Artiach, Jose Mari

Mark and John Bieter
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Jose Mari was born in Muxika, Biskaia on 17 November 1944 to Tomás Artiach and Begona Beascoechea.  His father was a carpenter and his mother took care of the household.  Jose Mari learned the meaning of hard work at an early age.  At 13 he started working full days at the sawmill in Muxika, returning home in the evenings to help his father make baskets.  Life was hard, but Jose Mari enjoyed playing cards with his friends and spending time with his family.  Even so, he felt that life had more to offer. 

At the age of 23, after 18 months of service in the Spanish Army in Donosti, Jose Mari wrote to an uncle in Boise for help in coming to the United States.  Shortly afterward, he left his home and traveled to the US under a sheepherding contract.  He worked for Wilbur Wilson in Hammett, Idaho for four years, then for the sawmill in Mountain Home for a year.  Jose Mari met Miren Rementeria at a Basque picnic in Mountain Home in 1970, and saw her again at the Basque Center in Boise in 1972.  They married in 1974, and settled in Boise to raise their two sons.

Jose Mari started his own hay trucking company in 1975, and bought properties later on.  He has his hands full with his enterprises today, but makes time for his family and social events in the Basque community.

Audio Recording: 
Jose Mari Remembers Working in Mugika
Herding Sheep and Listening to Espe Alegria's "Voice of the Basques"
Other Images: