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 A 1950s look back at Ellsworth, Iowa

1952 - A Celebration at School

A news article featured Ellsworth teacher Amanda Hanson.
The article follows:

Miss Amanda Hanson, jolly little spinster, had expected to retire this month from the Ellsworth Consolidated school where she's been a teacher to half the town's residents.  After all, Miss Hanson has just turned 70.  Of her 51 years of teaching, 45 years have been spent in the Ellsworth classrooms.

However, the cheery little 5-foot-1 teacher is loved by children and parents.  She's up-to-the-minute in her teaching methods; she's acrive an efficient.  So, the school board has requested that she teach another year.  Cheerfully, for she loves her work, she's signed another contract.

Except for one year - and she can't remember which year - Miss Hanson has been teaching continuously since, a month or so before she was 18, she took over the Maxon rural school three miles west of Radcliffe.   Miss Hanson was "highly" paid at the start - $35 a month in spring and fall, $35 a month in winter.   And that included walking several miles to the schoolhouse and getting a fire started in the heating stove each morning.

"Yes, and many mornings when I'd arrive at the country schools, I'd find tramps sleeping in the schoolhouse.  They never caused any trouble - and sometimes they'd even keep the fire going all night - but I did get an awful fright one morning when I met one face to face as I opened the door," said Miss Hanson.  "Don't be frightened, sister, is all he said as he left."

Miss Hanson, who had lived on a farm three miles east of Ellsworth, attended a rural school before enrolling for a year at the former Jewell Lutheran college in Jewell.  She taught six years in rural schools before taking over third grade in Ellsworth.  Through the years she's taught all classes from third through eighth grades, but se handled fifth and sixth grades most of the time.

"I like children.  Of course, I get disgusted with them at times, but I never bear a grudge.  I've enjoyed my work, and I don't have to fib to say it.  There have been times when I've had to be severe with youngsters, but I don't think that's necessary.  I always tried to gain my point by love first," she said.

There have been many changes in school methods and equipment since Miss Hanson started.  For one thing, the schools furnished very few of the necessary supplies in early days; the pupils all had to buy their own books.  "For about eight years or so, the school has used the rental system for books.  It means much less cost to the student.  As for supplies, now we get almost anything we ask for," said Miss Hanson.  "For instance, we used to be lucky to have one dictionary for the room.  Now we have individual dictionaries for each student," she said.

Miss Hanson is certain youngsters today have a far broader knowledge of life and worlk events than did the students of her early teaching days.  Miss Hanson, who has three sisters, Misses Sarah and Emma Hanson and Mrs. Helen Nelson, living with her in her home here, doesn't have to worry about cooking and housework.  So, she can concentrate her time on the work she loves - teaching - at least for one more year.

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(You may click to enlarge this photo.)

May 31, 1952 - At a celebration for two teachers in the Ellsworth Consolidated School gym,
those who had Amanda Hanson as their teacher were asked to stand.

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Ellsworth Teacher Miss Amanda Hanson

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And those who had Blanche Olsen as their teacher were asked to stand.

1952 - Turkey Day

The line-up for sandwiches on Turkey Day

Celebrations were held intermittently until Turkey Day was instigated.   The Daily Freeman Journal wrote the following article on Semptember 10, 1952:

"The free luncheon at noon today was furnished by many sponsors of the event which is an annual festival to spotlight Ellsworth's constantly growing industry.   Governor Beardsley was the afternoon speaker and arrived in time for the turkey sandwiches plus the trimmings from Webster City in a 17 car caravan headed by Sheriff E. R. Lear.   Attorney General Robert Larson met the caravan in Ellsworth."

Turkey Day, with its free sandwiches, ball games, parades, races, skits, talent shows, and band concerts, flourished for a while.

Gifts for the first Baby of 1953

1954 - The large concrete Elevator

Younglove Construction Company built the first concrete elevator in Ellsworth in 1954.

      From a start with $9,000 in facilities, the Ellsworth Farmers CO-OP Company later owned $2,500,000 in facilities.  The services and sales offered are grain drying and storage, feed manufacturing, feed sales and bulk feed delivery, sale of anhydrous ammonia, dry fertilizer and fertilizer spreading, L.P. gas delivery and service, delivery of gasoline, fuels, grease and lubricating oil, sale of agricultural chemicals, and sale of lumber and building supplies.

This 1955 news advertisement for the Ellsworth Farmers State Bank was found in The Ellsworth News.


More of Ellsworth in the 1950s
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