EUREKA- A local woman from Eureka just celebrated her 101st birthday. Mary-Helen Collier was born in 1912 in Ohio and has three children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
She graduated from high school and earned a teaching degree from Muskingum College. Her first teaching job was in a one-room schoolhouse and she took the trolley to the end of the line and walked one mile to work each day. She paid the eldest student one dollar per month to build a fire in the classroom furnace on cold mornings and was required to spend a night during the school year with every student’s family.
Her grandfather was a Civil War veteran and her Aunt was the first female dentist in Ohio. Collier spent most of her life teaching education and later met her first husband Allen Willis who was drafted into the US Army and served two years during World War II. She re-married for the second time in 1967 and lived in the Bay Area before she made her way to Eureka.