H: Do you remember the Major's name?  

G. Major Smith. He had been a band man in central Illinois  during the Lincoln-Douglas campaign. I happened to be a member of the band in this Seminary and Major Smith remembered me.  

H: Did you ever have any technical engineering training as a young man, or did you just get it from practical work?  

G: I gathered it through practical work. Of course, this older brother of mine had considerable experience and he got me technical books and had me study them, so I got my knowledge of engineering in that way.

H: Your regular common school was rather broken up then?  

G. When my father was on this railroad work, he kept us in good schools most of the time.  

H: About how old were you when you started work with your brother's engineering forces?  

G: I think on the first regular work, that I was 14 years old when I went with a R.R. locating party.  

H: You started out here to California in 1867, which way did you come?  

G: By Panama.  

H: Where did you get the boat from?  

G: New York City, regular Pacific mail line. Str. Ocean Queen

H: Well that kind of covers that pretty well. If there is anything that suggests itself, we can take it down some morning as we might as well have this complete. Any instances on this Central Pacific work that may occur to you or any instances that are humorous, they always help out.

G: In the construction work along the Central Pacific, when we got east of Reno, they found it desirable to increase the grading forces considerably so that they brought several hundred Chinamen direct from China and organized them into construction gangs.  The Piute Indians got among these Chinamen and told them some big stories about enormous snakes out on the desert large enough that they could swallow a Chinaman easily.  That alarmed these Chinamen to the extent that at any rate four or five hundred took their belongings and struck out to return direct to Sacramento.  Of course the firm of Sisson, Crocker & Company had spent quite a little money to secure them, and they sent men on horseback after them.  These men had whips like cowboys and they handled these Chinamen just like a cowboy would cattle and herded most of them back again.                    

H:  How did you finally settle their minds?                    

G:  These Chinamen kind of quitened down, and after nothing happened, and they never saw any of these snakes, presume they forgot about them.                    

H:  Where did you meet Mrs. Graham?                    

G:  At Peoria, Illinois, at the Seminary.                    

H:  When were you married?                    

G:  On the 14th of March in Peoria in '67.                   

 H:  And she was with you on your trip out here?                    

G:  Yes, and while on the work along the Truckee River the Indians used to come into our camp.  The squaws brought in berries and things.  One day an Indian came to the cabin we had and wanted whiskey.  He rolled on the floor and made out that he was in great pain.  I came in, with Mr. Montague, and yelled at the Indian and he got up and was all right.  He left.  This cabin we had was used as my office.  It was 200 yards east of the Calif. Nevada state line monument where it is now on the state highway.  This office building was set back in a little ravine out of the winds.  We passed the winter there in '67 and '68.  And while there on that location, my wife became fairly well acquainted with Mrs. Strobridge. They became quite chummy and that resulted in an arrangement that my wife would live in the superintendents' car, when it was built finally.  I had one of the rooms in it for an office.              

After the railroad was completed, this strobridge car was set aside at the town of Carlin.  Its trucks were taken out and it was kept by R. H. Pratt and family as their dwelling.                    

H:  Who was R. H. Pratt?                    

G:  R. H. Pratt had been in charge of obtaining all the wagons and teams, from Cisco to (crossed out).  It was his duty to keep the road open during the snows of winter , and to collect the tolls at toll house located at the east end of Donner Lake.  This led to his being given charge of all of teaming.  They were employed forwarding supplies and material during construction of the Central Pacific to Salt Lake.  After the railroad was finished, he was appointed Division Roadmaster for that part of the road, I think, from Wadsworth to Ogden.  I cant say how long until that terminated but there became a vacancy in the division superintendent at Ogden and he was appointed division superintendent of the Salt Lake Divn. It was at that time he lived in the car at Carlin.                

B. O. Carr who later became Divn. Supt. of the division from Wadsworth to Winnemucca, was married to Sarah Pratt in that car.  The car was some distance from the railroad track.  They were married just so when the passenger train came along they could go to Sacramento.  He married the daughter of R. H. Pratt, Sarah Pratt.  It was arranged to stop the train just opposite this car.  After the ceremony, when they



Courtesy of the Lynn D. Farrar Collection.

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