|Old Settler Vice President Gladys Doremus proud of Gering roots|
|July 09, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Among her mementos, Gladys Doremus shows a decorative plate that was a wedding gift to her parents in 1914 from her mother’s friend Gladys Gering, one of the daughters of Edson Gering.
Serving as an officer in the Old Settlers division during Oregon Trail Days runs in the family for Gladys (Parmenter) Doremus, who will serve as the Honorary Old Settlers Vice President during the 2015 celebration.
Ella Parmenter, Gladys’ mother, was Honorary Vice President in 1982 and her brother, Don Parmenter, was Honorary President during the 2011 celebration.
“I was named after my mother’s friend Gladys Gering, who moved to California,” Gladys said. “I was always proud to be named after a Gering.”
Gladys was born in Gering and the family moved to a farm about eight miles southeast of Gering when she was young. “My father, John, was a plasterer as well as a farmer,” she said. “He and my brother Don worked on a lot of the houses in Gering.”
Gladys said her grandmother lived at 750 N Street in Gering and the whole family gathered there on special occasions, including Oregon Trail Days.
“From my grandmother’s house, we’d attend all the Oregon Trail Days activities,” she said. “We always had to go with our parents, but later I got to go with a cousin. I always liked the floats because they were so pretty back then.”
Also at that time, the carnival was set up on 10th Street. So it wasn’t far for Gladys and friends to attend the many carnival events. She still has pictures taken at one of the automatic photo booths.
While the celebrations were important, most of life revolved around the farm. As a farm kid, Gladys was a 4-H member eight years, learning about cooking and sewing. That meant a lot of times, they went up to the county fair and stayed there for the week. The club, Deed a Day, also built floats for that parade.
Gladys, along with her eight brothers and sisters, all graduated from Melbeta High School. She was elected as May Queen during her senior year of 1941.
After graduation, Gladys went to California to visit her sister and got a job in the shipyard at Richmond. Her first job was calculating mileage so workers could get gas rations and later she was moved to bookkeeping, recording all the cargo that was loaded onto ships.
By the time the war was winding down, Gladys was back in Scottsbluff, working at American Optical. “It was a great feeling when the announcement came the war was over,” Gladys said. “My future husband, Jerry, was overseas and came back that fall. We were married in March of 1946.”
Her husband, Jerry Doremus, managed several grocery stores, which took them to Shelton, Arnold, and then back to the valley. They opened their own store, Jerry’s AG in Minatare from 1956 to 1973.
“The next 15 years Jerry worked for the ditch company distributing water,” she said. “Then he retired and we moved to Gering in 1992.”
Since moving to Welcove in Scottsbluff last December, Gladys said she plays cards and does a lot of visiting with fellow residents.
“There was a lot of excitement about Oregon Trail Days with the parades and going to grandma’s house,” she said. “I never expected to be named to head up the Old Settlers. I didn’t figure there were that many people who knew me. But I did help out for several years with registering Old Settlers at the Civic Center.”
Courtesy Photo - Wearing a dress made by her mother, Gladys Parmenter gets her picture taken as 1941 May Queen during her senior year at Melbeta High School.