Author Masterminds Honorary Member
Elverda grew up in Minnesota during the Depression, which was a very traumatic experience. She graduated from high school, then worked hard and graduated from the College of Hard Knocks!
She enlisted in the Navy, on September 19, 1943, at 20 as a WAVES. The initials WAVES stood for Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service. Elverda recalls, "Each time I walked past the post office in Yakihima, Washington, where I lived, a large sign (about three feet by four feet) had an Uncle Sam pictured on it with his finger pointed at me saying, 'I WANT YOU.' The sign was positioned on a sandwich board, almost on the sidewalk. There was no doubt everyone could see it. The more I walked around this sign, the more I took the message to heart." That day, she enlisted in the Navy for a three-year stint.
About her time in the Navy, Elverda says, "I thoroughly enjoyed my 34 months in the Navy. Whenever I think about those days, I realize this was a great transition in my life. I was away from home and on my own. I gained self-esteem and confidence and found out what the working world was all about."
In May 1946, she married Bob Lincoln. They moved to Alaska in 1950 and settled in Wasilla. When they decided to move to Alaska, people exclaimed: "Alaska! You mean you're going to farm in Alaska? What are you going to harvest, ice and snow? You must be crazy."
Elverda remembers, "With these statements from friends and family ringing in our ears, we pointed our old Studebaker north. North to Alaska"
"We arrived in Alaska light on assets, young, vigorous, healthy, and optimistic about the future. Homesteading was exciting and full of experiences; each day was a new Alaska adventure. Life was hard, but we met each problem with determination and ambition."
In due time her family secured a homestead. Eventually, they turned it into a Grade A Dairy. It was hard work, but we had enjoyable times there. It was a great place to raise kids.
"We learned that it isn't what happens to you; it's how you react that matters. As a result, our memories are of hard work, dreams, disappointments, plus many pleasant experiences."
Elverda is in the winter of her years with energy of spring chickens and looks forward to her next Alaska adventure. She attributes her longevity to living healthy, being positive, and staying out of other people's business.