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SAUER, Besse Ellen 1898 - 1982


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 5/13/2012 at 15:22:15

"The Fairfield (Ia.) Ledger"
Friday, March 8, 1985
Page 2

National Women's History Week
"To remember the past is to commit yourself to the future"
By Lillian Thada

"There's no other job quite like teaching" is a quote Besse SAUER made 26 years ago when she was serving a double job as principal of two elementary buildings, Lincoln and Roosevelt.

For 30 years previous to that, she had been saying to herself that every day as a teacher was a day to enjoy.

Two principal jobs kept her busy, with 397 students, kindergarten through sixth grade, along with 20 teachers, custodians, part-time cooks and secretaries in her charge.

Her duties as principal included improving the quality of instruction, organizing schedules and activities in her schools, passing on school policies, and supporting her teachers in discipline. Mrs. SAUER was always extremely loyal to her teachers.

Among her many other involvements were the welfare and safety of the students, school patrols, parents work in the Parent Teacher Association, fire drills, and a host of clerical paper work.

Besse always went out of her way to plan for an outstanding PTA meeting and very often furnished a lovely bouquet, ordered special napkins or special refreshments to make it an occasion. She truly took hostessing seriously.

One of Mrs. SAUER's biggest thrills was to keep up with her students and their activities as adults. Many young adults would come up to her and say "Remember me?" and she did.

When Bess BAUGHER was 10 years old, she decided she was going to be a teacher and she stayed with the goal. Almost immediately following graduation from Fairfield High School, she started teaching in Cross Lanes School. She followed that with two years of teaching in Center Township before coming into the Fairfield system.

During her teaching career, she taught every elementary grade. She was a long-time resident of Jefferson County and graduated from FHS, coming here as a senior from Muscatine. She earned her bachelor of arts degree at Parsons College and studied for her master's degree at University of Iowa.

Mrs. SAUER's teaching career spanned 48 years in Jefferson County, 44 of them in Fairfield. Twenty of those years were spent as principal of Roosevelt School; part of that position included the dual LIncoln-Roosevelt administrative job.

Besse was a member of the First staff at Roosevelt School when the building opened in 1923. Her career was interrupted by the Depression in 1936 when the school board adopted the policy of releasing all married women. To Mrs. SAUER, that was a never-ending feeling of discrimination and she recalled that action long and often.

She had married Daniel SAUER, owner of the Sauer Bakery, in 1918.

Upon her retirement, Mrs. SAUER dedicated many hours to the cancer program by serving as chairwoman of the memorials and honor gifts program. She was meticulous in carrying out the procedure for a memorial gift, making sure that each donor and honored person received proper credit. Very often she delivered the thank-you notes in person.

The detail represented in her cancer work was characteristic of the way she did all of her work. Her school reports were always complete, accurate and neat.

Besides parents and children, Besse had a wide variety of interests. She had a zest for learning and continually was attending college summer classes and workshops. she also taught in the Parsons College elementery (sic) summer school.

Reading was probably her Number 1 hobby, and it included giving books to children and the public library. In the words of one of her colleagues: "She has given half of the books in the library."

Mrs. SAUER and her friends enjoyed her collection of clocks, which included tickers of all sizes. It was especially interesting to visit her home when the clocks were striking the hour, to hear the different tones and chimes and find that all clocks were within five to 10 seconds of each other.

Mr. and Mrs. SAUER had no children, but Besse had very strong family ties with her relatives. She was always doing things for them and gave lovely gifts to her friends.

The two most important things in Besse's life were her husband and her job. She thought much of both. She had a long and devoted affiliation with her church, First Christian.

Mrs. SAUER belonged to many organizations. She was very clever in her speech and had a way of turning words into fine phrases. Consequently, when one of her organizations needed a special speech, Besse was delegated for the performance.

Finally, Besse had a love affair with ice cream and never had less than two flavors in her freezer at any time.

*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I am not related to the person(s) mentioned.


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