Part of a series of interviews done by the Imnaha School Kids in 1987.
Interviewer: Darla Marks
Q. What is your name?
A. My name is Gladys Marks.
Q. How long have you lived in this area?
A. I was born in a log cabin on Alder Slope near Joseph in 1914 and have lived in Wallowa County all my life. When I was 2 years old, my Dad took out a homestead on Marr Flat and I lived there until I was 6 years old. Then I went to Joseph and started school. I lived with my grandparents. The next year my folks moved to Joseph and we lived there. In 1933, I went back to Marr Flat for 3 years. Then in 1936, I went to work for the telephone company in Joseph and Enterprise. In 1939, I moved back out to Marr Flat, and there I met Wayne Marks from Imnaha. We were married in May of 1940 and I came to Imnaha to live.
Q. What do you like about living here?
A. I love living on Imnaha and would never want to leave. The way of life, the neighbors and friends are all part of why I like living here. The river running in front of our home. The baby calves in the spring, the deer the year around and sometimes we see elk grazing on the hill.
Q. How many people lived here when you first came?
A. When I came to Imnaha there were more people and more youngsters.
Q. What was life like then?
A. We visited more. We had entertainment, dances and parties. When we had a birthday for any member of the Marks family it was a big occassion, sometimes there would be 30 to 40 people there.
Q. What changes have taken place since then?
A. Since I came there have been many changes. I had to pack water from the river to use and we had a washtub to take a bath in. I washed clothes on a washboard as I didn’t have a washing machine. There was no electricity. Later I got a gas washer and later got a light plant and it had a lot of batteries that stored the electricity. Q. How did these changes affect you?
A. I think the first thing that changed the most for me was the water in the house. The next big change was electricity from Idaho Power. Another change was the transportation. We used saddle horses alot, we didn’t have a car. We had to go horseback or catch a ride with someone else. The road is much better.
Q. What changes do you think will come to this community in the near future?
A. I don’t foresee many new changes here.
Q. What was the school like when you came?
A. I started to Joseph School in 1921 and went through the 12 grades there. The old building is now gone and a new school is there.
Q. How did you get to school?
A. I always walked to school.
Q. What subjects did you study in school?
A. Geography, reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling. In high school I had Latin, Civics, World History, Commercial Law, Typing, Bookkeeping, Algebra and Geometry.
Q. Where did your family get food?
A. In the fall, when I lived on Marr Flat, my Father would go to town and get enough supplies to last through the long winter months. He packed it on our pack horses and mules. After I moved to Imnaha, we raised alot of our food. We didn’thave a refrigerator so I canned my meat or put it in a big jar in brine to keep.
Q. What did you do for fun?
A. For fun I would walk a mile to the swimming hole to meet the neighbor and her four kids and we would swim all afternoon. We also rode our horses for fun and visited and picniced with our friends.
Q. What was farming like?
A. On Marr Flat we had fall grain and we used a bind, which would mow the grain and trow up on there and it would be tied in a big round bale. We would stack that. And then if we needed grain to feed the animals we would use a stick and thresh the grain out of the bales.