After graduation from high school in 1898 Mary Flynn. taught for at least two years in Hancock, Minnesota just a few miles south of her home town of Morris. In 1902 she ran for county superintendent of schools of Stevens County, Minnesota and won. When her term was over she seemed to hear the call "go West young lady" and began a series of teaching assignments that took her farther and farther west. Her next job was in Page, North Dakota.

During the 1903-1904 school term she taught eighth and ninth grade in Page where she was described by the principal as "highly respected by both scholars and patrons of the school."
Later* she went to Lander, Wyoming

The time in Lander was special for Mary. She taught eighth grade there and in later years she was often heard to reminisce about being chosen Grand Marshall of a special Wyoming parade that took place in Lander. Photos in her album attest to it having been a grand affair and that she was quite a horsewoman. In 1910, at the age of 31, she moved farther west to the state of Washington.

In a boarding house in Chihuakum, Washington Mary B. met Charles Duffy and they were married in 1911. Charles was a telegrapher for the railroad, so for the next several years they moved from job to job all over northern Wash-
ington and southern British Columbia. Between 1912 and 1920 five children were born to the Duffys -- George, Charles, Helen, Jean and John.
When little Charles was about to be born Mary was at home in the Duffy house attached to the railroad station in Winton, Washington. Winton was some distance from the nearest hospital, so Charles Sr. got out the railroad hand car and started to load Mary aboard. When she began to cry, Charles relented and said "That's alright Mary, you don't have to go. I'll fetch the doctor." So off he went, pumping down the track to the nearest town. In due course he returned, pumping the doctor up the tracks to deliver baby Charles at home.
In 1922 the Duffy family left Washington and took the train to Los Angeles. The family soon settled in Pasadena. There, in 1924, Mary B., at the age of 45 gave birth to her last child, Bobby. That same year she enrolled in Dr. McCurda's Coaching School in Los Angeles so as to qualify as a California teacher. During the late 20s and early 30s Mary B. taught at a variety of schools on the desert of San Bernardino County -- but that's another story, for which you will have to read "The Desert Years" by Helen Duffy Gallagher.

All that Mary B. did between 1898 and 1902 is not clear. A paper in her own hand, entitled "My Record" states that she attended the University of Minnesota for 2 years and that she had been Principal at Chokio, Minnesota. The evidence that she taught at Hancock comes from a copy of a letter of recommendation originally written by a Wm. Riordan, Clerk of the Hancock schools. Maybe Hancock is the same as Chokio?? Reconstructing these early years is even more difficult because, according to Helen Duffy Gallagher, Mary B. changed the dates of some of her early letters of recommendation in order to appear younger and qualify for jobs in her later years.

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