Baseball Fan: Olive Easter

by

Kent Ash

 

Baseball, one of America's greatest sports, is Olive Easter's(Mrs. John Easter) favorite sport. She would rather spend a cold summernight watching television than anything else. With a new handiwork projectand a good baseball game on television, Mrs. Easter finds Humboldt a wonderfulplace to live.

On April 6, 1895, Sophia and William Armstrong had a babygirl and named her Olive Armstrong.

She had 3 brothers: Albert, Fred, and James, and 4 sisters:Ann, Lillian, Edna, and Stella. They lived in St. Vincent.

She started school when she was six years old. She attendedschool in St. Vincent from the first to the eighth grade. She attended highschool in Pembina, North Dakota.

Every morning, she walked two miles to cross the riveron a ferry. The ferry was a boat that ran from one side of the river tothe other side to carry people and goods from Pembina to St. Vincent. Duringthe winter months, they just walked across the river on the ice. In thespring, when the river waters rose, the kids had to board in Pembina becausethe water was too high for the ferry to run. The kids had to stay in Pembinafrom 3 to 4 weeks.

When Olive was growing up, the teenagers had differentforms of recreation than we do now, but they had just as much fun. Sometimesthey would go to barn dances. She liked to play tennis with her friendsin their yard at St. Vincent. During the winter, the young people wouldbuild huge bonfires on the shore of Lake Stella by St. Vincent where theyoften had skating parties.

As a teenager growing up in St. Vincent, Olive remembershow strict her parents were about keeping her in the yard after dark andsafe from the harm of wandering drunks. It is said that in those days St.Vincent had at least eight saloons. Naturally, the men got drunk and walkedaround town. Many of the men were loggers, trappers and farm hands so theydidn't really have a home

Olive graduated from Pembina High School in 1915.

After school, she decided to become a teacher, so she tooka state test and became a teacher for several students in a rural schoolin the Lake Bronson area.

She taught in a one room school house. It was her responsibilityto keep the fire burning and she had to carefully watch the wood stove.

She taught school out in a country and lived with the familyof one of her students. The school was in a wooded area and Olive had towalk home and she would often become frightened walking home because shecould hear the wolves howling in the dark night.

Her students ranged from the first to the eighth grade. Most of the children were of Scandinavian descent. Olive says she didn'thave any trouble disciplining her students.

She was paid only 55 dollars a month. About once a month,the county superintendent came and visited the school to see if she wasearning her salary.

In 1916, Olive took a giant step in her life and got marriedto John Easter. They moved to Humboldt next to the United Methodist Churchwhere she lives now.

The Easter's had 4 children: Ross, born in 1917; Gwen,born in 1920; Alice, born in 1926; and George, born in 1930.

Olive has been an active member of the United MethodistChurch of Humboldt since 1918 and in 1973 helped the congregation celebratethe 75th anniversary. She has taught Sunday School for a number of years. She was church secretary, a Ladies Aid member, and played the church pianofor 36 years.

Olive held civic offices as well. She was the villageassessor in Humboldt for 6 years and a member of the welfare board in Hallockfor eight years. Her husband, John, worked at the post office and Oliveclerked under him for a number of years.

John retired in 1958 and every winter after that they spentin Phoenix, Arizona or Florida until John's death in 1968.

Her hobbies now are watching all kinds of sports on television,especially baseball. She also enjoys sewing, knitting, crocheting, tatting,and writing letters.

Olive now lives alone in Humboldt and goes to Minneapolisand St. Paul every winter to visit her three children and grand-children.

Bibliography

Easter, Olive, Humboldt, MN, Interview, December 6, 1975,December 12

Easter, Mrs. Harris, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 6,1974ONT>

Easter, Mrs. Harris, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 6,1974