Colby Eagles Alumni Association
Ellen H. Trybom Cornelius
Class of 1945
Copyright Colby Eagles Alumni Association @ 2014
They were a poor farm family. Growing up in the 30’s she learned how to work hard. When the boys went to war mother was left to do the hard farm labor. The other girls were too young or married so she kept the farm going. Mother also cared for her nieces and nephews so their parents could work.
Mother was quite capable of working in an office but preferred to stay at home when the 3 of us were growing up. Mom babysat and cleaned other people’s houses to make extra money. When my parents divorced mother was forced to raise 3 children alone and without child support. We lived in Scott City, Kansas during my school years. Mother worked really hard making very little but kept us fed and schooled. She worked extra hard so my sister could go to the World’s Fair in high school. She cared for many children and taught them to read and many to walk and talk. She couldn’t attend church as she was caring for the babies and small children in the nursery. The 3 of us kids were always in church though. As the children she cared for come thru Scott City they always tell their children that Mother cared for them and usually taught them to read.
When my children were small, I lived in Garden City. Mother would take the kids 2 at a time for a week or so in the summer and they lived in the library. All four were taught to read by her. We still have the old primers that they learned from. She is now working with grand and great grandchildren continuing to teach.
Mother was also a caregiver to older citizens who could not care for themselves. Even at 70 years old she would stay with people so their caregivers could go out to eat, to the store or church. She cared for Mrs. Parkinson most of 1996 in Scott City. Mrs. Parkinson was the grandmother of Kansas Governor, Governor Mark Parkinson.
A year ago a man entered mother’s home late at night and naked. He started attacking her. When he started chocking her she grabbed a pair of scissors and started stabbing him in the back and shoulder. He fled out the back door and she ran out the front door for safety. He did not molest her as he had planned as she injured him so badly. Mother spent several days in the hospital with injuries to her face, neck and back. Because of her recognition of him and assistance to the police department he was finally arrested a few weeks later. He admitted to setting fire to the neighbor’s home next door to my mom, breaking into business’, attacking other people , burglary and attacking mother. When he was arrested the police removed a truck load of stolen property from his home. Now there is a lot less crime in Scott City and surrounding counties since he is no longer on the street. He now resides in maximum security at El Dorado Prison. Mother has been heralded as a hero from stopping the crimes in over 5 counties that this man was involved in.