Date of Inter­view; April 19, 1979

Loca­tion: Home of Char­lotte June Simmons

1360 Topaz Avenue, Merid­ian, Idaho


Reel U0330B– Track 1 (0290 – 0357)

This Inter­view with MARGARET WELLS FREEMAN, was con­ducted by ELIZABETH BRYANT-MERRILL of the Idaho Oral His­tory Cen­ter on April 19, 1979. This tape relates to the tapes on the Delaware Indi­ans of Idaho, Inc.

The Inter­view was con­ducted at the home of Mrs. Char­lotte Sim­mons, spokesper­son for the Delaware Indi­ans of Idaho, Incorporated.

EBM: Mrs. Free­man, how did you first become asso­ci­ated with the Delaware Indi­ans of Idaho?

MWF: When I was a lit­tle girl my grand­fa­ther used to cut wood down on the river and we would go down there with him and the Indi­ans that were down there would help him load the wood on the Model A Ford that we had at that time, the Ford that we had at that time. And that’s how I became acquainted, but I didn’t know at the’ time that they were Delaware Indians.

EBM: But, did you know that they were Indians?

MWF: Yes. Yes, I knew they were Indi­ans but I didn’t know at the time that they were Delawares.

EBM: Can you remem­ber any spe­cific times that you went down there; any remem­brances of what it was like?

MWF: Well, usu­ally it was in the fall of the year and it was prob­a­bly about when I was nine years old, eight or nine years old, so that would be 1938 or 1939, or maybe even– ’37 (1937) because I don’t remem­ber exactly the date. Well, no, no more than that.

EBM: Can you remem­ber, were you afraid to go down there?

MWF: Well, yes, we were afraid to go down there. The rea­son I remem­ber they were Indi­ans was that because when we were chil­dren, my par­ents used to tell me if I wasn’t good, they’d give me back to the Indi­ans! And I was very, very afraid, (Chuck­les) when I saw them with their braids and one thing and another. But I do remem­ber that does stand out In my mind.

EBM: Do you remem­ber about how many of them there were down there?

MWF: Oh, probably-I would say a group, but I don’t know the exact num­ber, no, but there was more than two or three.

EBM: How were they liv­ing down there?

MWF: Well, they had a kind of tent-like thing. I wouldn’t say– I don’t know whether It was a teepee or not, but It was a tent-like type and they were liv­ing right on the river.

EBM: Is there any­thing else that stands out In your mind about It that you can remember?

MWF: Well, I’m sure they were liv­ing there, because we would go down there more than one time; we would go down there two or three times, some­times once or twice a week, we would go down, and it would be in the fall of the year and prob­a­bly on a week­end, you know, on a Sat­ur­day or Sun­day that we’d go, we went to school dur­ing the week. And maybe some­times we’d go after school, down there to pick up the wood.

EBM: Do you remem­ber any of them In par­tic­u­lar, can you describe any?

MWF: No. No one In par­tic­u­lar because I was scared, I don’t remem­ber any one In particular.

EBM: Mrs. Free­man, are you related to any of the group or have any­thing to gain?

MWF: No, no, I don’t. I’m not related to any­one In the group at all.

EBM: Okay, thank you very much.


Tran­scribed by Frances Rawlins

May 1, 1979