By Liz Verley, Staff Writer
Alma Randall was one of approximately 25 former one-room school teachers who gathered at the first one-room country school house in Morrison County. The schoolhouse has been preserved at the Morrison County Fairgrounds. It previously had been located two miles north of Belle Prairie and one mile east.
Eventually there would be 151 schoolhouses spread throughout the county. The last was located in Lastrup.
Randall traveled to the fairgrounds from Maple Lake, where she has resided for the past two years with her daughter.
She taught in the schoolhouse for six years and enjoyed many more years as a teacher. She went on to teach in other schools some of which were Rail Prairie, Scandia Valley and Pine River.
Randall retired from teaching in 1975. She spent the last 12 years of her career teaching fourth grade at Royalton Elementary.
“I always enjoyed the children,” said Randall. “I taught all grades and subjects at the rural schools and then ended teaching fourth grade.”
Randall, whose maiden name was Aleshire, was born in Swanville.
She said, “I began teaching at a country school just across the county line. I used to walk the railroad track to the school. When the weather was nice I would drive my dad’s car, but when the roads were bad I would have to walk.”
In her spare time Randall still keeps herself busy knitting and crocheting. She has also made several quilts, hand-sewing the pieces together.
What advice would Randall give to teachers today?
“There will be challenges but stick in there. There is nothing more gratifying than teaching,” she said. “I was always happy when I was teaching children. It is a good career.”