Oroitzapenak Basque Oral History Project
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Ethel Hornbarger
Gretchen Holbert
Winnemucca, Nevada

No Photo Available   Ethel Hornbarger

Ethel Hornbarger had a very difficult childhood. Her family lived in Winnemucca, but her father owned Robeson Ranch outside town. Her mother became ill when she was 12, and Ethel had to take care of her until her death about a year later. After that time, she was the lady of the house and was forced to take care of the family's needs. She managed to finish high school, and eventually left her father's house (to his disappointment) when she was married. 

Before that time, however, her family owned the Busch Hotel in Winnemucca. When the hotel burned (while she was still very young), Ethel's father bought the Gem Bar, which he operated for a few years. He then sold the bar and bought Scotty's Club, a boarding house and restaurant. Ethel's mother didn't speak English well, so Ethel did most of the shopping in town for the family.

Her mother's death had a profound effect on the family, as Ethel's father was forced to work very hard during this time. Ethel took care of the children, cooking breakfast and making lunch for them in the morning and cooking supper for them at night.

Read the Interview Summary

Hear Interview (Audio Files in English)
About Ethel's Parents (10:01)
Ethel's Early Childhood (9:27)
What Life Was Like on Robeson Ranch (9:53)
Ethel's Siblings (13:20)
Miscellaneous Topics, Winnemucca Life (7:07)

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