Ms. Sullivan was born in 1924 and grew up in a small farming community. She was the eldest, having two little brothers and two little sisters. While the Great Depression was in full swing, she was five; it did not affect her very much.
The rural school, a school containing grades 1-8 in one room, was the center of the neighborhood. When Eleanor started high school, she was afraid of the change. She rode three miles on her pony, Frosty, to get to school. On Sundays she would go to her friend's house and they would take turns riding Frosty. In 1940, Sullivan graduated high school.