Elaine Anderson

by

Amanda Hanson

 

6th Grade 1997, Tri-County School, Karlstad,Minnesota

 

Honorable Mention

Kittson County Historical Society Essay Contest

 

Elaine Anderson was born on August 21, 1926 at the HallockHospital and lived on a farm just outside of Lake Bronson. She had threebrothers and two sisters.

When Elaine was young, it was the time of the depression. Kids had to have an imagination to know what to do in their free time. Some games they played were: baseball, tin-can off, anti-I-over, and kingof the hill. Before they built the lake, in the summer they would go swimmingin the swimming hole - a circular piece of concrete jutting out of the landto cut off the strong currents of the river.

Childhood was not all play. She had to do her share ofthe chores, too. She would carry wood and water and go after the cows.

They did not use electric lights, they used kerosene lamps. They kept an Aladdin lamp on their kitchen table because Aladdin lampswere brighter than regular kerosene lamps and gave off more light. Elaine'sfamily did not even have a radio until she was in grade five.

Their family transportation was a Model-T crank start Fordin the summer and a bobsled pulled by horses in the winter. Before theybought a tractor, they farmed with horses and a plow.

In the winter, they would wake up to find rock hard icein their wash basin. It was not fun to try to get it out.

The kids used to go to dances with their parents. Kidslearned to Schottish and Polka. They would all be in one area dancing. Sometimes an adult would grab a kid and bring him or her out onto the floor.

Elaine enjoyed walking through the woods picking wildflowersand looking for berries. Her brothers made whistles and slingshots outof willow branches.

When she was young, Indians used to come through town andcamp by the railroad tracks. Sometimes a band of gypsies would camp there. Being young, Elaine was often scared by this.

Elaine went to school all of her twelve years in Lake Bronson. The first and second grades were in the same classroom with the same teacher. The first four classrooms were on the same floor. They were the firstand second grades, third and fourth grades, fifth and sixth grades, andseventh and eighth grades. By the time Elaine was in seventh and eighthgrade, the classroom for that grade had been switched to the second floorof the building. Most of her homework was finished during a forty-fiveminute study period. Sometime during her school years, the fire chutewas added to the building. They would have to go through the chute forfire drills. The building is still in Lake Bronson but is now unused. Inthe winters, Elaine went to school in a covered sleigh with a heat stovein the back.

When Elaine graduated from high school, she went to theKittson County Enterprise as a printer. She left the Enterprise after threeyears and moved to Minneapolis where she worked as a printer. She spentforty years in the printing business. She remembers that printing wentfrom using hot metal to using a computer.

Elaine was married to John Anderson in 1947 and lived inMinneapolis. In 1949, she had a baby boy.

In early 1950, Elaine spent about two years at a sanitariumwith tuberculosis. Back in those days, treatment for this illness was bedrest and containment from others.

Elaine moved back to Lake Bronson in the fall of 1992 afterher husband passed away. A short time after moving there, she got a dog,Misty. She finds time to walk her every day.

Although Elaine has only lived in two towns, she has beento Europe twice, to Jerusalem, Egypt, and almost all fifty states. Shealso got to go to Sweden, where she found the house that her father hadlived in until he was three years old.

In the summer of 1995, Elaine was at the Hallock Fair whenthe tornado hit. She was in the petting zoo because she could not leaveher niece, who would not leave her animals. She suffered the worst injury,three broken bones in her foot.

Information from a personal interview with Elaine Anderson.>

Information from a personal interview with Elaine Anderson.