Finding Aid for the Experience of the Great Depression in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine Oral History Collection | GDOH

Summary Information

Repository
Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library
Title
The Experience of the Great Depression in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine Oral History Collection
ID
GDOH
Date
1996, 1998
Extent
45.0 interviews
Language
English

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Collection Overview

This collection is the work of two separate classes taught by Anne William, Professor of Economics at Bates College: First Year Seminar FYS 187 during the winter term of 1996, and Economics s37 during the short-term session in the spring of 1998. Together, the two projects comprise 45 interviews with 50 individuals. Recordings and transcripts are available for all except one interview. For this one interview the recording was faulty and in place of a transcript the interviewers wrote a summary of the interview.

Arrangement note

Alphabetical by interviewee.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston, Maine, 04240
207-786-6354
muskie@bates.edu

Conditions Governing Access

Transcripts are available in the reading room of the Muskie Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to reproduce and publish materials from this collection should be addressed in writing to the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library.

Acquisition Note

Gift of Anne Williams, Professor of Economics, 1998.

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Collection Inventory

Volume I 1996 

Colette Albert 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1916 in Lewiston. After high school studied at New England School of Embalming in Boston, then worked in father's funeral home in Lewiston.

Germaine R. Belanger 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1908. Father was a painter. Educated at St. Peter's School, also normal school in Canada. Worked at Lunn & Sweet (shoe shop), also as a teacher and at J.J. Newberry's. Married in 1960 and lived in New Hampshire until husband died in 1971.

Louise B. Casey 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1918 in Eastport, Maine, one of 3 children. Father owned retail stores. Attended UMO for one year, then business school. Worked in Portland briefly. Married and returned to Eastport. Moved to Lewiston in 1946.

Helen S. Chaput 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1908 in Lewiston, one of eight girls. Completed one year of high school. Worked in shoe factory till marriage in 1932. Moved to Bangor, and returned to Lewiston in late 1980s.

Shirley I. Churchill 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1914 in Auburn. Family moved to Bethel in 1925, then to San Francisco. Graduated from high school there and did office work. Family moved back to this area in 1937. She married and lived on a farm for some time.

Isabel Clements 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1919 in Italy. Family moved to U.S. in 1920s, she grew up in Lewiston. Parents owned Italian restaurant until Depression struck. Attended St. Patrick's and St. Joseph's Schools. Worked in shoe shop for a while.

Francoise Cloutier 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1916 in Canada, one of 14 children, and had 8 years of school there. Family moved to Lewiston when she was 17. Worked in the mill until she married in 1936.

Frank M. Drigotas 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1909 in Auburn. Parents had come from Lithuania. Father worked in a shoe factory, then owned a pool room. Graduated from Jordan High School. Worked in retail clothing business, then opened own store in 1939.

Edgar J. Dube 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1912. Worked in lumber industry in Van Buren during much of Depression. Moved to Lewiston and worked at American Bobbin and other jobs in Lewiston.

Jeanne P. Guy 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1907, one of 5 children. Completed 8th grade at Frye School. Her mother, a widow, worked in the mill. She worked in a confectionery shop for 8 years, then at Styles Loading Co. for 32 years. Married in 1933.

Charles E. Hurley 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1908. Married in 1929. Worked for state highway department, Hood Rubber in Boston, and various mills, and was active in the Plumbers and Pipefitters union.

Geneva A. Kirk, Bates Class of 1937 1996 

Biographical Note

Born in Lewiston, one of 2 children. Graduated from Bates College in 1937. Father was a veterinarian, and mother did sewing. She became a teacher at Lewiston High.

Germaine Letourneau 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1917 in Lewiston. Parents moved a lot, she completed 5th grade. She returned here in 1933 and began a 37-year career at the Hill Mill. Married in 1937.

Isabella Loring 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1914 in Scotland, and came to Lewiston with family in 1926. Father a mill worker. Graduated from Lewiston High in 1931 and married one year later.

Albert Milasauskis 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1915 in Nashua, N.H. Parents had come from Lithuania and settled in Lewiston in 1916, working in mills. He too worked in the mill before marrying in 1939 and going to work in Portland shipyard.

William H. O'Connell 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1912 in Lewiston, the oldest of 7 boys. Parents worked in mills. Graduated from high school. Worked most of his life in Pepperell Bleachery where we became asst. superintendant. Married in 1940.

George Orestis, Bates Class of 1935 1996 

Biographical Note

One of 5 children. Came to Lewiston in 1921 with parents, father in linen supply business. Graduated from Bates College in 1935. Active in a travelling band before WWII.

Merton R. Parker 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1914 in Lewiston, one of 4 children. Father a shoe worker. Graduated high school and started at Pepperell Bleachery in 1933. After WWII service had lifelong career at Bates Mill in sales.

Geneva Patrick 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1904 and grew up on a farm in Lisbon. Worked as a bookkeeper at Bauer Hardware, and later a trucking company.

Martha G. Rivard 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1911in Canada, one of 14 children. Came to Lewiston with parents in 1923. Left school at age 11, and began working in shoe shop at age 15. Married at age 29.

Erna A. Schutt, Bates Class of 1941 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1918 in Lewiston, one of 3 children. Completed 2-year course at Bliss Business College, also graduated from Bates College in 1941. Spent career working in family business, Hahnel Bros.

Helen Sovetsky 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1913 in Lewiston, one of 3 children of Polish immigrants. Both parents worked. Graduated from Lewiston High in 1932. Married in 1937.

Ida A. Therrien 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1917 in Lewiston, one of 12 children. Father a shoe worker. Graduated 8th grade. At 17 she also began a lifelong career as shoe worker.

Mildred and Leo N. Whittingham 1996 

Biographical Note

Born 1920, one of 5 children. Graduated high school, then attended business college.

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Volume II 

Lucille Hicks Abbott, Bates Class of 1927 

Biographical Note

Born 1906 and grew up on a farm in Rumford. Graduated from Bates College in 1927. Married, taught high school, raised 3 sons.

Fernande Audet 

Biographical Note

Born circa 1916 in Lewiston. Began working for government in 1933. Spent entire career as interviewer in Department of Employment Security.

Ellen Cooper 

Biographical Note

Born circa 1915 in Lewiston. After high school studied dance in Hartford and New York city. Has had her own dance studio in Lewiston since 1936.

Edward Cunion 

Biographical Note

Born 1917 in Lewiston. Worked at Clark Shoe in 1937, then spent several years caddying in Florida. Served in World War II, then married. Later returned to work in Lewiston.

O'Nues Dube 

Biographical Note

Born 1912 in Montana. Grew up in Canada and trained as an auto mechanic. Came to Lewiston in 1934 and worked in textile mills his whole life.

June Lovelace Griffin, Bates Class of 1936 

Biographical Note

Born circa 1915 in Danbury, Conn. Graduated from Bates College in 1936. Married a Lewiston man, then worked as a substitute teacher. Also has been travel writer and painter.

Robert Hamel 

Biographical Note

Born 1918 in Lewiston, one of 13 children of French-Canadian immigrants. Worked in shoe shop and for W.P.A. After World War II service, had a 37-year career at Hahnel Brothers.

Gerard Lajoie 

Biographical Note

Born 1917, the fourth child of ten. Grew up in Lewiston. After high school attended seminary in Suffern, N.Y. Returned to Lewiston, married, and worked 40 years for Postal Service.

Jane Ault Lindholm, Bates Class of 1937 

Biographical Note

Born 1915 in Ellsworth, daughter of a shoe company executive. Grew up in Auburn and graduated from Bates College in 1937. Married and raised a family in Lewiston. Worked part-time at Bates on occasion.

Omer Morin 

Biographical Note

Born 1917 and grew up in northern Maine. Moved to Lewiston with family in 1932. Was in Civilian Conservation Corps for two years. Worked in textile mill, then in other local businesses. Served in World War II.

Gertrude Mynahan, Catherine Connelly, Merita Fournier, Martha Friedman 

Biographical Note

Sisters born 1928, 1919, 1921, who grew up at the Lewiston Poor Farm, where their father (Antoine Landry) was superintendant from 1926 to 1938.

Anne Palman and Mary Stokowski 

Biographical Note

Sisters born in 1915 and 1912 to Polish immigrants. Grew up in New Auburn and worked in shoe shops and mills before marrying.

Goerge Simones 

Biographical Note

Born 1917 in Lewiston, one of five children of Greek immigrants. Left school at 14 to go to work to help support family. Eventually took over family business, Simones Hot Dog Stand.

Irene Simpson 

Biographical Note

Born 1905 in Norway, Maine and grew up in Lewiston. One of 8 children. Married at age 22 and had a career as a self-employed seamstress.

Pauline Smith 

Biographical Note

Born 1919, the youngest of 12 children. Graduated from Edward Little High School in 1936, then did office work in shoe factory until her marriage.

Glorianne Travaglini 

Biographical Note

Born 1930 to Franco-American parents, and grew up in Little Canada. After marriage worked part-time as secretary, and shop manager.

Anita Turgeon 

Biographical Note

Born 1920, the only child of French Canadian immigrants. Left school at age 15 to work. Spent 27 years at Pepperell Mill, then 17 years in shoe shop. Got her GED in 1989.

George Vasel 

Biographical Note

Born 1927 in Lisbon. His widowed mother operated a small farm. He left high school after sophomore year to work in the mill. Then joined U.S. Army. Completed education on G.I. Bill, then taught school.

Robert Wade 

Biographical Note

Born 1900 in Rockland, Mass. Graduated from Bates College in 1923. Worked in shoe industry in 1920s, in insurance in 1930s. Returned to Lewiston-Auburn in 1946 and spent 42 years in investment business.

Erwin and Florence Webber 

Biographical Note

He was born 1910 in Auburn and graduated high school in 1929. Did odd jobs during the Depression. They lived in Danville, a farming community.

Gordon Windle 

Biographical Note

Born 1915 in Lewiston. After graduating from Edward Little High School worked for Lewiston Bleachery and Dye Works.

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