moved to Oregon.

WB: In 1911.

JL: Now how did that come about? Your father worked for the Burlington Railroad.


WB: And my mother could see that the salary he was getting wouldn't be sufficient to give the six sons the education that she wanted us to have and so they she wanted to get to a university place and we had some relatives in Corvallis who came out here about the turn of the century and on one of their visits out here they decided to come out here and buy out a studio. Photographic studio so that we could have the advantages of higher education. Which we couldn't have had there at all. It wouldn't have been possible.

JL: Why is that?

WB: Well, because we were a long way from any university. There were no universities there. No way to prepare for a university. Just these rural schools.

JL: Did your mother work when she was in Nebraska?

WB: Yes, she always helped around the studio. She was the practical part of our family.

JL: Well that was in Corvallis. Your father didn't...


WB: Yes, in addition to his work with the railroad he had a string of studios too that he owned and operated there.

JL: Tell me about that.

WB: Well, we lived on a little Burlington Railroad Line from western Nebraska over into eastern Colorado and once-a-month he'd take some photographic equipment and go out to these small towns and take family pictures. Family groups and there were quite a few Russian immigrants there and incidentally, Centennial was written about this place where we lived and it made it particularly interesting to me because that was where we lived and I think one time he had five studios in Nebraska.

JL: So he owned five photographic studios and worked for the railroads.

WB: Yes. No. When he got this photographic business built up he quit the railroad. And just ran the studios. That was his occupation.


JL: What type of photographs did he take?

WB: Oh, family groups and pictorial historical pictures of the area. And would publish books and calendars and just for the merchants and things like that. It was just commercial photography.

JL: What did you like to do with your father when you were small?

WB: We did quite a bit of hiking together. We'd go up into some mountains and we always did things together and I was very close to my mother. She knew my interests in athletics: I was quite active in athletics. And she would take care of that end of it and my dad and I would go hunting and fishing together. And we enjoyed the outdoors. Played golf.

JL: Was your mother the dominant person in your family?


WB: Yes. My mother was the practical, dominant, person in our family. Yes.

JL: So tell me the names of your brothers again.

WB: Well, there was, next one to me who died last May, was Ted. He graduated in agriculture up here and he was a teacher of agriculture. And the next one was Bob who ran the Ball studio after my dad retired. And the next one was Dick who had a drugstore and a photographic studio down at Astoria. And there was Rodger who was a freight agent for the Union Pacific at Pendleton. And my brother Wendall who is a doctor in Pacific Grove, California.

JL: What did you like to do as a family? What things did...

WB: The outdoors. We had picnics. We always did things together. I never remember a time when. We were happiest when we were together. Doing something. Some anniversary or holiday together and we always did things 00:22:00together. Our family had always done that. Even do it today.

JL: That's unusual. That's great. Did your parent discuss politics?

WB: Not particularly, no. They weren't particularly political minded. They were very church oriented: we always went to church and...

JL: What church was that?

WB: Presbyterian.

JL: To what extent did their views affect you? Affect your life and in today even in religious views?

WB: I always have had a very deep feeling of a divine power and always felt that the churches were a very important part of our culture and we have always 00:23:00supported the churches that we have attended. Actively and financially. Personally and financially and it's just been a part of our life.

JL: Did you spend most of your time with your mother or your father then?

WB: I would say it was my mother. We used to go for walks in the evening. We used to go to football games together. My dad had no interest in it and I was active in athletics and she was always interested in my part in athletics and we had a rapport that, as far as I'm concerned, we just had truly perfect. Nothing could have been more perfect than my mother's and my relationship.

JL: Did she teach you anything about the Indians or her background?


WB: No. She never was very proud of her inheritance because her Indian heritage because her father her grandfather, I'm getting the generations mixed, her grandfather left the old ancestral home in Iowa and married this Indian and that didn't fit in very well with the life style of the family. So he was sort of a didn't follow the traditions of the family so my mother never talked very much about it. That would be her grandfather.

JL: Was that looked down upon in the rest of society?

WB: It was to a degree then. I never looked down upon it. I'm proud of my 00:25:00Indian heritage.

JL: But in a different age. Do you mind if I shut this?

WB: No. That's all right. (Door closed)

JL: But she wasn't proud of her Indian heritage?

WB: No. She'd just as soon not discuss it. She was a well educated, at that time women didn't go to college, you know, but she went to Drake. She never let us feel that we weren't just as good as anyone else. As long as we behaved ourselves. We always had the things that most of our friends didn't have. Such as ping pong tables and steam trains and skates and bicycles and the things that were part of our lives and she always felt we had to... She was a very wonderful person. We always had help in our home. We had, part of the time we 00:26:00had colored help, and part of the time we had other. But there was always somebody in our home and my mother was part of the action in that business.

JL: And this was in Nebraska?

WB: And out here too. In the studio here.

JL: Oh. Tell me about your help. Do you remember the personalities there?

WB: They were usually farm girls or one time for a lengthy period of time we had a one of my mother's cousins by marriage lived with us for several years. But there was always someone in our home taking care of the things the home while my mother was active in the business with my father.

JL: Must have been a very large home to hold all those.

WB: The old home is still down on the corner of sixth and Harrison. Our home before we came here. But we always had back in Nebraska we had a half a 00:27:00block. We had our own tennis court and we had probably the first automobile in the country and we always had the best of everything. Traveled.

JL: In Nebraska you had the first automobile in that area?

WB: Yes.

JL: Your father obviously was very successful then in his photographic business?

WB: Yes. But he didn't sell his art. I mean, he didn't sell his paintings. He would never sell those. I have among my grandchildren and our family we have many things he did and my mother predeceased my father by ten years and during that period between the time my mother died and my father died ten years later he traveled with us all over the world. Mrs. Ball, my wife and I. My wife was a World War I nurse. She'd been gassed in France with the army and we 00:28:00had three boys.

JL: (Chuckle) You're going too fast. I haven't finished with Nebraska yet.

WB: O.K. O.K.

JL: I'm still interested. You traveled you said when you were living in Nebraska. You're family traveled?

WB: Yes. We'd go to the Black Hills in the summer and go to Omaha and Lincoln and everything was on the train, of course. She didn't travel by car: there weren't any roads but we didn't lack for interesting things to do as a family. We didn't always, go together hut about the only place you could go there was back to Iowa where my mother's ancestral home. I spent one summer back there with the relatives or we'd go to Omaha to the. It's Omaha's Rose Festival type thing, you know, and the Black Hills.


JL: Was that not unusual for a...

WB: Yes, it was very unusual. People weren't doing those things in those days.

JL: What do you attribute your parents interest in traveling and cars and...

WB: It was just always part of our lifestyle. I think it was and still is now was our family, with our eight grandchildren. It's just the way we live. We just I don't think we have in mind of becoming provincial. Not going anyplace but it just we like to do things and see how other people live and it's been our lifestyle, as long as I can remember.

JL: Do you remember any of those travels that you took as a child? From Nebraska?

WB: Yes, I remember the trips to visit relatives in Lincoln and Omaha and the 00:30:00Black Hills. We had relatives in all those places and out to Denver and places like that on the train. We always had passes on the railroad. We didn't go back east in those days. New York or anything. But have many times since.

JL: So you mentioned that your mother wanted to move out to Oregon because she wanted your father to make more money. Is that what you said?

WB: She wanted to have more opportunity for education for the children.

JL: More opportunity. Why did she choose Oregon? Besides the fact that Corvallis is where your relatives were.

WB: Well, she liked the west and we had she had some aunts and uncles here who came here, as I said, about the turn of the century and on her visits out here 00:31:00to see these relatives she became interested in this part of the country and just liked it here. They lived other places too subsequently. He had a great deal of respect for my mother and she had a way of getting what she wanted and so when this was what she wanted to do why he acceded to it and became a part of it and they were very successful in business here.

JL: What did he do with his five studios?

WB: Sold them. Taking about a year to dispose of them after they decided to come here.

JL: Do you remember the discussions?

WB: Yes. It wasn't an easy decision to make because, as I told you, we had a beautiful home there and while we didn't have some of the facilities that you'd 00:32:00have in a place like Corvallis it was a nice life that we lived there. And there was some question about what we did. You know, selling a nice home there with probably the only furnace in town, the only tennis court in town and all those things and come 2,500 miles west to live. But, I'd never seen a daffodil until I was 13.

JL: You said your grandfather was living with you at the time in Nebraska.

WB: He was living near us. He had his own home but he was living near us.

JL: In Nebraska?

WB: Yes.

JL: Well...

WB: He never came out here.

JL: He never came out?

WB: He wouldn't go anyplace that he couldn't get back home the same night. He never did in all his life.


JL: Well, did you bring your servants and...

WB: Yes, we brought one. One lady that had been with us for years.

JL: She was your governess?

WB: She lived at home and took care of things when my mother was working, yes.

JL: So, do you remember moving out here with your...

WB: Oh, very well. We cane on the train: got in April the 2nd and it was a dirty severe winter in the Midwest and many animals and livestock died on the plains of Nebraska. Got out here and everything was green and nice. Daffodils and Royal Anne cherries. We'd never seen anything but dried fruit, you know...

JL: What year was this?

WB: 1911 and in school I used to ride on a slate with a clay pencil and I 00:34:00remember the first lead pencil I got. The first tablet I got.

JL: That was here in Corvallis?

WB: No. That was back in Nebraska.

JL: Oh.

WB: And we'd get an orange for Christmas, sometimes, too. That's the only time we ever saw an orange.

JL: Oh, no.

WB: It was quite a rugged life really. Centennial brought back many memories.

JL: Do you remember your first impressions of Corvallis?

WB: We rented a home on the river, down on the Willamette River on 1st street and the river was just as clear as the water in your your drinking water. There was no sewage or anything in it, you know. No bridges or anything. Steamers on the river come up every day from Portland and my impression of Corvallis was just a paradise. Because we had the beautiful flowers I'd never 00:35:00seen before and fruit that I'd never had and lifestyle was just absolutely different.

JL: You didn't mind leaving all your friends and the way of life...

WB: No.

JL: ...and the tennis court and...

WB: No. No. No I was very happy about it all. I can only speak for myself. I'm not sure how the other boys felt about it or but my folks were determined and sure they bought a nice studio. They bought out a business so they knew what they were doing and they had a very fine relationship with the university and Dr. Kerr who was president, at the time. Personally. And for about forty years they did all the art work for the university.

JL: Now how did that come about? Had...

WB: They needed them. They needed Oregon State at that time was just emerging as a quite a school. It was called Oregon Agricultural College. O.A.C. and 00:36:00Dr. Kerr was a very inspiring individual. And he wanted to develop Oregon State into what he thought it should be. And, of course, art played a large part in photo in photographic representation was a large part. He just took a fancy to my father and father to him- and for four years they had a fine relationship.

JL: Well, your father came here with your family and he had already made arrangements to purchase this studio?

WB: Yes, and he sent a man out here a year before to rent it till he could dispose of the property in Nebraska and...

JL: Did he bring all of his equipment and cameras and so forth?

WB: Yes and then bought more modern equipment to do what was necessary here.

JL: Did you help him set up the studio?


WB: Oh, yes. Yes. I worked in the studio and framed pictures and went with him on trips to take pictures and helped him carry this equipment around and helped in every way I could. As the oldest of the six boys.

JL: Now how many boys had been born by the time that you moved out from Nebraska?

WB: They were all born.

JL: All six.

WB: One was a baby in arms. The one fifteen years younger was a babe in arms. The one that became a doctor. But they were all born in Nebraska.

JL: That was quite an accomplishment for your mother to pack everything up plus six boys.

WB: That's right.

JL: What was her reaction to Corvallis?

WB: She liked it very much. She entered into the social and business life of Corvallis. Was president of the Women's Club and belonged to P.E.O. and the Eastern Star and the church and the whole thing. She took a very active part 00:38:00in the social and cultural part of Corvallis. And my father did too. My father was on the first planning commission here in Corvallis. Belonged to the Elks and the Masons and the church and all the activities. Never was in politics but he played a very active part in the early days of Corvallis.

JL: Where did you first live when you arrived here?

WB: In a little red house down on the river. Two story house on First Street and a few months later my dad started construction of this home on Sixth and Harrison where we have lived the rest of the time.

JL: What did you do when you got here as a 13 year old boy in a new town?

WB: Oh, I played baseball and went swimming and hiking in the hills. Enjoyed the 00:39:00outdoors. I had never been able to enjoy out there. In Nebraska there wasn't anyplace to go. Made many new friends. This girl that just walked out of the office, when you came in, was one of the first people I met in Corvallis. Went all through school together. She we found it a very pleasant place a very hospitable place and a very pleasant place to live.

JL: Where did you go hiking? Did you go out?..

WB: Up to Sulphur Springs and up to Mary's Peak and...

JL: What do you remember about Sulphur Springs?

WB: Well, a friend of mine, this lady's husband that just went out the door as you came in, was a doctor. He and I were...

JL: What was her name?

WB: Emily Schuster. And she's a house mother over at the university now. Her husband was about my age and Friday afternoon after school we'd get our hiking 00:40:00clothes on and take a frying pan and we'd hike up to Sulphur Springs and stay all night. Or...

JL: From here?

WB: ...or we'd go up to Mary's Peak and stay all night.

JL: You'd walk from Corvallis to Silver Springs?

WB: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. That wasn't much of a walk. You cut across the hills here you know. Go out past Crescent Valley School and right up over the hill and down on the other side is Sulphur Springs. If you go around it's quite a ways but it's not far if you go over it. And there was a nice place that we could make a little camp there and stay all night. We thought that was a lot of fun and then we'd hike up to Mt. Jefferson. I've been up there several times as a boy and we'd fish and get these trout, and smoke them and bring them home.

JL: How did you get up there? Did you have a car?

WB: We'd take a train to Detroit and then we'd hike the rest of the way. 24 miles. Yes.

JL: My gosh, you were quite a hiker, weren't you?

WB: Yes, I like to hike.

JL: Good heavens.


WB: We did that I liked it so well one time that I took my father back to see if he wouldn't like it too. We camped up there for about ten days and we [unintelligible] the venison and caught these trout and smoked them and brought them home.

JL: What kind of things did you bring on a camping trip? What were...

WB: We'd bring a frying pan and some blankets and some matches that we could keep dry and we had hiking hoots and I always had a six shooter strapped on my side and we'd always take a camera. I have lots of pictures at home to show you what I'm telling you and we'd take dried beans and we didn't have evaporated food in those days like we have now. So we'd take some canned milk and we'd pick huckleberries and make pancakes. And we'd take salt and...

JL: How did you carry these things?

WB: In a pack on our back. Pack. Pack sack. We'd get about 501bs. or so and pack it in.

JL: Did your whole family ever go or was it just you and your father?


WB: No. It was either my father or my father or some of my friends. I would...

JL: Did you have a close relationship with your brothers?

WB: Very close. We always I went to World War I and I wasn't with the family much after that because I went right into Medical School then I finished high school here in three years and a half and I went right into pre med. and then at the Oregon State University and took pharmacy along with the pre med. and then after the war I entered Medical School.

JL: Now in 1911 you were how old then?

WB: In 1911 I was 13.

JL: So you were 13 when you got here. And you went to high school here. What high school did you go to?

WB: Corvallis high. It's down there by the railroad station. Now where the city park is. That's where the high school used to be.

JL: And you were active in sports in high school?


WB: Yes, I played football and baseball and was quite active in everything in having to do with school.

JL: You mentioned something about the activities on the river. Can you elaborate a little bit?

WB: Yes. We used to do quite a bit of canoeing. There was a canal that went from Mary's River to the Willamette. There was a flour mill out where Evans Products is and this canal furnished the water for this flour mill and we used to go canoeing on that and then we had a boat and we were on the river with a rowboat and we just enjoyed the everything having to do with the river was.

JL: You mentioned steamers on the river.

WB: Yes, they came up every day from Portland up and back. Yes.

JL: Can you tell me about that a little bit? Do you remember?

WB: I have some pictures at home and it would cost a dollar to go to Portland on the steamer and that included your meals.


JL: Really, wow.

WB: And when they'd come in here they'd dock down there about where the Van Buren bridge is. Just south of there and then they'd pull that freight up onto that dock and then the farmers and the Merchants would come and get their merchandise from the dock and there was a cannery down there also on the banks of the river and I used to work there as a boy. I used to fire the boiler for the cannery.

JL: You did. What was the name of the cannery?

WB: Corvallis Cannery.

JL: Corvallis Cannery.

WB: And we used wet slab wood. That's the only fuel we had in those days. We only had lights from eight o'clock at night tell midnight. That's the only electric lights we had and no movies on Sunday and we had a local option. There was no beer or wine or anything sold in Corvallis. You had to go to Independence to get any booze if you wanted any.

JL: Is that what you did?

WB: I never cared much for it. I don't like wine and but one weekend when one 00:45:00of my friends folks were away we took some of the family chickens and made a stew and one of the boys went over to Independence and got some wine and some of the neighbors found out about it because we went into the river swimming before we had our dinner and we didn't put on any bathing suits on. We just went in raw and the neighbors objected and the district attorney came up to the school and wanted me to tell him who bought the wine. Well, I didn't know because I hadn't drunk it and I didn't I don't like wine and I wouldn't have told him anyway because I suppose out of loyalty to my friends. But he threatened me and my dad found out about it and he was quite incensed about it because he didn't like that. Having him take me out of school and quizzing about this episode over the weekend. (Chuckle) But we did things that boys do now days, I guess, mostly.


JL: Did you ever take the steamer up to Portland?

WB: Yes. I did.

JL: Can you tell me about that?

WB: It was a nice trip. We had a couple of meals on it. You go through the locks at Oregon City and we'd take flour and grain on the steamer going up and bring back freight merchandise for the merchants coming back.

JL: Was it common for them to have passengers?

WB: Yes. They took passengers.

JL: So you'd load at the Van Buren Bridge?

WB: There was a dock there, yes, where we unloaded. And they had a slip, you know, with a hooks on these trucks. They'd hook onto these trucks and then they'd you'd pull the handles of the truck and steam would pull the truck up to the top. You didn't have to push the truck. It would pull it up to unload the freight. And they kept the snags and everything out of the river. They dredged it every summer.

JL: How did they do that?

WB: The government sent big dredges in. Kept the canal open and no snags or anything in the river. They had free river traffic. About the turn of the 00:47:00century it was a big business here. All up and down the river. They went as far up as Peoria.

JL: Do you remember that in 1911 too?

WB: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. You bet.

JL: Go ahead. You were saying that you took the steamer, you loaded it at Van Buren and it was a smooth trip up to Portland.

WB: You'd go through the locks at the...

JL: What was that like?

WB: Well, it was just a you'd go through these little river towns and stop along, oh, they'd make a half a dozen stops, you know, like Buena Vista and Salem and Wilsonville and there were ferries at all these places, you know. There weren't many bridges in those days. I remember we started out here one time to go to Tacoma and it took us two days to get there. Had to cross the river five times to get there. No pavement at all, of course. Just all dirt roads. What were the reasons why you'd go up to Portland. Just I wanted just to 00:48:00take a trip on the steamer.

JL: Oh.

WB: I hadn't any particular. Maybe go up to Rose Festival or something like that. They had a Rose Festival in those days.

JL: Do you remember a circus coming to Corvallis?

WB: Not a big circus, no. I suppose they did but I don't remember about it. We had them back in Nebraska though. I remember definitely about that. I had a little coyote that I'd caught out in the prairie and raised it from a little puppy and the circus came along and they wanted to buy this. And I sold it for $3.00.

JL: (Laughter) What were they going to do with your coyote?

WB: Oh, just keep it chained around for a conversation piece, you know. Attract attention. Cute little fellow.

JL: What did you do with your $3.00? (Chuckle)

WB: Oh, I suppose I bought skates or something. We used to do a lot of skating back there. Ice skating.

JL: Did you have much association during those early years, early teen years, 00:49:00with the O.A.C.?

WB: Yes.

JL: Or the students there?

WB: Yes. I just graduated from grade school when we came out here and I took the three years in high school and then went right into college and was always associated with the students.

JL: Well, did the students did you like I understand that there was a recreational program for young kids in Corvallis and some of the students from O.A.C. were the directors. Did you have any participation in that?

WB: I didn't have any contact with it, no. In fact, we didn't have this was when we came it was too early for Boy Scouts. We had no scouts or anything like that. So I didn't participate. Anything I did we did on our own. Except school activities. Maybe we'd rent a hayrack and ride up to the bottom of Mary's Peak and then hike up to the top. But we didn't have any organized 00:50:00recreational except just the high school baseball team and when we'd go to places like Lebanon or Salem we'd go with a team. Buggy, you know. We wouldn't have any and Dallas didn't have any start out early in the morning and go on a trip, you know, to go play baseball or football. We played Salem and Albany and Dallas and Lebanon in high school athletics.

JL: Did you ever go to any of the activities on campus on the O.A.C. campus?

WB: No. No.

JL: No. I wanted to ask have you ever did you ever go to what is now McDonald Forest?

WB: Oh, yes. You had to go through that to get to Sulphur Springs, you know.

JL: Right. I know. Do you remember an old mill there?

WB: Yes. Yes. In fact I had a lady in my office yesterday who's grandfather 00:51:00homesteaded where that mill was and where the little red school house is over there.

JL: Who was that?

WB: Mrs. Rickard. She's a bus driver for the school system. And I was giving her an examination and we got to reminiscing and I knew that she was an old pioneer but I didn't know that her grandfather homesteaded that area out by Tampico, out on Soap Creek.

JL: Do you remember Tampico?

WB: Oh, yes. There used to be a school and a post office there. Store.

JL: You remember seeing them?

WB: Oh, yes. You bet.

JL: What do you remember? Can you relate anything?

WB: You mean about Tampico?

JL: Tampico. The mill and...

WB: Well, the mill is back in the hills, you know?

JL: Right.

WB: O.K. Tampico there was a little country store about like the one that used to be out here at Airlie or Peady. And then there was a school. I don't remember 00:52:00a church. I don't think there was a church there and at one time there was quite a settlement and I've often thought I'd like to do a little researching to what it used to be because it was quite a place at one time. And then they tried to put in a saloon and Greenberry Smith who owns a lot of the land out there objected to it. He got that put out and then from then on Tampico just went down the... It was on the trail, you know. The Applegate Trail went along the edge of the mountains, you know. Went through Tampico. Tampico was named. Some of these people came from Virginia Greenberry Smith 1846 came across in a wagon train that was lost out by the desert and Tampico was named 00:53:00for the Tampico back in Virginia on the coast there.

JL: So Greenberry Smith did not want any alcohol in Tampico...

WB: Or gambling or anything. Yes.

JL: Oh. Why would it go downhill because of that? I; mean that was stopped in Corvallis. Well, they took it out. Yes, well, I don't know but that's see my sister-in-law, my brother Bob married Ester Hayes and she was a great granddaughter of Greenberry Smith. So we have all this history recorded on that side of the family. What do you attribute your interest in history? Is that from your mother or your father?

WB: I suspect it's from my mother because I've always been an A student in history and always fascinated me to go back into the I have a library of all the early history of Oregon. I have a library that you couldn't put on this everything I could find having to do with pioneers coming west and early days of 00:54:00Oregon. I guess it's just an in-bred characteristic.

JL: Your mother was very interested in history.

WB: Yes, she was. Very well educated and the things that I learned, I think, I learned from her. Of course, we're all proud of our mothers but she was quite a person and I wasn't the only one that thought so. Many people have remarks over the years about my mother's intellect and insight into the things worthwhile in life.

JL: What were some of the things you liked best about living in Corvallis?

WB: Oh, the abilities to get out in the hills and hike and going swimming and 00:55:00doing things we couldn't do back there because there wasn't any water there, you know. And then I liked the hunting and fishing which we didn't have back there. And I particularly liked all forms of athletics. I always was interested in baseball Things like that, particularly. It was just the whole I just liked everything about it.

JL: I can see that. What were some of the things that you liked least?

WB: About Corvallis?

JL: About Corvallis when you were growing up here.

WB:I hardly know how to answer that but I don't think there was very much of anything I didn't like about Corvallis. I've traveled extensively. I don't know of very many places in the world that we haven't been and I have gone away thinking I might find something better and I'm always so happy to get back. I 00:56:00just like everything about it. I don't think there is anything about Corvallis I don't like. I like the people. I like the way they keep their homes and shrubbery and flowers and I like the school, the schools, and I like the culture and there just isn't anything I don't like about it.

JL: That's remarkable. Well, so you graduated from high school in what year?

WB: '14.

JL: 1914. Did your mother also have a plan for the rest of your brothers?

WB: Yes.

JL: What did she want them to be...

WB: Yes. She sent them to military schools down in New Mexico and Portland and tried to make something out of them.

JL: Sounds like she was pretty successful.

WB: She had lots of disappointments in her life. Some of the things that happened but I think that she felt that she was quite successful, yes. If she didn't achieve what she wanted in the development of these children it wasn't that she wasn't trying because she gave them every opportunity. She sent them 00:57:00to some of the most prestigious finishing schools in the country. New Mexico Military Institute, for instance. Two of my brothers went through there and one of them went through Hill Military Academy which was a boys school in Portland. So they had every opportunity to but they didn't take advantage of their opportunities.

JL: That often happens. So you graduated in 1914 from high school and then what happened?

WB: Then went to Oregon State University or Oregon Agricultural College in pre med and pharmacy until World War I and I went into the navy in 1917 and when I came back from the navy I had fulfilled all the requirements I needed for pre med and I entered the Medical School in Portland.

JL: So you but you were planning to be a pharmacist though when you started?


WB: No. I just took pharmacy because it was a two year course then and you could take it along with your pre med. They didn't have a well established pre med. course up here when I was a student. So I took pharmacy along with pre med. You couldn't do that afterwards but we did it then.

JL: You started at the college in 1914 then?

WB: Yes.

JL: Hmmm. What was the school of pharmacy like?

WB: Yes. They had a well established School of Pharmacy. There was no smoking on the campus and the old dean of the Pharmacy School along about three o'clock in the afternoon would say, "Well, I have an experiment up on the third floor of the old science hall. And he said "Why don't you come up and help me with this research problem?" And he'd go up and have a smoke up there. So nobody would know it. There's some dormer windows on it. You know where the old science hall? And (chuckle) I was kind of a favorite of his and he'd want somebody to go up there with him, I guess, so if he got caught he wouldn't. 00:59:00But that was the dean.

JL: What dean was this?

WB: Ziefle. Z I E F L E. Ziefle, Dean of Pharmacy.

JL: Did you smoke too?

WB: Yes. We had a smoke there.

JL: That was unusual wasn't it?

WB: Tobacco was never part of my life but I just did it because he asked me to.

JL: What kind of things did you do as a student?

WB: Oh, I played baseball and drilled with the cadet corp. We had drills and I wasn't. I belonged to a couple of fraternities. I wasn't very active as a student. I didn't like fraternity life and I didn't have much to do with the girls. Oh, I mean I wasn't a social. I didn't dance or anything like that. I enjoyed good company and but I wasn't a leader at all. I was just a ordinary 01:00:00student, I guess, you could call. I had no trouble with my classes I always did all right in school but it didn't come easy. I had to work for all of it.

JL: Did you live on campus or did you live at home?

WB: I always lived at home. I didn't like campus life. I didn't like fraternities.

JL: Did you not want to leave Corvallis and leave your home like some people do and go off on your own?

WB: There was a time when I did but my mother always would show me the folly of my ways and get me back on track. There were times when I got sidetracked a little bit, you know. I bought a diamond for a girl one time. I thought I was in love with her. Found out I wasn't. But that was right after the war, you know. You war does strange things to people, you know and I thought I was in 01:01:00love with a girl. She had that was before I met my wife.

JL: Your mother was a very strong willed woman wasn't she?

WB: Yes, she was.

JL: Did she have as much influence over your brothers as she did over you?

WB: No. That was one of the disappointments of her life. They did things I never did, you know, like their lifestyle was different than mine.

JL: Did your father instill you with some of the values you hold today, do you think? Was he influential in your attitudes and values?

WB: I would say he definitely was, yes but and I thoroughly enjoyed my association with my father and we had a very fine understanding. He made me executor for his will and I took care of all of his business the last 20 years 01:02:00of his life and we didn't lack anything in the way of one on one relationship. But he was altogether different than my mother. He was an artistic sensitive. I never saw him do work or never saw him very much interested in a dollar. Money meant nothing to him because my mother always saw to it that there was plenty of it. But he was well liked. He was charter member of the Rotary Club. First president of it. Charter member of the Bend Rotary Club and the president of it. District governor of Rotary and president of the Photographic Association of America and everything. He had the whole bit going. He was a he could get up and make a speech as good as anybody without any formal education. He was well liked. He'd talk to anybody that would talk to him on the street until about two 01:03:00or three o'clock in the afternoon and then he'd start working and he'd work tell midnight and that distressed my mother because she'd like to get up in the morning and go to work and have the work out when the people were supposed to get their finished pictures, you know. And she never could depend on him because he had final touches to do and he did a lot of air brush work on these portraits and everything and it just distressed her immensely. She just couldn't tolerate the indifference of not fulfilling her and...


JL: That caused some anxieties.

WB: Yes, it did. But Corvallis has been very good to the Ball family and we've tried to contribute something to Corvallis.

JL: Did you help with your father's studio in the teens? While you were going to O.A.C.?

WB: Yes. I'd frame pictures and we had a big frame business, you know, where we make the frames. I would do that and I'd do the Kodak finishing and help with the work around the studio. I'd go with him out to take pictures when help him with his equipment.

JL: Tell me about that. What would O.K. you were commissioned to do a portrait. Can you tell me from beginning to end how that would go?

WB: Well, one of the things that was quite popular, in those days, were family groups and family reunions and one of the first things my dad did when he came to Corvallis was to acquire what they call a panoramic camera. It was a camera 01:05:00that took a picture about that long and about 10 inches wide. About the size of half of this desk.

JL: About two feet long, yes?

WB: Oh, yes. At least two. And it rotated and took what we call a panorama picture. For instance, start over here and go clear around and get a panorama view. I can show you some and that equipment was quite heavy and I'd help him set that up and take the pictures and then they ran what they call a senior excursion to the coast. Railroad and he had a particular place over on the railroad the train would stop and he'd people would get out of these cars, these passenger cars and line up and he'd take these senior excursion pictures and family groups and things like that. So he was doing and I'm not saying this just because he was my dad he was doing things never done before and will never be done again. And I could take you back and show you some of the old annuals of the years that he was active in that. Show you art work that's 01:06:00never been duplicated and photographic graphic art of various kinds. He had the whole thing. Set up everything in connection with the annual. That was one of the things that he did. So he had a flair for art and an extraordinary ability.

JL: So O.K. you'd get this commission to do a portrait and you would go with him to the person's house for example...

WB: That's right.

JL: .. .then what happened?

WB: Well, if it was dark we'd have what you call flashlights. You'd take you had a pan with powder on it and you had a little cap like a cap pistol and you kept a thing in that. That powder would burn and you'd get a flash in it and you'd take the picture. That was the way they took pictures before they had the strobie lights and all the things that we have now. And we'd go down to the he had the railroad work here too. He was the official photographer for the 01:07:00railroads. We had three railroads coming into Corvallis. And he did their official work. He was always busy doing something. And he always employed quite a...

JL: So you'd take the picture with this whatever this flash...

WB: Yes. And it would be on glass plates, you see. The old style wasn't on film in those days. It was on glass plate and he'd bring those in and we developed those in the dark room at night.

JL: Tell me about that. You'd go back to the studio and then what would you do?

WB: Then you'd take these plates out of these holders. They have plate holders. Plate holders held two plates. Maybe they are 8x10's. One on one side and one on the other and you'd have to turn those when you took this pictures, in the camera. And then you developed those and then the next morning you'd make the [unintelligible] print them with the electric light and, and as I say we'd only have lights from eight to midnight, and so you had to do all your 01:08:00work then.

JL: What happened in the dark room? Did you ever participate in that?

WB: Oh, yes. Yes.

JL: O.K. What happened after the picture was taken you had this plate...

WB: You put it in a solution. To develop it. It would have to stay in there a certain length of time and you'd take it out and wash it. Put it through a series of washings. Then you take it out and put it in a rack and dry it and that was all activated by silver nitrate and [unintelligible], you know. That's what they call the wet plate method. Much different than the films. Then the films came along and I used to use Kodak finishing and develop those rolls of film. You'd hang those in a tank. Suspend them in a tank and then wash them and hang them on a rack to dry and then cut them up and make your pictures from the sections of the film. Twelve pictures on a film, [unintelligible] sizes.

And my brother and I. had a Kodak shop over at Newport and in the summer time we'd do Kodak finishing over there. And that's how I met my wife. He went 01:09:00down to the beach one day and took a picture of some nurses on their way to Hawaii and one of them was my wife and I noticed she had on a 1919 bikini. If you've ever seen a picture of a 1919 bikini and I noticed the dimple on her knee and I kind of liked what I saw and so that was the beginning of our romance. (Chuckle) That was after World War I. She had just gotten back from France. She was on a holiday over there and she was on her way to Hawaii. She had a job over in the hospital in Hawaii. But that's as far as she got until several years later.

JL: Oh, my gosh.

WB: She went to Portland when I was a senior in medical school and got a job in a eye, ear, nose and throat hospital and the next summer we were married.

JL: Well, now did you have a shop in Newport before the war or was this after?


WB: It was after the war.

JL: O.K. So what happened O.K. were you in R.O.T.C. on campus?

WB: Yes.

JL: Tell me about that.

WB: Well, we had to drill, I think, two or three times a week, you know, for an down, hour or two down on the lower end of the campus. Or if it was raining over in the armory. And we drilled by company you see. We were assigned to a company and you always had your uniform and your rifle and you had to carry that rifle and go through all these drills and that was part of the R.O. program and when the war came along instead of going into the army which I had been trained to do, I was also a member of the national guard here. I chose the navy. The medical corp of the navy.

JL: How come?

WB: I just thought I'd like the sea. I like the ocean and I like ships.

JL: You hadn't finished college by the time the war started? Had you?

WB: No. I left in April. The war was declared the sixth of April. 1917 and 01:11:00I went the next day into the navy.

JL: Did you join then?

WB: Yes.

JL: What caused you to do that.

WB: Well, I had a chance to get into the medical corp of the navy and I knew that I should go because I was the proper age to go and would probably have been called if I hadn't gone. So I just joined the navy the next day.

JL: Do you remember the events surrounding that joining?

WB: Oh, yes. Sure. I went to Portland. Was examined and the next day I was on the way to San Francisco where I took my basic training.

JL: What did your mother think of that?

WB: I think she was less than enthusiastic about it. I think she'd rather I hadn't gone and I was on the battleship Wyoming. I was the chief pharmacists mate.

JL: What did that involve?

WB: Well, I had 13 men under me and I worked with the doctor on the battleship Wyoming.


JL: Doing what?

WB: Taking care of sailors.

JL: Oh, you were a medical aid then?

WB: Yes.

JL: Even though you hadn't had any training?

WB: Yes.

JL: Where did you go?

WB: Went to Europe and Azore and South America and Cuba. All over the world. We were attached to the grand fleet. The British Fleet. Bottling up the German submarines trying to put an end to the war. I was paid off in Norfolk, Virginia and then that fall started to medical school.

JL: What rank did you hold?

WB: Chief pharmacists mate. That would be like a sergeant major.

JL: What places were you stationed or was it...

WB: I was stationed first I went to San Francisco and then they sent me to the 01:13:00University of Minnesota for special training and I made good at University of Minnesota and they sent me to Columbia University in New York and then I went aboard the U.S.S. Wyoming and when I went aboard the U.S.S. Wyoming they were looking for a chief and I walked into the commander's office and saluted and he said, don't do that. Sit down. And he said, would you like to go to sea with me. And I said, "Yes, sir." He said, if you go with me I'll make you a chief. And I said, "Well, that suits me fine." That was in Brooklyn navy yard.

JL: Which places stand out and why?

WB: Cuba. That was before Castro's day, of course. And our headquarters were in Cuba. Guantanamo Bay, you know. We still maintain a base there and I've been there since. I wanted Mrs. Ball to see it so we've taken trips to Cuba 01:14:00and Jamaica and places like that and I like Cuba.

JL: What do you remember about it?

WB: Oh, the people and the sugar cane and the nightlife. There's a beautiful place before Castro came in and then years later we were there just before Batista was overthrown and Castro came in. We were there from within just a few months from the time they had the overthrow. We were in I was head of O.P.S. in Oregon and we went to a meeting down in Cuba and we had a couple of spare days and we took a trip over to Cuba and flew over there and shortly after that Castro took over. And then we did the same thing on another trip to Jamaica. And since then we've been on the Hope twice. The ship Hope. Mrs. Ball has been with me. And we've traveled all over the world.


JL: Were there people on your boat that you had much in common with? Did you make some friends?

WB: Yes. There was a boy from Amity and he and I were very close and everywhere we went we went together until finally he was sent on a merchant ship and I was sent on a battleship and I made some very close friends. One of the close friends I had was a boy by the name of Ray Loomis from up at Washington State University. His father was head of the Loomis Armored Car Service. The first summer out of the navy I worked on their they had a wheat ranch up in Washington and I worked on the wh eat ranch before I started medical school.

JL: What...

WB: Made some very close friends.

JL: Can you recount some of your military experiences that stand out in your mind?


WB: Well, of course, the flu was rampant in those days, you know. So dozens of people died with the flu.

JL: I know in Corvallis that was the case.

WB: Yes. And we had the travels in various parts of the world was interesting. South America and these places we went.

JL: Where did you go, in South America?

WB: Barbados, Haiti and down the Caribbean.

JL: What impressed you there?

WB: Oh, the British Colonial life in those places. Like Barbados. Protectorates, you know, under British sovernity. It's an altogether different thing than I had ever seen anywhere else. I was quite impressed with what I saw.

JL: How was it different?

WB: Well, the houses and the people were black and they it was sort of a the 01:17:00sort of a well the representatives of the royalty in Europe were in England were predominant in everything that happened and the rest were just the natives in these different countries.. And I was particularly fascinated with the beauty and the simple way these people lived and the beauty of the Caribbean and the flying fishes and the coral reefs and everything. And it was all a fascinating experience. I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

JL: Were you involved in combat, at all?

WB: Yes, we were I don't think I was ever in danger of combat but, of course, we were on submarine duty and anything could have happened but I don't think I was ever in any particular danger, at all. Not like my wife. My wife was right 01:18:00in the front lines over there in the evacuation hospitals and she was gassed over in France. She's been an invalid all these years. And in World War II we lost our oldest son in the war unit over in Germany.

JL: What were your feelings about the people you were fighting?

WB: Seems to me that if there's anything in this world that's an exercise of futility it's fighting wars. I can't see any need for it. If you take out the economy of war there wouldn't be wars. It's a profit motive instigated by politicians and the thing that disturbs me most about war is trying to dramatize it. There is nothing about war except agony and suffering and pathos and 01:19:00death. And I just can't see how anybody can dramatize something that's as objectionable as war. To me it's a perfect illustration of man's inhumanity to man.

JL: How do you think we can prevent it from happening?

WB: I don't think we can.

JL: You think it's human nature?

WB: Always has been. I don't know why we'd expect to change it. We've always had wars. I think we always will have. I've been in [unintelligible] several times right where this feuding is going on over there now. I was in there six or seven years ago. I knew what was impending. I knew that this was coming and we were told what to do and what not to do and what to say and where to go 01:20:00and when to go and where not to go. I wish I could feel differently, but I I may be a little bit bitter having an invalid wife and loosing a son. I didn't suffer anything by it. I mean personally.

JL: Would you like to tell me about your wife's experiences in World War I?

WB: Well, she wrote a little record of what she did and it was examined by several publications, including the Reader's Digest who would have used it if she had freshened it up, but she didn't feel she wanted to because some of the principals were still alive. But she wrote a very interesting account of the war and I have it bound for my grandchildren.


JL: Gee, I'd like to see that.

WB: It's a fascinating story. She went from a little country girl down in southern Illinois and she had some harrowing experiences. It's a wonder she's here.

JL: How do you think the war changed your life? You went as a student from O.A.C. into war and...

WB: Oh, I think it broadened my concept of humanity and the world in a way that I never would have got in any other way. I'm not at all sorry I was in the navy. It was a definite plus as far as I was concerned. I think it broadened my vista of life and want it was all about and it's very interesting to me today as I sit here talking to you when they talk about is God dead and 01:22:00the drug culture and the sex and all as though it was something somebody invented day before yesterday. We've had those things with us, if I read my history correctly, always and I think we always will have.

JL: Were you confronted with that when you were young?

WB: Yes, but I wasn't a part of it. Never occurred to me to go into the bawdy houses and do the things I saw the other's doing and I had too much respect for my mother and this wasn't part of my lifestyle. It didn't bother me what anybody else did I...

JL: Did you meet people, natives, in places that you've visited?

WB: Oh, beautiful people. Beautiful people. They opened their homes everywhere where we were, and we were given opportunities to meet people and do things that we never would have done any other way. People were very generous in their hospitality and providing dinners in homes and these places where we 01:23:00were and Minneapolis and Seattle, San Francisco, New York...

JL: This is as a sailor?

WB: Oh, yes they had what they called U.S.O.'s, you know, where you could go and get theater tickets and invitations to dinner. I met some fascinating people like Irving Berlin and people like that. Madam [unintelligible].

JL: Did you have opportunities to go out with women?

WB: Oh, yes...

JL: Dating women?

WB: ...I had some I liked the nurses. I'd go out with the nurses sometimes but I didn't go out with people I didn't know.

JL: No.

WB: No. Oh, yes, I had some very close friends wherever I was.

JL: How long were you in the navy?

WB: 30 months

JL: 30 months. So did you see your family then during that time at all?


WB: Not after I left the coast. I didn't see them tell I came back after the war.

JL: Did you get homesick?

WB: I don't remember getting homesick. No. Things were happening too fast. I was too busy and I was always in school too, you know. When I wasn't on active duty I was in school. Like Columbia and Minnesota.

JL: How import was religion to you? Do you remember?

WB: I didn't participate in. I have a bible at home. A new testament my mother gave me when I left her home and I carried it with me all the time but I didn't read it. I don't remember attending church call. We had it on the battleship all the time but I was supervising the sick bay and taking care of my duties as a pharmacist's mate.

JL: So you got out of the navy in 19...


WB: '19.

JL: 1919. And you came back to Corvallis?

WB: Yes.

JL: And I bet that was a happy occasion?

WB: Yes. And my father outfitted me with a new pair of shoes, a new suit of clothes and I left the next day for eastern Oregon for this Loomis ranch to work on a wheat ranch and so I...

JL: How did you happen to do that? Didn't you want to stay in Corvallis?

WB: I did but my folks were leaving for a trip back east. Back to Nebraska and so I had this opportunity to go to work and so I wanted to make some money to go to school. So I went up and worked on a wheat ranch.

JL: Were your parents helping you in school? I mean paying for your education?

WB: No. No. I always paid my own way.

JL: Were you the only one that went into the war, of the six boys?

WB: Yes. In world War I.

JL: World War I. Yes. That's true.


WB: My brother, next brother, was in the R.O. but I don't think he was ever called to duty. He had trained up here at the university. He was taking agriculture, but all of them well not all of them no three of them were in World War II. Three of my brothers.

JL: My gosh. So the summer of 1919 you were in eastern Oregon?

WB: Eastern Washington.

JL: Eastern Washington.

WB: Yes.

JL: Working on a wheat ranch?

WB: Yes.

JL: And then what happened?

WB: Then that October I started Medical School.

JL: You hadn't gotten your degree from O.A.C. had you?

WB: I didn't have to have any degree. I qualified for Medical School. They had a transcript of my records and had accepted me before I came home.

JL: Ohhh. You still wanted to be a doctor. You didn't want...

WB: No. I didn't. I was diverted just for a time when I was engaged to this girl in Seattle and her father was in shipping, ocean shipping, and he wanted to 01:27:00take me into the business with him and marry his daughter and when I got home and told my mother about it she said, without being obvious about it. "Why don't you and I take a trip and go to Portland." We got on the train and went to Portland and the next thing I knew we were up at the Medical School and she was standing in the registrar's in the Medical School. "This is my son, Waldo. You have a transcript of his credits and he's going to be a student here this fall. And here's his tuition." And she gave him a check.

JL: (Laughter) She was kind of a hard woman to get by wasn't she? (Laughter) Oh, no. What happened to the girl in Seattle, though?

WB: I don't think she was any more interested in me than I was in her. I was just one of those wartime romances, you know, and she was a Catholic and I knew 01:28:00all the time that she wasn't suited for me or I wasn't suited for her but that's one of those things that happens.

JL: How did you meet her?

WB: Through hospitality of civilians for G.I.'s during the war.

JL: So you gave up a possible shipping career, too?

WB: I wanted to make some money. Get started in life. Didn't want to spend four years, five years studying medicine.

JL: Oh, dear. So in 1919 you started Medical School up in Portland?

WB: Finished in '23 and interned at the County Hospital. I was one of the first five interns in the County Hospital.

JL: Hmm. Tell me about meeting your wife now?

WB: Well, my brother was down at the beach taking these pictures and...

JL: Oh, that's what you said.


WB: Yes.

JL: Now how does that fit in? When did you work in Newport?

WB: Well, I worked there between in the summertime when the between my Freshman and Sophomore and Sophomore and Junior years.

JL: While you were up in Portland?

WB: Yes. I'd come down and we'd open up a little Kodak shop over there and do Kodak finishing. People had their cameras, you know, and we'd finish their films and take their print pictures and then if business was slack why my brother would go down to the beach and take pictures of people and sometimes he'd sell an order. You know, they wouldn't have any Kodak and he'd sell them pictures and that's how I met my wife.

JL: Now, which brother was this?

WB: Bob. The third one.

JL: The one that eventually took over the...

WB: Ball Studio. Yes. His daughter is running her husband is running the Ball Studio now.

JL: Did your mother want one of the sons to be a photographer?

WB: Not particularly. No.

JL: Did she approve of what your father was the photography studio?

WB: Oh, yes.

JL: Did she like that?

WB: Yes. It was a good way to meet people and make money and the things she 01:30:00wanted to do.

JL: But she didn't want one of her sons to go into it?

WB: I don't think she objected to it. But I don't think she promoted it.

JL: Hmmm. So people would come from...

WB: Out the valley to spend a few days at the beach and take pictures and then they'd want to have them finished and we'd finish them.

JL: I wanted to ask. Did you have a camera while you were in the navy?

WB: Yes, I came out of the navy with $600.00 I'd made taking pictures of G.I.'s in various parts of the world.

JL: Ohhh. (Chuckle)

WB: Yes, I had a camera. Had a little dark room on there.

JL: Ahhh. Gosh, do you have any of the pictures?

WB: Oh, yes. I have albums of them at home.

JL: Oh, I'd love to see them all. Hmmm.

JL: You mentioned last time that your father was a photographer...

WB: Yes.

JL: ...that he did exceptional things that nobody else had done nor would they probably do in the future. And I wondered what things you were talking about.

WB: Well, particularly he designed what he thought Fort Hoskins would have looked like, at the time Fort Hoskins was started, and drew pictures for Professor Horner and sketches and etchings to show how the Fort Hoskins probably appeared in the middle of the last century and then Dr. Horner wrote the 01:31:00articles and let that illustrated them. That was one of the things he did.

JL: Well, where did he get the information to know where to put the buildings?

WB: From the history that Dr. Horner had gotten together of where it was located and what the building were like and Dr. did quite a lot of research on it and collaborated with my father. My father did the art work and he did the historical background.

JL: Is that what we have at the museum now?

WB: Yes. Those things are my dad's.

JL: I see. He also did other etchings I understand.

WB: He illustrated all the Oregon State periodicals including the yearbook for about 40 years. Free-hand illustrations and anything having to do with the historical background of Oregon State University and the things that people had developed over the years. He was very active. All those years.


JL: I thought that when you were talking about this that it was something exceptional in photography that he did that other photographers didn't do.

WB: He did. He had the first panoramic camera on the Pacific coast. It was a camera that took pictures about that long and about 10 inches wide.

JL: About two feet long?

WB: Oh, more than two feet. Two or three or four feet long. It was a camera that sat on an easel and it just rotated until it took what we call a panoramic picture. He had the first one.

JL: What kind of a camera was it.

WB: Eastman.

JL: Eastman.

WB: Yes.

JL: How did he find out about this different camera.

WB: He was always active in photographic conventions and affairs and at one time was president of The Pacific Coast Photographers Association.

JL: I see. So he used his camera mostly for the college?

WB: Yes. His work was almost, oh, I'd say 50% or 60 oriented to the college 01:33:00because he did it all. All the individual portraits, all the athletic events and anything having to do with the publications of Oregon State University. From about 1911 to 1946.

JL: Hmm. That's remarkable. In the earlier days in the teens what type of photography was most popular for the private citizen?

WB: Family groups and...

JL: Do you think that has changed over the years?

It has in some instances. However, there were quite a few Russians here at one time and Russians were very much interested in family groups and wedding pictures and they would go hungry to have pictures of their families and their groups that they had together and there was quite a settlement of them here, at one time.

JL: Tell me about that.


WB: Well, there was a colony that came from Russia and they were over in Linn County around Peoria and, of course, and as you know Peoria is head of navigation and they used to give annual dances, their native dances and parties and serve the borsch and the shishkebab and all that. If you're fortunate to be invited it was quite an affair. But there was a colony 0f them. Some of the remaining families still over there.

JL: Did you ever go to these celebrations?

WB: Oh, yes. Yes, indeed.

JL: Tell me about it.

WB: Well, as I say, it was a very festive occasion. You know what a shishkebab is? They'd marinate this lamb and all these things and then they'd start early in the morning and get ready for these festivities and then they'd have the dances in their native costumes and serve all these Russian foods and this would go on all day and we'd have a big celebration. I attended several of them.

JL: How did you happen to be invited?


WB: Well, being a physician I was taking care of quite a few of the families and so I was just part of the action.

JL: Well, what years then was this?

WB: This would have been about the 1930 to '45. A period of 15 years. also

JL: And your father would take pictures of these?

WB: Yes. He would take pictures, yes. And there were many of these early pioneer families that would have reunions. Like the Hinkles and the Averys and the Wyatts and they all had annual picnics and he'd take these pictures too and I'd go with him when he'd take the pictures and help him taking the pictures.

JL: This was before you became a doctor?

WB: Yes. When I was in high school.

JL: What type of people were these Russians?

WB: Very pleasant. Very Intelligent. Nice, real nice people. Just farmers. They were all farmers.

JL: And most of them lived in Linn County, yes?

WB: Yes. There were a few out around Nashville, between here and the coast, 01:36:00and they used to have I've attended two, I think, between here and the coast. But most of them were over in Lynn County.

JL: Did they speak English?

WB: Yes.

JL: So they must not have been directly from Russia?

WB: I don't know about that, but, of course, the older ones were and then my father's contacts with them was originally back in the Midwest because there were colonies of them back there. Right where I was and they and there are still families there and still the Russians are in that country and they were well oriented. They spoke English well.

JL: Can you remember any of their names?

WB: Yes. Dannen and Dobrienen and Pataoff. Every once-in-a-while some of those 01:37:00names come to me, but those are three that I happened to remember right now.

JL: What were they celebrating during these festivals?

WB: I don't know that they were celebrating any particular thing. I don't think it was harvest time or anything. It just there way of getting together like we'd have a chatauqua or a fair or a county fair. Well, that was their...

JL: Can you describe to me a costume that they'd wear?

WB: Well, yes, they were Russian costumes like you'd see in the National Geographic today. Very ornate dresses with flowers and the headdresses of the women and the skirts and all and the men wore the boots and the native dances. 01:38:00It was quite spectacular, but dance on their heels and dance down, you know, on their heels that way and then like you've seen probably in the movies or... But I haven't seen one of those for not since the war. Since the last war.

JL: Why is that do you think?

WB: I don't have any idea. That was the way the Mary's Peak Trek started. They were going to have one of these and nobody showed up and so they had some beef and they decided that they'd have a the Mary's Peak Trek. Dr. Anderson was very much interested in it in those days. Dr. Harry Anderson. Percy Locey. So they promoted Mary's Peak Trek. Was a result of one of these affairs that didn't culminate like they thought it would. And they had all this food left 01:39:00over so they took a the next day they took it up on the peak and started The Mary's Peak Trek. You know what the trek is, don't you?

JL: Yes.

WB: Yes.

JL: I don't understand. You mean, one of these festivals that the Russians put on?

WB: Yes. They put it on at the instigation of Harry Anderson...

JL: And Percy Locey?

WB: ...and Percy Locey. It wasn't a success so they took the surplus food they had. They had butchered an ox, you know, to get the beef and everything and they had all this left over so they opened it to the public and that was the beginning of the Mary's Peak Trek. That would have been about 1934.

JL: I don't understand why Dr. Harry Anderson and Percy Locey were involved with the Russian community?

WB: Because they just liked them personally and they had been guests at their affairs. So they wanted to put one of these on for their friends and nobody came. So they had all that food left over.

JL: My gosh.

WB: And that was out at Nashville.


JL: I see. Hmm. I wonder where I could find out more about this Russian community?

WB: Percy Locey could tell you something about it. And some of those people out around Peoria could tell. Some of the old settlers out there. You could see some of the old buildings. I could show you some of the old buildings out there where the Russians were settled?

JL: Were they insulated. In other words did they stick together?

WB: Yes, they were clanish.

JL: I see. What kind of a house did they live in?

WB: Block houses like you see in the pictures in Russia. Square houses that come up in peaks. All kinds of their type of architecture that you see in the National Geographic.

JL: Why do you think they came here in particular?

WB: I have no idea.

JL: Did you ever discuss politics with them?

WB: No. No.

JL: Or religion?

WB: That was long before the advent of anything that was objectionable as far as 01:41:00the Bolsheviks were concerned. Of course, nobody knew why the Bolsheviks took over. In fact my wife was supposed to have gone with an expeditionary force to Russia. To find out what was happening before she came home from France after World War I. That's when it happened, you know? In 1917. But, instead of that her orders were remanded. She was outfitted with fur clothing to go as an expeditionary force to Russia and her orders were remanded. She had to have $250.00 in a money belt on her body in currency. She had to furnish that herself. The army furnished everything else. All the... So when her orders were remanded she always wanted to go to Russia, all our married life. So six years ago, I took her. Because I knew that I could see this condition, 01:42:00mental condition devolve and I knew that if I didn't go, that we'd never go. So on one of our trips to Scandinavia we picked up our visas in Helsinke and went into Russia so she could see what it was like.

JL: How did they treat their women? Do you remember that?

WB: Well, the women all dressed the same and they were heavy, stocky, type people and rather stolid, kind of passive attitude towards things. They weren't very active in the affairs of the and they just, oh, I would say something like the Germans. The male was the dominant figure in the family.

JL: The women weren't assertive then? Even [unintelligible]

WB: No. No. Not at all.

JL: What...

WB: But that's changing today as you probably know.


JL: Who did you treat? Did you treat the whole family as a physician?

WB: Oh, on occasion I would. Sometimes just individual people. But I got to know them quite well and see there were only seven doctors here then so naturally I would have some of those people for patients.

JL: I see.

WB: I was the seventh doctor that came to Corvallis.

JL: Hmmm. I want to ask about that later. Why do you think people like to have photographs of themselves?

WB: I think we all have a certain degree of ego and I think it's just a ego trip that most people take. They just think we're photogenic and there's a certain amount of flattery to it, I think. I know, of course, then you one of the main 01:44:00things is to celebrate occasions, you know. Anniversaries and things of that kind. Like a wedding. 50th wedding anniversary. [unintelligible] I want a picture of my great grandchild. The only one I have. I guess it's an ego trip.

JL: Did your father ever discuss with you photography and his love of photography?

WB: No. I don't as he ever did. It just seems that was his avocation the same as medicine is mine and then if I do something on the side like establishing a bank or running something else then that's a side. But he was dedicated to photography. He had an aptitude for it and he made a reputation that would be hard to equal.


JL: Sounds like he divided his vocation with his avocation?

WB: He did and he went clear to the top. He and his son, my brother, were the head of regional costal and national photographic associations. My kid brother was president.

JL: Why do you think that your father was so exceptional above average of other photographers?

WB: Because he had a flair for art and the beauty of the things he saw. For instance, we'd be fishing in central Oregon in the rivers or lakes he'd be turning his head looking at the sage brush and getting the perspective of the colors in the [unintelligible] trees instead of fishing. He'd get a fish on and he didn't pay any attention to the fish he was looking at something artistic and he wanted to portray. And if he was in a deep mood over the health of my mother or something he would depict it in his art. And that's true, of course, of many artists. Even in music, you know. There would be a 01:46:00great big rock or a tree, an old gnarled tree that was dead at the top, or something in his art. If his mind was troubled.

JL: Did he communicate this love of beauty to his sons?

WB: Oh, yes. We all do it. There were six of us and we...

JL: How did he do that?

WB: By just an incident like that. He'd always see the beauty in everything. He'd everything was in perspective to him. The clouds in the sky. And the trees. The third dimension of the things that he could see that most people would just pass up and not even notice it. He just had a flair for it.

JL: Sounds like he enjoyed taking scenery more than human beings?

WB: Yes. He wasn't very good at portraits. But he was very dexterous with 01:47:00his hands and he could just do the freehand work around all sorts of art. He worked with all modalities. He worked with oils and watercolors and pen and ink etchings and all art modalities. And always had the very latest of every something new innovative come out he'd be the first to have it.

JL: But he preferred the scenery to taking pictures of families or...

WB: Oh, yes.

JL: ... festivities...

WB: Yes. Yes.

JL: ... or anything?

WB: Yes.

JL: But wasn't that more popular to have photographs of families and people instead of beautiful scenery?

WB: You mean from a financial standpoint.

JL: Right.

WB: He wasn't interested in finances. A dollar meant nothing to him.

JL: Your mother was very different...

WB: That's right.

JL: ... in that, wasn't she?

WB: She was the practical one. Money meant nothing to my father.

JL: How would he have liked to make his money or have his life if he had a choice?


WB: Oh, he would like to he liked to travel. He liked meeting people. He liked groups. He was a good speaker. He could hold you spellbound speaking and he just liked the free open life of freedom, just to come and go as he wanted to and he did a fair amount of traveling. We took him with us everywhere we went after my mother left for ten years before he died. Wherever we went he went with us. He always enjoyed it. I wish you could see some of the things that we have in our home. I want you to see some of the things that he did. They're really works of art.

JL: I'd love to. I'd love to.

WB: Drop over anytime you like and I'll show you some things that most people 01:49:00don't know about.

JL: Is that right?

WB: But he had a free spirit. Meticulous way of portraying art in it's various modalities and aspects.

JL: How did that affect your life?

WB: I don't think it affected it at all because I have no ability that way. I was always dedicated to be a doctor and I never knew anything else. That's all I ever knew was medicine. From the time I was a little kid watching my mother dress a chicken I was always wanting to know what the gizzard was for and all. Every stray cat in the neighborhood that had anything wrong with it I was trying to fix it up so I didn't know anything else.

JL: You mentioned last time that you took pictures in the navy. What type of camera did you have there?


WB: I had my little 22. It was a little 4x6 camera for picture postcards. Post- card size.

JL: You made money on your pictures you told me.

WB: Hundreds of dollars. I think I came out with $600.00 profit, that I had made.

JL: That's what you said. Who and why did you and your brother, Bob, set up a photographic studio in Newport?

WB: Well, people didn't have cameras in those days and when they did they wanted their pictures finished to see how they were turning out. So we had a Kodak finishing shop where we sold films and finished their pictures and then if business was slack then he'd go down to the beach and take pictures of people on the rocks in their bathing suits who had no cameras and then sometimes they'd come up and order some off those films that he made.

JL: Whose idea was that?

WB: His. I just helped him out in the summertime because I needed some money to 01:51:00go to medical school. That was one way of making a few hundred dollars.

JL: This was Bob.

WB: Bob. The one that owns the studio.

JL: Your father tried to encourage Bob to go into photography?

WB: Oh, yes. Three of my brothers followed him into photography. Three of the six are photographers.

JL: What did your mother think of that?

WB: Well, they didn't have the ability to make a success of it like she had made of it. And they went broke. You know, these things just don't run themselves. They don't just happen. Somebody has to make them happen. And she put it together and they weren't able to do that.

JL: So she was really the power behind making the photography studio a success?

WB: That's right.

JL: Your father just...

WB: Did the technical part...did the technical part. She was the public relations and the financial genius.


JL: She was the...

WB: She knew what people wanted and she knew what they liked and she knew how to get some money for what my father did.

JL: Was she also a photographer? No.

WB: She just managed it.

JL: Did she have some interest in aesthetics and beautiful scenes and [unintelligible]

WB: Personally and in her personal of her clothes and her personal life but not in art. No, she didn't. She had no interest in that.

JL: How did your father get to know J.B. Horner?

WB: When he came here there were only three or four thousand students, of course, in those days. Two or three thousand and he was very well acquainted with all the heads of the departments. And he only came here when he was assured by Dr. Kerr who was president of our university for about 20 or 25 years that he would have the photographic work for the university and that's why he 01:53:00came here. Bought out the studio and had it all for about 40 years. And J.B. Horner being head of history and interested in the development of these historical sites like the Calapooya Indian mounts and the Fort Hoskins and all these things that he just took my dad along to illustrate the things that he knew about these places.

JL: What other illustrations did he and Dr. Horner do together?

WB: Oh, anything that had to do with the early development of Kings Valley, for instance, and Airlie and all these early pioneer towns and then the development of, of course, Professor Horner wasn't interested in these things that I'm going to mention but then when the new industries came in, lumber industry, the mills came in, the railroads came in he was always official photographer for all these things. And they had a roundup out in Philomath one time comparable to the 01:54:00Pendleton Roundup and he was official photographer for it. And he's official photographer for the railroads. We had three railroad that ran in here, at that time. And when the Booth Kelly Mill was opened at Springfield he was official photographer. So his connection with the college and knowing all these graduates in these different schools of engineering and all gave him an in with various industries when they came in so he was interested in the industrial development of the country. I don't remember specifically I'm not specifically answering your question because you asked about his connection with. Dr. Horner and my father were very close personal friends as I was. I told you about my experiences with Dr. Horner, didn't I?

JL: When I used to row the boat for him and he'd go fishing? Yes. You told me about one incident where he got angry...

WB: And the fish got off and he became profane and his daughter heard him 01:55:00because he was a there's a window in our church dedicated to the memory of Dr. Horner, teacher, educator, and Christian gentleman in the sanctuary of our church.

JL: Which church is that?

WB: Presbyterian. And so he was recognized as a foremost historian and teacher. But I can't specifically tell you what other things he did in connection with. I'm sure there were others but I don't know what they were.

JL: What happened to those sketches? That he did with...

WB: They're all in the museum, I guess, as far as I know. Or in the archives of the university. They would be, I think. Either in the library or in the museum.

JL: Hmmm. What is memorable about J.B. Horner? What stands out in your mind?

WB: I think one of the outstanding things would be his anticedants. He didn't know from where he came or he was raised in Walla Walla shortly after the 01:56:00Whitman massacre and all that and we always thought he was part Indian and he did too. And his wife was my teacher and his daughters were somewhat older. Not much older and friends of our family and friends of us. I think the outstanding thing about him he was a proud person. He was a I don't say he was a meticulous student of history but he was an interesting narrator of history and he had a way of instilling into his students a degree of curiosity for developing ideas that were the early history of our country. Of this state and this territory.

JL: How did he do that?

WB: By trying to interest them in going over and excavating some of these Indian 01:57:00mounds and these old historic sites and by personal contact with the things that the Indians had done. Their art and their basket weaving and the ceremonial dances and the things that they used to do. We have quite a few Indian Cere [unintelligible]. For instance, yesterday would have been a highlight for the Indian entertainment in places like Toledo, Newport and he was always interested in that aspect of it. Great he loves the outdoors. I think if there was any one thing about Dr. Horner that was outstanding was his love for nature. He was an avid outdoors man. Been with him many times. Alone and with others. He just took a liking to me and I took a liking to him.

JL: Was he a leader more than a follower?


WB: Well, he was a historian. I suppose he would be a leader, yes. I don't...

JL: Some people have a quality that makes people follow them.

WB: That I think he had a quality he had an ability to arouse peoples curiosity in the things that he was interested in.

JL: How would he do that? By his descriptions...

WB: Yes. Yes. If you'll excuse me. I think Mrs. Strand is out there.

JL: What did people feel about him digging up Indian mounds?

WB: They had mixed emotions about that. It didn't meet with the public approval very much and it didn't meet with the people who are interested in 01:59:00those things. They thought it was a travesty of the early history of the country and I think it was there was more disapproval than approval of what they were doing, in fact, it was discontinued. I think there was some legislation or something having to do with the disinterment.

JL: Oh, yes. Recent times. How did they show their disapproval.

WB: Just by word of mouth and criticism for what some people thought he was going Too far in desecrating the early burial grounds of these Indians. Just by general word of mouth. I don't think there was much publicity about it. But it just didn't have the full approval of the general populace.

JL: And that didn't bother him?


WB: Oh, not at all because he was so dedicated to his work that he just went ahead anyway, as long as he could.

JL: What did your father think of him digging up Indian

WB:I never heard my father express anything about it, at all. I don't think my dad was ever with him on any of those. Those were usually his students, you know. He tried to interest his students in going over and...

JL:I understand he was quite a storyteller?

WB: Some people thought that he was that his imagination sometimes went a little rampant but I never found him. He was an interesting gentleman to me and, of course, I was at the age of 16, 15, 16 and, of course, nothing he did could influence my feeling toward him. But there was a feeling that he was a little bit, oh, overzealous, maybe I'd say and not as factual as he might have been.


JL: Even at that time, yes?

WB: Yes. Yes. Maybe some of it was illusion rather than more facts, er, fiction than fact.

JL: But he was a...

WB: And the fact that nobody knew anything about him was the thing that his anticedants, you know. Nobody knew anything about him. His wife was a well known from a early well known pioneer family here.

JL: Yes.

WB: And she was my teacher, as I told you, in school. And but nobody knew anything about Dr. Horner. It was just all supposition and he didn't know.

JL: Well, he...

WB: Supposed to have been an orphan. Raised by a...