Guide to the Jeanie Shaw Wheeler Oral History Interview 1979
CT 14

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
Wheeler, Jeanie Shaw, b. 1882
Title
Jeanie Shaw Wheeler Oral History Interview
ID
CT 14
Date
1979
Extent
1.0 box
General Physical Description note
.2 Linear feet of shelf space
Language
English
Abstract
Oral history interview (audiocassettes) of Jeanie Shaw Wheeler, conducted by Margot Knight in 1979.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description] Jeanie Shaw Wheeler Oral History Interview, 1979

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

In April of 1979, Mrs. Jeanie (Shaw) Wheeler visited Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections at Washington State University accompanied by her daughter, Mrs. Millard Hastay. Mrs. Hastay thought someone might want to interview her mother, feeling her pioneering experiences in Humptulips and Hoquiam, Washington were particularly interesting. During the next week, Margot H. Knight spoke with Mrs. Wheeler about some of her life experiences in front of a tape recorder.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of an oral history interview (three audiocassettes) of Jeanie Shaw Wheeler, conducted by Margot Knight in 1979. Mrs. Wheeler's memory was sharp on some events, spotty on others. Mrs. Hastay often reminded her mother of stories she remembered her telling. The tapes consist primarily of her experiences settling and growing up in the rainforest near Humptulips, WA. She later moved to Hoquiam and became a schoolteacher. From 1918 through 1943 Mrs. Wheeler and her husband, Frank, owned and operated a small orchard in what was White Bluffs, Washington, until they were forced to move due to the building of the Hanford nuclear site. She talked of the apple and peach business in White Bluffs.

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Arrangement note

The tapes are arranged chronologically in order of the interview dates.

(MASC STAFF USE): range 3-4.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 2016

http://www.libraries.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Margot H. Knight donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in 1979 (MS.1979.37).

Processing Information note

Margot H. Knight abstracted this oral history interview in August 1979.

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Washington (State) -- History.
  • White Bluffs (Wash.) -- History.

Personal Name(s)

  • Wheeler, Jeanie Shaw, b. 1882

Subject(s)

  • Frontier and pioneer life -- Olympic Peninsula (Wash.)
  • Oral Histories
  • Oral history -- United States.
  • Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory

Series 14/1: Jeanie Wheeler (Shaw), homemaker, 1979 

Scope and Contents note

Birthdate of : 1882

Geographical Areas Covered: Humptulips, WA

Interviewer: Margot H. Knight

Location of Interview: Pullman, WA

Date of Interview: 3/30/1979

Length of Interview: 60 minutes

Abstractor: Margot H. Knight

Date of Abstraction: 8/3/1979

Release: Yes

Restrictions: No

tape time

Childhood in Wisconsin. Father worked in the woods. Mother was from Glasgow, Scotland. Her mother's trip from Scotland 

1, side A Minutes (approx.): 0-6

Her first spanking. Brothers and sisters. 

1, side A Minutes (approx.): 6-8

Travelling west on the immigrant train when she was 8 in 1890. Her father had built a house for them in the rain forest. Arriving at Hoquiam. 

1, side A Minutes (approx.): 8-12

The trip from Hoquiam across Gray's Harbor to an Indian camp. Canoeing up the river to Humptulips. Siwash Indians helped to paddle the canoe. 

1, side A Minutes (approx.): 12-16

Describes their house with shake floors. Flooding on the river -their house was built on stilts. 

1, side A Minutes (approx.): 16-21

Garden in hollowed-out trees. Ate a lot of canned food. Eating beaver. 

1, side A Minutes (approx.): 21-26

Taking a trip up the river with her father and meeting a little Indian girl. She had no girls to play with for 2 years, 

1, side A Minutes (approx.): 26-30

Her father had been hired to help build a town to be called Frederick on the Humptulips River. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 0-2

A half-breed, Tom Ford, who had a daughter. Siwash Indians. They called her father Siwash George because he adapted so well. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 2-6

She doesn't recall helping around the house very much. Carrying water to the house. She read all the time. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 6-8

Teachers were only there 6 months out of the year. Teaching was very individualized. Mail was brought up the river for them. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 8-11

Her grandparents. Her mother's mother was very strict. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 11-13

Story of a cougar who jumped on the roof. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 13-14

Mother was a staunch Presbyterian. No church when they lived in the rain forest. No work was done on Sunday. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 14-17

More about her Scottish grandmother's family and how they came to America. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 17-20

Monday was always washday. They used store-bought soap. Memories of making soap. Her hair was thick and blonde and she always wore it in braids. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 20-23

Her mother had a sewing machine and made all their clothes. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 23-25

No memories of big Christmas celebrations. Her favorite doll with a kid body and a bisque head. 

1, side B Minutes (approx.): 25-30

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Series 14/2: Jeanie Wheeler (Shaw), homemaker, 1979 

Scope and Contents note

Birthdate of : 1882

Geographical Areas Covered: Humptulips, WA; Hoquiam, WA

Interviewer: Margot H. Knight

Location of Interview: Pullman, WA

Date of Interview: 4/2/79

Length of Interview: 60 minutes

Abstractor: Margot H. Knight

Date of Abstraction: 8/6/1979

Release: Yes

Restrictions: No

tape time

Leaving the woods to live in Hoquiam when she was 10. Describes the house they lived in. 

2, side A Minutes (approx.): 0-4

The school she went to when they lived in the rain forest. She was the only girl. Schoolhouse in Hoquiam. 

2, side A Minutes (approx.): 4-8

Hoquiam was a wild, lumbering town. Eight saloons in town. Describes Hoquiam. Buying a bicycle. Selling tea and spices for the Baker Company. 

2, side A Minutes (approx.): 8-14

The madame in Hoquiam named Cottontop because of her bleached hair. Story of a lawyer killed by a logger. Getting caught on the mudflats. 

2, side A Minutes (approx.): 14-19

She was glad to move into Hoquiam. Young folks' parties.. Box socials. An elocution group at her schools 

2, side A Minutes (approx.): 19-28

More about camping. She always wore short skirts which was very daring. Other entertainment. Ice cream socials. Dancing. 

2, side B Minutes (approx.): 0-6

Father-in-law was a Methodist minister. Went to Goucher Academy at Montesano for one year. Attended summer school in order to get teacher certification. 

2, side B Minutes (approx.): 6-10

She got 45 dollars a month for teaching at Humptulips. She saved her money and built a new house for her mother. Her first class. Then she taught in Hoquiam. 

2, side B Minutes (approx.): 10-16

Selling milk in Hoquiam. Doctors in Hoquiam. Home remedies. 

2, side B Minutes (approx.): 16-21

Teaching in New London. How she met and husband and got engaged. He was a bricklayer in California. 

2, side B Minutes (approx.): 21-27

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Series 14/3: Jeanie Wheeler (Shaw), homemaker, 1979 

Scope and Contents note

Birthdate of : 1882

Geographical Areas Covered: White Bluffs, WA

Interviewer: Margot H. Knight

Location of Interview: Pullman, WA

Date of Interview: 4/3/79

Length of Interview: 60 minutes

Abstractor: Margot H. Knight

Date of Abstraction: 8/7/1979

Release: Yes

Restrictions: No

tape time

Memories of her wedding. They lived first in Tacoma. Going to Point Defiance for picnics by streetcar, 

3, side A Minutes (approx.): 0-3

They moved to White Bluffs in 1918 where they had an apple orchard. 

3, side A Minutes (approx.): 3-4

Story about visiting Grandpa. Early married life and children. Tells about orchard in western Washington. She used to work packing the apples. 

3, side A Minutes (approx.): 4-10

Their place in eastern Washington was on the banks of the Columbia. Packing boxes. They always had wood because they lived on the river. They had 20 acres all of which was irrigated. 

3, side A Minutes (approx.): 10-16

Picnics on the island near White Bluffs. 7 cents a box for packing apples. 

3, side A Minutes (approx.): 16-22

Grew most of their produce. 

3, side A Minutes (approx.): 22-24

Story of being put off by the orchard by the U,S. Government so the Hanford Nuclear Site could be built. Talks about the good peach growing conditions. 

3, side A Minutes (approx.): 24-29

Being gypped by a commission man in Seattle. 

3, side A Minutes (approx.): 29-30

More about Schroeder, the commission man. 

3, side B Minutes (approx.): 0-5

More about the destruction of White Bluffs in 1943. Bulldozer plowed the place while they were still there. Travelling in a government truck with all their furniture to Seattle. They only got a few days notice. 

3, side B Minutes (approx.): 5-11

Tells about the land swindle in White Bluffs, the story of White Bluffs' move. 

3, side B Minutes (approx.): 11-14

Workers on the orchard were usually from the area. Fire in the smokehouse. Other farm life incidents. 

3, side B Minutes (approx.): 14-21

During the winter her husband went to the Coast. Getting electricity. 

3, side B Minutes (approx.): 21-25

Talks about her son, Donald, who became a Rhodes scholar in 1935. He also traveled to Portland on a raft. Her other children. 

3, side B Minutes (approx.): 25-30

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