Tag Archives: Puyallup

Movies Of Days Gone By

cinematographic camera with cinema icon vector illustration design

This short piece on movies of long ago was in the envelope along with the previous posted story “Grandmas Do Wear Pants.”

Movies Of Days Gone By

by Iva Bailey

Yesterday, the second day of 1988, I sat watching some old silent movies on the television with my two granddaughters, April and Johni. The girls thought they were really funny. I suppose to young people who have never known anything but wide-screen talking movies they do seem a little odd.

My earliest memories of going to the movies were at the old Dream Theater in Puyallup. The theater wasn’t very big and was only open on Saturday and Sundays. It was heated by a big old wood heater. If you got there early you would freeze until the fire got going good and before the movie was over you would be roasting. We would start out by setting down in front by the heater and gradually move back as the heat got to us. There was a pipe organ that was played all during the movies. As the excitement on the screen built up, the music would get louder and louder. I remember how I would set close to my dad, so he could read the conversation flashed on the screen. It was much easier for all concerned when I was old enough to go to school and learned to read for myself. I especially like the dog stories and Rin-Tin-Tin was my favorite.

When I was older and could attend the movies by myself or with a friend, there were serials that were continued from week to week and would always end at the most exciting spot, that kept us saving our nickles so we could go week after week. Sometimes we could talk the doorman into letting us in for free. Then we could buy a bag of popcorn or a candy bar. Nickles were hard to come by in those days.

Later on when the talking movies came in, another theater opened up. It was called the Liberty. This theater was larger and more elaborate. The Liberty is still there but the old Dream Theater has been gone a long time.  The town wasn’t large enough for two theaters after television came in.

Once in a while now when some movie is supposed to be special, Jack and I go, but they just aren’t the same. They leave nothing to the imagination, they tell it all.  The old movies, April and Johni and I saw on television may have been funny to them, but to me they brought back memories.

Advertisements

The New And The

The trains still run by her old house in Puyallup, WA. In this story, my Aunt Iva Bailey, tells of growing up near near Meeker Junction in the 1920’s and 30’s.

The New and the Old

 Every time we take the short trip to Puyallup, the place where I was born and grew up in, there are new sights and sometimes new sounds. The railroad that runs through the middle of town is still there but the old steam locomotives that pulled the trains of cars are gone. In their place are diesels.

As we sat in our car at the crossing waiting for the train to pass before we could cross the tracks and be on our way. I thought of the days gone by and the part the railroad played in my memories.

We lived just a mile from the depot, in what was called Meeker Junction. Our house was less than a block from the tracks. When the train would come into the junction, they would start blowing their whistle for the several crossings between our house and town. They would keep blowing all the way into the depot.

The engines were fired with coal and the black smoke would pour out of their smoke stacks.

Sometimes if the wind conditions were just right, and this was quite often,  the smoke would all blow our way. The black soot would settle all over us. Many times my mother hearing the train coming would rush out and try to get her wash off of the clothes line before the train got there.  She didn’t always make it and would have to do the wash over again.

The  big red wooden water tank, where the engines took on their water was close by at the junction. It was always interesting for us kids to watch the man climb up the ladder and pull down the big spout that let the water run from the tank into the engine.

It was sad the first time we went back home after they tore down the big tank. It had become old and was no longer a need for the new diesels.

During the depression years in the 1930’s, people would walk up and down the railroad tracks with buckets picking up coal that had fallen from the many coal cars that was hauled by the big trains. That coal probably kept some little children warm that would have otherwise been cold.

 I remember the long trains of logs that would pass by every day. The train would be so long we couldn’t see the end from where we were. At first they were great big logs, sometimes only one log on a flat car, but as the years went by the logs got smaller and the trains got shorter.

It seems to me there were always men working on the railroad then. Many times the section gang, as the men were called, would be quartered near our house on the rails in bunks similar to those in a logging camp. They would have their dining car and after work at night we would hear the dinner bell calling the men to supper.

We were always sad when they would finish their work and move on to another location but it usually wasn’t long until some more men would come again.

It was fun watching the long train of passenger cars go by. We wondered where they had come from and where they were going. We would wave and the people would wave back. I can remember the first time I rode on the train. It was just a short trip. My Uncle Dick took my cousin Blanche and me from Orting to Puyallup which is about 10 miles. We had been visiting grandma and he was taking us back home. If we had been going to New York it wouldn’t have been the thrill that short trip was. It was fun watching for the places we knew.  When we came to our house my mother was watching for us and she waved. My dad met us at the station and took us home just as though we had come from a long distance.

During the 1930’s depression, men would ride the box cars hunting for work, or maybe because there was nothing else to do. Lots of them came to Puyallup. They would get off of the train before it went into town, so Meeker Junction was the place they established a hobo camp, as we called them.

This camp was just across the track from our house. Every day we would have men coming to the house wanting to work for something to eat. We didn’t have work for them to do but my mother would give them food anyway.

Sometimes they would want some particular item such as potatoes, carrots or some other vegetable. I guess they would make a soup or stew and several of them would get together on it. We had them ask for our used coffee grounds but we always gave them fresh coffee. I think they must have had some kind of a mark on our house showing that we some kind of easy mark because they kept coming all through the depression.

The Salvation Army would come to the camp every Sunday. They would have prayer and play their instruments and sing. The men would wash their clothes and hang them to dry on the fence along the tracks. It always seemed funny to us to watch the men hanging up their underwear while the band played Onward Christian Soldiers or some other hymn.

As the years went by and I was old enough to date, the train played another role in my life. My dad would tell me what time I was to come home but sometimes I  would be a little late getting there. I soon learned that if I would wait until the train came by before opening the door, the train made so much noise, dad wouldn’t hear me come in.

Yes, I remember the old steam coal powered train like an old friend. Somehow the diesels just aren’t the same.

The Way It Was

In this piece my Aunt, Iva Bailey writes about the summer of 1926 or 27 when she and her family went to live in a logging camp. The photo is of her father William Roy Caple (on the right) and his felling partner Gus, taken around 1913-1916.

2017-02-02-17-53-16-1

 The Way It Was

Today the hills overlooking the Puyallup valley are covered with highways and housing. 

I can remember when they were covered with century old douglas fir, hemlock, spruce and cedar. This is where I was born and lived my childhood. It was here in my growing-up-years, my dad worked as a logger.

I can remember one time when dad took us, my brother, my mother and myself up into the forest to live for the summer. We lived in a large tent and a lean-to that dad built out of shakes he split from a big cedar tree.

The bunk house and the rest of the logging camp were in the valley but my dad was the fire watchman that summer, so had to be up where the logging was going on. Sometimes a spark from some of the logging equipment would start a fire and it would have to be put out before it reached the log trees.

There were no logging roads in those day as that was before the days of the logging trucks.  Everything was brought in and out on a logging train. The only way the men could get to the woods was on a train or by walking.

The men in the camp built steps into the side of the hill. As I think of it now it must have taken a long time to build all of those steps. 

On weekends, when the camp was closed, we would go home which was only about 6 or seven miles away. My mother would do the washing and stock up on food for the next week.

Dad would always try to get us back before dark but sometimes we didn’t make it and we would be climbing the steps in the dark. Dad would go ahead with a lantern and we would follow behind. 

I can’t remember being afraid but there must have been all kinds of animals watching us as we made our way up the stairs of the hill. There were lots of squirrels and chipmunks up there and we would have trouble keeping them out of our food.

It was exciting watching the men cut down the big trees with their big cross-cut saws. They always seemed to know which way the tree was going to fall.

One of my Dad’s jobs was to fire up the boiler on the donkey that would pick up the logs and load them on to the flat cars of the logging train.

    A donkey engine with unknown crew.

2017-01-22-19-33-39

Another of my dad’s jobs that summer was to prepare and serve the food that would come up on the train for the men’s lunch at noon. There was always lots of left overs for us. Loggers are big eaters and there would always be lots of cake, donuts and pie.

At the end of the day when the logs were all loaded on the train, the men would jump on the train and ride it back to camp.

There was always lots of sawdust around. I can remember playing with the saw dust like most kids play in the sand. There was lots of wild berries up there and often after dad finished work we would pick berries and my mother would can or make jam out of them.

Some times dad would take us on the logging train. That was really a thrill. When we passed through the camp on the way to the mill, we would know to jump off when it slowed for a curve.

Sometimes the logs would roll off the train. It was really quite dangerous because they were big logs. My mother would take us to get away from the tracks when the train went by.

When the summer was over and all danger of fire passed, we would go back home just in time for school.

It seemed to me then that there would always be lots of big trees but now they are all gone and in their place are highways and buildings. The only thing that hasn’t changed is Mount Rainer. It still looks down on Puyallup valley like a king on a throne.  

4th of July 1910 style

=2017-01-23-01-58-09

The Samuel Caple home, Puyallup, WA, 1905. The woman standing is Margaret, the seated gentleman, Samuel. The little girl is probably their youngest child, Lida. The young man standing on the right might be a son. The man on the left is unknown.
Family History writing prompt 6 – choose an ancestor and a census where they appear, throw a block party for everyone on the page. What are they celebrating, doing and talking about?
I chose the page of the 1910 census where my Great Grandparents, Samuel and Margaret Caple appeared. They were living on Schuman St., Puyallup, Ward 3, roll T624-1665, 6a, Enumeration District 210, Image 1105.
Of the 50 people enumerated on this page only 10 were born in the state of WA and only one was an adult. Most were born in the Midwest with one person from Germany and one from Scotland.
Of the Twelve families listed, five rented their homes, seven owned and of those seven, three had mortgages. Nine families were listed as living in houses and three families on farms. Much to surprise my great grandparents were one of those with a farm. Proving the adage that one should always look again at documents you think you have already gleaned all the information from.
Occupations varied, with one full-time farmer, one express business, three loggers, two sawmill workers, two retail workers, one employed at the box factory, one carpenter, and one rail road worker.
Those interested in social history should google the July 4th heavy-weight fight between Jack Johnson and James Jefferies, mentioned in this story. The fight sparked both riots and celebrations nation-wide.

4th of July, 1910

 Margaret pushed open the screen door and stepped onto the porch. The sight of Mt. Rainer, silhouetted majestically against the blue sky, made her pause. What a splendid night for a 4th of July supper.

Laughter erupted from the far end of the porch where Naomi Bailey, the Alger girls and her daughter Lida were having a good time playing a game of jacks.

It gladdened her heart to see Lida with chums. Living in a sod house in Oklahoma had been lonely. Leaving had been the right decision, it was nice having neighbors and friends close at hand.

Her eyes scanned the street, under the trees next door, the men had set up tables and chairs for supper. Now the women were busy filling the tables with platters of sliced ham, fried chicken, homemade breads, jams and jellies, deviled eggs and salads. Plates of cakes, cookie and pies and berries fresh from her son Roy’s berry patch, filled the dessert table along with pitchers of lemonade and iced tea to quench their thirst.

Grunts and groans arose from the side of the house where her three sons, home from the logging camps, were supervising the nine year-old Bailey twins, Harold and Howard, as they cranked the churn on the ice cream maker.

“Come on you can do it,” urged her son Roy. “A little more muscle work and you’ll be done.

At 26, 24 and 20 her three dark-haired sons were a good-looking trio. She’d noticed the way the girls looked at them. Soon someone would steal their hearts.

She reached up and brushed a tear from her eye, her thoughts drifting to her missing children. Sammy should be standing there with the three of them. Had it really been 10 years since they’d lost him. It had been even longer since Ida and baby Bertle had passed.

Guffaws from down the street interrupted her sad thoughts. The older men of the neighborhood were gathered around Mr. Bryan’s shiny, black Model T. Ever since he come home with that car, her Sam could speak of little else. He’d even begun to talk of getting a truck of his own. She shook her head, such nonsense.

The rest of he men were gathered by their barn, deep in conversation. No doubt discussing today’s heavy-weight fight between Johnson and Jefferies. Fights – another piece of nonsense.

Stepping off the porch Margaret strode toward the food tables to add her yeast rolls to the tables.

No doubt about it, President Taft would be proud of how her neighborhood had answered the call for a safe and sane 4th. She just hoped it remained that way later when it was time to shoot the fireworks off at Spinning school.

The Old Star Quilt

Family history writing prompt 4 – Choose and artifact that once belonged to one of your ancestors. Write as though you are that object, tell about who owned it and what history the artifact might have witnessed.

It was the star quilt given to me by my Aunt Iva I chose to write about. As I mentioned in writing prompt 1, Margaret Ragsdale Caple called three women mother. The quilt pictured above was made by one of those women. I have been told the quilt could date back to as far as the 1850’s so for this piece I am going to assume it was made  by Margaret’s birth mother.

 

IF I COULD TALK

 

Go ahead take a close look at me. Yes, I am worn and faded. It’s a wonder I’m still around after all I am 160 years old. I was expertly stitched together by the 5th great-grandmother of the child in photo above. Examine me closely  and you will see I’m made of many small diamonds. It wasn’t easy to stitch those and keep my star laying flat. Back then my colors were vibrant and I was given a place of honor on the bed of little girl named Margaret.

I covered her bed when this nation, torn apart by slavery, fought a civil war. Bushwhackers roamed the countryside of Missouri where she lived so her family sought safety elsewhere. But other dangers lurked, soon smallpox robbed Margaret of her adopted mother and sister.

I went with the little girl and her grieving adopted father back to their home in Brookline, Missouri after the war. There I kept her warm at night and watched. Soon her father remarried and once again the house was filled with laughter and children.

I was there when a handsome, dark-haired, blue-eyed widower stole her heart, and they moved with his two children to a farm in Osborn County, Kansas. I graced their bed the night their first-born son, named Samuel after his handsome Papa, was born and when more children followed.

And oh the stories I could tell of the wild west in and around Dodge City, in the 1880’s. But it was the  winter of 1887 and 1888 that was the hardest. I had to work extra hard to keep the little ones warm. It was so cold, come spring the family decided to move west.

At 30, I was already considered old and worn, still Margaret found me good enough to keep her little boys warm as they camped beside the Oregon trail. It was along this trail her little boy, Roy, fell in love with my bright, big star. Sometimes he make a wish upon me before he fell asleep.

I was covering him the night he first lost someone he loved and was with the family when they buried his big sister Ida, somewhere along the trail.

I traveled with the family, always keeping him warm, as they moved from place to place in Eastern and Western Washington and Oregon, no place good enough, until 1894 they decided to join family in Beaver county, Oklahoma.

Goodness the tales I could tell of living in a tiny, dusty sod house with a family of 7. I heard the muffled sobs beneath my star the night Samuel Jr. was carried home after drowning in a flash flood. Such a loss, just as he was on the brink of adulthood.

Times were changing, a new century arrived. Within a couple of years the family sold their Oklahoma ranch and headed back to Washington.This time I rode in style inside a train.

I was in the wagon the day Margaret put her foot down and told Sam she was not moving again – Puyallup was as good as any place. Soon I resided in a fine house, one I would stay in for more than 20 years.

Life for Margaret was changing, too. The children were growing up, her husband traded in his horse-drawn delivery wagon for a new motorized truck.

I watched as the boys reached manhood and began to make their own way in the world. I heard the worries over a coming war and the fears that loved ones would be lost. I listened to  arguments for and against prohibition.I was there to huddle under when the father of the household passed away.

In time Margaret relocated in Orting, Washington. It made me happy she chose to take me along. She kept me on her big feather bed. My best days were when the grandchildren visited and snuggled with her beneath my star.

I was there the sad day she awoke babbling nonsense. I watched as her frightened grandchildren called for help. Soon Margaret was moved to the GAR home in Puyallup and I was left all alone.

The little boy named Roy, all grown up now, arrived to close up the house. He was going to throw me out.

“Too worn to be of any use,” he said.

But memories of our trip along the Oregon Trail and the wishes made beneath my star changed his mind. He took me home to cover furniture stored in his attic.

I still heard the family stories. I knew how hard Roy struggled to provide for his family during the great depression. I heard his wife on the days she coughed and wheezed and couldn’t catch her breath. And oh I how I longed to wrap myself around Roy’s shoulders the day he lost his beloved wife.

I watched as his little boy and girl became adults and left for work in Bremerton. Another war was coming, soon Roy left, too.   .

And I was left in the attic without my family near. From from time to time Roy would come for a stay. Sometimes he’d come to the attic and smile when he touched me, remembering our days together along the Oregon trail, until one day he was gone forever,too.

The daughter knew her father loved me, so she took me to live in a drawer in her attic. A new century arrived.

Another Margaret came to visit, a great grand-daughter of Margaret. The daughter took her to the attic and pulled me out of the drawer. She told the story of how I had kept her Grandpa Roy warm on the Oregon trail.

“Would you like to have it now?” she asked.

The new Margaret said she loved old quilts like me. She took me to her house. No longer do I sit in an attic.

It’s been a long, long time since the loving hands that stitched me together left this earth.  The little girl whose bed I graced, her little boy who slept under me on the trail and his little girl are all gone, too. But their memories live on in the threads that bind me to them and future generations.

 

 

 

 

Militiary and Pension File For Samuel Hugh Caple Examined

2015-04-11 22.13.29

I loved hearing my Grandpa Caple reminisce about traveling the Oregon trail when he was a boy. He also told  stories of his dad’s civil war experiences especially his survival of Andersonville Prison. He said his Dad had enlisted at age 16 at the outbreak of the war. Since he was underage his father had fetched him home. When he turned 18 the war was still going and he enlisted again.  Apparently, he soon had second thoughts but this time he had to stay.

He told me his dad was wanderer always thinking the grass was greener somewhere else, never staying in one place long until his wife put her foot down and refused to move again.  Stories of how his Dad had worked with the likes of  Buffalo Bill Cody and Wyatt Earp in Dodge city fascinated me.  He told me we’d be rich if his dad hadn’t somehow lost his claim on most of what is downtown Spokane.

But when I asked where the Caple’s had come from; the only thing he recalled his dad saying was they had come from the south. Once slave owners they had sold the plantation moved north after deciding slavery was wrong.

Now I had his father’s, Samuel Hugh Caple’s, service records along with his and his wife’s pension files.  What would they tell me?

First there was a description of Samuel. At  5 ft. 7 inches he wasn’t a tall man but I bet his dark hair, fair complexion and blue eyes turned a few heads on the girls when he was a young.

He had served as a private in the Iowa 5th volunteer Infantry, Company B and later in the Iowa 5th Cavalry.  He had enlisted for 3 years on 11 Sept. 1863 in Vicksburgh Mississippi receiving a 100 dollar bounty for enlisting.

His unit had taken part in the Battle of Mission Ridge on Nov 24th and 25th of 1863.  They had been furloughed to Davenport, Iowa from April 8th to May 7th 1864.

On Augut 8, 1864 he was transferred to Co. I, Iowa 5th Calvary at Long Pond, Georgia (the reason was the 5th infantry and 5th Calvary had suffered huge losses and thus were combined into the 5th Calvary.)

He was absent on detached service for Dec. of 1864 and January 1865 working as a teamster since 12/64 which meant he was most likely involved in carrying supplies for the troops.

He was mustered out of service on Aug. 11, 1865 in Nashville, TN.

2015-04-11 22.12.48I was told this photo of Samuel Hugh was taken right after the end of the Civil War. Supposedly he had a husky build when he enlisted but as a result of his imprisonment had returned home a much smaller person.

He had  applied for pension three times. His wife Margaret applied for a widow’s pension after is death.

He was born in  Mt. Vernon, Ohio on March 28, 1845 to Jacob Caple and Sarah Ann Garey. At the time of enlistment he had been living in Monroe, Iowa and lived there afterwards until 1876. He had also lived in Dodge City, Kansas, Puyallup, WA and Oklahoma.

2015-04-11 22.11.52

His first  application for a pension was made in March of 1894.  At that time he was living in Caple, Oklahoma. He stated that he was unable to support himself by reason of rheumatism and piles and also heart, spleen and liver complaints.  He wrote that he had first aquired spleen and liver complaints March of 1865 in Selma, Alabama, due to exposure.  The rheumatism had started in 1873 and he had been troubled by piles or 16 years. This application was witnessed by a W. M. Edwards and Richard B. Quinn. In another document both of these parties swore that they had known Samuel for 25 and 1/3 years as of March 1894.

There was a doctor’s avadavidit stating that he suffered from Rhuematism, Hemorroids and chronic endocarditis and enlarged spleen from June of 1895.

This application for pension was denied.  In 1898 he again applied.  In this application he stated that he had married Margaret (Maggie Ragsdale) in Brookline, MO, on Sept. 16, 1877 and had previously been married to Polly A. Caple who had died on June 10, 1876 in Monroe, Iowa.

He listed his living children as Milo age 23, Minnie age 30, Samuel age 19, Joe age 14, Roy age 12 and Richard age 8  ( Note: one more  child, Lida would be born in 1899). This application was also denied but when reapplied in 1912 it was accepted.

In Dec. of 1920 his widow Margaret applied for a widowers pension.  Among the papers in this application was a copy of his death certificate. His address was given as 510 16th st. S. E. in Puyallup, WA. His date of birth was verified as being March 28th 1845.   He was age 75 years, 8 months and 8 days. It confirmed his place of birth as Mt. Vernon, Ohio and his parents were listed as Joseph Caple b. in Maryland and his mother as Sarah Gery also born in Maryland.  The informant for this information was listed as his wife Margaret M. Caple.

He died on  Dec. 6th 1920 at 10 a. m. The cause of death was diabetic gangrene of
the foot and he was buried in the Orting Cemetery, Dec. 8 1820. Margaret also
gave their marriage date and place of marriage as previously stated.  She had had
been born, March 31st. 1858  near Brookline, Green County, Missouri.  Her
pension request was accepted.
 Now that I knew more about Samuel Hugh Caple  my appetite to know more was
whetted. He’s said his parents had been born in Maryland.  Was Maryland
considered a southern state? A quick look up told me it was. Had this been the
state of the old family plantation?  Had there ever been one? Or was the story of
moving north because of opposition to slavery just  been told to make the family
sound good.
 And who exactly were his parents? Why had they moved from Ohio to Iowa?
To answer these questions I would need help. The first two thing I did was buy a
book on researching your ancestry, next I talked to my Dad. He didn’t remember
much more. He suggested I call my Aunt Iva he was pretty sure she could tell me
more. I scheduled a time to meet with her as soon as I could spare time to travel
to Bremerton for a day. In the meantime I decided to see what resources my local
library held. While there I made two discoveries. Their collection included a book a
Caple family of Maryland.  Were these my ancestors? And I had found a Samuel
Caple who had served in the Revolutionary war. Surely I would have heard about
such an ancestor.  But he was named Samuel, could he be an ancestor?
To answer these questions I had a lot of work to do.  First I had to start with what
I did know and work my way backwards.  Time to do more research on my great
grandfather, Samuel Hugh Caple and his father Jacob.

 

 

Throw Back Thursday

This photo is in honor of my Dad and Father’s day this coming Sunday. I’m planning to spend the day with him so this is a little early.   Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

I actually have the sailor suit he is wearing. His mother made it.  I think he must have been 3-4 years old so the year must be  about 1925 or 26.   He’s holding a bunny so maybe it’s an Easter photo.

The photo was taken at his home in Puyallup, WA.  The stonework behind him was part of the porch his dad built.  The house and porch are still standing nearly 100 years later.  He carried the stones home from the Carbon River.