The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., May 5, 1933, page 1

Mrs. James Henderson Writes this Story of the Lage Family

     A feature that will prove extremely interesting to all pioneers and to those of younger generations as well will be the story of the Lage family in early Hood River Valley to be presented at the annual Hood River County Pioneer Reunion at Rockford Grange hall next Tuesday by Mrs. James Henderson, daughter of the late beloved Hans Lage. Mrs. Henderson, whose home is in Bingen, was here the past week end visiting the family of her son, Dr. Warner Henderson.
     Anyone who has lived in the Hood River valley for 25 years or longer is eligible to membership in the pioneer society, of which Mrs. Edward Lage is president and Mrs. W.W. Foss, secretary. Annual dues have been decreased to 25 cents per year. The meeting will open Saturday for registration at 10 a.m. At high noon the pioneers and their families will receive a call to dinner. Chicken will be served by the association. But all members are asked to bring well-filled baskets. At 1 p.m. all who wish may participate in dancing. A short business session will be called at 2 p.m., and at three the program, arranged by Mrs. J.E. Ferguson, will be held. The musical numbers will be in charge of Mrs. W.B. Small.
     The after dinner dancing will be up the old style type, Mr. and Mrs. Ben H. Lage will be in charge. Mrs. E.P. Clark of Odell is chairman of the refreshment committee.
     Mrs. T.R. Coon will be in charge of a memorial service for pioneers who have passed on. A memorial song will be given by Mrs. A.H. Ferguson.

Part 1 - The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., May 12, 1933, page 1
Part 2 - The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., May 19, 1933, page 8
Part 3 - The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., May 26, 1933, page 4

Sketch Gives a History of Pioneer Family
Mrs. James Henderson of Bingen Sketches the Joys and Sorrows of Lages, Pioneers of 1864

     A feature of the annual reunion of the Hood River Pioneer Association last Tuesday was the presentation of the sketch of the family of the late Hans Lage, who came to the community in March of 1864, the activities of whom have played and are continuing to play a great part in Hood River affairs. In this sketch Mrs. Henderson has interwoven the activities of pioneer affairs of all early day of families. She has called her sketch, "Tears and Cheers of the Pioneers," for in it she describes incidents which draw laughs as well as those which bring tears to the readers, especially if they are pioneers. Mrs. Henderson has written the sketch as she has lived, and such a story has a heart interest and is not superficial.
     The Glacier will carry the story in serial form, the first appearing below.

     Much has been said and written how this little valley was brought into productiveness, but little has been written of the family life of more than half a century ago, when only a few families were just beginning to call this little valley home.
     I, therefore will write of our own family and neighbors, a period covering many years. Father and mother were both born in Germany, father on March 18, 1847. They come from humble but good, honest Christian parents, who lived and moved in the Lutheran Faith, and taught their children to love God, fear evil, and do unto others as they would like to be done by.
     Early in life father learned to do all kinds of work on the home farm. When he was but six years of age, he had to get up as early as four o'clock in the morning to herd the geese. His schooling was but of a few years, and while there they also had to learn from the Bible, to ensure a strength of character, that the storms of life, could not demolish. Their living conditions were but simple, but their intellectual ideals, pure, high, serious-minded, far seeing, out-reaching for adventure and improvements. To escape military training and the horrors of war, while yet in his teens, he decided to come to the America, he had heard so much about.
     Bidding fond parent and the rest of the family farewell, his personal belongings packed in a little wooden trunk, with a good supply of warm clothing and plenty of home knitted wool socks, his dear mother had made for him, he was soon on his way. Having friends in Davenport, Ia., he decided this was his destination. There he worked on a farm for small wages, which he carefully saved.
     When but two years old, mother with her parents came to this country in 1854, also to Davenport, Ia. There she lived on a farm.
     Mother had lost her mother through death when but a young child. Mother's aunt then took over the household duties and cared for the two small children, including a mother's brother.
     Just barely getting along through trials and hardships, then thrust upon them, came the added one of the Civil war, in which her father, Claus Hock enlisted. He was wounded in the battle of New Orleans.
     After the war ]much hard work had to be done for reconstruction.
     Under all these trying conditions, our mother grew to young womanhood. At the age of 15 years she lost her hearing through a sick spell, having the measles. Father and mother met in the bloom of youth and after a time of courtship, they embarked in the matrimonial ship on the sea of life, calm and peaceful and again rough and turbulent, but captain and mate came through this voyage to a peaceful shore.
     A young married couple full of anticipation for a happy home, success and many friends was now a new beginning. Renting a farm in Iowa, although times were still hard following the close of the war, this beginning was good with a record of a little gain.
     In the summer of another year the first child was born. Meta Lage, a dear brown-eyed daughter. Mother was alone, father and grandfather were working on a neighbor's farm. On this occasion mother nearly lost her life. She had gone for help, but did not get very far, as she grew faint and fell by the roadside. Her own father found her in a very precarious condition, took her home, gave her first aid till father could get a neighbor woman to care for her. The baby became the joy of the home. Time went on with work and pleasure. Two and three more years, baby Emma and Celia also came into being to bless the home with tears and cares. Sister Celia lived but a few months. For some unknown cause, her little heart grew faint and she slipped out of life. This brought the first shadow of sorrow in the home, but with aching hearts for the loss of a dear baby, they had to continue with many duties about them.
     Time went on in the same routine weeks and months with two little girls to make their heart glad, for some day they would be a help.
     Now in February 1875, a double joy came, for this time a longed for, dear son came to make his home with fond parents, who realized how much a son would be to complete the home. All is well with added cares to the family, and while interested in everything about them and their home. Then came the thoughts of the Golden West, and what there might be in store for them. Letters and reports that were received looked sufficiently favorable to make the move. In the summer of 1875 they decided to sell out their holdings in Iowa and go on to Washington, after the sale was made, bidding their many friends and Iowa, good-bye.
     Father, mother, their three small children, mother's father, stepmother and half brother came by the Old Union Pacific Emigrant train to Sacramento, Calif., and then by small side-wheel ocean steamer over rough seas to Portland, Ore., a small village at that time.
     The oldest child very sick from the rough voyage. A few days were spent in Portland, then by small river boat to White Salmon. This place of destination was reached on November 11, 1875. Here they reunited with mother's brother, Henry Hock, who had come a year before with the Suksdorf family. They made their abode in the old Black house that was built here during the Indian troubles in the late fifties. All is well now, for a new beginning. It took courage to come west in the early days of long ago. But they were qualified for the occasion, according to their faith, it was done unto them. There were no railroads, not even to Portland; no schools, no churches, no roads, no bridges, the nearest stores or business operations were at The Dalles, a small town, reached only by river boat, or over The Dalles state road from Hood River. Mostly Indian trails and Indians with the best to be seen in the new surroundings.
     The beginning was in the wilderness. After a short time, visiting with the Suksdorf family, father and uncle Henry Hock scouted the country through woods and Indian trail. Taking provisions, they went out into the Gilmer valley country on foot.
     In the afternoon a big snowstorm came over, they finally became lost in the storm and woods, night came upon them. They did not know what to do, then in the distance they thought they could hear the barking of dogs. They fired a few shots, which were answered by return shots. Then Mr. Gilmer, father of the present George Gilmer, set out with his dogs to meet the to lost men in the woods. He took them home to his humble log cabin which had a big fireplace, yet it was cold because the building a was not chinked well, but it was a haven of rest to what it was under the trees in the storm.
     Father and uncle were more than grateful to find such a good friend as they found Mr. Gilmer to be. They ate some of their provisions that they had carried with them and some barley coffee Mr. Gilmer had made for them. Straw beds were made on the floor for the two men where they slept in peace till morning. Mr. Gilmer wished for them to stay for a few days visit. A fattened calf was slaughtered, that there might be enough to eat.
     The snow had gotten too deep for them to go any further, so they returned to their home in the Black-House.
     After the snow was gone they started out again into the Camas prairie and Fulda country. This they did not like. Too much water standing in lakes and pools, land not well drained and would not make good farms, and also too far away from river transportation.
     They returned again, then just as soon as the weather would permit, they made a scouring trip to the Hood River valley. This they liked much better, yet it was all a wilderness, with only a few white families, also just at the beginning of a short time. They too decided this little valley would make a good home. Father buying the Milton Neal home-stead-right, 160 acres for $300, with only one-half acre cleared for garden. Uncle Henry and grandfather Hock took up a homestead where the Old State Dalles road enters into the valley, known now as the Ordway place, for the Sears and Porter orchard.
     On March 4, 1876, all moved to Hood River valley to begin anew. There was a small four rooms with attic, shanty, small barn and a few out-buildings on the place, with some repairs made quite a comfortable home.
     The buildings were all made of lumber. The father of Mr. Milton Neal had a small sawmill on the Neal creek where this lumber had been cut. This was the first mill that supplied (lumber in the ruff) to many of the first settlers.
     This beginning was hard, for a period of a long time, they had little to do with and their need was great, which was horses, harness, wagons, plows, cows, hogs, poultry, and say nothing of what was needed in the house for the family.
     Mother did all the sewing by hand for the whole family, even made suits for father. Their best possessions at this time was their good health, faith and courage. The first year had almost made the round, a little progress had been made. Father was away on a trip to The Dalles, which always took two long days with the team and wagon over rough mountain road, to get provisions needed. On his return, a new baby girl had arrived. Father was terribly disappointed, he wanted another son, for there was lots of land to be cleared and the need of strong boys was great. However, he decided to keep this baby girl, for she could be of help too, she was named Laura.
     With the help of grandmother, mother was soon up on duty again, the cares now of four little children, household cares, garden work, she always had a good garden, making butter and a thousand things that had to be done every day.
     All the families now number twelve on the east side of the river. They had to keep busy to keep the wolf away from the door, that there might be another food for all and their animals, when winter came.
     The older children, two, four, and six years of age, save many steps and took part of the days work they were able to do. Wash the dishes, weed the garden, gather vegetables, care for babies, feed the chickens and ducks, gather eggs and what ever their little hands could learn to do. Mother often went out to help father in the field and help saw down big trees and burn brush. The children could do so much of the house work, to save mother's time for other work. She wood often go to gather acorns in fall of the year, to be hog feed for the winter. On one occasion, only a short distance from the house, mother was gathering acorns. On her return to the house, a slain black bear was lying on the porch. She wondered where it had come from. Father told her Mr. Neal, a young hunter had shot it only a few yards from where she was picking up acorns and said he would give it to her. Mother being deaf had not heard the shot, nor even seen him. For several years the whole family often went to gather acorns, they were not wormy at that time.
     This was a day we children enjoyed, for we would take our lunch and make a picnic of it as well as keep busy all day. Often father had a whole wagon load full to take home at night. We got our reward after butchering time, for we all liked good sausage, hams, bacon and all the other good things mother made of the different meats.
     Father would salt and smoke the large pieces, often sold some of the cured meat, which brought some cash. The good lard was rendered out, then cooked with a few apples an onion or two, a little spice to flavor it just right. This was our spread for bread, that the butter might be sold for cash to pay other bills and to buy necessities and things that could not be raised on the farm. Geese and ducks were also raised to sell, the feathers were used to make feather beds to keep us warm in winter.
     Different things raised and made for market were sold at The Dalles. Father made a trip with butter, eggs and different things once every two weeks.
     Bed springs were unknown then, our home made beds, straw ticks and feather bed on plain board slabs, on plain home-made bedsteads.
     Fruit jars were also unknown, what little fruit that could be had, was used fresh and dried. There were only two fruit trees on the place at this time, neighbors also had a few trees.
     Now almost three years on the place with a decided mark for improvement was seen.
     January 11, 1879, another son came to the humble fire-side, very welcome, too, for his little hands would soon be strong to help. He was named Bernhardt H. Lage. In the spring of this same year, 1879, the parents of the East Side community called a meeting to organize a school district for a number of children were old enough to be in school. This schoolhouse was built, on what is now known as the Lentz place, being center for all concerned, this was three and one-half to four miles from some of the homes. By trails through the woods, the children, most of them, walked barefooted to school. At first only three months in the spring of the year, with wild animals and Indians often scaring them out of the year's growth as they walked to and from school.
     At one time I heard mother telling a friend that during this time, they had a very wonderful good dog, who would take my two older sisters to school in the morning, then come home and in the afternoon go to bring them home again. He seemed to understand there was danger for the children to come through the woods alone. In time this good dog took sick, the last day that he lived he crawled as far as he could, that he might meet the girls. During that night he died. In the morning all were sad and in tears, for they mourned the loss of a wonderful friend. At one time this same dog caught an eagle as it swooped down on an old hen with her brood of baby checks. Mother happened to see it, she ran out and struck it with a big stick "that she kept near at hand." The dog held on till she killed it. At another time mother and the same good dog cornered a young deer in the garden fence. Father came along just in time to finish the job. This made several good meals for all the family. This big stick was kept near at hand, for often rattlesnakes came into the door-yard, where the little folks played. Coyotes were very numerous and were very destructive to the sheep, lambs and poultry.
     E.L. Smith also came to Hood River in 1876. He did much to help the early pioneers. He was a surveyor, and also built the first mercantile store, where people could take some of their produce and trade for groceries, dry goods, and some hardware too. This saved many trips to The Dalles. He also helped many people with their officials affairs.
     In 1880 father set out a small orchard of apples, pears and peaches. Some of these trees are still in bearing. More people at this time were finding their way to this beautiful valley. Chris and John Dethman, had now been here for a year or more, and proved themselves the best kind of neighbors. Henry L. Hower, who was one of the first good school teachers, yet wages were small then, he has been held in the highest esteem by of his pioneer friends. William and Charley Ehrck, John and Peter Mohr, John Hendericks, Troy Shelley and families, Hugh and Jimmy Macy, Mike Little and more bachelors, all taking up land, had the same hard beginning to make a home. It took much longer for the bachelor to get a start than it did the men with families.
     The good mothers and children did much to develop the first homes and farms. The first cleared land was used for a garden plot, then corn, potatoes, hay and feed for the animals were raised. Hay was cut with a Scythe. Often father would come in with his clothes wringing wet from swinging the scythe all day. Sister Meta was the oldest, therefore she was the boy that had to do much of the hand raking and shocking it.
     Charley Ehrck was the good man that helped father cradle of the ripe grain, this was hard work and long hours, his clothes all wet with sweat and tired, yet always came in with a smile, and ready for a good substantial meal. Always was a good friend and is so yet. May God bless him and his good life in their declining years.
     The grain was hand raked into bundles and tied by hand, the ties were made of a handful of the grain-straw put around the bundle twisted and slipped under the band to hold it in place. Dear mother and sister often helped to do this, which made their hands very sore and often bleed. Harvesting the ripe corn in the fall of the year, was still worse to do, for the blades were dry and sharp and would cut deeper, making their hands sore for days. Then came milking time in the evenings with sore hands, a stinging pain, enough to bring tears. After the grain was all cut, tied and cured in the shocks, was then hauled to the barn and stacked. Father and sister would do this when the boys were yet too young to help. After curing in the stack for a short time it was then tramped out by the horses, on a platform or packed ground with a high fence around it to keep the horses from running away, then the grain was run through a fanning mill to clean out the chaff, then ready for the grist mill, made into flour. Some grain saved for seed and feed for the animals and poultry.
     For years father had to buy hay every spring, he could not raise enough for his own use, there were many hard winters during this period. In the spring of 1881 another son came to the home, dear little lad with big brown eyes he was named William Lage. A new baby was always welcome and got the attention of the whole family. During this time was the building of the railroad. Oregon Steamship and Navigation company. Now the O.R. & N., which made lots of business for all concerned.
     The railroad contractors contacted with China for thousands of Chinamen at 90¢ per day for the pick and shovel and wheel-barrow work. This was before the steam shovel day. All the workers needed food. It was really the first boom for Hood River and all the northwest farmers could sell everything they raised. Many of the land owners cut their timber into railroad ties, which was then pretty good money, and a wonderful help to all the families.
     Father for years was the road supervisors and did much of the road building, was away from home a good part, in the spring of every year, doing work with his team.
     On March 6, 1883, another son came to take up his abode with the busy family. Golden curls and big blue eyes, he was named Edward E. Lage. Good natured, full of play, always happy, loved by all, who never knew him. Only once can I remember to see him cry, that time he came out of the cellar with a big onion in his stubby hand, a mouth full too, crying Oh! mamma, I have fire in my eyes. When he was but a few days old, while mother was still in bed, father was away working on The Dalles road, grandmother had been with mother to give her nursing care, had that morning gone to her home with father as he went to work. It was a very windy day. The two older girls not yet 12 or 10 years old, managed to care for the rest of us, ages 8, 6, 4 and 2. Sister was ironing, just little before noon, the other sister getting dinner. I, Laura, age 6 had a perception that there was a fire. I went out to the gate so I could look onto the roof and true, there was fire burning all around but they would not listen to me, I cried and carried on, till they did come to see. They first told mother, but she was not well enough to get up. She told the girls what to do, then let her know.

Part 2

     The following is the second of the series of sketches written by Mrs. Laura Ladge Henderson of Bingen, giving the life history of the family of her father, the late Hans Ladge.
The two girls managed to get a ladder up. We all carried water from the spring, threw water from the ladder and also from the attic. We then got it under control. The roof was quite damp, which was in our favor. Sister did not rebuild the fire again till after father came home that evening, for we were so frightened about it.
     Father with a thankful man that evening, that the home had been saved from disaster. No one was hurt, and mother and baby Edward were holding their own. Father said he had been worrying about fire all day as if he, too, had a perception.
     We children were each presented with a gift for the heroic deed that the home had been saved, from our grateful parents. In September of this same year came a real treat and a thrill for the whole family went to The Dalles for the celebration of driving the Golden Spike, as the railroad was now finished.
     We visited with friends while there, also had a family picture taken which is still good, 50 years ago this summer.
     Father borrowed grandfather's hack and team and with his own team, making a four-horse team, we were off, a whole hackful, over the old state Dalles road. All dressed up in new clothes that dear mother had made.
     On our return home, coming fast around a curve, father said, "Hang on tight," but somehow I was bumped off and quite badly hurt. They wanted to take me to a doctor, but that was impossible. With mother's good nursing, I was soon able to be out again. This trip we children long talked about.
     Everybody back on the job now, something for everyone to do. All baking and all the sewing was done at home (at this time and age) by this time mother had a second-hand sewing machine that did pretty good work. We girls learned to sew when we were just a little folks, first hand sewing and later by machine. Overalls for the boys, jumpers, skirts, shirts, suits, our underwear too, made of Cabot, an unbleached muslin. When they got too small for the one they were made for they were passed on to the next one. But I'll tell you they were money savers. All flour sacks were bleached, also made into underwear, also dyed for dresses and comforters.
     Mother's and the girls' dresses and nightgowns, father's shirts and jumpers, underwear, all made at home. I never saw knitted underwear till about 1890. These garments were mostly made in the winter and rainy weather. It seemed there never was time to just rest or read, especially for mother.
     Father and grandfather, too, most of the time, kept a few sheep, as to have both wool and meat, after shearing. Mother would wash the wool, then we children had to pick it over, loosen it up, pick out straws and foreign particles, then carded it, we rather liked to do this. Then Mother would spin it into yarn, then she died it. We then wound it from skeins into a ball and it was ready for knitting. We girls could knit our own stockings and for our brothers when we were only nine years old. These days we has only three months of school and nine months vacation. We did not take trips here and there, not even go fishing, but stayed home and learned to do everything that had to be done. This, I think, was the school of hardnocracy.
     Mother made all our own candles of mutton and beef tallow. We would do our work and eat supper by one candle light. She also made all of the laundry soap out of oak ashes, lye and tallow, made shoes for the babies out of the tops of worn out ones, and made milk buckets of out of coal-oil cans, and also for other uses. She had a very practical mind, and did most anything she set her mind and hands to. In the spring and summer we gathered wild strawberries and black berries, and whenever we could get.
     Well do I remember when the Indians drove my sister and myself out from our own pasture where we were picking berries for they wanted them. We also gathered hazel nuts, that we might have some for the long winter evenings.
     We often met with big rattlesnakes while out picking nuts and berries. We most always managed to kill them, unless we could not find a stick quick enough. Most of the time our good dog would be with us. He would give the warning if need be.
     Fourth of July, Christmas and New Year's were our holidays. I think mostly for the men. Being tired from the hard toil of every day's work, they decided they were entitled to a little cheer, which they most always found corked up in a bottle or little brown jug, and again some by an Anheuser Busch.
     While our dear mother hurried still faster to prepare for the feast that there might be enough clean clothes for all the children. Now the day was here, a nice big dinner with invited guests at our home and again at our neighbor's.
     Mothers all busy while the men played cards, sang songs, sampled the cheer most held dear. A recreation they demanded when the holiday came, but enough was always enough as each one thought for himself. After the dinner work was all finished the mothers would visit, do their knitting or crocheting, and talk about the garments they had made, most all had large families.
     These good mothers never knew how to play cards, nor never had time to learn how. Mothers' work was always till late at night, when everything else was done, then there was still the mending, darning and sewing, the girls too, helped with this.
     At this time mother and the children spaded and hand raked, then planted a garden, while father did the field and road work. But a few years later it was plowed and hand raked, which was easier for all.
     At this time a little log school-house was built about one mile from our house. This made it much better for as youngsters, and for most of the other children too. The terms were a little longer too. Troy Shelley was one of the first teachers in this school. The desks were also home made, cracks in the floor, that let in a lot of cold air on bare feet.
     When we older children first went to school we could not even speak English. I spoke my first piece to Mr. Shelley. Mrs. Shelley also taught us. They were devoted to their work and the welfare of their charges, that they might instill into the hearts and minds the best that was in them, every opportunity they also gave scripture lessons and reading. This could work still lives. It took root to the parents, too; it enriched their lives. Mr. Shelley for many years preached the word of truth and carried on the Sunday school in the Odell district. They did their part wherever needed, called to the bedside of the sick here and there. Among the neighbors also was the country school superintendent. They were always working for the better welfare of the community. Their good deeds have been added jewels, to their crown.
     April 24, 1885, another son came to make his home with us, dear little lad with big brown eyes. He was named Albert Lage. We loved him best of all, because he was the baby, pretty and cute, but his life was short. At two years of age he returned from whence he came. Kind neighbors came to bear our sorrow. The break was keenly felt by of the family. But the onward march prevails, with all the duties around the family.
     The older children are now able to help more and save many steps. The girls when 10 and 8 years of age often went two to four miles to find the cows in the hills. At times they were sent out the second time if they had not found them. Their fear of wild animals and Indians, of being out after dark, was a torture they never forgot. Hood River was a little town of several families now, one of the women needed help. She asked father if his little daughter could come and help her. Father said yes, she could go to help. Beginning with small wages per week, with board and room, when about 12 years old, Meta started out in life to earn.
     A year or two later, again came a call, "I need a little girl, my wife is sick," from Mr. Clark, very dear old people. Their home, is now the Button place. Sister Emma now took charge of the Clark very efficiently. Mrs. Clark being an invalid, bed-fast.
     While there she had to draw water for house use out of the river with a windlass, and much other work that was hard for her to do. Father also helped Mr. Clark a good deal with his farm work and every day he could with the crops for part share in hay, corn, apples and other produce.
     After Mrs. Clark passed on, very near the same time our grandmother, too, was ill, and also passed to her reward, leaving grandfather, Hock and Julius, 12 years old, alone. Sister Emma was sent out for more new duties and took charge, grandfather not being well himself. She therefore had to take care of the cows, horses, garden work and manage a 12-year-old boy.
     Uncle Henry Hock a number of years before he had also drifted into the Great Beyond, which caused a shadow of sorrow to all who knew him, for he was yet a young man.
     In 1884 father bought a good mule team which was very faithful and did much hard work, and tricky too. Old Jennie carried father on her back many miles or wherever he wanted to go. Once in awhile she would take a notion to ditch him. Very quickly she would throw her head down to her feet and father had to take the flip. Then she would walk fast on toward home, looking back once in a while, hee-haw, and go on, but he could never catch her again. Old Jack had a more beware attitude about himself and let everyone know, keep your distance. He did all his good service in the harness.
     Up to 1886 the family lived in the little shack. Plans were now made to build a new house. We moved into the barn for the summer while the old house was torn down and the new house built by Seman Cox and Mr. Bishop. This we all enjoyed and at this time it was one of the best houses in the valley. It had seven rooms plastered, a big fireplace and a full basement.
     In 1887, March 30, Charles Frederick Lage made his appearance. We all claimed him. I think he was loved most of all, for he was the last and 10th child.
     We did not have toys to play with as children do now, but spent more time playing with the babies. This was much help for mother and gave her more time to do other work that had to be done. All ten children were ushered into this world without assistance of a doctor or trained nurse. Dear mother, too, was the officiating doctor at many cases of those who are now men and women living in this valley or have moved somewhere else.
     Mrs. John and Peter Mohr, Mrs. John Henrichs, Mrs. Lentz, Mrs. Ehrck, Mrs. Dethman, Mrs. Shelley and many others -- how much they have done for one another and their families. Most of these good, dear mothers have been called to their reward. God bless them. I give them credit as the backbone for the greatest thing that has been done in this little valley. They were right on the job day and night.
     Mrs. Susan Moore, with her big family in her little log cabin, twice when we children were there for a little visit, being out of bread she would put on a kettle with hot fat, slice from the dough rising, cooked in the hot fat to a golden brown, put some sugar on it and give it to us, and oh boy it was good. She treated us youngsters as royally as if we were grownups and so were we treated and made welcome by all of our good neighbors we had the pleasure of visiting.
     In the summer of 1888 Grandfather Hock passed on. He had been one of the good citizens of the community. It was a sad time for us children, for it was a place we loved to go, for he was always good to us. The personal property and the farm was sold after a certain period of time. Sister Emma got the fine young gray horse for her services and kindly help to grandfather. This good animal was of service to father and the family for about 30 years. We could all ride him and he was willing to pull every load that he was hitched to.
     Our good, from dear sisters' labor, we got more than she did, both of them working to make the home budget bigger, that there might be enough cash to pay all the bills. From now on they were home just once in a while. They worked for wages that never entered their childhood hands but helped to build a home and for family needs. Farmers cut quite a bit of cordwood and hauled it to the river, making two trips a day. Most of it was taken to The Dalles on river scows from the Hood River boat landing.
     The Jacksons were the only family that hauled with an ox-team for a number of years. Often in the evening at sundown we could hear a voice singing in the distance, "There is a land that is fairer than day and by faith we can see afar." And again, "Dear Avilena, the girl that I love." This was Chris Dethman, on his return trip, when hauling wood, when he had a bachelor. He, his good wife, and family have been our good friends for many years and have had many good times together.
     In the summer of 1889 dear brother Willie, eight years old, after an illness of one day, slipped away on wings of peace. How we missed him, for he was a streak of sunshine and always happy. Edward, too, was very sick but seemed to be stronger and recovered to health after a few weeks.
     Everything else was in a progressive state of affairs. Quite a bit of land had been cleared, the crops were getting larger. The greatest need now was a new barn. It was built in the spring and finished by the Fourth of July, 1890. A big celebration and an all-night dance was held. People from all over the valley and town were there. It was lots of work to get ready for it, and as usual fell heavily on mother's responsibility. The main object was to give everyone a good time.
     More good neighbors were now living near. The Harbison Bros., Rand, Feak, Wells, Ordway, Couple. Boardman, Johnson, Sears Brothers -- the ones with the better qualification put out their good services for all concerned. We had a good Sunday school, held in the schoolhouse, social functions, such as spelling bees, candy pulls, literary and debating. In the summer time for a number of years there would be a session of the Methodist camp-meeting, under the green trees of some fine pleasant grove, always well attended by those who loved the word of Truth, and the beautiful old hymns that were sung such as "I hear Thy welcome voice," "My faith looks up to Thee," "Jesus, Lover of my soul," "God be with you till we meet again," to me they are now an echo in the valley of memory.
     I want to give a special tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Shelley, Milton Odell, D.A. Turner and daughter Luella Rand, Harbison Bros.Rands and Feaks, in early days when we were yet small children and the good work they did in the community, the glad tidings they sent out that fell on good ground, took root and still lives, others that could not teach did their good part in another way. This all has helped to make and build the richer and better spirit of these good pioneer people, who had so much in common, for they all began at the little end and made progress. Wages were $1 per day of 10 hours and longer. Yet the word depression was never thought of through this period of hard times.
     They had faith and trusted in their God and knew they would make the grade, and they did, not so much with the pocket book, but it enriched their souls. They were the best of friends with hearts of love and sympathy that went out to one another in kindliness, and when they came to the end of their destiny they had the peace within that passes all understanding.
     After the older girls were away from home more or less, helping other families, we younger children were pressed into more service, going after the cows, taking the calves to and from pasture. I had one calf we could ride to and from the field every day. The boys made sleds, we then yoked the calves up and hauled green feed from the garden to the barn. The outside pastures where all dried in summer. We then gathered green carrot tops, cabbage leaves, weeds or any anything that would make feed for the cows to keep up the milk flow.
     Father and the boys also raised many pumpkins in with the corn for cow feed in the fall of the year and lots of big carrots for winter feed, that were kept in a root house so they did not freeze.
     Father did the all buying for the whole family. Mother very seldom went to town to even buy for herself. Our clothes were all plain but strong. No silk hose or silk dresses, but plenty of home knitted wool stockings. Yet often we were better dressed than some of the other families.
     We had friends that often handed down real good garments that mother re-dyed and made over for the children. They were very much appreciated by all of us and were often made into our best clothes. There wasn't a thing mother could not make in the line of clothes. In return father and mother would give their friends a treat of something they raised in the garden and have them come out for a camping trip, which they enjoyed. We children then carried milk, butter and vegetables, or whatever they wanted, from the farm.
     Our furniture was mostly home-made. A good friend, whenever he was not busy at other work, came up for a visit and made something that mother needed most. He made them well and was always glad to do so, for he knew how hard it was for the folks to make all ends meet. Kind and smart, and a wonderful singer, he married soon after the first knew him. His young wife was a very dear little soul. They had a family of fine children now when times should be the best. The appetite of alcoholic liquor blighted his good wife. The Dalles at one time had many saloons. Hood River had one for a while, which was voted out after a short period of time. Then later had a bird store, where swallows could be sold for the alcoholic appetite, but all this river of booze was a greater curse than the Indians, wild animals and rattle-snakes, and other trying conditions people had to contend with.
     Many were the prayers that went out from fond parents' hearts that their children would escape the pitfalls of this evil beast that often lurked about, and to this day has not yet been subdued. Many were obedient to the good shepherd, who watched over his flock in the days of long ago, as he does yet, and tried to help the weaker ones that had not the will power to overcome bad habits that enslaved them.
     Many of the pioneer children grew stronger by seeing the weakness of the older men and thereby would not tolerate the use of liquor in their parties or social gatherings and dances. Once in a while there was a dancing party for young people, on the farm of John Henrichs with mouth harp and organ music, and again violin and organ. Mostly square dances, when Copley D. Henrichs did the calling.
     "Now swing the girls you left behind, now the one who has big feet, not the one who is pretty and sweet. Everybody swing Elemen left, right hand to partner, and grand right and left, so on round, swing when you meet, ha, ha!"
     If we should try it again, I know it could not be in the spirit of fun as we once did it. We too a had skip-them-a-loo parties which were still stronger to evade the drink evil.
     In the summer of 1892 father bought a nice new two-seated hack which we all enjoyed very much. Up to this time we just had a big wagon. The two back seats were just plain hard boards without any back support or cushion.
     At this time I began to work for wages to help swell the family budget a little. During school terms I worked for my board and room. The boys also helped at home taking care of the crops and clearing more land.
     School terms now had come to seven or eight months, which made it better for all children that could go. In the fall of 1892 the first wedding of the oldest daughter took place.
     It seems to me that pioneer girls had many bachelors to pick from.
     Girls used to hide when they made their appearance for they were rather determined to win the young lassies, but most of the young girls did not want to keep house in a little log cabin.
     Well do I remember John Gerdes years ago, who is now past 82 years of life, when he came by to see his best girl. I then crawled on the top of the fence and called to him, "Oh! John, why don't you come to our house." He was a real friend to little children, always had cookies and candy ready for us. I hated to see him pass us by. But here is to him now. He was one of our best friends in the long ago.
     There were Jimmy and Hugh Lacey, they too, the best of friends, and could not have been kinder. Hugh would play the violin and piccolo and Jimmy danced the jig.
     He caused me to shed many a tear for he asked father if he could take me home to cook his meals. Father said yes, but this was just joking. But now I would like to see him once more, who too is in his eighties.
     If the good horses could have been able to tell their side of the story how they have raced with cupid, till they were all sweat and foam and then stand tied to the fence post in the cold rain and storms to wait for the winning hand. It would make a sad picture. This happened many times.
     By this time more fruit trees were planted, other crops were getting better too, more improvements everywhere and all farms generally put on a good appearance.
     In 1894 and 95 the other two girls launched out on the matrimonial sea, which by no means had been all smooth. Father and mother plodded on the same sort of way, with the four boys to help with all that needed to be done. They were strong and determined that everything must go right.
     With young teams of good horses which were a pride for the boys to handle, one cold spring day when returning from the field, with lines just picked up, and off they went, just as hard as they could go. We were scared to death for fear Bernhardt, 14 years old, and the team would both be killed. Once they got off the road tipping the wagon almost over. Ben was half out but pulled on the lines so hard that it pulled him back into the wagon as it righted itself. He then got them into the road again and let them run as fast as they wanted to for about two miles, then turned them and brought them safely home without a scratch on the horses or himself.
     Father had gone out to help him on horseback. He was happy when he said Ben had proved himself a hero and saved a smashup.
     In the summer of 1898 father thought he deserved a much-earned vacation. Plans at once were made that he and his longtime friend make a visit to relatives in Iowa, their former home.
     The boys now grown, father knew full well everything would be going on in fine shape, with mother too staying on the job.
     Refreshed from the much enjoyed vacation and the joy of visiting with old friends, new interest now was taken for more improvements.
     The Hood River irrigation system was now the subject of the hour and soon under way, which made better and bigger crops.
     More money was made to the good and welfare of the home and all concerned.

Part 3

This is the third and final series of a sketch of the Lage family by Mrs. Laura Lage Henderson of Bingen, Wash.

     Giving the three younger boys, each part-time and time in a business college course, while the oldest son just married, took over the management of a neighbor's farm. The two boys home again from college, and everything in general taking on a change. And true it had to be, for mother, dear soul, was tired out from the long years of strenuous hard work of many cares.
     Brother Bernhardt and Edward, now married, took charge of the home place, to relieve father from being the head man of the job. He continued still, as road supervisor and taking more interest in the family garden, to give mother a complete rest at the hospital, as her health was impaired, but this did but little good. Still sincere within her own thoughts, that she should continue. But the crash came, mother fell to the floor and broke her hip, which was a great sorrow, for she loved life and to be doing things. She bore the affliction cheerfully, and enjoyed her family and friends as they came to visit with her. She wanted to live to enjoy the home she had worked so hard for and help to make. But after being bed-fast for a period of time, God called her home.
     That heart of the home was now broken. No one knew mother as her own children did. Nor how much she had done toward the making of the home. Mother of ten children, that she loved with all the devotion a mother could give. And she called us her jewels, six of us now living, that speak and breathed the praises for mother and crown her the best dear soul that ever lived. Her love, as the love of our Savior, did for our every need. She put herself on the cross of sacrifice, that we might have. She never had material ornaments to bedeck herself with, or jewels or fineries, not even for home. Everything just plain, simple and clean. But her love, courage, sweet smiles, kind deeds in the hours of need and sickness for everyone, the home, for neighbors and often the animals too, and her wise counsel she gave freely to help others. All shine forth and around her kindly immortal spirit as many stars in her crown.
     She, as many of the pioneer mothers, deserved a crown as only God can give.
     Father, now broken in spirit, but had to gather up the broken threads and still continue with a housekeeper in charge. He and Charles managed the best they could under these conditions. But another shadow of sorrow came upon the home. Brother Charley, too, was stricken and after a period of six weeks in the hospital was called to the great beyond.
     This was more than father could bear. He was alone now, and felt lost. After the wound of sorrow was more healed, he married again. A kindly mother of seven children, who too, was alone.
     In 1913 the old home was torn down. A nice new modern home built which took more ____ cash than all the previous upbuilding of the farm, but it put the finishing touch, as a new garment on the farm, that had been so long in the making. A dream at last materialized that the family had long worked and wished for.
     All the children came to visit father and the new mother of the two families and spent many happy times together. The happiest time of father's long life on this farm, that he so dearly loved was the celebration of March 4, 1926, where he had lived continuous for 50 years. Friends of many years all were there to partake of that happy event, and talked over the affairs of by-gone years, when they all had so much in common.
     Father and new mother, now like a young couple, to go and come as they wished, enjoyed their work among the flowers and gardens, and to see the progress on the place that was now under the management of the youngest son, Edward, and his good family. Ed, now too, 50 years on the place. The diversification system keeping the place in a well built up condition. Nothing pleased father more than to see everything, and the farm kept up in apple-pie order. This was part of his very soul and mother's too. They always loved to see the better side of everything make its appearance.
     The few years during the boom of material prosperity and camouflaged value which brought an atmosphere that the perfect day had come, which caused the pioneer to rejoice, living conditions were better, more money coming in, worries decreased -- everything looked as if good times had come to stay. All thought they were sitting at the end of the rainbow, and that the gold would always be in reach. But the thrill was but short. Gradually the high fictitious prices began to tumble. Taxes started up, much of the property losing its value. No sale for the land, small prices for its produce.
     Invested securities with were to be given to the children as a reward for their continuous and untiring help of many years had little and some of no value.
     But the many years of ups and downs this farm was not made with money, but sacrificed hired labor and savings often to the extent that it hurt, in which every member of the family took part.
     I don't think I will misquote that one of the best trees that ever grew in Hood River valley, was the family tree, raised on many of the farms. A tree that the tired pioneer parents, found rest and shelter under in their declining years. Father, mother and many more of the good people, who once have lived here, have done a great part in making this a better place in which to live -- not with money or fraternal organizations, but individually poured out their soul into good works.
     Time, now 1930, another crash. Dear father stricken, and had to retire from active life of more than 80 years, lingering on for one and a half years, but always happy and truly joyful, that he had a dear son to come home and stay right with him and mother to help and cheer them through this storm of affliction, that medical aid and the prayers and songs of angels could not remove. But his faith in God of the eternal life and a resurrected Savior, was now the strong arm that he could lean on. It took away all fear, that he welcome the hour for the journey home. A few more steps, and he sank into the arms of his first born son. In the departing sleep that carried him away on wings of peace. His passing was timely and natural but mourned by all who knew him, for these many years of cheerfulness, good will, helping hand and happy words of greetings. No matter what the weather or conditions were, he helped people to see the bright and right side of life.
     There were tears and aching hearts for us. But for him, God has a reward. We are bought with a price. For the glory of the Lord shall endure forever. Oh! Blessed the thought of meeting once more, beyond all the sorrow and pain. There, nothing is wrong on that Heavenly shore, and we'll all be together again. A little reward to each of the family, after all bills and state inheritance tax is paid.
     And we now carry on that, with grateful hearts that we had dear good parents. And that Hood River valley, between the two beautiful snow capped mountains, that give freely to all that thirst, seem to stand as a monument to the dear ones in silent sleep and to all the good that has lived and toiled to help make this beautiful sacred spot, and the home we love.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer