6th Grade 1994, Trinity Academy Home School,Lake Bronson, MN
Kittson County Historical Society GenealogyEssay Contest
My neighbor, Edna Erickson, has always been an interestingperson with which to talk. She likes to share with me how things used tobe when she was a little girl. Therefore, I decided to interview her forthis report.
Edna was born three miles east of the town of Lake Bronson. She was born on May 19, 1916 to Gust and Emily Hemmingson. Edna was theyoungest of three children. She had one older bother, Joel, and one oldersister, Ethel. All three kids were born in the month of May.
One of Edna's earliest memories was going to church. Edna'sfamily attended the Union Church of Lake Bronson. Her parents helped tostart the church. The congregation sat on chairs not pews. There was alarge wood burning stove in the corner of the sanctuary which kept all thepeople warm. Many of the people spoke English and Swedish so the serviceswere held in both languages. Edna's father taught a Sunday School classin Swedish.
School was also an interesting place for Edna as a child. Edna started school at age six. All three kids had to leave their houseat 7:30 in the morning. They had to walk one and a half miles to wherethe horse drawn sleigh would pick them up. On mornings when it was snowing,their father would walk in front of them to make a path. Edna had to carryher lunch in a syrup pail. Sometimes her lunch would be frozen when shegot to school. At the school in Lake Bronson there were two grades in eachclass room and there was only one teacher. Edna's favorite subjects werearithmetic and reading. She also studied spelling, music, and geography.
When Edna came home from school, she changed into her workclothes. She had a quick snack and went to work. Edna had to go and gatherall the eggs in the chicken's nests. She also had to chase all the cowsinto the barn and milk them by hand. Edna also had to set the table anddo the dishes. The kids had to carry in the wood every night. Edna alsohad to light the lamps and do school work before she went to bed.
After Edna did the chores, she would play tag or kittenball (like softball). Edna's brother, Joel, made a radio when Edna wasten. The station to which they listened was W.L.S. from Chicago. You hadto listen to the radio with head phones, so, Joel made it so that two headphones would be able to play at once. Listening to the radio was a realtreat for Edna.
Edna thought that playing and listening to the radio wasfun but nothing was as fun as Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the childrenwould cut down a poplar tree and decorate it with strings of popcorn andreal candies. In the evening, the kids would hang their stockings behindthe heating stove. They would go to bed really early so they could getup early. Edna's family would be awakened by music from the phonograph. Before they ate breakfast, Edna's dad would read the Christmas story. For breakfast, they would eat cinnamon rolls on their best dishes and tablecloth. When breakfast was over, the kids would get down their stockings to seewhat kinds of treats they received. Edna, Joel, and Ethel each got theirown coloring book and an apple or an an orange. Edna and Ethel would eachget a new dress that their mother had sewn. For Christmas dinner, theywould eat goose. In the evening, the Hemmingsons would get dressed in theChristmas clothes and go to the Christmas program at the church. The kidswould get one more treat before they went home. They would each get a bagof peanuts and some candy. Edna would make this treat last for weeks.
As Edna grew older, she would visit her friend's houses. One of these friends was Irene. Edna met Harry while visiting Irene'shome. Edna and Harry were married on a cold Thanksgiving Day, November24, 1932, at Edna's home.
The first year they lived together, they lived on Harry'sdad's farm in Halma. Then they bought a farm north of Lake Bronson. Thereher oldest son, Lloyd, was born. Then Harley was born and a year afterthat Larry was born. They all worked hard. Edna helped in the fields likea man. All three boys went to school in Lake Bronson. They each marriedand moved away from Kittson County. Edna has five grandchildren and fourgreat-grandchildren.
Edna Erickson is a very interesting person and I hope youthink so also. I thought learning about how it was when Edna was a littlegirl was neat. I wish I could have been born the same year as Edna.
Erickson, Edna. Interview, April 5, 1994
Our Northwest Corner, Kittson County Historical Society,Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas, Texas, 1976.
Corner, Kittson County Historical Society,Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas, Texas, 1976.