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(S and N Railroad)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Free Home Page Stories & Photos
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Capt. Lewis Alexander Boyd
of Skagit County, Washington, Part Two

      Written by Mabel Boyd Royal-Steen; aided by Norman Boyd, Katie Savage Pulsipher, and Archie Boyd. Portions in italics added from Norman Lewis Boyd's version, Endnotes by Dan Royal. Some dates corrected by Lee Ware. See more photos on Dan Royal's fine website

(Mabel and kids outside)
For Mabel, "camping out" wasn't an optional lifestyle but instead, it often was reality as the family moved back and forth.

The Indians
      There were many different tribes of Indians along the river at that time, and it was then a common sight to see them traveling both ways in their canoes. When one of their tribe died and went to the "happy hunting grounds," there would be canoe after canoe loaded, going to their burial ground, chanting and wailing and beating on tin cans and skin or wood Indian drums, or anything else to make a big noise to scare away the bad spirits and so their loved ones could get to their happy hunting ground without interference from the evil spirits. Who knows, maybe they were right.
      Great canoe brigades of Indians would also go down river at hop-picking time. Their canoes would be loaded to full capacity with bucks, squaws, children and little papooses, along with blankets and other necessary camping equipment. This went on for several days and the same when they returned from hop-picking.
      Above Birdsview there was a big bend in the river that was known as "Cape Horn." I have been told that this name came from an old settler whose first name was Cape and his last name Horn. He had taken up land there. I can never verify the truth of this, but it could be so. There was a big Indian camping ground across on the south side of the river and also a burial ground in the trees which remained there for several years or until the country settled up and the government had them removed to somewhere else as the white people didn't appreciate dead Indians in the trees around them. And the smell in the summer time was nothing to appreciate.
      It was here after the hop-picking season that things get lively at this Indian camp. They all gathered here, where all of them were "Nika-crush-tillicum," and every "crush-tillicum" had fire water, which they bought from the white men. They all had money that they earned in the hop fields too, so there was much drinking, gambling, dancing and fighting, which often ended in one of them getting stabbed and carted off to the happy hunting ground. It didn't seem to bother any of them, for they still chanted and wailed "hya-wa-wa-whooped" for days. The Indians had many big get-togethers or pow-wows. These always were exciting for us to watch.
      The children in our family played with the Indian children often, and learned to speak their tongue quite well. The girls would often go picnicking or picking wild blackberries with the young squaws, for they seemed to know where the berries were the ripest and most plentiful. The boys enjoyed foot races, canoe races, and other outdoor sports that the Indian boys taught them and they all got along very well together. They also picked the cleaner of the Indian children to play with as some Indian families were filthy. Some of the Indians could be smelled quite a distance away on warm days. All in all the Indians and whites got along very well in those days in the Valley.
      A man by the name of McEwin, who was editor of the "Puget Sound Mail," a paper that was published at LaConner, took a trip to Paris one summer. After arriving, he realized that he couldn't speak a word of French, and no one that he knew of could speak English, resulting in no conversation with anyone. He nearly starved for the lack of knowing the name of food to order and didn't like what he got, as he couldn't read the menus, and didn't know what the different dishes were if he could have read them. One day he was standing on a street corner, feeling sorry for himself and heartily wishing he was back home at LaConner again with a good feed of smoked salmon and roasted potatoes under his belt, when someone clapped him on the shoulder, saying, "Kia how ya nika cush tillicum," which meant, "hello, my good friend." McEwen quickly turned with a start to hear the Chinook words so familiar to him, and to his surprise he faced an old friend from LaConnor, who was in about the same predicament that he was in. He was so happy to see him that he kissed the man's hand, which of course was the tradition of France, anyway.
      In telling about it at home, he said, "Hyas-Chosh-Wa-Wa" and as long as he lived, he took off his hat every time he heard "Chinook Jargon." He never forgot his trip to France and the friend that he had chanced to meet, thousands of miles from home, proving once more that this is a small world.
      Journal Ed. note: We are very curious about the name McEwin or McEwen, spelled both ways. We have been unable to find a record of an editor by either name at the Mail. But from 1885-87, Henry McBride was publisher. It seems hard to imagine that the writer would not have remembered McBride's name, however, because he was earlier editor of the short-lived Birdsview Bee and was later governor or Washington after a career as an attorney in Mount Vernon.

Homesteading on the Nookchamps
      It was in the year of 1885 that my father thought that he could do better somewhere else, so he traded his mineral claim (which was richer in timber than good minerals), for a good sized piece of land down on the Nookchamps River on Blarney Lake (now called Barney Lake). This lake was full of water in winter, but completely dry in summer, so that was the reason for its name Blarney. This was a good piece of land, located three miles from Clear Lake, and eight miles from Mt. Vernon. There was no house on the place until Pa built one, so the family lived in a deserted house on an adjoining homestead. This was known as the old Elkins Place. Father built a good log house on this land and the family moved in with much enthusiasm. He then built sheds, barns, and other necessary out-buildings, and fences.
      Mother planted cherry trees, carefully tending them until they were well started. They are still living and bearing fruit. It was here that Tom was born in the year of 1887, making eleven children. Father had raised and broken a couple of steers to the yoke, and did all his plowing and hauling with this team of oxen. The children named them Dick and Dave. He also constructed a wooden cart, which also had wooden wheels. This was a sturdy affair, but clumsy.
      One day he hooked up the oxen to the cart and drove to Mt. Vernon. By getting an early start, he could get there by noon, then get home before dark. After arriving, the team was standing in front of Clothier's store, and he had already loaded the cart and was preparing to leave for home when he remembered some forgotten errand and stepped back inside. He had no more than entered, when something frightened the team of oxen, and they stampeded for home, leaving Pa standing in the store entrance, cursing and shaking his fist at them as they vanished down the muddy road through the thick timber, their tails sticking straight out behind and the cart bouncing from one side of the road to the other. It was mid-afternoon by this time, so Pa started out walking the eight miles; it had started to rain quite hard, and he kept getting wetter. By the time he reached home that night, he was sopping wet to the skin and his boots were muddy to the top. He was mad and tired and no one dared speak to him.
      That summer, Aunt Ettie and George Savage came to our place for a visit, bringing their family. The two families always enjoyed visiting together whenever they could, which was seldom. One day, Ma and Aunt Ettie decided that they would put out the families' wash, so instead of carrying all that wash water from the river to the house, they built a fire by the river, and heated their water there. After scrubbing on the washboard with lye soap, they thought it a good idea to put the clothes in the canoe, and take them out in the river to rinse them, where the water was clear and deep. So out they paddled, and both were busily engaged with squeezing and rinsing, when the temperamental canoe quickly flipped over, throwing both women into the river, and both paddles and the clothes went floating down the river. Neither one could swim, so, hanging onto the canoe, they did their best. In the meantime, some of the children were playing on the bank of the river and saw the plight of their mothers. Hearing their calls for help, the children ran to the house, excitedly telling their fathers to come at once. The men, who were in a deep political conversation, ignored them and remained in their chairs peacefully smoking their pipes. The children gave up and went back to play.
      In the meantime, Aunt Ettie, who was a humorous soul, and could get a big kick out of any kind of situation, looked over across the canoe at Ma, and started to laugh. Ma said, "For land's sake, Ettie, what are you laughing at, anyway?" for she was nearly exhausted.
      But Aunt Ettie, paddling along with one hand, nearly lost her paddle in her mirth. "Oh Doll, you look so funny, just like a drowned rat with your hair all wet over your face and your eyes bugged out."
      This made Ma madder than ever, so she said, "Well, I don't see anything funny about it, and if we don't get drowned it will be a wonder." At last, they drifted down to a bar in the river, and waded ashore, wondering why the men didn't come to help. Ma was still peeved as they came to the house, and when they found the men comfortably sitting and talking, she really lost her patience. The men said that the children didn't tell them, and the children said they wouldn't listen. Aunt Ettie told about that experience to the last of her days and heartily laughed each time.
      Clothier and English were partners in several different projects at that time. English was one of the first loggers around Mt. Vernon, and logged all over Skagit County for many years. At this time, he was logging across Blarney Lake, so Pa got employment there for a while. To get the logs out of the woods and hauled to the landing, English had rigged up a rack of sorts, by cutting good straight poles and securely fastening them to the ties, which made an imitation railroad track. He had flatcars which had wheels with deep flanges on both sides to straddle these wooden rails and keep the wheels on the pole tracks. The flatcars went down on their own gravity, with brakes to halve the speed, and a man who rode the load to apply them when necessary and to stop the load at the landing, where the logs were dumped. It took seven yoke of oxen (two to the yoke) to pull the flatcars back to the railways again.

Growth and then really Hard Times
      It was not until 1889 that the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern built through Skagit County. This was the first railroad to lay track there. Later, it was renamed the Seattle and International, then again renamed the Northern Pacific. The same year, the Fairhaven and Southern railroad built a line from what was then known as Fairhaven (now known as So. Bellingham) to Cokedale, which is located east of Sedro-Woolley. At one time, this was a little mill town and logging site; but the name is all that remains now on a sign board near the highway, to show where it once was located. Later, the Seattle and Northern built a railroad from Anacortis [Anacortes] to Hamilton. This was about 1896, and all of the roads crossed Woolley, as it was then called. This small town was not called Sedro-Woolley then. Mr. Woolley was one of the first men to locate there, he had money, and did lots to build the town up, and he operated the first post office, which was located nearer the river then. Old Sedro, as it was called, named so for the huge cedar trees that once grew there, was located about two miles below Woolley. This was a village and steamboat landing. But as Woolley grew, Sedro built up that way until they combined the names, calling it Sedro-Woolley.
(Stump Ranch)
You can see photos of Capt. L.A. Boyd and his family at, a website published by Boyd descendant Dan Royal.

      There were two fellows who founded Old Sedro. One was an Englishman and the other a Scotchman. There they built a cabin out of cedar. One day, the Scotchman went to Sterling after groceries while the Englishman stayed home to clear land. He piled brush against a stump and set fire to it, and burned their cabin down! They rebuilt the cabin, then the Englishman went to Sterling to buy food and while he was gone, the Scotchman thought he'd trap a bear that was bothering around. He dug a pit and covered it with small branches and leaves, then went to the cabin to watch. When he returned, there was the Englishman in it, and bloody well blooming angry too. [Journal Ed. note: the founders were David Batey and Joseph Hart.
      Sedro-Woolley was a rip-snorting town in its day. The panic of 1890 [actually 1893] was budding, mills and camps were beginning to close, and no one knew what the outlook would be. Everyone had large families to clothe and feed, and work was getting scarcer every day. Although my father was a good worker, he was a poor manager and did some very foolish things. During this panic, he went to Mt. Vernon and borrowed a hundred dollars on the farm, getting a mortgage. With part of the money he bought three cows at $15.00 each. Cows were cheap and he thought mother could sell milk and butter, which was not likely. Milk was cheap at five cents a quart, butter at 15 cents a pound. Clear Lake was three miles away and Mt. Vernon eight miles. He bought food with the rest. When Mother heard what he'd done, she sat down and cried, saying "Oh, Alex, why did you ever do such a thing so foolish?"
      But he patted her on the shoulder saying, "Hush, hush my dear, we'll pay it back when times get better." He had the papers in his pocket for Ma to sign. After many tears she did sign them. As times kept getting worse, the place was lost.
      By now, the panic was in full force and as time went on, people were nearly at the point of starvation, for there was no work for anyone. The only ones who did not starve or fare badly were the Indians. They lived off the land and ate their smoked and fresh fish and hunted "miwich" (deer). All of this was "Hiyu muck muck" to them.

(Lewis A. Boyd)
Capt. Lewis A. Boyd

Back to Birdsview
      The panic and mortgage combined caused us to move, but what to do and where to go was the problem. Finally, Pa decided that he would go back up the Skagit to Birdsview and try to run the little mill again, as Uncle George Savage had given it up for a large steam-powered mill near Anacortes. So Pa went up and got the little water-powered mill in shape to operate, first making some sort of arrangement with Bird Minkler, who owned it.
      A road had been built since we last lived up there, so Pa hired a man and team from Clear Lake to move us up there. This old road followed the river all the way through the thick brush and tall forest, winding around trees, windfalls, and snags. The timber was so tall and the branches so tangled above that the sun could hardly penetrate the branches above, so the road hardly ever completely dried. The mud would be so deep that it often reached the hubs of the wagon-wheels, making a plop, plop sound as the horses struggled to pull the load through it. Often the front wheels would hit a snag near the rut, which swung the tongue of the wagon around so suddenly that it would nearly throw the horses off their feet.
      By leaving the place in the morning, they made it to Lyman that night; then leaving there early next morning, they got to Birdsview by dark, where, leaving their possessions for the time being, they paddled the family across the river. After settling the family in the old house where they lived before on Boyd Creek, and getting the mill operating, Pa found that the price of lumber was so low that it could hardly be sold at any price. After rafting it down the river to Mt. Vernon, they'd have to take just what was offered, and each raft was less; thus, hardly getting enough for it to pay expenses. It was almost starvation either way. However, there were lots of wild game and fish all summer and winter, and no game warden to look down your neck, and march you off to jail. There were also lots of berries in their season.
      One day, Ma and Aunt Ettie took their pails and went blackberry picking. It was a hot day and they were leisurely picking the black shining berries and talking; then, coming to a big fir log, they exclaimed, "Oh, what berries." The log was fairly draped with the blackest, shiniest berries that they had ever seen. They picked and talked till they got all of the berries on that side, then climbed on top to jump over and pick the other. Just before they jumped, they happened to look before they leaped and there was a great big tawny cougar, curled up sleeping! They both gave a yelp and made haste back the way they came, fairly chattering with fright till they could hardly run. After they had made a fairly safe distance, they paused to look back, and there was the cougar atop the log, stretching himself like a tame housecat, then quietly walked into the forest. Later, they heard a long drawn scream that echoed far away through the hills.

Stealing Apple Blossoms
      Mother always tried to make her children obey her as best as she could, but they often did forbidden things, thinking they wouldn't get caught. Aunt Ettie had an apple orchard not far from where we lived. One day, Gertrude and Lillian, two of the younger girls, decided to go and pick apple blossoms. It was a lovely warm day in spring and the orchard was in full bloom, pink and white. On their way, they met Molly (Maud), who said, "Where do you girls think you're going, anyway?" The two girls looked down and guilty. Molly said, "I'll bet I know, you're going over to Aunt Ettie's orchard to steal blossoms now, aren't you?"
      "Yes, we are, and you can just shut up too, and don't you dare tell Ma either, or you'll be sorry."
      "You'd better come with us." said Gertie.
      "I shan't do it," said Molly, "And if Ma finds out, she'll whip you good."
      "We don't care, and you better not tell." And off they went.
      I guess Ma must have missed them later, for she said to Molly, "Where did the girls go, Molly?" Molly looked confused and said, "I don't know."
      So Ma picked a nice slim hazel switch and said, "Now, young lady, you'd better tell me the truth. Where did the girls go? If you don't tell me, you'll get this too."
      Molly had to tell. Then Ma started walking along the path to the footlog. Just as she got there, here came the girls from the other side, starting across. When they saw Ma, they got scared and dropped the apple blossoms into the creek while crossing it, knowing very well what their punishment would be when they saw the switch. They weren't mistaken, for Ma switched first one, then the other all the way home. The two girls always declared that Molly tattled on them.

Back to Nookchamps via a raft
      After running the mill for a few months with lots of hard work and no profit, Pa decided that there was no use in continuing on. In the meantime, another baby was born, Mabel. This brought the score up to twelve children to feed and no money to do it with, and the panic of 1891 was still going strong. What to do, and where to go, was the problem, for there was no work or money to be had. So Pa thought the family should move back to the old place on the Nookchamps. Although they had lost the mortgage earlier, no one lived there and if there was any work to be had, it would be nearer to town.
      He built a heavy raft of logs and lumber, then he put a sweep at the end to steer it. He loaded the household goods, our mother, and the 12 children aboard and with the help of an old river man by the name of Barney Lee, he started down the river.
      It was a bitter cold morning in the early winter with snow on the ground and the river fringed with ice along its banks. A sharp cold wind blew up the river, making the raft hard to steer. The river was low and made the raft even harder to steer and the traveling even more dangerous. The settlers who saw Pa undertake such a risky journey, endangering the lives of his family, thought no one but a fool would do such a thing, but Pa was a headstrong man and couldn't be told anything, so he went his merry way always. He was always Lord and Master of his family. It was difficult to avoid the shallow riffles, river bars, and the old dead-heads (sunken logs in the river).
      We passed the old mines place and the Cary place about noon, and then went on to Hamilton, where George Ball had a logging camp. Ball logged at that time from Hamilton to Lyman along the river. He was a white man but had an Indian woman for a wife, as many white men had in those days, since white women were few. Mrs Ball was a nice, clean woman.
      Everything went along pretty well with the raft until we got to the island in the river below Lyman's where the river divided, going around the island. This was called Younger's Cutoff. When the river was low, as it was this time of year, it was very dangerous. To take the main channel, there were log jams, so it was safer in this case to take the outside channel, which was shallow and had riffles. Neither way was safe. Moreover, as we were passing through those rapids, there was a big uprooted tree whose roots were imbedded down in the river mud, and its top floating out in the river. The current would pull it under the water, then it would come back up again, high out of the water, so up and down it went, making a dangerous suction. The raft kept drifting towards this tree, in spite of all efforts to turn it aside. Just as the raft got within a few feet of this treetop, it kicked up out of the water, just missing the raft by only a few feet. Had it hit, the whole family would have perished.
      From there on to the mouth of the Nookchamps, there was no more trouble and we arrived at the home after dark. Ma and the children were shivering with cold and hunger, trying to keep warm with blankets. The raft was then turned up the Nookchamps and passed the old Jack Bannon place and on to Happy and Cleaver's Shingle Mill where Pa tied up the raft for the night. They unloaded the bedding and children and started out walking the rest of the way in the dark. Ma was trying to help the little ones along and carrying the baby. The little children were all tired and hungry and cold, stumbling along in the dark and often falling over a stick or root and crying. One would say, "Ma, I'm hungry," and another would say, "Ma, I"m cold." She'd say, "Hush now, for it's only a little way farther." It seemed like heaven to them when they at last reached the house, and got a cheerful fire going in the fireplace and knew that the journey was over.

(Stump Ranch with snow)
Snow brought a real challenge to the family as they adjusted at their remote Stump Ranch

Searching for Work
      In 1892 the panic was still not at an end, and everything shut down. I often wonder how large families existed. No welfare, social security, or rocking-chair money, or unions. There was just no income of any kind. Everyone had big families to feed and clothe and what they got to eat and wear was very scanty. Men seemed to think it their duty those days to have big families. The bigger the better, regardless of how a poor work-worn mother felt about it. In later life, when we girls married and had children, Pa would say, "Now, you've had enough children, don't break your health down having them like your mother did." Did he think all those children were mother's fault? Why didn't he blame himself for it and not her, and why didn't he think of his own advice while she was alive and having a baby every year. Or is all that supposed to be laid as a woman's failure?
      About this time, a company started to build a large shingle mill at Clear Lake, so Pa got work there as mill carpenter and we then moved to the old Porter place, which was nearer to his work. It was there that another baby was born, a boy whom they named John. This was Jan. 1893 and making the 13th child. After Pa worked at the mill awhile, he found out that the company had no money to pay the labor, so there was no point in staying with such a job, and there were no other jobs to be had. There was nothing for a family man to do but to sit around in groups and talk politics and tell what they'd do to better things if they were in office. Every man was in the same boat, and that about sank. The railroad tracks were like highways, with idle men going and coming, looking for work, or begging for handouts and willing to do any kind of chore for a bite to eat. With the blankets which they carried, they could sleep in an old barn or shed or under a tree, but to get a meal was hard to do, for no one had enough to feed their own families.
      In 1894 the folks moved to what was known as Stores, an abandoned logging camp. [Ed. note: this could have been named for Dennis Storrs, very early Mount Vernon homesteader.] We always spoke of it as the Old Camp. It was near the B.N.L Davis ranch. There, Pa went to work for Freeman and Pippin, cutting shingle lots at 90 cents a cord. Ma and the older girls cooked for some loggers and also did their washings to earn some much-needed money. This old camp was between Big Rock and Burlington, on the Clear Lake road.
      The logging was all done with yokes of oxen, two oxen to the yoke. Sometimes they would have from four to eight yoke to the log, depending on the size of log. Even then, the oxen had to get right down and pull and groan to get the log started. The oxen were not driven with lines, but with "gee" and "haw", meaning turn right or left. The oxen understood this very well. The teamster was called a "bull-puncher." He always carried a goad stick, which had a sharp brad in the end. If any ox refused to pull his share, he got the sharp end of the goad stick on his hide. This goad was a 3-foot vine maple stick about an inch through and was peeled, then a shingle nail with the head cut off was driven in the end and sharpened. Some bull punchers were very cruel to their oxen, and they were the "holleringest, swearingest men alive." Some would get so mad that they'd nearly goad an ox to death, but not all of them. An ox is a dumb, stubborn brute though, and can be pretty aggravating when they want to be. They usually kept big brass knobs on the tips of their horns to keep them from goading each other, when turned out. I often wondered why they didn't dehorn them instead.
      Ma had some chickens and a couple of cows while we lived there. One day in spring, when the old Domineck hen came off her nest with a dozen baby chicks, Ma and I went out to watch the downy fluffs scratch and peep, while the old hen proudly strutted and clucked to them. All of a sudden, we heard a crash and the old hog also had his eye on those chicks, and went right through the pig sty. He made a dash right for those chicks and gobbled one after another of them down. Ma and I hit him with clubs but he was like a wild hog, till every chick was eaten. Ma felt so bad that she sat down and cried and I cried too. I was only about four years old, but I never forgot the horror of that sight. It was this time that Nellie was born, making 14 children.

Father Is Elected County Clerk
      The year of 1895 was election time, so Pa ran for Clerk of Skagit County, and was elected for a two-year term. His salary was $100. a month, which seemed like great riches to us, after all the hard times of the past. They then bought a house and lot in Burlington near the old Methodist church. There was a good orchard and garden spot and the house was in fair shape, better than they'd ever had before. Ma took great pride in the house and garden. It was the nicest home she ever had, but she did not get to enjoy it for long. In 1897 her health failed and in September she passed away at age 43.
      Now that mother passed away, Pa had to leave the children in Burlington while he worked in Mt. Vernon. There was nothing to do but sell the place and move to Mt. Vernon. The house that they rented there was back of the big church near the old viaduct. He had quite a struggle to look after the family and work too, for although the older ones looked after the younger ones, they were in their teens and at the hard age to keep track of.
      At this time, Gertrude and Lillian were 15 and 16 and wanting to step around with boys. Gertie was going with a man by the name of Jim Jackman, who was a tin-horn gambler, whom Pa was very opposed to and forbade her meeting him. But in spite of his warning and advice, Gertie would see him, or was afraid to refuse him. So in spite of Pa's threats, she would meet him whenever she got the chance. One evening coming home from church, the two girls met Jim. Gertie said, "Lily, you go ahead and wait for me at the old barn at the foot of the hill and if you see Pa, tell him that I stopped to talk to someone and that I'll be along soon. If I get there first and he comes, I'll say the same thing."
      Pa must have been suspicious, for he was at the barn waiting. When he saw Lily coming alone, he said, "Lily, where's Gertie?"
      Lily looked guilty and sort of coughed, "Ahem, she stopped to talk to Mrs.____."
      So Pa said, "Well, you get on up to the house and get to bed." He then waited for Gertie to come and of course Jim had stepped out of the picture before they reached the barn, in case Pa would be there. When Gertie saw Pa there instead of Lily, she thought Lily hadn't got there yet. Pa said, "Gertie, where is Lily?"
      Gertie said, "Ahem, why she stopped to talk to Mr. ___."
      Pa said, "Don't you fib to me, young lady, and he shook Gertie by the hair. "You get to the house and get to bed or I'll take my cane to you. Lily came a long time ago." So they were caught red-handed in a lie. She later married the gambler anyway. She was staying with Link and Mary Savage at the time and they gave her a nice wedding and everyone cried, and Gertie fainted.
      Norman and Tom, who were about 12 and 13 years old at the time, came to Mt. Vernon one day, and the Sheriff, thinking they were some boys that he was looking for, picked them up. They both put up a fight and said they weren't the ones he wanted, but he wouldn't believe them, so he collared them both. Of course they kicked and fought to get away and in the struggle the sheriff tore their shirts nearly off. Just then a man came along and stood staring, and said, "Say, Sheriff, what are you doing to old Captain Boyd's boys, anyway?" The Sheriff explained, still holding each boy by the collar. "Well," said the man, "You just wait till old Boyd hears of this."
      The Sheriff turned the boys loose, and on the way home, who should they meet but Pa himself. He took one look at the bedraggled boys with their shirts torn and said, "Gggggod Aaaamighty! (he always stuttered anyway when he was upset) Wwwhat happened tto yyyou boys, aanyway?" The boys told him about their run-in with the sheriff. Pa said, "The old scalawag, anyway, I'll see about that." So he quickly turned and walked on to Mt. Vernon as mad as he could be. When he got there, he gave the sheriff a good raking over the coals, and came back with two new shirts for the boys.

(Boyd's second family)
L.A. Boyd and Lou Lewin, his second wife

      Pa decided that he couldn't keep the family together and work too, so he put them all out in homes with other families. Some liked their places and some didn't. Molly (Maud), who was married to John Johnson, took Mabel. Mrs. Stevenson took Nell, and Link Savage took John. Norman and Tom were taken by farmers who lived down on the flats; Gertie and Lily worked wherever they could until Gertie was married and Lily worked at restaurants most of her life.
      In the year 1896 to 1899, the big Klondike gold rush was on. Thousands were rushing to the north to the gold fields. Everyone who could possibly get there went with the hopes that fortune would bestow her golden smile upon them. Pa got the bug along with the rest of them and was all primed and ready to go with them. He came up to Prairie, where Maud and Annie, the two old girls, lived, to bid them good-bye, but the girls were opposed to his going and showed him the folly of a man his age attempting such an adventure. They finally convinced him of the dangers and hardships that he would have to endure. So they talked him out of going, and to let the younger fellows go seek their fortunes in the wilds of Alaska, and he stayed home.
      He then went to Seattle and found employment in a mill there. He boarded with an elderly couple who had a spinster daughter who was a dressmaker. Her name was Lou Lewin, whom he later married. He then went to Tacoma and found employment with the Pacific Pulley Co., as foreman for about three years, then the company moved to Seattle, and he went along and worked until he was unable to work any longer. He passed away in Seattle in 1918 at the age of 83, and was cremated there.
      This is the end of the Boyd history and may the younger generations read it and realize what their forefathers went through to settle this country that they now enjoy.

      May these sturdy old pioneers who worked so hard and gained so little for themselves and who blazed the trails and cut the paths for the comforts of this generation be remembered while speeding along in their high powered cars, never giving a thought to the rugged old pioneers who made their comforts possible, enduring the poverty, panic, and hardships of the past.
      May they now rest in peace and comfort when they cross the "Great Divide," and may the ones of today who reap the harvest of those gone before, pause in thought and appreciation.
      May the Indians of today also, who have cars and education, think of the old generation and tribes who paddled the rivers both ways and the land that they fought for and lost, the freedom of the wilds, and pow wows of long ago. May those "kope kush tillicums" smoke their peace pipes in the happy hunting grounds, while their council fires brightly burn where they have "klattaweed" from this earth.
      Note on manuscript to Gladys Pape Miller, Oct 26, 1960: The stories are all true but some of the names of people have been changed. She'd never written anything before, but got an old typewriter and banged away. Hope they like her stories.

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Story posted on July 11, 2002, last updated Feb. 14, 2009
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