Thursday, January 7, 2016

Faith and determination in 1940s Nebraska

Larman, Doug, and Gilbert Wilson in about 1940. The family moved to 
Chadron in 1942, where their lives soon changed dramatically.

Enrollment at the old Chadron Normal school dropped considerably in 1942.  Large numbers of students had gone off to war following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. World War II was soon raging in both Europe and the Pacific.

In February 1942, Curtis Wilson resigned from his teaching job in the Lincoln Public Schools to accept a job at the Chadron Normal.  He'd been teaching secondary school, but his credentials included having taught at Kearney Normal, and he was hired at Chadron to head the Geography Department.  

Naomi Gilbert Wilson
By summer, Wilson and his family — wife Naomi and sons Larman, 12; Gilbert, 11; and Douglas, not yet 4 —  moved to Chadron and rented a house at 827 Bordeaux.

It was in Chadron that the mettle of the family would be tested — challenged severely by unforeseen circumstances.

Beyond Wilson Acres is the story of Naomi Gilbert Wilson. Overcoming adversity, this young mother of three boys displayed enormous faith and determination, helping them forge their own separate paths toward productive and meaningful lives.  She would go on to her own remarkable career as a teacher, first in elementary schools and later at Nebraska Wesleyan University.  Take a few minutes to read...