Flossie Poe describes traveling in a covered wagon as a young girl with her family to homestead in eastern Montana and, later, Missoula, Montana. She discusses how the drought affected her father’s crops in 1918-1919 and forced the family to travel to Wyoming in a covered wagon her father built. Poe notes how she and her husband survived the Great Depression by growing their own food. She recalls caring for her husband after he contracted polio and finding work through the Works Progress Administration program while he recovered. Poe reminisces about working at Central School in Missoula, Montana, in the principal’s office and then in the library, and, later, working Lowell School. She recalls how difficult it was for women to find jobs through WPA and how most of the work involved sewing because women were only allowed to participate in the WPA program if their husband or male head of household was unable to work. Poe details the kinds of jobs for women during the Great Depression and the wages offered.
Forrest Poe, Flossie Poe’s husband, occasionally comments throughout the interview.
Homesteading, Montana; Eastern Montana; Gerard, Montana; Covered wagon; 1918 drought; Great Depression (1929-1939); Homesteading, Wyoming; Travois; Native Americans; Polio; Works Progress Administration [WPA]; Education, Montana; Working women; Central School; Lowell School; Great Depression (1929-1939)
Life in the Rattlesnake Oral History Collection, OH 196, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula
University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library
Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Oral History Number
OH 196-004, 005
2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (28 p.: 28 cm.)
Poe, Flossie M., "Flossie M. Poe Interview, January 20, 1988" (1988). Life in the Rattlesnake Oral History Collection. 2.