Betty Olson - March 9, 2016
I was born on Saturday, May 14, 1927 in Middletown Ohio. My parents were George and Suzanne (Johnson) Egelston.
They had five girls; Pearl, Mae, Phyllis, Lois (not pictured) and me.
109 Moore St. Middletown, Ohio Betty Age 6 months Betty Age 16
I met Blaine at Anderson University, Indiana. He had come back to Anderson to visit the man he had worked for while he was there. He stopped by to see Mary Cima, my roommate. I had gone to Anderson right after I graduated because I knew I would need to get a job to help with my college expenses. My sister Mae and Mary Cima (a sister of June who was married to Blaine’s brother Carl) had an apartment for the summer and I moved in with them. Blaine came to see Mary while he was there visiting and asked her out for dinner. She already had a date and suggested he take me. (Mae had gone back home because she was engaged and planned to get married in Middletown) I said “sure” and so we went out to dinner, and then a horse show at the Anderson Fairgrounds. It was a cold night for August and when he brought me back, Mary was not in yet, and I offered to make some hot chocolate. He took me up on this and we talked for quite a while. The next day he went to a picnic with Mary. Sunday morning he went to Sunday School with us and just before heading home asked me if it would be OK if he wrote me. I said “sure.” He wrote almost EVERY DAY. I came back to Anderson at Thanksgiving and I took him home. Mae got married that weekend and I was in her wedding. We drove back to Anderson in a blinding snowstorm that night, got in about 11:30, stopped someplace and got something hot to drink, and I got back to my dorm after midnight. The dorm mother could not believe we had come from Ohio in this kind of weather.
Betty sitting on wall at College 1945 They used my picture for the handouts at a Youth For Christ Rally
Blaine kept writing, and almost every day I got a letter. I came to De Soto at Easter, met his family, and we got engaged. I went back to Anderson University, returned in August and we got married in the De Soto Church because my church in Ohio was without a pastor at that time.
No author could write a story like this and get it published today! It is my strong belief that the Good Lord brought us together, and since we will celebrate our 70th anniversary in August. I think that is proof enough!
When I was a child I thought 60 was old. I could not image living that long. Now, at 88 (almost 89!) I look back and am really somewhat amazed I got involved in so many activities!
Church of God World Service Office. Part time job while at College. I worked for Rev. C.W. Hatch, Director of this office.
Dearing , Richeson and Weier, Attorneys at Law, Hillsboro, MO. I worked as secretary for Samuel Richeson of this firm from 1955 to June of 1958.
DeSoto Public Library : I began working in August of 1958, became Library Director in August of 1962 and retired on September 1, 2014. (56 years)
Church activities: I served as President of Missouri Women of the Church of God for 10 years. This position also made me a member of the State Christian Service Board where I ended up as secretary for those meetings. Forest Robinson, who was pastor of the Sikeston Church, left there to become President of Mid America Bible College in Oklahoma City. At the end of one of the CSB meetings (he came to urge the ministers to promote their youth to attend the college,) he got a call and was out for a few minutes. The meeting was over when he came to me and asked if I would be willing to have my name on the ballot to be a member of the Mid-America Board. The ballots were to go to the printer and he needed one more person to run. He told me, “You won’t be elected because you will be running against a woman from KY who has a doctoral degree and is sure to win.” So I said OK and thought no more of it. As State WCG President, Blaine drove me to Anderson for the annual WCG meeting and General Assembly. At the GA meeting they had nominees for the various offices stand and I was introduced so people could see me. We left and were in our hotel room, getting ready to go on to Ohio, when Diane called me and said, “Mom you got elected!” So I ended up serving 2 terms (10) years on that board.
In our local church I have always laughingly said, “I’ve done about every job except preaching, treasurer, board member and janitor.” I taught classes from Beginners to Senior Adults, directed the choir for a time, played organ and piano, served on boards and committees, and Blaine and I served as Youth Leaders for a number of years, taking the young people to Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas and Colorado for the National Youth Conventions.
Betty Mueller talked me into attending a meeting of the Jefferson County Historical Society in the 1980’s. History has always been one of my interests so I kept going and eventually became Treasurer for that group. Dr. Ray Henry was President and was a wonderful l man to work with. I am still active in this group at this time (2016). Blaine has done a lot of data entry work for them which Lisa Gendron, our web master, has put on our website (Jefferson County Missouri Historical Society.)
Betty and Blaine were honored by the Jefferson County Historical Society at a 2016 Appreciation Reception
I have two wonderful children who have made me very proud. Gary and Diane, and as I look at their accomplishments, I really could not ask for more in my life time. Gary and Crickett, have made it possible for Blaine and I to remain in the home we have lived in for almost all of our married lives. We are proud of the work Diane and Trent have done in service to the Lord in various churches and still continue to do. Our grandchildren, Andrea, Russ, Justin and Jared are much loved and we enjoy hearing about what they are doing. Our great grandchildren, Patrick and Lydia, how fortunate we have been to live long enough to know and love them. They also make us proud. Four generations of us all still living is amazing to me. I only knew my Grandpa Egelston for 9 years. I met my grandparents’ Johnson on one visit to Kentucky when I was about 7 years old, and never saw them again before they died. I have lived longer than any of my sisters, except my youngest sister Lois. My mother died six days short of being 97 years old: March 26, 1899-March 20, 1996. My father was born April 14, 1899 and died September 29, 1973.
Another interesting fact about my life is that I am the only one of we five girls whose birth certificate shows her last name as Eggleston. All the rest are Egelstons! (English spelling) Dad had decided to use the Americanized spelling of the name before I was born so I got it. I can recall a family reunion where the brothers (all eight of them) argued about the spelling, most of them still using the Egelston spelling. A few years before she died my mother wrote me a letter saying she had checked with the office handling the birth records in Ohio, and yes, my name was Eggleston. For $10 they would change my birth certificate. However, since I had gone through my early life using the two g’s in the name, I decided against changing the spelling on my birth certificate. All my school records were under Eggleston, and when I got married it was Betty Jane Eggleston who married Russell Blaine Olson. So future genealogists will have a ball with this!!