Things ran along pretty smoothly until 1917, when the United States entered World War I, then things began to pop. We were pretty busy on the Railroad. Lots of soldier trains went through Fullerton on their way to Camp Kearney, near San Diego, where they would come back through Fullerton on their way to the front. I was called up to appear before the draft board, but was exempted from service in the war on account of being the father of two little children, and also working on the Railroad.
I liked working the first trick at Fullerton. The hours were from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and this gave me the evenings home with the family. On this trick I was also the manager for the Western Union, and received a commission of about $15.00 per month in addition to my railroad salary. There was a daily newspaper at Fullerton at that time, and they subscribed to the United Press News Service which came over the Western Union wires, and I had to copy these news bulletins. This was quite an interesting job. They were in a condensed form, but after the newspaper got hold of them they were added to considerably, but it was interesting to get the news in advance of the paper. The Western Union furnished me with an all capital letter no shift typewriter for this work.
We got settled and started little Alice to school, and everything was going along nicely until after Christmas 1917, when I received a telegram that changed our whole life. The wife was from the Superintendent of the Santa Fe Prescott and Phoenix Railway Company at Prescott Arizona, A branch of the Santa Fe Railway. It ran from Parker to Phoenix and up to Ash Fork, connecting with the main line trains at Ash Fork. The wire read: "Offer you agency at Crown King Arizona salary $100.00 per month and $50.00 per month wife assistant." This sounded pretty good to me, but it was out of a clear sky. The questions coming to my mind were: Why was the job offered to me? I had never been outside the state of California, and I didn't know this Superintendent. Where was this place Crown King located? What kind of a town was it? etc. I looked it up on the map, and found it was a little town in the mountains on a little branch 54 miles from Prescott. Trains ran there once a day, making a round trip from Prescott to Crown King and back to Prescott. Crown King was the end of the line. I also found out that a friend of mine, who had formerly worked as a Cashier at Fullerton was the Traveling Auditor on the branch line, and had recommended me to the Superintendent.
So with this information when I got home that evening, Mother and I talked to it over, and finally decided that we would accept the offer for this new job. It would give us more money, and we would see some new country and get new experiences. And how we got new experiences, alright. I guess I should have made a trip over there and looked the job over before making a decision, but I didn't do so.
The next day I wired the Superintendent at Prescott that I would accept the job and would report for duty as soon as I could arrange for a transfer to that division. I also wired the Chief at San Bernardino to that effect, and that started the ball rolling.
We put up our little home for sale at a very low price and made a quick sale, then we packed our household goods and got them loaded in a box car, which the company furnished for this purpose. They gave us free transportation for the goods, and got this car started, so it would be there when we arrived.