Waln Brown interviewing WIlliam Nagle 8/21/72 Tape 5-2
WB: How are you doing, Mr. Nagle?
WN: Pretty good.
WB: Are you waiting for the mailman? You have to make some money.
WN: You have to work hard for money before, today you don’t have to work hard you can take it easy, you see, these people have too much money today, that’s right.
WB: Well a lot of people do you’re right there, how about you or me tho?
WN: No I worked hard for my money and din’t make much you work in the mines all these years you would know how hard you work, you wouldn’t work, you wouldn’t work one day.
WB: Oh I don’t know, I’ve done some pretty hard jobs.
WN: Yeh, you’d say the hell with this job, there’s a fellows come and work over here that worked in the city and factories they worked one day and “Which way us to go home,” “Why?” “I want to know I want to go home
WB: Would a lot of men come in to town and do that, they couldn’t take the work?
WN: It took hard work so he’d work 2, 3 hours, “Oh gee I ain’t want that kind of job,” he’d go, show him the road, “Hey which way you goin’ to go,” “Oh you go up this way and then go across the other way and then they’d get outside, so you see I, a fellow like this here he went home and when he went you never seen him no more, you know one of those little shoves, they got them numbered them little shovels, you know before the big shovels and he said, “No that’s too big of a shovel.”
Woman comes on the scene, Susie, and WN starts talking to her.
WN: You know there was 2 men killed one time and this here party said, “You go and tell the priest get the graves,” so he went, so the other guy he was a priest too and he went and he said — because there’s 2 men killed and Father said, “Don’t bother no you ain’t gonna put them in heaven and I ain’t goin’g to put them to heaven, but where ever he done he’s good and that’s the way he was goin’ to go, if he done bad, he said he was goin’ good enough, you know, save your money he said, because you’re only givin’ the guy money for nothin; so you see he was savin’ his money and said, tomorrow I’ll have mass for this guy and the day after I’ll have mass for him, but he took the money but the other priest — he said to himself you can to go heck as long as I get the money, he got for the 2 funerals and he didn’t care for the other one he said that’s only throwin’ money away, now you see that’s the way it goes even with the priest — 16 priests and one would go away and used to have mass he said that man didn’t put that man in there, up in heaven God knows where he’s goin’ maybe he’s might go in hell, so you see never depend on somebody else to take your sins.
S: Prayin’ and doin’ the right thing and if you don’t do everything exactly right. God forgives everybody that’s why he died on the cross, don’t you think?
WN: We say Protestants don’t confess, they all go the priest and say, “I’m a sinner,” alright and the people go they say why should they be tellin’ him my sins?
S: Well, that’s the way it’s going to be with the Catholics. It going to be like that.
WN: That’s the way it goes, I give them money, there was a priest in the Polish church there was a priest that used to be jealous, his cook.
S: That’s the Polish for you.
WN: Polish or not Polish might be the same thing
S: ??? their words, and I’m Greek.
WN: So that janitor used to go out when she hang clothes and he’d keep talkin’ to her, “Hey what are you doin’ over here in this area, you go do your work.”
S: But then she left with a young priest and the old priest was left.
Waln Brown interviewing William Nagle -2- 8/21/72 Tape 5-2
But that was another priest.
S: Well that’s true
WN: So you see that’s the way it goes, he’d scare the people up, the women, oh he’s goin’ to put me to heaven and he’s puttin’ them to hell.
WB: Taking all their money?
WN: Yeh, he wants the money, my wife died I said to the priest, I told the guy he was pretty good I said tell ’em to put me and the priest said, “Oh yeh,” “How much will you charge.” “15 goin’ in, “alright” when I went to the priest I said what do I owe you, “15 adn 15 that’s 30 to go in it was $15 and to come out it was $15,” so you see the priest come around here, another priest he died he was only goddam crook that’s what he was, I said to this priest, “Where is the other guy?” I said, “He pulled one over me, $15 to go in and $15 to go out,” so he laughed, I said that’s right, he comes in one time in to the gates at the cemetery to say mass like on or some big holiday, I’m collectin’ for them dates on the well how much. What ever you give I had $30 I said, “Here goddam here’s $30.” Good enough, you know there was a fellow goin’ with a girl at night and somebody called him up and said, “Father there’s somebody in that place where you have mass always,” so he come up and said “What are you doin’ here?” he said, “I’m prayin’ to God,” but he was prayin’ for this that boy, so he said, “You got nothin’ if you want to pray there’s church and keep out of here,” see that’s the time they put the gates on where you couldn’t get in this fence, iron.
WB: That kid sounds like he’s Irish.
WN: He was Slavish, so you see how they do, but the people called him up, you go and see in the cemetery, what’s goin’ on, so he went he didn’t expect that, he came in, sneakin’ in, went so far with teh automobile came walkin’ slow and there was the grass so you see he said, “What are you doin’ in here at this hour,” “Oh I came in to pray for God,” “Well I guess you did.” So you see how they’re doin’ today, nobody honest, today priests or who it si they can pull somethin’ on you.
WB: They’ll pull it on you.
WN: You goddam right, so you see that’s the way it goes over here, these 2 guys I tell you, got killed in teh mines, #2, you don’t know where, the coal came down and squashed ’em but good enough you know that one guy only got married not long and the other guy was pretty old so he got killed, well went to the priest and he said, “Oh that’s foolishness to have more people givin’ money, that’s only waste of money, no one mass today and mass tomorrow,” he got the 2 masses, so you see that’s the way it goes, they don’t look what you, they look for their own pockets, the priests you know alright he steal money they take, he prays to God, says God will forgive you takes a piece of bread from the other guy, that’s no way he’s not payin’ the dues, not payin’ on time a committeeman in chuch and the priest you collect and you’re not payin’ nothin’ the priest say you’re a good customer and pay all the time was a kid on relief but they don’t care the committeeman, they collect this here money he said, “No I ain’t goin’ to collect that money because I know they’re good members but he don’t go you know this year he didn’t pay at chuch no more you’re out,,is that right that the man that payin’ the poor bugger he just got out a job and relief, do you know how much relief he get and maybe 4 or 5 kids that takes a lot of money to keep him goin’ so you see he no good you don’t know I’ve been livin’ so long here I used to go to they got a janitor he was a fireman before they got a janitor for fire and he was organist they pay organist and janitor, that janitor before that he said, “We been at that church, expect the money,” used to be janitor and pay organ and give me a raise the priest use standin’ back
Waln Brown interviewing William Nagle -3- 8/21/72 Tape 5-2
in the corner, “Hey how about me gettin’ a raise,” he said, “Father you know what we give $100 a month,” and see he was makin’ more than $400 a month because how much masses he had that’s how much people had to pay too you know he said, “Let it be the way it is if that’s the case,” because the weddins, things like that the chuch was gettin’ lots of money in, well he didn’t do it, out you go — people wrong sometimes far too wrong and if your dead that’s your part not what he would tell you, oh you’re goin’ this place and that, you pay the lots money forgive you that ain’t it you’re a good boy God is keepin’ us over here and God wants us to take a duty but not the way he say they’re just bullshitters that’s right I tell her right in the mouth, I say you lot of bullshit, she runs around one time they were up back of church were they had 18, 20 boarders there.
WB: 18, 20 boarders, behind the church, oh on old #4 Street?
WN: Yeh, #4 back of the church, 2 houses stand like that one, well the train used to come from between White Haven and Mauch Chunk they’d come in the office here take the people at night, it’s dar, where could we stay tonight, well you see that light over there you go ahead there he said, there’s lot of greenhorns go in there.
WB: That’s waht the trainman would say to the greenhorns?
WN: Yeh, so he’d go, he’d see the light behind that church the station at #10 you see them lights you go in there and ask they’ll take you in because there’s lot of poele go, they go o.k., they give you breakfast, they say where I can get a job over here, well you could try, how much do they pay, well it’s the company whatever they count the books, everybody pays.
WB: On the food?
WN: Yeh, and washin’ clothes and makin’ eats, you know, they paid her $1.50 a month
WB: A dollar and a half a month? Oh my goodness that woman really must have worked hard for that dollar and a half?
WN: You goddam right, 20 boarders you know, you think all the shirts washin’ white ones take ironin’ and stuff like that, that woman worked hard but those sonofabitches they don’t do nothin! you know what I told her I put the broom in the toilet and wettin it up and less than 2 then 3 bones to God there not right they’re only big just goddam bullshit I tell ‘er that’s another one up there, Annie, that’s another sonofabitch don’t know anything about comes over here and sits all day she goes in and come back they won’t do that before you know like those foreigners used to be, people used to always plant vegetables, potatoes and cabbage, carrots everything they had and they had cows you know because the milk so you see you went on a farm big cans 3 qt. of milk farmer give you 5c. they’re sellin’ in the hospital up the hill, you don’t know where that
WB: There was hospital on teh hill, oh near White Haven?
WN: What Haven, the farmers used to take milk up there 3c. a quart, well that didn’t pay you know farmer had to work for it for 3c.
WB: Those boarders that would come in down here at around #10 off the train were they mostly Slovish boarders, many Irish come in like that and board?
WN: Yeh, Slavish, oh the whole town was Irish and Germans used to be Protestants over there.
WB: Over on Shanty Street?
WN: Yeh and over here on Back Street there was other homes there
WB: Was that mostly German or Irish?
WN: Oh Irish used to be and then the Irish come over here they took a shit in the cellar, that’s right.
WB: The Irish, oh boy.
Waln Brown interviewing William Nagle -4- 8/21/72 Tape 5-2
WN: Lots of times, they had a boarder that would take a crap and take from the stove a little ashes and put it on, you walk this road and had to go down to store, not this store.
WB: Down at the company store when they had the company store down here?
WN: The and Irish take big stones used to get on the side of the ditch and sit there, if there was a Polish or a Slavish fellow come in and he had a good suit on they’d strip you and take the clothes off and
WB: Oh those rotten guys.
WN: After that they they would say, oh they were good huh? She as in Hamburg and come over here was a nice guy his first woman died and he knew in Hamburg and he went over there and he got married, they lived way up one of those good enough, this lady come to see uncle, she didn’t come to see uncle, she come to see boyfriend he was a quiet gellow so she was hangin’ around and hangin’ around till she ketched him and they got married so she still here a fellow shoudl tell her like this go to hex that’s what I would tell her because just like Annie anything to get boyfriend you take Annie and there was a lady over and Annie they used to be like that sure enough they say we not goin’ to marry a siner in the hole. One wanted a lawyer and one wanted a doctor, Annie lawyer so good enough this lady didn’t get a lawyer or she a doctor they had to marry a siner to pitch dirt in their piss holes if you were here you’d know Annie got married twice her first husband he labored for me a couple days I said bein drinkin’ the water he used to go over and take a drink of water but he was drinkin but he never said, Oh I got married he said buty what the hells so good she got no piss hole, so she chased him he was an Irishman she used to go out in the grass there, Irishman said, Annie lets get married, Annie said, o.k. She got married he got chased – Maloney that’s what you hae to do feel some of the ladies up.
WB: Well wasn’t Annie’s husband working in the mule stable?
WN: Yeh day shift used to take all the mules out to work, used to clean the manure and put in feed and hay that’s all he done.
WB: How many mules were in that stable?
WN: Sure, lots.
WB: Maybe 60, 70 mules?
WN: Oh yeh, I was a patcher had to go down and clean the mules. The company didn’t pay me for cleanin’ only when I go to work the boss come down and “You know you’re behind time, you should be done with it, when the men was cleanin’ different matter.
WB: But at first the patcher had to clean the mules?
WN: The patcher and the driver.
WB: Then afterwards they had somebody down there at the mule stable to clean them all?
WN: They used to at the breaker and men clean the mules, they paid them a hour or 2 and you were done, you see not like today, today you tell the boss to go to hell but before you couldn’t tell, the boss would kick your goddam ass offya hey boy uou put the slate on teh bank come over and kick your goddam ass for you.
Waln K. Brown 7/20/72 William Nagle
There never was a company doctor in Eckley. There was, however, a Dr. Redlin who lived in Eckley in a house that no longer stands, located between Bruno Lagonsky’s house and the road to the colliery. Dr. Redlin had about thirty patients who he charged $1.00 a month for his services for the family. This fee paid for his visits and most medications.
There were also three doctors from Freeland, Drs. Mays, Gallagher, and Truckerman, who also had patients in Eckley. These doctors charged the same fee for their services. Each doctor had a colored card which was placed in the window of the sick person’s house, and the doctor knew he was to visit that house. The nearest hospital was the Hazleton State Hospital, and it was always full of sick people.
There were two midwives in Eckley, Mrs. Marshelik and Mrs. Machisky. They would help people with their illnesses and childbirths, especially if the people did not have the money to afford a doctor. Their charge for services was nominal. These midwives had some of their own special herbal cures such as sassafras, used to cure eye ailments. They would raise some of these herbs in their gardens or pick them in the woods. They would also use drugs, pills, and prescriptions from the drug store in Freeland.
All the people in Eckley, regardless of ethnic or class status would use the doctors. The “big shots” as well as the workers and laborers used the same doctor. Slavs, Irish, Poles, etc. would use the same doctor, depending on who they thought was the best. There were no ethnic or class differences in deciding who to use as the family doctor.
There was no company nurse in Eckley; however, Mrs. Coxe paid for a nurse who lived in Eckley where Emil Gera now lives. She would care for the Eckley people. She was made aware of illness by the doctors who came to Eckley, by Mrs. Coxe, or by a member of the family who would notify the nurse themself. The nurse was the closest thing to a company sponsored medical person. The company never sponsored any company medical people in Eckley.
The nurse usually came from training in a hospital and had to learn how to care for the people in an area where the facilities are not as sterile or modern. When a nurse cared for a patient, she did so in the patient’s home. There was no special dispensary.
Waln K. Brown 6/15/72 William Nagle
Fourth street, located near slope #10, was the place where most of the boarders lived. The houses on Fourth Street were somewhat larger than the other houses in Eckley. As many as eighteen to twenty boarders were kept in a single house. The men boarders had their own mattresses which they brought with them.
The average price for boarding was $1.50 a month. For this price the boarder had a place to sleep, his clothing washed, and his body washed. Food was bought “on the books” at the company store by the house owner. At the end of the month, the total cost of the food procured at the store was divided by the number of boarders kept. Each paid his share of the food consumed.
There were very few boarders kept on Main Street, but some were kept on Back Street. The reason so many of the boarders lived on Fourth Street was that, since the train depot was nearest to Fourth Street, the railroad men would tell the “greenhorns” that they took boarders on Fourth Street.
The priest who preached in the catholic church at the end of Main Street had to do many jobs to subsist. Although the church may have been full for Sunday mass, it was to be expected that only thirty or forty cents would be collected from the congregation. Therefore the priest and the janitor had to do a lot of the repairing of the church, as well as plant and cultivate a garden. He also kept live stock as food for his meals.
There were two water hydrants located on Main Street and various others on the other streets. There was usually a line for people to get water at these pumps. Many times a person would have to go for water as late as 3:00 AM to get enough water for the house.
Bakeovens were not located on Main Street, at least none that Mr. Kagle remembered.
Gardens were kept by almost everyone, “except the Irish who were too lazy,” with such vegetables as cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, and turnips.
Moonshining was practiced in Eckley. A man would pay as high as $7.00 for a quart of “home brew.” This was during the period when men were making as little as from three to five cents per hour.
William Nagle (age 84) Born 1888 Mr. Nagle is of Slavick descent. He is of the Catholic religion. Born in 1888, he is 84 years old. Born in Eckley’s “Back Street,” he is now residing at house #110, after living at three former Eckley residences. Mr. Nagle lives alone during the week, but his son lives with him on the weekends. His son works in New York during the week. Mr. Nagle shows a great dislike for Irish people, and constantly reiterates his dislike for the Irish by accusing them of being “lazy.” Some very important information gleaned from Mr. Nagle, and should be followed up and expanded upon are the following facts: 1) The site of a railroad station at #10 slope. 2) Gardens were kept by almost everyone, “except the Irish who were to lazy,” and such vegetable as cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, turnips, were grown 3) Bakeovens were not located on “Main Street,” at least none that Mr. Nagle remembered. 4) There were two water hydrants located on “Main Street,” and various other ones on the other streets. There was usually a line of people to get water at these pumps, and many times a person would have to go for water so late so 3 A.M. to get enough water for the house. 5) “Moonshining” was practiced in Eckley, and a man would pay as high $7.00 per quart for “home brew.” This was during the period when men were making so little so from 3c to 5c per hour. 6) 4th Street, located near to slope #10 was the place where most of the boarders lived. The homes on 4th St. were somewhat larger then the other houses in Eckley. As high as 18 to 20 boarders were kept in a single home. The men boarders
had their own mattresses which they brought with them. The average price for boarding was $1.50 per month; for this price the boarder had a place to sleep, his clothing washed, and his body washed. Food was bought “on the books” at the company store by the house owner, and at the end of the month the total cost of the food procured at the store was divided by the number of boarders and each boarder paid for his share of the food consummed. There were very few boarders kep on “Main Street,” but some were kept on “Back Street.” The reason so many of the boarders lived in #4 Street houses was that since the train depot was nearest to 4th St., the railroad men would tell the “greenhorns,” that they took boarders on #4 Street. 7) The priest who preached on the Catholic Church at the end of “Main Street” had to do many jobs to subsist. Although the Church may be full on a Sunday’s mass, it was to be expected that only 30c to 40c would be collected from the congregation. Therefore, the priest and the janitor had to do a lot of the repairing of the Church, as well as, plant and cultivate a garden and keep live stock, in order that he would have food for his meals. 8) The woman’s life was a very tough one, especially for those women who kept boardes (needs to be epanded upon.)
– Medical Care –
William Nagle (7-20-72) House #110 I There never was a company Doctor in Eckley. There was, however, a Doctor Redlin who lived in Eckley in a house that no longer stands, located between Bruno Lagonoskys house & the road to the colliery. Dr. Redlin had about 30 patients who he charged $1.00 per month for his services for the family. This fee paid for his visits & most medications. There were also three doctors from Freeland, Dr. Mays, Dr. Gallagher, & Dr. Truckerman, who also had patients in Eckley. These Dr’s also charged $1.00 per month per family for thier services. Each Dr. had a colored card which was placed in teh window of the sick persons house, & the Dr. knew he was to visit that house. II The nearest hospital was the Hazleton State Hospital, & it was always full of sick people. III There were two midwives in Eckley, Mrs. Marshelik & Mrs. Machitsky. They would help people with their illnesses & childbirt – especially if the people did not have the money to afford a doctor. There charge for services was nominal. These midwives had some of their own special herbal cures, such as, sasaphras – used to cure eye ailments – They would raise some of these herbs in their gardens or pick them in the woods. They would also use drugs, pills, & prescriptions from the drug store in Freeland. IV ALl the people in Eckley, regardless of ethnic or class status would use the Dr’s. The “big shots” who lived in Eckley would use the same Dr.s the workers & laborers used. Slavs, Irish, Poles, etc., would use the same Dr.’s, depending on who they thought was beset. There were no ethnic or class differeneces in deciding who to use as the family Dr. V There was no company nurse in Eckley, how-
ever, Mrs. Coxe paid for a nurse who lived in Eckley, where Emil Cerd now lives. She would care for the Eckley people. SHe was made aware of illness by the Dr.s, who came to Eckley, by Mrs. Coxe, or a member of the family would notify the nurse themself. The nurse was the closest thing to a company sponsored medical person – the company never sponsored any company medical people in Eckley. VI The nurse usually came from training in a Hospital & had to learn how to care for the people no an ared where the facilities are not as sterile or modern. When a nurse cared for a patient she did so in the patients home, there was no special dispensary.
WILLIAM NAGLE – HOUSE #110 June 1, 1972 “RACIST” (PRO-SLAVIC, ANTI-IRISH) IRISH – 6″ OF ??? HUCKLBERRY (HUCKABERRY) PICKING EXPERT MINING INFO VILLAGE LIFE
illustration – map of Eckley
Marisa Bozarth, Grete Floryshak, Marie Maranki, Camille Westmont and Daryl Bojarcik