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Olive May Hughes Hallam is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #654, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.
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Monday: Worked with Mel Snook
Tuesday: Cooked with no electricity
Thursday: Knee replacement surgery
Friday: Lost two spouses
Saturday: Grandfather worked for the railroad
Monday: Was a telephone operator
Tuesday: Carried water from a pump to the house
Wednesday: Dances were held every Saturday night.
Thursday: Reminisced about a huge steelhead run up Lolo Creek
Friday: Worked for the county superintendent
Saturday: Moved to the area with her family to be close to grandparents
Monday: Born in St. Louis, Missouri
Tuesday: Substituted at the post office
Wednesday: Went to a country school
Thursday: There was a ferry to cross the river when her family moved to the area.
Friday: Second spouse was a plumber
Saturday: Liked school and got good grades
Monday: Embroidered a pillow with roses on it.
Tuesday: Did a lot of chores as a child
Thursday: Died in 1989
Friday: Buried at Riverside Cemetery
Saturday: Worked at the post office for many years
Monday: Was am Avon lady for Orofino
Joint School District #171 Foxfire Publications students interviewed Olive Hughes Hallam for their spring 1988 publication of Clearwater Reflections and found that she was 'An Intriguing Woman' that could share a lot history and tell some good stories.
She was born in 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, and came to Idaho with her family in 1906. They first settled in Troy until 1914 when the family moved to Greer because her grandfather was to be stationed there with the railroad. She spent most of her growing years in Greer and attended a country school. There was a ferry to get across the Clearwater River.
Children in that time period had many chores such as sweeping, dusting, canning and cooking with no electricity. Getting water wasn't easy either the publication says. They had to go to a pump and carry it. Her family did get an electric washing machine, but her mother would not touch it.
Though she learned to work hard, her life was not all chores. She also learned to make crafts, particularly embroidering. At one point she made a pillow cover with roses embroidered on it.
Mr. Hughes, her first husband helped to build the road from Pierce to Orofino and the students writing the article felt that all his hard work on the road may have caused his death.
In 1945, she married Glen Hallam, plumber. He died in a house fire because he was sick in bed and no one told him of the danger. They had been married 18 years at his death.
Olive had a variety of jobs throughout her life. Her first being a telephone operator. Then she worked as the county superintendent's secretary. In 1930, she started working as a substitute at the post office. She said it was a hard job for a woman because there were so many heavy packages to lift. After so many years on her feet, she had to have both knees replaced. She was also an Avon lady for Orofino.
One of her very vivid memories was in 1906 watching the big steelhead run coming up Lolo Creek. She told the students that you could nearly walk across them. She also told the students about the one room school house she attended. She liked school and got good grades. There were dances there every Saturday night.
Another memory she shared was about the huge fire in Greer in August 1915. Olive said it only lasted about 25 minutes, but the whole town burned down on both sides of the street from the livery stable to the hotel. It started in livery stable from a lighted match that was dropped in the straw. Some people lost all their possessions.
Greer didn't stay down for long, rebuilding soon began that year. Harry Gamble reconstructed and renovated the hotel. Other businesses that were rebuilt were a livery stable, a store, blacksmith shop and post office. The only building left now is what was the hotel. It is now apartments.
According to Find A Grave Olive died at age 84 in 1989 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.
|Window on the Clearwater|
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733