Sigrun Emily MorrisonSigrun Emily was born September 25, 1921, to Evar Larus Christianson and Sigrun Sveinson at their rural Hensel farm home. Emily was 100 % Icelandic and did not speak English, when she began her schooling at the Eastman School. She worked for her board and room at the Bill Pico residence while attending Cavalier High School. Emily was an excellent student and was the valedictorian of her class. After graduation, in 1940, she attended a summer study program at the University of North Dakota. Unable to afford to continue a college education, she moved to Los Angeles, CA, and found work as a hospital aide and then as a telephone operator. She once forwarded a call from the actor Clark Gable. Emily returned to North Dakota to help her parents on the farm, after she learned that all four of her brothers were overseas fighting in WWII. During that time, she was able to secure a teaching certificate and taught at the Akra School. While living in Akra, during the school term, she met her husband, Clayton Morrison. They were married September 11, 1945, at the courthouse in Cavalier. They rode the train to Minneapolis for their honeymoon. In 1948, they were able to buy a farm east of Akra from Barney and Tobba Hjalmarson. They grew small grains, beans, and sunflowers and raised horses, sheep, cattle, chickens, and hogs. Their horses provided income and entertainment. Emily and Clayton were instrumental in organizing the Pembina County Saddle Club. Emily served as secretary for over 25 years.
Emily was always ambitious; during a time when few farm wives worked outside the home, she taught herself typing and shorthand skills and was hired as the social editor for the Cavalier Chronicle under editor Gunder Berg. She later worked as the office manager/secretary in the Pembina County Extension office for Randall Johnson and Webb Voorhees. She concluded her career in the auditor’s office; first serving as the deputy auditor with Joe Sturlaugson, and then as auditor-a position she held until her retirement- in 1991. Emily earned the respect of county patrons and gained many life long friends as an employee and as an employer. She was attentive, forthright, fair-minded, and nonjudgmental; respected for her knowledge on the pertinent issues in her community, her state, and her country. She was an integral member of the community; serving on the Library Board, the County Health Board, the Pembina Hills Church Board, and the Akra Homemakers Club-later to be named the Friendship Club.