| her obituary.
For an article about Sadie's life, history and family, read "Her long life getting even richer", published in the Spokesman-Review 22 Nov 2003. For record of public service, see Sadie's class listing.
from the Spokesman Review, (Spokane), 22 Nov 2003, by Marlo Faulkner
Her long life getting even richer
SADIE BROOTEN'S PARENTS emigrated from Lebanon to the United States a century ago in search of the American dream. They found a life of hardship and promise as homesteaders in North Idaho.
As Brooten approaches another Thanksgiving and her 90th year, she tells her life story with gratitude.
Her father, Joseph Assad, a giant of a man, arrived in America through Ellis Island in the late 19th century. He tried many trades, including running a restaurant in Pocatello, before putting his belongings in a wooden wagon and setting off on a quest for land in the Idaho Panhandle.
He and his brother Eli found two plots available along Fern Creek in Fourth of July Canyon. In the core of Lebanese families living in Spokane, Joseph met a young woman and married.
Born at home in Spokane on April 28, 1914, Saidi Assad was named for her maternal grandmother. Joseph, Alice and Eli moved to the Fern Creek homestead with the baby, Saidi.
"My dad was an adventurer," says Sadie Brooten. "He loved life and wanted the best for his family. He took a job with the Rose Lake Lumber Company on their millpond. He took the job because it paid more to work the floating logs, even though he couldn't swim."
The girl's father drowned when she was 1, leaving Uncle Eli to care for the family.
The young Saidi attended the one-room Canyon School, where the teacher renamed her Sadie. "She thought it was more American," Sadie says.
When Uncle Eli took a job with the railroad in Spirit Lake, the family moved. Then, Spirit Lake was a boom town with 3,000 people. "They had the railroad shop, the mill and a box factory. And a big Catholic Church," Sadie says.
Alice Assad (locals pronounced it "Acid") had back problems, and from Sadie's sixth-grade year to her freshman year, her mother was in bed. "I did the cooking and chopping, built the fire, went to school, washed the clothes on a washboard," she says. "When she had back surgery at Sacred Heart in Spokane and was in the hospital for five months, I kept things going at home."
In 1930, the railroad closed their shop, and Uncle Eli went to work for the Winton Lumber Co. in Coeur d'Alene. The family settled in Gibbs, a separate village split by Lincoln Way. Brooten transferred to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy.
Uncle Eli died of tuberculosis and was buried at Cataldo Mission, in keeping with the family's Catholic faith.
... There's more, in the original article, no longer freely available on the web.