On October 5, 2013, Miss Esther Evans departed Petersburg to be closer to her family. Her nieces Karen Garst and Kathi Schwartz recently helped move her and her belongings from the Mountain View Manor where she had resided for the past year to her new home at Oatfield Estates in Milwaukie, Ore.
Esther was born on a farm near Dallas, S.D. She grew up on that farm, pitching hay or alfalfa to 75 head of cattle, milking cows, raising chickens, and helping with a huge garden. Her favorite activities were riding horses and working in the garden.
After her college education in South Dakota, Miss Evans began teaching in a country school. In those days the teacher had to bring in the coals in the morning and light the stove for heat, teach all eight grades, and then clean the room -all for $50 a month.
Looking for adventure, Esther applied for and received a contract to teach high school business in Petersburg in the fall of 1943.
After three years of boarding with local families in Petersburg, she was finally able to secure an apartment-above the Hammer and Wikan Hardware Store - and lived in that same apartment for 64 years.
In the 1950s she took her SEC examination to act as a representative in Petersburg for Waddell and Reed, an investment trust company and sold mutual funds for decades.
In 1967 she studied life insurance and took the state test to represent United Investors Life Insurance Company.
Miss Evans was an excellent teacher. Many students who came to her 95th birthday party remarked on how much they had learned. One woman told Esther, "I never would have had my career in accounting without your help." Some summers, she would refinish the old wooden typing desks so they would be clean and fresh for the fall. She participated in athletics by becoming the ticket seller at all of the games. She also received many accolades during her teaching experience and in the early days was named Teacher of the Year.
In 1975 she retired from teaching, but she got called back for the 1975-76 school year when the teacher who was hired left suddenly.
Miss Evans loved to sew and crochet. Most friends and relatives are lucky to have a collection of afghans, towels, hot pads, and doilies. Many new babies in town received the cutest winter hat and mittens. She also loved her flower garden, bestowing bouquets of flowers on many friends. Her pies and rolls were famous as well.