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I started attending First Presbyterian Church with my parents when I moved to Clarkston in the fall of 1943, but because of the uncertainty in local employment, did not join until June 1949. Dr. David Brown was pastor at the time. After he’d been here for probably 25 years, he retired, and the Rev. George Hendrick followed. Brown had been something of a mentor to Hendrick.  Eileen Hendrick was a classic helpmate, taking members to the doctor, visiting the sick and elderly. During their service, the “Little White Church” which had been the original church, was demolished and the present sanctuary built. Later, Hendrick Hall and other rooms above it were added. During this time, there was a huge increase in church membership. Members were active in groups that catered to their interests and activities.

Since joining the church I have served in different capacities: as Elder (9 years), Deacon (3 years), Clerk of Session (1 year) and on several major committees. I volunteered in the office for several years and worked with the OWLS from their beginning until about five years ago. At that time, the OWLS’ large membership was interested in numerous activities. One of them was a tour group and I was active in planning and directing several of our trips. We toured Canada and places of interest in the U.S., including New Orleans and Branson, Missouri. 

The church has served my family and me in many ways. One niece, two great-nieces and three great-great nieces have been married in the sanctuary. My retirement and 80th birthday parties were here in Hendrick Hall. Through the years, my spiritual growth has been in and through this church.

Both of my grandfathers were born in Germany and my grandmothers were born in the U.S. of German immigrants. My father’s parents settled in a German-speaking colony near Rochester, Minnesota. My grandmother on my mother’s side came west from Iowa in 1873 to homestead in one of the classic American migrations. She was 12 at the time and drove one of the covered wagon mule teams. My mother’s father joined the army shortly after arriving from Germany and he was sent to western forts located in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and California. He met my grandmother while he was stationed at Fort Lapwai, and after a move to Fort Coeur d’Alene, my mother was born. When grandfather was transferred from California to Texas, grandmother, tired of moving the family from fort to fort, decided to homestead. near her parents in the Genesee area.

My mother graduated from high school in Genesee and worked as a school teacher and a telephone operator there. She married Conrad Martin who had moved west from his home in Minnesota in April, 1904. They first lived in Genesee where my sister was born, and later, Nezperce, where I was born. My father started his railroad career in St. Paul, Minnesota. When he moved to Idaho, he first railroaded out of Pullman, Washington, and then transferred to the private line between Craigmont and Nezperce. While he was conductor on that line, he learned from a passenger of a farm near Nyssa, Oregon that was for sale. He decided to buy it sight-unseen. He put all our belongings and a cow in a railroad car and we moved that way. The branch of the track where we unloaded ran to about one and a half miles from our house. This was a new experience for our family and especially through the depression years, everyone worked hard to make a living. Our farm grew row crops, hay, alfalfa, and wheat. I attended a Union Sunday School held in a school in Kingman Kolony, Oregon. The United Presbyterians began a mission church in nearby Adrian and I joined them.  I graduated from Nyssa High School in 1930.
After graduating from Lewis Clark Normal (now LCSC) in 1932, my first employment was teaching social studies to 2nd through 8th grade children in Vale, Oregon. In 1934, I was paid $75 per month for nine months, but the county was so poor that they paid me in warrants. My board and room cost $25; fortunately, the landlord accepted warrants. The school used the platoon system so I had an incredible 300 students that year. I continued teaching in Oregon and Idaho schools for eight years.

In 1943, my father sold the ranch after 25 years and moved to Clarkston for my mother’s health because doctors thought the lower elevation would help her heart condition. I moved here from Caldwell, Idaho about that time to help with her and to begin a new career. I was employed as a Children’s Case Worker for the State of Washington in Clarkston for 30 years, handling adoptions, neglected children, and foster care placement, retiring in 1973.
After retirement, I traveled extensively, crossing the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to visit many interesting countries. I also did some local volunteer work. My family network in the area has been a great blessing. At this time, my activities have slowed down a great deal, but I am still able to attend church and OWLS Bible Study quite regularly.
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Phone: 509 758-3381
Fax:    509 758-3382
Clarkston First Presbyterian Church
1122 Diagonal, Clarkston
Washington 99403