Epelde, Martin, Joseph and Louis

Luanne Epelde
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho

Martin, Joe, and Louis Epelde were born in Boise, Idaho to Maria Urrutibeascoa-Epelde and Pedro Epelde, who had immigrated to Boise from Elgoibar, Gipuzkoa in 1913.  Joe and Louis were born in the Capitol Rooming House that Pedro and Maria Epelde operated with Jose and Cruza Arostegui from 1916 until 1940. The Epelde brothers give a lively account of growing up in the boarding house and their first jobs selling newspapers on street corners in downtown Boise. They also discuss their military service during World War II.

They relate their parents' immigration stories.  Their father first went to Argentina where he worked on a cattle ranch for two years.  After earning enough money to return to Spain, he married their mother and took his bride to America. They discuss how the pressure of assimilation influenced them to change the spelling of their name from “Epelde” to “Epeldi” when Louis was in high school, and their regret at having done so.

Martin, Joe and Louis lived in Boise all of their lives.  In 1947, Louis married Rosario Asumendi and raised six children.  Martin married Maxine Howry in 1950 and raised three children.  Joe married Anne Mastro in 1959. Martin and Joe both worked for Idaho Power, Martin for thirty-two years, and Joe for thirty-five. Louis worked for the US Postal Service for thirty-five years.

Today, Martin's daughter, Anita Peterson, and her husband, John, are carrying on the Basque tradition of herding sheep in Emmett.  They run 1900 head of sheep with the help of their three sons and Peruvian herders.

Audio Recording: 
Basque Women Ran Boarding Houses
Spanish Records and Joyrides on Borrowed Bicycles
Other Images: