Salutregui, Sebastian

Joseba Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Homedale, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Sebastian was born in Arbazegi-Gerrikaiz, Bizkaia in 1900 to Lorenzo Salutregui and Maria Cruz Susaeta.  He grew up on his family's baserri, but had little time to attend school because his family needed him to help on the farm.  At the age of 20, Sebastian packed his belongings, said goodbye to his mother and took the train to Bordeaux, where he boarded the Niagara for the United States.

After 14 days at sea the Niagara docked in New York.  Sebastian rented a room at Valentin Aguirre's boarding house and rested for three days before boarding a train bound for Boise, Idaho, where his father was herding sheep.  He found a job with Tom Wilson's sheep company.  Over the next three years, Sebastian would have to defend himself against renegade cowboys and a host of other challenges.  In return the company went bankrupt, taking the $2500 Sebastian earned with it.  He never received his earnings.

In spite of these setbacks Sebastian decided to stay in the United States.  He married Libe Ondarza in 1931 and settled in Homedale, Idaho, where they worked on their farm until he retired in 1976.  Sebastian enjoyed raising his children and eventually earned his US citizenship.  Determined to make a good home for his family in America, he worked hard to do so, appreciating the opportunity he found here.

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