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Marie Sorum


Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 3/11/2011 at 15:01:40

In one of the most exacting of all callings, Miss Marie Sorum has attained distinction, being recognized as one of the ablest and most successful educators in northwestern Iowa. She is a well educated, symmetrically developed woman, her work as an educator having brought her prominently to the notice of the public. Of scholarly tastes and studious habits, she keeps abreast of the times in advanced educational methods and her achievements as superintendent of schools of Emmet county have given her an enviable reputation in educational circles. Miss Sorum was born on a farm about four miles from Albert Lea, Minnesota, and is a daughter of Hans M. and Ingred (Herem) Sorum. Both of her parents were natives of Norway, where they were reared and married, and then came to the United States on their honeymoon. They located on a farm in Freeborn county, Minnesota, buying the place from the original settler, and the farm is still in the possession of the family, though both parents are now deceased.

Marie Sorum received her elementary education in the public schools of Albert Lea, and then entered the University of Minnesota, at Minneapolis. She is now taking work from Chicago University toward her Master's degree. Her father died when she was thirteen years of age and when seventeen years old she began teaching school. Her first school was at Rake, Iowa, where she remained two years, followed by a year at Huntington, after which she taught in the public school of Estherville for seven years. In 1918 Miss Sorum was elected county superintendent of schools, and so efficient and satisfactory was her administration of the office that she has been twice reelected, being the present incumbent of the position. She has given able and intelligent direction to the educational affairs of the county, the standard of the schools of Emmet county now being second to nine in the state.

One of her outstanding achievements has been the establishment as a regular feature of the county educational system of the Boys and Girls Institute, which is the first organization of its kind in the United States and which has in every respect proven a distinctive success. The 1926 sessions of the institute were attended by from two thousand to three thousand people and is regarded as the most successful meeting yet held. The several distinctive features of the institute comprised addresses by noted educators, among whom was O. H. Benson, of Washington, D. C., the renowned Chautauqua lecturer and head of the Children's Foundation work in Washington. The exhibit of the best work done by the pupils of the various schools throughout the county was both interesting and of value as showing what is actually being accomplished in the schools. A music contest also proved a pleasing feature of the institute, as did the father and son and the mother and daughter meetings. Another interesting fact concerning the educational affairs of Emmet county is that this is the first county in the state of Iowa to include farm accounting in the regular course of study in the rural schools.

Miss Sorum has maintained an enthusiastic devotion to her work here and has not only gained the admiration and confidence of the people of this county but has also won an enviable reputation among the successful educators of the state. She has taken an active and effective interest in the general welfare of the county and is now council of the tenth district for the American Red Cross Society, to which she was elected at the state convention held in Des Moines, June 8, 1926. She is a member of the Women's Club of Estherville and is a popular member of the various circles in which she moves.

Contributed by: Debbie Clough Gerischer. Source: IOWA ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION, VOLUME III. 1804-1926.


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