Yes, Wallace and Burke certainly produced their share of colorful and offbeat characters, The "old days" in Wallace and Burke were about survival, about toughness, and about dreams of riches that would lessen the burdens of life. Life was day to day. Survival was day to day. Dreams could be turned to nightmares with one flick of Nature unleashing a torrent of sliding snow that could bury entire towns.Creeks could rise and crash over their banks into the streets, carrying away homes and possessions, and one spark of fire could end up burning down an entire neighborhood or town. If you were not cut out for the hardships of life in the mining towns of Wallace and Burke, you could end up like poor Professor Travis.
As some of you may know, music was my thing in school, and I was a music and theology major in college. I wanted to return to Wallace and become the band teacher, but of course, that dream never happened because I went into the hotel field as you know from my earlier blogs.Music teachers are sometimes thought of as, well, being kind of quaint. Maybe they are. Television shows and movies certainly portray them as being a little off beat. Maybe poor Professor Travis was just a little too offbeat for the folks of Wallace. I really don't know anything about him except for this article I happened across while researching Robert Sage.
Date-September 7, 1903-Wallace,Idaho
Friends of Professor Travis,the local professor of music,who was sent to Blackfoot this week,took steps to have him released from custody, for they did not think him insane.An attorney was engaged and before a writ of habeas corpus was applied for he went to the jail to talk the matter over with Travis.
When the attorney entered the jail and exchange greetings Travis was asked how he was feeling.
"Well", he replied, " I am feeling fine but I can't sleep.I have no place upon which to rest."
Mr, Addie, the attorney was astonished for near where the professor was seated was his comfortable bunk." Why, here is your bed and a splendid place upon which to rest yourself." observed Mr. Addie,pointing to the bunk.
"Sleep there!",replied the professor." Why don't see you see the water and gas pipes coming up through it? I would get soaking wet if I lady down there. I might just as well sleep in the creek."
The writ was not applied for.
I don't know what happend to the good Professor Travis, but I guess life in the early days of Wallace were just a little to hard for him.