Chronicler: Fermin Ojewl

Interviewer: William Douglass

Glasgow, MT



Side 1

00:00- 08:57 Where he was born. The trip to the US. Came right to Glasgow, because his uncle was living there. About his family, other uncles who ended up in Nevada. He didn't like Montana that much in the beginning, wanted to take trips to California, Nevada but never did. His uncle talked him out of going anywhere else. About who his uncle worked for when Fermin got there. What it was like herding sheep at that time, his own outfit.


08:58- About how people herded sheep then, nomads. Quite a few Basques, only a few Scotchmen who herded sheep also. The political landscape at the time, land closing up at the time. The Taylor Grazing Act and its effects on livestock companies. Never been back to the Basque country, never even looked back. Never had family come out to Montana. Used to correspond with his family in Basque country, but no longer. He has done a little travel in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, etc. mostly in the winter. About his nephew. Talking about how similar Oregon and Basque coasts are.


16:50- 23:15 The Basque priest in the area, how different Basque country is now. How he got Basque herders to come work for him. Where he would send for them, who they were. About when he came to Glasgow, who was many Basques. He managed to homestead (how he got land), worked his sheep with another man he worked for (a swede).


23:18- Basque culture in the area. Used to mix quite a bit with other types of people. Basque bar in Miles City. About the owner. No Basque hotel there, though. Most of the time, out with the sheep so couldn't meet all that much. Funerals. Difference in the way children are brought up (death of the sheepherder). A discussion about politics (president of the US), Roosevelt. A discussion about Eskimos, etc.


32:43- Other groups in the area, relationship between Basques and the groups. Never any animosity between groups, Basques were seen as French or Spanish. Distinction was not made between European and Basque. Relationship between cattlemen and sheepmen, mostly problems were in the early days. Things settled down early on, the only trouble was with homesteaders and not cattlemen. A scenario posed about who is responsible for homesteader's land concerns. Homesteaders would take control of the water, most of the problems with the sheepherders. More about the homesteaders. How the industries coexisted; who was responsible for fencing in agricultural crops. Discussion about other people in the area. Basque people worldwide and history.