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Transcript of interview with Mary & Bruce Eaton by Beatrice Scheild, March 8, 1975






On March 8, 1975, Beatrice Scheid interviewed Mary and Bruce Eaton about their lives in Boulder City, Nevada. Mary first talks about her life in the early days of Boulder City, specifically the influences of the churches and schools. She also talks about housing, transportation, and her career as an educator. Bruce (born 1904 in Toronto, Kansas) also talks about his life in Boulder City and his arrival to Southern Nevada as he sought employment in working on the building of Hoover Dam. Bruce talks about his employment with Six Companies, Inc. and discusses topics such as the employment wages, his and Mary’s experiences in building a house, and their experiences in buying a house built by Six Companies. Bruce also talks about the roles of Sims Ely, the city manager of Boulder City, and Frank Crowe, the construction superintendent of Six Companies. Bruce then discusses the issues of worker’s compensation as it related to work on the dam, and he describes, in detail, the cooling system us

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Eaton, Mary & Bruce Interview, 1975 March 8. OH-00514. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton i An Interview with Mary and Bruce Eaton An Oral History Conducted by Beatrice Scheid Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton ii © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2018 UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton iii The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment including many conducted by UNLV History Professor Ralph Roske and his students. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton iv Abstract On March 8, 1975, Beatrice Scheid interviewed Mary and Bruce Eaton about their lives in Boulder City, Nevada. Mary first talks about her life in the early days of Boulder City, specifically the influences of the churches and schools. She also talks about housing, transportation, and her career as an educator. Bruce (born 1904 in Toronto, Kansas) also talks about his life in Boulder City and his arrival to Southern Nevada as he sought employment in working on the building of Hoover Dam. Bruce talks about his employment with Six Companies, Inc. and discusses topics such as the employment wages, his and Mary’s experiences in building a house, and their experiences in buying a house built by Six Companies. Bruce also talks about the roles of Sims Ely, the city manager of Boulder City, and Frank Crowe, the construction superintendent of Six Companies. Bruce then discusses the issues of worker’s compensation as it related to work on the dam, and he describes, in detail, the cooling system used to cool the concrete of the dam is it was being built. The interview finalizes with a comment on the significance and contribution of the Hoover Dam project on generating electrical energy to California during World War II. UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 1 I’m Beatrice Scheid, 1622 Appaloosa Road, Boulder City, Nevada, interviewing Mrs. Mary Eaton, 550 Avenue G in Boulder City regarding her early experiences during the building of the Hoover Dam. I wanted to talk about the social life of many of the young masons at Boulder City at that time. It was very limited. The husbands worked seven days a week, and of course the wives were busy with the young children. Babysitting was not so commonplace as today, probably for economic reasons as well as many others. There were four churches in Boulder City in the beginning years: the LDS, Episcopal, Catholic, and Grace Community Church, which was sponsored by seven denominations. I was a Protestant, so I immediately made contact with Grace Community Church. This church consisted of a sanctuary and a basement and would barely accommodate the children and older adults. A Sunday school class of young masons was organized. The girls were young and far from home—lonely and often a little homesick. The social and friendly (unintelligible) as important a ministry as the bible study. Social ties were made in this manner, and worthwhile friendships formed. Our teacher was Mrs. Beth McClure, whose husband Frank worked at the dam. This became one of the largest organized groups in Boulder, with an average attendance of eighty to ninety young women. There were probably 150 or even 175 on the membership roll, as there was always a turnover of construction and government workers through those early years. Our class met at the (unintelligible) courtroom of the government building that then housed the post office, the library, the jail, and so forth; it’s the library now. We always refer to our meeting place as “the jail.” The members of this class were an energetic group. All had brought ideas for projects from the hometown. They combined these ideas to really keep the town humming. One of the nicest projects was a cookbook offering recipes from all over the UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 2 world. Some recipes were priceless treasures, some the proud inventions of very young kitchen scientists, and others just substantial good eating. But mixed with the (unintelligible) ingredients of this books, you would find the unquenchable spirit, that determination to achieve—that pioneer spirit of good women everywhere that, in this instance, in this corner of Nevada, made the desert to bloom like a rose. Mrs. McClure was not only the teacher; she was our best friend, our mom. When the babies were born, she was right there. When we had problems and so forth, we went to Mrs. McClure. Many of this class has kept in touch with each other through the years. The first Sunday in June, they hold Boulder City picnic in the San Fernando Valley. We used to have a Mortuary on Avenue G. just across the street from where we do now. In fact, this area where our home is was designed for commercial use, and no homes were allowed to be built in this area until we built ours in 1940. It was all just parking area, and this mortuary was one of the few businesses that was in this far from the center of town. When the construction of the dam finished, the mortuary was torn down. Everyone in Boulder was young—we didn’t even need a cemetery. On holidays, or sometimes on Sunday, the husbands would take their families to Anderson Smith’s Hall, where the Six Company construction worker without families ate their meals. Twelve hundred men were served family-style piping hot foods fresh from the kitchen as rapidly and as easily as one table could be served. Because work on the dam was continuous, twenty-four hours per day, meals were served at all hours of the day and night—a total of eleven meals being served every twenty-four hours. Who was in charge of the dining room? Morgan Sweeney was the cashier, and he kept track of all the men. They’d pack their lunches from the food that was put out on the tables, and, oh, they just packed their lunchboxes to UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 3 capacity and would take, often, sandwiches and fruit and things for men who were living at home and just didn’t really have money enough to buy an adequate lunch, or to have one prepared. It’s sad that not only the men there but lots of the men who were not eating there. Just to hear the silverware clash was something when you’d go there. It just sounded like a bomb taking off—so many men eating all at once. Of course, they ate very fast and were out of there in just a few minutes. Was it self-service, or did they—? No, as I remember, it was family style, and all the food was on the table, and the men passed the big bowls. And they’d have three and four different kinds of meat and several different types of vegetables and always several kinds of dessert. It was really— They really weren’t skimpy with the food then? Oh, no. And I don’t remember the cost of those meals per day, but I’m sure it was under a dollar a day. Morgan Sweeney would know about that, but it was very minimal. The men were very well-fed, just very-well fed. And they were hungry men, too, because they worked hard and lots of them had (unintelligible) the soup lines, and not been able to eat properly until they came here. I wanted to say something about the reservation; I think Bruce mentioned that when he was talking. It was a landmark in the early days where he checked in and out of the reservation. May we refer back to Bruce Eaton’s tape taken earlier? Yes. (Unintelligible) recollection of the gate was when our daughter was born. Six Companies did have a hospital here, but to only take care of the construction workers—no obstetrical cases. At first they did, and got to be we were having so many babies that they could no longer do that. There was a very nice hospital in Las Vegas—in fact, only one—and it was called the Las Vegas Hospital. It’s still there today. But I don’t believe they are operating right now. I think just UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 4 recently they have sort of closed it up. There were about four or five doctors connected with this hospital, and one doctor, Dr. John R. McDaniel, had an office and home here in Boulder City. And he was our doctor, and he sent his hospital patients into the hospital in Las Vegas. Oh, on the eve of June the 2nd, 1934, he told my husband that our baby would be arriving in one hour. This was a late Saturday night with lots of traffic on the two-lane highway to Las Vegas, and we were in Boulder with a Model T Ford as transportation and a few things to do yet, such as finding somewhere, one would care for our little boy. Because of the rush, Bruce did not stop at the gate on the way out, but waved to the guard and sped on. Well, of course, in a few minutes, the patrolman caught up with us, and Bruce rolled down the window and hollered to him that, as he drove along, that his wife was about to have a baby. And at once, this patrolman pulled ahead of us and sounded his siren all the way, got us safely to the hospital just in time to welcome our baby daughter. One of the things that’s so hard to get used to for me on the desert was the lack of trees, although many young ones had been planted, especially in the government homes section of Boulder City. We did several things to provide a little quick shade—castor beans and hollyhocks both did very well here—and we passed deeds from neighbor to neighbor. And everyone tried to have a little patch of Bermuda grass, which we regretted planting later because it spread fast and was hard to get out of the yard, but it didn’t take much water and it loves the sun, and that’s what we all had was Bermuda grass in our yards. We also tried to decorate our yards with plants from the desert around us. I remember, with pain, helping Bruce move a cactus to our yard. Speaking of pain, it was not uncommon for our children to fall into a patch of beavertail cactus. Usually, each child only did this one time, however. Our children grew up loving the rocks, the animals, and the hills surrounding Boulder City. Many have been the anxious moments when children did UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 5 not return from the desert when they were expected, and many search parties have been organized through the years for lost children. Do you remember or can you tell us much about the housing, what the housing looked like, how the people lived during that time? Well, Six Companies built a lot of houses. This was called, actually, Construction Camp, and Six Companies built these houses. Now, there were three different sizes. They called them one-room, two-room, and three-room houses. And what did they mean by that? Well, the one-room house had an area for the kitchen and a large room that was used as your living room and bedroom and everything combined. Those were two rooms, but they called that a one-room house. And there was a porch, always a porch, on every house, and then you could use this porch for extra beds if you wished. Some people closed those in and made like a room, but they were really put on so people could have a little protection from the sun and coolness in the summertime, to sit out there without being actually out in the sun. Now, this housing was in Boulder City proper (unintelligible)? Oh, yes. Yes. Were there other areas around where people were living, other workers were living? There were a few private homes on Avenue L and M Streets, in the 500 and 600 block—there were a few private, very small homes that people (unintelligible). And then down a little bit—now, we had one on the corner of Seventh Street and K, but we (unintelligible). There were a few private homes in that area, Seventh and K. The rest was just all of these Six Company homes, which many are still there today. The people have added on and remodeled, and a house that they had bought originally for $150, $200, or $250—well, I know one that right now is for UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 6 sale for $29,000. And only very little has actually been done to that house—one large room added on in the back, and that’s about it. What was the transportation at that time, other than a car? You mentioned that drove by car to Las Vegas? Yes. That was it. You had to have a car; there was no bus service. In fact, we didn’t go to Vegas very much because of, you know, we just didn’t—well, we didn’t have a need, really, because we had a very large department here, (unintelligible) department store, and also our Six Companies store that provided most of the needs of the people. Did you have any other, I mean, did people use horses or any other means of transportation? No. You didn’t have anything like that? I don’t think so—oh, Mr. Ely—we’ve spoken about him and he’s our city manager—there was a rule that you could not have horses in Boulder City and you could not even bring horses through here without a special permit. He would not allow horses or chickens or anything like this. Now, some of the people over in Lakeview—it was known then as McKeeversville—had a few chickens, but in Boulder City proper, we could not have anything like that. Is McKeeversville the area that they spoke of as the “tent city?” Yes. That was really where people were just before moving to Boulder City. First they were down at the river, and then in McKeeversville, and then while Boulder City was being built. And they always had in mind that that part would be destroyed, that people would not be allowed to live there. It was a tent city to begin with, and that was to be destroyed and people would not be allowed there, but they are still there. A lot of people are still there. McKeeversville was actually UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 7 where people lived while Boulder City was being built. And it was like a squatters camp. There was no (unintelligible) provided by the government over there, and it wasn’t intended that it should remain there as a part of Boulder City. And through the years, the government kept trying to get the people to move into Boulder City and establish their homes here. They did not want to provide services to that area. And they’d issue an edict and few people would listen, but a lot of people just kept on staying there. And finally, I think the government just gave up, and after we incorporated, by then it was decided that the services would be provided in streets and sewers, and all the utilities would be provided, and McKeeversville actually became Lakeview Edition then, and it was upgraded, and new homes were allowed to be built. At the time Boulder City wasn’t incorporated, that was several years after the dam was built? Oh, yes. The town was incorporated about 1960. You were going to tell us something about the schools; as I understand, both of your children were educated here? Yes. The schools here were an afterthought. No provision had been made for schools in Boulder City in the original plan. When people first came here with their small children, there was no place for them to go to school. So, different ones in the community who had talent to teach had private classes in their homes. There was kindergarten, and I think everything was probably at an elementary level. Then, they of course had to build a school, but when that school was finished, it only took care of the elementary children and, I believe, the first year of high school. And then those children progressed till they became juniors and seniors and graduated from Boulder City High School. In the meantime, the high school children were being transported by bus into Las Vegas, and many of the children of those early days graduated from Las Vegas High School. UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 8 You did not teach during those early days? No, I did not begin teaching until the war years. If you remember, there was more or less a rule that married women did not teach school, and until the war came along, they held to that pretty much. And then, when the war came, and they were in such desperate need of teachers, they began hiring married women. Six Companies, I believe, built the hospital for their workers. That’s the old hospital? We call it the old hospital; it still exists today. Up on the hill? On the hill, mm-hmm. They built that to take care of their workers. And then when the construction of the dam ended, you see, there was not much need. And as I remember, the Park Service took that over as a museum. You could go up there and they had exhibits and things like this, and that was for a few years. Well, then we came to the place where we needed a hospital again. And so, it was converted back into a hospital—and a true community effort. It was a hospital, though, during the time of the building of the dam? Yes. In some way or another, the government—I was thinking Six Companies built that building—but perhaps it was the government who built that building, because the government seemed to be the ones that the city bought it from. You see, it became a municipal hospital then. We all realized we must have a hospital here, and the people and organizations all banded together, and believe, then, the government, how they got in the picture—they must have built—then they gave it to us. Of course, we had to finance it and carry through with the operation, and of course then that led to the building of our new hospital. But people still owned that hospital; the city owns it. UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 9 Mrs. Eaton, do you remember anything particularly about other entertainment other than your Sunday school class that you mentioned? Yes, we had the theater. Now, that was here from the very beginning; it still (unintelligible). And that was the meeting place on Saturday night. And Earl Brothers was the one who built that theater, he and his wife Gladys, and he would have bank night on Saturday night, and it was a drawing, and he would draw, and if you were the lucky one, you would get $25. If you were not present, it would be $50 the next Saturday, and so forth and so on until the person was there. And sometimes, this would build up to $200 or $300. And there would be so many people come for that much, you see, a chance to win that much, that they had to put up a loudspeaker system out on the sidewalk so that all the people standing out there could hear what was going on inside. Did they have live entertainment, or was it the movie type, or? We had movies, and then always, Mr. Brothers would have free shows for the children at Christmastime and Easter, I believe, much as (unintelligible) as the Mother’s Club, or one of the sororities, I guess it is, that takes care of that now. But that really was the meeting place. Quite a few people went to Railroad Pass for gaming, and that was a busy place. They had gambling at Nevada Pass, at Railroad—? Yes, at Railroad Pass, there was gambling from the very first. Railroad Pass was just off the reservation. It was not in Boulder City; it was just off, and a lot of people went out there for dancing and for the gaming—very popular place. Well, thank you very much, Mary, unless there’s something else that you would like to tell us about. [Audio cuts out] (Unintelligible) from all your other early years here. UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 10 Yes, some of the early businesses that came here—well, the one man, I believe, who got the first commercial license—at least he was one of the early ones, was Clarence Watson. And he and his wife Laura came here from Colorado, and they built the first auto court—that’s when we called them, instead of motel, we called them auto courts. I was just going to ask you, what did you mean by an auto court? Yes. But you’ve explained it already. And through the years, that’s where many people lived until they could find a home, just a small bedroom, actually, was what that was. And then, of course, we had most of the services here. Mr. Menicks built a department store. It would include most of that block where the drugstore and the Western Auto and all that is now. The main part of Boulder Highway? Yes, there was men and women and children’s clothing, there was groceries, and everything in this one big department store. It was very adequate—besides the Six Company place, of course. Well, I would say you had a very rich experience in Boulder City. I know you’re proud to have been one of the earliest settlers here. Oh, wasn’t the first one, but survived through the years, and I wouldn’t give anything for all the rich experiences and a wonderful place to raise the children. And I think (unintelligible) the best. Thank you, Mary. Well, we got this little piece of paper to sign, and— [Recording cuts out] Rose Galfrin and (Unintelligible) are interviewing Bruce M. Eaton, 550 Avenue G, Boulder City, Nevada, regarding their early experiences when they came here during the building UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 11 of Hoover Dam. Now, Mr. Eaton, do you want to start by telling us where you came from, approximately how old you are, something about your family background? Well, we’ll start first with my birthday, which is December 20, 1904, and you can figure the rest of it out from there. Mary and I were both born in Kansas. My father died a few days before I was fifteen years old, and I left high school in order to help support the family of eight children and work in construction work all the time after I started work. I was working in construction work, and immediately before I came here, I was involved with pipeline construction work. It was major, natural gas, and crude oil transportation across the country. I worked in various capacities, including supervision of several gangs that would total a grand total of between 400 and 500 employees. This was in the late twenties, when the Depression of the late twenties and early thirties came into being. And the Depression didn’t catch up with our work area that is pipeline construction until late in 1930. I was terminated in December 1931, and that’s the first time that I had been unemployed since I started to work. We were out of work approximately six months—two small jobs, nothing of any consequence—and I had heard about the construction of Boulder Dam while I was employed on job in Iowa in 1930. I had no idea what the dam or Bureau of Reclamation or anything connected with it was all about until I was called into Denver at the home office of the contractor that I was working for, and while there, the representative from the Republic Pipe and Steel Company came over to our office and wanted someone to call on the Bureau of Reclamation on behalf of his company who were trying to negotiate to sell some pipe for the waterline from the dam to Boulder City. The specifications were written in such a manner that the pipe manufacturers could not bid on the job, and they wanted at least a chance to bid, so my boss very graciously consented to send me over to consult with the chief mechanical engineer for UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 12 the Bureau of Reclamation and trying to sell him on the idea that he should modify the specifications so that the major pipe manufacturers could bid on the project. Do you remember who the chief of the Bureau was at that time? Rather than to be inaccurate, I think I should just leave it as the chief mechanical engineer. Okay. If we get to putting in names there, we could get in trouble. Sufficient to say, we were not successful in getting the specifications changed. They went ahead to award the contract as they intended to. During this conversation, it might be of interest to some people—this was in 1931—and when I explained to the chief mechanical engineer what was customary to do in the field at that time, it was so far removed from what he was acquainted with that he asked me if I had anything that could substantiate the statements that I had made, and he suggested photographs. And I told him that the company did have, and he made an appointment for me to return that afternoon, which I did, with photographs to substantiate the methods that were used and using in pipeline construction at that time. That’s very interesting. Later on in the year, the work finished up, and I was terminated just before Christmas on my small job in Iowa, and Mary and I drove back to Kansas for our Christmas, and we lived in Clearwater, Kansas from then until I came out here. How long had you been married at that time? We were married in June 1931. So she was really a bride. (Laughs) Still is. There was three of us drove out in our car—I was the only one that had a car—and the three of us drove out, and the outstanding portion of the trip was from Kingman, Arizona to Las UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 13 Vegas, Nevada. We had an early lunch in Kingman, and we drove hard all afternoon. It was getting rather late in the afternoon when we drove down through the canyon past the paint box on the Arizona side, and crossed the Colorado River on the ferry that was operated by Jim Cashman. He had, in addition to other activities, he had the Cadillac and General Motors product in Las Vegas at that time. He was also the political power in the area, a Mr. Democrat, if you have it that way. Anything of a political nature, and a lot of things that weren’t of a political nature, were cleared either directly or indirectly with Mr. Cashman; he was quite a powerful figure in Southern Nevada at that time. Well, it was a long half-day drive to Las Vegas, and I don’t believe that we came through Boulder City. I think we followed the truck route. About halfway between Boulder City and what is Railroad Pass, there was a checking station that was manned twenty-four hours a day. In order to get inside of what was referred to as the reservation, it was necessary to have a pass approved by the city manager. By the reservation—you mean the area that’s now Hoover Dam? Yes. The so-called reservation was an imaginary line about halfway between here and Railroad Pass, and it included all of this area and all the area between here and the dam. And in order to be in here and be able to stay here, you had to secure a pass. And these passes were checked out at this checking station by all incoming people, whether you worked here, whether you were going to or whatnot. And occasionally, there would be a check made of people in Boulder City to see if you did have a pass. That gave them almost positive control over who was in here. If you just created enough of a nuisance regardless of what it was, all you had to do was to prevail upon the city manager to remove your pass, and then you had no access to the area (unintelligible). May I ask you one more question? Where was the ferry for the crossing of the Colorado River? UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 14 You know where the (unintelligible) are? Not exactly. Well, it’s right at the upstream end of Black Canyon. As you know, Boulder Dam was originally supposed to have been built in Boulder Canyon. But it was not; it was built in Black Canyon. And the (unintelligible) are just upstream from the upper end of Black Canyon. It would be farther east or south? It would be northeast, but I don’t know what directions or which—being in a northeasterly direction, upstream. And there was a canyon there—you can still drive down there and get that far down, but it was down at the base of the (unintelligible), and it’s just a bright-colored area that you see when you look across the lake below the mountain over there. Oh, yes. I’ve seen it many times, but I didn’t know it was called the (unintelligible). And then it came straight across and followed the construction road. The old Boulder Beach is where the original road came up from the ferry. I think by this time, we’re in Las Vegas. And being in the middle of June, it was very, very hot, and we secured a room on a little motel on North Main Street right beside the creek—there used to be a creek running down through there, somewhere near where the freeway exit is now. But it was extremely hot, and we were over in the shade of the big cottonwood trees that were in a park where the present courthouse is located. That used to be a huge park and covered with beautiful cottonwood trees. And there was a light park at the Union Pacific Depot, where the Union Plaza Hotel is now. And those were the two main places for all of the people waiting for work would concentrate in the shade of those trees. Well, we had been in Las Vegas less than two hours when we were approached by two policemen, and were asked several questions. Their primary concern was how long we intended to stay and if we intended to go to work, and when we advised them that we intended to go to UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 15 work, then I was advised that within ten days after I went to work, I would be required to have a State of Nevada license tag on my automobile. They were so desperate for revenue that nothing was overlooked. And further along that same line, the Six Companies, Incorporated, or any other contractor on the job, withheld three dollars poll tax from the first paycheck that each employee received, whether they worked one day, ten days, or ten months. The first three dollars went to the county for poll tax. That was carried on for several years. There was a small café, and I don’t know just exactly where it was—I think it was on North Second Street just about a half a block off of Fremont—and my buddies and I would go in there, usually once a day for our main meal, which would consist of a fair-sized bowl of navy beans; that would be our main meal for the day. That went on till Mary arrived, which was on the Fourth of July, 1932. She came by train, being advised by her doctor because she was some three months’ pregnant that she couldn’t make the trip by automobile and that she should come by train. And she arrived Fourth of July, 1932, and I had secured quarters in a small apartment type deal—more like a motel over on Westside. It was about a half a block north of Bonanza just beyond the underpass now. It was then along a bunch of (unintelligible) trees that afforded some shade, but it was still terrifically hot then. Well, I was still unemployed, and in fact I had written her several times that I was coming home, and she came out here to prevent me from coming home; that was the way I remember. It wasn’t very encouraging. There were literally thousands of people in Las Vegas looking for work. On July the 9th 1932, I was hired by the Six Companies, and all of the hiring of the construction of the dam was done through the State of Nevada Employment Office in Las Vegas, and it was staffed by men both from the State of Nevada and Six Companies, Incorporated. A little bit about Six Companies, Incorporated—at that time, there was a very, very limited number UNLV University Libraries Mary and Bruce Eaton 16 of construction firms that were large enough to bid on a project this size. So, these six companies incorporated into Six Companies, Incorporated; they went together and pooled their resources in order to bid and it was successful in bidding, perform the necessary construction work to complete the job. So, the employment office was staffed by men from both the state and the Six Companies, Incorporated. The day that I was hired, they hired approximately eighty-five men, these were only to replace a similar number who had found that the working conditions were so harsh and so demanding that they preferred to rejoin the unemployed, the many, many thousands of unemployed at that time. This all predates unemployment compensation, welfare, or food stamps; so, you can see what a desperate situation did exist in this area as was all over the country at that time. I thi