Mrs. Oline Munro

by

Terry Pede

 

Teaching in the early times was much different than itis today. The rural "school norm" often had to walk several milesto her school and often when she got there she had to be the janitor, snowshoveler, playground supervisor, and then the teacher. Mrs. Munro was oneof those pioneer teachers in her early life.

Mrs. Oline Munro was born in St. Thomas, North Dakota,on May 1883. She grew up with her parents on their farm close to St. Thomas. She had six sisters and two brothers.

At the age of six she walked two miles to school. Sometimesin very cold weather and very wet weather. But it was a thing they hadto live with in those days gone by. In this school there were sixty-threechildren. They were in grades one through eight. Sometimes during thewinter months, some of the older boys came for a few weeks. The schoolgot to be sort of a family where everyone helped everyone else.

One time they had a tree planting project. All the childrenwere given trees to plant. Mrs. Munro's was the only one that grew. Itis still there. That tree could be called a landmark of days gone by. It tells of a generation that came before us, and was also worried aboutplanting trees for the future. Mrs. Munro's tree still stands today, sortof in remembrance of her.

When she was only sixteen, she and her sisters made thelong trip to Pembina in a lumber wagon to find work. Every girl becamea hired girl in town. She was to get a job as a housekeeper for some family.

It was customary in the early days for young ladies towork out to help their parents out in time of need.

They put in long hours, for very little pay, but they werehappily to save and help their parents whenever they could. They did thiskind of work for two years. After the men put in the crops, they wouldthen take them out, which was no easy job in the early times of farmingin this land.

In 1901, her family put all of their things together andmoved to a farm four miles outside of Pembina. The farm is still theretoday.

But Mrs. Munro always wanted to be a teacher. So, sheworked hard and made her way to college. This was no easy matter in thosedays, but her wish came true and she finally became a teacher. She didall of this before she was married. She finished half of the term for theother teacher.

While she was teaching, something happened. The schoolhouse burned and all the supplies. Luckily, nobody was hurt during themess. They had to finish the rest of the school year at her parents farm.Her salary was not very much. She was paid only $35.00 a month. But shemanaged.

Then on December 1, 1902, she married Mr. Jack Munro. He was a young man and healthy man. They were happy in their early marriage.

She also taught school for a while after her marriage. She had many important duties to carry out in the family. Their firstchild, a boy, was born in 1903. But only two years later, tragedy struckand they lost their child. This was a hard experience. It hurt both ofthem very hard. Funerals in those days were held in the house.

But in May 1905, they had another son. They were happyover this. In 1907, they were just as happy when a daughter was born tothem. This made things good and happy once again.

They lived several years in the town of Pembina. Later,they moved to the town of St. Vincent, which is not very far away. Herhusband worked as a blacksmith, since most all people had horses and evenoxen. So he was kept busy doing what he loved best and enjoyed most. Theyboth worked very hard to make a living. Life wasn't easy in those daysand she worked right along with him.

Jack was a blacksmith all his life. As he grew older,there was less work but he managed to keep busy.

After a long and happy marriage, her husband died in 1964. He left her alone and sad. But she continued to live in St. Vincent. It was hard for her to get around, so she had another lady come in and staywith her, which helped her a lot. But she still baked and did much sewingin spite of her handicap. One of the biggest thrills of her life was theSt. Vincent Fair. When that time of the year came she enjoyed getting readyfor the St. Vincent Fair. She spent weeks preparing food, sewing garmentsand planning exhibits. She won a lot of prizes with her exhibits. Butthe St. Vincent Fair has been discontinued and is gone just like Mrs. Munro.

Another of her joys was the Bible Shoppe she had in herhome. She sold Bibles and other books for several years.

Then her daughter passed away which was a great loss toher which put her down a lot more also. But her son, Roy, still lives inInternational Falls, where he works at the Customs.

In her later years, she went to the Rest Home at Hallock,because she was unable to get around. They she helped the other people withwhatever she could. She also took Bible courses. She always read the BibleScriptures. She always had a kind word and a helping hand for everyone.

While at the Rest Home, she began teaching again. Thistime it was the Word of God. Anyone who visited with her left her roomrejoicing. For several years, her home was a bedroom but that did not keepthe world away from her.

On April 4, 1972, she went to be with the one she loved,her Lord and Friend. She passed away at Hallock, Minnesota.

 

Bibliography

Snider, Mrs. Mabel, Interviewed on December 10, 1973. Subject: Mrs. Oline Munro of St. Vincent, Minnesotanider, Mrs. Mabel, Interviewed on December 10, 1973. Subject: Mrs. Oline Munro of St. Vincent, Minnesota