Roosevelt medal-holders' tape-recorder guest book

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Title:
Roosevelt medal-holders' tape-recorder guest book
Physical Description:
45 p.
Language:
English
Creator:
Isthmian Historical Society, Canal Zone
Publication Date:

Notes

General Note:
Transcription of a tape recorded Nov. 17, 1958, at a special meeting of the Isthmian Historical Society.
General Note:
the word-for-word reminiscences of thirty-five old timers who helped dig the Panama Canal.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UF Latin American Collections
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 24302433
oclc - 07987744
System ID:
AA00012794:00001


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Isthmian Historical Society


ROOSEVELT MEDAL-HOLDERS'
'OK
-- ke 'analt/ ^e S.e.ay.eA u-aieamr
>f Thirty-Five
?anama Canal
As custodian of materials for the Isthmian
Historical Society, the Canal Zone Library-
Museum takes pleasure in sending you this unique
collection of first-hand recollections of a great
engineering epoch.


Eleanor Burnham
Librarian Curator






TRANSCRIPTION
Of Tape Recorded November 17, 1958
At a Special Meeting of the
ISTHMIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Tivoli Guest House, Ancon, Canal Zone




1.75 Reels ( @ 1800 feet) Recorded at 3.75fps
Net Time, About 2 Hrs., 40 Min. About 12,000 Words



Session Conducted and Tape Transcribed
By Loron Brodie Burnham
President










Isthmian Historical Society


\I
ROOSEVELT MEDAL-HOLDERS'
TAPE-RECORDER GUEST BOOK

The Word-For-Word Reminiscences of Thirty-Five
Old Timers Who Helped Dig The Panama Canal

















TRANSCRIPTION
Of Tape Recorded November 17, 1958
At a Special Meeting of the
ISTHMIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Tivoli Guest House, Ancon, Canal Zone




1.75 Reels ( @ 1800 feet) Recorded at 3.75fps
Net Time, About 2 Hrs., 40 Min. About 12,000 Words



Session Conducted and Tape Transcribed
By Loron Brodie Burnham
President



















LATIN AME910






FORFl,'. RD

It was at the end of the week-long observations in the Canal
Zone of the Theodore Roosevelt Centennial, November 9-15, 1958,
The founding president of the Isthmian Historical Society,
Mrs. Amy McCormack, suggested.to me that numbers of Old Timers -
Roosevelt Medal-Holders who had come to the Isthmus for the
celebrations might find their final days here, waiting for their
return ship, to be dull and anticlimactic.
Why not, she asked, have a special meeting of the Society
at the Tivoli Guest House, to ask the Old Timers to exchange
reminiscences? This would provide entertainment for them and
further enlightenment for any Society members who might attend.
F'ns. I said. And I added a further suggestion: The Panama
Canal Company's Training Office, over which I preside, had just
purchased a new tape recorder. We could capture the Old Timers'
actual words.
And so it was that on the evening of Monday, November 17, 1958,
thirty-five Old Tim>srs spoke for the tape record. We called it the
Taip- R-crd.r Guest Book. We erected a large poster containing
a prrp,.sd outline for each to follow, consisting largely of open-
end sentences (see Appendix), and we provided a real guest book
so as to record the names and addresses correctly. It was a long
ssjn- but the Old Timers stuck it out faithfully to get their
turns, and everyone felt pleased.
I had promised them, at the opening, that money permitting -
the Society would transcribe the tapes and send a copy to each
participant. But there were so many Old Timers, and they had so
many interestier things to say, that the mere rough transcription
took me more than a full day (about 12,000 words, over 50 double-
spaced pages of typescript). Cost of reproduction would be altogether
bhvrnd the modest means of the Society. So, the original of my
r-.uelh ranscription went into the archives of the Society, and the
-.\rv went to the Panama Collection of the Canal Zone Library,
and that was all.
There the Tape Recorder Guest Book remained for almost two years.
But the unique value of this by-product of the Roosevelt Centennial
tr.u-e t it again to the attention of two Panama Canal Company
officials, Personnel Director Edward A. Doolan and Panama Canal
Information Officer William G. Arey, Jr. Their good offices made
possible this .2F.:.du.tion. Copies are being sent, as promised,
to the D01l Timers. And copies are going to the various Panama
Canal societies, the Library of Congress, and the libraries of
selected universities with special interest in the Panama Canal.
I recommend that this booklet be read straight through at one
s n 'i, for when it is read as a whole it brings alive the old
Panama Canal construction days as.have very few other writings.

Loron Brodie Burnham, President, 1958-59
Isthmian Historical Society
Balboa '. h rs, C. Z.
October 1, 1960






ROOSEVELT MEDAL-HOLDERS


Represented in These
Tape Transcriptions

Name Page

Baldwin, E. W. 40
Bouche, Adrien M. 36
Carkeet, George E., Sr. 33

Carkeet, Stuart G. 35
Clapp, Carl J. 15
Clapp, Warner H. 34

Dwelle, Roy L. 42
Gilbert, James J. 20
Goulet, Mary Macel Butler 32

Hoffman, Carl P. 28
Hoffmann, Gertrude B. 32
Hopkins, Reed E. 26

Hotz, Theodore M. 18
Jenkins, Ben 14
Latchford, Stephen 12

Lowe, Mrs. Mary C. 19
Luther, Arthur T. 43
Malcolm, James E. 33

Mitchell, Col. Hugh P. 3
Murray, John J. 16
Paterson, Edmund T. 5

Reese, Mrs. John 28
Sampsell, Joseph B. 3
Sanders, Mrs. Bruce G. 38

Sedwick, Harry F. 31
Seeley, Morris M. 23
Tebbs, Paul M. 22

Thatcher, Anne Bell 11
Thatcher, Maurice H. 6
Wagg, Frank P. 38

Wichman, Frank S. 21
Williams, Charles F. 13
Willson, Mrs. Edith R. 11

Wolverton, Col. David R. 2
Wright, Col. Daniel E. 1
Wright, Grace Radcliffe 30












(President Brodie Burnham): All right if we can each of us put
in about three minutes up here, after signing the guest book,
I think we will have a very interesting evening's work when
we get through......Who came in 1903 or before?...Well, that's
pretty early, of course....All right: 1904.... Will you come
up here? Will you come up here?.... Right over here,... If
you'll please have a seat here and sign the guest book, with
your name and your postal address, and then I'd like to ask
you to-answer these questions.... All right sir, if you'll
just go right ahead with that outline, and talk into these
two microphones.


COL. DANIEL E. WRIGHT

My name is Daniel E. Wright. My address is 827 14th Avenue
North, St. Petersburg, Florida. I first came to the Isthmus
on June the first, 1904, aboard the SS Ancon. My first I.C.C,
job was with the Municipal Engineering Department, working at
Cristobal for practically the better part of a year under a
man by the name of Holcomb he was the engineer at the time.
Other jobs and places: I worked throughout the Canal Zone,
and later became the second Municipal Engineer after the
completion of the Canal. I succeeded George Mo Wellsas
Municipal Engineer for the Canal.

The most vivid memory of those days was the conditions
we found' and had to combat. There's one thing I would like
to say although I know our time is very much limited, and I
have no desire to criticize in any way the wonderful program
that's been provided for us on our visit here. But, there
has not been enough stress placed on Theodore Roosevelt's
interest in the health of the Canal employees. There are
very few of you realize, I'm sure, that we did not bring
employees from the West Indies, half-starved, and put them
at once to work. These men were required to go in compounds,
for from seven days to two weeks; I've seen men enter those
compounds, and at the end of the week be eighteen to twenty
pounds heavier than when they entered. The fact is that they
were not only well fed but they were carefully examined for
any disease that they might have, and these were taken care
of where possible and where it was found impossible they were
sent back to the islands. This is a phase, I think, that
could have been stressed a little more in our exercises during
the past week.











The treatment of the Canal employees themselves is
extremely interesting in that we had one of the greatest
bunch of doctors that were ever brought together and that
were dedicated to their work and capable. It was through
these men that the Canal was largely made possible the
care they took of their employees and the interest in which
they considered their work.

I left the Canal on June the first, 1921, after an un-
interrupted service from June the first, 1904. Since leaving
the Canal, I've been employed by the Rockefeller Foundation
as a member of their staff, and have had the opportunity to
see and visit practically all parts of the world. I want to
say this that the efforts made on the Canal have been
appreciated and been copied largely in almost every part of
the world. The Rockefeller Foundation itself built its or-
ganization on men recruited from the Canal, and the wonderful
work of these men in the Foundation has helped give them a
worldwide reputation.

I want to illustrate one small thing I know I'm taking
too much time but there's one thing that I have and I don't
want to sound boastful, but I remember quite wells In '47 when
I was sent to Greece with UNRRAo Greece is a country of seven
and a half million. In that population over three million
cases was the average for a year of malaria. We had the
opportunity there of completely cleaning that country up of
malaria, and I'd say without a question of a doubt that the
quarter to a half million dollars spent on ridding Greece of
its malaria did much more good to the country than the many
millions that were spent for clothing and for food.

I now live in St. Petersburg, Florida.

BBg Anyone else from 1904? Oh-four? Ladies from Oh-four, gentle-
men from Oh-four? Going, going gone on Oh-four.... Oh-five?
Yes, sirt Will you please come up and sign the book, and then
answer the questions ...

COLo DAVID R. WOLVERTON

My name is David R. Wolverton. My mailing address is 4716
Bradley Boulevard, Chevy Chase 15, Maryland. I first came
here on April the fifteenth, 1905, on the City of Sydney
from San Francisco, My first IoC.C. job was with the Mechanical
Division in the old French building on Cathedral Plaza, where
I worked for Mr. Brooks. Other jobs with J. A. LePrince,
Chief Sanitary Inspector; chief clerk to H. R. Carter the


-2-












director of hospitals, and statistician to Colonel Gorgas
in the Ancon office building. And I want to say that
Colonel Gorgas was the finest gentleman that I ever met and
if it were not for him, this Canal would probably never have
been built.

My most vivid memory of these days was when Colonel
Roosevelt that is, President Roosevelt came to visit the
Canal Zone. At that time I was at Paraiso and we had a steam-
shovel out there and cars, and when he came by he stopped and
we started loading those cars from the steamshovels and the
Colonel was so pleased that he raised his hand and opened his
mouth showing all his teeth and said, "Keep up the good workI"
And that's what we did and the Canal was finished in 1914.

-I left the Canal employment on January thirty-first in
1916, and since then I have been doing my own work as a lawyer,
so when you come to Washington you can hunt me up. My principal
work now is in the estate business.

And I want to say that when I left there in 1916 I entered
the Army. I went through the First and Second World Wars and
retired as a colonel of the Regular Army. I now live at 4716
Bradley Boulevard, Chevy Chase 15, Maryland.

And just a moment please Colonel Hugh P. Mitchell was
unable to be here and he asked me to give his information over
this speaker.

COL. HUGH P. MITCHELL

He arrived on the Finance January 13, 1906, and left
Panama on November 11, 1911. In 1906 he was employed at
Culebra as an office boy to John F. Stevens; 1907, file clerk
to Robert E. Wood; and in 1910 and 1911 he was at Empire as
chief telephone operator and telephone and telegraph under
C. L. Bleakley. I thank you.

BB: Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher, welcome; glad to have you with us. It's
a pleasure to see you again tonight....

JOSEPH B. SAMPSELL

I can't see too good, you know. (BB: That's all right.
First rate.) Can't even see what's on this table. (BB: Well,
it's a place to write your name and your mail address, right
across the page there....) Frederick Five, Maryland I guess
you can read that, can't you? (BBs Sure, that's first rate;


-3-












thank you. .. Would you like to have me ask you the questions,
or....) Yes, yes. (BB: All right, sir. Would you like to
give us your name, please?)

Joseph B. Sampsell, Route 5, Frederick, Maryland.

(BB: All right sir, when did you first come to the
Isthmus?) Nineteen hundred and five, on April the fourth.
(BB: Do you recall the name of the ship?) The steamship
"Advance." (BB: Advance, eh?) That's right, and I shall
never forget it. (BB: What was your first job with the
I.C.C., please?) I reported to John F. Wallace, as a foreman
of labor. (BB: I see; where did you work first?) At Culebra.
(BB: And then other jobs?) I worked there, and my job there
was cutting in steamshovels, putting them to work as they came
off the assembly line at nEpire they were put to work at the
different places in the Cut, wherever they were supposed to be
put to work that was my job, to put 'em in place, and cut 'em
in for the runners to get on 'em and go to work with 'em.... I
worked for so many different people that I don't know who I was
working with; I've forgotten who they were. (BB: All right sir,
now what was your most vivid memory of those days?) Well, I
couldn't say just what it was. I worked at that job, I worked
as a dump man; I worked on the dump there for quite a while, I
laid railroad tracks and all that kind of stuff there, built
powder houses and done all that kind of work for about a year;
I even built houses and repaired everything, and I done work
of all descriptions.... After building got to going there, then
I was transferred to the Building Division; I built houses and
all that kind of work there for the next three or four years.
(BB: I see. When did you end your employment with the ILC.C.?)
I did what? (BB: When did you leave the Canal?) Well, I left
the Canal then in 1937. I ended my service with the Panama
Canal. In 1937. (BB: I see, and where have you been living
since that time, Mr. Sampsell?) I went to Maryland, that's
near Baltimore. I bought property there. I built myself a
home, about forty miles out of Washington. (BB: And that's
where you live now, sir?) That's right. (BB: All right;
and your address now is Frederick, Maryland, Route 5?) That's
my home address now. (BB: All right sir. Well, thank you so
much for coming up and talking to us over the tape. Thank you
again.)

BB: We got by 1904, but there's a gentleman who just
came in wh6 came to the Isthmus in 1904, Mr. Paterson. And
I wonder if Mr. Paterson would care to join us up here and
talk into the tape a little bit....There's a chair right here


-4-












for you.... Now, Mr. Paterson, we have a tape recorder here,
and we also have a loud-speaker so that the people in the
hall can hear what you say. So if you will lean just a little
bit farther forward I can't bring this in.... that's good -
I will ask you the questions that everybody is answering, and
you can tell us about your experiences here.... When did you
first come to the Isthmus, Mr. Paterson?

EDMUND To PATERSON

I arrived at Colon on May 24, 1904. Aboard the steamship
Siguranza (?) (BB: Siguranza, where did that sail from?)
From New York; it was one of the Panama Railroad ships under
I think charter from the New York and Brazil Mail Steamship
Company.

(BB: I see; what was your first job with the I.C.Co?)
I came with Colonel Frank J. Hecker, an industrialist from
Detroit who was one of the Commissioners appointed by Theodore
Roosevelt on what was the first Commission appointed after the
French Company had been purchased by the United States.

(BB: Where did you do most of your work?) I couldn't
say definitely; it was in.the various Mechanical Department
shops across the Isthmus, so my work was from the Administration
Building or wherever the Mechanical Department happened to be
at the time. (BB: 'I see; who were some of the people with whom
you worked?)- First with Colonel Hecker, in making a preliminary
investigation of the shops and warehouses and places where the
locomotives and excavating machines and various types of equip-
ment were located that had been taken over from the French -
and we spent abouttwo months in making a preliminary survey
of what we might estimate to be usable from the French machinery
and equipment .and material that was taken over at the beginning.
(BB:' I see; were there other co-workers in the office or in
that activity that you recall?) At the first there were only
Colonel Hecker and myself, that is, for about two months0...
Then Chief'Engineer John F. Wallace came down together with
Carl Strom, a mechanical engineer from the Illinois Central
Railroad, took over the work first started under Colonel Hecker.

(BB: And what is your most vivid recollection of those
days?) The for our department was the experimenting with
various types of old machinery preliminary to securing modern
machines and equipment from the States as to whether or not
it was practical to put it into use. For instance, we ex-
perimented with the old French excavating machines.


-5-











(BB: What was your conclusion about those?) They
were put into service, and from time to time on account
of the long time that they had laid unused the castings
would break shortly after they were put into use, and it
seemed conclusive that those machines were obsolete so
far as any practical use was concerned,

(BB: Well, one other question in that area: What
kind of French machinery was most useful to the American
effort, in your estimation?) I think the Belgian loco-
motives, of which there were probably several hundred, were
found to be remarkably well built, and had been well taken
care of, They had copper fire boxes and tubes, and they
were interchangeable in their various parts.

(BB: Interchangeable parts in those days? They ante-
dated Henry Ford then, didn't they?) Well, for locomotives
that were largely hand-built as compared with the modern
methods, they very greatly impressed our engineers as to
their skilled workmanship and building.

,(BB: Do you recall what the gauge on those Belgian
locomotives was?) I think it was five feet, but I.... (BB:
Just what it is-today. Well, that must have been the start
of our oh, no, that's right, we had a railroad a long time
before we started digging the Canal ourselves. That's right..
., When did you leave Canal employment?) In April, 1907.
(BB: And, where did you go then?) To New York. (BB: Un-huh.
And since that time, you have done many things, I am sure?)
Well, I (word not understood) a manufacturing company in New
York City for about seven or eight months, and then returned
to Detroit where I went into business with my brothers, the
real estate business, where I remained for over fifty years....

(BB: I see.... Will you please give me your full name
so that I can enter it here with your mail address in the
written guestbook?) 8119 St. Paul, Detroit 14, Michigan.
Edmund T. Paterson.

(BB: Mr. Paterson, we're very grateful to you for coming
here and participating in this new kind of guest book, as well
as the old one, and we want to wish you a very pleasant trip
back, and most pleasant experiences from now on. And thank
you ever so much sir....)

MAURICE H. THATCHER

(BB: Mr. Thatcher has to leave now Mr. Thatcher,
will you come up here please, and sign in on our new kind












of tape-recorder guest book for us?....)


This is the ghost book?

(BB: Yes, sir, the guest book here, and....)

Ghost book, ghost book!

(BBE All right,,. right there, and then we'll start
with the questions....)

Just ask me the questions.

(BB: All right sir, Mr. Thatcher, would you care to
read your mail address into the tape recorder, please?)

Maurice H. Thatcher, 1801 16th Street, Washington, D. C.

(BB: When did you first come to the Isthmus, Mr. Thatcher?)

I was appointed by President Taft in April 1910, as a
member of the Commission, and assigned to be head of the
Department of Civil Administration under that technical
designation and the popular designation of Governor of the
Canal Zone. My mail address at present I've given you....I
came on the old Panama with the captain, I, his name who
was it? yes, Captain Coming, and Mrs. Thatcher and I
were married in Frankfort, Kentucky, at her home, on the
morning of May 4, 1910, and we immediately entrained on the
C, and 0. Railroad for New York, went through Washington and
on to New York; stopped at the Plaza Hotel, spent the day and
night there, and then on the sixth of May we left at four
o'clock on the old Panama with Captain Coming in command, and
we came on to the Isthmus and we reached here on the morning
of the thirteenth of May and we immediately came on over to
Ancon and we had dinner luncheon with Tom M. Cook; some
of you remember him, he was head of the division of post office
and customs at that time, in my department, and then we
immediately went to our home in Ancon, on Fourth of July
immediately opposite the old National Institute, -That was
our first home on the Isthmus and our only home, and the
first home we knew after our marriage.

(BB: So your voyage to the Canal Zone was also your
honeymoon voyage.)

Yes.


-7-












(BB: Well, that's nice .... Where was your office,
at first at least?)

Well, my headquarters were here at the Administration
Building, it was then called. The Civil Administration
occupied the greater part of the structure which is now
the court administration building. And General Gorgas
occupied quarters there, headquarters, and then the Secre-
tary of the Commission had an office there, and we had the
Chief of Police housed there, and there were some other
officials of the Civil Administration.

(BB: I see. We ask everybody this; What is your most
vivid recollection of your stay here on the Isthmus, Mr.
Thatcher?)

Well, I can't say that anything stands out with parti-
cular distinctiveness as the most vivid. It was all vivid
in a way; it was a strange world and a new experience, and I
felt like the other old timers that I was having part and
parcel in the greatest enterprise of all the ages, and it
was all vivid to me on that account.

(BB: I see.... And then, when your work here was through,
you returned to the United States. When was that, please?)

In August, 1913....

(BB: All right, sir. And of course, since that time
you have.been doing very many things, including serving
your country and your state)

Well, yes, well I went to Louisville, Kentucky, which is
my legal home I was raised in the western part of Kentucky
in the so-called Penerile (?) if you know what that is, down
on Green River, and then I was appointed Assistant United
States Attorney in 1901, and I served in that capacity for
five years, retiring in 1906. And later, I practiced law
then, independently, and then on the election of Augustus C,
Wilson as Governor of Kentucky, he asked me to serve as State
Inspection Examiner, which was the best office at his command,
and it had to do with the examination of all the fiscal
arrangements in the state and the charitable and penal insti-
tutions in the state; and I made very thorough and exhaustive
examinations and was responsible for some reforms, and in my
two years of service I collected more money for the state
than had been collected in forty years during the terms of
my predecessors, so I really put that office on the map.













Then I was appointed by Mr. Taft as a member of the
Commission, in charge of civil affairs, and that's the story.

Now, since that time I've practiced law independently
again and then I have served in Louisville two years as
member of the Board of Safety, which board had charge of the
police, fire departments, and charitable institutions and penal
institutions of the city and related activities, and I had the
experience here in general supervision of the police force and
then I had it in Louisville in that capacity, and then after-
wards in Washington I was not only on the Treasury and Post
Office Supply Bill, as a member of the Committee on Appropiations
- that was the largest bill in peacetimes and I was also on
the District of Columbia subcommittee on appropriations, and
had a good deal to do with the police and all the city officials
and institutions then. Then I also served as Department
Counsel of the City of Louisville, a legal position, for
several years, and then in the fall of 1922 I was nominated
by my party, unanimously nominated, and then elected as a
member of Congress. And I was reelected four times, serving
in all five'terms in Congress, from 1923 in actual service
until March, 1933

During that time I made three visits to the Isthmus, and
since that time I have made three more visits, as guest of the
Canal Zone Government, and all of these experiences I have en-
joyed very much. And my experience here, if I may say, enabled
me to do -a good many things for the employees of the Zone, and
also for the Isthmus in general. The bill that was passed to
give annuities to the three-year construction men I drafted
and Joel (?) Bridges, an old locomotive engineer, and I worked
together in unusual harmony and supplemented the acts of each
other; I knew the legislative procedure and I knew the back-
ground, and my sympathies were all I of course was a bene-
ficiary but that was only an incident; I never would have
undertaken the work except that so many were involved and I
felt grateful that there was an opportunity to serve my old
friends, who ought to have been served, because there was gross
discrimination in 1915 when the Army and Navy and Public Health
officials were all advanced and given benefits because of their
three years of service, and nothing whatsoever was done for the
civilians, and the civilians were the dominant element in the
building of this Canal.


-9-












S(BB: Yes, sir, and I am sure that many, many, many
people who never had the pleasure of knowing you or seeing
you share the general admiration for you and for the fine
things that you have done for us, and for the people who
have preceded us.)

Well, thank you, and then also I followed up that act
by having Andrew Dewling who may be here tonight, file a
claim for refund for him for two years, and they turned it
down because they were assessing internal revenue taxes
against all the old timers who drew the annuity, and I had
drawn the act in such a way that it made it a gift. And that
owas the intent of Congress to make it a gift, pure and un-
adulterated, and as a gift it would be immune from taxation.
But we had to go to bat on it, and we had a hard fight, and
the Department of Justice put up a pretty fierce battle and.
the Internal Revenue Department, but I briefed it and argued
it and won it in the courts, and then the Internal Revenue
Bureau refused to be bound by the action of the court, and I
told them I would tell every old timer who was drawing his
annuity that he was immune from income taxes and to sue in the
court of claims and the court would sustain its own judgement
and give them their freedom on that question, and they threw
up their hands and quit and said all right, present your
claims and we'll pay it, and they will give three years' back
payment and all the future they shall be exempt, and so that
was that.

(BB: Hear, hear'. What a battle .)

All that service, of course, I did without any charge
or fee.

(BB: Wonderful.... Mr. Thatcher, while you were
finishing your dinner, we held a vote in here. The Medal-
holders decided by vote unanimously, I might add that
their spouses should also be included in this tape recording
guest book affair0 And therefore it is our pleasure to invite
you to invite Mrs. Thatcher to come here and say a couple of
words for the tape recorder guest book. Would you like to
ask her to come up?)

Well, I'll do that, and I want to say that I am in a
little hurry, I've been pretty busy as you boys and girls
know, all this week, and I've got some correspondence that's
important to look after and some other things, and packing











is no little chore, and so that's the reason I'm glad to
talk and make my getaway.... Mrs. Thatcher, will you come
to the bat?

ANNE BELL THATCHER

(BB: Now, what is your most vivid recollection of your
time here on the Isthmus, Mrs. Thatcher?)

It would be a little difficult to say just one thing, but
I do recall at this moment two things. I believe one of the
most vivid recollections was the time when I was informed just
at the last moment and we had invited all the people on the
Isthmus and in the Zone to come to a large reception a knock
came on my door and they said, 'I'm (missing word) to tell you,
but the chicken salad's all spoiled.' And you see in those
days they didn't know that they couldn't prepare more food
than could be used. And so what we did was call the Tivoli
Hotel and they furnished the chicken salad and everything
went beautifully.

And then another one was in connection with the rain.
The first dinner that we gave for the Commissioners. You
remember that Mr. Chandler (?) and the other Commissioners
except General Gorgas and ourselves were all on the other
side of the Zone. Well everything was just fine until they
arrived at our front door, and then the rains descended and
the floods came, and everything had to be moved quickly off
the porch, and the ladies were thoroughly drenched, However,
their good humor was not destroyed; everybody had a good time,
and the food was good, So I think we forgot about it. And I
think I can truthfully say that the only thing I do not quite
like about Panama is the difficulty we had on account of the
dampness.

(BB: Thank'you so very much, Mrs. Thatcher.)

(BB: Is there anyone else from 1905?)

MRS, EDITH R. WILLSON
3415 Quebec Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

That's all you want from thewidows, isn't it?

(BB: Would you like to tell us when you came?)

When I came, or my husband?


-11-











(BB: Well, both. In the first place, the name of
your husband..)

Fred DeSales Willson,

(BB: Fred DeSales Willson. Where did he work?)

He was chief of the Meteorological and Hydrographic
department.

(BB: I see. When did he first come?)

In March, 1905.

(BB: And when did. you join him?)

In September, 1913.

(BB. I see. And then, when did he leave?)

In July, 1917.

(BB: One last question: What is your most vivid re-
collection of your stay here?)

Well, I had many. It was a vast field, after living a
very quiet life in Baltimore. But I think my trip on the
Missouri was very interesting, and then to see the dike being
blown up, which let the water into the Canal, was a most
interesting event to me.

(BB: The blasting of the Gamboa dike?)

Yes.

(BB: Thank you so very much for coming and signing in
with us.)

(BB: Are there other 1905's.... Will you come and sign
in please,., sir?)

STEPHEN LATCHFORD

My name is Stephen Latchford. I arrived on the Isthmus
on July 17, 1905, on the SS Advance. I was assigned to the
Bureau of Waterworks, Sewers, and Roads, which later became
the Division of Municipal Engineering, at Corozal, where I
took up my duties as a stenographer and typist, on July 18,
1905.


-12-












Later I transferred to the Department of Sanitation,
and was employed as chief clerk of the Quarantine Division
for about three years, having served in the Engineering
Division for about three years, for a service of about six
years in all.

My most vivid recollection is when as a young man of
twenty-two I had just arrived and decided that I'd like to
call on Dr. Amador, the President of the Republic. So I
went around to his office and, after a few preliminaries,
they told me that he was eating his breakfast but when he
got through'he'd be glad to see me. So they took me up to
the diplomatic reception room and I waitedo I could see
him at the breakfast table dressed in his bathrobe and his
bedroom slippers, and when he got through he beckoned.me to
come in and we had a most enjoyable conference lasting about
an hour. He was most gracious in every possible way... I've
always had a most pleasant recollection of that visit.

The other thing that impressed me the most was hearing
President Theodore Roosevelt deliver an address on the steps
of the Cathedral, and witnessing the parade down Central Avenue
preceding the speeches by Dr, Amador and President Roosevelt,

I was transferred to the Department of State from the
service here in 1911, August 1911, and after transferring to
the Department of State I took up the study of law and became
an air law specialist in the Department of State, and re-
presented the United States Government at numerous air law
conferences in various European countries. I retired from the
Department of State in 1948.... I think that's about all....

(BBs Thank you so-very much for telling us about these
interesting experiences, especially the one about President
Amador that must have been a thrill')

It was a great pleasure and thrill, indeed.

(BBs Yes, thank you very much, sir.)

(BB: This Oh-five? Good have a seat and it's good
to see you!)

CHARLES F, WILLIAMS

My name is Charles F, Williams, I came here on
October the sixteenth, on the ninth trip of the steamship
City of Mexico. I landed in Colon and was sent to Gorgona,


-13-












and worked under Mr. E. C. Cummins of the Mechanical Division.

(BB: After you worked there under Mr. Cummins of the
Mechanical Division, did you move to other types of work or
other places at all?)

I resigned in 1907 and came back in 1912 and started to
build the Balboa Shops.

(BB: Um-hmm, And then did you stay in the Shops for a
long time?)

Until I retired in 1939.

(BB: What was your most vivid recollection, Mr, Williams?)

SWell, I think the most vivid in my mind was when I pulled
into Colon we could see the old station in Colon. There was
an engine we had heard lots about fever, malaria and yellow
fever and other tropical diseases, and of course it was in our
minds and we saw the engine, in 'front of the station. Next
to the engine was a car, a coach, baggage coach, marked with
large letters, about fourteen inches in height, "Funeral Car."
The one behind that was the Hospital Car. I often wondered
what that meant, until we started down the road, and we would
pick the dead ones as we went along, and the sick would go in
the Hospital Car, the dead in the Funeral Car. The dead were
buried then at Cemetery Ridge, which is now part of Quarry
Heights. The sick would go to Ancon Hospital. On the return
they would be buried in, at that time what was called Monkey
Hill, which is now Mount Hope. And that was regular equip-
ment on the Panama Railroad.

(BB: Did they make daily trips that way?)

Daily trips that way.

(BB: And this was in the year you came.)

The year I came. I was also the first I was used as
a guinea pig in the Colon Hospital I was the first man they
ever used a local anesthetic on. They had used it in the
States, but the head surgeon there were five of them there
who worked on my leg. this surgeon died about three years
ago....


-14-












(BB: Do you remember his name?)


I can't recall his name....

(From the audience: Doctor Lloyd Nolan. BB: Lloyd
Nolan?)

Lloyd Nolan is correct....

(BB: All right sir, now what was the year that you
retired, Mr. Williams?)

1939. I came back in 191. .1 went to work at the
Balboa Shops; I was foreman in the tin (word missing) and
copper shop, and afterward went to the office as Chief
'Planner and Estimator estimator first; and in my later
years I was Chief Planner and Estimator, and I retired
nineteen years ago last August.

(BBt- And you've been keeping busy, I know, since that
time..0. Your mail address you wrote down here, is Charles F.
Williams, Box 113, Balboa, Canal Zone.)

And I've been here ever since,

(BB: Attaboy. Well, thank you very much. It's been a
pleasure to see you up here again.)

(BB: Are there other 1905's? Ah, here we are. How do
you'do, sir? Will you please sign in right there? All right
sir, and will you read that please, and tell us your name and
your.postal address?)

BEN JENKINS

.I'm Ben Jenkins. My mail address is 4407 Walsh Street,
Chevy Chase 15, Maryland.' I came to the Isthmus on July 17,
1905, on the steamship Advance, My first job was in the
Building Construction Division under W. M. Belding as a time-
keeper, then at Gorgona as District Timekeeper. Other jobs:
When the Building Construction was abolished I transferred to
the Atlantic Division as chief timekeeper, became assistant
chief clerk and ended up as chief clerk to Colonel (then,
afterwards General) Sibert, and in the Atlantic Division we
had all engineering officers.


-14-











It has been written, Blessed are the meek, I tried to
be such. Therefore I have no vivid recollections of the days.
If anybody, a laborer wanted a timebook a commissary book -
I tried to let him have it.

I left the Canal employment on January 18, 1914. I
studied shorthand, became a stenographic reporter, When the
First World War broke out, General Sibert gave me a commission
as captain. I served two years and three months, studied law,
was an Internal Revenue examiner for five years and then
practiced income tax law for ten years, then bought me a couple
of fountain pens and went back to writing shorthand.

I now live at the same address, 4407 Walsh Street, Chevy
Chase, Maryland.

CARL J. CLAPP

My-name is Carl J. Clapp. My mailing address is Postoffice
Box 326, Gibsonville, North Carolina. I first came to the
Isthmus on September 12, 1905, on the SS Ancon, Captain Corning,
commander. My first I.oCoC job was as carpenter at Gorgona.
I used my tools about three years and was called into the
Superintendent's office as a clerk, and on the first of
November, 1905, I transferred to the Postal Department and was
clerk and acting postmaster at Cristobal. I took a vacation
on June, 1906, and came back and went to Las Cascadas as post-
master, was there.about six months and then was sent to Bas
Obispo as postmaster. I was there two years and was sent to
Gorgona, and was there from January the first, 1909, until
May the twenty-seventh, 1911, when I resigned and came to
the States in the postal department,

My most vivid recollection in memory I was going to
mention what one of the former ones mentioned here about the
funeral train. But I'd like to inject here a little of what
the nurses at Ancon Hospital would tell. At that time there
was no public administrator, and then any effects of anybody
who died there could be given away or disposed of in any
manner they saw fit.

Well, the Negroes there, the West Indian Negroes used to
go by the Hospital there every morning to see whether there
were any clothes left over, and the nurses there used to
tell them, well we don't have any just now, but just have a
seat out there and wait a while.


-15-













But the most vivid memory is the lack of conveniences
in the postoffice. There was absolutely no furniture or
anything or any convenience about handling the mail, and
it took quite a little while to get things in condition so
you could handle the mail like it should have been, with
some dispatch.

As I said a while ago, I left the Isthmus in the
latter part of May, 1911, and went to the United States as
assistant postmaster, High Point, North Carolina.

(BB: All right, sir, when did you retire from the
postal service of the United States?)

Well, about 1915. Then I went into the furniture busi-
ness at High Point, North Carolina, which was then known as
the Detroit of the South. That was during the depression,
and whatever I had I losto..o And then I went with the Gulf
Oil Corporation, Charleston, South Carolina, stayed there
twenty-seven years. And then moved to North Carolina about
a year and a half ago....

(BBs Are there any more Fives?.... All right, Zero-Six;
Oh-six.... Come right on up here, sir.... If you'll please
sign in....

JOHN J, MURRAY

My name is Jdhn J. Murray. I left New York on March
the fifteenth, 1906, on the steamship Advance. I first worked
in the Cristobal Shops of the I.CoCo under Mr. Harrington; it
was later changed to the Panama Railroad Shops under P. G.
Baker, about a year after. During that time I had charge of
the wrecker, and one of the biggest jobs I had on that was
helping put in the Barbacoas Bridge, in 1908. On Good Friday
of 1908 we put in the first span, on Easter Sunday we put in
the second span, and the following Sunday we put in the third
span. And I think the third span we put in and had it going
and had trains over in I believe four hours and twenty
minutes0. I believe Dan Wright would know something about
that.

During that time I operated the bronco hoist unloading
ships, and in about 1910 I was transferred over to the
Engineering Division of the Panama Railroad on various jobs
on steamshovels, and during the time I was on the shovels,


-16-












South on relocation, a rock rolled down on one of the pitmen
one day, and we didn't know we were going to get it off I
couldn't drag it off with a chain, so I put a dobie on it
and- shot it off, and the man came'back and worked later.

And as one of the last jobs with the Panama Railroad,
I installed a bridge across the old French Canal over at the
Coaling Station. Then I was transferred to the Dredging
Division in 1915 on fifteen-yard dredges. I operated the
dredges until sometime in 1917, when I was afterward appointed
mechanical supervisor and had charge of the dredges and
(word missing) and soforth until 1939, In 1939 I was sent to
the States on various jobs. I helped to build a few tugboats
and different pieces of equipment. And on April 30, 1946, I
left the Isthmus.

(BB: And what have you been doing since that time?)

.Well, I've just been keeping busy at jobs around home;
I work on the Community Chest and the blood program, and I'm
on the selective service board and (word missing), and soforth.

(BB: What is your mailing address now?)

Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, 214 Clarion Road.

(BB: All right sir, what is your most vivid recollection
of those days shooting that rock off with the dobie?)

I think it was.

(BB: How big was the rock?)

Several tons.

(BB: Several tons!)

It flattened the man out like a board.

(BB: And he came back to work?)

Yes, he did.

(BB: On a board. He didn't come back to work on a
board, he came back to work alive, eh?)

Sure, how could he work if he wash-'t alive, tell me that?


-17-











(BB: You mean you had a rock that weighed several
tons -

Well, it was a rock about six by six....

(BB: And when you set off that dynamite it cracked the
rock off of him -

Yeah, but I didn't set it where you think, I set it on
the side, where the shot went through.... If I'd have set it
that way, there'd have been no man.

(BB: Well, I'm sure you know about that.... Did you say,
this is going to hurt you more than it does me?)

No, he couldn't he didn't understand anything.

(BB: Thank you very much.... More 1906-ers? Come right
up here....

THEODORE M. HOTZ

My name is Theodore M. Hotz. I came to the Isthmus in
1906, December the thirteenth. My first job was a draftsman
under Brooks, superintendent of motor power and machinery. In
1910 I left the Isthmus and went to the Philippines where I
was employed on the island of Corregidor on fortifications.
In 1911 I came back and was appointed inspector of steel for
the Isthmian Canal Commission. I was located in Youngstown,
Ohio, where the William Todd Company were fabricating and
furnishing the greater part of the machinery for the lock
gates under the Isthmian Canal Commission. I worked there, I
inspected material there for about two years and then in 1913
I was sent to the General Electric Company in Schenectady,
New York, where I checked all the drawings that were made by
the General Electric Company for the electric mules which are
now towing the boats through the Canal. Upon completion of
the drawings, I then inspected all the materials, finished,
and stamped. I had a steel stamp marked "ICC-70" and upon
the completion and first erection of an electric mule the
powers that be came down and we went through the operation
of the mule and it was finally accepted and passed the speci-
fications. I then left the Isthmian Canal Commission and I
followed by vocation as mechanical engineer. I am now retired,


(BB: Where are you living now?)












I am now living at my home address is in Canfield,
Ohio.

(BB: What was your most vivid recollection, when they
accepted those mules?)

No, no. I have two of them. The first vivid recollection
was when I stepped up in Culbbra and viewed the Canal. I was
surprised at the amount of excavation that the French had done.
I was really surprised. My second one was the French houses -
they were full of bedbugs and bats!

Oh-six any ladies from Oh-six?

MRS. MARY C. LOWE

(BB: What is the name of your husband, and your name?)

My husband was George Lowe. He came to the Isthmus on
May 22, 1906 My 'father had preceded him I-am not only the
widow of a medal-holder, but I am also the daughter of a
medal-holder. My father was W. F. Morrison; many of you
remember him. He arrived in February, my husband in May. My
mother and joined them in July of 1906.

We -came down on a chartered ship, the SS Karen, which
was afterward converted into a tug and was used in New Orleans
as a tug a very small vessel.

(BB: 'What is your most vivid recollection?)

One of them was the landing in Cristobal. It was raining
just about like the rain we had today, and I landed dressed
from top to toe in white clothes. In that day of course we
wore very long dresses, and I can remember very vividly trying
to get across Front Street in white shoes, and wading in the
mud up to our ankles and seeing Cristobal and leaving
Cristobal on the train and seeing the work that was being done
there, and arriving in Gorgona.

And I think the most historical one, of course, was
seeing the dike blown up.

(BB: Yes, that has been mentioned once before, tonight,
the blasting of the Gamboa Dike.)

Yes, the ending of the work.


-19-












(BB: Yes, it was a lot more than a big explosion it
was something that was spiritual....)

*Oh, yes, it wasn't the amount of the burst; we'd seen
much more than that, but it was seeing what was accomplished,
it was writing finis to a job.

My husband retired on December the thirty-first, 1936,
thirty years later, and passed on in 1947.... I now live here
in the Hotel.

(Thank you so very much, Mrs. Lowe.... Other 1906?
Oh-six?.... Fine, all set.... All right sir. Would you like
to have me read the questions to you?)

JAMES J. GILBERT

My-name is James J. Gilbert. My mail address is Postoffice
Box 194, Greenville, North Carolina. I first came to the
Isthmus on July the third, 1906, on the steamship.Allianca,
and I was assigned to work in the Cristobal Postoffice. Mr,
E. M. Bettin (?) was postmaster. I worked there about three
months, and then they transferred me to Matachin, made me
postmaster, and I was postmaster at Matachin for about two
years, two and a half, and then they appointed me assistant
postmaster at Culebra. I was at Culebra and then Mr. Cook
appointed me postoffice inspector, the first postoffice
inspector they had on the Isthmus, and I came over to Mr,
Cook's office here in Ancon, and had a desk in his office. I
went there every morning and caught the morning train out to,
some postoffice to inspect it. After being about a year in
that job, Mr. Cook's assistant resigned, Mr. Menan (?), and
he appointed me his assistant, and I stayed right there and
worked for Mr. Cook all the time until he retired, until he
had to resign about the first of 1914, Then they made me
acting Director of Posts.

(BB: What is your most vivid memory of your time here
during the construction days?)

I think about the most vivid experience I had was when
they had an earthquake. I had quarters here in Ancon, I
think it must have been about 1913, and one night we'd gone
to bed, and the house began to rock and cracked all over.
We got-up and. ran out the back door and sat down on the
ground, and the ground was going up and down, and we were out


-20-












about ten, fifteen minutes,... That was about the most
vivid experience I can remember.

(BB: They had to have an earthquake to faze you,eh?....
Well sir, thank you so very much for coming and joining us
here and signing in on our tape recorder guest book....
Ought-six, more ought-six ladies, gentlemen.... Should
we move to"Ought-seven? Someone from ought-seven? Yes, sir!
Right here, sir, sign in here....

FRANK So WICHMAN

My name is Frank S. Wichman. My address is 1351 St.
John Avenue,-Highland Park, Illinois. I first came here in
August, 1907, on the steamship Panama. My first job was as
a mechanical draftsman with Brooks, who was superintendent
of motive power and machinery at the time. This department
later became the Mechanical Division. Other jobs on the
Isthmus consisted of working for the Panama Railroad in the
Cristobal Shops, also as a pencil pusher, and later in the
Gorgona Shops.

My most vivid memory of the four years that I spent on
the Isthmus was the grand celebrations that were put on on
Independence Day. Being five days or more away from home,
and many thousands of miles away from home, I'm quite sure
that every American on the Isthmus in those days thrilled to
the great celebrations that the I.oCoC put on. On one
occasion I remember that the celebration was in Cristobal,
and Colonel Goethals was scheduled to speak. Just as he
began to speak it began to rain, and a couple of men on
each side of him tried to raise an umbrella over him, but
he refused. He took the rain, and I think that that had a great
deal to do with the crowd standing fast, because they stood
there and took the rain and listened to the Colonel speak.

I left here in November, 1911. Since then I have been
doing mechanical engineering work until just about a year
ago when I quit. I now live at the same address as given
before,

(BB: You're the head of the Chicago Panama Canal
Society, are you not, sir?)

that is correct. Since you mentioned that, I'd like
to put a plug in.


-21-












(BB; I wish you would.)


We meet every year, the first Saturday in May, in
Chicago. We have folks come from as far away as Texas.
We have folks come from St. Louis, Minneapolis, and a
great many from Indiana. So if you live within a 500 mile
radius, we'd be very happy to have you come, and I know
you'd enjoy yourself. You will always find my name in the
Florida year-book. So if you would write me that you would
like to come, I'll give you all the details. Thank you
very much.

(BB: Thank you very much.... It's a pleasure to have
you with us.... Oh-seven?)

PAUL M. TEBBS

My name is Paul M. Tebbs, My residence is Riverview
Manor, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I left New York on the
Advance on July 20, 1907. I came to the Isthmus and was
assigned to the old Municipal Division, and at first our
principal work was measuring up the paving and curbs and
street improvements that had been made in order to bill
the Panamanian Government. At that time though, we had
numerous other assignments. One I remember: We staked
out the ground plan for J. Bucknam's Fish's (?) house,
which was one of the last.to be built along the Zone line
road. As I said, I worked under the original Municipal
Division, and that was broken up and I went stayed on
municipal work in the Pacific Division. We made surveys
of these outlying districts, like Guachapali and San Miguel,
Coco Grove and Avenue B, Extension, and the Zone line and
the streets, laid out-the streets between the Zone line and
(word missing) down toward Sixteenth Street. And many jobs
all-around, We executed the drainage projects for the
Sanitary Division, too.

One of my assignments was to build a landing dock and
put in the water, sewer, and so forth on the Culebra Island
Quarantine Station. The Building Construction Department
had already built the buildings and they were not hooked up
so they could be occupied. I was over there about a year.
Later on, after original surveys, we laid out all these
streets and so forth in the vicinity of surrounding Panama
to (word missing) up the sewer, water curbs and the paving,
and by that time I was the oldest man of my rating in the
Pacific Division, and they transferred me to the Pedro
Miguel locks, where I did the layout first on the central wall.


-22-











One thing of which I was rather proud, after being
up there for about six months, Mr. Williamson and Mr.
Hinman, my seniors, went on vacation together and I was
acting superintendent of the Pedro Miguel Locks while
they were on vacation. When Mr. Williamson came back he
said, 'I have another job for you, and he took me out to
the islands and told me I was to start the Pacific forti-
fications. That was about the middle of September, 1911,
and I was on that work through 1912 when I transferred back
to the mainland and was on the permanent building foundations
of the Balboa Terminal.

I was married on the Isthmus in the middle of August 1912,
and lived in the third little cottage down here below the
Tivoli Hotel.

I don't know what my most vivid memory was. I don't
think any man had more interesting personal experiences than
I did; I was on the work all the time. One thing.I have
always remembered was the twenty-two inning ballgame in
which Ancon beat Empire one to nothing.

(BB: What year was that, do you remember?)

Well, I'm not sure whether it was Nine or Ten. But I
think it was New Year's Day you know we worked through the
dry season then.

I left the Canal employment about the twenty-fourth of
March, 1913, and went directly to the Pennsylvania State De-
partment of Highways, where I was assistant to the chief
engineer first, then the district engineer at Scranton, and
from 1916 on I was chief construction engineer. They had
their first fifty million dollar bond issue, and I had charge
of the road construction throughout the state. Because I
was supposed to know the concrete business. And I now live
at the address that I gave you in the first place, and I
have for the last I retired in 1944 from the state and
with consulting engineers on bridge and highway construction,
where I am still employed,

(BB: Thank you very much.... Ought-seven, any more?
Come right on up, sirl)

MORRIS M. SEELEY

I think that a person is tempted to go a little bit
wild sometimes on relating experiences. Some of the things
that I have related in the States were looked upon as being
rather suspicious couldn't have happened on the Panama
Canal, but they happened just the same.


-23-











My eyes are not very good, I'm going to make this
as short as possible so, if you'll read me those
questions....

(BB: All right sir, would you like to tell us when
you came to the Isthmus first?)

I sailed from New York on the steamship Royal Mail
steamship Trent, on the fifth of October, 1907. An inter-
esting item of.starting that trip is that two other steam-
ships sailed the same day. The Colon had 260 passengers,
the-Prince Edel (?) Frederick of the Hamburg American Line
125, and the Trent had eighty. We called at Kingston,
Jamaica,-on our way down and took on quite a number of
laborers, I think about 350. The earthquake at Kingston
had occurred on the fourteenth of January of 1907,-so they
had just gotten the streets of Kingston cleared up,

We arrived on the Isthmus on the twelfth, and my first
assignment to duty was in the operating room at Colon Hos-
pital, as I was a surgical nurse. Those were marvelous days;
those first few days I never had worked so hard in my life,
We operated from eight in the morning to twelve on the re-
gular cases in the hospital, and a great many emergency cases
came in at all times.

One of the things that greatly impressed me was the
loyalty of the force. Nobody ever complained at having to
work overtime, and overtime Was you didn't receive any pay
for it, either. Overtime was a regular thing. It occurred
about at least five days out of the week.

(BB: Did you work in other places?)

Yes, I served at almost every hospital and dispensary
on the Isthmus, My second assignment was to La Boca under
Tomacelli, an Italian physician. From there I went to old
Santo Tomas Hospital in Panama City. It isn't generally
known, but at that time our government furnished two American
physicians, one male nurse, and $1,200 a month in medical and
surgical supplies to old Santo Tomas. My experience there
was very interesting because I met Dr. Amador, who still had
his ward down at Santo Tomas, and his son, who came from
France as a physician, was on duty there. The nuns had just
left service, and a complete staff of nurses from Hamburg,
Germany, came over. They did not speak a word of Spanish or
a word of English. So as I had learned some German in St.


-24-











Mary's Pennsylvania- and I notice one of our old timers
is from Johnsonburg, that's very close to this place and
Dr. Strauss, one of the physicians from Philadelphia, spoke
German. The chief nurse Miss Brittmeyer, a very able nurse,
was' superintendent of nurses. The service at Santo Tomas
was very distinctive. One of the things that stands out was
that in the inside patio there was a little building right in
front of the ward that I had charge of, which was the Spanish
surgical ward. This little building had two rooms, two doors,
two windows. A little flight of steps led up to each door.
One side was my dining room, and the other side of the wall
was the dead house. There was always a number of dead bodies
every morning, I would say from ten to fifteen, taken out to
the cemetery and buried.

I worked at Culebra Hospital, Empire Hospital, Gatun
Hospital, the emergency dispensary back of Gatun Locks,
Portobelo, and Nombre de Dios, The only two dispensaries
on the Isthmus at which I had no service were Bas Obispo
and Las Cascadas.

(BB: Your most vivid memory?)

Well, my most vivid memory I think was an experience
I had with Colonel Goethals on two different occasions.
Colonel Goethals held court on Sunday morning. If you had
a complaint you could go before the Colonel no matter what
your status was on the Canal. And he called me as witness
to a couple of investigations that he was carrying on, as a
result of those court sessions, on two physicians in our de-
Spartment, and the second time he called me was at Culebra
..Hospital. He held the conference at that place. And I said,
'Colonel Goethals, I understand this is a private investigation
and I am not compelled to testify if I do not want to,' He
said, 'Why certainly, you don't have to testify if you don't
want to.' I said, 'Well, in this particular case, I'd like
to stand on my constitutional rights, as this is not a court
of law, and refuse to testify.' He said, 'Mr. Seeley, you
are excused.'

That was one of the outstanding points. The other was
at Empire Hospital when President Taft was on the Isthmus.
I started down from the hospital in the afternoon after our
closing hours, and I met Colonel Goethals' carriage coming
up the hill. He was going up to the chief engineering office
of the Central Division. And he and President Taft were in
the carriage. I came to the steps to cross the road and


-25-










Colonel Goethals stopped the carriage and he said, 'Mr.
Seeley, I would like to introduce you to President Taft.
He is interested in asking questions of employees' Well,
they both got out of the carriage, and President Taft, I
think I can remember a few of the questions that he asked
me. The first one was, 'What part of the United States
do you come from?' 'What is your job here; what do you do?'
rAre you satisfied with your treatment on the Isthmus?' IL
said, 'Mr. President, I am very well satisfied with my job,
I like the Isthmus, and I hope to remain here to see the
Canal completed.'

I think those were the two most outstanding things.
Perhaps another one that is n6t an outstanding experience
but is a curiosity that may interest you. When I was first
ordered to La Boca I-was walking down a muddy road and coming
towards Mr. Corrigan, one of our sanitary inspectors, and
myself was a Martiniquan woman. Well, all the old timers
will remember the Martiniquan colored women. They wore
dresses of about 1880, with long sweeping skirts and an
especially tight turban, and were very neat. (At this point
the tape recorder ran out, but Mr. Seeley told of seeing
this woman carrying on her head a complete charcoal brazier
burning, and on it a large pot, steaming with food cooking
inside.-, The pot was large enough to contain about three
gallons, he estimated.

(BB: You're now residing )

I live in Gamboa. My Postoffice box is Number 11. And
I have six married children on the Isthmus; they're all here,
they all work for the Canal. And I hope to remain here for
the rest of my days. My connections back in the States are
all broken and I wouldn't have any reason for going back there,
and another thing, one of my infirmities of age is asthma. It
doesn't bother me here, but I cannot stand the cold weather in
the States anymore. I feel better off. I think the Canal
Zone is a mighty fine place to live.

(BBs Thank you very much; that was a very nice talk....
Are there others from Oh-seven? Ladies? Gentlemen? Ah,
herels a gentleman....

REED E. HOPKINS

My name is Reed Hopkins, Box 1785, Balboa. I came
here left New York on September 12, 1907, arrived here on


-26-











the steamer Advance on September 20th. The gentleman
ahead of me said he left New York on that day on that
boat, but I am sure he is mistaken. I came here as a
railroad conductor and was assigned to Gatun. Ben
Jenkins, who spoke here tonight, gave me my first meal-
book and commissary book, I worked as yardmaster or,
I was promoted to yardmaster two years later, had about
fifteen locomotives with engine and train crews, working
in a space about less than a mile wide and three miles long.
But one of the things that wasn't mentioned here, I'd like
to say, was the hardships that the wives and the women under-
went, counted a lot in the building of the Canal. Because
the men wouldn't stay here, they couldn't get quarters a lot
of them, and they'd return account of not being able to get
their families here. In Gatun the ladies, I've seen them
walk down to the Commissary, which was clear down to the
lower locks, and wade in the mud over their shoetops, getting
to the Commissary, and then carry their groceries up the hill.
There were no means of transportation....

I stayed with that job until Gatun was finished, and then
went to Coco Solo when they built the breakwater, was yard-
master during that time, then went back to the Panama Rail-
road and was a conductor. I was laid off in reduction of
force in 1921. That was about as much as I could say for
tonight,

(BB: Would you like to relate additional vivid
recollections?)

Well, the of course the old timers here, this is not
news for them, but it might be for generations to come the
hazardous work that the men were subject to. The train crews,
like the conductor always rode the head end of the train onto
the dump, and it didn't matter we never stopped for rain,
didn't matter how hard it rained, that was your place.... Of
course, I carried a lot of mud out of the Canal in my boots
and pant legs that I never got credit for and all the rest
of them did, I was no exception, but if there was somebody
hurt, we had a standing order that any conductor was to cut
off his engine and pick up a flat car if somebody got hurt
and take him to the hospital. Well, he'd phone me that he
was coming; I'd get word to Mindi to the dispatcher to get
train orders for this engine to go to Colon and there was
a track running down to the hospital. And we'd phone to the
hospital and they'd have an ambulance we'd tell them about
what to expect.


-27-










But that happened every day, There was many a blast
shot off with.no warning; you would always hear a blast,
then duck under a car or something to get out of the way
of the rocks that were falling. There weren't many safety
devices in that day. However, I enjoyed the whole time of
it. I didn't come out of loyalty to the Canal, I came here
because I could do better than I could anyplace else. I
won't take any more time.

(BB: Thank you very much; thank you very much...
Ought-seven any further Ought-seven?)

CARL P. HOFFMAN

My name is Carl P. Hoffman, I live at 65 Colvin Street,
Rochester, New York. I left New York on July 3, 1907 on the
steamship Panama, and arrived in Cristobal on the ninth. My
first Io.C.C job was that of a timekeeper working at Empire
under D, W. Boltz (?), where -I remained for about eight months.
I then transferred to the Executive Office in the Department
of Civil Administration, and my bosses were Joe C. S. Blackburn,
Mo H, Thatcher, and Richard L. Metcalf. At the close of the
I.C.C. with the permanent organization, I transferred to the
Accounting Department, where I remained until I retired in 1946.

I don't know that' had any vivid memories that would be
of any particular interest to the people here; I do remember
one incident which wasn't so very pleasant, it was on the day
that I arrived. At Empire I was hungry and it was raining,
but the Empire Hotel had burned.down, and I didn't have any-
thing to eat that night.

I left the Canal employment, as I said, in 1946, and
since that time I have been living at the address already
mentioned.

(BB: Thank you very much.... Ought-seven? Any further
Ought-sevens? Ah, here we are....)

MRS. JOHN REESE

My name is Mrs. John.Reese, and my mailing address is
Balboa Heights, C.Z. I arrived on the Isthmus November the
twenty-ninth, 1907, aboard the Panama.

My first job with the Government was at Gorgona. I was










the first saleslady in that town, but there were other
salesladies employed both in Cristobal and in Ancon, and
Empire and Culebra.

After mwrking there for a period of time, of course
I met an engineer by the name of John Reese and I. got
married, and that finished the job for me then.

And my first vivid memory when I arrived in Colon -
it isn't anything important right now to relate but in
those days the trains went out on schedule and the ships
arrived too late for the passengers to board the trains to
come to different towns along the line. Well, we had to
stay in Colon that night. Well, everyone wondered where we
would stay, We went to the little hotel called the Imperial
Hotel Oh my, that sounded big to me then well, we went
into a room and there were about ten cots in there, with ten
women and children. We went to bed, and I looked up at the
ceiling the houses were just partitioned and didn't go all
the way to the Oh, I spied a big ratt And I covered my
head they kept coming, and Oh, I was so frightened I didn't
sleep that night. But early next morning we got the train
and went to Gorgona, and we had breakfast at the I.C.C. hotel.

But I didn't go to work, though, until 1908, about March,
1908, and I got the job in the Commissary, and then as I said,
I got married.

My most vivid impression of those days was the quickness
and the scooping and how they could load those flatcars and
get the dirt out of the Canal, one right after the other they
just never stopped, and I would count them, and I'd never finish
counting them

And I now live at the Tivoli Hotel, and I've enjoyed
being on the Isthmus, and I'm glad I came, and I'm glad that
I was a part of the building this Canal.

.(BB: Thank you so very much, Mrs. Reese,... There are
a number of very modest ladies who, some of them themselves
are Medal-holders, who have declined to come up and sign in
in with us.... If you change your minds, please do come on
over.... Further Ought-sevens?.... Ought-eight?)


-29-










GRACE RADCLIFFE WRIGHT


My name is Grace Radcliffe Wright. I came to the
Isthmus, I think, in 1908o I was visiting my sister in
Camaguey, Cuba, and her husband was employed here. And
we came down she didn't want to leave Cuba, she was very
happy there so we took the train down to Santiago, and on
the way she looked at this big Hungarian opal, and said,
'That's brought me the bad luck. So she took a hairpin
and-dug the opal out and threw it out the window

Well, we went on-down and boarded the Otera (?) it
was a converted yacht, it was in passenger service between
Santiago and Cristobal. And it had a very bad record, was
considered an unlucky ship; it had been they story they
told us during a storm was that it was very unlucky, might
sink any time, and one of the unlucky things was it had re-
fused an SOS call from the Mayflower when Roosevelt was
aboard and so anything could happen. And there was an
Italian artist who was coming here to give a performance
and then....

I was very happy then to begin teaching at Empire, and
it provided quite pleasant memories part of the memories
of the women, I am sure, that were heartily enjoyed Chinese
shops that were filled with beautiful china, silks, carved
ivory and brass.

And one of the pleasant memories I have was after World
War I, Mrs. Archibald Roosevelt and her husband came through
here and stopped at the Tivoli, and we were invited as guests
with them by Mr. Keane of the oil company to go to have dinner
at Taboga Island. We had a very pleasant day, and she
suggested-that we do the Chinese shops, so the next morning
we took a taxi downtown to do the shops, and then finally we
dismissed the taxi so we could look around. I remember her
buying some beautiful temple lanterns and I pointed out these
Chinese cloisonne vases, the dark blue in the Hawthorne pattern -
I remember telling her quite well that 'even if you don't like
these you can give them away as wedding presents' and she
said, 'That's a very good idea.'

I asked her about some tables two beautiful teakwood
tables, and I said, 'Do you know, I come and look at these,
and I don't know which one I want.' And she said, 'Well,
why don't you take both.' And I didt










And I was with her the next morning, and she said, 'You
know, I'm just accumulating so much baggage I don't know
what my husband is going to say.' I said, 'Well, we'll just
go up to the hotel and tell him what we've done, and they're
so beautiful he won't mind.' And all he said was, 'We don't
want to get too much baggage, Grace.'

(BB: Thank you so very much.... Ought-eights, further
oughr-eights?.... Right there, sir....)

HARRY F, SEDWICK

My name is Harry F. Sedwick. My mail address is 1904
Van Buren Street, Wilmington, Delaware. I first came to the
Isthmus on June 6, 1908, aboard 'the steamship Esperanza. My
first Lo.CCo job was clerk-stenographer, in the old Labor
Quarters and Subsistence Department at Empire under C. C.
McCauley (?) district supervisor.

After a few months'there, I was transferred to Ancom in
the same capacity. And then in early 1909 I was transferred
to Culebra and, through the evolution of promotion I was
made district quartermaster at Culebra in late 1909, and I
served there all during the construction period until the ad-
ministering offices were moved to Balboa Heights and Culebra
was abandoned.

Then I was transferred to Pedro Miguel-Paraiso as dis-
trict quartermaster.

Probably my most vivid memory of those days was the op-
portunity which my work gave me to gain some insight into
certain phases of human nature. You know, the district
quartermaster is responsible for assigning quarters, bachelor
and married, for giving out furniture, for painting the in-
teriors of the homes, particularly kitchens, and also for, on
numerous occasions, trying to keep the peace between families
who had gotten into each others' hair through living in too
close proximity, I doubt if there were many jobs during the
construction era-which gave such an opportunity to see human
nature in action, both the good, bad, and indifferent phases
of it.

I left the Canal employment on March the first, 1916,
and for the next thirty-two and one-half years, I was in
labor relations with'E, I. DePont de Nemours and Company in
Wilmington, Delaware, and I am now living at 1904 Van Buren
Street, Wilmington, Delaware.


-31-











(BB. Ought-eight?)


GERTRUDE B. HOFFMANN

My name is Gertrude B. Hoffmann; my mail address is
65 Colvin Street, Rochester, New York, 1908, aboard the
steamship Finance, My first job was teaching at Culebra
under Mr, .L. Smith, and then at Pedro Miguel and later Ancon.

My most vivid memory is the premature blast at Bas
Obispo, and the father of one of my scholars was able to get
into the dipper of a steamshovel and cover and his steamshovel
was completely covered with broken rocks. I used that as an
illustration of quick action when I wanted to hurry the
youngsters along.

I left the Canal in February, 1912, have been living at
the same address, Rochester, New York.

MARY MACEL BUTLER GOUIET

My name is Mary Macel Butler Goulet. I came here on the
Esperanza June, 1908; I followed my father and mother who came
here in March, 1905. My first job I was stenographer for
Mr.o John Burke, who was then the General Manager of the Com-
missary Division. Strange thing to say is, I married a Gen-
eral Manager.

My work was changed to the Subsistence Department, and
we were sent to Cristobal-Point, and our view was watching
the new docks being built, with the noiseI Then later I was
transferred to Ancon, where I was cashier for a couple of
years. And in 1917 I was married to Mr. Alfred'Wo *oulet,
and we raised six children, and he died in 1945, and I'have
seventeen grandchildren. And now I'm housemother for the
college girls, junior college, at Ancon, where I now live.

(BB: Your most vivid recollection?)

Oh yes, indeed: Riding the observation car, going
through the Canal Sunday mornings and we'd wear long skirts
- we'd have to pick them up and just and then we had dinner
at Empire or Culebra, we'd go up to one of the hotels and
have a wonderful dinner for thirty cents,


-32-










(BB: Thank you so very much.... Further Ought-eights?)

JAMES E. MALCOLM

I'm James Malcolm. I left New York October the first,
on the Esmeralda. I was assigned to the Chief Engineer's
office at Culebra, working under Colonel Hodges, with my
immediate superior Thomas Monniche, who I understand is well-
known on the Isthmus. We designed the emergency dams, and it
is a grief to me that our work has been eradicated. I under-
stand they've all been taken down. That's the only job I
worked on.

My most vivid memory is the democratic action of Colonel
Goethals, and the consideration the Colonel Hodges gave his men.

I left the Canal in 1910. I got a position in the Light-
house Service, as assistant superintendent, inspecting light-
house's and lightships, and then I transferred to Washington
in '17 and worked in various government departments there
until 1948, when I .resigned. I spent thirty-nine years in
the Federal service.

(BB: Thank you very much, sir.... Further Ought-eights?
Ought-nine )

GEORGE E. CARKEET, SR.

My name is George E. Carkeet, 818 Highland Avenue,
Houston, Texas. I left New Orleans February the.ninth, 1909.
My first job on the Isthmus was at Gorgona in the car shops,
rebuilding flatcars. I worked there about ten months, then I
was transferred to the Atlantic Division, where I ran one of
the little mules that hauled concrete from the mixing plant to
the cableways. I was there about four years, until the locks
concrete was finished; then I was transferred to the Building
Division on the Pacific Side.

I left the Isthmus in July, 1915.

(BB: What is your most vivid recollection of these days?-)

Oh, I don't know I'm scared to death of this thing!

(BBs All right, sir, you've done nobly you've done
very well. Thank you, sir.)


-33-












WARNER H. CLAPP


My name is Warner H. Clapp. I live at 1804 Ashland
Avenue, St. Paul 4, Minnes6ta. I first left New York on
October 6, 1909, arrived here October 13, on the old cement
boat, SS Cristobal, which was a far cry.from the present
Cristobal. That was 10,000 tons, this is 14,000 tons,"I
believe.

My first I.C.C. job was in the office of S. D. Williamson,
under Chief Clerk J; C. Keller, as file clerk taking the place
of someone on vacation. And-the next job was under H. H.
Hammer, chief property clerk, where I stayed for a few months,
and was assigned then for about eighteen months in charge of
the field office, in a little field office right down back of
the TiVoli here "'ever since I've been here I've been trying
to. locate it, but.ino- luck. This office was in charge of the
time and the job in the streets of the city of Panama when
they were-putting in the sewers and paving the streets.

After that I was sent down to Balboa under J. A. Walker
and H. D. Hinman, in charge of property, and was there during
the construction for about three years of the dry dock, the
piers, and the shops.

In my book, what I think was the most vivid memory of my
days down here was, first, the trip across the Canal, when
we crept through the swampy land there at about five miles
an hour on this train I just didn't know it was in October
and I just didn't know whether that train was going to make
it or not. And I was young and impressionable, twenty-three
. years old, and I just wondered what kind of place I was
getting into. The next interesting thing that stuck in my
mind was, one day when I was sitting at my desk working,
people were constantly coming and going, so someone I was
conscious of someone standing at the side of my desk, and I
finally looked up, and there was Colonel Goethals. Well, he
S passed the time of day with me, and asked me about my job
and-how I liked it and soforth, and that made quite an im-
pression on me that ,a man like him would stop and take time
to talk to me.

S I left the Canal employment on May 15, 1916, and trans-
ferred back into the government in the city of St. Paul,
and Minneapolis --I worked in both places as deputy col-
lector of customs, and remained at that work until I retired
in 1954. I now live at the address that I stated first.

-34-










(BB; Thank you very much, Mr. Clapp )


STUART G. CARKEET

My name is Stuart G. Carkeet. I live at 21 E.
Fernwood, Memphis, Tennessee. I first came to the
Isthmus in 1909, May aboard the United.Fruit Company
steamer Arosemena (?5. My father, George E. Carkeet,
had come here in February to work, and it was in May
that he sent for his family, and of course, being a
member of the family and one of the kids, I arrived. The
school term 1909-1910, I went to Cristobal High School,
riding the school car from Gorgona to Cristobal or Colon
and back each day.

In 1910, after the school term was over in July, I
believe it was, Mr. R. M. Sands (?) who was chief clerk for
the Atlantic Division, gave me my first job as we called
it messenger boy in those days, I think we call it office
boy now in the Atlantic Division office of Colonel William
L. Sibert. He was the division engineer,

I served as office boy in the different departments;
Mr. Ben Jenkins, who has already spoken for this tape re-
cording, was one of my bosses while I was there; Mr.
William M. Wines (?) who recently died in California, was
another one. I worked in that office until the latter part
of 1913, when I felt the need for some additional education,
so I went to Memphis, Tennessee and went to business school.
I returned to the Isthmus in 1915 and went to work under Mr.
F, G. Swanson, who was at that time chief clerk in the Mech-
anical Division at Balboa. And he.assigned me to duty in the
Balboa Shops under Mr. S. G. Sherer, who at that time, I be-
lieve, held the title of acting chief master mechanic, or
something like that. And while I was working from him I
was surprised to receive a cablegram from Mr. Wines under
whom I did work in other days, offering me employment in
Tempe, Arizona as his head bookkeeper. At that time he was
secretary of a large creamery concern, I accepted, and went
to work for him, which means I left the Canal employment in
1915.

Since then I have been doing accounting work, specia-
lizing in tax accounting, but the past twenty-five years I
have been executive secretary and general manager of a
large southern chain of retail furniture stores.


-35-











I have many vivid memories of the days I spent here,
but the one I cherish most is the one I have of the trip
I made from the Atlantic Side to Gamboa on the day that
the Dike was blown. I came up in a motorboat with several -
I guess it was a semi-official party in a government
launch. And we came as close to the dike as we were per-
mitted to come, which as I recall must have been probably,
Oh, I'd say five, six, seven, eight hundred feet from the
dike.. We sat there and saw the dike blown-up, and we re-
mained until the water almost found a level, and then we
crossed over into the Pacific waters

I now live in Memphis, Tennessee, at 21 East Fernwood,
Zone 9. Thank you.

(BB: Further Ought-nines? Any ladies from Ought-nine?)

ADRIEN M. BOUCHE

There perhaps may be some question as to my right to
answer questions of a historical standpoint because history
is generally made by those who are out of circulation, I'm
still in circulation I have to go to work tomorrow at eight
o'clock. -However, to answer some of the questions that you
have here, perhaps it might be of interest to all of you -

(BB: First your name..,.)

My name is Adrien M. Bouche. I came here first in
November 1907, at the age of nine years still attached
for rations I had no choice in the matter; I had to come,
I lived at Bohio, in one of the old French cottages there -
there were perhaps four American families, among which was
the Geddes family, which perhaps is familiar to most of you.

As soon as quarters were finished in Gatun, we moved
into one of the new houses that had been built in Gatun,
After going to school there in Gatun in a small cottage, sub-
sequently a larger schoolhouse was built, where I went to
school with most of the boys perhaps whose names are well
known today in history General Edward L. Sibert, the son,
the Gerrity boys, the boys of Chester Harding, and those that
perhaps the names are familiar to some of you for some time.

During school vacation, of course it was necessary that


-36-










we find something to do to keep us out of mischief, so I
hounded Mr. Ben Jenkins, who preceded me here this evening,
for a job as an office boy in the Administration Building
of the Atlantic Division. After a lot of persuasion, Mr.
Jenkins put me to work. I was Colonel Sibert's office boy,
antedating Mr. Carkeet. I worked there during the school
vacations, and I had a number of jobs with various divisions
in the Panama Canal, my total service up to the present time
amounting to approximately forty-two years, I've worked for
the Electrical Division, for the Port Captain's Office,
Marine Division, Cristobal; for the Lighthouse Service; on
the construction of Gatun Locks as a machinist's apprentice,
and after completing that apprenticeship, as apprenticeship
as an electrician. I have not been continuously employed by
the Panama Canal; I've been out in the countries, in the re-
publics surrounding here, mostly engaged in commercial gold
mining. However, this has always been a haven and always a
home to me. And I've always returned here. I've raised a
family here; I have two children that are grown, married I
have four grandchildren and now at my present age I still
have about one and on-half years to work if I care to continue.

On the question now of the most vivid impression made
upon me. There was some question, about 1912, when I was
fourteen years of age, as to me working as a machinist
apprentice. The thing was laid in the Court of Last Resort,
which was the Colonelts office. Through that, in 1912, I got
to know Colonel Hodges quite well, and also Colonel Goethals.
On those subsequent visits to the job in Gatun where I was
working, they used to call and ask me how I was getting along.
And in 1914, in August, when the Canal was opened, Colonel
Goethals came over from the Pacific Side with Sam Crier driving
the Yellow Peril, landed at Gatun, walked across to the
machine shop where I was in dirty overalls I had been
running a lathe and asked me what I was doing. Well, I
told him I had work to do, that while everybody was cele-
brating there were still some bolts to be finished on some
of the rising steam valves. He said, 'You drop that for the
afternoon and come with me.' I stayed with Colonel Goethals
the whole afternoon. He met no one; he spoke to no one,
hardly to me, He was talking to himself. We went on the
middle level in Gatun and watched them open the gates, and
watched the towboat Gatun there seems to be some question
about that now today as to what that towboat was, but de-
finitely it was the Gatun with all the dignitaries aboard.
And Colonel Goethals stood on one of those large, four-
handled toolboxes with our back up against the lamppost and
watched the first lockage in the lower level at Gatun.


-37-











I'm still working here as a control operator at the
locks at Pedro Miguel, and I go to work at eight o'clock
tomorrow morning and I thank you for the opportunity to
have perhaps added a little bit to what you had.

(BB: Thank you very much that was swell....Other
Ought-nines?)

FRANK P. WAGG

My name is Frank Wagg. My mail address is Oxford,
Maryland. I first came here in the fall of 1919, aboard
the steamship Alliance. My first job my only job, was
supervising schools. I supervised schools for four years,
and about one month I served as superintendent under Governor
Metcalf.

S My most vivid memory well, one of my vivid memories -
is the day I arrived. The trip from the Alliance to the
Administration Building in Ancon aboard a special train was
quite vivid, is quite vivid.

I left the Canal employment in 1915. After that I en-
gaged in school work either as a student or a teacher, until
I retired in 1939. I now live my home headquarters are at
Oxford, Maryland.

(BB: Thank you very much, sir. That was a businesslike
piece of work. That was first-rate; thank you, sir.... Other
Ought-nines?.... Ten? Nineteen-ten?. Someone here from 1910?
Won't you come up?)

MRS. BRUCE G. SANDERS

My name is Mrs. Bruce G. Sanders. I live on Goethals
Boulevard in Gamboa. My husband came here in 1908 and served
as a male nurse in all of the line hospitals from Portobelo,
Nombre de Dios, all across the line.

I came in 1910, October 1910, as a bride. He had been
here two years and came home on his first vacation and we
were married and came back to what we thought would be our
home in San Pablo but when we got to San Pablo we found
out that we had been transferred to Miraflores. So we
boarded the train for Miraflores, where we found that there
were only two white families in the town the sanitary ins-
pector and the district physician. That left no place for us
for there was' no house.











So, my husband stayed with the dispensary and I went
back to Cristobal and a school friend for a few weeks and
then we went to Panama and lived there for three months,
after which we went back.to San Pablo and got our little
house that we should have had all the time that we were
living in the other places.

My one of my vivid memories is that this first
assignment to quarters was in a little town called it
was part of San Pablo, across the river called Caimito
Mulatto, and I found out that this town, small as it was -
there were only about thirty or forty houses there, of
.French manufacture had been known on the maps of Europe
long before our Jamestown or Plymouth Rock had ever been
heard of.

And this little house that I lived in had been re-
cently dug out of the jungle no one knew that the town
existed until some engineers, running a,some line for the
Canal, found this place covered with the jungle. So they
dug it out they stopped looking for the center of the
Canal and ran back and told them that they had found a town -
they needed quarters so bad. And anything that had a roof,
four walls, and a floor was quarters, I found out.

And we lived there for about a week and I decided I
didn't want to walk over this swinging bridge that they had
over the Chagres we we'd have to live some other place. We
got a little house next to the dispensary, where we lived
until the place was really abandoned I was the last white
woman obt of Gorgona, and speed with which our house was
torn down amazed me, because I left it one night no, one
day they came around, on Monday, and told us we had to be
out of the house by one o'clock. We were. We were packed
and moved. I don't know where my stuff went to, but I
went to a friend's house. The next morning when I got up,
my house was almost down. The whole top floor was down.
They packed it on a flatcar and moved it out to Corozal.

I waited three days before I found out where I was
going to live or where my household goods had gone to -
wet wash and all, which as out on the line. I found it in
Paraiso, up on top of a hill, Way up there. There must
have been forty-two steps of the type that you take one step
and you take another step you know, just wide enough so
that you couldn't take two steps on the thing, you look like
a cripple going up and down.












Well, this house was supposed to be a choice touse.
And when I got to it I found most of my stuff was outside
because you couldn't get it inside. It was just two rooms
and a small porch, that you could put a rocking chair on
if you were careful how you turned the rocking chair. You
couldn't turn it to face the screen because you'd either
get caught on the wall or caught on the screen, to sit down.

And my next one my husband transferred from the dis-
pensary work into the quarantine work, and in 1917 we went
to the quarantine station in Colon, and for fifteen years
we lived there on the beach. Then we moved he trans-
ferred to the Health Department and he worked for the Health
Department until he retired in 1949. And on July the first,
of this year, he passed away.... I'm speaking for both of us...

(BBs Thank you so very much. This was so nice, Mrs.
Sanders.... Ten, Nineteen-ten.... Nineteen-eleven?.... Here
he is fine. There you are, sir....

E. W, BALDWIN

My name is E. W. Baldwin. My mail address is R. D. 2,
New Oxford, Pennsylvania. I first came to the Isthmus in
June, 1911, aboard the steamship Allianza (?) and she
could roll. We were in the hurricane.

My first job on the Canal was as a rodman $83.33 a
month, on Miraflores Locks, where I worked under a fellow
by the name of James for a few months, then he was out, and
then it was R. B. Tinsley, H. O0 Cole, and S. B. Williamson.
And I had quite a lot to do with Johnny Walker, the general
superintendent.

After that I was shortly after I got there I was in
charge of the east wall. And then later the upper center
wall, When they were about finished I was in charge of the
steel surveying on the Miraflores spillway, from about the
time it started until about the time they raised the water
in the lake.

On August the first, 1914, I was transferred over to the
Division of Terminal Construction under Admiral Rousseau. I
was made junior engineer, which I held for about two years,
and then Johnny Walker, who was general superintendent, re-
tired to go into the contracting business, making the blocks












for the armoring of the breakwater at Cristobal, and Ad-
miral Rousseau came to me'and said, 'Baldy,' he said, 'I'd
like awful well to give you that job as general super-
intendent but you've got to be thirty-five years old and
you're only twenty-eight.' He said, 'If it were only a
year or two I'd fudge it, but they know your date of birth
up there in headquarters, and I can't fudge seven years.

'But,' he said, 'I'll give you the job but you can't
have the title. I'll call you a supervisor and you'll be
youngest supervisor both in age and in service of anyone
on the Canal, and I'll give you $25 more a month than any
other supervisor's getting' and that's what I wound up at.

I left on April 5, 1916. I worked after that as division
engineer for Guggenheim in Seoul (?) Chile, then I was in
Chicago as assistant to the construction engineer for the
Sinclair Refining Company and was sent down and built the re-
finery at Coffeyville, Kansas.

From there I went with the Selby Process Company as
supervisor of the quarry at Detroit was there about three
years and made quite a record in expense, made a new bogey
cost (?). And I went from there to.Syracuse, to learn the
soda ash business, in 1928. I had had hardly started to
learn the soda ash business when the depression hit, but
they were pretty good they kept me on about three years -
they left a lot of men off that had been with them for
twenty and twenty-five years before they got around to me,
and I'd been with them for a little old five or six.

I left the Canal employment, as I said back there, on
April the fifth, 1916; I can always remember the date because
they gave me a watch and it's in the back.

My most vivid memory, I believe, is the time when I
was on the east wall of the Miraflores Locks I found a
very serious error in the design. I talked to H. 0. Cole
about it, he said, 'We can't do anything about it look,
there's Goethals, and all these other engineers have signed
it, we can't do a thing.' Well, I finally went over his
head and talked to Johnny Walker, and he said the idea was
that they had the return track a big concrete box with a
drain in it and a lot of ducts and a walkway built on fill
out of Culebra Cut, And that fill came in big lumps and I
knew it was going to weather down and sink for years. And I
wanted to put piers up I even went to the trouble of


-41-












drawing up a set of piers under it, using the reinforcing
we had there. And Walker looked at it and said, 'Sure
that's going to sink here, let me take that drawing.'
I gave it to him, and I said, 'Now Walker, day after to-
morrow I've got to raise that form for the first cut for
these piers that are coming in I want to start pouring
right into the wall.' I said, 'Shall I cut it?' And he
said, 'Cut it.' So I cut it. He went up and about a week
or ten daysTlater we got a revised plan. But if you'll
check today, y~u,ll finrd there's one less pier in the
upper lock under the return track of the Miraflores Locks
than is shown on your Canal drawing my design was a little
different from theirs.

But it saved them millions of dollars because after-
wards they had to go ap and do a lot of work at Pedro Miguel,
where they didn't have them.

I was transferred over to Balboa, and I told you about
that.

My Canal employment ended April the fifth, 1916. And
my address is New Oxford, R, Do 2, Pennsylvania. Thank you.

(BBA Thank you very much.,.. Let's see, where are we
now, Ten or Eleven? Eleven. Nineteen=Eleven?.. .There you
are, sir.)

ROY L. DWELL

My name is Roy Dwelle. I came to the Isthmus on the
Alliance in 1911. On October the fifth. Had been working
in Y.M.CoA. work there and had about 200 of them from the
Y.MoCo.I came down to the dock, I believe, and a little
Englishman from whom I heard after I arrived on October the
twelfth, wrote a letter which I received on the next boat,
saying that he hoped that I had arrived he hated to see
me going out on that little Allianca, because he was used
to the big liners going across from New York to London,
where he had been in boys" work previously, and was unused
to these little ships like the Allianca, which went like
a fence-railing bronco, having had a piece put into it in
order to lengthen it.

My first work, of course, was at Gatun with the Y.M.C.A.,
physical work. And from then I was on various jobs I was
sent seven months later to Corozal, remained most of the
time on the Pacific Side. I did go back to the Atlantic Side
for vacation work with the Y.M.C.A. during the war, teaching












water safety to a bunch of the soldiers over at Fort
Randolph, and then over at Balboa Y.M.C.A. and so on.

And I feel like a rookie of-the first rank coming
up here now at this time because, although I have the
Medal, I never had enough bars on it to strike paydirt.
And I probably had chances enough to transfer to other
work, having had other work before going into this work
in the States, but somehow or another I just always liked
people.

And my most vivid recollection here is just working
with various people, who are very interesting, and I found
it so right up to the last of my work -hirty-nine years
lacking three months with the Panama Canal, retiring
July 1, 1950.

I still live in Gamboa. My family is scattered from
Venezuela to Texas.

(BBE Thank you so very much, Mr. Dwelle.... Are
there other 1911's? Nineteen-twelves? Nineteen-thirteens?
That finishes it, then. Is there any medal-holder here now
who hasn't come up and checked in on our tape recorder? Do
you mean to say that all medal-holders now here have checked
in? Is that correct? Well then, we have a question Amy,
you had a question about the location of Burgoon's office,
was it? You found out....

(BBs Now is the chance, now is the last chance to get
anyone we've missed, any Roosevelt Medal-holder.... If
there are no others.... This gentleman coming up? Fine....
Come on, Captain, come on up here and check in with our guest
book.... This is a tape recorder guest book, Captain. All
you have to do is answer those questions. Just come up here
and sign in first. Name and mail address....

(BBs All right, sir, there's an outline for a little
report for the tape recorder, if you care to do it. Just
start right out and say, 'My name is....')

ARTHUR T, LUTHER

My name is Arthur T. Luther. I first came here in
31915 aboard the SS Allianca. My first I.C.C. job was













working in Cristobal under F. B. Maltby, division engineer
of the Atlantic Division. After eight and a half years, I
worked as a pilot for twenty-nine and a half years as a
pilot on the Panama Canal.

My most vivid memory of those days was the long hours
that I worked,

I left Canal employment November 30, 1943. Since then
I have been doing nothing.

I now live in St. Petersburg, Florida, the coming state
of the union.

(BB: Hear, hear ....That's the works, Skipper, and
thank you very much....

(BB: Yes sirl)

FROM THE FLOOR:

Before you close the tape recorder as a Medal-holder,
and I am sure all the Medal-holders feel the same way I
want on that tape some expression of appreciation from the
Medal-holders for all the hard work that you folks have
done to entertain us. Mr. Baldwin here, I know,'is a better
speaker than I am let him say a few words for the Medal-
holders on that thing there. Is that all right?

(BB: As you please.)

Mr. Baldwin: I don't know-how he gets the idea that
I'm a talker; I don't know how to talk, I never did pass
English. But my wife and I have talked, and several other
people have mentioned to me, that we ought to do something
to express our appreciation for all the work that has been
done for the old timers who came down here and worked on
the building of the Canal. It's just been wonderful -
strangers that we never knew have taken us out two different
times and driven us all over, Last Sunday we were clear out
to Madden Dam -*Lands, we were all miles and miles over this
place people we'd never met before, just happened to be
talking to them down there at the time of the parade. And
it's been the same I've heard different ones tell about
how the people around the town here have been wonderful.
And the work that's been done to put all this entertainment -


-44-










it's just beyond me to express my appreciation of it.
Thank you.

BB:

Honored Guests: This has been a most pleasant ex-
perience for all of us, and an enlightening one, too. It
has been heart-warming and it has been stimulating to the
mind also. Some of the questions that-we had perhaps never
put into words have been answered here, the facts brought
out by people who were here at the time, and know what
happened, what took place, where things were, who people
were. It's been wonderful.

I wonder if you noticed, as I did, about how the dis-
tribution of the most vivid experiences turned out. Did
you notice that there were scattered kinds of most vivid
experiences, but there were two categories that seemed to
emerge. One of them the person's first good look at the
Panama Canal coming across on the trainbor similar ex-
periences remember? Several people mentioned that as
their most vivid experience, The vastness, the strangeness.-
the frightening aspects of it, all of those things.

And there was one other, Remember the blowing up of
the Gamboa Dike. Several people mentioned that too.... The
beginning, and the end. Isn't that interesting,?

This is probably the last opportunity of the Isthmian
Historical Society, during this official visit, of you
honored guests here, to express our appreciation and ad-
miration to you. We do so with all our hearts. We are
grateful for the things that you have done for our country,
for this Isthmus and for the world. We admire you for a
terrific, a wonderful and unprecedented job. We are grateful
to you for coming down and allowing us in small measure to
participate in our imaginations in those great days.

We all join in wishing you a most pleasant return to
your homes, many rewarding, satisfying, happy years. Keep
in touchI

I will entertain a motion to adjourn.... Thank you, sir.
We are adjourned we all get together again, soon.


-45-













APPENDIX


Text From Poster Used as Guide For
Old Timers' Tape-Recordings


ISTHMIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S
ROOSEVELT MEDAL HOLDER


TAPE REC 0RDER G GUEST. B0OK

Tell These Things:

1. My Name Is
My Mail Address Is


2. I First Came Here
Aboard the S.S.


(date)


3. My First I.C.C. Job
Working (where)


Was
Under (name him)


4. Other Jobs and Places I Worked:
(name them)


5. My Most Vivid Memory of Those
Days Was (tell it)

6. I Left Canal Employment (date)
Since Then I Have Been Doing____


7. I Now Live


_


-------~`----~I------- -I--


- -- `- --


(where)
























































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Date Due


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9<< 3







LN R5iAtl OF FLORIDA

3 1262 07150 0150















(President Brodie Burnham): All right if we can each of us put
in about three minutes up here, after signing the guest book,
I think we will have a very interesting evening's work when
we get through......Who came in 1903 or before?...Well, that's
pretty early, of course....All right: 1904.... Will you come
up here? Will you come up here?.... Right over here,... If
you'll please have a seat here and sign the guest book, with
your name and your postal address, and then I'd like to ask
you to-answer these questions.... All right sir, if you'll
just go right ahead with that outline, and talk into these
two microphones.


COL. DANIEL E. WRIGHT

My name is Daniel E. Wright. My address is 827 14th Avenue
North, St. Petersburg, Florida. I first came to the Isthmus
on June the first, 1904, aboard the SS Ancon. My first I.C.C,
job was with the Municipal Engineering Department, working at
Cristobal for practically the better part of a year under a
man by the name of Holcomb he was the engineer at the time.
Other jobs and places: I worked throughout the Canal Zone,
and later became the second Municipal Engineer after the
completion of the Canal. I succeeded George Mo Wellsas
Municipal Engineer for the Canal.

The most vivid memory of those days was the conditions
we found' and had to combat. There's one thing I would like
to say although I know our time is very much limited, and I
have no desire to criticize in any way the wonderful program
that's been provided for us on our visit here. But, there
has not been enough stress placed on Theodore Roosevelt's
interest in the health of the Canal employees. There are
very few of you realize, I'm sure, that we did not bring
employees from the West Indies, half-starved, and put them
at once to work. These men were required to go in compounds,
for from seven days to two weeks; I've seen men enter those
compounds, and at the end of the week be eighteen to twenty
pounds heavier than when they entered. The fact is that they
were not only well fed but they were carefully examined for
any disease that they might have, and these were taken care
of where possible and where it was found impossible they were
sent back to the islands. This is a phase, I think, that
could have been stressed a little more in our exercises during
the past week.











The treatment of the Canal employees themselves is
extremely interesting in that we had one of the greatest
bunch of doctors that were ever brought together and that
were dedicated to their work and capable. It was through
these men that the Canal was largely made possible the
care they took of their employees and the interest in which
they considered their work.

I left the Canal on June the first, 1921, after an un-
interrupted service from June the first, 1904. Since leaving
the Canal, I've been employed by the Rockefeller Foundation
as a member of their staff, and have had the opportunity to
see and visit practically all parts of the world. I want to
say this that the efforts made on the Canal have been
appreciated and been copied largely in almost every part of
the world. The Rockefeller Foundation itself built its or-
ganization on men recruited from the Canal, and the wonderful
work of these men in the Foundation has helped give them a
worldwide reputation.

I want to illustrate one small thing I know I'm taking
too much time but there's one thing that I have and I don't
want to sound boastful, but I remember quite wells In '47 when
I was sent to Greece with UNRRAo Greece is a country of seven
and a half million. In that population over three million
cases was the average for a year of malaria. We had the
opportunity there of completely cleaning that country up of
malaria, and I'd say without a question of a doubt that the
quarter to a half million dollars spent on ridding Greece of
its malaria did much more good to the country than the many
millions that were spent for clothing and for food.

I now live in St. Petersburg, Florida.

BBg Anyone else from 1904? Oh-four? Ladies from Oh-four, gentle-
men from Oh-four? Going, going gone on Oh-four.... Oh-five?
Yes, sirt Will you please come up and sign the book, and then
answer the questions ...

COLo DAVID R. WOLVERTON

My name is David R. Wolverton. My mailing address is 4716
Bradley Boulevard, Chevy Chase 15, Maryland. I first came
here on April the fifteenth, 1905, on the City of Sydney
from San Francisco, My first IoC.C. job was with the Mechanical
Division in the old French building on Cathedral Plaza, where
I worked for Mr. Brooks. Other jobs with J. A. LePrince,
Chief Sanitary Inspector; chief clerk to H. R. Carter the


-2-












director of hospitals, and statistician to Colonel Gorgas
in the Ancon office building. And I want to say that
Colonel Gorgas was the finest gentleman that I ever met and
if it were not for him, this Canal would probably never have
been built.

My most vivid memory of these days was when Colonel
Roosevelt that is, President Roosevelt came to visit the
Canal Zone. At that time I was at Paraiso and we had a steam-
shovel out there and cars, and when he came by he stopped and
we started loading those cars from the steamshovels and the
Colonel was so pleased that he raised his hand and opened his
mouth showing all his teeth and said, "Keep up the good workI"
And that's what we did and the Canal was finished in 1914.

-I left the Canal employment on January thirty-first in
1916, and since then I have been doing my own work as a lawyer,
so when you come to Washington you can hunt me up. My principal
work now is in the estate business.

And I want to say that when I left there in 1916 I entered
the Army. I went through the First and Second World Wars and
retired as a colonel of the Regular Army. I now live at 4716
Bradley Boulevard, Chevy Chase 15, Maryland.

And just a moment please Colonel Hugh P. Mitchell was
unable to be here and he asked me to give his information over
this speaker.

COL. HUGH P. MITCHELL

He arrived on the Finance January 13, 1906, and left
Panama on November 11, 1911. In 1906 he was employed at
Culebra as an office boy to John F. Stevens; 1907, file clerk
to Robert E. Wood; and in 1910 and 1911 he was at Empire as
chief telephone operator and telephone and telegraph under
C. L. Bleakley. I thank you.

BB: Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher, welcome; glad to have you with us. It's
a pleasure to see you again tonight....

JOSEPH B. SAMPSELL

I can't see too good, you know. (BB: That's all right.
First rate.) Can't even see what's on this table. (BB: Well,
it's a place to write your name and your mail address, right
across the page there....) Frederick Five, Maryland I guess
you can read that, can't you? (BBs Sure, that's first rate;


-3-












thank you. .. Would you like to have me ask you the questions,
or....) Yes, yes. (BB: All right, sir. Would you like to
give us your name, please?)

Joseph B. Sampsell, Route 5, Frederick, Maryland.

(BB: All right sir, when did you first come to the
Isthmus?) Nineteen hundred and five, on April the fourth.
(BB: Do you recall the name of the ship?) The steamship
"Advance." (BB: Advance, eh?) That's right, and I shall
never forget it. (BB: What was your first job with the
I.C.C., please?) I reported to John F. Wallace, as a foreman
of labor. (BB: I see; where did you work first?) At Culebra.
(BB: And then other jobs?) I worked there, and my job there
was cutting in steamshovels, putting them to work as they came
off the assembly line at nEpire they were put to work at the
different places in the Cut, wherever they were supposed to be
put to work that was my job, to put 'em in place, and cut 'em
in for the runners to get on 'em and go to work with 'em.... I
worked for so many different people that I don't know who I was
working with; I've forgotten who they were. (BB: All right sir,
now what was your most vivid memory of those days?) Well, I
couldn't say just what it was. I worked at that job, I worked
as a dump man; I worked on the dump there for quite a while, I
laid railroad tracks and all that kind of stuff there, built
powder houses and done all that kind of work for about a year;
I even built houses and repaired everything, and I done work
of all descriptions.... After building got to going there, then
I was transferred to the Building Division; I built houses and
all that kind of work there for the next three or four years.
(BB: I see. When did you end your employment with the ILC.C.?)
I did what? (BB: When did you leave the Canal?) Well, I left
the Canal then in 1937. I ended my service with the Panama
Canal. In 1937. (BB: I see, and where have you been living
since that time, Mr. Sampsell?) I went to Maryland, that's
near Baltimore. I bought property there. I built myself a
home, about forty miles out of Washington. (BB: And that's
where you live now, sir?) That's right. (BB: All right;
and your address now is Frederick, Maryland, Route 5?) That's
my home address now. (BB: All right sir. Well, thank you so
much for coming up and talking to us over the tape. Thank you
again.)

BB: We got by 1904, but there's a gentleman who just
came in wh6 came to the Isthmus in 1904, Mr. Paterson. And
I wonder if Mr. Paterson would care to join us up here and
talk into the tape a little bit....There's a chair right here


-4-












for you.... Now, Mr. Paterson, we have a tape recorder here,
and we also have a loud-speaker so that the people in the
hall can hear what you say. So if you will lean just a little
bit farther forward I can't bring this in.... that's good -
I will ask you the questions that everybody is answering, and
you can tell us about your experiences here.... When did you
first come to the Isthmus, Mr. Paterson?

EDMUND To PATERSON

I arrived at Colon on May 24, 1904. Aboard the steamship
Siguranza (?) (BB: Siguranza, where did that sail from?)
From New York; it was one of the Panama Railroad ships under
I think charter from the New York and Brazil Mail Steamship
Company.

(BB: I see; what was your first job with the I.C.Co?)
I came with Colonel Frank J. Hecker, an industrialist from
Detroit who was one of the Commissioners appointed by Theodore
Roosevelt on what was the first Commission appointed after the
French Company had been purchased by the United States.

(BB: Where did you do most of your work?) I couldn't
say definitely; it was in.the various Mechanical Department
shops across the Isthmus, so my work was from the Administration
Building or wherever the Mechanical Department happened to be
at the time. (BB: 'I see; who were some of the people with whom
you worked?)- First with Colonel Hecker, in making a preliminary
investigation of the shops and warehouses and places where the
locomotives and excavating machines and various types of equip-
ment were located that had been taken over from the French -
and we spent abouttwo months in making a preliminary survey
of what we might estimate to be usable from the French machinery
and equipment .and material that was taken over at the beginning.
(BB:' I see; were there other co-workers in the office or in
that activity that you recall?) At the first there were only
Colonel Hecker and myself, that is, for about two months0...
Then Chief'Engineer John F. Wallace came down together with
Carl Strom, a mechanical engineer from the Illinois Central
Railroad, took over the work first started under Colonel Hecker.

(BB: And what is your most vivid recollection of those
days?) The for our department was the experimenting with
various types of old machinery preliminary to securing modern
machines and equipment from the States as to whether or not
it was practical to put it into use. For instance, we ex-
perimented with the old French excavating machines.


-5-











(BB: What was your conclusion about those?) They
were put into service, and from time to time on account
of the long time that they had laid unused the castings
would break shortly after they were put into use, and it
seemed conclusive that those machines were obsolete so
far as any practical use was concerned,

(BB: Well, one other question in that area: What
kind of French machinery was most useful to the American
effort, in your estimation?) I think the Belgian loco-
motives, of which there were probably several hundred, were
found to be remarkably well built, and had been well taken
care of, They had copper fire boxes and tubes, and they
were interchangeable in their various parts.

(BB: Interchangeable parts in those days? They ante-
dated Henry Ford then, didn't they?) Well, for locomotives
that were largely hand-built as compared with the modern
methods, they very greatly impressed our engineers as to
their skilled workmanship and building.

,(BB: Do you recall what the gauge on those Belgian
locomotives was?) I think it was five feet, but I.... (BB:
Just what it is-today. Well, that must have been the start
of our oh, no, that's right, we had a railroad a long time
before we started digging the Canal ourselves. That's right..
., When did you leave Canal employment?) In April, 1907.
(BB: And, where did you go then?) To New York. (BB: Un-huh.
And since that time, you have done many things, I am sure?)
Well, I (word not understood) a manufacturing company in New
York City for about seven or eight months, and then returned
to Detroit where I went into business with my brothers, the
real estate business, where I remained for over fifty years....

(BB: I see.... Will you please give me your full name
so that I can enter it here with your mail address in the
written guestbook?) 8119 St. Paul, Detroit 14, Michigan.
Edmund T. Paterson.

(BB: Mr. Paterson, we're very grateful to you for coming
here and participating in this new kind of guest book, as well
as the old one, and we want to wish you a very pleasant trip
back, and most pleasant experiences from now on. And thank
you ever so much sir....)

MAURICE H. THATCHER

(BB: Mr. Thatcher has to leave now Mr. Thatcher,
will you come up here please, and sign in on our new kind












of tape-recorder guest book for us?....)


This is the ghost book?

(BB: Yes, sir, the guest book here, and....)

Ghost book, ghost book!

(BBE All right,,. right there, and then we'll start
with the questions....)

Just ask me the questions.

(BB: All right sir, Mr. Thatcher, would you care to
read your mail address into the tape recorder, please?)

Maurice H. Thatcher, 1801 16th Street, Washington, D. C.

(BB: When did you first come to the Isthmus, Mr. Thatcher?)

I was appointed by President Taft in April 1910, as a
member of the Commission, and assigned to be head of the
Department of Civil Administration under that technical
designation and the popular designation of Governor of the
Canal Zone. My mail address at present I've given you....I
came on the old Panama with the captain, I, his name who
was it? yes, Captain Coming, and Mrs. Thatcher and I
were married in Frankfort, Kentucky, at her home, on the
morning of May 4, 1910, and we immediately entrained on the
C, and 0. Railroad for New York, went through Washington and
on to New York; stopped at the Plaza Hotel, spent the day and
night there, and then on the sixth of May we left at four
o'clock on the old Panama with Captain Coming in command, and
we came on to the Isthmus and we reached here on the morning
of the thirteenth of May and we immediately came on over to
Ancon and we had dinner luncheon with Tom M. Cook; some
of you remember him, he was head of the division of post office
and customs at that time, in my department, and then we
immediately went to our home in Ancon, on Fourth of July
immediately opposite the old National Institute, -That was
our first home on the Isthmus and our only home, and the
first home we knew after our marriage.

(BB: So your voyage to the Canal Zone was also your
honeymoon voyage.)

Yes.


-7-












(BB: Well, that's nice .... Where was your office,
at first at least?)

Well, my headquarters were here at the Administration
Building, it was then called. The Civil Administration
occupied the greater part of the structure which is now
the court administration building. And General Gorgas
occupied quarters there, headquarters, and then the Secre-
tary of the Commission had an office there, and we had the
Chief of Police housed there, and there were some other
officials of the Civil Administration.

(BB: I see. We ask everybody this; What is your most
vivid recollection of your stay here on the Isthmus, Mr.
Thatcher?)

Well, I can't say that anything stands out with parti-
cular distinctiveness as the most vivid. It was all vivid
in a way; it was a strange world and a new experience, and I
felt like the other old timers that I was having part and
parcel in the greatest enterprise of all the ages, and it
was all vivid to me on that account.

(BB: I see.... And then, when your work here was through,
you returned to the United States. When was that, please?)

In August, 1913....

(BB: All right, sir. And of course, since that time
you have.been doing very many things, including serving
your country and your state)

Well, yes, well I went to Louisville, Kentucky, which is
my legal home I was raised in the western part of Kentucky
in the so-called Penerile (?) if you know what that is, down
on Green River, and then I was appointed Assistant United
States Attorney in 1901, and I served in that capacity for
five years, retiring in 1906. And later, I practiced law
then, independently, and then on the election of Augustus C,
Wilson as Governor of Kentucky, he asked me to serve as State
Inspection Examiner, which was the best office at his command,
and it had to do with the examination of all the fiscal
arrangements in the state and the charitable and penal insti-
tutions in the state; and I made very thorough and exhaustive
examinations and was responsible for some reforms, and in my
two years of service I collected more money for the state
than had been collected in forty years during the terms of
my predecessors, so I really put that office on the map.













Then I was appointed by Mr. Taft as a member of the
Commission, in charge of civil affairs, and that's the story.

Now, since that time I've practiced law independently
again and then I have served in Louisville two years as
member of the Board of Safety, which board had charge of the
police, fire departments, and charitable institutions and penal
institutions of the city and related activities, and I had the
experience here in general supervision of the police force and
then I had it in Louisville in that capacity, and then after-
wards in Washington I was not only on the Treasury and Post
Office Supply Bill, as a member of the Committee on Appropiations
- that was the largest bill in peacetimes and I was also on
the District of Columbia subcommittee on appropriations, and
had a good deal to do with the police and all the city officials
and institutions then. Then I also served as Department
Counsel of the City of Louisville, a legal position, for
several years, and then in the fall of 1922 I was nominated
by my party, unanimously nominated, and then elected as a
member of Congress. And I was reelected four times, serving
in all five'terms in Congress, from 1923 in actual service
until March, 1933

During that time I made three visits to the Isthmus, and
since that time I have made three more visits, as guest of the
Canal Zone Government, and all of these experiences I have en-
joyed very much. And my experience here, if I may say, enabled
me to do -a good many things for the employees of the Zone, and
also for the Isthmus in general. The bill that was passed to
give annuities to the three-year construction men I drafted
and Joel (?) Bridges, an old locomotive engineer, and I worked
together in unusual harmony and supplemented the acts of each
other; I knew the legislative procedure and I knew the back-
ground, and my sympathies were all I of course was a bene-
ficiary but that was only an incident; I never would have
undertaken the work except that so many were involved and I
felt grateful that there was an opportunity to serve my old
friends, who ought to have been served, because there was gross
discrimination in 1915 when the Army and Navy and Public Health
officials were all advanced and given benefits because of their
three years of service, and nothing whatsoever was done for the
civilians, and the civilians were the dominant element in the
building of this Canal.


-9-












S(BB: Yes, sir, and I am sure that many, many, many
people who never had the pleasure of knowing you or seeing
you share the general admiration for you and for the fine
things that you have done for us, and for the people who
have preceded us.)

Well, thank you, and then also I followed up that act
by having Andrew Dewling who may be here tonight, file a
claim for refund for him for two years, and they turned it
down because they were assessing internal revenue taxes
against all the old timers who drew the annuity, and I had
drawn the act in such a way that it made it a gift. And that
owas the intent of Congress to make it a gift, pure and un-
adulterated, and as a gift it would be immune from taxation.
But we had to go to bat on it, and we had a hard fight, and
the Department of Justice put up a pretty fierce battle and.
the Internal Revenue Department, but I briefed it and argued
it and won it in the courts, and then the Internal Revenue
Bureau refused to be bound by the action of the court, and I
told them I would tell every old timer who was drawing his
annuity that he was immune from income taxes and to sue in the
court of claims and the court would sustain its own judgement
and give them their freedom on that question, and they threw
up their hands and quit and said all right, present your
claims and we'll pay it, and they will give three years' back
payment and all the future they shall be exempt, and so that
was that.

(BB: Hear, hear'. What a battle .)

All that service, of course, I did without any charge
or fee.

(BB: Wonderful.... Mr. Thatcher, while you were
finishing your dinner, we held a vote in here. The Medal-
holders decided by vote unanimously, I might add that
their spouses should also be included in this tape recording
guest book affair0 And therefore it is our pleasure to invite
you to invite Mrs. Thatcher to come here and say a couple of
words for the tape recorder guest book. Would you like to
ask her to come up?)

Well, I'll do that, and I want to say that I am in a
little hurry, I've been pretty busy as you boys and girls
know, all this week, and I've got some correspondence that's
important to look after and some other things, and packing











is no little chore, and so that's the reason I'm glad to
talk and make my getaway.... Mrs. Thatcher, will you come
to the bat?

ANNE BELL THATCHER

(BB: Now, what is your most vivid recollection of your
time here on the Isthmus, Mrs. Thatcher?)

It would be a little difficult to say just one thing, but
I do recall at this moment two things. I believe one of the
most vivid recollections was the time when I was informed just
at the last moment and we had invited all the people on the
Isthmus and in the Zone to come to a large reception a knock
came on my door and they said, 'I'm (missing word) to tell you,
but the chicken salad's all spoiled.' And you see in those
days they didn't know that they couldn't prepare more food
than could be used. And so what we did was call the Tivoli
Hotel and they furnished the chicken salad and everything
went beautifully.

And then another one was in connection with the rain.
The first dinner that we gave for the Commissioners. You
remember that Mr. Chandler (?) and the other Commissioners
except General Gorgas and ourselves were all on the other
side of the Zone. Well everything was just fine until they
arrived at our front door, and then the rains descended and
the floods came, and everything had to be moved quickly off
the porch, and the ladies were thoroughly drenched, However,
their good humor was not destroyed; everybody had a good time,
and the food was good, So I think we forgot about it. And I
think I can truthfully say that the only thing I do not quite
like about Panama is the difficulty we had on account of the
dampness.

(BB: Thank'you so very much, Mrs. Thatcher.)

(BB: Is there anyone else from 1905?)

MRS, EDITH R. WILLSON
3415 Quebec Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

That's all you want from thewidows, isn't it?

(BB: Would you like to tell us when you came?)

When I came, or my husband?


-11-











(BB: Well, both. In the first place, the name of
your husband..)

Fred DeSales Willson,

(BB: Fred DeSales Willson. Where did he work?)

He was chief of the Meteorological and Hydrographic
department.

(BB: I see. When did he first come?)

In March, 1905.

(BB: And when did. you join him?)

In September, 1913.

(BB. I see. And then, when did he leave?)

In July, 1917.

(BB: One last question: What is your most vivid re-
collection of your stay here?)

Well, I had many. It was a vast field, after living a
very quiet life in Baltimore. But I think my trip on the
Missouri was very interesting, and then to see the dike being
blown up, which let the water into the Canal, was a most
interesting event to me.

(BB: The blasting of the Gamboa dike?)

Yes.

(BB: Thank you so very much for coming and signing in
with us.)

(BB: Are there other 1905's.... Will you come and sign
in please,., sir?)

STEPHEN LATCHFORD

My name is Stephen Latchford. I arrived on the Isthmus
on July 17, 1905, on the SS Advance. I was assigned to the
Bureau of Waterworks, Sewers, and Roads, which later became
the Division of Municipal Engineering, at Corozal, where I
took up my duties as a stenographer and typist, on July 18,
1905.


-12-












Later I transferred to the Department of Sanitation,
and was employed as chief clerk of the Quarantine Division
for about three years, having served in the Engineering
Division for about three years, for a service of about six
years in all.

My most vivid recollection is when as a young man of
twenty-two I had just arrived and decided that I'd like to
call on Dr. Amador, the President of the Republic. So I
went around to his office and, after a few preliminaries,
they told me that he was eating his breakfast but when he
got through'he'd be glad to see me. So they took me up to
the diplomatic reception room and I waitedo I could see
him at the breakfast table dressed in his bathrobe and his
bedroom slippers, and when he got through he beckoned.me to
come in and we had a most enjoyable conference lasting about
an hour. He was most gracious in every possible way... I've
always had a most pleasant recollection of that visit.

The other thing that impressed me the most was hearing
President Theodore Roosevelt deliver an address on the steps
of the Cathedral, and witnessing the parade down Central Avenue
preceding the speeches by Dr, Amador and President Roosevelt,

I was transferred to the Department of State from the
service here in 1911, August 1911, and after transferring to
the Department of State I took up the study of law and became
an air law specialist in the Department of State, and re-
presented the United States Government at numerous air law
conferences in various European countries. I retired from the
Department of State in 1948.... I think that's about all....

(BBs Thank you so-very much for telling us about these
interesting experiences, especially the one about President
Amador that must have been a thrill')

It was a great pleasure and thrill, indeed.

(BBs Yes, thank you very much, sir.)

(BB: This Oh-five? Good have a seat and it's good
to see you!)

CHARLES F, WILLIAMS

My name is Charles F, Williams, I came here on
October the sixteenth, on the ninth trip of the steamship
City of Mexico. I landed in Colon and was sent to Gorgona,


-13-












and worked under Mr. E. C. Cummins of the Mechanical Division.

(BB: After you worked there under Mr. Cummins of the
Mechanical Division, did you move to other types of work or
other places at all?)

I resigned in 1907 and came back in 1912 and started to
build the Balboa Shops.

(BB: Um-hmm, And then did you stay in the Shops for a
long time?)

Until I retired in 1939.

(BB: What was your most vivid recollection, Mr, Williams?)

SWell, I think the most vivid in my mind was when I pulled
into Colon we could see the old station in Colon. There was
an engine we had heard lots about fever, malaria and yellow
fever and other tropical diseases, and of course it was in our
minds and we saw the engine, in 'front of the station. Next
to the engine was a car, a coach, baggage coach, marked with
large letters, about fourteen inches in height, "Funeral Car."
The one behind that was the Hospital Car. I often wondered
what that meant, until we started down the road, and we would
pick the dead ones as we went along, and the sick would go in
the Hospital Car, the dead in the Funeral Car. The dead were
buried then at Cemetery Ridge, which is now part of Quarry
Heights. The sick would go to Ancon Hospital. On the return
they would be buried in, at that time what was called Monkey
Hill, which is now Mount Hope. And that was regular equip-
ment on the Panama Railroad.

(BB: Did they make daily trips that way?)

Daily trips that way.

(BB: And this was in the year you came.)

The year I came. I was also the first I was used as
a guinea pig in the Colon Hospital I was the first man they
ever used a local anesthetic on. They had used it in the
States, but the head surgeon there were five of them there
who worked on my leg. this surgeon died about three years
ago....


-14-












(BB: Do you remember his name?)


I can't recall his name....

(From the audience: Doctor Lloyd Nolan. BB: Lloyd
Nolan?)

Lloyd Nolan is correct....

(BB: All right sir, now what was the year that you
retired, Mr. Williams?)

1939. I came back in 191. .1 went to work at the
Balboa Shops; I was foreman in the tin (word missing) and
copper shop, and afterward went to the office as Chief
'Planner and Estimator estimator first; and in my later
years I was Chief Planner and Estimator, and I retired
nineteen years ago last August.

(BBt- And you've been keeping busy, I know, since that
time..0. Your mail address you wrote down here, is Charles F.
Williams, Box 113, Balboa, Canal Zone.)

And I've been here ever since,

(BB: Attaboy. Well, thank you very much. It's been a
pleasure to see you up here again.)

(BB: Are there other 1905's? Ah, here we are. How do
you'do, sir? Will you please sign in right there? All right
sir, and will you read that please, and tell us your name and
your.postal address?)

BEN JENKINS

.I'm Ben Jenkins. My mail address is 4407 Walsh Street,
Chevy Chase 15, Maryland.' I came to the Isthmus on July 17,
1905, on the steamship Advance, My first job was in the
Building Construction Division under W. M. Belding as a time-
keeper, then at Gorgona as District Timekeeper. Other jobs:
When the Building Construction was abolished I transferred to
the Atlantic Division as chief timekeeper, became assistant
chief clerk and ended up as chief clerk to Colonel (then,
afterwards General) Sibert, and in the Atlantic Division we
had all engineering officers.


-14-











It has been written, Blessed are the meek, I tried to
be such. Therefore I have no vivid recollections of the days.
If anybody, a laborer wanted a timebook a commissary book -
I tried to let him have it.

I left the Canal employment on January 18, 1914. I
studied shorthand, became a stenographic reporter, When the
First World War broke out, General Sibert gave me a commission
as captain. I served two years and three months, studied law,
was an Internal Revenue examiner for five years and then
practiced income tax law for ten years, then bought me a couple
of fountain pens and went back to writing shorthand.

I now live at the same address, 4407 Walsh Street, Chevy
Chase, Maryland.

CARL J. CLAPP

My-name is Carl J. Clapp. My mailing address is Postoffice
Box 326, Gibsonville, North Carolina. I first came to the
Isthmus on September 12, 1905, on the SS Ancon, Captain Corning,
commander. My first I.oCoC job was as carpenter at Gorgona.
I used my tools about three years and was called into the
Superintendent's office as a clerk, and on the first of
November, 1905, I transferred to the Postal Department and was
clerk and acting postmaster at Cristobal. I took a vacation
on June, 1906, and came back and went to Las Cascadas as post-
master, was there.about six months and then was sent to Bas
Obispo as postmaster. I was there two years and was sent to
Gorgona, and was there from January the first, 1909, until
May the twenty-seventh, 1911, when I resigned and came to
the States in the postal department,

My most vivid recollection in memory I was going to
mention what one of the former ones mentioned here about the
funeral train. But I'd like to inject here a little of what
the nurses at Ancon Hospital would tell. At that time there
was no public administrator, and then any effects of anybody
who died there could be given away or disposed of in any
manner they saw fit.

Well, the Negroes there, the West Indian Negroes used to
go by the Hospital there every morning to see whether there
were any clothes left over, and the nurses there used to
tell them, well we don't have any just now, but just have a
seat out there and wait a while.


-15-













But the most vivid memory is the lack of conveniences
in the postoffice. There was absolutely no furniture or
anything or any convenience about handling the mail, and
it took quite a little while to get things in condition so
you could handle the mail like it should have been, with
some dispatch.

As I said a while ago, I left the Isthmus in the
latter part of May, 1911, and went to the United States as
assistant postmaster, High Point, North Carolina.

(BB: All right, sir, when did you retire from the
postal service of the United States?)

Well, about 1915. Then I went into the furniture busi-
ness at High Point, North Carolina, which was then known as
the Detroit of the South. That was during the depression,
and whatever I had I losto..o And then I went with the Gulf
Oil Corporation, Charleston, South Carolina, stayed there
twenty-seven years. And then moved to North Carolina about
a year and a half ago....

(BBs Are there any more Fives?.... All right, Zero-Six;
Oh-six.... Come right on up here, sir.... If you'll please
sign in....

JOHN J, MURRAY

My name is Jdhn J. Murray. I left New York on March
the fifteenth, 1906, on the steamship Advance. I first worked
in the Cristobal Shops of the I.CoCo under Mr. Harrington; it
was later changed to the Panama Railroad Shops under P. G.
Baker, about a year after. During that time I had charge of
the wrecker, and one of the biggest jobs I had on that was
helping put in the Barbacoas Bridge, in 1908. On Good Friday
of 1908 we put in the first span, on Easter Sunday we put in
the second span, and the following Sunday we put in the third
span. And I think the third span we put in and had it going
and had trains over in I believe four hours and twenty
minutes0. I believe Dan Wright would know something about
that.

During that time I operated the bronco hoist unloading
ships, and in about 1910 I was transferred over to the
Engineering Division of the Panama Railroad on various jobs
on steamshovels, and during the time I was on the shovels,


-16-












South on relocation, a rock rolled down on one of the pitmen
one day, and we didn't know we were going to get it off I
couldn't drag it off with a chain, so I put a dobie on it
and- shot it off, and the man came'back and worked later.

And as one of the last jobs with the Panama Railroad,
I installed a bridge across the old French Canal over at the
Coaling Station. Then I was transferred to the Dredging
Division in 1915 on fifteen-yard dredges. I operated the
dredges until sometime in 1917, when I was afterward appointed
mechanical supervisor and had charge of the dredges and
(word missing) and soforth until 1939, In 1939 I was sent to
the States on various jobs. I helped to build a few tugboats
and different pieces of equipment. And on April 30, 1946, I
left the Isthmus.

(BB: And what have you been doing since that time?)

.Well, I've just been keeping busy at jobs around home;
I work on the Community Chest and the blood program, and I'm
on the selective service board and (word missing), and soforth.

(BB: What is your mailing address now?)

Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, 214 Clarion Road.

(BB: All right sir, what is your most vivid recollection
of those days shooting that rock off with the dobie?)

I think it was.

(BB: How big was the rock?)

Several tons.

(BB: Several tons!)

It flattened the man out like a board.

(BB: And he came back to work?)

Yes, he did.

(BB: On a board. He didn't come back to work on a
board, he came back to work alive, eh?)

Sure, how could he work if he wash-'t alive, tell me that?


-17-











(BB: You mean you had a rock that weighed several
tons -

Well, it was a rock about six by six....

(BB: And when you set off that dynamite it cracked the
rock off of him -

Yeah, but I didn't set it where you think, I set it on
the side, where the shot went through.... If I'd have set it
that way, there'd have been no man.

(BB: Well, I'm sure you know about that.... Did you say,
this is going to hurt you more than it does me?)

No, he couldn't he didn't understand anything.

(BB: Thank you very much.... More 1906-ers? Come right
up here....

THEODORE M. HOTZ

My name is Theodore M. Hotz. I came to the Isthmus in
1906, December the thirteenth. My first job was a draftsman
under Brooks, superintendent of motor power and machinery. In
1910 I left the Isthmus and went to the Philippines where I
was employed on the island of Corregidor on fortifications.
In 1911 I came back and was appointed inspector of steel for
the Isthmian Canal Commission. I was located in Youngstown,
Ohio, where the William Todd Company were fabricating and
furnishing the greater part of the machinery for the lock
gates under the Isthmian Canal Commission. I worked there, I
inspected material there for about two years and then in 1913
I was sent to the General Electric Company in Schenectady,
New York, where I checked all the drawings that were made by
the General Electric Company for the electric mules which are
now towing the boats through the Canal. Upon completion of
the drawings, I then inspected all the materials, finished,
and stamped. I had a steel stamp marked "ICC-70" and upon
the completion and first erection of an electric mule the
powers that be came down and we went through the operation
of the mule and it was finally accepted and passed the speci-
fications. I then left the Isthmian Canal Commission and I
followed by vocation as mechanical engineer. I am now retired,


(BB: Where are you living now?)












I am now living at my home address is in Canfield,
Ohio.

(BB: What was your most vivid recollection, when they
accepted those mules?)

No, no. I have two of them. The first vivid recollection
was when I stepped up in Culbbra and viewed the Canal. I was
surprised at the amount of excavation that the French had done.
I was really surprised. My second one was the French houses -
they were full of bedbugs and bats!

Oh-six any ladies from Oh-six?

MRS. MARY C. LOWE

(BB: What is the name of your husband, and your name?)

My husband was George Lowe. He came to the Isthmus on
May 22, 1906 My 'father had preceded him I-am not only the
widow of a medal-holder, but I am also the daughter of a
medal-holder. My father was W. F. Morrison; many of you
remember him. He arrived in February, my husband in May. My
mother and joined them in July of 1906.

We -came down on a chartered ship, the SS Karen, which
was afterward converted into a tug and was used in New Orleans
as a tug a very small vessel.

(BB: 'What is your most vivid recollection?)

One of them was the landing in Cristobal. It was raining
just about like the rain we had today, and I landed dressed
from top to toe in white clothes. In that day of course we
wore very long dresses, and I can remember very vividly trying
to get across Front Street in white shoes, and wading in the
mud up to our ankles and seeing Cristobal and leaving
Cristobal on the train and seeing the work that was being done
there, and arriving in Gorgona.

And I think the most historical one, of course, was
seeing the dike blown up.

(BB: Yes, that has been mentioned once before, tonight,
the blasting of the Gamboa Dike.)

Yes, the ending of the work.


-19-












(BB: Yes, it was a lot more than a big explosion it
was something that was spiritual....)

*Oh, yes, it wasn't the amount of the burst; we'd seen
much more than that, but it was seeing what was accomplished,
it was writing finis to a job.

My husband retired on December the thirty-first, 1936,
thirty years later, and passed on in 1947.... I now live here
in the Hotel.

(Thank you so very much, Mrs. Lowe.... Other 1906?
Oh-six?.... Fine, all set.... All right sir. Would you like
to have me read the questions to you?)

JAMES J. GILBERT

My-name is James J. Gilbert. My mail address is Postoffice
Box 194, Greenville, North Carolina. I first came to the
Isthmus on July the third, 1906, on the steamship.Allianca,
and I was assigned to work in the Cristobal Postoffice. Mr,
E. M. Bettin (?) was postmaster. I worked there about three
months, and then they transferred me to Matachin, made me
postmaster, and I was postmaster at Matachin for about two
years, two and a half, and then they appointed me assistant
postmaster at Culebra. I was at Culebra and then Mr. Cook
appointed me postoffice inspector, the first postoffice
inspector they had on the Isthmus, and I came over to Mr,
Cook's office here in Ancon, and had a desk in his office. I
went there every morning and caught the morning train out to,
some postoffice to inspect it. After being about a year in
that job, Mr. Cook's assistant resigned, Mr. Menan (?), and
he appointed me his assistant, and I stayed right there and
worked for Mr. Cook all the time until he retired, until he
had to resign about the first of 1914, Then they made me
acting Director of Posts.

(BB: What is your most vivid memory of your time here
during the construction days?)

I think about the most vivid experience I had was when
they had an earthquake. I had quarters here in Ancon, I
think it must have been about 1913, and one night we'd gone
to bed, and the house began to rock and cracked all over.
We got-up and. ran out the back door and sat down on the
ground, and the ground was going up and down, and we were out


-20-












about ten, fifteen minutes,... That was about the most
vivid experience I can remember.

(BB: They had to have an earthquake to faze you,eh?....
Well sir, thank you so very much for coming and joining us
here and signing in on our tape recorder guest book....
Ought-six, more ought-six ladies, gentlemen.... Should
we move to"Ought-seven? Someone from ought-seven? Yes, sir!
Right here, sir, sign in here....

FRANK So WICHMAN

My name is Frank S. Wichman. My address is 1351 St.
John Avenue,-Highland Park, Illinois. I first came here in
August, 1907, on the steamship Panama. My first job was as
a mechanical draftsman with Brooks, who was superintendent
of motive power and machinery at the time. This department
later became the Mechanical Division. Other jobs on the
Isthmus consisted of working for the Panama Railroad in the
Cristobal Shops, also as a pencil pusher, and later in the
Gorgona Shops.

My most vivid memory of the four years that I spent on
the Isthmus was the grand celebrations that were put on on
Independence Day. Being five days or more away from home,
and many thousands of miles away from home, I'm quite sure
that every American on the Isthmus in those days thrilled to
the great celebrations that the I.oCoC put on. On one
occasion I remember that the celebration was in Cristobal,
and Colonel Goethals was scheduled to speak. Just as he
began to speak it began to rain, and a couple of men on
each side of him tried to raise an umbrella over him, but
he refused. He took the rain, and I think that that had a great
deal to do with the crowd standing fast, because they stood
there and took the rain and listened to the Colonel speak.

I left here in November, 1911. Since then I have been
doing mechanical engineering work until just about a year
ago when I quit. I now live at the same address as given
before,

(BB: You're the head of the Chicago Panama Canal
Society, are you not, sir?)

that is correct. Since you mentioned that, I'd like
to put a plug in.


-21-












(BB; I wish you would.)


We meet every year, the first Saturday in May, in
Chicago. We have folks come from as far away as Texas.
We have folks come from St. Louis, Minneapolis, and a
great many from Indiana. So if you live within a 500 mile
radius, we'd be very happy to have you come, and I know
you'd enjoy yourself. You will always find my name in the
Florida year-book. So if you would write me that you would
like to come, I'll give you all the details. Thank you
very much.

(BB: Thank you very much.... It's a pleasure to have
you with us.... Oh-seven?)

PAUL M. TEBBS

My name is Paul M. Tebbs, My residence is Riverview
Manor, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I left New York on the
Advance on July 20, 1907. I came to the Isthmus and was
assigned to the old Municipal Division, and at first our
principal work was measuring up the paving and curbs and
street improvements that had been made in order to bill
the Panamanian Government. At that time though, we had
numerous other assignments. One I remember: We staked
out the ground plan for J. Bucknam's Fish's (?) house,
which was one of the last.to be built along the Zone line
road. As I said, I worked under the original Municipal
Division, and that was broken up and I went stayed on
municipal work in the Pacific Division. We made surveys
of these outlying districts, like Guachapali and San Miguel,
Coco Grove and Avenue B, Extension, and the Zone line and
the streets, laid out-the streets between the Zone line and
(word missing) down toward Sixteenth Street. And many jobs
all-around, We executed the drainage projects for the
Sanitary Division, too.

One of my assignments was to build a landing dock and
put in the water, sewer, and so forth on the Culebra Island
Quarantine Station. The Building Construction Department
had already built the buildings and they were not hooked up
so they could be occupied. I was over there about a year.
Later on, after original surveys, we laid out all these
streets and so forth in the vicinity of surrounding Panama
to (word missing) up the sewer, water curbs and the paving,
and by that time I was the oldest man of my rating in the
Pacific Division, and they transferred me to the Pedro
Miguel locks, where I did the layout first on the central wall.


-22-











One thing of which I was rather proud, after being
up there for about six months, Mr. Williamson and Mr.
Hinman, my seniors, went on vacation together and I was
acting superintendent of the Pedro Miguel Locks while
they were on vacation. When Mr. Williamson came back he
said, 'I have another job for you, and he took me out to
the islands and told me I was to start the Pacific forti-
fications. That was about the middle of September, 1911,
and I was on that work through 1912 when I transferred back
to the mainland and was on the permanent building foundations
of the Balboa Terminal.

I was married on the Isthmus in the middle of August 1912,
and lived in the third little cottage down here below the
Tivoli Hotel.

I don't know what my most vivid memory was. I don't
think any man had more interesting personal experiences than
I did; I was on the work all the time. One thing.I have
always remembered was the twenty-two inning ballgame in
which Ancon beat Empire one to nothing.

(BB: What year was that, do you remember?)

Well, I'm not sure whether it was Nine or Ten. But I
think it was New Year's Day you know we worked through the
dry season then.

I left the Canal employment about the twenty-fourth of
March, 1913, and went directly to the Pennsylvania State De-
partment of Highways, where I was assistant to the chief
engineer first, then the district engineer at Scranton, and
from 1916 on I was chief construction engineer. They had
their first fifty million dollar bond issue, and I had charge
of the road construction throughout the state. Because I
was supposed to know the concrete business. And I now live
at the address that I gave you in the first place, and I
have for the last I retired in 1944 from the state and
with consulting engineers on bridge and highway construction,
where I am still employed,

(BB: Thank you very much.... Ought-seven, any more?
Come right on up, sirl)

MORRIS M. SEELEY

I think that a person is tempted to go a little bit
wild sometimes on relating experiences. Some of the things
that I have related in the States were looked upon as being
rather suspicious couldn't have happened on the Panama
Canal, but they happened just the same.


-23-











My eyes are not very good, I'm going to make this
as short as possible so, if you'll read me those
questions....

(BB: All right sir, would you like to tell us when
you came to the Isthmus first?)

I sailed from New York on the steamship Royal Mail
steamship Trent, on the fifth of October, 1907. An inter-
esting item of.starting that trip is that two other steam-
ships sailed the same day. The Colon had 260 passengers,
the-Prince Edel (?) Frederick of the Hamburg American Line
125, and the Trent had eighty. We called at Kingston,
Jamaica,-on our way down and took on quite a number of
laborers, I think about 350. The earthquake at Kingston
had occurred on the fourteenth of January of 1907,-so they
had just gotten the streets of Kingston cleared up,

We arrived on the Isthmus on the twelfth, and my first
assignment to duty was in the operating room at Colon Hos-
pital, as I was a surgical nurse. Those were marvelous days;
those first few days I never had worked so hard in my life,
We operated from eight in the morning to twelve on the re-
gular cases in the hospital, and a great many emergency cases
came in at all times.

One of the things that greatly impressed me was the
loyalty of the force. Nobody ever complained at having to
work overtime, and overtime Was you didn't receive any pay
for it, either. Overtime was a regular thing. It occurred
about at least five days out of the week.

(BB: Did you work in other places?)

Yes, I served at almost every hospital and dispensary
on the Isthmus, My second assignment was to La Boca under
Tomacelli, an Italian physician. From there I went to old
Santo Tomas Hospital in Panama City. It isn't generally
known, but at that time our government furnished two American
physicians, one male nurse, and $1,200 a month in medical and
surgical supplies to old Santo Tomas. My experience there
was very interesting because I met Dr. Amador, who still had
his ward down at Santo Tomas, and his son, who came from
France as a physician, was on duty there. The nuns had just
left service, and a complete staff of nurses from Hamburg,
Germany, came over. They did not speak a word of Spanish or
a word of English. So as I had learned some German in St.


-24-











Mary's Pennsylvania- and I notice one of our old timers
is from Johnsonburg, that's very close to this place and
Dr. Strauss, one of the physicians from Philadelphia, spoke
German. The chief nurse Miss Brittmeyer, a very able nurse,
was' superintendent of nurses. The service at Santo Tomas
was very distinctive. One of the things that stands out was
that in the inside patio there was a little building right in
front of the ward that I had charge of, which was the Spanish
surgical ward. This little building had two rooms, two doors,
two windows. A little flight of steps led up to each door.
One side was my dining room, and the other side of the wall
was the dead house. There was always a number of dead bodies
every morning, I would say from ten to fifteen, taken out to
the cemetery and buried.

I worked at Culebra Hospital, Empire Hospital, Gatun
Hospital, the emergency dispensary back of Gatun Locks,
Portobelo, and Nombre de Dios, The only two dispensaries
on the Isthmus at which I had no service were Bas Obispo
and Las Cascadas.

(BB: Your most vivid memory?)

Well, my most vivid memory I think was an experience
I had with Colonel Goethals on two different occasions.
Colonel Goethals held court on Sunday morning. If you had
a complaint you could go before the Colonel no matter what
your status was on the Canal. And he called me as witness
to a couple of investigations that he was carrying on, as a
result of those court sessions, on two physicians in our de-
Spartment, and the second time he called me was at Culebra
..Hospital. He held the conference at that place. And I said,
'Colonel Goethals, I understand this is a private investigation
and I am not compelled to testify if I do not want to,' He
said, 'Why certainly, you don't have to testify if you don't
want to.' I said, 'Well, in this particular case, I'd like
to stand on my constitutional rights, as this is not a court
of law, and refuse to testify.' He said, 'Mr. Seeley, you
are excused.'

That was one of the outstanding points. The other was
at Empire Hospital when President Taft was on the Isthmus.
I started down from the hospital in the afternoon after our
closing hours, and I met Colonel Goethals' carriage coming
up the hill. He was going up to the chief engineering office
of the Central Division. And he and President Taft were in
the carriage. I came to the steps to cross the road and


-25-










Colonel Goethals stopped the carriage and he said, 'Mr.
Seeley, I would like to introduce you to President Taft.
He is interested in asking questions of employees' Well,
they both got out of the carriage, and President Taft, I
think I can remember a few of the questions that he asked
me. The first one was, 'What part of the United States
do you come from?' 'What is your job here; what do you do?'
rAre you satisfied with your treatment on the Isthmus?' IL
said, 'Mr. President, I am very well satisfied with my job,
I like the Isthmus, and I hope to remain here to see the
Canal completed.'

I think those were the two most outstanding things.
Perhaps another one that is n6t an outstanding experience
but is a curiosity that may interest you. When I was first
ordered to La Boca I-was walking down a muddy road and coming
towards Mr. Corrigan, one of our sanitary inspectors, and
myself was a Martiniquan woman. Well, all the old timers
will remember the Martiniquan colored women. They wore
dresses of about 1880, with long sweeping skirts and an
especially tight turban, and were very neat. (At this point
the tape recorder ran out, but Mr. Seeley told of seeing
this woman carrying on her head a complete charcoal brazier
burning, and on it a large pot, steaming with food cooking
inside.-, The pot was large enough to contain about three
gallons, he estimated.

(BB: You're now residing )

I live in Gamboa. My Postoffice box is Number 11. And
I have six married children on the Isthmus; they're all here,
they all work for the Canal. And I hope to remain here for
the rest of my days. My connections back in the States are
all broken and I wouldn't have any reason for going back there,
and another thing, one of my infirmities of age is asthma. It
doesn't bother me here, but I cannot stand the cold weather in
the States anymore. I feel better off. I think the Canal
Zone is a mighty fine place to live.

(BBs Thank you very much; that was a very nice talk....
Are there others from Oh-seven? Ladies? Gentlemen? Ah,
herels a gentleman....

REED E. HOPKINS

My name is Reed Hopkins, Box 1785, Balboa. I came
here left New York on September 12, 1907, arrived here on


-26-











the steamer Advance on September 20th. The gentleman
ahead of me said he left New York on that day on that
boat, but I am sure he is mistaken. I came here as a
railroad conductor and was assigned to Gatun. Ben
Jenkins, who spoke here tonight, gave me my first meal-
book and commissary book, I worked as yardmaster or,
I was promoted to yardmaster two years later, had about
fifteen locomotives with engine and train crews, working
in a space about less than a mile wide and three miles long.
But one of the things that wasn't mentioned here, I'd like
to say, was the hardships that the wives and the women under-
went, counted a lot in the building of the Canal. Because
the men wouldn't stay here, they couldn't get quarters a lot
of them, and they'd return account of not being able to get
their families here. In Gatun the ladies, I've seen them
walk down to the Commissary, which was clear down to the
lower locks, and wade in the mud over their shoetops, getting
to the Commissary, and then carry their groceries up the hill.
There were no means of transportation....

I stayed with that job until Gatun was finished, and then
went to Coco Solo when they built the breakwater, was yard-
master during that time, then went back to the Panama Rail-
road and was a conductor. I was laid off in reduction of
force in 1921. That was about as much as I could say for
tonight,

(BB: Would you like to relate additional vivid
recollections?)

Well, the of course the old timers here, this is not
news for them, but it might be for generations to come the
hazardous work that the men were subject to. The train crews,
like the conductor always rode the head end of the train onto
the dump, and it didn't matter we never stopped for rain,
didn't matter how hard it rained, that was your place.... Of
course, I carried a lot of mud out of the Canal in my boots
and pant legs that I never got credit for and all the rest
of them did, I was no exception, but if there was somebody
hurt, we had a standing order that any conductor was to cut
off his engine and pick up a flat car if somebody got hurt
and take him to the hospital. Well, he'd phone me that he
was coming; I'd get word to Mindi to the dispatcher to get
train orders for this engine to go to Colon and there was
a track running down to the hospital. And we'd phone to the
hospital and they'd have an ambulance we'd tell them about
what to expect.


-27-










But that happened every day, There was many a blast
shot off with.no warning; you would always hear a blast,
then duck under a car or something to get out of the way
of the rocks that were falling. There weren't many safety
devices in that day. However, I enjoyed the whole time of
it. I didn't come out of loyalty to the Canal, I came here
because I could do better than I could anyplace else. I
won't take any more time.

(BB: Thank you very much; thank you very much...
Ought-seven any further Ought-seven?)

CARL P. HOFFMAN

My name is Carl P. Hoffman, I live at 65 Colvin Street,
Rochester, New York. I left New York on July 3, 1907 on the
steamship Panama, and arrived in Cristobal on the ninth. My
first Io.C.C job was that of a timekeeper working at Empire
under D, W. Boltz (?), where -I remained for about eight months.
I then transferred to the Executive Office in the Department
of Civil Administration, and my bosses were Joe C. S. Blackburn,
Mo H, Thatcher, and Richard L. Metcalf. At the close of the
I.C.C. with the permanent organization, I transferred to the
Accounting Department, where I remained until I retired in 1946.

I don't know that' had any vivid memories that would be
of any particular interest to the people here; I do remember
one incident which wasn't so very pleasant, it was on the day
that I arrived. At Empire I was hungry and it was raining,
but the Empire Hotel had burned.down, and I didn't have any-
thing to eat that night.

I left the Canal employment, as I said, in 1946, and
since that time I have been living at the address already
mentioned.

(BB: Thank you very much.... Ought-seven? Any further
Ought-sevens? Ah, here we are....)

MRS. JOHN REESE

My name is Mrs. John.Reese, and my mailing address is
Balboa Heights, C.Z. I arrived on the Isthmus November the
twenty-ninth, 1907, aboard the Panama.

My first job with the Government was at Gorgona. I was










the first saleslady in that town, but there were other
salesladies employed both in Cristobal and in Ancon, and
Empire and Culebra.

After mwrking there for a period of time, of course
I met an engineer by the name of John Reese and I. got
married, and that finished the job for me then.

And my first vivid memory when I arrived in Colon -
it isn't anything important right now to relate but in
those days the trains went out on schedule and the ships
arrived too late for the passengers to board the trains to
come to different towns along the line. Well, we had to
stay in Colon that night. Well, everyone wondered where we
would stay, We went to the little hotel called the Imperial
Hotel Oh my, that sounded big to me then well, we went
into a room and there were about ten cots in there, with ten
women and children. We went to bed, and I looked up at the
ceiling the houses were just partitioned and didn't go all
the way to the Oh, I spied a big ratt And I covered my
head they kept coming, and Oh, I was so frightened I didn't
sleep that night. But early next morning we got the train
and went to Gorgona, and we had breakfast at the I.C.C. hotel.

But I didn't go to work, though, until 1908, about March,
1908, and I got the job in the Commissary, and then as I said,
I got married.

My most vivid impression of those days was the quickness
and the scooping and how they could load those flatcars and
get the dirt out of the Canal, one right after the other they
just never stopped, and I would count them, and I'd never finish
counting them

And I now live at the Tivoli Hotel, and I've enjoyed
being on the Isthmus, and I'm glad I came, and I'm glad that
I was a part of the building this Canal.

.(BB: Thank you so very much, Mrs. Reese,... There are
a number of very modest ladies who, some of them themselves
are Medal-holders, who have declined to come up and sign in
in with us.... If you change your minds, please do come on
over.... Further Ought-sevens?.... Ought-eight?)


-29-










GRACE RADCLIFFE WRIGHT


My name is Grace Radcliffe Wright. I came to the
Isthmus, I think, in 1908o I was visiting my sister in
Camaguey, Cuba, and her husband was employed here. And
we came down she didn't want to leave Cuba, she was very
happy there so we took the train down to Santiago, and on
the way she looked at this big Hungarian opal, and said,
'That's brought me the bad luck. So she took a hairpin
and-dug the opal out and threw it out the window

Well, we went on-down and boarded the Otera (?) it
was a converted yacht, it was in passenger service between
Santiago and Cristobal. And it had a very bad record, was
considered an unlucky ship; it had been they story they
told us during a storm was that it was very unlucky, might
sink any time, and one of the unlucky things was it had re-
fused an SOS call from the Mayflower when Roosevelt was
aboard and so anything could happen. And there was an
Italian artist who was coming here to give a performance
and then....

I was very happy then to begin teaching at Empire, and
it provided quite pleasant memories part of the memories
of the women, I am sure, that were heartily enjoyed Chinese
shops that were filled with beautiful china, silks, carved
ivory and brass.

And one of the pleasant memories I have was after World
War I, Mrs. Archibald Roosevelt and her husband came through
here and stopped at the Tivoli, and we were invited as guests
with them by Mr. Keane of the oil company to go to have dinner
at Taboga Island. We had a very pleasant day, and she
suggested-that we do the Chinese shops, so the next morning
we took a taxi downtown to do the shops, and then finally we
dismissed the taxi so we could look around. I remember her
buying some beautiful temple lanterns and I pointed out these
Chinese cloisonne vases, the dark blue in the Hawthorne pattern -
I remember telling her quite well that 'even if you don't like
these you can give them away as wedding presents' and she
said, 'That's a very good idea.'

I asked her about some tables two beautiful teakwood
tables, and I said, 'Do you know, I come and look at these,
and I don't know which one I want.' And she said, 'Well,
why don't you take both.' And I didt










And I was with her the next morning, and she said, 'You
know, I'm just accumulating so much baggage I don't know
what my husband is going to say.' I said, 'Well, we'll just
go up to the hotel and tell him what we've done, and they're
so beautiful he won't mind.' And all he said was, 'We don't
want to get too much baggage, Grace.'

(BB: Thank you so very much.... Ought-eights, further
oughr-eights?.... Right there, sir....)

HARRY F, SEDWICK

My name is Harry F. Sedwick. My mail address is 1904
Van Buren Street, Wilmington, Delaware. I first came to the
Isthmus on June 6, 1908, aboard 'the steamship Esperanza. My
first Lo.CCo job was clerk-stenographer, in the old Labor
Quarters and Subsistence Department at Empire under C. C.
McCauley (?) district supervisor.

After a few months'there, I was transferred to Ancom in
the same capacity. And then in early 1909 I was transferred
to Culebra and, through the evolution of promotion I was
made district quartermaster at Culebra in late 1909, and I
served there all during the construction period until the ad-
ministering offices were moved to Balboa Heights and Culebra
was abandoned.

Then I was transferred to Pedro Miguel-Paraiso as dis-
trict quartermaster.

Probably my most vivid memory of those days was the op-
portunity which my work gave me to gain some insight into
certain phases of human nature. You know, the district
quartermaster is responsible for assigning quarters, bachelor
and married, for giving out furniture, for painting the in-
teriors of the homes, particularly kitchens, and also for, on
numerous occasions, trying to keep the peace between families
who had gotten into each others' hair through living in too
close proximity, I doubt if there were many jobs during the
construction era-which gave such an opportunity to see human
nature in action, both the good, bad, and indifferent phases
of it.

I left the Canal employment on March the first, 1916,
and for the next thirty-two and one-half years, I was in
labor relations with'E, I. DePont de Nemours and Company in
Wilmington, Delaware, and I am now living at 1904 Van Buren
Street, Wilmington, Delaware.


-31-











(BB. Ought-eight?)


GERTRUDE B. HOFFMANN

My name is Gertrude B. Hoffmann; my mail address is
65 Colvin Street, Rochester, New York, 1908, aboard the
steamship Finance, My first job was teaching at Culebra
under Mr, .L. Smith, and then at Pedro Miguel and later Ancon.

My most vivid memory is the premature blast at Bas
Obispo, and the father of one of my scholars was able to get
into the dipper of a steamshovel and cover and his steamshovel
was completely covered with broken rocks. I used that as an
illustration of quick action when I wanted to hurry the
youngsters along.

I left the Canal in February, 1912, have been living at
the same address, Rochester, New York.

MARY MACEL BUTLER GOUIET

My name is Mary Macel Butler Goulet. I came here on the
Esperanza June, 1908; I followed my father and mother who came
here in March, 1905. My first job I was stenographer for
Mr.o John Burke, who was then the General Manager of the Com-
missary Division. Strange thing to say is, I married a Gen-
eral Manager.

My work was changed to the Subsistence Department, and
we were sent to Cristobal-Point, and our view was watching
the new docks being built, with the noiseI Then later I was
transferred to Ancon, where I was cashier for a couple of
years. And in 1917 I was married to Mr. Alfred'Wo *oulet,
and we raised six children, and he died in 1945, and I'have
seventeen grandchildren. And now I'm housemother for the
college girls, junior college, at Ancon, where I now live.

(BB: Your most vivid recollection?)

Oh yes, indeed: Riding the observation car, going
through the Canal Sunday mornings and we'd wear long skirts
- we'd have to pick them up and just and then we had dinner
at Empire or Culebra, we'd go up to one of the hotels and
have a wonderful dinner for thirty cents,


-32-










(BB: Thank you so very much.... Further Ought-eights?)

JAMES E. MALCOLM

I'm James Malcolm. I left New York October the first,
on the Esmeralda. I was assigned to the Chief Engineer's
office at Culebra, working under Colonel Hodges, with my
immediate superior Thomas Monniche, who I understand is well-
known on the Isthmus. We designed the emergency dams, and it
is a grief to me that our work has been eradicated. I under-
stand they've all been taken down. That's the only job I
worked on.

My most vivid memory is the democratic action of Colonel
Goethals, and the consideration the Colonel Hodges gave his men.

I left the Canal in 1910. I got a position in the Light-
house Service, as assistant superintendent, inspecting light-
house's and lightships, and then I transferred to Washington
in '17 and worked in various government departments there
until 1948, when I .resigned. I spent thirty-nine years in
the Federal service.

(BB: Thank you very much, sir.... Further Ought-eights?
Ought-nine )

GEORGE E. CARKEET, SR.

My name is George E. Carkeet, 818 Highland Avenue,
Houston, Texas. I left New Orleans February the.ninth, 1909.
My first job on the Isthmus was at Gorgona in the car shops,
rebuilding flatcars. I worked there about ten months, then I
was transferred to the Atlantic Division, where I ran one of
the little mules that hauled concrete from the mixing plant to
the cableways. I was there about four years, until the locks
concrete was finished; then I was transferred to the Building
Division on the Pacific Side.

I left the Isthmus in July, 1915.

(BB: What is your most vivid recollection of these days?-)

Oh, I don't know I'm scared to death of this thing!

(BBs All right, sir, you've done nobly you've done
very well. Thank you, sir.)


-33-












WARNER H. CLAPP


My name is Warner H. Clapp. I live at 1804 Ashland
Avenue, St. Paul 4, Minnes6ta. I first left New York on
October 6, 1909, arrived here October 13, on the old cement
boat, SS Cristobal, which was a far cry.from the present
Cristobal. That was 10,000 tons, this is 14,000 tons,"I
believe.

My first I.C.C. job was in the office of S. D. Williamson,
under Chief Clerk J; C. Keller, as file clerk taking the place
of someone on vacation. And-the next job was under H. H.
Hammer, chief property clerk, where I stayed for a few months,
and was assigned then for about eighteen months in charge of
the field office, in a little field office right down back of
the TiVoli here "'ever since I've been here I've been trying
to. locate it, but.ino- luck. This office was in charge of the
time and the job in the streets of the city of Panama when
they were-putting in the sewers and paving the streets.

After that I was sent down to Balboa under J. A. Walker
and H. D. Hinman, in charge of property, and was there during
the construction for about three years of the dry dock, the
piers, and the shops.

In my book, what I think was the most vivid memory of my
days down here was, first, the trip across the Canal, when
we crept through the swampy land there at about five miles
an hour on this train I just didn't know it was in October
and I just didn't know whether that train was going to make
it or not. And I was young and impressionable, twenty-three
. years old, and I just wondered what kind of place I was
getting into. The next interesting thing that stuck in my
mind was, one day when I was sitting at my desk working,
people were constantly coming and going, so someone I was
conscious of someone standing at the side of my desk, and I
finally looked up, and there was Colonel Goethals. Well, he
S passed the time of day with me, and asked me about my job
and-how I liked it and soforth, and that made quite an im-
pression on me that ,a man like him would stop and take time
to talk to me.

S I left the Canal employment on May 15, 1916, and trans-
ferred back into the government in the city of St. Paul,
and Minneapolis --I worked in both places as deputy col-
lector of customs, and remained at that work until I retired
in 1954. I now live at the address that I stated first.

-34-










(BB; Thank you very much, Mr. Clapp )


STUART G. CARKEET

My name is Stuart G. Carkeet. I live at 21 E.
Fernwood, Memphis, Tennessee. I first came to the
Isthmus in 1909, May aboard the United.Fruit Company
steamer Arosemena (?5. My father, George E. Carkeet,
had come here in February to work, and it was in May
that he sent for his family, and of course, being a
member of the family and one of the kids, I arrived. The
school term 1909-1910, I went to Cristobal High School,
riding the school car from Gorgona to Cristobal or Colon
and back each day.

In 1910, after the school term was over in July, I
believe it was, Mr. R. M. Sands (?) who was chief clerk for
the Atlantic Division, gave me my first job as we called
it messenger boy in those days, I think we call it office
boy now in the Atlantic Division office of Colonel William
L. Sibert. He was the division engineer,

I served as office boy in the different departments;
Mr. Ben Jenkins, who has already spoken for this tape re-
cording, was one of my bosses while I was there; Mr.
William M. Wines (?) who recently died in California, was
another one. I worked in that office until the latter part
of 1913, when I felt the need for some additional education,
so I went to Memphis, Tennessee and went to business school.
I returned to the Isthmus in 1915 and went to work under Mr.
F, G. Swanson, who was at that time chief clerk in the Mech-
anical Division at Balboa. And he.assigned me to duty in the
Balboa Shops under Mr. S. G. Sherer, who at that time, I be-
lieve, held the title of acting chief master mechanic, or
something like that. And while I was working from him I
was surprised to receive a cablegram from Mr. Wines under
whom I did work in other days, offering me employment in
Tempe, Arizona as his head bookkeeper. At that time he was
secretary of a large creamery concern, I accepted, and went
to work for him, which means I left the Canal employment in
1915.

Since then I have been doing accounting work, specia-
lizing in tax accounting, but the past twenty-five years I
have been executive secretary and general manager of a
large southern chain of retail furniture stores.


-35-











I have many vivid memories of the days I spent here,
but the one I cherish most is the one I have of the trip
I made from the Atlantic Side to Gamboa on the day that
the Dike was blown. I came up in a motorboat with several -
I guess it was a semi-official party in a government
launch. And we came as close to the dike as we were per-
mitted to come, which as I recall must have been probably,
Oh, I'd say five, six, seven, eight hundred feet from the
dike.. We sat there and saw the dike blown-up, and we re-
mained until the water almost found a level, and then we
crossed over into the Pacific waters

I now live in Memphis, Tennessee, at 21 East Fernwood,
Zone 9. Thank you.

(BB: Further Ought-nines? Any ladies from Ought-nine?)

ADRIEN M. BOUCHE

There perhaps may be some question as to my right to
answer questions of a historical standpoint because history
is generally made by those who are out of circulation, I'm
still in circulation I have to go to work tomorrow at eight
o'clock. -However, to answer some of the questions that you
have here, perhaps it might be of interest to all of you -

(BB: First your name..,.)

My name is Adrien M. Bouche. I came here first in
November 1907, at the age of nine years still attached
for rations I had no choice in the matter; I had to come,
I lived at Bohio, in one of the old French cottages there -
there were perhaps four American families, among which was
the Geddes family, which perhaps is familiar to most of you.

As soon as quarters were finished in Gatun, we moved
into one of the new houses that had been built in Gatun,
After going to school there in Gatun in a small cottage, sub-
sequently a larger schoolhouse was built, where I went to
school with most of the boys perhaps whose names are well
known today in history General Edward L. Sibert, the son,
the Gerrity boys, the boys of Chester Harding, and those that
perhaps the names are familiar to some of you for some time.

During school vacation, of course it was necessary that


-36-










we find something to do to keep us out of mischief, so I
hounded Mr. Ben Jenkins, who preceded me here this evening,
for a job as an office boy in the Administration Building
of the Atlantic Division. After a lot of persuasion, Mr.
Jenkins put me to work. I was Colonel Sibert's office boy,
antedating Mr. Carkeet. I worked there during the school
vacations, and I had a number of jobs with various divisions
in the Panama Canal, my total service up to the present time
amounting to approximately forty-two years, I've worked for
the Electrical Division, for the Port Captain's Office,
Marine Division, Cristobal; for the Lighthouse Service; on
the construction of Gatun Locks as a machinist's apprentice,
and after completing that apprenticeship, as apprenticeship
as an electrician. I have not been continuously employed by
the Panama Canal; I've been out in the countries, in the re-
publics surrounding here, mostly engaged in commercial gold
mining. However, this has always been a haven and always a
home to me. And I've always returned here. I've raised a
family here; I have two children that are grown, married I
have four grandchildren and now at my present age I still
have about one and on-half years to work if I care to continue.

On the question now of the most vivid impression made
upon me. There was some question, about 1912, when I was
fourteen years of age, as to me working as a machinist
apprentice. The thing was laid in the Court of Last Resort,
which was the Colonelts office. Through that, in 1912, I got
to know Colonel Hodges quite well, and also Colonel Goethals.
On those subsequent visits to the job in Gatun where I was
working, they used to call and ask me how I was getting along.
And in 1914, in August, when the Canal was opened, Colonel
Goethals came over from the Pacific Side with Sam Crier driving
the Yellow Peril, landed at Gatun, walked across to the
machine shop where I was in dirty overalls I had been
running a lathe and asked me what I was doing. Well, I
told him I had work to do, that while everybody was cele-
brating there were still some bolts to be finished on some
of the rising steam valves. He said, 'You drop that for the
afternoon and come with me.' I stayed with Colonel Goethals
the whole afternoon. He met no one; he spoke to no one,
hardly to me, He was talking to himself. We went on the
middle level in Gatun and watched them open the gates, and
watched the towboat Gatun there seems to be some question
about that now today as to what that towboat was, but de-
finitely it was the Gatun with all the dignitaries aboard.
And Colonel Goethals stood on one of those large, four-
handled toolboxes with our back up against the lamppost and
watched the first lockage in the lower level at Gatun.


-37-











I'm still working here as a control operator at the
locks at Pedro Miguel, and I go to work at eight o'clock
tomorrow morning and I thank you for the opportunity to
have perhaps added a little bit to what you had.

(BB: Thank you very much that was swell....Other
Ought-nines?)

FRANK P. WAGG

My name is Frank Wagg. My mail address is Oxford,
Maryland. I first came here in the fall of 1919, aboard
the steamship Alliance. My first job my only job, was
supervising schools. I supervised schools for four years,
and about one month I served as superintendent under Governor
Metcalf.

S My most vivid memory well, one of my vivid memories -
is the day I arrived. The trip from the Alliance to the
Administration Building in Ancon aboard a special train was
quite vivid, is quite vivid.

I left the Canal employment in 1915. After that I en-
gaged in school work either as a student or a teacher, until
I retired in 1939. I now live my home headquarters are at
Oxford, Maryland.

(BB: Thank you very much, sir. That was a businesslike
piece of work. That was first-rate; thank you, sir.... Other
Ought-nines?.... Ten? Nineteen-ten?. Someone here from 1910?
Won't you come up?)

MRS. BRUCE G. SANDERS

My name is Mrs. Bruce G. Sanders. I live on Goethals
Boulevard in Gamboa. My husband came here in 1908 and served
as a male nurse in all of the line hospitals from Portobelo,
Nombre de Dios, all across the line.

I came in 1910, October 1910, as a bride. He had been
here two years and came home on his first vacation and we
were married and came back to what we thought would be our
home in San Pablo but when we got to San Pablo we found
out that we had been transferred to Miraflores. So we
boarded the train for Miraflores, where we found that there
were only two white families in the town the sanitary ins-
pector and the district physician. That left no place for us
for there was' no house.











So, my husband stayed with the dispensary and I went
back to Cristobal and a school friend for a few weeks and
then we went to Panama and lived there for three months,
after which we went back.to San Pablo and got our little
house that we should have had all the time that we were
living in the other places.

My one of my vivid memories is that this first
assignment to quarters was in a little town called it
was part of San Pablo, across the river called Caimito
Mulatto, and I found out that this town, small as it was -
there were only about thirty or forty houses there, of
.French manufacture had been known on the maps of Europe
long before our Jamestown or Plymouth Rock had ever been
heard of.

And this little house that I lived in had been re-
cently dug out of the jungle no one knew that the town
existed until some engineers, running a,some line for the
Canal, found this place covered with the jungle. So they
dug it out they stopped looking for the center of the
Canal and ran back and told them that they had found a town -
they needed quarters so bad. And anything that had a roof,
four walls, and a floor was quarters, I found out.

And we lived there for about a week and I decided I
didn't want to walk over this swinging bridge that they had
over the Chagres we we'd have to live some other place. We
got a little house next to the dispensary, where we lived
until the place was really abandoned I was the last white
woman obt of Gorgona, and speed with which our house was
torn down amazed me, because I left it one night no, one
day they came around, on Monday, and told us we had to be
out of the house by one o'clock. We were. We were packed
and moved. I don't know where my stuff went to, but I
went to a friend's house. The next morning when I got up,
my house was almost down. The whole top floor was down.
They packed it on a flatcar and moved it out to Corozal.

I waited three days before I found out where I was
going to live or where my household goods had gone to -
wet wash and all, which as out on the line. I found it in
Paraiso, up on top of a hill, Way up there. There must
have been forty-two steps of the type that you take one step
and you take another step you know, just wide enough so
that you couldn't take two steps on the thing, you look like
a cripple going up and down.












Well, this house was supposed to be a choice touse.
And when I got to it I found most of my stuff was outside
because you couldn't get it inside. It was just two rooms
and a small porch, that you could put a rocking chair on
if you were careful how you turned the rocking chair. You
couldn't turn it to face the screen because you'd either
get caught on the wall or caught on the screen, to sit down.

And my next one my husband transferred from the dis-
pensary work into the quarantine work, and in 1917 we went
to the quarantine station in Colon, and for fifteen years
we lived there on the beach. Then we moved he trans-
ferred to the Health Department and he worked for the Health
Department until he retired in 1949. And on July the first,
of this year, he passed away.... I'm speaking for both of us...

(BBs Thank you so very much. This was so nice, Mrs.
Sanders.... Ten, Nineteen-ten.... Nineteen-eleven?.... Here
he is fine. There you are, sir....

E. W, BALDWIN

My name is E. W. Baldwin. My mail address is R. D. 2,
New Oxford, Pennsylvania. I first came to the Isthmus in
June, 1911, aboard the steamship Allianza (?) and she
could roll. We were in the hurricane.

My first job on the Canal was as a rodman $83.33 a
month, on Miraflores Locks, where I worked under a fellow
by the name of James for a few months, then he was out, and
then it was R. B. Tinsley, H. O0 Cole, and S. B. Williamson.
And I had quite a lot to do with Johnny Walker, the general
superintendent.

After that I was shortly after I got there I was in
charge of the east wall. And then later the upper center
wall, When they were about finished I was in charge of the
steel surveying on the Miraflores spillway, from about the
time it started until about the time they raised the water
in the lake.

On August the first, 1914, I was transferred over to the
Division of Terminal Construction under Admiral Rousseau. I
was made junior engineer, which I held for about two years,
and then Johnny Walker, who was general superintendent, re-
tired to go into the contracting business, making the blocks












for the armoring of the breakwater at Cristobal, and Ad-
miral Rousseau came to me'and said, 'Baldy,' he said, 'I'd
like awful well to give you that job as general super-
intendent but you've got to be thirty-five years old and
you're only twenty-eight.' He said, 'If it were only a
year or two I'd fudge it, but they know your date of birth
up there in headquarters, and I can't fudge seven years.

'But,' he said, 'I'll give you the job but you can't
have the title. I'll call you a supervisor and you'll be
youngest supervisor both in age and in service of anyone
on the Canal, and I'll give you $25 more a month than any
other supervisor's getting' and that's what I wound up at.

I left on April 5, 1916. I worked after that as division
engineer for Guggenheim in Seoul (?) Chile, then I was in
Chicago as assistant to the construction engineer for the
Sinclair Refining Company and was sent down and built the re-
finery at Coffeyville, Kansas.

From there I went with the Selby Process Company as
supervisor of the quarry at Detroit was there about three
years and made quite a record in expense, made a new bogey
cost (?). And I went from there to.Syracuse, to learn the
soda ash business, in 1928. I had had hardly started to
learn the soda ash business when the depression hit, but
they were pretty good they kept me on about three years -
they left a lot of men off that had been with them for
twenty and twenty-five years before they got around to me,
and I'd been with them for a little old five or six.

I left the Canal employment, as I said back there, on
April the fifth, 1916; I can always remember the date because
they gave me a watch and it's in the back.

My most vivid memory, I believe, is the time when I
was on the east wall of the Miraflores Locks I found a
very serious error in the design. I talked to H. 0. Cole
about it, he said, 'We can't do anything about it look,
there's Goethals, and all these other engineers have signed
it, we can't do a thing.' Well, I finally went over his
head and talked to Johnny Walker, and he said the idea was
that they had the return track a big concrete box with a
drain in it and a lot of ducts and a walkway built on fill
out of Culebra Cut, And that fill came in big lumps and I
knew it was going to weather down and sink for years. And I
wanted to put piers up I even went to the trouble of


-41-




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