|Edith Fern Pearson was born March 10, 1904 in Hayward, Wisconsin to Charles
Pearson and Flora Pearl Barr Pearson. Flora Pearl was the daughter of
Ransom and Rosetta Cattrell Barr. Ransom was the son of Jacob and Henrietta
Barr, born in Miller's Run, Gibson, Cameron, Pennsylvania. Rosetta was born in
Wisconsin to Sylvester Cottrell and Sarah Jane Preston. Charles Pearson's
parents were Frank and Elizabeth Pearson. Frank was born in Canada of
Scottish parents and Elizabeth was born in New York.
Fern (She didn't use Edith) had two brothers; Russell L. (Mike), and Paul H., a
half sister Mildred Wilson, born October 20, 1916, and two half brothers,
including Elmer (Phil) Wilson, born June 8, 1918, and Clifford R. Wilson, born in
1922. Mike died in 1944 in Portland, Oregon, perhaps in a car accident. Phil
died December 5, 1945 in a sawmill accident.
Fern moved with her parents to Mankato when she was only a few months old.
When she was ten her parents divorced and her mother remarried and went to
live on a farm near St. Peter. Fern went to a little country school near there.
Later, she stayed with her Grandpa and Grandma Barr in Mankato and went to
school. When Fern was 15, her grandparents moved to a house near Fern's
mother. Then she got rooms with different people she knew.
Fern worked as a power operator at the Hugo Shirt Factory for a while. She
stayed with some people named Carr. They had a dance at their place and at
that dance she met the Blanshan family. She also met Ernie Auringer and went
with him for a while until she met Slim Blanshan. They decided to get married
and were married October 8, 1922 in Mankato. They were both 18.
Work was scarce. Slim worked for a dray company for a while. Later Slim's
parents and three girls, Ernie and Lila Auringer and Slim and Fern all went up to
hoe beets in the beet fields in Barnesville, Minnesota. Donna was born there.
Then they moved back to Mankato where Slim had various jobs.
Fern and Slim had 8 children: Donna Jeanne, born April 24, 1924, died May 23,
1997 of acute leukemia; Robert Chester, born February 4, 1926; James Ralph,
born July 16, 1927; Dwayne Francis, born February 12, 1931, died of crib death
at 8 weeks of age; Harvey Douglas, born September 2, 1932; Garry Harlan, born
May 6, 1935; Albert Curtis, born April 23, 1938; and Sandra Pearl, born June 26,
Fern encouraged her kids to go to school. She told them they could stay at
home as long as they went to school. If they quit, however, they would have to
pay room and board!
Fern was not very tall, but she was very energetic and ambitious. She always
kept up on the latest craft work such as ceramics and macrame. She was
very good at crocheting. She crocheted beautiful dolls for all of her
granddaughters. She was also a very good cook. All her grandchildren
remember her brownies in particular.
She worked at several places as a cook and as a waitress. She worked 6
years at the Coffee Cup, and ran the Rainbow Cafe for 5 years. She took care
of handicapped girls in her home from 1971 to 1983, usually having 4 at a time.
She always remembered her grandchildren with very nice gifts at Christmas
time. (I still have the Tiny Tears she gave me, Rebecca)
Fern was very generous and selfless. According to Fern's daughter-in-law
June, when Barbara, Dale, Rebecca and Nancy had the whooping cough for
weeks and she (June) was getting run down, Fern came and got the older kids
for 3 weeks so she could get some rest.
Fern attended the Eagle Lake Church of Christ regularly.
Fern died of congestive heart failure on February 7, 1994. She is buried near
Slim in Minneopa Cemetery near Mankato.
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