Yturri, Justa

Joseba Chertudi and Begona Pecharroman
Interview Location: 
Ontario, Oregon
Interview Date: 

A second interview was conducted on the 28th of August 1998

Justa was born in Murueta, Bizkaia on 5 August 1898.  Her father was a carpenter in the shipyard, and her mother worked on the family's farm.  When Justa turned 17, she went to work for a wealthy family in Neguri, Bizkaia, where she learned how to cook.  She remembers enjoying her time in Neguri immensely.

At the age of 20, Justa's father, who was working in the United States, sent for her and her younger brother, Basilio.  In December of 1919, she and her brother traveled to Bordeaux, France and boarded the "Chicago," a French steam ship, for the United States.  They arrived in New York and met Valentín Aguirre, who helped them find the train to Boise, Idaho.  Ignacio Chertudi met them at the train station on Christmas Eve and drove them through the snow to Jordan Valley, Oregon.  The car broke down, so Justa and her brother spent their first Christmas Eve in America on the road to Jordan Valley.  They finally arrived late on Christmas Day, and were greeted by their father and the rest of the Basque community.

Justa met Domingo Yturri shortly after she arrived, and they married, settling in Jordan Valley and running the Yellow Hotel, the Basque boarding house that Domingo had built.  Justa cooked for her family and the boarders at the Hotel.  She stayed in Jordan Valley for 40 years before moving to Ontario, Oregon, where she has lived for another 40 years.  A true pioneer and pillar of the Basque communities in Jordan Valley, Ontario, and Boise, Justa had the distinction of being our oldest member.  She was 103 years old!

Audio Recording: 
Being in America
Other Images: