Early Sublette County Brands Project
Molly Senshale
Interview by Jonita Sonuners about Molly Senshale
 
Molly- I took things up to your dad in 8 pound lard buckets.  I swear I took them in 8 pound buckets.  You know how we used to do wrap them in newspapers.  I would put them in something but how did we manage the gates?  And getting off and on with the 8 pound lard buckets.  Your dad was always sending me someplace with the lard buckets, but you know I don't even have one now.  I kept mine for a long time.  I often stopped in to visit Frank Aubemette and up here I visited Boone because he came to our house.  In the spring he would be there Sunday morning and stay for an hour and then he'd, take off, but I can not visualize where he lived.  I just can't see where he lived.
 
Jonita- Well he lived in that Muire house there.
 
M- Some things have completely escaped me.
 
J- Well I want to know how your family came over there and settled and all of that.
 
M- You mean to this country?
 
J- Yes, and then to the Boulder area.
 
M- My folks came to the United States in the early 1900's.  Dad in 1923 and Mama in 1907.  And they lived in Rock Springs until 1914.  My dad's health was very poor so with the help of a priest in Rock Springs, they found that ranch on the muddy.
 
 J- Who else went up there with them?  To muddy.

M- I think the Soupentas came at the same time and the Patachnicks came near 1920.

 J- And then Gosars, did they?

 M- They were already established when we got there.  They came about the same time.  The Patachnicks stayed until almost 1940.  They left about that time and went to Pennsylvania and visited in Europe, but my folks stayed on the ranch until 1945.  My brother stayed until 1950 when the ranch was sold to the Jensens.  There were five of us.  And my sister went to school someplace.  We all went to high school in Rock Springs.  Angela and Frank and Molly and then my sister went to nurses training in California in 1924. I went to high school in 1925.  Frank went to high school in 1923.  She finished nurses training and came back off and on until 1946 when she came back to Wyoming to live.  Frank went to medical school and started practicing in 1933 and practiced for 40 years in Rock Springs.  Sometime in the 30's I went to school in Utah and came back to Sublette county to teach and I taught in there for four different schools.  Is Cora in Sublette County?
 
 J- Yes, where did you teach up there?
 
M- In the Cora school.  I don't know how sensitive this thing gets.
 
 J- It's sensitive.
 
 M- We moved my mother to Rock Springs in the fall of 1945 because she was sick and I went down there, too.  She lived to 1946.  She died in 1946.  She got to be near a doctor for one year which wasn't any help because she had cancer and my dad lived to be 80 and he died in 1948 in Rock Springs.  My brother Pete and his wife May stayed at the ranch until 1950 and then it was sold to Otto Jensen and we all went our separate ways.
 
 J- Did he bring you up and you guys homestead?  Is that what you did or were you already homesteaded or what?
 
 M- This was homestead where we came up on the muddy.  It was a homestead that somebody else had started.  A fellow named Milling and the cabin was there and a real good well and the main part of the land my dad brought was fenced and then as the years went by, they bought other land that connected to it.  Somewhere along in there was a desert homestead.  They got that land that went west and the land that went east over those hills up above Glenn's.  When we came there, I was four years old and my younger brother was 4 months old.  We had a couple of neighbors but I don't know how my mother managed.  Luckily we were not sick and of course she lived there until she got so bad that we took her to Rock Springs and that was in the fall of 1945 and she died in the fall of 1946, but she liked the ranch.  There were beautiful views from where we were at.  Just beautiful views of the mountains.
 
J- Ok now Zupenses came up with you too?  Right?
 
M- I think they came a little ... they must have came about the same time, and somebody might have had.  Then there were the Petachnicks that homesteaded south of us.  They left in the middle 30's.  Frank Goshar's homestead was just south of us and they only stayed a few years.
 
 J- What about that Crow Place?

M- Well I didn't have anything to do.  The Crow place was not near where our places were.  We were up and down that creek.  We were south of the road because you know the Paulzenbos had been over just north of us.  It wasn't a couple or three miles, but they were there quite awhile before we were.  I think he came in there around 1900 like the Martinjetsas did.  The Carols came and lived about one and a half miles east of us and they must have taken up a homestead that had been started before.  There were quite a few places in there that had been homesteaded and the people went away.  One of them was the Carols and about a mile from them to the north was the Schmits and they didn't stay very long, but they had buildings on their property and the Carols came there from Iowa to retire.  Now how they found this place to retire to I don't know because it was in the 3O's sometime.  But of course their place was sold to Coweys.  And that area had been established way before that before 1900 because Martinjensas were there, in 1900 or 1901. Pete was asking me the other day where do the Olsens come in that.  The Zembo, place was established before that.  These places in there that I have mentioned are all on the Oregon trail.  The Oregon trail went catywise through our place and left the buckskin crossing and went not straight west, but almost west and went behind the Zembo place, but the Zembo place had been established long before that.  Who lived there?  God only knows in 1901. See on up there toward your place, who homesteaded that place that John Jensen is on now?
 
 J- I really don't know who homesteaded it.  The Hawkins' lived there.
 
 M- Yeah, but the Boulders lived there before the Hawkins'.
 
J- Yeah that's what I thought.
 
M- Up that road, there was a little knoll down by the fence and they said that Mrs. Boulder like Rays and Johns and their mother lived there.  Remember that ditch that followed around.  There was a little road when it was wet that you had to use.  Otherwise you could go through the ditch and then go over to get water.  There were quite a few signs of people moving out having gone away.  Angela and I went one time.  She wanted to know where the Mack place was and we found the place and then we took Lillian up and she said it don't look like it used to.  The Zembo place was interesting.  Who established that because across the creek on this side there was a fort and the girls still find spent shells, but I have asked the historians now what fort was there.  The ones I know were too young.  I think Chaddy would have pursued that, but I don't know.  Are you familiar with the Butte where the Zembo house is underneath?  They moved into the house after living on Big Sandy first.  We went up there in 1914 and they were living there.  There's a good creek going across in front of the house.  Is the coal place still up there?
 
J- Yes.
 
M-  How sturdy theybuilt them.  They were lumber houses.  The records in Pinedale will tell you when they had been established.  It was about 8 miles down to the Mathis place and they had a good hay meadow.  At first they'd come in there and put them on dry land.  The Coal place was out there on the side of the hill where there was no water.  When the Collins and I don't know what possessed them because she already had a maybe 4-5 kids and this Tom would there was a baby.  There were all these little girls running around.  They were going to homestead.  They put them over a hill.  There's a draw and Otto said that that was still called the Collin draw.  In about a quarter of a mile in you can see where they started to do something.  Tom was born in 1915.  There's a pit and Mr. Collin came back the next summer.  There's a place where they marked the ditch they were delivering water from the east York above the house.  She would have running water.  Tom is 80 this year maybe. Then he has two sisters, one that had a stroke and one who broke her knee.  He's doing books on Wyoming, but he can't seem to get anywhere.  He's going from Rock Springs to down below the mines.  We took him down there before the mine was down there south the point of rocks and he wants to get the stage stations.  He goes around and takes notes past Rawlings and there's some place between Lander and Rawlins that he's gone in there and has talked to people that are still there.  I gave him that book about reminiscing along the Sweet water and I told him.  He's doing a Basin thing.  I got a letter from him yesterday that said he guesses he didn't pay attention and he's gonna have to go back and take more notes.  Into South Pass he does notes but he's too old to pursue this thing.  He was born in 1915.  Growing up in a Wyoming coal town 1915-1938.  When we were younger we would go into the mines and explore.  The road was rocky.  We came down to Long John's land in there seems like we made a bend in there someplace.  I remember that road so good, but why did they build that house there?  They came in there and homesteaded I guess.  So many of those places like our place the same.  Bet all of those places were homesteaded ahead of time.  They were left because my folks had to start from scratch.  In those years they went to Lander to do whatever business they had to do, but when Tom got interested in it, he wanted to know where they were at.  I took him and his sister up there a couple of times to walk.  There were a lot of Indian artifacts there were.

 J- Frank Robinette lived by you, too, right?
 
 M- No, he lived a little farther away.  It's too bad they took the floorn down cause that was a good landmark.  They were this direction from the floom or they were south or they were north.  Really it could be any place down there.  With us there was the Patachnicks and the Zupenses and the Carols, and us on that side.  Then the Zembos and the Jensens were close together, never neighbors, never friends and the people across from us but I doubt that might have been Ray.  Boulders mother or had a different husband then she died in California.
 
 J- Well if Boulders homesteaded it then she did it when...
 
 M- The mother was still there.  When John's mother had done it under her name because she didn't marry Bobby Lovette until later.  It would be interesting to know there were 5 of us and I always had to know how to take are of my mother and where they came up with that don't ask me because I don't know.  Any one of them could have done the same thing that I did and if I'd have been over in Africa, they would have come after me to come home and take care of my mother.  When a person's sick and down in bed, there's just so much you can do for them and that's all.  I took my mother to church for quite a few years when she could go, but after you can't go to picnics and can't go visiting and all.  They only can be made comfortable from day to day.  I bet you even had to start roll the funerals.  Like my mother when any of her fhends died in Rock Springs, we had to take her to the funeral and she was so glad because she could go to Rock Springs funerals without bothering anybody.  There were younger people than she was that would die.  I got home from high school, I graduated in the spring of 1929.  My mother had four strokes about every three years and she'd had a stroke and she was down.  She'd had a spell that fall before because of her high blood pressure but my aunt Mary went up and took care of her, but they didn't tell me until later.  She wanted me to go to school.  She didn't want me to come home, but I went home and she was down when I graduated from high school in 29.  She had a dandy, but she'd get over them right there at home.  I remember she had a walking stick and she had a garden about over to that road and she'd go down and tend her garden, you know, the sun's the worst thing you can do on a cancerous growth.  I've had this thing cut out 3 or 4 times and I always wore a hat.  She always wore a bonnet, but we have cancer.  Then I was home all of 31. Then she was able to comb her hair and do some of the things and that was the spring Andy and Nora were married.  Mama did more for Nora than Nora did for Mom.  She milked the cows and took her eggs and babysat the kids.  They were in the fall of 31. So we had everything set up.  Mama was able to get around and I went to school in January of 32. 1 guess they left me alone until the summer of 35. They couldn't stay alone until the summer of 35.  They couldn't stay home and wash the clothes.  Pete and Andy got in the car and came after me to Provo.  I was mad at them then because they were so helpless and I'm mad at them today.  She was down.  She had a stroke in the spring of 39.  It was a quite awhile before she could walk and then she had a stroke in the spring of 35. I was right in the middle of a quarter and they came to Provo to get me in the middle of July.  I didn't have anything with me.  The folks that I was staying with had to bring the rest of my stuff.  I didn't intend to stay there the rest the time.  But I had enough credits to get that teaching certificate.  I started teaching in that school in the fall of '35.  I went back there the next year, but I lost track.  I have it written down in the grade book somewhere.  Then I was at girls school.  I don't know if it was one year or two years.  Eleven years I got state teaching certificate so and Georgine Edward and I were going to get our degree.  They'd only renew that certificate so many times.  Then I couldn't go any place anyway every three years.  I went back in January of 32and she was down again in the middle of '35.  She had another one inbetween thereand the cancer started growing in the summer of 35 and we had it removed in 42 because when it started growing, it just grew into a lump that was a 9 pounds and had 5 or 6 cell cancer in it.  But the rest of us have been lucky not to have picked it up as bad as she did.  We have just enough to know you have it.  You have cancer cells in your body.  I've had this.  They go in there and shoot it with something and it hurts like crazy.  I should have it done now, but it doesn't matter, it's just a skin thing.  I haven't had that done for about 15 years and then I had surgery.  I had cancer in my breast a few years ago.  So we all have those.  I thing Angela has it, but she won't go to the doctor.  I like to go to the doctor.  When we came there, Pete was 4 months old.  He was born in January and went there in May and managed with all of that.  I don't know about Andy cause he was safe at school in Utah.  We didn't have any trouble.  We had the fimniest kind of teachers and nobody wrote that history of it.  We had 3 men teachers and there was one goofier than a bedbug.  He would have a bucket of water and wash his socks on the heated stove.  There they would be all the time.  Then we had this fancy guy Haden and he must of been there in 1920.  He stayed with the Tibbles' a very refined sort of person.
 
J- He rode a horse from Tibbles' over to your school?
 
M- Well as near as I remember he may have stayed with the Jensens because the teachers always had to stay at the Jensens.  There wasn't any other place nice enough.  Then we had the one Tal.  She stayed with the Hawkins' and Tony had a case on her.  I guess Mrs. Jensen was kind of bossy.  You did what you had to do.  Where we had the dining room we had a west door and the 3 or 2 women and a patio out there.  There they went to smoke.
 
 J- You all went to the Emerson school didn't you?
 
 M-  No.

J- Where did you go to school?
 
M- I don't know if they called it the Jensen school or the Emerson school.  They had a school down by... I remember it was right out in front of Jensen's house.  Their old house.  It was to the west or to the front and a little bit back.  I have pictures of this because I had Sunday school.