Another page from the scrapbook of my mother-in-law, who was a fixture at the Hand County (South Dakota) Courthouse for 50 years, working for the Highway Department.
The National Youth Association’s representative recommended Louise for a job after her high school graduation in 1937. Her first assignment was bookwork on easements for Highway 14 through Hand County. Later, she did bookwork for the WPA Road projects in the county for 20 cents an hour. Her bookkeeping methods became perfected over the years, and used as a model for other departments. A copy of a letter from another Highway Department bookkeeper, written in 1963, was used on this page. It reads in part as follows:
“I am the Hwy. Bkpr. for Potter County, and the State Auditing Department has criticized me to a crisp for being to [sic] slow in getting out my yearly report.
“They recommend your books and your system as the peak of perfection, and suggested that I ask you for an appointment and do it as you do it.
“I have worked a great deal and I understand that time is a precious commodity for the gal that works, if you are able to find time to take me on for a bookwork discussion, I will be most glad to reimburse you for your kindness.”
In 1977, South Dakota Governor Dick Kneip proclaimed “Louise Ulmer Day” in recognition of her numerous contributions over the years. Hand County was always a very important part of her life.