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Cassette Tape Collection 18
Ina Truesdale Wilson Oral History, 1981

The Ina Truesdale Wilson oral history interview conducted by Claude Simpson in 1981 was transferred to the Archives in late 1982. (MS 82-52). It consists of three cassette tapes.


Oral history recollections of Ina Truesdale Wilson, chiefly of personal experiences throughout the Pacific Northwest and as a teacher in Colton and Johnson, Washington, and of the experiences of her husband Link Wilson, farmer, baseball player, and fruit inspector.


Interview Identification Number: 18/1
Interviewee: Ina Truesdale Wilson, retired school teacher
Birthdate of Interviewee: 21 May, 1894
Geographical Areas Covered: Tekamah, Nebraska, Pt. Townsend, WA; Indiana, Scotland, Ireland, Missouri, Virgin Islands, Washington, Idaho

Interviewer: Claude Simpson
Location of Interview: Spokane, WA
Date of Interview: February 5, 1981
Length of Interview: 163 minutes

Abstractor: Carmen E. Petersen
Date of Abstraction: Undated

Release: No
Restrictions: No

TapeEstimated time on tapePrincipal subjects covered
Tape 1
Side A
0 - 3Born in 1894 in Tekamah, Nebraska. Traveled to Pt. Townsend, Washington on an emmigrant train when nine years old. Became snowbound in mountains which resulted in a five-day journey. Original reason for going, to Washington was to recouperate for six weeks while visiting a brother that lived in Pt. Townsend. Discusses why they stayed in Pt. Townsend. Tornado Beverly damaged their home in Nebraska, better health here, liked it better.
3 - 6Father's occupation--expert cabinet maker. Born in Indiana. Family originated in Scotland and Ireland. Father enlisted in Civil War. Was wounded in both battles of Shiloh. Captured and imprisoned at Andersonville Prison in Missouri. Later escaped by swimming the Mississippi River. Loss of discharge papers.
6 - 7-Discusses her mother's pension of $8.00 a month plus a small amount for the children. Names the children.
7 - 9Mother was traditional. Taught school briefly in Indiana. Was 40 when Ina was born. Describes her personality as very kind, would not allow gossiping. Ina's grandfather born in the Virgin Islands.
9-12Family loved to sing. Inspired by her father. Lists the different occasions when she and her sisters sang together.
12-13Names all of her 10 brothers and sisters in chronological order.
13-14From Port Townsend, traveled to Victoria, B.C., for school. She stayed one year. Moved to Colfax, Washington when she was 12 years old and stayed for a year. Father transferred to Lewis­ton for a year, then to Spokane for a short time. The family thn returned to Lewiston. Meanwhile, Ina and Golda worked for room and board in Spokane to finish school, after which they also traveled back to Lewiston. Graduated high school in Lewiston.
14-15First job was packing food. Danced for recreation in Walla Walla. Worked as cook's helper for a year.
15-17Describes beginning teaching career. Studied various subjects with a friend and took the exam. First teaching appointment was a year at Bishop, with four students.
17-18Mother suddenly became seriously ill and died within a few days. School was closed the re­mainder of the term.
18-19Ina and a group of teachers took a trip to San Francisco, California. Enrolled in summer courses at the University of California. Returned to teach at the Stanley school in Steptoe for 13 years. Every summer traveled to a different college to take classes. Lists schools.
19-21Tells of courship with "Link" Wilson after meeting at Bishop's food processing plant near Lewiston. Married in 1918.
21-24Farmed 3 years on Money Ranch at Johnson, Wash­ington. The second year, taught in Johnson. Link was a government apple inspector in Yakima.
24-25Taught in Johnson 6-7 years. Following her resignation, went back to Normal school in Lewiston. Obtaired diploma in special primary courses.
25-27Taught. 6th grade in Johnson the next winter while Link worked for Lincoln Oil Company in Pullman, Washington. Moved to Pullman and commuted to Johnson. Describes terrible winters. Started teaching at Staley school. The next year taught at Ford. Stayed six years at Ford. Some dis­cussion about where the Staley school actually is now.
27-28Reminiscense of past students. Boarded with people in Pullman while Link had sheep in the Salmon river.
28-30Link began running sheep in 1929. Locations included Craigs mountains in the summer, Salmon River in the winter. Spent summers together camping.
Tape 1
Side B
0-7Stories of fine fishing, riding horseback, many mosquitoes and animals, wild blue flowers and plentiful huckleberries. Story of lambs; dog caught in bear trap survived.
7-8Link severely injured on job near Pasco toward Eltopia, while loading a water trough. Surgery was required several times the following year in the Eastern U.S.
8-9Link born in Rockdale, WA on his father's home­stead. Link's father's name was George Morris Wilson. Father's occupation, surveyor and prospector. Spent time together in Oregon pros­pecting. Names Link's brothers and occupations. Death of young child from typhoid fever.
9-11Some discussion. of Link's mother, Joanna Maynard, her genealogy, her divorce from George Wilson. From a family of 13. Migrated to Willamette Valley, Oregon.
11-12Mention woman burned to death in her home in Colton.
12-13Raising hogs. Methods of selling them and avoidance of robbery.
13-16Discussion of Nathanial and Joanna Maynard home­steading (1878).
16-17Defines "Service Berry."
17-21Maynard family residences, children's occupations, recalls names.
21-23Schools Ina taught at including length of time at each. Credits and B. A. degree obtained by attending summer school. Taught 42 years.
23-28Link's residence, occupation progression. Worked for union. Business manager. Both Ina and Link retired in Clarkston in 1959. Accident picking cherries when ladder collpsed-- Ina severely injured spine. Nursed at home following massive stroke. Four years later was taken to nursing home.
28-30Link born Rockcreek, WA. Lived with father in Colton. Attended school in Colton. Studied at Whitman. Link played baseball professionally for the Chicago White Socks. Photo in WSU archives. Link worked at Bishop's fruit packing plant. Courtship with Ina. Traveled much of U.S.
Tape 2
Side A
0-6Collection of milk glass. Describes how she started, favorite pieces. Also collected anti­ques, porcelain and bisque dolls, clocks. Family heirlooms including Currier and Ives picture.
6-8Made rugs by hand. Collected walnut furniture.
8-12Lists the pieces of milk glass she owns. Researched and compiled lecture presentations about milk glass for the public. Member of Eastern Star order. Mentions antique pot-bellied stove.
12-15Privately tutored a boy named Michael while Link was ill. Michael was interested in the coffee grinder.
15-16Story of child with learning difficulty. Was offered a position teaching at Catholic school after teaching him the correct pronunciation of a word his teacher consistantly mispronounced.
16-24Describes her quilting in detail. How began, why, awards received, number of quilts, time required per quilt, exhibition, favorites.
24-30Recalls humorous stories about some young students, their occupations
Tape 2
Side B
0-5Special student was, illiterate in 5th grade. Through personal tutoring, became literate and graduated with classmates. Later enlisted in Navy. Recalls more students, their names and correspondence.
5-8Stories of playing the Ukulele.
8-11School incidents. Retirement reception at Palouse.
11-17Adoption of orphan, Raymond Ruben Helm. Attended WSU. Marriage to young woman in Scotland. Lists his children, their occupations.
17-21Link's brothers' gruff personalities, jobs, their children. Link's mother was a small woman who crossed the plains when four or five years old.
21-24Link's natural affinity with children.
24-26Canyon wall stories. Friendship with Myrtle Black. Some of their experiences.
26-30Teaching wages and lifestyle. Mother's death. Trips to Oregon, California. Idaho, and Washingon. Attendance at University of Oakland, California at Berkeley. Story of "bounced" check. Ferrying of train from Vancouver, Washington to Portland, Oregon.
Tape 3
Side A
0-1Describes tugboats, steamboats, clipper ships with full sails, submarines.
1-3Loved Port Townsend--cooked clams on the beach, many beautiful buildings (Catholic sanitarium and castle now famous restaurant) in Port Townsend.
3-6Befriended girl who was dressed elegantly, and was nice but unpopular. Learned later her mother was a famous madame.
6-11Discussion of Ted's occupation as immigration official. Later became a government meat inspector in Idaho. Became adjutant general of Idaho. Served in the Spanish-American War and in World War I. Developed cardiac trouble and died in 1929.
11-14Ted's brothers and sisters and their occupations.
14-20Link's uncle's courtship and marriage to Lil Hennesse. Loss of their farm during the Great Depression. Her death in Clarkston, Washington. Death of Uncle Charlie at 93.
20-24Names of friends, occupations.
24-26Discussion by Claude Wilson.
26-27Ina and sister, Golda, sang together often.
27-30Singing by Ina. "Babes in the Woods, Four Leaf Clover, Till We Meet Again, When the Dew is on the Rose, and When the Evening Falls."
Tape 3
Side B
0-11Songs by Ina Wilson with ukulele.
11-13Poem that was written and recited by Ina.