1979 Interview with Margaret Wells Freeman


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