Location: Idaho, United States
Surnames/tags: Mayer Scott
“Footnotes on family of Edward Michael and Effie Scott Mayer”, by Reece Mayer, January 1991
Effie Lillian Melverne Scott and Edward Michael Mayer were married on Sunday Nov 5 (or 6?) 1916 in the town of Roseberry, Idaho. At that time, Roseberry was largest town in Long Valley, Van Wyck and Lardo were other villages in Long Valley. Today they are gone. Roseberry replaced by Donnelly, 1 mile west on new railroad, Van Wyck became Cascade 1 mile east on Railroad, and Lardo became McCall 1 mile east on Payette Land and end of the Railroad. Marriage performed at the home of Effie Scott’s brother, G.K.(Kay) and wife Gertrude Coski Scott. Very good friend (and 2nd [sic] cousin) of Effie’s, Gladys Bennett and Gladys' beau Guy Fairbrother were witnesses. They got married a little later.
Ed and Effie set up house keeping on a 160 A. ranch located 6 mi. south of present day McCall, on N. Fork of the Payette River. Ranch was part of estate of Effie’s father, D. G. Scott, who died early that year (19 January 1916) in Emmett, Idaho.
When they were married, Effie had just finished 9 years of teaching school, with last year at Roseberry. Ed had been farming with his dad Michael on the Mayer farm of 640 acres 4 miles east of Roseberry. Effie’s brother, G. K. Scott, had just recently taken over the half of the McDougall-Scott Mercantile Store in Roseberry that was part of their father’s estate. Kay and McDougal dissolved partnership and Kay started the Scott Mercantile across the street. Effie’s stepmother Annie Leeper Scott and Mom’s half-sister Elizabeth and half-brother Leonard were living in Emmett. Effie’s sister Cora Scott Fields, her husband Geo. Fields and children Dave, Ralph, Florence, Roy and Nora, were living on a farm near Van Wyck. Effie’s oldest brother Burt, wife Fannie (Frances) and baby son, Burton, had sold their homestead farm located near present day Lake Fork, located 5 miles north of Donnelly, and were living at Montour, 13 miles North of Emmett. Burt was working with his team and fresno for the contractor building the Black Canyon irrigation canal that would eventually irrigate the farmland on the Emmett Bench. Burt and Fannie soon after bought a farm near [Kuna, where they lived until Burt died.
Ed’s oldest sister, Lilly, was married to Bob Mickelson and living in Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania]. Their only child, Robert Mickelson, was born there in August 1917. Ed’s sister Bertha was attending Albion Normal School at Albion, working to get her teaching certificate. Frieda had finished high school and was at home helping her mother. Hilda and Henry were in Roseberry High School, Marie and Irma in Roseberry grade school.
Jan. 6 1918, Edward Reece was born on the Ranch. Delivered by a mid-wife, Mrs. McFall, who lived in for 2 weeks. Snow was 3 ft. deep at the time. When it cam near time for second child, Ellen Anna Mayer, to be born, Effie went to Emmett and stayed with her step-mother Annie, and Elizabeth and Leonard. Anna was born 10 January 1920 and attended by Dr. Reynolds. On same day, in same town, Reece’s first wife, Elma Maxine Hart, was born and attended by the only other Dr. in town, Dr. Cummings. Ed Mayer had taken 2 yr old “Eddie” Reece over to his folks at the Roseberry Mayer Family farm while he stayed at home to take care of the stock and “batch”.
After Anna was born, Effie had a “nervous break-down”, so called in those days and spent time in an Emmett nursing home and with her folks. Joe Bennett’s parents, who lived only two mile from Ed and Effie’s home in Long Valley, took Baby Anna for the next 6 months or so. (Linnie and Henry Bennett. Linnie was a Scott and Mom’s first cousin.) Poor Ed! His wife was 100 miles away in Emmett; his oldest child “Eddie” was 15 miles down the Valley with his parents; Baby Anna was only 2 miles away tho; and Ed was “batching”, farming, milking a few cows and raising hogs. During the summer of 1920 his sister Frieda came home from teaching her first school and lived with Ed.
In those days, a person could get their teaching certificate after attending normal school for 1 year! Eventually, all five Mayer sisters in Idaho attended Albion Normal and received their teaching certificates. Bertha, Frieda and Hilda taught in elementary schools all their working careers and never married. Marie and Irma each taught a couple years but didn’t like it and quit.
In late August of 1920, Effie was well enough to come back home, Frieda left to return to teaching. Effie said she came back to Norwood siding on Railroad where Ed picked her up with horse and buggy. In those days, everyone traveled around Long Valley by Horse and Buggy or team and wagon. The railroad from Nampa through Emmett and on to the end at McCall was finished at McCall in 1914. It was a godsend for the people of Long Valley to get people and freight to the lower country: Emmett, Nampa, and Boise. 100 miles, McCall to Emmett. Effie said that before Railroad arrived, her brothers Burt and G.K. did some freighting by team and wagon to Boise Valley. Going down, hauling rough lumber and sacks of oats (horse feed) it took 3 days. Coming back up hill, hauling salt, sugar, coffee, nails, and various supplies, it took 6 days. Effie attended summer school, for teachers, 2 summers, at the old Boise High School building. When I asked her how she got there (this was 1909-1910) before the railroad, she said she went down and back on the freight wagons – but they did have a horse drawn stagecoach also that she could use if her brothers weren’t hauling freight at the time. Commercial Stage Coach.
Ed picked up Effie at Norwood siding, which was closest rail stop to their ranch home. (A few years ago, 30 miles of that railroad between McCall and Cascade was abandoned and rails hauled away.) They went across Valley (about 14 miles) to Ed’s parents to pick up little Eddie. Mom said I was just learning to talk quite well, but it was in German! Then back up Valley to Linnie Bennett’s to collect baby Anna, 8 months old. Joe Bennett was at home then, 22 years old, and he always had a warm spot in his heart for Anna, watching her grow for 6-8 months. 1920 was a good year for farmers. Joe Bennett said he rented 40 acres across road from his folk’s farm and planted it to wheat. That fall, wheat was a good price and he sold the crop for $5000. Most money he saw for years. Ed and Effie should have done as well also, because Ed and his dad Michael, always planted wheat as their main crop. In 1921 a recession set in and wheat sold for only 10¢ a bushel. Joe said people in Boise Valley were burning wheat instead of coal in their heating stoves because it was cheaper.
In the winter of 1921-22 the Ed Mayer family moved to the Emmett Valley. They rented a house and in the spring of 1922 Ed got a job at Boise-Payette saw mill. Hard times apparently forced the move as the ranch was eventually sold for taxes. Mom’s brother G. K. Scott had moved his store business from Roseberry to Donnelly, one mile away on the railroad. About the time Ed and Effie moved to Emmett, G. K. went bankrupt in the store and went back to farming near Donnelly.
On April 19, 1923, Harold Scott Mayer was born at home, 1014 S. Boise Ave, Emmett, Idaho. Dr. Commings attended. I was 5 and Anna was 3. Mom felt labor pains about 3 p.m. on a nice sunshiny spring day. She sent me over to the neighbors to have them call the doctor. Soon Doctor drove up in his Model T Ford and came into house carrying his bag. Mom then had me take Anna and walk over 3 blocks on Commercial Street where the Lester Cases’ lived. Mom pre-arranged for Mrs. Case to babysit us. Lester Case and Dad were at work at the Mill. About 9 o’clock that nite Dad came up to the Case’s and took us home to see our new baby brother. He was in a bassinet-on legs next to Mom in the big bed. A fine looking baby and was Dad proud – he was grinning all over and so was Mom.
In September 1924 Reese started to first grade in old Wardwell grade school. All three children went through Wardwell Grade School and Park View High School.
Mom never did tell me why they moved from the Ranch to lower country. She did say winters were terrible and they were so isolated on that ranch, especially so in winter. Dad told me once, when I asked, “Your mother never did like it on the ranch. And she got homesick for her step-mother and sister Elizabeth (Lizzie) and brother Leonard (Shorty). It was too bad,” he said, “because we were just getting a good start on the ranch.” Seeds of differences all ready being sown early in marriage. A farmer with only a 6th grade education married to a well educated school teacher!!
Until I, Reese, started to school, all the Scott’s called me “Reece” as well as Mom. All the Mayers and my Dad called me “Eddie”. Before school started, Mom took me to Wardwell school and registered me in. I walked to school first day along with some older kids in the neighbourhood. In school, teacher said first order of business was to learn to write our names, which she had pasted on strips of paper on our desktops. I had three name; all the other kids only had two!! The teacher came along and said I couldn’t have three names, “Edward Reece Mayer”. That I couldn’t have but two and I had to choose one. Deep inside me I always blamed my Mom for putting me in such a spot. I loved both my folks and knew if I took the problem home, there would be an argument. Edward was my first name and probably should have been used. But Mom didn’t register me as Edward or Reece but both. Well, I couldn’t write either one on first day of school. But I soon realized it was lot easier to write “Reece” than “Edward”. I don’t think the folks knew what had happened until I took home my first report card. Don’t know how they settled that one but that is reason I’m “Reece” to this day. All the school kids and Mom called me Reece. But Dad kept on calling me “Eddie”, or son, for a long time after that. Even the Mayer aunts!
Mom always wanted to buy a house, Dad always said it was cheaper to rent. Or maybe it was the other way around. Anyway, they didn’t agree and always rented while living in Emmett.
In 1927 we moved to a larger and better rented house, closer to town and schools at 522 S. Hays. It was about this time that Mom switched from being a Sunday Baptist-Methodist church goer to a Seventh Day Adventist, and she took us kids along also to Saturday services. This was another area of disagreement. Dad was baptised and raised in the German Lutheran church! In the middle of the night once, I was awakened by Dad and Mom arguing in their bedroom. Dad was telling Mom, in a loud voice, “Send those kids to church on Sunday.” Couldn’t hear what Mom said back but Dad said again, “Damnit. I said send those kids to Sunday school!” Guess he lost because Mom kept on marching us to Sabbath school after that anyway. Dad never went to church in Emmett but was always very friendly with Lutheran Minister Kellerman, who lived nearby.
December 7, 1924, Grandma Mayer died in her sleep on the ranch at Roseberry. Frieda didn’t teach that year, but stayed home to take care of her mother and housekeep for granddad, Henry and Irma. Irma was a junior in High School – Henry farming with his Dad, and Hilda and Bertha away teaching school. Marie was at Albion Normal. They had funeral services at family home in Roseberry then shipped casket on train down to Emmett for graveside services at cemetery. I remember it was a bitter cold day with 3-4 inches snow on ground.
Aunt Lily and Uncle Bob Mickelson came out on train from Pittsburgh for the funeral. Aunt Lilly and son Bobby (6 years) had been out the summer before to visit her folks (1923). Mom didn’t go to graveside services but stayed home with Anna and Harold. But Dad took me along. Besides Aunt Lily and Uncle Bob, I remember Bertha and Hilda being there. Don’t remember Grandpa, Uncle Henry or Marie and Frieda.
In 1926 Dad bought his first car, four door Willys Knight Overland with wooden spoke wheels. Made many trips to Long Valley and Boise. Cost $500 new.
About 1927 or ’28 Granddad Mike tried to get Dad to take over the ranch, but Dad didn’t want it. Granddad turned it over to Uncle Henry then, and moved to Cascade. While Henry was “batching” and farming the place, the two story ranch house that Granddad had built in 1920 caught fire and burned to the ground while Henry was working in the fields, 1930 or 1931. Henry got a loan from Federal Land Bank in Spokane to keep on farming but couldn’t make a go of it and eventually let the bank have it. Henry moved to Donnelly and lived in a small house one block off the highway. He was County Commissioner for a term or two, then worked several years for the County Road Department. Married late (about 40) and had one child, Judy. Died at McCall hospital 12 December 1977 from lung cancer and emphysema.
In looking back at all our deceased ancestors, it is pretty easy to see where our folks got the names for us kids, all except the name “Harold”. Wonder where they got that name? When Harold was born, the folks were friends with the Lester Case’s. They had a daughter my age, Pauline, and a boy Anna’s age, Harold. But surely that isn’t where the name came from? From the time he was real little, Dad started calling him “Pug” because, when Dad came home at nite from the mill, Harold would fly at him, and they would pretend to prize fight. Dad called him a “Pug”, short for a Prize fighter. Soon the kids started calling him that too, and he carried it all thru school. People in Emmett still ask me where “Pug” is today.
In 1931, because of the depression, Boise-Payette mill shut down completely for over 2 years. Five hundred men out of work!! Dad was a good Odd Fellow lodge member. He was head of the Odd Fellow’s section in the Emmett Cemetery for years. He spent a lot of week-ends in the 20’s, making an area of sand, rocks and cheat grass into a nice green cemetery. In later years, the Lodge donated it to the city in exchange for them to care for it Perpetually. One of Dad’s good lodge friends was Henry Cutler, owner of a grocery store and mayor at the time. Dad was fortunate. Mayor Cutler got Dad a job with the city working as a day laborer in the water, sewer and street dep’t. Eventually, thru good work and attrition he ended up being Chief of Police of Emmett. When he first started he got $125.00 a month. But during the depression that was good wages. Mom was glad to see it, compared to other mill worker’s wives around town.
In the late thirties, while Chief, he personally worked himself, in spare time, putting in a nice Rose Garden in the City Park.
Reece graduated from Hi School in 1935. I was only 17 and skinny as a rail. Against my desires, Dad pushed me into going to U of Idaho that fall. Thu local druggist, Geo Hailey, owner of local drugstore and Chairman of the Idaho State Republican party. Dad got Hailey to contact Senator Borah about securing an appointment to West Point for me. I got good grades in school and played good Basket Ball. Haily said it was time Emmett received a service academy apptmt. Eventually, word came down from Borah, that since I was so young, if I would go to College for two yr, take lots of Math, Physics and Chemistry Courses, he would give me a non-completive appointment and all I had to do was pass Army “A” and “B” tests (Physical and Mental). At Univ, I had to take R.O.T.C. – upper classmen took great delight in “Hazing” the recruits. I didn’t like it, and there were always stories in the papers of what the upperclassmen at West Point were making the Plebes do – “Hazing” was Terrible. I knew this obstinate bull-headed German-Scotch-Irish boy wouldn’t take that stuff very long before I would slug some officer. Then Court-Martial and dis-honourable discharge. You kids of Harold’s – ask him sometime what a service-man gets for slugging a superior officer! And Harold got off lucky! Anyway, in spring of my yr. at U. of I. Dad sent up word to go down to Moscow some Sat (a date given), that other Idaho Senator (Pope) was giving all his potential service appointees competitive Exams. That I could take the exam and get an idea of what I would have to take the following yr. Heck, I didn’t like Math, and hadn’t even signed up for any Math courses. I didn’t take the Exam and after school yr. ended, I wouldn’t go back to school. Worked all summer and fall in logging camp. In later yrs, Dad told me he was only trying to get me an education, that he didn’t have the money to send me to College. I told him that the kid that got my appointment (named Trapnell from Couer D,Alene) started in fall of ’37, graduated in spring of ’41 as 2nd Lt. When Pearl Harbor attack came, he was on Corregedor and was killed in 1st 3 wks of war.
When Japs hit Pearl Harbor, Reece, Maxine, and Michele were living in Mowich. Worked for Deschutes Lbr. Co. Moved back to Emmett late ‘42’ and worked awhile at Boise Payette Mill. In spring of ’43, for some reason, Mom was living with us at the time. Ann was married and living with Norm and Gayel at Yakima, I think. Harold had enlisted in Navy at end of semester in his first yr. at So. Idaho State at Pocatello. Some time before Pearl Harbor time – Dad resigned as Chief of Police and went to Ptld [Portland, Oregon] to work as a guard in the ship yards. He and Mom were separated. Anyway, one Sat. morning in spring of ’43 (I was home), Dad’s real good friend, Sheriff Boise Riggs came out to House. He asked me if my mother was home. I called Mom out of house and there on the front steps, Boise handed Mom divorce papers from Dad at Portland. I’ll never forget the look on her face! I believe she always held out hope Dad would come back some day or send for her!!
Well, you all know the rest of story. Dad and Mary Parrot got married in Ptld in 1944. They looked for a place to buy and ended up with nice house & 3 acres just out of town at 92nd & Chrystal Sprgs Blvd. Dad had chickens & a nice garden and worked at Doernbecker Furniture. Mary, a registered nurse, worked in a medical clinic. They became good Sunday church members and both even sang in the choir. A yr. or so before he died, on one of my sales trip thru there, Dad drove me up to Mt Scott, Lincoln Memorial Cemetery. It was real close to where they lived. We went clear to the top (that was developed) and he showed me the burial plots he and Mary had recently bought. He loved the view from up there, looking out over the city. That’s when I knew he wasn’t going back to Emmett to be buried near his parents.
Mom’s good friend, Sup’t of Gem County Schools Mrs. Alma Dolphin, gave Mom a temporary teacher’s certificate and a job teaching school at little village of Ola, about 30 miles up country from Emmett. They were short of teachers during the war. It was a one room school with a teacherage where Mom could live. Or board and Rm. with some people in town. She taught 2 or 3 yrs. there. After war, she came down to Emmett and worked for yrs. as Society Editor at local weekly Index paper.
I spent war yrs of ’43 thru ’46 working as Brkman for U Pacific R. Road. Harold spent War yrs. in the Naval Air Force. Ann’s husband spent war yrs. on his regular job with Wash. State Fish and Game Dep’t. Norm & I weren’t drafted were in essential war time jobs and were pre-Pearl Harbor fathers to boot.
- ↑ Mowich, Oregon, probably a logging camp near Crescent, Oregon.
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