Agnes Nelson Interview, 1976
Download Agnes Nelson Interview Transcript (1.4 MB)
Nelson Residence, Ortonville, Minnesota
Big Stone County
Rural schools--Minnesota--Big Stone County, Teachers--Minnesota--Big Stone County, School superintendents--Minnesota--Big Stone County, Swedish Americans--Minnesota--Big Stone County, Education--Philosophy
Agnes Nelson's parents were born in Sweden and emigrated to the United States in March 1882. They settled in Atwater Minnesota (Kandiyohi County) for six years before moving to Big Stone County in 1888 where they farmed. She was among nine children; one died in infancy. Following her education in a rural elementary school and high school in Ortonville, Agnes Nelson taught in the rural schools. In 1934, she ran for superintendent of the rural school system in Big Stone County and won. This career occupied much of her life until 1958 when she resigned. She did some teaching with special needs children early in the 1960s.
Since much of her life was involved with rural education in Big Stone County, this became the central focus of the interview. A rather complete outline of her career as a teacher, and later, her accomplishments as a superintendent are provided. Agnes Nelson delved into her own growing years in a rural school, her parents' philosophy of education and the experience of alternating the Swedish language and English between home life and school. Much of Agnes' philosophy on education is reflected in the interview; both in terms of how she taught and a critique of elementary and secondary education at the time of the interview.
West Central Minnesota Historical Research Center (WCMHRC)
Nelson, Agnes, "Agnes Nelson Interview, 1976" (1976). Minnesota Oral Histories. 67.