6th Grade 1993, Tri-County School, Karlstad,Minnesota
My grandma Mary was born, April 17, 1926, at home in WrangerTownship near Stephen, MN in Marshall County. She was the eighth childof ten children. When she was about eight years old she and her familymoved to a farm near Middle River, MN. Here she attended a country schoolwhich was 3 miles from where she lived. That meant walking to school becausethey didn't have a car or bus. The one room country school had grades onethrough eight and only one teacher. Grandma studied arithmetic, history,penmanship, grammar, and spelling. The most fun grandma said, was beingin the spelling bees. They got to go and compete against other schoolsand kids their age. My grandma is a good speller! My grandma didn't haveTV like we do now so she spent a lot of time reading and when she wasn'tdoing her homework or reading, my great grandma had chores for her to do. She had to pick in the eggs, haul in water from the outside pump, helpfeed the cattle, and do chores around the house.
After grandma graduated from country school, she had tofind a job. Her older sister was already working in the cities so she decidedto go there also, and find a job. She was hired at the Swift's meat packingplant. This is where she worked until she met my grandpa Ed. They weremarried at Middle River, MN on June 18, 1946. Then they moved to a farmnear Argyle where she had her first three children (Richard, Betty, andConrad).
In 1953, Grandma and Grandpa moved to a farm near Strandquist,MN where grandpa farmed and grandma was the homemaker. In 1955, grandmahad my mother, Joan, at the Karlstad Hospital in Karlstad. This was grandma'sfourth child. In 1956, grandma and grandpa decided to manage the cafe inStrandquist for Ed and Minnie Carlson. They did this for about a year becausegrandma found out she was pregnant again. In December 1957, she had Carole,her fifth child. Then they moved again near Florian where they farmed. In 1962, grandma had Gregory, who weighed 11 pounds 12 ounces - wow! Thengrandma had to work harder than ever because my grandpa had to have majorback surgery on three slipped disks. Grandpa had to learn how to walk allover again. But grandma said he was a fighter and was someone who had faithand never never gave up!
Up to this time, grandma and grandpa had three girls andthree boys, but guess what happened? Yes, grandma had number seven, whichwas a girl, Lori Ann (1966).
In 1968, grandma worked on weekends at Bea's Cafe in Argyleuntil she was hired at Arctic Cat Enterprises in Karlstad in 1970. Here,she drove with a couple of other neighbor ladies who car pooled. When grandmafirst started at Arctic she sewed vinyl seats for the snowcats. Then in1972 - 73, they switched over to sewing only clothing such as one and twopiece snowsuits, jackets, and other items. She worked there until Novemberof 1979 when her husband, my grandpa, died of asthma. Grandma was sad butshe still had two kids to graduate from school and she wanted to be homewith them.
In 1983, everyone had graduated and grandma was ready togo back to work. So, she applied at Thief River Falls, Artco, which wasformerly Arctic Cat. Grandma was back sewing. She knew how to sew butnot on an electric sewing machine until her oldest daughter had to sew somethingfor Home Ec. Class.
In 1987, while grandma was working in Thief River Fallsand living there during the week, she decided to go to night classes toget her GED. That means she wanted to graduate from high school and shedid in 1989. I remember we had a surprise graduation party for her whenshe received her diploma.
Now, Grandma is retired at 66 years of age and she is veryspecial to me. I love her very much!
s of age and she is veryspecial to me. I love her very much!