Teachers who spend their careers in small towns, whose impact spreads far from just the four walls of their classroom, are treasures.

Great teachers everywhere are treasures, sure, but those who give long careers to rural areas even more so. In small towns, their influence is something so many within a community us share. Some even eventually teach the kids of their earlier students, as their influence spans generations.

The Madras area lost two such treasures in recent days in Beth Crow and Harold Moore.

Harold Moore was about as Madras as one could be:?born and raised here. As a high school kid back in the ‘50s, he and friend Jerry Ramsey had the idea for, then designed and constructed, the first “M” on the town’s west hillside. He left Madras to get a college education, then returned with this degree to teach here, and it was here he stayed, teaching for 33 years.

Harold was a stern, but fair teacher. It was a good thing:?in junior high, managing seventh- and eighth-graders, one best be a stern teacher. Most guys who are now in their 40s and into their 60s who attended Madras Junior High probably best remember Mr. Moore as the football coach, whose first week of practice was akin to an Army boot camp. Tough. I?worried about it throughout the summer of ‘76.

He oversaw the little school newspaper in junior high, and that’s where I got my first taste of “newspapering.”

During his teaching career and after, Harold contributed to his community in many ways. He worked in local industry, served on boards, including being a Metolius City Council member for nine years. He always had time for his true life’s passion: his Christianity and his church.

Beth started her teaching career here in Madras in 1949, fresh out of college. Beth’s career spanned five decades, the ‘40s into the ‘80s, as she taught at the Madras Elementary School for 36 years.

I didn’t have Beth Crow as a third-grade teacher, but family members did, and many friends did. In my day, she was the teacher everyone wanted. I imagine that was the case in other decades as well.

I was fortunate enough to get to spend time with Beth here, in this job, as she worked on her “second career” — avid local historian.

She had an amazingly infectious spirit about our local history. She loved minute details, and would be giddy over discovering what most would think were trivial elements, say, finding out who the second owner of an early Madras house was. But that’s the difference between true historians and, well, the rest of us who are merely interested.

Beth, who never had children of her own, often said to me that she felt all her students over the years were her children. Hopefully, she realized that so many of us, even those of us who never were part of her classroom family, held her very dear as well.

Along with being longtime educators, a love of local history was something Harold and Beth certainly shared, both being members of the board of the Jefferson County Historical Society. They were both committed to our local history, to Madras history. As individuals, their lives contributed to that history, and inspired others to make, protect and celebrate our history as well. They both will be fondly remembered by those of us here in that large net that each quietly, effectively cast.

Madras treasures indeed.

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