The Gladys Person Memorial Endowment was established in 2002 with a gift over $400,000.
Gladys Person was born on July 21, 1907, one of five children of Christ and Hulda Person. Christ came to America in 1888, and Gladys grew up with her siblings in Bray Township. All of the Person children were baptized and confirmed at Black River Lutheran Church, and the house on the Person farm is the same house that was built in 1905 on the first 40 acres before more acreage was purchased later.
Gladys remained at home to assist with the family farm operation, doing the bookkeeping, cooking, and gardening. She earned many ribbons at flower shows and grew flowers for wedding arrangements. She and her sister, Hazel, also took pride in helping plant and care for a flowerbed on the corner of SAR3 and the Black River Church road. Gladys’ other hobbies included crocheting and quilting.
Hazel Person worked as a cook at the Fountain Cafe In Thief River Falls in addition to working on the family farm. She died in 1983. Marvin, one of Gladys’ three brothers, served in the Army during World War II and then returned to Bray Township where he farmed until his death in 1977. Brother Clarence was stricken with polio as a child and never walked although he could do many of the same things others did, including shingling the family cattle barn. Clarence also drove the farm machinery and enjoyed deer hunting. His transportation around the farmyard was a riding lawn tractor. He died in 1987. Elmer, who was known as “Conrad,” moved to Alden where he was employed at Wilson and Co. He died in 1964.
Gladys was the last surviving Person sibling. She died in March of 2001 and left a legacy and tradition of continuing quality education in Thief River Falls.