Russell Ernest Warburton was born on January 9, 1930 to Thomas DeWitt Warburton and Clara Ethel Frost.
Ernie, as I am commonly called, was the sixth child in a family of six children. I was born at the LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah. I was the only child, out of the family of six that was born in a hospital. Likewise, I was the only child that had a bicycle. It is said that the last child is often spoiled. My brothers and sisters would say that with a certainty. Perhaps that is the reason for the bicycle.
What a wonderful childhood I had, there on the ranch. Memories of the things that took place and the stories that could be told, would fill pages, thus I will confine my comments to just a few of the “high lights” of those early days of my life.
Christmas was perhaps the most anticipated event, in the life of a young boy. Such was the case with me.
A Christmas tree was a must, however I cannot recall, ever having a pine tree, this was just too inconvenient. It was difficult to make a cedar tree, take on the beauty of a pine, but we worked awfully hard at it. We carefully saved the decorations from year to year and supplemented them each year, with decorations that we had made at school, which were divided among the members of the class.
Stockings were laid out the night of Christmas. These stockings were taken from the bottom drawer of dad’s desk, which was the place where singles and those needing mending were kept. Sometimes it was difficult to find enough stockings, without a hole.
Our Christmas tree generally had many beautifully wrapped presents under it. Much of my time was spent separating them into stacks, according to the individual members of the family. Always making sure that my count was up to what it ought to be.
I will always remember waiting for older brothers and sisters to arrive home for Christmas, coming from the various cities that their adult lives had led them to. Some would drive,some would come on the train. Visits with uncles and aunts followed their arrival, as well as, dances, ice skating, sleigh riding and many other fun events.
I shall never forget the spring and fall roundup. Being among the youngest of my generation, my participation was not as involved, my horses not as spirited, my accessories not as perfect, as the older ones, but my memories are very vivid of those wonderful times.
Taking part in the roundups, sleeping under the stars, printing my initials on the quaking aspens, smelling the hair burn as the calves were branded, eating the meat and potatoes, biscuits and tomato duff, all cooked on the camp stove. It just doesn’t get much better than that!
Then in the Fall; seeing the meadows, with the hay now in stacks, protected with fences, start to fill up with fat, rollicking cattle, soon to be separated, weighed and trailed to the railroad, then loaded on box cars and shipped.
Those locomotives were awesome! So powerful that the huge power wheels would spin on the tracks and steam would shoot out from the huge boiler and fire could be seen, roaring in the fire box. Let me tell you; I needed someone to hold my hand, if I was to be within ten feet of one of those engines and if it happened to blow the whistle, there was only one thing to do…run!!
It is difficult for my family and friends to comprehend, that for the first eighteen years of my life, we did not have the conveniences of electricity, indoor plumbing, or automatic heating systems.
Most every fall, “hauling wood” was a chore that needed to be accomplished, if we were to make it through the winter, with the least amount of hardship and inconvenience. So, in September and October, as frequently as possible, we would take the team and wagon into the mountains to gather dry cedar wood. It was hard, dangerous work. The wagon, finally loaded, reached about ten feet into the air and was very heavy. Navigating the canyons and hill tops, as we made our way back home, took great care, as well as, an accomplished teamster.
All the way home, I would anticipate the food that mother would have prepared, when we arrived. Roast beef, hot rolls, mashed potatoes and if we were lucky…maybe “home made” ice-cream. Let it be known; Mother was the greatest cook…ever!
By the time winter came we normally had a huge pile of wood, in front of the house. If we were lucky someone would come, with a tractor and saw, to cut the wood into one-and-a-half foot lengths. Otherwise, all of this wood would had to be chopped, on a day to day basis, to satisfy our needs.
We were a close family. Love and respect abounded. There was not any logical need that my mother and dad, brothers and sisters, would not find a way to address. I look up to each of them, with pride and reverence, for the example that they set and the principals they taught. It would take pages to cover all of the wonderful things that they individually, have done for me. If I had it to do over again . . . They are the ones I would chose to do it with.
You will recall, our school at Grouse Creek, only went through the tenth grade. To finish high school some of the kids then went to Brigham City, some to Tremonton, and a few to Burley. I went to Tremonton and lived with my sister Irene, for those final two years. She was so good to me and very instrumental in helping me to grow into a responsible young man.
The year following graduation, from high school, we moved to Ogden and I enrolled at Weber College. It was there, that I met Jackie and we were married the following summer. (June 28, 1950). Jackie has two older sisters. Coincidentally, one of her sisters married Wendell Ballingham and the other sister married Frank Murdock, who worked with and was a very good friend, of my brother Ira. Had I not had these two, as references, I am not sure, I would have been able to get my “foot into the door,” at Jackie’s home.
Following Weber College, I went to work for Firestone and in 1955 we moved to Missoula, Montana. The following forty years we lived in most of the major cities, in the western part of the United States.
I left Firestone in early 1966 and went to work for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. In 1991, in anticipation of retirement, I requested an assignment in Salt Lake City. On May 1, 1995, I retired, after nearly thirty years of service.
What a wonderful company to spend those thirty years with. I will always appreciate their concern for me and my family, as well as, business opportunities to challenge my full potential, through the years.
Can you imagine raising a family of five children, while on the above circuit? We did…and we all had a wonderful time.
Following is the rundown of our family:
Name Birth Where Children Now
Judy Anne March 25, 1951 Ogden, UT 6 Bountiful, UT
Linda Kaye March 1, 1954 Ogden, UT 4 Ft. Collins, CO
Russell Paul Feb. 26, 1955 Ogden, UT 4 Murray, UT
Thomas Lynn Oct. 20, 1959 Mesa, AZ 4 St. Charles, IL
Richard Allen March 29, 1961 Portland, OR 2 Yorba Linda, CA
You will note that the total under children is twenty. This represents grandchildren to Jackie and me.
Of all our, so called accomplishments, our kids tower above them all. Each of them have graduated from various Universities. Each of them have enjoyed various academic excellence, which has been leveraged to their individual needs and advantage. Each have a strong testimony of the Savior and serve Him with diligence.
We are grateful for our membership in the Church. It has been our anchor, and held us together, as we traveled the various parts of the Western United States…No doubt we have been blessed…
October 22, 1996