Urquidi, John

Interviewer: 
Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho

John was born in Mountain Home, Idaho on 16 July 1925 to José Maruri Urquidi and Victoria Irastorza.  His father was part owner of the Wood Creek Sheep Company in Grandview, Idaho.  Until he was in the sixth grade, John and his brother, Antonio, spent winters at the Bengoechea Hotel in Mountain Home.  They went to school in the winter and spent summers with their father at the sheep camps in Little Camas, Idaho.  He remembers the festive atmosphere of winters in Mountain Home, when the sheep herders came to town to celebrate Christmas and the new year. 

John describes the hay farm and sheep ranch in Grandview.  In 1945, at the age of 19, John was drafted into the US Army, where he served as a Ranger and MP in the Philippines and Japan.  After his discharge in 1946 John enrolled in the University of Idaho, where he studied agriculture.  He started a lifelong career with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture in 1951, retiring after 34 years.

John married Harriett Ocamica in 1953, and they settled in Boise to raise their children.  Both charter members of the Basque Center in Boise, John and Harriett made it a point to encourage their children's interest in Basque culture.

Audio Recording: 
Mountain Home's Basque Community
Sheepherding Strategy
Other Images: