Part of a series of interviews done by the Imnaha School Kids in 1987.
Interviewer: Michael Guthrie
Q. What is your name?
A. Thornton Grant Warnock
Q. How long have you lived in this area?
A. About 57 years.
Q. Did you come here with your family?
A. No, I was born here.
Q. How long has your family lived here?
A. My Dad came in about 1918. My Mother was here a little before he was, but about the same time.
Q. What do you like about living here?
A. Oh, you are kind of off by yourself and city traffic don’t bother you, clean air, and lots of hills to roam around in. It is a good place to live, a hard place to make a living but a good place to live.
A. Lots of people, more people than there is now.
Q. What was life like then?
A. It was quite a bit different. Most people had Model t Fords for cars, lots of people still rode horseback. They didn’t have any big trucks. Everybody when they moved cattle they drove them, they didn’t haul them. They rode horseback everywhere they wanted to go if they didn’t have a car.
Q. What was farming like?
A. It was slow. Everything was done with horses, they used teams of horses and it took a long time with teams.
Q. What was farming like?
A. Horse drawn equipment, mowing machines, dump rakes, and pole derricks.
Q. What changes have taken place since then?
A. Well, at that time everybody had gas lanterns or kerosene lamps and we have electricity now. All the tools are run by electricity now, at that time any welding had to be done with a forge and everything was done manually the hard way.
Q. How did these changes affect you?
A. They made things easier but more expensive.
Q. Which changes affected you the most?
A. Probably the electricity.
Q. What changes do you think will come to this community in the near future?
A. I really hadn’t thought about that too much.
Q. What was school like when you came here?
A. When I started school there was probably eight or ten going to school like this all eight grades, first grade to eighth grade. One school teacher.
Q. What subjects did you study in school?
A. Reading, writing, arithmetic, history, spelling, lots of spelling.
Q. Where did your family get its food?
A. They raised a lot of it, what they didn’t raise they bought.
Q. What did you do for fun when you were little?
A. Run around thru the rocks and rims and chased wild animals and fished and played games just like you do. We played the same games that you play out here on the school yard.
Q. Why were there more people then?
A. There were more people here because the families were larger. There were more children per family some of then had 10 or 12 children in a family. There was people living on a lot of the homesteads that now have been consolidated into bigger ranches. Above the Palette Place, we refer to it as the Palette Place but actually it was a town-site called Fruita. There was a Post Office there at one time. Then there were homesteads and people living all the way up the river from there to Gumboot. The Keeners, Neimans, Butlers, Puderbaughs. There is nobody living there now. The same way all the way down the river, there were homesteads up on the benches, people living on them and they all had families. I went to school at Freezeout School, which is 8 miles up river, South of the Imnaha School. It was a one room school that’s still standing right by College Creek Ranger Station beside the road.
Q. How did your family make a living?
A. My family made a living on mostly cattle. But to start with my Dad worked for the Forest Service, started in about 1918 and worked until about 1929 or 1930 for the Forest Service. He repaired telephone lines, worked roads, built trails, during that time they built the present Snake River Trail from Saddle Creek down the river to the Johnson Place.
Q. Did your family eat wild game?
A. We did quite a bit of hunting during hunting season. We didn’t depend entirely on wild meat but partially we did. At that time you could kill two bucks and hunting season ran for a month or 30 days. You could kill two deer on one tag. Most of our food was probably purchased at Imnaha. The present store that is over there, the whole back side of the store was a warehouse. In the fall of the year the store owner shipped in big quantities of stuff, like barrels and barrels of flour and all the staple type foods, enough to do all the people all winter. Because if they had to go to town, the only way they could get there was by sled in the winter. They could take a wagon up to the head of Trail Creek, then take a sled to O.K. Gulch which is in the edge of the valley. Then they would take a team and wagon on into town.