Pioneer Families

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The second trip, "up north" as we use to call it was to the state of Illinois, in 1951. Another family friend convince dad that in "Chicago" the work was much easier and besides it was half the distance we had traveled to Montana. We were not under any work contract and the child labor laws were not in effect, so at least all the "teenagers" were able to work. Bunching radishes and green onions for sixty-five cents an hour. It was not heavy work and it was fun working with all the young people, both migrants and local kids from the neighboring communities.

The "THIRD" trip began during the first part of March 1952. School was still in session and it was my first year at the big school. Asherton High School was brand new to me and I did not like the idea of leaving early but dad had made the decision to go up north again.

We are now seasoned migrants. My dad had bought a brand new truck, bigger than the previous one we bought in Illinois. (I wreck the first one.)

Claudio Bustamante, a family friend and neighbor to the Villarreal clan in Asherton extended an invitation to dad to "come with us to Oregon". He was offering wages of ONE dollar per hour for adults and capable long as they can and are willing to work.



Migrating to Oregon-My Story by Jesse (Jesus) Villarreal, from Asherton, Texas. 

 My name is Jesse (Jesus) C. Villarreal, from Asherton, Texas.  I came to Oregon in 1952.  My father, Jose R. Villarreal brought our family from Asherton to work in the hop fields in St. Paul, Oregon. Prior to Oregon, we had migrated to Montana in 1949 and Illinois in 1951.   

The C & H Sugar Company in San Antonio, Texas, had contracted dad and other families to thin sugar beets in Hardin, Montana.  My dad received a stipend of twenty-five dollars per adult, for travel expenses.  Each family or group of adults was given a plot of certain amount of acreage of sugar beets to thin and weed until ready for harvest.  The work was paid depending on the number of acres completed.  Some families repeated this process year after year. 

My dad decided this type of work was too hard for his young family since he was the only adult.  I was only thirteen and the rest of the siblings were younger.


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