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Told by Rachel Bradbury Strame

After teaching two years at Long Prairie School, I did not get another teaching assignment. I stayed with the Cooks, and while reading the Lincoln County Leader, I saw an ad seeking a woman to help on a farm. The pay was $25 per month, not much but better than nothing. The job was at the Bush Davis farm on the road from Toledo to Yaquina. It is called Hidden Valley Road now and it ends at the old Davis farm, now owned by Phil Larson, a surveyor.
This was during World War I and they were building the big spruce mill in Toledo. There was an army camp there and Davis sold them milk from his 30 or 40 milk cows. Bush’s father, M.M. Davis, was there part of the time. There were three children, Floyd (7), Nancy [Mary] (5) and Harold (3). I got up with the children, cooked their breakfast and helped them get dressed. Then Frances (Mrs. Davis) and the men ate when the milking was done. After breakfast, Bush loaded 50 or more gallons of milk and took it to the army camp. It was taken by boat on Mill 4 Slough and on to Toledo.
Some of the young men from the soldiers’ camp in Yaquina were invited to dinner at the farm on Sundays. They were from the New England states and had been sent to log spruce timber. These young men knew nothing about logging. One of the soldiers, Bob, was a railroad engineer who had a wife back east who was a show girl. Another, Joe Glode, was very special to me. I still have a picture of him that he gave me.
One night Bush and Frances were gone and I had to do the chores. There was a special dance that night and the boys had asked me to go. I told them, “I have to do the chores that night,” but they agreed to help me if I would go. So when the car came after me there were three or four boys I don’t remember much about it except I danced with Joe, Bob and Freddie. I did not know Fred very well and when Joe walked me to the door when we got home the other boys were kidding him about kissing me goodnight. I always wondered what happened to them after the war was over.
One night Bush and Frances wanted to go to a dance in Toledo (or maybe Newport) so I was to look after the children while they were gone. Everything went fine, I got them all to bed and was in bed sound asleep myself. Suddenly, I was awake. The lights were on and the doors were open, but no one was there. I checked the children and they were all right. I could not under- stand what had happened, but in a short time Bush came back. That explained the mystery of the lights and open doors. They had forgotten some letters they meant to take to the post of- fice, so they stopped on their way home and picked them up and mailed them at Yaquina.
When I showed them Frances’s pistol I had in the pocket of my robe, Bush showed me how to shoot it. He said he felt his children would always be safe with me.
I saw them again years later when they came and camped on Zenas Copeland’s place for two or three weeks while on vacation from California. They were retired by then and my husband and I owned a big ranch and cattle.

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