"I frankly think that no matter what he might do to discourage it, legends could have been built around him anyway, and since the average man could think of no other special attributes they hero-worshipped his exceptional strength and hardiness and made that the subject of their talk.
Regarding the cookstove story about my father, it has been told for so many years in so many ways, and my father refused either to confirm or deny it, saying, "You'll have to ask the man who claims he saw me."
Chris Morgenroth, at that time Supervisor of the Olympic National Forest, was one of those who used to tell about this incident, and claim he saw it. He had once homesteaded on the Bogachiel and knew my father from the earliest days of the settlements here.
We had two cast iron stoves from my earliest memory. One was a Leater (Sears still offers one quite like it for sale, weight 108 lbs.) The other was an average-sized cook stove with an oven that, if I remember rightly, could turn out twelve to sixteen loaves of bread in two big pans, one above the other, or more often eight in one pan. This, I think, is about what most stoves will do. If my father did not pack these stoves in on his back, I cannot conceive how they got there, for there were no trails, and we did not have a horse until much later. Eventually we got a big kitchen range, but that was canoed up the Hoh years later as I can well remember.
These legends made father out to be strong in the back and weak in the head, which was not the case at all. For when he quit school at the age of eleven he had already completed one year of high school - a place most children do not reach until they are 14 or 15. He quit school because the place in Iowa to which the family moved at that time, did not offer any higher education.
Also, John Huelsdonk had a wonderful degree of artistic ability, though not the technical training to go with his talents. However, when it came to music, that was out, he could not sing a note, except when he followed someone else in song."