Filed Under Education

Warnick House

Named for a pioneering home economics professor at BYU, the Warnick House provided modest cooperative housing for BYU women when housing was short in Provo.

Born April 8, 1883 in Pleasant Grove, Utah, approximately ten miles away from Brigham Young Academy (BYA), Effie Warnick enrolled in BYA’s Normal School when she was seventeen-years-old. After finishing the two-year teaching program, she taught for about ten years before enrolling at Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, where by 1914 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in food and nutrition. After several years spent teaching first in Cedar City and then in Lehi, in 1922 Warnick returned to her alma mater, the rechristened Brigham Young University, to continue her career as a home economics instructor.

For the next thirty-one years, Warnick was a beloved leader on campus and a pioneer in home economics. She served as president of the Utah State Home Economics Association from 1924 to 1925, and by 1927 she was an assistant professor at BYU; in 1935, she became a full professor. During this time, Warnick continued her own lifelong learning and obtained a Masters degree in Home Management from Iowa State College in 1937. And when BYU built its first women’s dorm in 1939, Warnick stepped up to serve as matron.

Warnick chaired the Home Economics Department for twenty-five years, from 1923 to 1948, and she broadened BYU’s vision of what studying home and family could mean. In a posthumous tribute, Virginia Poulson and Angelyn Wadley reported that under Warnick’s direction, “the focus changed from separate homemaking skills to a focus on the family with increased emphasis on management problems and relationships of family members. Effie was years ahead of her time.” To Warnick, home economics was more than discrete skills; understanding the home meant understanding people, and that meant studying social sciences and more. Warnick’s expansive Home Economics Department became the forerunner to BYU’s modern College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences.

In 1942, defense workers supporting America’s World War II effort flooded Provo, creating a housing shortage for students. To alleviate the situation, BYU purchased a home near campus to use as student housing, and Warnick directed its conversion into a “co-op house” where student housemates worked together to manage the home. BYU dubbed the building “Warnick House,” fittingly naming it after the pioneering professor who dedicated her life to scholarly study of the home. Warnick House hosted its first cohort of students, whom Y News called the “sweet sixteen,” in 1943, and the Banyan yearbook reported that in their arrangement, “girls who live in one room cook together, and all cooperate on the general upkeep of the home.”

Warnick achieved emeritus status in 1953. In 1963, she suffered a head injury from a serious fall, and she died on January 16, 1965, in Pleasant Grove.

Warnick housed women students at least until 1952 but changed to male student housing by 1956, perhaps because BYU built the larger Heritage Halls to house women students. How long BYU maintained Warnick as student housing after that is not completely clear. Sometime before and until 1976, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU’s sponsor, used Warnick as housing for sister missionaries.  In 1992, BYU sold Warnick House, and it became a privately-owned single-family dwelling. Warnick House still stands today. Passersby can see the exterior, but it is not open to the public.

Images

Warnick House
Warnick House Purchased in 1942 to alleviate a housing shortage, Warnick House’s name served paid tribute to the pioneering Professor Warnick. Source: In Ephraim Hatch, Brigham Young University: A Pictorial History of Physical Facilities, 1875–2005 (Provo, UT: Physical Facilities Division, Brigham Young University, 2005), 130, in Americana collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
“B. Y. U.’s first co-op house”
“B. Y. U.’s first co-op house” The 1943 Banyan highlighted the first residents of Warnick House, showing them studying together and cooking together. Source: “Co-op House,” in The 1943 Banyan, edited by Clara Jensen (Provo: Associated Students of Brigham Young University, 1943), 66. Via Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/banyan1943brig/page/66/mode/2up?view=theater.
“Another cooperative dormitory”
“Another cooperative dormitory” Although this was not Warnick House—since it was the first co-op, as The 1943 Banyan reported—this “new co-op dorm” presumably followed in Warnick House’s footsteps and provides a model for understanding how BYU acquired and converted homes into co-op houses. The suggested name “Ione” might be a typo for “Iona,” as one of the co-op houses was Iona House. Source: “Y Remodels New Co-op Dorm,” Y News, May 13, 1943, via Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/ynews19430513brig/page/n3/mode/.
“Co-op House”
“Co-op House” Warnick House was also known as “Co-op House,” perhaps because in 1943 it was still the only co-op house. (BYU later maintained several co-op houses, including Iona House.) Here the Y News calls Warnick’s first residents (from the 1943–1944 academic year) the “Sweet Sixteen.” Y News may have invented the nickname, though context also implies the turn-of-phrase might have arisen more organically in the campus culture. Source: “Co-op House,” Y News, October 29, 1943, via Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/ynews19431029brig/page.
Professor Effie Christine Warnick
Professor Effie Christine Warnick Virginia Poulson and Angelyn Wadley wrote of Warnick, “She was a great teacher… her scholarly mastery of subject matter, her professional spirit and [sic] admirable character will live after her in the lives of the hundreds of students who came under her guidance.” Source: In folder 15, box 41, Brigham Young University personnel photographs (UA 947), University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/byu-archives/archival_objects/db65db0d7caaeec1b4966314376d1d4d.
Early career scholar
Early career scholar Warnick, most likely earlier in her career at BYU. Source: In folder 15, box 41, Brigham Young University personnel photographs (UA 947), University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. https://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/byu-archives/archival_objects/db65db0d7caaeec1b4966314376d1d4d.
Home Economics Dinner
Home Economics Dinner Effie Warnick is visible right in the middle, between the two windows. Estimated to have been taken in the 1920s, this photograph depicts the Home Economics Department’s annual dinner with students and faculty. Source: John Homer Wakefield, ca. 1920. In folder 102, BYU Photographs collection (UAP 2), University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Via Digital Collections, BYU Library. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/BYUPhotos/id/320.
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences Effie Warnick is visible in this 1928 photograph on the back row, second from the right. Franklin Stewart Harris, BYU president at the time, is on the front row, second from the right. Source: 1928. In folder 102, BYU Photographs collection (UAP 2), University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Via Digital Collections, BYU Library. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/BYUPhotos/id/319.
Distinguished service
Distinguished service Utah State University—successor to Warnick’s second alma mater, Utah State Agricultural College—honored Effie Warnick with this Distinguished Service Award in 1961. Source: In folder 1, box 179, Effie Warnick papers, collection on university faculty and staff 1875–2009 (UA 909 Series 1), https://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/byu-archives/archival_objects/a3ab59386f3c0170a7cb46fd5b758dab.
Thesis
Thesis Warnick’s master’s thesis, “Grade Labeling of Food with Special Reference to Federal Legislature and Inspection Service and Legislation of Selected States,” speaks to her expansive vision of home economics as a field that stretched beyond the four walls of a house into the lived experience of managing life. Source: Effie Christine Warnick, “Grade Labeling of Food with Special Reference to Federal Legislature and Inspection Service and Legislation of Selected States” (master’s thesis, Iowa State College, 1937). In folder 14, box 178, collection on university faculty and staff (UA 909) series 1 (1875–2009). https://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/byu-archives/archival_objects/a3ab59386f3c0170a7cb46fd5b758dab.
Student life at Warnick House
Student life at Warnick House Nell Morgan, a BYU student in the 1950s, lived in Warnick House. In her Ez Duzit column for the Daily Herald, Karen Hoag shares Morgan’s take on “hekka” as an inexpensive mixture of rice, meat, and vegetables, which Morgan recalls frequently resorting to while she lived in Warnick House. Source: Karen Hoag, “Struggling Students Get Cheap Eats with Quick College Cuisine,” Ez Duzit, Daily Herald, September 14, 1995, via Utah Digital Newspapers, https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6f5263v/24171026.
Effie’s experience
Effie’s experience In this “Training and Experience Form,” Warnick reflects on her years of education, teaching, and research. (See next image for second page) Source: Effie Warnick, “Training and Experience Form,” to the Brigham Young University Office of the President, n.d. [1936–1953], in folder 13, box 178, Effie Warnick papers, collection on university faculty and staff 1875–2009 (UA 909 Series 1), https://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/byu-archives/archival_objects/a3ab59386f3c0170a7cb46fd5b758dab.
Professional and other activities
Professional and other activities On this second page of the “Training and Experience Form” (see previous image for first page), Warnick gives a glimpse into her richly active life, including the “Professional Activities” section she penned in, her continuing education, her travel to Mexico and Canada as well as nearly every part of the Union, and her Church service. Source: Effie Warnick, “Training and Experience Form,” to the Brigham Young University Office of the President, n.d. [1936–1953], in folder 13, box 178, Effie Warnick papers, collection on university faculty and staff 1875–2009 (UA 909 Series 1), https://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/byu-archives/archival_objects/a3ab59386f3c0170a7cb46fd5b758dab.
Funeral program
Funeral program Warnick never married or had children, siblings and extended family, including nieces and nephews, made the arrangements for her funeral. They held the service in Provo, the city of her adulthood and professional life, and buried her in Pleasant Grove, the city of her childhood and early life. Source: Effie Warnick funeral program, in folder 13, box 178, Effie Warnick papers, collection on university faculty and staff 1875–2009 (UA 909 Series 1), https://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/byu-archives/archival_objects/a3ab59386f3c0170a7cb46fd5b758dab.
Life sketch
Life sketch After Warnick’s passing, Virginia Poulson and Angelyn Wadley wrote this life sketch, which BYU printed and distributed. Source: Virginia Poulson and Angelyn Wadley, “Life Sketch of Effie Christine Warnick” (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1965), in Americana collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Available online via FamilySearch, accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/64511086?cid=mem_copy.
In memory of
In memory of To honor Warnick’s life and her dedication to teaching, a scholarship was established for the benefit of students in the College of Family Living (a superior unit to the Home Economics Department and predecessor to the modern College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences). Source: Inside cover of Virginia Poulson and Angelyn Wadley, “Life Sketch of Effie Christine Warnick” (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1965), in Americana collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Available online via FamilySearch, accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/64511086?cid=mem_copy.
“Aunt Effie’s” love
“Aunt Effie’s” love “Aunt Effie… made us feel that we were special and that we were the only persons that were special to her. But as we grew up, our egos were shattered for we realized that we weren’t the only persons special in her life. We realized that there were many others.” Source: Page 3 of Virginia Poulson and Angelyn Wadley, “Life Sketch of Effie Christine Warnick” (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1965), in Americana collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Available online via FamilySearch, accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/64511086?cid=mem_copy.

Location

694 North 100 East Provo, UT 84606 | Warnick House is now privately owned, so the building and property are not open to the public.

Metadata

Makoto Hunter, Brigham Young University, “Warnick House,” Intermountain Histories, accessed May 18, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/619.