Elanor Douglass Scofield Oral History

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Elanor Douglass Scofield Oral History


Elanor Douglass Scofield Oral History


Churchill County Museum Association


Churchill County Museum Association


June 6, 1992


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Marian LaVoy


Eleanor Douglass Kopp Scofield


1045 Dodge Lane, Fallon, Nevada




an interview with


June 6, 1992

This interview was conducted by Marian LaVoy; transcribed by Glenda Price; edited by Norine Arciniega; final typed by Pat Boden; index by Gracie Viera; supervised by Myrl Nygren, Director of Oral History Project/Assistant Curator Churchill County Museum.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Churchill County Museum or any of its employees.


Eleanor Douglass Kopp Scofield greeted me as I entered the kitchen of the lovely home of Charles and Debbie Frey. She immediately said, "I love the way that Debbie and Charlie have decorated my old home and their hospitality is most appreciated." We all enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee and a muffin and reminisced about "the old place." Eleanor had spent many years with the Russell family in Deeth, Nevada, and she and I chatted about some of the old families from Elko County. Charlie led us upstairs to the lovely glassed porch that overlooked green fields and lovely fruit trees. The cherry tree had produced some marvelous fruit that we ate as we continued with the interview.

Eleanor is a handsome woman, impeccably dressed and coiffed. She has all the bearings of one raised in a wealthy family and completely successful in her business ventures, but her simplicity and infectious laugh makes a stranger immediately feel as though she has known her for a long time. She has had unhappiness, too, but she does not dwell on it and has one of the most upbeat attitudes that I have ever encountered. Her sense of humor is contagious and her stories about naming her dolls is hilarious.

Her confidence in her creative endeavors leads one to wish that she was still designing children's clothing and creating woodland and animal designs for nursery furniture. The generosity of her father in letting his children order any materials and supplies that they wanted from the Sears catalogues, etc. so they could dress their dolls and make theater costumes undoubtedly gave Eleanor a start in her creative endeavors.

The researcher who reads this interview will receive a wonderful overview of life in Nevada for those who had the financial ability to take advantage of every activity from racing cars, to living at Lake Tahoe in its early years, to spending time in the San Francisco area as guests of grandparents and later as residents for several months each year. It is a lifestyle that no longer exists, but we are the richer for having tapped the crystal memory of a delightful woman who had the opportunity to live that life.

Interview with Eleanor Douglass Scofield

LaVOY:  This is Marian Hennan LaVoy of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project interviewing Eleanor Douglass Kopp Scofield at the home of Charles Frey, Jr., 1045 Dodge Lane, Fallon, Nevada. The date is June 6, 1992. Good morning, Eleanor.

SCOFIELD: Good morning.

LaVOY:  What a pleasure it is meeting you and talking to you. I've heard so much about you all these years.

SCOFIELD: Well, I'm so happy to be home and this is home, and last night I had the pleasure of sleeping in my own bedroom here when I was a little girl.

LaVOY: Well, that is marvelous. Your family played a very important part in the early years of Fallon, so if you don't mind, I'd like to start by asking you your parents' names.

SCOFIELD: My father's name on his birth certificate is Robert E. Lee Douglass.

LaVOY: And where was he born?

SCOFIELD: In Louisiana, Missouri. Obviously south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

LaVOY: Well, how did he happen to come to Nevada?

SCOFIELD: His uncle, Joseph McCune Douglass, of Virginia City has asked for several of the nephews to come from Missouri and work for him. My father was one of them and he learned the banking business from his uncle Joe. That's why he had banks in some of the towns such as Fairview, Wonder, and Fallon. Later in life he was part owner of Reno Security Bank. Then, when Uncle Joe died a bachelor, he left quite a fortune to my father and another nephew, William Douglass, who was of Reno, and they divided with another nephew they felt should have inherited. His name was Gib Douglass of Virginia City. Uncle Joe had made it very plain he was leaving nothing to Gib because he wouldn't keep it, which was the truth. However, Gib Douglass' daughter, only child, Ruth, has always been very close. We are third cousins. I use the word, "uncle," as an endearment. We did that, even though someone wasn't our uncle by blood relationship or married to a blood relationship. Now all of those people, of course, are gone.

LaVOY:  Well, now tell me, this gentleman, whom you referred to as “uncle," had a bank in Virginia City?

SCOFIELD: Yes, the Wells Fargo. Now he is my great uncle, Joseph Douglass.

LaVOY: Was he born in the south, too?

SCOFIELD: He was born in Missouri, and as a young man in St. Joseph, Missouri, he saw all the people coming west. He had his horse and twenty dollars, and, the owner of the store that he worked for offered him half interest if he would stay, but he said, "No," he was going west. So he went to Placerville [California] and came across the continent with I don't know which trail. Then he stayed in Placerville and knowing the business, he worked in stores. He came over to Virginia City, and he saw that the miners had lumbago. They had not wanted to bring long-handled shovels, due to the weight, in the Conestoga wagons, so they brought their short-handled shovels, and as they worked they got lumbago. Well, Uncle Joe imported long-handled shovels to Placerville, and he had them taken by mule back and warehoused in Virginia City. Then when the miners really had lumbago, he sold them for sixty dollars each, and that was his first real amount of money. So when he died, he owned Wells Fargo Bank, the Crystal Bar, the Washoe Club which was fancier than anything in San Francisco. And my son inherited the glass punch bowl and ladle from the Washoe Club where Hunington and all of the other men--it was a private club--and in all he owned twelve buildings. So my father inherited the twelve thousand acres here which Dad always called the Island Ranch, and it was known as the Great Bailey Tract. So that's how my father then owned the Island Ranch and married my mother who was born Eleanor Maria Ernst in Belmont, Nevada.

LaVOY: How did he happen to meet her in Belmont?

SCOFIELD: He didn't meet her there. She was born there. And she was graduated from Elko High School. Then Grandfather and Grandmother Ernst had a ranch at Old River. I've been asked where Old River is, and I get my directions a bit confused (chuckle), but it was the opposite side of Fallon than our ranch, and they had country dances, and that is how they met. Grandmother Ernst told us that my mother, as we know, played the piano and she sang and she was a very happy, outgoing person and that she asked her mother to wear her diamond ring; she said, "because I want to impress Bob Douglass."

LaVOY:  Oh, my!

SCOFIELD: So I think that there was great attraction on both sides.

LaVOY:  How did her parents happen to be in Belmont? Do you know that at all?

SCOFIELD: Yes. Grandfather Ernst had his office in Belmont, and among my photographs I do have a photograph of the building where he had his practice there.

LaVOY:  What business was he in?

SCOFIELD: I believe it was law. He was a surveyor and he's well known for having surveyed the Sutro Tunnel with his old, old instruments, and it's just as accurate as can be. And he did many county lines.

LaVOY:  I see. Then he moved to Fallon and that's where his daughter grew up--in Fallon?

SCOFIELD: You mean my mother?

LaVOY:  Yes.

SCOFIELD: Well, my mother was graduated from Elko High School, and they lived there for a period. My cousin, Ellen [Mrs. Tony] Primeaux would know all of the details. Evidently, Grandmother and Grandfather--due to his surveying county lines--moved about Nevada. I don't believe ever in the southern part.

LaVOY:  That stands to reason with him doing that type of work that he would be moving a great deal. Now, that's a very, very interesting start. Will you describe your father to me?

SCOFIELD: My father was tall and slender and he was very polite. He was very strict, and yet he gave us everything, but we had to behave. In San Francisco we always stayed at the Palace Hotel. He expected us to behave ourselves, be polite, and we could do what we wanted within those ranges. Then every summer we went to Lake Tahoe, and before he built a home up there--which was in later years--we stayed at Tahoe Tavern. It was considered quite the elegant place. It's on the California side and of course no longer in existence. But, one day we arrived and we dressed for dinner, which we always had, and I took my dolls, my dolls were always dressed for dinner, and they told my father, "The children have to be in the children's dining room," and my father said, "I always have dinner with my children," and he just turned to us and he said, "Go and pack your bags. We're leaving." So, we did, and we drove down to Brockway. So, the first thing, he went in. He came out, and he said, "This is the place we'll stay. We'll have dinner here." And from then on, for many years, we always stayed at Brockway, and we loved it. The owners there--Bob Sherman was one--became so friendly that they would come down and stay with us here at the ranch and go duck hunting. So we had wonderful times. I couldn't have had a happier childhood.

LaVOY: I want to ask you. I'm going forward just a little bit. Didn't your father own a great deal of property at Lake Tahoe?

SCOFIELD: Dad, with two other men, Howard Brown and a man from Yerington, subdivided four hundred acres at Cave Rock Cove, and the idea was that these would be large lots and that they had to be a good-sized home put on them. One was sold to Ty [Tyrus] Cobb, the baseball player. Our home was the closest to Cave Rock. Dad built that in 1936, and the first time I visited was 1936 and 1937, and I brought my nine-months old son. So that would have been 1938 that summer and we stayed at the Lake. It was a beautiful, beautiful home.

LaVOY:  Do you still own the home at the Lake?

SCOFIELD: No, that was sold to a woman who came from the East and loved the home. She had two little children, and her husband took some courses at University of Nevada, and Marian--her first name--became very good friends with Dad and would visit a great deal. Then she sold it to General William Orr [USMC] whose father had been a judge in Reno and he had married Dottie [Dorothy Orr] from Virginia. So as years went on and my children visited and we'd live at the Lake part of the time and have wonderful times and then I've had my children at Brockway. By this time my daughter was in high school and my son in college--both in California--and they said, "Oh, Mother, let's go see Granddaddy Douglass' home." And I said, "Well,"--course I was anxious too-well, I said, "No, it's been sold to a retired general and they have no children, so I don't think that we could possibly go to the house, but we could as far as the gates." So we got as far as the gates--now we were in our bathing suits with just a light wrap over it driving down and they said, "Doesn't look like any cars are there. Nobody's home. Can't we just drive in?" 'Cause there was a circle drive. And I said, "All right, but I will go to the front door and knock on the door." And do you know, no one answered? And so I went to the car and I told my children, "Now I'm going to walk around the veranda and 'cause no one answered the door, maybe no one's here and I'd think it'd be all right that you could just look down on the boat house and all," 'Cause they'd had such wonderful times there. 'Cause in the boat house we always had a Chris Craft, a fishing boat, and some kayaks. So, I did that, and as I leaned over, there was a crowd of people down on the deck. I was just horrified and someone said, [in a singsong] "Dot-tie, you have com-pa-ny," and pointed at me, and I thought, "Oh, these elderly people," so I started down the stairway wondering what to say, and when I met who was Mrs. Orr, I said, "I'm trespassing! but my father built this house," and she said, "You're one of the Douglasses. Now, don't tell me. I'm going to guess." She said, "I know. You're Eleanor. You're the one with children. Where are your children?' And I said, "Well, they're in the car." So she called to her husband, "Look, Bill," she said, "Eleanor's children are in the car. Go get Eleanor's children." And so, with that, why, Doug and Tammy came down and they met the Orrs' niece and nephew from San Mateo [California], the Underwoods, and had a marvelous time and they went out in Bill's boat and visited, and I visited with Dottie and the Underwoods and the other friends they had, and they just felt very badly that we wouldn't stay for the barbecue. So it was kind of the most wonderful thing to have people living in the Lake house that loved it so much and were so marvelous to me and my children, the same as Charlie and Debbie Frey are with me now coming back to my old home. So that was the Lake house, and we were happy that they were there. Now, I drove down the other day, and I can't even pick out which house was ours. They are so changed and so enlarged. Ours was a large home. We had four bedrooms and bathrooms and, again, everything was made for that house. Navajo rugs and appropriate furniture. Dad rarely took anything from one house to another. It was always his idea, his dream, and it always came out just beautifully.

LaVOY: Well, that sounds like a wonderful, wonderful story. We're going to go back now to your mother and your father with their meeting. Where did they honeymoon? Do you have any idea?

SCOFIELD: Yes. At Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego.

LaVOY:  When were they married? Do you remember?

SCOFIELD: It was early February, 1904, and Grandmother and Grandfather and my mother went by train, and one of the Fallon men was at a little depot. They had to stop a train to take them down to San Francisco.

LaVOY:  Excuse me, just a minute. Where were they married?

SCOFIELD: In San Francisco. In the Grand Hotel. Now, this is prior to the earthquake of 1906. At that time there was a passageway over Market Street between the Palace Hotel and the Grand Hotel and they were married in the Grand Hotel which is no longer there nor the overhead passage. I suppose that's why we always stayed at the Palace when we visited. Then Dad and my mother honeymooned at Hotel Del Coronado, and I have pictures taken of them at their honeymoon.

LaVOY:  Then did they return to Fallon?

SCOFIELD: They returned to Virginia City, Nevada, and stayed at the Arlington which was like an inn, I'm told. It's no longer there and my sister was born there November 29, 1904, and she was named for the two grandmothers, Mary and Martha.

LaVOY:  So her name was Mary…

SCOFIELD: Mary Martha.

LaVOY:  Douglass. And tell me more now. They stayed in Virginia City and then when did they come to Fallon?

SCOFIELD: Ten days after Mary was born they moved into the house Dad had been building which is in Fallon.

LaVOY:  And where is that?

SCOFIELD: On the corner of Williams and Carson.

LaVOY:  10 South Carson. is that what it is?


LaVOY:  That's the one that's referred to now as the big yellow house?

SCOFIELD: Yes. Of course, it was white and trimmed with green as I remember it.

LaVOY:  How many rooms were in the home, do you recall at all?

SCOFIELD: No, I don't, but my brother was born in that house on March 4, 1909.

LaVOY:  And what was his name?

SCOFIELD: He was named for my father so he was Robert Lee Douglass, Junior.

LaVOY: How long did they stay in the house?

SCOFIELD: My mother's brother, Clarence, who worked for my father in his bank, died of typhoid and my mother was very superstitious, and she refused to stay in the house. They moved out to the ranch house which we always called the Lower Ranch once the Island Ranch was built. I don't believe the house is still standing.

LaVOY: Was that what is now the Dodge Ranch?


LaVOY: Tell me, your father, what business was he in in Fallon at this point in time?

SCOFIELD: He owned the bank, and he always had run the ranches for his Uncle Joe so he knew ranching as well as banking, and he always had interest in mines as well.

LaVOY: Who were some of his friends in Fallon at that point in time?

SCOFIELD: His closest friend, like a buddy, was Art Keddie, and Art Keddie would ride with Dad when Dad raced Stutz Bearcats.

LaVOY: Oh! Where did he do this?

SCOFIELD: At the Reno Jockey Club and different places. Once in awhile in Elko, Nevada. I don't know all of the places, but he won the big cup in 1914 in Reno.

LaVOY: Now, you mentioned Mr. Keddie. I believe he was killed in a plane crash in Elko. Is that correct?

SCOFIELD: That's right. Dad and Art Keddie took flying lessons. After the war, someone in Reno gave flying lessons in the old Jenny planes, and Art was the first to solo. He came down in flames and some of my relatives, the Russells, saw the plane come down, and Art was killed instantly. Dad never took flying lessons again. He never would go near a plane until my brother was extremely ill and Dad then would fly to San Francisco where he was in the hospital.

LaVOY:  Besides Mr. Keddie, who were some of his other close friends?

SCOFIELD: The Maupins. Dad knew the Maupins back in Lousiana, Missouri, and I have a photograph of my father on a bicycle and the elderly Mr. Maupin standing beside him. So Dad started racing bicycles in Missouri and then raced Stutz Bearcats here.

LaVOY:  Moved from bicycles to automobiles.

SCOFIELD: Yes, and that's why the Maupin family came to Fallon. Mrs. Maupin was very friendly with my mother, and I have a postcard that my mother sent when I was born. I was born in Oakland due to my mother's ill health.

LaVOY:  All right, and then I understand that your father was also in business with Joe Jarvis.

SCOFIELD: That's right. That was a butcher shop, and I believe he was in business with Joe Jarvis also out in Fairview.

LaVOY:  The pictures that you showed me of the bank had the butcher shop on one side and the bank on the other.

SCOFIELD: Yes, isn't that interesting!

LaVOY:  That's very unusual.

SCOFIELD: (laughing) That could only happen in a small town, I think.

LaVOY:  Who were some of his employees in the bank?

SCOFIELD: Ernie Blair managed the bank and very, very friendly with his wife Minnie Blair, and we always admired how she raised these wonderful turkeys, and in later years they'd even be listed as the Fallon, Nevada turkeys on the big hotel menus in San Francisco.

LaVOY:  Oh, really! I didn't realize that!

SCOFIELD: Yes, and then their daughter, Helen [Blair Millward], and I were very good friends, and Helen used to come out to the ranch and stay with me. Also, Charles Hoover, who had the Barrel House, was a close friend and his daughter, Josephine, was my closest friend from age eight. We met at a circus one day in Fallon and became very, very best friends all of our lives.

LaVOY:  Where was the circus held in Fallon?

SCOFIELD: That circus was out on the edge of town of Williams Avenue as you would approach Fallon, and it was very exciting for us.

LaVOY:  How old were you at this time?

SCOFIELD: I was eight.

LaVOY:  And what impressed you most about the circus?

SCOFIELD: I think the trapeze artists. I always admired trapeze performers. I, myself, scared to death, but (laughing) I always liked them, and I loved the clowns. I liked everything about the circus.

LaVOY:  Well, that is wonderful. You had moved out to the Island Ranch?


LaVOY:  Actually, the Dodge Ranch is what it is now called.

SCOFIELD: No, when I was eight we lived here in the Island Ranch. This house.

LaVOY: All right, now, let's regress just a moment. Then when were you born?

SCOFIELD: I was born August 17, 1911, in Oakland, California, at my grandmother's home which was a beautiful Victorian, covered with ivy, and the address I still remember: 1537 Third Avenue, and it was near Lake Merritt. Then, I immediately came back to Fallon, and that would have been at what is now called the Dodge Ranch.

LaVOY: Why were you born in Oakland and your brother and sister were born in Fallon?

SCOFIELD: My mother was quite ill and so Grandfather had passed away and Grandmother always had help. Course my mother always had help. In fact, we always did.

LaVOY: You're referring to your Grandmother Ernst?

SCOFIELD: That's right, and so Dad took her to Oakland, and I was born in Grandmother's home. I was always so proud of the big brass bed where I had been born, and I used to love to go back to sleep in the very bed I was born in. I don't why but I was very impressed about that. (laughing)

LaVOY:  Well, I think I would be, too.

SCOFIELD: So, then my mother came back and she developed blood poisoning, and Dad, again, took the whole family down to Oakland. My sister, Mary, said she had never seen such a Christmas as Dad had knowing that my mother probably would not survive. That's when Dad even went to Capwell's Store and bought a bisque doll that wore size four dresses as a display doll for Mary Martha, and the doll was dressed in everything from underwear with little corsets and the whole thing and, of course, I don't remember any of that. And then my mother died in the Peralto Hospital, and Dad brought us back and we were at the, which we call Lower Ranch, but it's now known as Dodge Ranch.

LaVOY: Excuse me just a minute. She passed away in Oakland.


LaVOY: What's the date, do you recall?

SCOFIELD: It's 1913.

LaVOY: With her being so ill, how did she get down to Oakland?

SCOFIELD: By train.

LaVOY: Had your father gotten the train himself?

SCOFIELD: Yes, it was a private train, and they sidetracked the train.

LaVOY: Excuse me, 'they' is whom?

SCOFIELD: Southern Pacific. And so, in a later date, there was a lawsuit.

LaVOY:  Now, excuse me just a minute. Your father got the train and you and your brother and sister and mother and father went by private train to Oakland?

SCOFIELD: I believe so. I can't verify that.

LaVOY: And the train was sidetracked for what reason?

SCOFIELD: I don't know why it was sidetracked, but then my father with Ernie Maupin, Senior drove his Stutz Bearcat through--they were caught in a blizzard at Donner and Dad knew--it's forty miles of snowshed--and Dad knew the timetables, and he had a railroad watch and so they drove through the snowsheds in the Stutz Bearcat, and a train came off schedule and went up the cow catcher. Dad told Ernie Maupin to hang on, but Ernie jumped, and he was in the hospital for several months and he had really minor injuries. Dad held on and he was all right. So in the lawsuit that followed Dad sued them for sidetracking my mother's train.

LaVOY:  He felt that if she had got to the doctor sooner perhaps she could have been saved.

SCOFIELD: Yes, that's right. And so that is why from that lawsuit all tunnels have a sign above the entrance that no other vehicles may enter. That was a test case.

LaVOY:  I'm just a bit confused now. They sidetracked the train for some reason that you don't know.

SCOFIELD: That's true.

LaVOY:  Then they got down to Oakland and your mother passed away after Christmas.


LaVOY:  Then you returned back home to what is now the Dodge Ranch, and at what point in time did your father and Ernie Maupin go through the tunnels?

SCOFIELD: I believe it was within a three-year period, but I cannot verify that. [End of tape 1 side A] The lawsuit followed and my dad was sued by Southern Pacific Railroad for going through the tunnel. Well, Dad did that, of course, because he was caught in a blizzard, and there was no other way. So then Dad sued them for sidetracking my mother's train because he always believed if the train could have gone through, my mother's life would have been saved.

LaVOY:  That's very tragic.


LaVOY:  Now, you came home as a tiny baby.

SCOFIELD: Oh, yes.

LaVOY:  Who cared for you then?

SCOFIELD: One nurse was Daisy Allen of the Allen family. A lovely person. In later years I visited her in Reno. She had the problem of my brother wouldn't let me sleep. It just seems that my mother went to sleep and didn't wake up and my brother was always very fond of me as I was of him, so he would wake me up and that caused lots of problems. So my mother's sister, Daisy Ernst Russell, asked to take me to Deeth, Nevada, where her husband, Jim, ran seven ranches for Bill [William] Moffit called Union Land and Cattle Company. And so there I grew up as the baby of the Russell family, and then every summer I was down with Dad and Mary and Bob, and I was the baby of this family. So I guess I wasn't very bright because I didn't think that was unusual. No one else ever did that, but it just seemed that that's the way things were. We used to get into lots of mischief on that Lower Ranch, but I believe that my sister, Mary, thought it up, told my brother to do it, which he did, and then they blamed me because no one could spank the baby. And I didn't do anything but just sit there and listen to everything and I remember once Mary told Bob to hit some man with a plank because he was asleep on the steps and he ought to be out there working.            (laughing)

LaVOY: And you got the blame?

SCOFIELD: Yes! and they said I did it. I'm sure I couldn't even have lifted the plank, (laughing) but no one can spank the baby. So, we had a great time. My sister.

LaVOY: Now tell me, when did you move down from Elko permanently?

SCOFIELD: Before my eighth birthday. I was seven. We were visiting Grandmother. Course I spent every summer here and while the house was being built, but we still slept down at the which I'll always call Lower Ranch. We had marvelous time with the house being built. We would take some of the bricks and make ovens right out here by the porte cochere and in the ovens we would bake potatoes, and then we'd run to the bunkhouse to get butter and whatever else we wanted to put on the potatoes, and we thought they were the best in the world 'cause we'd baked them.

LaVOY: Now tell me about the building of this lovely home.

SCOFIELD: It's built of hollow tile and that means, of course, that it's--I've forgotten the exact dimensions, but they're good-sized tiles, and Dad was ridiculed because he had cables put through the hollow tiles to earthquake proof the house. Of course there'd never been an earthquake in this area, but then years later when an earthquake did come there were only hairline cracks.

LaVOY:  He thought ahead a great deal. Who built the home? Do you have any idea?

SCOFIELD: Lots of the help came from San Francisco [California].

LaVOY:  And who designed it?

SCOFIELD: An architect in Reno and I've been struggling to remember his name. He was a very well-known architect. [Loud plane noises]

LaVOY:  I see that Jerry Frey is going to give us [Loud plane noises] a lot of competition! He’s obviously spraying fields for his cousin Charlie. So we will do the best we can-

SCOFIELD: Oh! That’s fun to know!

LaVOY: Interrupting his flights would not be very popular on our part. But A designer and architect from San Francisco designed the house,

SCOFIELD: No, from Reno. An architect in Reno, and Dad was very pleased. He always had very strong ideas on what he wanted, and they always said if Dad built anything no one could do anything. It would always stand. But Charlie and Debbie [Frey] have done wonders with the house and also Charlie's father and his wife, Judy, had remodeled earlier. I am just thrilled with it.

LaVOY:  This lovely sun porch that we are sitting on, was this always glassed in or was this screened when you were here?

SCOFIELD: This was screened and only half the size, and the other half that was open is over what we called the summer garage that only held one car. We always had some Fords, pickup trucks and Ford coupes, something like that. The subterranean basement held three big cars that Dad always had. No one drove those cars except Dad.

LaVOY:  What type were they?

SCOFIELD: Leland-built Lincoln, Packard Straight Eight, Stutz Bearcat, but there were always three, and that's all it would hold, actually.       We spent one winter--Dad bought a house in California, San Mateo, and my brother came home with a golf ball and golf midiron and we had sunk a tin can in the lawn of the home in San Mateo and we were trying to putt. So Dad came home, and he had always ridiculed golfers in their caps and their knickers and their argyle socks, and he immediately took the golf club from Bob and started putting. Two days later Dad came home in knickers and argyle socks and caps and sweaters and golf clubs and he said, "Taking lessons from a young fellow named Bobby Jones." So, from then on, we all played golf. On this open spot Dad had, so that he could keep his golf swing, he had a ball that, was on a wire and when he hit that it spun around and the dial on the top indicated how many yards he had hit so he could keep his golf game up in inclement weather.

LaVOY:  My goodness! Where was that?

SCOFIELD: Right on this part of this porch. It was just open, see, so then that was out year round, and then Dad put in a golf course for us which is over in that area.

LaVOY:  The north side of the house.

SCOFIELD: The north side, and I have forgotten whether it was three sand greens or five but after dinner that's what we did and we all had our golf clubs the right height for each one of us.

LaVOY:  That's marvelous!

SCOFIELD: So we had a wonderful time.

LaVOY:  Who did he have as, I'll say, superintendent of these ranches at that point in time, or did he run them himself?

SCOFIELD: Dad ran the ranches himself  He never could get anyone to irrigate for him, and he slept on that porch across over there. See the porch?

LaVOY:  The south porch?

SCOFIELD: South porch it would be.

LaVOY:  The southeast porch.

SCOFIELD: Yes, southeast, and from there with his binoculars he could watch the irrigation go on and then he'd take one of the box Fords and with my dog which was an Australian Shepherd . . .

LaVOY:  What name?

SCOFIELD: I named him Toby. We spent that winter in San Mateo. The men couldn't remember the dog's name and one of them said, "Well, just call him Jack." So he was Jack the rest of his life, and Dad said he was better than any three men he'd ever hired 'cause he could divide cattle. It was just instinctive, I believe, and he went everywhere with Dad.

LaVOY:  How many cattle did your father run at that point in time?

SCOFIELD: Oh, I was afraid you'd ask. I have no idea People have said, "Well, head of cattle, how many?" The price of this, of that.

LaVOY:  You were very young and it would be hard.

SCOFIELD: But I never was expected to do anything except learn to sew, embroidery, and paint China. Do ladylike things and ride my horse.

LaVOY: What was your horse's name?

SCOFIELD: I had a couple of horses, and it just depended really. Really, riding the horses was more transportation to the Island School. My brother and I rode. My sister at that time was in boarding school in California. So the two of us rode to the one-room schoolhouse, and it was right by the church my father had built for my mother in a grove of trees, and the horses didn't want to go to school. We had to urge them to go to school, and then we tied them up and they always had a bale of hay there the men would bring down for us. Then at recess we would take them to the canal, and sometimes they'd drink and sometimes they wouldn't, but we always . . . you wouldn't dream of not taking them to the canal at recess and again at lunch, and school was out at four o'clock, and then we'd ride home. The horses loved to head for the barn, and my brother urged them along. We had to make a right hand turn from the main road 'cause our ranch house is a mile from the main road. So we had to make that turn and then as we came hell bent for the barn and the river--it's different now--but we had a river and it wound around, and on one side was barb wire fence and my father had planted climbing roses so it was very beautiful. On the other side was the river,and I never knew which I was going to head into whether it'd be the roses and the barb wire fence or right into the river 'cause my brother would hit my horse's flank with his reins and we came hell bent for the barn, and I would never touch the horn. We both rode Western, of course. Once in awhile surcingle, but usually it was the Western saddle. Then we curried our horses down because that was part of it-always take good care of your horse. As we came by the bunkhouse- Our cook for many years was a Japanese man. He'd worked for my mother and through the years my father was a widower. Then my father had remarried. - he always had something for us right out of the oven 'cause he'd see us coming. Whether it was shoestring potatoes, and he could just make those so marvelously or whatever, it was why we went in. We could do no wrong. In his eyes we were just perfect.

LaVOY:  What was his name?

SCOFIELD: Kay Kimachi and he liked our cats, and when he let us have mama cat stay in the pantry in a great big crock-a tremendous one--to have her babies, we were so pleased. But our stepmother thought--she was Pennsylvania Dutch and my brother always likened her to the woman on the Dutch cleanser cans chasing dirt with that stick--so Fourth of July came along, and everyone went to Fallon. I mean, the cooks, the men, everyone went, but this particular time my stepmother said no, she wanted to stay home. So we all took off. When we came back, 'course we went to see how mama cat and the babies were. They weren't there. She had cleaned Kay's kitchen and Kay's pantry, and he was very put out and we were very put out, and we had a hard time finding where mama cat had taken her babies. So, eventually then, Kay wanted to go back to Japan. That was the year I was in fourth grade in San Mateo, and he came to the front door. He'd never come to the front door. Ever. He was dressed in a high black silk hat, a black suit--of course, most Japanese gentlemen do. Arms loaded with gifts he had bought in San Francisco. He'd come down, found out how to get to San Mateo and he called on us, and that's the last we ever saw of Kay.

LaVOY:  What a wonderful story! Now, you mentioned that your father remarried. What year did he remarry?


LaVOY:  And what was the lady's name?

SCOFIELD: Mantee. She was named for someone in the family named Samantha back in Illinois where she was from. Mantee Buckley and she had married. She was a young widow, and her husband's name was Thorpe. He, too, had been in Elko at one time, and he had died, and she came to Fallon with her sister and her husband and their young child by the name of Arlene Truevencill. That was in the Old River District.

LaVOY:  And your father met her and they were married where?

SCOFIELD: They were married in San Francisco, and I was in Deeth at the time. But you see my father had many lady friends, and I had many dolls, and my dolls were all bisque head dolls which my daughter has now, and I named them after these different ladies who just always seemed to adore me. So my very favorite one I even had to double up on names. That was Peggy Pearl, and Peggy had been a nurse at the hospital when Dad had some surgery.

LaVOY:  Which hospital?

SCOFIELD: Again, that was Peralto Hospital, Oakland. I never thought that was odd at all, but everybody seemed to be very amused by it. My dolls had these different names. (laughing)

LaVOY:  I think that's wonderful.

SCOFIELD: So I had a very nice childhood.

LaVOY:  How long did you attend the Island School?

SCOFIELD: I was there third grade and fifth grade because fourth grade I was in San Mateo, and then they consolidated the school districts and we were bused to Oats Park Grammar School.

LaVOY:  Tell me what you remember about Oats Park Grammar School.

SCOFIELD: It was so different from the Island Ranch or from the year I had been in the San Mateo school, but I met so many wonderful people. Of course, my friend, Josephine Hoover, attended, and I knew her very well. We were in the same class and I used to stay in town with the Hoovers, and Josephine used to come and spend a lot of time with me out at the ranch. I enjoyed it. I can't say I enjoyed it more than out at the Island.

LaVOY:  Who was your teacher at the Island School?

SCOFIELD: We had a new teacher every year because no teacher ever wanted to return. My brother and Donald Renfro were the eldest. Just after we'd had a big sandstorm, why Bob would say, "Now, we always have our classes outdoors because this is Indian country and it's such a lovely day. We always have out classes out and then we hunt for arrowheads." And the teacher would always say, "That's a lovely idea! I'll bring the books and the bell," and she'd dismiss us and we'd grab our lunches from the cloakroom. That was the end. We never had any classes. We just hunted arrowheads. (laughing)

LaVOY:  Did you find any?

SCOFIELD: Oh, yes. We would find arrowheads. The main thing was we had to figure out what time it was so that we rode home at four o'clock so we would get to the ranch at the proper time. So we'd make sundials. I'm sure that was educational. (laughing) But we had no trouble in going from one school to another.

LaVOY:  Did the teachers not stay at the school because your father found out about the looking for arrowheads?

SCOFIELD: Oh, no. I don't think Dad ever knew, or if he did, why he never said anything. We had one teacher that gave us each a piece of paper. She said, "Your homework is put your name at the top of the page and write exactly what you think of me." So, that night Dad said, "What's your homework?" and we told him. He said, "What do you think of the teacher?" We said, "Nothing. Nothing." Dad said, "That's exactly right. Put your name at the top and just don't write anything at all." So we handed in a blank paper. Nothing was ever said. Then, one day, the new teacher, Mrs. Reed, had an appointment with my father, and my father's office was that porch that's glassed in there by the front of the house, the south part of the house, and that's where he had his big desk and telephone. Everything was right there. So Mrs. Reed came and she went in, and Dad closed the door, which you see in the living room there had been French doors, and Dad had those removed, and a bookcase. Bob and I had discovered that if you wanted to hear what was going on in the office all you had to do was sit there by the bookcase. You could hear every word and Mrs. Reed said, "Mr. Douglass, I understand that you own the church," and Dad said he did.

LaVOY:  Now, excuse me. Which church is this?

SCOFIELD: By the Island Ranch. It was a charming . . . well, there was a little entryway and then the church with a center aisle and then a raised area where we had our Christmas plays or graduation or whatever, and every Sunday Dad had a protestant minister come in the old days. Now this was built in my mother's name and she was Episcopalian, but the people around were various protestant denominations. He would have a different minister come, and then as people had their own transportation to Fallon, of course, they went to their own churches, so it was not used as the church. It had a nice little organ in it, and it was a pretty little church and the belfry, of course. So she said, "I prefer not to live with a family.            I would like to live in the church," and she said, "Mr. Douglass, I will never put my suitcase on the altar." And Dad went, "Gr-r-rumph." We knew that Dad was almost ready to burst out laughing. He said, "Mrs. Reed, if you  promise you will never put your suitcase on the altar you may live in the church."

LaVOY:  Oh, how wonderful!

SCOFIELD: So, he helped her with providing things so she could live there. So my brother named her the Church Mouse. Well, one day she picked up a note about the Church Mouse, and she gave (sigh) a roomful of us a lecture. There were no mice in the church and this is the house of God and she went on and on about it. Well, she never realized that she was the Church Mouse. (laughing) So we had a variety of teachers.

LaVOY:  Tell me the names of some of the students at that school.

SCOFIELD: The three Renfros: Donald, Della and I were in the same class, and then Eleanor Renfro about two years below us and then, I believe the Baumann children. At one time in the earlier part, the Connor family lived there. Mr. Connor played the organ at the church, and there was a boy named Anderson before I attended that class, and my cousin, Ruth Douglass, lived with us and taught. I was not there, but Mary and Bob were attending at that time and this Anderson boy put a dead snake in Ruth's desk, and when she opened it (and she's one of the family and has red hair and a good temper to go with it) she knew who would have done such a thing, so she picked up the dead snake, hung it around his neck and made him wear it all day.

LaVOY:  Oh, my goodness! (laughing)

SCOFIELD: So, she didn't have any more trouble with any of the children.

LaVOY:  Well, I imagine not. I'm amazed that she would even pick it up and put it around his neck.

SCOFIELD: Well, I wouldn't. (laughing)

LaVOY:  I wouldn't either. (laughing)

SCOFIELD: But Ruth did. (laughing)

LaVOY:  How long did you attend the Oats Park School?

SCOFIELD: Sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Upon my graduation they called my name, Eleanor Marian Douglass. My father was very surprised, but, you see, he had given me only a middle initial of M because my mother with the name of Maria her brothers and sisters used to tease her with some ugly sort of thing about Maria, Maria, and so Dad said that I would only have the middle initial M, but Josephine Hoover and I were the only two without middle names. She chose Dorothy, but my father's father's name was Marion, so I took Marion. But nothing was ever said about it, but I looked at Dad while my name was being called out, and he looked very surprised. (laughing)

LaVOY:  Tell me about the graduation. Who were some of the people that graduated with you?

SCOFIELD: Josephine Hoover was the one that made the graduation speech because she was the only one in the class who had started in first grade at, I believe, it was called West End School and then to Oats Park and so she was the one that gave it, and she did it very well. Melba Rogers and she was a good friend of mine and she worked in the bank in later years in Fallon. Della Renfro and Mary Fallon. They were always the two best students in our class. They were each just a little older than we were, but I don't think that had anything to do [with it]. They were just wonderful students, and Bud Powell, Andy Danielson. Isn’t that funny, I haven't thought of names for so long. It's kind of fun! Blanche Lucas. We had quite a schoolroom, so there are many, many more. But right at the moment it’s…

LaVOY:  Who was the principal at the school, do you recall?

SCOFIELD: Mr. Beatty. Extremely strict and we didn't really like him. We thought he was mean to the boys.

LaVOY:  Well, with all the snake episodes and . .

SCOFIELD: Oh, that was the Island Ranch. (laughing)

LaVOY:  I know, but that probably carried over into the town school, too.

SCOFIELD: And then Laura Mills was principal, and when my husband, Paul Scofield, and I attended church in Fallon one time I saw her and introduced myself, and she knew me immediately which surprised me, I'd been away so many years. Then she said the most interesting thing to me. She turned to my husband and she said, "She's also known as Weachie." Now this is my Indian name. It's a Shoshone name meaning either baby or baby girl. My mother called me that when I was born, and the name stayed with me.

LaVOY:  How is that spelled?

SCOFIELD: Well, they spell it W-e-a-c-h-i-e. The word is Wechechi in Shoshone. You see my mother and her brothers and sisters travelling around with Grandfather doing county lines played with Indian children, and the Indians didn't want to learn English and so they learned Shoshone. We all grew up with knowing some Shoshone words. All I can remember is counting like [counts in Shoshone] so on and so on and a few words like queinatche [spelling approximate] for canary and neguanetchi [spelling approximate], a few words like that. In my early years I could understand quite a bit. A story about that was that I was never called Eleanor, and in Deeth living with the Russell family I was always Weachie, so they just assumed my last name was Russell. Mrs. Smiley gave a birthday party for her daughter, Geraldine. I was in first and second grade in Deeth. That was a two-room school house. We were all on our very good behavior, and Mrs. Smiley asked me if I would have some more cake or ice cream. She said, "Eleanor, would you have some?" and I said, "No, thank you." Mickey McDermott who hung around the saloon and used bad words, he said, "Her name's not Eleanor." And Mrs. Smiley said, "Her name is Eleanor Douglass." [End of tape 1] And Mickey McDermott said, "By God! that looks like Weachie Russell to me," and that story has followed me all of my life. Years later I've been in town and somebody will see me and they say, "By God! that looks like Weachie Russell." (laughing) Last night I visited Dorothy Ernst Cann, and immediately I'm Weachie again. My cousin, Charles Russell, who was Governor [of Nevada] for eight years always called me Weachie. Always wrote to me, Weachie, and I had a wonderful time in Deeth. Charlie was the kind that called on all the little old ladies in Deeth and they made homemade soap and he would come home with it and he would sew doll clothes with me. One day on his birthday his friends at Deeth came over to do something special for him and they found that he was making doll clothes with me. Didn't bother Charlie one iota, and he was just always wonderful.

LaVOY:  He was a wonderful governor, too.

SCOFIELD: Yes. Now, years and years later, Charlie and Alan Bible came to Los Angeles and so we took Charlie out for dinner and my daughter, Tammy. Charlie said to Tammy, "Your grandfather was the most exciting man I ever knew. Even better than Tom Mix!"

LaVOY:  Well, that's something.

SCOFIELD: And when I put Tammy to bed that night, she said, "Mother, who was Tom Mix?" because you see she was brought up Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and all of those heroes. (laughing)

LaVOY:  This Russell family that you stayed with, tell me once again how you are related to them.

SCOFIELD: My mother and Daisy Ernst Russell were sisters and they were very close. Aunt Daisy was older than my mother, and she talked about how my mother'd come in and say, "Oh, I need a new party dress," and she'd say, "Next thing I knew I was making it." (laughing) They had a very close relationship.

LaVOY:  Oh, it's wonderful. Then your mother's sister actually raised you as a small child.

SCOFIELD: Yes, for half of the school year. We had deep snow in Deeth and sometimes they had to dig trenches to the school house, to the general store, and her first born, Jim, whom we always called Fat Jim because he was very large like Grandfather Ernst, would carry me on his shoulders, and I could look over the snow then and see where we were going. He was wonderful to me and, as I said, Charlie was, and their daughter Ellen, always called Peaches, and Aunt Daisy said she could not have done it if we had not played well together. Course again, I was the baby of that family.

LaVOY:  You mentioned that you took sleigh rides up in Deeth.

SCOFIELD: In Starr Valley, and those were wonderful with Uncle Jim singing at the top of his lungs, and he was lots of fun, and he was really a cattle man. So then he'd take us sometimes out to the various ranches that he ran for Bill Moffit, and when Bill Moffit would come--we adored him. Course he had a big home in Reno and he was a good friend of my father's as well, and he would come to Deeth and he'd always come with lots of packages and presents, and I'd sit on his lap. But when we knew he was to arrive, we'd be out there waiting for him at the train and we would fold newspapers to make newspaper hats. Then we'd have laths made into like swords, and it wasn't until later years that I heard that this was a southern marching song. But what we did was, I was course the tail end. The baby of the family's always the last, you know, the pig tail. So when the train would stop we'd see him; we would start right in line with Jim, Charlie, Peaches, and then myself and we would chant, "Hay foot, straw foot. Mr. Moffit. Belly full of beans. Belly full of beans." And I'm told that's an old southern marching [song], but we put in "Mr. Moffit" you see.

LaVOY:  And he loved it, I'm sure.

SCOFIELD: Oh, yes, he did. He was a wonderful person. And then I'm told that he wanted to adopt me. He had been married two or three times, no children, but, of course, my father wouldn't. I didn't know that until I was grown.

LaVOY:  Well, that's an honor.

SCOFIELD: (laughing) Charlie, one time sitting on Bill Moffit's lap--Bill Moffit always carried a razor in his pocket-so no one was paying attention to Charlie but he took the razor out, playing with it, and he cut his tongue with it.

LaVOY:  Oh!

SCOFIELD: And that was serious. In Deeth we had no doctors. Elko was the closest. But that healed. That was all right, so we had a wonderful time there.

LaVOY:  I imagine if you'd gone to Elko it would have been Dr. [A. J.] Hood, probably

SCOFIELD: Yes, I believe so.

LaVOY:  Well, that just sounds like a marvelous, marvelous life. I want to just check one more thing with you. Back here you've graduated from eighth grade and you lived in the big yellow house for just such…

SCOFIELD: No, I never lived . .

LaVOY:  Your brother and sister did for a short time.


LaVOY:  You mentioned something about the garage next to the big yellow house.

SCOFIELD: Oh, yes! That was really quite something. Dad had a turntable put in so he'd drive his car onto the turntable and then manually turn the car around.

LaVOY:  That is amazing. Do you have any idea who installed the turntable?

SCOFIELD: No, but I'm sure it was Dad's idea 'cause he'd get an idea he would see it through.

LaVOY:  And the garage was to the south of the big yellow house?

SCOFIELD: To the side, yes. Williams Avenue on the other side, and it was there for many, many years. I don't know when it was removed. But my mother was superstitious, and that's why we did not stay and Dr. Nichols bought the house.

LaVOY:  And used it as a hospital?

SCOFIELD: No, he used it as living quarters and then in the part where the cupola is on the first floor, that's where he did his eye examinations. When I was in eighth grade I went and I had a small eye problem, granulated eyelids.

LaVOY:  Was he was an optometrist?

SCOFIELD: I would say yes, but, again, I can't be sure about that.

LaVOY:  You have graduated from eighth grade and then what did you do?

SCOFIELD: Then I went to Fallon High School in my first year and then I went to College of Notre Dame to the high school division.

LaVOY:  Is that Notre Dame de Namur?

SCOFIELD: No, it's Notre Dame in Belmont, California.

LaVOY:  Is that the same one, do you know, that Cousie Nelson went to?

SCOFIELD: What is her maiden name? Well, there's one that became a nun that attended there later. Maudie Dunbar, Dr. Dunbar's daughter, went to the college, but I was in the high school.

LaVOY:  Tell me, getting back to the Fallon High School, who was the principal of that high school?

SCOFIELD: McCracken. Mr. George McCracken.

LaVOY: Well, tell me your recollections of him.

SCOFIELD: Well, he was extremely strict, and I think that he was probably a very good principal. He did suspend anybody he caught chewing gum for three days which seems extreme. (laughing). Today I don't think that anybody could enforce that, but he did. I needed some extra help one time in algebra and geometry although those were my better subjects. He was very, very nice, and I think it was to enter Notre Dame and something was incomplete and he couldn't have been nicer.

LaVOY: What were some of the teachers' names that you had that you recall in that first year of high school?

SCOFIELD: "Daddy" Scott was the coach there. Miss Allen taught Spanish. I'm sorry I'm just not coming up with the names. I suppose ten minutes from now I'll remember them. Olive Colpitts taught home ec. Helen Forest was an excellent teacher. She came from Reno, and she had, I think, tremendous ability, and she came and stayed one night at the ranch with me. And I had always taken sewing and embroidery, and my stepmother sewed beautifully and my sister did, too. In fact, growing up, Dad would let us order anything we wanted, so we would order shiny satin and maribou and fur, you name it, from Sears, Roebuck, and then we would make costumes. One time down at the Lower Ranch, I remember, we paraded out to show all the workmen. The Lower Ranch required many workmen. This ranch, the Island Ranch, was mechanized and very few workers. Only feeders for the cattle and a chore man and that was about it. But down there we had a lot of men, so we paraded out to show the costumes, but they were shingling the barn and that looked like much more fun, so we climbed up and in our fancy costumes with maribou and all, why we helped shingle the barn. When Dad came home, he thought that was pretty hilarious. Let’s see, where were we?

LaVOY: We were just talking about the teachers and high school.

SCOFIELD: High school teachers.

LaVOY: And friends that you had.

SCOFIELD: Let’s see… Daddy Scott was the coach there. That's what we always called him. I don't remember his first name. He coached the basketball. My cousins, Daisy and Dorothy Ernst, were both quite stars on the basketball team. It’s funny, I keep thinking “English, who was it?” But I cannot.

LaVOY: Did Helen Miliward attend school at that time?

SCOFIELD: Yes, Helen was in my brother's class. She was Helen Blair, of course, in those days. Louisa Frazzini I had met in sixth grade and we became, and have today, been very, very close friends.       I'm in touch with her all of the time. She's not in Fallon right now. She's house hunting in Reno and had to go to Portola [California], so I will not see her on this trip. Evelyn Wallace was in my class.

LaVOY:  I think you're doing very well remembering those names. Did you have parties in the eighth grade and your freshmen year of high school?

SCOFIELD: Not especially parties. My father was very strict. My stepmother had a ladies' party, then I had following because the fresh flowers always came from Reno and all, why then I would have a party for the girls, play games. Mostly in this room right here.

LaVOY:  In the sun porch.

SCOFIELD: Yes. When I was eight I had an eighth birthday party and that was, I guess, more to see my cousins again and the neighbor ones that I'd be going to school with.

LaVOY:  Now we have you through your first year of high school. Tell me, what do you remember about the town of Fallon at that point in time?

SCOFIELD: Well, of course, we never, as I said, walked on the wrong side of the street. Maine Street is very, very wide. I belonged to the Girl Reserves and after their meetings why we would go out and go skinny dipping at the rapids.

LaVOY:  Where were the rapids?

SCOFIELD: It'd be toward Reno somewhere. I would not remember now. It was not dangerous place at all, and then the DeMolays would try to find us 'cause we'd go skinny dipping, but they never did. At least when I was there, thank goodness.           (laughing) And we had parties at high school, and then the juniors always gave parties for the seniors but the whole school attended. So I've always thought that Fallon was a specially a pretty town entering on Williams Avenue where the trees touched overhead from one side to the other, and I miss that.

LaVOY:  I think everyone that grew up in Fallon misses that.

SCOFIELD: Yes. Now the Williams family and Dad were always very close friends. Ada Williams Keddie and Cora Williams Hursh always close friends. Course we lived out on the ranch. That was different than the ones who lived in town, but I would stay in town, oh, such as Halloween night with Josephine Hoover, and we'd make tic tacs, but we would never run them on anybody's window if there was a baby in the house. (laughing)

LaVOY:  You mentioned that no one walked on the west side of Maine Street. Am I incorrect in thinking that the Barrel House was the only club that was on the east side of Maine Street?

SCOFIELD: I don't know. It was perfectly all right to be down by Woodliff's store which was on the west side. I think that was about the dividing line was that store which was perfectly respectable.

LaVOY: I had thought Harold Rogers had mentioned something about the Barrel House being the only club that was on the east side, but I may be mistaken. I just wondered if-

SCOFIELD: No, I think you may be right. I think that may be correct. But I think someone who stayed in Fallon the whole time would be an authority, rather than myself.

LaVOY:  How did you happen to leave Fallon High School and go down to Notre Dame?

SCOFIELD: My sister had gone to boarding school, and Dad felt that California schools had more fringes which they did. I took painting; I took embroidery; I took many extra curricula ones, and it was very strict which Dad reared us in that way. So as children we had perfect freedom. Somebody'd come to the ranch and say, "Well, where are the children?" Dad'd say, "They've not missed a meal yet. You'll see them when the bell rings." And that was it. We could roam anywhere, ride anywhere, but as we grew older he became very strict with us, and I think that he felt that the schools were very good here, but they didn't have the fringe benefits, the extra things, so he sent us all to private schools. My brother went to Wentworth Military Academy, and my sister was graduated from Castelleja and I from Notre Dame in Belmont. Somebody said to Dad once, he said, "Well, Bob, you'd save money if you'd put your children in the same school if you're going to send them away. 'Specially the girls." And Dad said, "No school should have more than one of them at a time."

LaVOY:  Wonderful philosophy. Wonderful philosophy. (laughing)

SCOFIELD: Yes! (laughing)

LaVOY: When did you graduate from Notre Dame?

SCOFIELD: June of 1929.                I didn't have any special school so I went to San Francisco State, and then I went to College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland where my sister had attended and Fine Arts in San Francisco. Then I met my first husband on board ship, and I eloped, but I continued in my school work after marriage.

LaVOY:  Now, aboard ship. Explain that, please.

SCOFIELD: My roommate wanted to go to Los Angeles over Easter.

LaVOY: And who was your roommate?

SCOFIELD: Rosemarie McKenna and she was from that area. Her father worked on Midway and her mother was deceased, so she had friends in southern California, so that sounded like a lovely idea. In those days they had ships, like passenger ships, that went from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The Harvard and the Yale and then the Alexander boats did, too. So this particular time it was the Harvard and it was very reasonable and it was very exciting and so we spent Easter vacation, and on the way back why this tall handsome man asked me to dance and introduced himself as Fred Kopp. I knew he was re-e-ally clever because no one would have such a name, and I eloped with him and became Mrs. Frederick Kopp three months later.

LaVOY: (laughing) Where was he from?

SCOFIELD: Santa Monica, California. He was a commercial artist and I was an art student, so we had a lot in common, and everyday I'd buy the paper to see his ad because he did theatre ads.

LaVOY: Oh! What was his full name?

SCOFIELD: Frederick Hoyt Kopp. Hoyt is his mother's maiden name, but never from Nevada.

LaVOY: You were in what? Your final year of school when you eloped with him?

SCOFIELD: No, I was a sophomore.

LaVOY: Oh, just a sophomore. Where were you married?

SCOFIELD:  We were married in a little town out of Oakland because they didn't publish the marriages, so we thought that was very important because I was really scared of what Dad'd say. But my sister liked my husband and then that coming Christmas I didn't want to come home, and so my 'sister wrote a very nice letter about him before-

LaVOY: To your father in Fallon?

SCOFIELD: Oh, yes. And so I came home from school--now, this is prior to Christmas--and there was my husband. He'd had a haircut and he was all dressed up, and I had gotten off the cable car and went to the little corner grocery store and bought a few things. I didn't know how to cook. Called my sister and asked her. She'd had to learn because we had no experience with cooking at all. So he said, "You're not cooking dinner. You're having dinner at the Palace Hotel tonight." I said, "The Palace?" He said, "Your father is in town." So, we went down to the Palace, and I saw Dad and introduced him, and all he said was, "Well, you're about as tall as my son was.- We went right in for dinner. In the Palace they always had fresh flowers on the tables, so I saw which way Dad was going to sit, so I sat opposite and slunk down in my chair so I could hide behind the flowers. My sister wasn't in the dog house for once, and so she had a lovely time and my husband got through it very well. Then Dad said, "We will go to my room," and I thought, "Oh, here it comes." So all he said was, "Well, Weach, do you want to continue college?" and I said, "Yes." He said, "All right then you'll have your check every month for as long as you're in college." So my husband kept me in college six years.

LaVOY:  (laughing)

SCOFIELD: Well, it was Depression days. (laughing)

LaVOY:  (laughing) I surmise your stepmother was not with your father at this particular dinner.

SCOFIELD: Oh, no, no. She had nothing really to do . . .    It was an arranged marriage, and I don't know this from my father, but I know it from many friends. She was a young widow, as I said, and she didn't drink, smoke, swear, chew, or any unladylike things, and she wanted to study her religion which was Christian Science which my father did not--well, I don't think approve is the correct word--but he didn't really go along with that, but I understand he settled some money on her and that she was to make a home for us. She was a very good housekeeper, and from that union when I was eleven my half-sister was born. Josephine.

LaVOY:  And Josephine

SCOFIELD: Josephine McCune Douglass. She's married to Stan Meikle and lives in Piedmont.

LaVOY:  Oh, I see. You mentioned you and your husband eloping, your father recovering from it nicely, and liking the young man. Did you have any children?

SCOFIELD: Yes, my first child, Gretchen, was born a few years after our marriage. In fact, I was so excited to have a baby and I made everything for the nursery, and then the bassinet was made by my husband's mother and two sisters. They were thrilled about the baby coming, and I'd picked out the name; if it would be a girl it would be Gretchen. I, unfortunately, had a doctor that should have called in a specialist and I should have had a Caesarean, but the baby died on June 6, 1936. I realized today is June 6.

LaVOY:  And then did you have any other children?

SCOFIELD: Yes, my son, Douglass, was born November 29, 1937, and my daughter, Tamsen Lee Kopp was born January 1, 1942. She was the first baby in Hollywood that year.

LaVOY:  Oh! Well, I noticed that your son and your daughter were born in Hollywood. Did you live there at that time?

SCOFIELD: Yes, they were born at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital.

LaVOY:  Why did you live in Hollywood? Just out of curiosity.

SCOFIELD: We lived in many areas in the Los Angeles area, and Hollywood was, in those days, quite nice. Very nice, and then when Tammy was five months old we had a terrible problem of buying a home, and so he put it through his Reno bank, the Security Bank, buying the house.

LaVOY:  Your father did?

SCOFIELD: Yes. And when Tammy was five months old, we moved into this house and it was war time. Things were skyrocketing. People would buy homes not even going through them. They would just buy it at any price just to get a home. So then Dad paid off the house entirely and everything had to be even steven and he gave AT&T stock equally for the amount of our home to Mantee, Mary Martha, and Joe. They all had their own homes. I was the only one without a house in my name, and it was a lovely home. My husband, by that time, was art director of Universal Studios, and we chose it because it would be walking distance but he never walked. (laughing) That was the reason we were in the Hollywood Hills.

LaVOY:  When did he become the art director of Universal Studios?

SCOFIELD: When Doug was about a year old. About 1938.

LaVOY:  Tell me what this involved.

SCOFIELD: He was in charge of all the art advertising for Universal Studios, and, of course, we went to all the previews and we went to the parties and we had to do a great deal of entertaining of people.

LaVOY:  Did you entertain any of the big stars at that time?

SCOFIELD: Gene Autry and some of those who were with Universal Studios. Then he went to Ruth, Roth and Ryan as art director when J. Arthur Rank came from England and bought Universal Studios and he chopped the heads off of all the departments including my husband's, and that was no disgrace whatsoever. At first, then, he just wanted to paint in oils, and I saw money going out and nothing coming in. A friend of ours who was west coast editor of Mademoiselle Magazine and her husband every time they'd come--by this time Tammy was growing up, a pre-schooler--Isabelle would say, "It is not fair that Tammy has clothes that other little girls can't have. Why don't you design in the wholesale market?" And I said, "Well, I can't. My husband's position, the whole thing. There's no way." So one day she said to me, "If you ever, ever consider designing, will you call me first?" So at this period with my husband just painting in oils in the backyard and all, why I phoned her and I said, "What do I do to prepare? And the second question is, would it ever be possible to work a half day?" And she said, "Yes." I said, "Well, what do I do?" She said, "You put Tammy's clothes in a suitcase and get to my office as fast as you can." Two hours later I was hired, and I worked in the Cooper building. I was absolutely delighted. I knew nothing. I'd never been inside of a- [End of tape 2 side A]

SCOFIELD: Inside of a plant or a factory, and the owner of this place was Armenian, and I learned later he had a very hot temper, but he told me that he would be leaving for New York in two days and I was to start-this was a Friday--on a Monday. So I went in on Monday morning and he said, "I have five thousand yards of red and white polka dot, five thousand yards of navy and white polka dot, and I want a reversible dress. Size four." I said, "Yes, Mr. Hanna." And he said, "Did you bring your blocks?" I'd never heard of blocks, so I said, "No, I didn't." He said, "I thought you would bring your blocks." I said, "Well, since you're leaving for New York, Mr. Hanna, is there anything wrong with your blocks?" He said, "No." So I said, "Well, then, why don't we use your blocks until you return?" So, he said, "Very well." His brother was head of pattern department, so I said, "I want the blocks and I want to hurry because I'm only working half day and I would like a basic pattern." He immediately brought it to me. Well, it was very easy to see block. I had no idea, but blocks are simply a basic pattern without the seam allowance so you design with that. So, that was easy. I had that all figured out within an hour, so I went right ahead and I just made a big circle skirt, very basic, and a puff sleeve that was easy with double fabric. He came back from New York and his daughter, Amelia, was size four and her picture was taken, and it made the cover, in color, on Juvenile Trends so I had a job and I enjoyed it. I worked very hard and then within three months I was offered a position with a large volume house, and those times I had heard the word Little and Martin. I had no idea. I didn't ever know who they were until I kept watching in the magazines and things that the trade papers--which I'd never seen before--and they were the top house in Los Angeles in children's wear. They were not satisfied with their designer and anyone that saw the things, they'd always say, "You belong at Little and Martin." Well, anyway, it ended up that they hired me, and I did some showroom work. I'd had an interview and this woman had asked me to fill in on showroom work for her. So I did, and I answered the phone, and they asked for a Mary Cheely and I said, "She is out. She will return. I will take the message." He said, "Well, I'm anxious to talk with her." And I worked under my maiden name. He said, "Who am I speaking to?" This time I knew it was Ernest R. Little, the head of Little and Martin, and I very quietly said, "Eleanor Douglass." And he laughed. He said, "Well, that's what I was calling her about, but if you're running her showroom I know that she will give you a top recommendation. How soon could you start with us?" So, I was under contract with them for several years and enjoyed it thoroughly. So, you see, people say, "Well, here you were 'quote' a top designer' and how did that happen coming from a little cow town called Fallon, Nevada?" But I think it came from liking to sew and we always had very nice clothes. Dad took us to San Francisco. All our clothes were bought in San Francisco, and I think it was just liking quality and the art school training.

LaVOY:  What were some of the clothes that you designed that you particularly recall?

SCOFIELD: I especially liked children's wear. Now, in San Francisco, I did women's suits and that's interesting, but I didn't like the firm I worked for.

LaVOY:  And what was that?

SCOFIELD: They were very volatile people, and when we'd go through what they called the line and the line model has on your design and the head of every department's there with their pad and their pencil and the owner's wife would say, "I think it should be shorter. I think that the coat part should come up." And the owner'd say, "Pull it down." And I sat there seeing my design going up, down, up, down, and I laughed. It looked so funny to me. And with that the owner stormed out of the room. Then his brother who was head of production went out, came back, and said, "We will go through the line tomorrow." So I thought, "I'm wasting my time." I just went up, got my things, went home to Palo Alto where I lived at that time. I was out in the garden working and the phone rang and the brother said, "What happened? Why did you go home?" I said, "Well, I didn't think anything was productive." So, he said, "Well, now, you promise you'll never leave again and we'll expect you in the morning." I said, "Well, I really feel that I don't belong in your place. I enjoy women's suits and all." So I stayed there a very short time and then eased myself out because I've never like confrontations.

LaVOY:  What company was that?

SCOFIELD: It was called Grant Avenue Fashions. They're still in business.

LaVOY:  And then?

SCOFIELD: And then from that I helped a woman with a ballet costume because I had done some ballet costumes and I knew the principle and the French cut which is below the waistline where you have all the net coming from, that’s the French cut. I knew a few things, so I advised her on the costume and ended up by having her daughter coming to my home and I helped them with it. That night I thought, "There must be lots of little girls that need tutus and their mothers won't have them in the carnival-looking clothes that are cheap and glitzy, so I started the company of doing ballet costumes there not intending it to be very big.

LaVOY:  This was your own company?


LaVOY:  And what did you call it?

SCOFIELD: Eleanor Douglass Designs because I worked under the name, Eleanor Douglass. I own the name, and so with designs and then on anything for the dance studios I called it Danceable Costumes. I own the name. So I had all the dance ones. I had a large garage and I set my small, little plant up there, and my neighbors were all excited about it and they said, "We won't complain until we see fifty little Oriental girls coming in every morning and leaving every night."  They were all supportive so I had a very good time doing the costumes. Then my children were out of school, and I wanted to sell my home, which I did, and do some traveling.

LaVOY:  Now, excuse me just a minute. Approximately what year was this that you obviously left your husband?

SCOFIELD: Yes. 1952. We had a divorce. Highly contested. But when I worked, I supported a family of four, and I was happy to do it. I really was. But, my father died the next year, [1954] and I had a sizeable inheritance and a contested divorce, so I was in the courts about three years. I went to Honolulu and I designed over there. I thought it was just best to go there. My son was already in college and my daughter I could put in private school in Honolulu, but she chose to return to Ojai Valley where both my children attended school, so she came back for that. But Honolulu was too humid for me.

LaVOY:  What company were you with in Honolulu?

SCOFIELD: Two. Nahali for children's wear in the morning and Sun Fashions in the afternoon. But the climate is so humid over there and the distance from my children and their wanting to continue school in California that I returned to San Francisco.

LaVOY:  When did you retire from designing?

SCOFIELD: I never really retired. My second husband, when I was diagnosed as diabetic and lived as a diabetic for eight years on diet alone and then went to Scripps and was told I was never a diabetic, but my husband required me to quit work because of diabetes. Actually the work I did was my hobby, and I was very frustrated, but he meant well. So I said, "All right. Then, we travel." So we did.

LaVOY:  What was your second husband's name?

SCOFIELD: Paul C. Scofield, and he's from Indiana. He was born in Terre Haute, August 24, 1907.

LaVOY:  And where did you meet him?

SCOFIELD: I had met Paul and his first wife when we first arrived in southern California. We knew two other couples including Edwina Park whom you met this morning and her husband 'cause he was an engineer and Paul was an engineer. So the wives, the four of us, would play bridge on a rainy day--this was Depression days--and we'd play tennis on sunny days, and so that's how I became acquainted with the Scofields. Then we re-met years later after Paul was a widower and I was alone, and the other couples--one wife had passed away--and that husband was top animator for Disney Studio, so he was giving a dinner party and asked me if I would be hostess for him.

LaVOY:  What was his name?

SCOFIELD: Milt Kahl and we'd known him in San Francisco as a commercial artist, too, so my friend from Palo Alto was coming in on the Princess Italia maiden voyage, and so I called and told Milt and he said, "Well, of course, she can come." I said, "Well, Milt, there must be some nice gentleman out at Disney Studio to be a dinner partner for Betty." And so he called me back the next day and said, "No, they're old fogies or young punks and no one that would be nice enough for your friend." So, I said, "Who you having to this dinner party?" He said, "Oh, the Parks and the Kings and . . ." I said, "You know that's the group we used to be in. Whatever happened to Paul Scofield?" "Oh," he said, "that's a brilliant idea. I'll call the Parks and find out." So Paul Scofield came as Betty's dinner partner, and so then Paul called me and asked me to go to church with him the next Sunday.        By this time Betty'd gone back to Palo Alto, of course, so that's how we started dating and then married two years later.

LaVOY:  When were you married?

SCOFIELD: August 14, 1969. It was right at the time of Fallon High School's fiftieth graduation for the years had I attended. Had I been graduated from Fallon I would have been in that class, and Bud Berney sent me an invitation. So I wrote back.      I said, "I'm not eligible, but I accept." So I had that planned, and we were planning to be married in Christmas when my cousin Ruth Douglass Nicholson from Reno phoned--I had written to her I was coming up for this and that Paul Scofield wanted to drive me up, and she said, "Well," (in the letter and Paul was there when I received the letter and I read it and I started laughing) "It'd be much easier if you and Paul were married before the graduation and stay with us in Reno." So on our honeymoon we came to Fallon, Nevada, for the high school reunion.

LaVOY:  That's wonderful.

SCOFIELD: And we were the newliest married, so we received a large dish with bluebirds on it, I remember, and we had it for many, many years. So that was our honeymoon. Paul had--this always struck me as very funny--a list of twelve cities that he would like to retire in. So we went to Chico [California] and Paradise [California]. Of course, I had friends, the Berney girls, Madge and Lois Berney, very close friends of mine; both lived in Paradise Valley. We looked at Laguna Beach on our honeymoon, so we ended up, finally, getting a weekend place at Escondido where we retired when Paul retired.

LaVOY:  Oh, I see. Where were you and he married?

SCOFIELD: In the Christian Church in Inglewood, California, with only relatives present. Our children and grandchildren.

LaVOY:  Well, that is wonderful. Something that I just want to go back and ask you. I understand that your brother died very suddenly. Is that correct?

SCOFIELD: No. He died in September, 1930. All of the boys in Fallon that he knew went off working on construction jobs and so they were going. Pat Sanford was one and interested Bob in going to work for Dodge Brothers on construction, and Dad knew where the construction was, and he objected strenuously. He said, "They will pull your insides out." I heard Dad say this right in the kitchen of this house, and I thought oh, that Bob should go with his friends and work 'cause the other boys had to work for their money for college but none of us had to. But Bob wanted to go off which was, to me, very understandable, and Dad said, "I'll pay you equal pay working here 'cause you can work all the machinery." We had lots of machinery on this ranch, but Bob wanted to go with the boys. So they did, and he was put on working a very strenuous machine and that's what caused the rupture of his kidney. Bob had his own car and a sizeable bank account, so he and Pat Sanford went fishing up around Elko. So Bob became ill and he told me later, "I was so sick. I could see Aunt Daisy's house, but I knew I had to get to a hospital." So Pat got him to Carson City to the hospital. I answered the phone that night, and they wanted to operate on Bob. I woke Dad up, and he said, "There's no doctor in Carson City that is touching my son. You take him to St. Mary's, and I will have a doctor there." Then he talked to the doctor, this is in the middle of the night, and he said, "If you feel you must operate, go ahead, and if it's appendix you save those appendix because I want to see them." Dad left. We went up the next day, and my stepmother said, "Oh, excuse me, this isn't our son's room," and it was Bob. He looked terrible. Cheeks sunken and his eyes; 'course he had very large eyes, and it was Bob. So Bob and I were alone in the hospital room, and he said, "See if there's a mirror." There was and I put it in a drawer, and I said, "There's no mirror." He said, "You have compact." I gave him my compact, but he couldn't hold it very well, so he knew he didn't look recognizable. He was in St. Mary's with nurses--in those days it was a day nurse and a night nurse--for weeks and weeks, and it was not appendicitis. He'd had the operation but the appendix were perfect, and he had two open wounds on his back for drainage. Dad fainted when he first saw it. So he heard of a doctor. We knew it was kidney. Dr. Hinman of Boston. Again I heard Dad make the phone call and it was Dad that was no two ways. So he said that he wanted him to come. By this time he had Bob moved to San Francisco, University of California. So this was going on all summer. See, it was not a sudden death at all, and he'd had more exploratory examinations. Dad sent me to summer school, so I'd be there with Bob. Then, with Dr. Hinman, I heard Dad say, "You will get five thousand dollars today" because Hinman said he would not come without five thousand in advance. So Dr. Hinman came, and he was the one that found that Bob was born with connecting kidneys. Therefore when one ruptured, he had no kidneys. But the idea was that he could wear some kind of apparatus, but Bob told me he'd never be able to come home. Well, Maudie Dunbar fancied that he liked her very much.        He liked her mother's cooking very much, so Maudie went down and spent the summer, and the private nurse was so cute. She was little and she'd told me that when she applied to be his day nurse, she said, "Bob just took one look at me and said, 'You can't turn me. You're too small. You can't lift me.'" And she said, "This is Depression days, you know. I'm trained and will you give me a one day chance?" So he did, and she fell very much in love with me. And then she'd tell me that every day that Maudie came Bob'd go off to sleep and wake up and ask for the bed pan. (laughing) Maudie would go flying out of the room. (laughing) Then Maudie asked for Bob's signet ring after he had passed away, so Dad gave it to her, but there was never any… on Bob's part anyway.

LaVOY:  Now, he died in 1930. What month?

SCOFIELD: September of 1930. I've forgotten the day. I was with him.

LaVOY:  Are you telling me that this job that he took doing this extremely hard work just during that short period of time?

SCOFIELD: Yes, ruptured his kidney. It was very strenuous, hilly, mountainous work and I believe that it was in the northern part of the State because I know they went to Elko to fish when Bob was getting sick thinking that he needed a rest.

LaVOY:  He was working as you said for…

SCOFIELD: Dodge Brothers. We have no hard feelings toward Dodge Brothers for that, but Bob in no way would refuse to do something that they asked him to do because he was, like Dad, very mechanically minded. He knew motors inside and out, and he was willing.

LaVOY:  Well, I'm certain your father was devastated.

SCOFIELD: Oh, yes. He was. So he sold all of the livestock off of the ranch and had a caretaker in the bunkhouse. Everything in this house was covered with sheets, and he accepted a position of director of Internal Revenue and he was appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. To my knowledge the only director who's ever had a presidential appointment, so his name never came up to renew.

LaVOY:  And did he continue to have this appointment until his death?

SCOFIELD: No, for sixteen years and then he retired. He had been a Nevada senator in his early years here in Fallon.

LaVOY:  I didn't realize that.

SCOFIELD: Yes. I've forgotten the years, but in the quotes of fifty years ago, seventy-five years ago, sometimes Louisa will send me, and it will say Senator Bob Douglass, and he worked on the Newlands Project.

LaVOY:  Well, he was indeed a marvelous man.

SCOFIELD: Well, he was, I think, trying very hard to have Fallon succeed. Then they had the sugar beet factory that I.H. Kent and Mr. Berney and Dad equally, and that was not a successful venture. They each lost, as I recall, about sixty thousand dollars. I recall vividly one night I was in town with Dad, and they had to bring in extra help, so Dad told me when I got in the car--as I recall, it was a Packard-Straight Eight--and Dad said, "Now, when we go by the experimental farm, we will be shot at, but we will not be hit." And we were shot at, and we were not hit, but he had me get down in the front so that my head would be down.

LaVOY:  Now, for what reason?

SCOFIELD: There were local people that resented the three partners for bringing in outside help.

LaVOY: For the sugar beet factory?

SCOFIELD: Yes, and the sugar beets had to be cultivated and processed, and there wasn't help enough, so they had to bring in outside workers.

LaVOY: You mentioned as you passed the agricultural extension place there, was that what it was at that point in time?

SCOFIELD: Oh, yes. Experimental farm. It had nothing to do, simply the location Dad'd been told that we'd be shot at.

LaVOY: How frightening!

SCOFIELD: Dad said, "We will not be hit," and Dad was always right, and I was not frightened. I just did what Dad said, and we were shot at and weren't hit.

LaVOY:  These people that he brought in, were they from Mexico or were they people that just needed work very badly from California?

SCOFIELD: I honestly don't know. I imagine that possibly the Kent family or the Berney family might because their fathers were equally involved.

LaVOY:  Tell me once again. When did your father pass away?

SCOFIELD: October, 1954. It was a suicide.

LaVOY:  Oh, I didn't realize that.

SCOFIELD: Yes. He was in poor health, and we all felt very badly.

LaVOY:  Where did this happen?

SCOFIELD: In Oakland. Dad had bought a home in Oakland, and he left a note, "I love you all very dearly. He went in the backyard, and he shot himself.

LaVOY: Was he still married to your stepmother?

SCOFIELD: Oh, yes. She was with him.

LaVOY: Very tragic.


LaVOY: Tragic in that such a full life that he had to…

SCOFIELD: Well, when I think back that my mother died at age thirty two, their second child, William, died at birth and then Bob died at age twenty two, and he tried to keep us together; he was a man of his word. He gave his word. In the old days, a handshake was as good as a written contract, and he built this house to get all of us children. My brother lived with Grandmother for a while, Mary in private school in Oakland, the Anna Head School, and myself with Aunt Daisy in Deeth. So he tried to keep us, get a roof over our heads.

LaVOY: Well, that's very commendable. The only bit that we do not know right at this moment is your sister [Mary Martha Douglass Osburn]. When did she pass away?

SCOFIELD: She died in Reno in 19… she was born in 1904 and she was eighty years old.

LaVOY:  1984?

SCOFIELD: Yeah, would have to be.

LaVOY: And you are the remaining child.

SCOFIELD: Of the first marriage. And my half sister, Josephine, and her mother never liked Nevada. That was always something of "when we move to California, when we move to California." (laughing) And Dad really loved Nevada, and he loved the people here, and I share that.

LaVOY:  And so she and your half sister lived in California. [End of tape 2]

SCOFIELD: She disliked Nevada very intensely, and eventually Dad did move to Oakland. First San Francisco, and they had a beautiful apartment. I think that he enjoyed that part very much because he'd watch all this shipping activities in the bay, and then they moved to Oakland and bought a home there and had just sold it and my father died. My stepmother then took an apartment in San Francisco, and her daughter, Josephine, was married to Stanley Meikle who had an electric store in Oakland and then my stepmother moved to Oakland, and she died there of cancer.

LaVOY:  When did your father sell this Island Ranch property?

SCOFIELD: To Charles Frey, I believe, 19  . . now I can't say. Charlie just said it, too.

LaVOY:  1944, I think, 1944, 1945.

SCOFIELD: I think so, yes.

LaVOY:  I know it was right after World War II.

SCOFIELD: Yes, and he sold it, as Charlie said, sixty thousand dollars. Charlie, Junior said that this morning, and I remember that, and Dad said, "That's only the land. The buildings are going with it." But that Charles Frey was a young, hard-working young man, and he wanted to help him be able to buy the property and that all of the buildings just went with the land. The price of the land was sixty thousand, and he would arrange so that they could pay less in the lean years and more in the better years, and he was very, very happy with Charles Frey getting the ranch.

LaVOY:  Now, something I don't quite understand. Since your father owned what we call the Dodge Ranch now, when was that sold?

SCOFIELD: Oh, much earlier. But, I don't know the date.

LaVOY:  But your father sold that part of the ranch to the Dodge Brothers?

SCOFIELD: That's right. That's right.

LaVOY:  You don't recall what price they paid for it?

SCOFIELD: No. No, I really.

LaVOY:  So actually it was this new Island Ranch that Charles Frey bought.

SCOFIELD: Yes, and he would know the acreage on that, because this was a mechanized ranch. It was a cattle ranch, and it was rotation of crops. We had prize winning wheat, alfalfa. We had lots of fruit trees. You couldn't even see the bunkhouse for all of the trees and the truck garden down below; then Dad had trenches dug with special soil put in to raise peonies and roses. Dad loved to do that, and when starting Rotary Club he always took in all the fresh flowers for the Rotary Club and anybody else that wanted them. And, of course, the duck ponds were way out there.

LaVOY: To the southeast.

SCOFIELD: Yes, to the southeast, and when they froze over that's where we ice skated. We really had a wonderful life here.

LaVOY: Oh, I can certainly see that, and I'm very happy to see that the Freys have kept the place up so beautifully.

SCOFIELD: Just delightful.

LaVOY: Now that young Charlie and Debbie have it, they've done remodeling, and you're very pleased with that.

SCOFIELD: Marvelous, and they're so interested in the history of the house and everything about it. I couldn't be happier to have my home now their home.

LaVOY:  Well, that's wonderful. How often do you get back to Fallon?

SCOFIELD: Not very often. My husband had Parkinson's disease and we bought a motorhome and we traveled extensively in that. Prior to that we traveled extensively in Europe, but in the motorhome we had wonderful times and we would come to Fallon and sometimes with another couple who also had their motorhome.

LaVOY:  And where would you stay?

SCOFIELD: At the Bonanza in their area that had the facilities for hookups.

LaVOY:  I was so amused as I drove up this morning and saw your license plate. Would you please say what it is?

SCOFIELD: (laughing) It's "Old Kids." Paul and I had been married just a short time when my son's daughter, Kimberley, came to visit and she was four years old. She talked about the kids in nursery school and the kids in the neighborhood, and she looked up at us and said, "What are you old kids going to do today?" And we felt so accepted that it just pleased us, and that Christmas that family gave us ecology license plates so that's how that happened. We put those on, and then when we had the motorhome we had "Old Kids" on that. In many cities and places people would look in through our window and they'd say, "We just want to see what old kids look like." (laughing) So we've had lots of fun over it.

LaVOY:  I can just tell by your life story that you've had a wonderful life. Very exciting and I'm delighted that we were able to record some of this for the Churchill County Museum, and on behalf of the Churchill County [Museum] Oral History Project I want to thank you very much for this wonderful, wonderful interview.

SCOFIELD: Well, thank you. I'm glad that you were interested in that because we did have a wonderful time here, and I'm always delighted to come back to Fallon..

LaVOY:  Well, thank you, and this is the end of our interview.


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Churchill County Museum Association, “Elanor Douglass Scofield Oral History,” Churchill County Museum Digital Archive: Fallon, Nevada, accessed September 22, 2021, https://ccmuseum.omeka.net/items/show/681.