Gladys Olson Preuss (1895-1983) grew up on a farm in Rich Valley, North Dakota. After graduating from Valley City College, she taught at a rural school near Devil’s Lake. In 1929, Gladys married Herman Preuss. They farmed and raised their four children on land that Herman had homesteaded near Esmond.
Gladys was a typical North Dakota farm wife: she raised chickens and tended the vegetable garden, cooked for the threshing crews, served as a 4-H leader, and was a member of the extension service’s Rich Valley Homemakers Club for 43 years. Gladys wore this dress when she went into town to run errands, attend club meetings, or drive the pickup to deliver grain to the elevator. Like many middle-aged women during the 1940s, Gladys only wore slacks while she gardened. The dress originally had blue glass buttons recycled from Glady’s wedding dress, but she later removed them to use on another dress.
You can see this dress on exhibit now in the NDSU Library's exhibit highlighting women in agriculture.