For 41 of her nearly 100 years of life, she was known as “Miss Einerson” to her elementary-school students.
Eileen Einerson will celebrate her 100th birthday with a party at Our House in Platteville Saturday afternoon.
“That’s what they tell me,” she said. “What’s kept me going is interest in life in general.”
Einerson was born Oct. 19, 1913 — “at 10 p.m.,” she said — the daughter of Martin J. and Belinda Einerson. She had three brothers and two sisters, the last of whom, Dean, died at 93 Oct. 6.
“My folks were interested in education,” she said. “My mother had gone to school at Whitewater; my father studied at some kind of special school at Dixon, Ill.”
Einerson can remember to back when she was 3 years old. “My folks had a picture of Christ on the bedroom wall, and I asked my mom who that was,” she said.
Einerson’s father was active in Lafayette County government, including being on the school board of the school where she would later teach. Martin Einerson’s portrait is in the Lafayette County Courthouse’s county board room, and his safe is in the county clerk’s office.
Einerson had an uncle who fought in World War I. She remembers the Great Depression and World War II well.
“If you lived on a dairy farm, you had some of the products” that were being rationed during World War II, she said. “You had a vegetable garden.”
She graduated from Blanchardville High School in 1932. “I’m the last surviving classmate,” she said.
One year later, during the depths of the Great Depression — “some tell we’re in the worst one since the [Depression], and that’s not true,” she said — she graduated from the Platteville Normal School and began teaching at the Einerson School south of Blanchardville.
“I’ve had a lot of students that keep in contact with me,” she said. “We can recall funny stories.”
After teaching 14 years at Einerson School, She got her bachelor’s degree from what now is UW–Platteville in 1950. She taught four years in the Sauk Prairie School District, then in Monroe, while taking classes at UW–Madison to “keep abreast of what’s going on in edication,” she said. She got her master’s degree in 1967, then taught in Warren, Ill., retiring in 1979.
“And of course I spent so much time in Platteville, and I owned a home in Platteville, so I retired in Platteville,” she said.
“All the while I was teaching and since, I’ve done a lot of traveling. I’ve seen all the important landmarks from coast to coast, and five World Fairs,” from New York in 1939 to Spokane, Wash., in 1974.
Einerson follows sports, including the baseball playoffs. “I already read the sports page,” she said Monday morning. “I don’t think the Packers are the team they used to be.
“I’ve always taken an interest in life in general, politics. It’s a disgrace what’s going on nationally.”
She also reads the daily newspaper every day. “I’m one of the fortunate ones who know what’s going on,” she said. “I consider myself lucky.”