Mike Bushfield, Eureka, MT, is the winner!
Harry L. Cummings is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #567, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country. Watch each day for another clue.
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Monday: Survived a car crash at 15 months old
Harry Lee Cummings was born in Orofino May 4, 1923 the son of Clay Christopher and Elizabeth Ann (Whitworth) Cummings.
When he was 15 months old, he survived a car accident that took the life of his father. When he was 14 he started working the fields of Central Ridge. Beginning n his sophomore year of high school, he went to school in the mornings and apprenticed in a plumbing shop in the afternoons to learn the trade. Summers he worked for Clearwater Timber Protective Association fighting fire and manning lookouts.
In February 1943, he was inducted into the army took basic training and volunteered for paratrooper training and joined the 101st Airborne Division. He took part in the invasion of Normandy on D-day, the invasion of Holland and the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded twice.
After returning home, he worked in the woods and for the US Forest Service as a smokejumper and squad leader in Montana and Oregon.
Harry and Mary Lou Hansen from Seattle, WA, were married June 9, 1948. She had come to visit a friend in Orofino. He started his own plumbing and heating business soon after their marriage. In 1962, he was offered the chance to go back to work for the Forest Service as Fire Control Officer at Canyon Ranger District on the North Fork of the Clearwater. While working at Canyon, he also became a Class I fire boss out of Missoula. After retiring from the Forest Service in 1980, he worked for Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association doing special projects.
He and Mary Lou had two children, Christine and John.
He passed away Nov. 25, 2016, in his hometown 'surrounded by the hills and beside the river he loved so much'.
|Window on the Clearwater|
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733