Westfield—John Eldridge Harvey who celebrated his 102nd birthday
Mar. 24, died Saturday, May 6, 1944 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Ben
Rogers, with whom he had resided for many years. The veteran, whose 100th
anniversary was celebrated by a community dinner party at the Methodist
Church, had been ill about six weeks.
Born in Triangle, Broome County, NY he moved to Potter Co., PA, at the age of five years. There he received his schooling and worked until, his enlistment in the Civil War. His first home there was a log cabin.
Mr. Harvey served with the Union Army for four years taking part in numerous battles including Bull Run, Winchester, Spottsylvania, Courthouse, Lookout Mountain, Wilderness, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He was in the Signal Corps, connected with Company G 53rd Infantry, PA Volunteers. He enlisted Apr. 18, 1961 and was mustered out Mar. 4, 1865. He moved to Westfield in 1885 where he was carpenter foreman of the Elk Tanning Co. for many years. He has been street commissioner of the borough, superintendent of the water system, a member of the school board for many years and an active member of the Methodist Church. He was married in 1867 to Mary Crum of Binghamton.
He is survived by his daughter, Mrs. Rogers; one grandson, Robert Harvey; two granddaughters; Mrs. Laura Tenner of Westfield and Mrs. Vivian Hilfiger, Bradford, PA; three great grandchildren. (Buried in the Ulysses Cemetery, Potter County, PA)
Wellsboro Agitator - March 29, 1944
J. E. Harvey 102 Years Old
John Eldridge Harvey, Tioga county's oldest civil war veteran and possibly the oldest in the state was 102 years old Friday. A resident of Westfield since 1885, Mr. Harvey has been active in all community affairs, and especially the Methodist church in which he had served in various official capacitites until about three years ago. He was street commissioner and water commissioner for several years, and for several terms was president of Westfield School Board. Enlisting at the age of 19, Mr. Harvey participated in most of the ... (unable to read balance)
Tioga County Resident reaches 100 Years Old
Jennie DeGroff Barber, a resident of Broad Acres Nursing Home in Wellsboro, PA formerly of Lawrenceville, PA., and Mansfield, PA., will celebrate her 100th birthday, July 13, 1994. Jennie was born in 1894 in Lawrenceville, PA. Jennie and Victor W. Barber had two children, Evelyn BARBER Meddaugh and Dr. Ellsworth Barber of Mansfield. She has 6 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
DEGROFF, Jennie Barber, age 100 formerly from Lawrenceville, PA., and 179 S. Main Street, Mansfield, PA., May 4, 1995 at Broad Acres Nursing home, Wellsboro, PA., Private Graveside Services will be held at Oakwood Cemetery, Mansfield, PA. with the Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Thomas officiating. Arrangements made by Wilston Funeral Home, 18 N. Main Street, Mansfield, PA. Memorial contributions in Jennie's memory may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Mansfield. East Wellsboro Street, Mansfield, PA 16933. She is survived by a son, Dr. Ellsworth E. Barber of Mansfield, PA and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Victor W. Barber in 1957. Mrs Barber was born July 13, 1894 in Lawrenceville, PA, the daughter of Stephen DeGroff. She was a graduate of Lawrenceville High School. She was a lifelong member of the Tioga County Grange, and of Elizabeth Rebekah Lodge # 291, Mansfield, PA and the Twilight Chapter # 475 Order of Eastern Star, Mansfield, PA and a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Mansfield.
Word has been received here of the death of Hugh Asaph McInroy, 101 years of age, on Saturday, Dec. 19, in Tucson, Ariz. He has resided at the Flower Square Health Care Center for the past few years. Born in Hoytville, Tioga County, on July 3, 1886, he was the last living member of the nine children of George and Alice Wilkinson McInroy, one of Wellsboro's early settlers. Mr. McInroy was a well-known chef in Wellsboro, his specialty being pastry. Many years ago he was the proprietor of the White Front Restaurant, which was one of the buildings destroyed in the Lamplighter fire. At one time he created quite a stir when he kept two wildcats penned in the restaurant windows. He had trapped them in the area of Leonard Harrison Park (now the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon). He eventually returned them to the wild. While a chef at the Penn-Wells Hotel, his wife, the former Arlie Robinson of Ulysses, ran a tearoom from their home at 5 Main Street. Later he was a chef at the City Club in Olean, NY, and much later assisted his brother, George, in the operation of a hotel in San Diego. Before retirement, he worked in the family restaurant "Pantry Shelf" with his son and daughter in Tucson. As a young man, he played second base on the old Wellsboro baseball team and had had a regular attendance at all Met's baseball games via TV. An avid fisherman and hunter, he always declared that Pine Creek was the best fishing stream in the country and Nebraska, the best place to hunt pheasant. He also enjoyed fishing salmon. Returning to Wellsboro in summers, he at one time ran a summer camp in Asaph Run. Until just a few years ago, Hugh and his brother, George, returned every year during the warm months to their home place on Reese Hill. The oldest of five generations, he is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Marion Jacobson; and one son, Hugh Jr. of Tucson; 10 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren and some great-great-grandchildren. Among his local survivors is a nephew, Willard O. Smith of Wellsboro. A son, Arnold, died in 1977. Mr. McInroy will be cremated and his ashes scattered over Mt. Lemmon, the highest mountain range in the Tucson area.
Potterville man celebrates 100th birthday
BY NANCY COLEMAN 02/20/2005 Daily Review (Towanda)
In warm weather, Emmett Manchester walks around the neighborhood. He might stroll up the hill. He might stop and buy some candy. He might visit friends. And we might want to follow Emmett's example - after all, it's worked for him. Emmett's 100 years old. A resident of the Memorial Hospital Personal Care Home, in North Towanda, Emmett reached that century mark this past Wednesday. And he did it healthy, sharp and happy.
"I think that's an unusual situation," he says of turning 100.
The day before his birthday, he sits in his room in his brown, leather easy chair. Wearing tan suspenders over a plaid shirt, he laughs and smiles.
He came here in 1999. "I think it's a good place, or I'd go somewhere else," he states. Emmett, called "Steve" by some folks, has seen lots of changes. But this energetic grandfather adjusts. He's curious. And he loves life. His daughter Kathy Jones explains it: "He just kind of takes things as they come."
Born in Union, N.Y., he moved to Potterville with his family at age 1. He attended the Potterville grade school and later graduated from Orwell High in 1924 -- or sometime around then. "That's close enough!" he says. A young woman named Helen once taught in one room of his two-room school, and Emmett studied in the other. Helen Chaffee now lives in the Memorial Hospital Skilled Nursing Unit, and Emmett sometimes walks up to see her. Helen's almost 106. Did they have electricity during Emmett's boyhood? "Oh, heavens no!" he declares. They burned wood for heat.
How'd they get light? "Through the windows!" (And kerosene lamps at night.)
Emmett remembers the telephone lines coming through town. The Moore Line went through Potterville, he says, and the People's Line through LeRaysville. "And that was a great thing in the community when that come!" The family had no car. Then at the 1920 Towanda fair, "our family won the ... Ford car that was given away there to a lucky ticket holder!" Emmett says. His brother held the stub. It was a late Model T. "One of the first cars that come out with the electric system on it," Emmett explains. No cranking needed. Kids made their own fun in the summers. "We spent most of it in the pond" -- Cook's Pond, Emmett says. In winter they skated. "Kids would walk two, three miles over there to skate on the pond, then walk home after dark through the woods!" he says. He laughs. "I don't know how they did it!"
After high school, he did construction work. Then "this and that and the other." Farm work, woods work. Once, he worked for the state, "building roads to get the farmer out of the mud!" He made cottage cheese at the Laceyville creamery. Finally, he found his niche at IBM in Endicott, N.Y., working mainly as an assembler (and farming at home). He retired in 1970, after nearly four decades with Big Blue. In the meantime, he served stateside awhile in the Army. And ... he met someone very nice. Helen, from IBM. They married in 1944 and raised four children: Kirk, today living in Potterville; Dan, in Denver; Kathy, in central Pennsylvania; and Ellen "Jean" Manchester, in Wellsboro. Emmett has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Helen passed on in 1999.
Their dad taught them "to keep busy," Kathy remembers. "There were always chores to do on the farm." But Emmett decided they needed more. So he got them into caring for Darling Cemetery, between Potterville and Orwell. Emmett also served on the Northeast Bradford School Board, in the consolidation days. "Somebody decided I ought to be on the board and they elected me," he says. Active in church, he served as Sunday school superintendent. The women actually did the work, he insists. "I'm just the mouthpiece!" He joined the Masons in 1931. "And I'm still one!"
And of course he remembers those days of sun, grass ... and home runs! The Potterville Aces baseball team. "Oh heavens, yes!" Emmett declares. "I've got a picture of them right back here!" He gets up, walks to a dresser and pulls an old photo from behind some keepsakes. "That's in 1927," he says. "They had a league that year. ... "And they won it!" The photo shows the team, two crossed bats in front. That boy with wavy hair looks suspiciously like Emmett. The names are on the back: Mert Wheaton, Max Chaffee, Ed Ross, Levi Chaffee, John Newell, Tyler Cook, Fred Carrington (the manager), Ray Manchester, George Corbin, Dana Manchester and Dick Manchester. Ray and Dana were Emmett's brothers. Dick was a cousin. Emmett was the catcher. The Aces were an adult town team. You couldn't get one like that now, Emmett insists, not "on a bet!"
At 100, he's seen lots of history. Although too young to understand its seriousness, he remembers World War I. "All we knew about it was people that went."
And, yes -- Prohibition. The anti-alcohol law was great for bootleggers, he says. "Created a great business!" He laughs at the old, battery-operated radios. And TV -- "Heavens, I remember when it come out!" His first set had a 7 ½-inch screen, "and you had all the batteries in the country to go with it!" Life changed. "My wife, now, she always had a big map of the United States on the wall. She kept track of where everybody was on it," Emmett says. "I was interested mostly in the United States. ..." Even today, a large National Geographic U.S. map hangs by the head of his bed. A world map, by the foot.
"The communications system amazes me," Emmett says. Long ago, you had to go to your neighbor's house to see him. Then along came party phone lines. "It brought the country together," Emmett says. "Changed the lives of a lot of people." Today, a granddaughter lives in Okinawa, Japan. Once when she called, he asked: "How long did it take your call to get through?" Before she punched in all the numbers, she said, "your phone was ringing!"
Computers? "They're beyond me!" Emmett admits. "That's something that you need to grow up with." He's confident he could learn, though. "I don't bother." Without modern advances, he asks, where would we be? "And with them where are we, sometimes?"
He offers folks his thoughts on inventions: "My advice is ... they're going to be different than they are today. If they can keep up, fine!" He adds: "I wonder where it's going to end. ... Things are going to keep changing." Yes, it's a fast world. But then, Emmett's not so slow himself. The new River Street Extension was built right past his window. Did he watch it? "Oh, heavens yes!" he says. "They can move a lot of dirt in just a little while!"
He used to go out and watch. "I didn't want to get in the way," he explains. Got close enough "so I could take a look and see what they were doing and then I'd move on." Today, he watches traffic. But also ... "I try to do quite a bit of walking." In the winter, he strolls the corridors. In nice weather, he walks outside, maybe all the way up to Route 6. "You can walk quite a ways and not cross 6," he points out.
The mountain across the river seems close enough to touch. "I always thought I'd like to go over and come up the other side," Emmett says. He guesses he won't now. His eyesight has faded somewhat. But he gets along. People at the home read him his mail. "They see me coming, they start running!" he claims and laughs. "I don't think I'm getting much worse," he says. "But I can see to get around." Over by his closet, a needlepoint decoration hangs on the wall. "Let me live in the house by the side of the road and be a friend to man," it reads. Emmett's done that. "I've had an interesting life," he says. And he's still at it.
|Emmett Manchester Obituary:
Sun Press, Binghamton, NY September 23, 2005
Emmett W. "Steve" Manchester of Potterville
Photo - Emmett in 2004
Obituary from the St. Petersburg,
Florida, Times, Jan 18, 2005.
PARK- Lenox, Gertrude, 101, of Largo, died Saturday (Jan 15, 2005) at Sweet Water at Largo. She was born in Philadelphia, and came here in 1997 from Athens, Pa. She was a farmer and a former proofreader for the Sayer (sic)(Pa.) Evening Times and the Athens Review newspapers. She was a member of Athens Presbyterian Church, the Order of the Eastern Star and Daughters of the American Revolution, all in Pennsylvania. Survivors include four sons, Thomas Smith, Largo, Dr. Roger Smith Jr., Bonita Springs and Athens, Robert Smith, Towanda, PA., and Dana Smith, Sayre, Pa.; a daughter, Julia Duvall, Encinitas, Calif.; 16 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. Lewis W. Mohn Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Seminole. Note: Largo, Bonita Springs and Seminole are all located in Pinellas County, Florida. [Her birth name was Park her first husband was Roger G. Smith and her second husband was Hank" Lenox. ]
Jesse Allen Elmira Star Gazette Sat. July 6, 1929
Jesse Allen Gifford who celebrated his 99th birthday on Feb 22, 1929 is near death at the county farm at Breesport. Mr. Gifford has declined rapidly during the past few weeks and is in a critical condition with his death expected hourly, it is reported.
Until a few weeks ago, Mr. Gifford enjoyed excellent health. His activity despite his advanced age, attracted wide attention in recent years. Although he was an inveterate reader, he was never obliged to wear eye glasses.
Mr. Gifford was born in Wysox in 1830. He spent his active days on farms. His early life was spent on a farm near Wysox. For 52 years he managed a farm near Wells, Pa. Following several years on a farm in Mecklenburg, Mr. Gifford came to Chemung County and worked a farm here. He entered the county home about three years ago. The illness which is expected to prove fatal for the nonagenarian is due to the infirmities of age. He attributed his longevity to abstinence from the use of tobacco in all forms.
1. Glenn Ferris BENNETT (Very D10, Davis Dimock9, Ferris, Thomas, Nathan, Thomas, Thomas, Thomas A3, James, Nicholas) was born May 06, 1905 in Clapper Hill, Pennsylvania. He married Florence Marie Beckman May 06, 1932, daughter of George Beckman and Anne O'Halleran. She was born October 03, 1903 in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, and died December 18, 1995 in Clapper Hill, Bradford County. Pennsylvania.
Notes for Glenn Ferris Bennett:
Still fine at 99
By: Erin Lemley 05/07/2004
TUSCARORA TOWNSHIP - Glenn Bennett celebrated his 99th birthday Thursday in the company of his son Jim, opening too many greeting cards to count and taking phone calls from friends, kids and grandkids.
He's been opening cards all week and the estimate is that he's received between 50 and 100 so far - there's quite a stack.
"I never expected to be as old as I am," Glenn said with his easy smile and sparkling blue eyes. "I have no secrets; it's a long life."
His dog, Chico, who is even older than Glenn, counting in dog years, accompanied him to the hospital where Glenn spent part of his birthday having stitches removed from under his eye where a cancerous spot was recently removed. He got a piece of cake from the doctor though.
Glenn and Chico are growing old together gracefully. Luckily for them, Jim drives up from Columbus, Ohio, the first two weeks of every month to care for them, and Claire Hercenberg takes care of them for the last two weeks. Glenn has had two heart attacks. He claims that Chico, a Bedlington terrier, stayed right by his side until he got better both times - only taking breaks for a drink of water.
Glenn has three sons - Robert, John and James Bennett - and a daughter, Sue Bennett-Sagrati. And last time he counted, he had 32 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He lives across the street from the house he was born in on Clapper Hill Road in Tuscarora Township. Jim was born in the "new" house and Robert was born across the street like his dad.
Glenn fondly remembers his wife, Florence, who died in 1995. "We were married during the Depression and only our parents knew," he said. Jim explained that during the Depression, married women were expected to stay home and leave employment open for singles and the heads of households.
"She would have lost her job if they found out she was married. She taught chemistry and she had many students who became professionals," Glenn said. "She loved teaching and I think the kids all loved her too." Florence taught at Coudersport and Tyrone, Pa.
"I taught everything in a one-room school house on Clapper Hill. I had 17 students, many first-graders. That was in 1924," Glenn said. "I've gotten many cards from them." He also taught in Skinner's Eddy, was the principal in Laceyville for two years and taught high school English in Wyalusing.
"I taught 44 years," Glenn said. "I've enjoyed teaching and I've had many (successful) students."
Glenn and Florence were secretly married for at least two years before they told anybody, and by that time Florence was allowed to keep her job.
In addition to stacks of cards for his birthday, Glenn's received a bouquet, a dozen red roses, and also a flowering plant from Tina Pickett. He got a bell and a miniature Blarney Stone, and a local 86-year old man even sent him an autobiography he thought Glenn might enjoy parts of.
Glenn's son Robert sent him a gazebo all the way from California. Volunteers from Beavers Meadows Church are going to assemble it and pave a walkway to it as soon as the ground dries out. Glenn said he's looking forward to sitting inside it, where maybe he'll read since that is one of his favorite things to do.
Glenn's children were just awarded a Century Farm certificate from the Bradford County Historical Society because Bennett Acres is 104 years old and has remained a continuous residence and operation owned by their family. Bennett Acres includes the house Glenn lived in since he got married in 1932 and also the one across the road that he was born in.
|Glenn Bennett born May 06, 1905 and his mother Mary Lucina Woodruff (September 1886 -July 12, 1935)Bennett. She was the wife of Very Dimock Bennett (June 17, 1876-September 06, 1952)|
©Daily and Sunday Review 2004
Glenn Bennett, 99, Looks Back on Being Part of Perfect Team
By Wes Skillings
As of today, Glenn Bennett is a week into his 100th year. He celebrated his 99th birthday quietly at home, Thursday, May 6, and entertained guests during the day and read through a tall stack of birthday cards that appeared at least as large in number as the years he was celebrating. Glenn Bennett with the stack of cards and letters he received last week on the occasion of his 99th birthday. He is recovering from the recent removal of a growth from his right eye. Photo by Wes Skillings.
He is still at the family farm on Clapper Hill—one that recently achieved Century Farm status—and with the help of a wheelchair and a chair lift on the stairs manages to stay in the home he loves. His son, Jim, a retired deputy sheriff from Columbus, Ohio, is a big reason he is able to do that. Jim makes the trip from Ohio monthly to spend two weeks with his dad and a caretaker is there with Mr. Bennett the remainder of the month.
"All of us had to work on the farm," Jim says. "This is where we learned about family and hard work."
Jim and his three older siblings, Robert, Suzanne and John, all learned a lot about academic discipline from their parents, Glenn and Florence, who weren’t your typical farm couple. If there was a local teaching hall of fame, they would be the first inductees. Between them they taught in public schools for 80 years, Glenn for 44 years and Florence for 36. Their marriage goes back to one-room schools, in which they both taught, and at the Wyalusing Valley High School, where they were known simply as "Mr. and Mrs. B." They taught at the high school level from the start of that educational experiment known as consolidation to their retirement in 1969.
"I’m glad I’m not teaching today," Mr. Bennett says quietly. "I had many wonderful students."
Armed with a teaching certificate earned by attending the old Mansfield Normal School for six weeks, Mr. Bennett started teaching at a one-room school in the fall of 1924 at the age of 19. He, himself, had just graduated from the Laceyville High School that previous spring. It was at the Clapper Hill School just up the road from the family farm, and he had 17 students spread out between grades one through eight. Several were from immigrant families who had even more of a challenge learning to read and write.
It would be six more years before he would meet the woman who would become his life partner and professional peer. He continued to work on the farm with his parents, Very and Mary Bennett, when he wasn’t teaching or going to summer school in Mansfield to keep his teaching certification. After three years of teaching and going to school in the summers, he took a year to earn his permanent elementary certification. He came back to take a job at the old Skinners Eddy School, and that took the young bachelor teacher up to the momentous summer of 1930 when, while at Penn State picking up more credits at the secondary level, he met Florence Marie Beckman, who he came to call Flo.
The seeds of love had been planted, and though he went on to teach junior high history in a suburban Pittsburgh school and she back to teach in her native Coudersport, they would be back together soon. It was the only year that Mr. Bennett taught away from his beloved Bradford County, because when his mother broke her hip in 1931, he moved back to Clapper Hill and was again teaching at Skinners Eddy. Glenn and Flo married quietly on May 6, 1932—72 years ago as of last week. But they kept their marriage a secret until the next summer, and Mrs. Bennett continued teaching high school French, English and history in Tyrone, PA.
"Those were different times," said Mr. Bennett. "They didn’t appreciate teachers being married in those days, especially women, and we tried to be discreet."
The morality of the time, particularly in rural America, was that there was something impure, even provocative, about a teacher being married. They were also hard times, still recovering from the Depression, and they couldn’t afford to lose their job because of some obsolete morality clause. Fortunately, times changed, but probably not before Mrs. Bennett came to live with her husband at the Bennett homestead in June of 1933. She would give birth to Bob in December of that year, and between then and January of 1936 would have, respectively, Sue, and Jack. That derailed her teaching career for a bit, but in the coming years, she would teach at the Edinger Hill School and he at Laceyville High School, and they would both be at Laceyville, she teaching French and chemistry and he English and history, while doubling as principal. It was the start of a 27-year span where they lived and taught together.
They did everything together, and one year, back in 1936, she even taught for him at Laceyville when he took a year at Mansfield State Teachers College to secure his bachelor’s degree. Mr. Bennett took the three young children with him (Jim wouldn’t be born until 1940), and Mrs. Bennett would teach at Laceyville during the week and drive out to be with her family in Mansfield on weekends. She did the teaching, but it was his name on the paycheck, and it was he who got credited with that year of teaching.
"She could teach anything," Mr. Bennett says of his wife, his voice betraying both love and admiration. "We always taught together in the same school."
They both positively influenced a new generation of students while on the faculty at Wyalusing Valley High School, teaching their academic subjects at such a high level that those who went on to college found chemistry and English, for example, to be less demanding than their fellow collegians. Still both would tell you that they preferred the more intimate settings of the smaller community schools before consolidation.
They had a long retirement together, getting to travel, remodel their home and enjoy their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They had been married 63 years and seven months when Mrs. B died in December of 1995.
The Bennetts may have been extraordinary educators, but Mr. Bennett reverted to his first love every summer, farming. Bob explained it a few years ago in a special issue of the Tuscarora Township Historical Society devoted to his parents.
"During the summers my father led a normal farmer’s life. Planting, plowing, gathering hay and, of course, milking the cows twice a day, was how he spent his summer teachers’ ‘vacation.’"
Mr. Bennett’s eyes still light up when he talks about his children as Jim sits beside him. They were all taught the importance of an education and mental discipline, no matter what they did for a living. In fact, they had the three oldest in college at the same time.
They all went in different directions. Bob started out at West Point, but a shoulder injury cut short a budding military career, and he ended up graduating from Penn State with a business degree. Today he runs a thriving vinyl fencing business in California and is handing over the reins to the next generation. Suzanne Sagriti followed her parents’ footsteps and, after earning a degree from Seton Hill College, taught public school for many years, finding teaching jobs all over the country because her husband’s sales job required extensive travel. In the meantime, she raised a family of 10 children. John, or Jack as he is known, became Dr. Jack Bennett after graduating from Princeton University and Jefferson Medical School. Jim’s studies took him into criminal justice and forensic medicine which he applied to his career in law enforcement.
"As long as they were doing what they wanted to do, I was happy for them," Mr. Bennett says now.
Glenn Bennett never really went far from home in his first 99 years, but he opened up new worlds to the hundreds, more likely thousands, of students he taught in his 44 years in public education.
A story about one man's gazebo
BY ERIN LEMLEY 11/21/2004
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TUSCARORA - When Glenn Bennett was 98 years old, his friend said to him, "Not everyone is able to reach 100. There must be something special you would like to celebrate the occasion. What is it?"
Looking back, Glenn explains, "When I said I wanted a gazebo for my hundredth birthday, I had no idea I would ever get it."
That friend of his - no spring chicken either - often reminds Glenn, "Only the good die young, you know." This always cracks them both up.
They're pretty good friends. One's even been known to lend the other a hearing-aid when a battery's gone bad.
Imagine two very old men, wearing one whistling hearing-aid apiece, and laughing because "only the good die young." And can you believe Glenn's friend is a preacher?
One day the preacher got a magazine in the mail with plans in it for building a gazebo. He bought an extra copy and slyly left one on the coffee table at Glenn's house, so his family would start pondering the idea.
The seasons changed in the place where there was still no gazebo, but they discussed it from time to time.
When Christmas rolled around, Glenn and his son, Jim, collaborated with the preacher in sending letters to all of Glenn's family and friends. They hinted at his one-hundredth birthday wish and asked for a one-time gift to cover the next few birthdays and Christmases.
Because Glenn's so popular - he used to be a school teacher - there were nearly 100 responses. Consequently, a special fund was arranged for the project through a local bank.
Anticipating the arrival of the gazebo, Claire Hercenberg, one of his nurses, brought Glenn a miniature one for Easter. He showed it to all of his visitors.
Glenn picked a spot in his front yard for it next to a tree; visible from his bedroom and from the kitchen where he spends a lot of time in his wheelchair.
Friends and members of the Tuscarora Township community began planning its construction just before Glenn's hundredth birthday. Not long afterwards though, one of the lead volunteers had major surgery, and then a second, which brought things to a standstill.
The unassembled gazebo, sent all the way from California by Glenn's son, Robert, sat in Glenn's driveway inside a wooden crate. The summer months were slipping away and Glenn was already 99 years old...
Wyalusing Valley High School senior Robert Barth to the rescue! For Robert's senior project, he took over heading the construction on weekends.
"Me and my step-dad laid out the stakes," Robert says. Then they placed boards to shape the concrete base.
"On Saturday, Oct. 2, we poured out the concrete and it was idle for a while."
of Glenn's grandsons, Charles, arrived for a visit and helped Robert assemble the gazebo since he works for his dad's company, which makes the gazebo kits.
It's done and Glenn thinks it's beautiful. He's tested it out by sitting inside. It has a ramp so he can get in with his wheelchair.
In the end the gazebo was completed early. Glenn won't be 100 until May 6, but he recognizes it's a good thing that the Rev. Bill Nelson started in early - or he would have had to wait until he was 101. He's looking forward to getting some more use out of it though when the warmer weather shows up, hopefully in time for his birthday.
More About Florence Marie Beckman:
Burial: December 20, 1995, the Beaver Meadows Cemetery
More About Glenn Bennett and Florence Beckman:
Marriage: May 06, 1932
Children of Glenn Bennett and Florence Beckman are:
2 i. Robert Glenn Bennett, born December 30, 1933 in Clapper Hill, Bradford, County, Pennsylvania.
3 ii. Susanne Mary Bennett, born November 19, 1934 in Clapper Hill, Bradford, County, Pennsylvania. She married Alfred James Sagrati September 03, 1956.
More About Alfred Sagrati and Susanne Bennett:
Marriage: September 03, 1956
4 iii. Dr. John Very Bennett, born January 21, 1936 in Clapper Hill, Bradford, County, Pennsylvania.
5 iv. James George Bennett, born April 13, 1940 in Clapper Hill, Bradford,
|Glenn Bennett of Wyalusing celebrates centennial birthday
BY ERIN LEMLEY 05/10/2005 Daily Review
TUSCARORA TOWNSHIP -- A hundred years offer the unique opportunity to touch many people's lives. And that's just what Glenn Bennett has done.
The beloved man from Clapper Hill Road in Tuscarora Township celebrated his 100th birthday among hundreds of family members, friends and former students over the weekend.
Some of his very first students from the former one-room school house on Clapper Hill attended the birthday bash held Saturday at Beaver Meadows United Methodist Church.
Adella (Sistas) Stevens of Wyalusing and Sofia (Dziuba) Hill of Buffalo, N.Y., were chatting away like the girls they were when they first met their 19-year-old teacher, Mr. Bennett.
|Helen ROSS Chaffee
Friends, family gather for Helen Chaffee's 106th birthday
1. Levi2 Chaffee (Ellis D1) died Aft. 1967. He married Helen Ross April 22, 1920, daughter of Sterling Ross and Kate. She was born April 22, 1899.
Former Rome woman celebrates milestone birthday today By: Nancy Coleman 04/22/2004
Do you drink buttermilk? If not, maybe you should. Helen Chaffee drinks it. And today, she turns 105 years old. That's more than a century. Whether or not it's the buttermilk, something's doing the trick. Today, in her room at Towanda Memorial Hospital's Skilled Nursing Unit, Helen visits with her son and daughter-in-law, Ellis and Minnie Chaffee, from Rome. Helen's waved hair is as white as a snowdrift at noon. Her voice is strong and clear, all the better to ... make her feelings understood. She's spunky. She's a lady who loves the outdoors and animals, who mowed her lawn until her mid-90s. She's worked hard. She's cheerful, too. A toy cat lounges on her TV, and a yellow rose gleams by the window. Photos of the ones she loves set on shelves or hang on the wall - babies, children, teens, adults -- even turkeys on her lawn and her Siamese cat, who lived to 21. And at 105 - her eyes still sparkle.
One of Sterling and Kate Ross' three children, Helen grew up in Potterville.
Her brother was named Edward and her sister, Margaret (Mosier). Her dad
did carpentry work, and they had a small farm. Young Helen's world was
much different from today's. Her house, of course, had no electricity,
and the family used two woodstoves. It would be a long time before her
dad got a car. People cut their ice off a pond and stored it in sheds,
packed in sawdust.
A garden? "Oh, heavens yes!" she cries. "Everything you got you got in your garden!" Well, almost everything. They also dug dandelion greens, and bought codfish in the store. Ellis remembers the codfish-and-brine barrel. And a long, horse-drawn wagon came around with bananas. "Any bananas today? Any bananas today?" the driver would cry. "I can still see them sticking out," Helen says. "That's the way you got your bananas." The family had a couple of cows, and Helen milked them and made butter. "Always did that." They used to milk in the pasture. When she was only 4 or 5, Helen met up with one energetic cow. "Picked me right up with the horns!" she remembers. "Had me right up in the air!" Helen wasn't hurt. But she's never forgotten. Girls dressed simply. "They didn't have styles like they do now," Helen says. "You didn't have to be all dressed up to go outdoors then." And how'd they do their hair? Helen laughs. "I don't know as they did it!" Maybe just in braids, or buns. For fun, kids played ball. Or they went to the creek. Or they might sling fish poles over their backs and head for Cook's Pond. "We fished every single night," Helen says.
She made lots of friends in her little town: Mabel Carrington, Marguerite Ford, Margretta Zimmerman -- her next-door neighbor. Steve Manchester comes up from the Personal Care Home to visit her. She faithfully attended church (and still belongs to the Potterville church). Whatever was happening in Potterville, people went to, Helen says. "No matter what 'twas."
She remembers hearing about the Titanic sinking. "That was talk for a long, long time." She also remembers young men from Potterville going off to World War I. In the Potterville school, her first teacher was Alice Evans, from Neath, who later become a famous microbiologist. "She was my teacher when I was 5 years old!" she says with a laugh. After graduating, Helen herself taught in a school just north of town. She had to walk two or three miles out to it. "Two or three people had cars but not very many," she says. She taught as long as she was allowed without training, then stopped. She turned her attention elsewhere ... His name was Levi Chaffee. They'd gone to school together -- "You didn't know anybody but what you would go to school," Helen explains. Later, he played for the Potterville Aces baseball team. With a roster of local names like Cook, Russell, Manchester and Corbin, the Aces were a powerhouse. Helen and her baseball star married on April 22, 1920, her 21st birthday. They settled on Orwell Ridge and farmed for almost 50 years. On their 420 acres, they did it all: Milked 60 or so dairy cows. Made syrup (sold it for just $2 a gallon). Raised chickens.
Levi also drove a school bus. And together, they raised two children, Ellis and Eloise (today Eloise Bush of Standing Stone). Kids are better off busy on a farm, Helen believes. She milked cows and gathered eggs from 600 or 800 chickens by hand. The best invention ever, she thought, was the egg-washer. Did she ever chop chickens' heads off? Minnie asks. "No!" Helen declares. "That's what they did, but I didn't!" Helen always voted faithfully. "She was always a Republican," Minnie explains. "You voted for Republicans no matter what they were!" In 1967, they sold the farm and moved to a house along Route 467. Levi later died, and Helen stayed there until just last year. She got along quite well. She has trouble hearing -- perhaps from that pistol lesson with her grandson. She mowed her lawn. She shot woodchucks into her 90s.
She fed the local wildlife, and watched them in her yard. Turkeys, deer, possums. Stray cats. Birds. (The blue jays were hogs!) A bear once tore down the bird feeder. Having trouble walking, she moved to Skilled Nursing last spring. Her legs' weakness surprised her -- "I thought they'd be good for another 10 years!" Minnie says she told a doctor. She's quite healthy otherwise. And that's after years of eating meat fat and eggs and drinking whole milk. (Want some buttermilk? she asks.)
"I had to work on the farm," Helen points out. Maybe that's the key. "Keep moving," she advises.Today, Helen has grandchildren and great-grandchildren -- some with their own kids. A picture sets on a shelf. In it, Helen holds a little baby, her great-great-granddaughter. Her name: Helen Grace.Her family brings her magazines, and she keeps a weather radio by her chair. "She always wants the paper every day," Minnie says. And after all these years, Helen remembers it. Probably few can. But Helen does ..."You just did it for me the other day," Minnie coaxes. And she starts: "What is so rare as a day in June?" Helen picks it up: "Then, if ever, come perfect days. ..." She recites the whole poem, line after line. Perfect days. Helen's had many of them, and will have more. All with a sparkle in her eye. Submitted by Carol HOOSE Brotzman
May 18, 2005
Celebrating 104 years
By Aaron Cahall
Myra Whipple sits with her three daughters, standing from left to right: Norma Percival of Dushore; Lorraine Chaapel of Elmira; and Marcie Randall of Canton, at her birthday party on Sunday. Myra turns 104 today. She is currently a resident of the Bradford County Manor in West Burlington. Myra Whipple sits with her three daughters, standing from left to right: Norma Percival of Dushore; Lorraine Chaapel of Elmira; and Marcie Randall of Canton, at her birthday party on Sunday. Myra turns 104 today. She is currently a resident of the Bradford County Manor in West Burlington. Contributed by Carol HOOSE Brotzman
IF anyone knows her own surname, please let me know - thanks Joyce M. Tice
Own Surname is Wilcox
Mrs. Harriet Bulkley Dibble of 454 Riverside Ave. died Monday at the age of 100. She celebrated her 100th birthday March 26. She attributed her longevity to her "faith in God," good living, and never wanting anything that wasn't right for her. Mrs. Dibble was born on a farm in Susquehanna County, Pa.[Upsonville in Franklin Twp.] One of her relatives, Ichabod Buck, was among the original settlers of the Susquehanna area. [as was his father Daniel, both Revolutionary War veterans] She is survived by four of her five children, 10 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and 15 great great grandchildren. She was a member of The First Baptist Church.
I found the following newspaper article in the Dibble family file at the Cortland County Historical Society in Cortland, NY; it was not dated. It is almost certainly from an Elmira paper and would have appeared about the 29th of March 1965.
Her Life Span---From Oxen to Space Travel
BY MARY LOU NELCOSKI
"I remember the oxen days my father had oxen on the farm." The woman speaking was Mrs. Harriet Dibble of 456 Riverside Ave. She was 98 years old Thursday. The conversation then naturally switched to current events because this alert woman is very interested in the world around her. "I have lived from the oxen days to space. It is quite wonderful, but I don't know I wonder. "Man was given the earth and made a mess of that. Now they are going into space and I don't know what will happen."
Always abreast of the news (she watched the astronauts' flight with much interest), Mrs. Dibble is well informed on news of the world. She is also very interested in politics. "I have always voted. I voted in the last election." It was necessary for her to use absentee ballot because she now only gets around by wheelchair. Her politics? "I am a staunch Republican. My father was a politician and I have always followed it up."
POSSESSOR of a keen sense of humor, Mrs. Dibble quipped: "Well, do you suppose I'll have 98 years more?" when she was congratulated on her birthday by her daughter, Edna. Mrs. Dibble makes her home with her daughter. On her longevity, the handsome woman whose appearance belies her age, said: I give all the praise for everything to the one above. That's the biggest testimony I can give to follow after Him." She credits her faith in God, good living and never wanting anything that wasn't right for her full life span. "Nothing ever appealed to me that my parents didn't want for me." "I lived a very simple life. I worked days and some nights. They don't do that these days."
Mrs. Dibble was born on a farm in Susquehanna County, Pa., about 6 miles from Montrose. She was married Jan. 26, 1886, to Lee Dibble, a DL&W Railroad employee. They lived in Halstead, Pa., until 1901 when they were transferred to Elmira. Mr. Dibble died in 1939. They had five children: Arthur, deceased; Mrs. Alice Gray of Horseheads, Ralph Dibble of Cortland, Charles Dibble of Oklahoma City and Edna of Elmira. Mrs. Dibble has 10 grand-children, 33 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
She was a member of St. Luke's Congregational Church most of her life, but since she does not get out to church now, she has also been "adopted" by the First Baptist Church and Hillcrest Baptist Church.
A PERSON with always a green thumb, with African violets her specialty, the tributes that poured in on her birthday were in keeping with her love of flowers. There were many bouquets decorating the room. There were also many cards, callers and a cake. "I wasn't expecting so nice a birthday.
I found the following newspaper article in the Dibble family file at the Cortland County Historical Society, Cortland, NY; it was not dated. It is almost certainly from an Elmira paper and would have appeared about the 26th of March 1967.
Elmiran Notes 100th Birthday
By JACK FREED
Mrs. Harriet Dibble of 456 Riverside Ave. celebrated her birthday Saturday - nothing unusual, especially for her because she'd had 99 of them already. Close family and neighbors came to offer best wishes. There wasn't much of a party, said her daughter, Edna, with whom she lives. "We didn't want to tire her." But there was a cake and Mrs. Dibble's sharp wit and sense of humor shone through her 100 years, untarnished.
To people who ask: "To what do you attribute your longevity?" Mrs. Dibble answers, her faith in God. The elixir is spiritual, not material. A great-great-grandmother, Mrs. Dibble, statistics show, is only one in 10,000 who get to blow out 100 candles. An elixir shortage? Mrs. Dibble tells a story that as a girl on her parents' farm in Susquehanna County, Pa., about six miles from Montrose, she first found out that she was to live a long life. The prediction came from a man who practiced a type of phrenology - a pseudo science which abounded in the 19th century whereby a person's intelligence was measured by the contours of his skull. "The man felt the bumps on my head," Mrs. Dibble says with a twinkle in her eye, "and predicted a long life for me." Apparently he said nothing of her intelligence which must have been obvious even as a young girl.
She is alert to this day. Intensely interested in the world around her, Mrs. Dibble keeps up with current events by daily perusals of magazines and newspapers. Recently she finished reading a novel, a feat considered amazing for someone her age, and was able afterwards to relate with a clear memory many of the events in the book. Of Mrs. Dibble's five children, all are living except one. She has 10 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren. And to the fourth generation, she is fond of bringing a breath from the past. When the youngsters visit, says her daughter, she always has a story ready of one of the family's forefathers. There was Ichabod Buck, a captain during the Revolutionary War. One of the original settlers of the Susquehanna area, Capt. Buck was accustomed to following hewn paths to new settlements where he would then stop for a few days to preach.
"Maybe I shouldn't be boasting of forefathers," Mrs. Dibble says, but she is vastly proud of them. Not many children are fortunate to have a first-hand bridge extending so far into the past. Mrs. Dibble's life spans almost equally the 19th and 20th centuries. How do they compare? Well, it is nice to have electricity and automobiles, she says, but man may have gone a little too far in his materialism. And this is sad. He is losing sight of the spiritual side of life, she says. In her younger days, the home was the center of things. It had more importance than it seems to today. There was a sanctity of home and family. Now she is bothered by trends in the 20th century which appear to herald a disintegration of family. But apparently no such thing has happened in her family. Confined to a wheelchair, Mrs. Dibble often complains of being a bother to her children. On the contrary, they say, she is a delight to have around.
|Happy at 100: Evelyn Mahoney to celebrate milestone birthday
BY NANCY COLEMAN 09/29/2005 Daily Review
Her blue eyes still twinkle.
Is it from years of playing in the hills? Or growing up in a big, loving family?
Or working hard, indoors and out, to help others and make the world a little prettier, a little better for everyone?
Maybe it's ... all of that.
Evelyn Mahoney will turn 100 years old Oct. 5. She's healthy, and sharp. And those bright eyes are happy.
Evelyn lives with her daughter and son-in-law Geraldine and Jim Herda on Bridge Street Hill, Towanda. Her vision's good, she eats and sleeps great, and she gets around with a walker. She even dries dishes for Geraldine.
She's a sweet - but spunky - soul. Evelyn's crocheted intricate doilies -- and loves the TV show "Walker: Texas Ranger."
White as sugar, her hair curls around her face. This afternoon, she wears a yellow shirt with bright blue flowers and her silver cross. A bird chirps outdoors.
Evelyn's having fun. She's going back in time. ...
Born Oct. 5, 1905, to Luke and Lura McKernan, she lived on the family farm in Laddsburg -- with a few siblings.
"There's 13 of us!" she says. She names them, oldest to youngest: Byron, Elida, Lola, Catherine, Mable, Rodney, Dessie, Mark, Mary, herself, Josephine, Joseph and Bernard.
The kids were close. The older girls, for example, bought gifts for their little sisters -- once even a Flexible Flyer sled! "We were always good to each other," Evelyn says.
She learned about work young.
"Well, I got up at 5 o'clock in the morning, went to the barn," she says. By age 7, the little redhead was helping milk 20 cows. Her dad took the milk to the Laddsburg creamery. The Lehigh Valley train went through town, Evelyn notes. Even from the farm, "you could hear that old chug, chug, chug!"
"I gathered eggs ... washed them myself. Mother raised turkeys and chickens." In the winter, her mom made chicken mash from grain and little potatoes -- unless the kids snitched them first.
Evelyn skipped school to help plant potatoes. Later in the year, they dug them up. And when she got bigger, Evelyn cleaned houses and hung wallpaper with her mom. "Oh, we all had to work!" she says.
"My dad done all his work with horses. We never had a tractor," she says. There was Dick and Jack and Harry. Topsy, with a star on the forehead, was the main buggy horse. "Quite a trotter!" Evelyn says.
Cats and dogs? "Oh my goodness, yes!" she declares. "We always had to have cats ... or we'd have been carried away with rats!"
Gypsy was her favorite dog. "She was an awful friendly dog," Evelyn says. Possibly a shepherd/collie mix, the long-haired cow dog would bark if someone came by, but she never chased him.
Gypsy was nice, Evelyn insists -- "like every female!"
The family had no electricity, of course. They eventually got a battery-powered radio, but not until Evelyn was 18.
So the kids created simple fun. They played tag. And hide-and-seek. "We had a lot of little games," Evelyn says. They swam in the pond or creek. "Course, our boys all liked to hunt." (Sold the furs and made money, too.)
"We had a pond we skated on," Evelyn says.
And sledding ... oooh ... "Yes indeed! ... We could start right at our house and end up ... Jim Miller's!" she remembers. "If we wanted to pull the sled back!" she adds.
"I walked two miles to school." She attended the one-room Waltman Hill School, in Wilmot Township, with up to eighth grade, but only 15 or 16 students at the most.
The school had one teacher, but "they changed about every year," Evelyn says. She had Regina and Mary McDermott, as well as Mary Byron, Mary Finan and Evelyn's cousin Ralph Decker.
"We had an old iron stove about that big around -- high one," she says, holding out her arms. "Those teachers had to work hard. They had to make the fire ... shake it down ... empty the ashes."
They carried in drinking water from Mary Kline's spring, Evelyn says. "Everybody drank out of the same dipper."
Two children shared each seat, with ink wells in the desks, and walked up front for their grade's lesson. They started off studying the Primer, then the first-grade reader. The beginning year was easy, Evelyn remembers. Just learning to read and write -- "that was the main thing," she says. "Eighth was about as hard as any for me."
And those dear teachers -- "they had the patience of Job," Evelyn remarks. "They must have!"
She attended high school at the Burgess Hotel in New Albany. "Wasn't a very fancy high school!" she says. The school building came later.
"I never did like English," she admits. Math? Sometimes it was easy, sometimes not.
But history was great! "Well, I used to like all them old fellas that created this history!"
Evelyn graduated in 1922, in a class of no more than 12 - Helen and Mary Harney, Vivian Johnson, Viola Vargason, Paul Finan, Charles Shott and a few others. She went to work up in Towanda at the Elwood Whitesell drug store.
And she met John.
It seems John Mahoney, from Overshot, had come along to the farm with a buddy who was dating Mary. Soon, John was dating Evelyn.
They went to dances. St. Agnes School held a lot, and McCarthy's in North Towanda had a "real good floor" up in the barn, Evelyn remembers.
And they ate. "John was a great one to eat," Evelyn says. "He always was looking for something to eat!"
This John fellow was pretty nice. "Oh, he had the softest skin!" Evelyn remembers. He shaved up nice. "Good smelling shaving lotion!"
He'd put on his gray suit for dates. "He was pretty nifty-looking when he used to come out to see me!"
So she married him.
They had an evening wedding at St. Basil's in Dushore. Evelyn wore a white crepe dress with scallops and rosettes, and a "beautiful white sash," she says. "I made it." Carl McNamara and Mary stood up with them. Then they got together with friends and neighbors at Evelyn's house -- and ate.
Mr. and Mrs. Mahoney settled into an apartment in "Mrs. Boyle's basement," Evelyn remembers, at the corner of Second and Maple in Towanda. John rode the work train to the Sayre railroad shops, "the only job he ever had," Evelyn says, and she worked at the drug store.
They had at least three other homes in Towanda then finally settled on a small Luthers Mills farm.
The farmhouse was old. It needed help. So Evelyn whipped it into shape. She papered. She painted. She even built a stairway.
"Made it a nice home," she says. "That's where I lived till I came here. ... And I was pretty proud of that place!"
In the meantime, they raised three daughters: Mary, Geraldine and Barbara. Evelyn also did house cleaning for others -- "Oh, I was always looking for work!" She had a job at Sylvania, too.
John died at 65. So Evelyn, in her early 60s herself, kept the small farm going, milking the little herd. "I kept 'em for quite a few years."
Eventually she sold all the cows but one: Dynamite. "I was even afraid of her!" Evelyn admits. "She'd switch herself around and jump over a fence the slickest of anything!"
But Evelyn got by. She lived alone more than three decades, then finally moved in with Geraldine and Jim.
Today, she's finally "retired." Her favorite hobby? She whispers: "Sleep!"
But she likes a good TV movie now and then, plus "Walker," and sometimes reads Country or Country Extra magazine. "I eat all the time!" she claims.
Two of her doilies lie on living room tables, their white threads looping themselves into designs of wheat tassels, and flower-like edges. In the past seven years, she's made 17.
The family sometimes drives her on the four-wheeler to a nearby pond for a picnic. A few weeks ago, she rode into the woods and watched them cut wood.
Her health tips? "I just kept on working all my life!"
She drinks milk every day. But it wasn't always like that. "I milked too many cows!" she declares. That smell of steam off hot milk in the pail -- Ugh!
Today, she has 11 grandchildren, plus great- and even great-great-grandkids -- don't ask her to count them all. Two of the great-greats were born this year, an even century after Evelyn.
This summer, she got to know little Gieuseppe -- Evelyn's daughter's son's daughter's son. She was smitten. "He's a sweet little fella!" she declares. "He's the best baby and the prettiest little fellow you ever seen!"
His baptism photo shows two little blue eyes -- "His eyes are so beautiful!" Evelyn says -- light brown hair, a pudgy nose and little puckered baby lips, all wrapped up in snowy white clothes.
In a later photo, she poses with him. She beams. Her strong hands -- hands that have cleaned, milked, painted, played in snow, held books, raised children, worked beside a true love -- hold the chubby-faced baby. All those things await his soft little hands. All those and more.
"We just love him to death!" Evelyn declares.
(Soon, the other great-great-grandchild will visit. Most likely, just maybe, it could be ... Evelyn will be smitten all over again!)
Those babies have a heritage from Great-Great-Grandma. One of work and love and pride in a job well done.
"Whatever I done I was proud of that it was good for anybody or anything," Evelyn says. "I always tried to do right for other people. ... Went and done work for other people just to help them out."
And Evelyn has one other thing to share ...
Those twinkling blue eyes.
Takes Woman, 100, Once Slave- Thursday July 18, 1940 - Mrs. Hattie Austin,
aged Elmira Negress who died Wednesday, was a slave in her early 20’s when
the Civil War broke out in 1861. The elderly woman, who was between
100 and 102 years old, had suffered a hip fracture July 7 at the home of
a daughter, Mrs. Clarance Dart of 506 Dewitt St, with whom she had lived
for the last 17 years. Born of slave parents on a Spartansburg, SC Plantation,
she became a bride at 12 years and gave birth to 15 children, the last
of whom came when she was 60 years old and lived until six years ago. Possessor
of a keen memory, jolly nature and beautiful soprano voice, she was well-known
to and popular with Elmirans, of all stations of life, who also admired
her faculty for story-telling. Until three years ago she was an active
member of the Douglass Memorial AME Zion Church and regularly arose from
her pew in the church to sing solos, usually favoring spirituals. Children
of the neighborhood enjoyed nothing more than to gather on the front porch
of the Dart home and hear” Granny” sing her beloved spirituals and they
deluged her with repeated requests for “Jesus Feeds His Children When They’re
Hungry”. She was always healthy and active until her recent illness. Mrs.Austin
held no harsh memories of her days spent in slavery although she had welcomed
the emancipation of her people. Her parents were Samuel and Snaddy,
and they too were born to American slaves at Spartansburg.
Well treated by her master and mistress, she became the best cook on the plantation, helped raise her owners’ children and delighted all with her ability to sing and dance. When “Granny” was a child, her mother told her that the first man who kissed her probably would become her husband. It was accurate prediction, because when “Granny” was 12 years old a 17 year-old youth vaulted a fence and snatched a kiss as she walked along a dusty road winding through a plantation at nearby Lawrence, SC. A few days later, Hattie and the youth, Baylous Austin, eloped, were married and settled on the Spartansburg plantation. In about 10 years the Civil War began and when it concluded in 1865 Hattie and Baylous Austin were free. To illustrate how well she had been treated during her servitude, Mrs. Austin often said that the hardest work she had been called on to perform was to help erect a camouflage of bushes before the entrance to a cave where her Southern owners hid cattle , silver, gold and other valuables during the trying periods of the Civil War. Hattie and her husband moved to Greer, SC where she gained lasting repute as a cook and cateress for aristocratic Southern families. She continued that work until the World War, when advanced age ended her duties. Her husband died in 1918 at the age of 84 and “Granny” went to live with a son, who was a World War veteran. The war, however, had injured his health and he died in 1923. “Granny” then came to Elmira to live with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Dart, who is 48.
Broad Acres’ Ethel Copp celebrates 102nd birthday
See Obituary 2006
By Bryan G. Robinson
Mansfield Gazette, 25 January 2006, p.1B
“It ain’t a bit like it was when I was a girl.” When asked what had changed in the course of her lifetime, that was the first thing Ethel Copp of Broad Acres Health and Rehabilitation Center in Charleston Township, who celebrated her 102nd birthday on Jan. 18, said. Copp was born in 1904 at the home of her parents, Anna and Daniel Harding, on Cole Street in Wellsboro. As a girl growing up in Wellsboro, she said she remembered red brick running down Main Street and the Penn Wells Hotel was called the Cole House. The town had three saw mills, a cattle yard and later a silk mill, where she worked during the Depression. “It ain’t a bit like it was then,” she repeated. She said her father was a telegraph operator and that people would come into town on the train. She said her family lived in the same neighborhood as the cattle yard.
Gladys Kelley, of The Manor/Stepping Stones Rehabilitation Center, recently celebrated her 104th birthday. Gladys, formerly of Canton, PA, was born on January 21, 1902, in Ricketts, PA. She was married to the late Rodney Kelley, and has a daughter, Catherine. Gladys also has several grandchildren and great grandchildren. When asked for the key to staying young, she advised, “Don’t fuss over the small stuff, take things as they come, one day at a time.”
Tribute to John A. Knudsen – died in April 2006 at age 101
The Mansfield Gazette, 26 April 2006
Marketplace section, p.1
By Bryan G. Robinson
The Man who started the Middlebury milk plant
Last month (April 2006) John August Knudsen died at the age of 101 at Palms of Pasadena Hospital in St. Pete Beach (formerly St. Petersburg Beach), Fla.
Locally Knudsen was known for being the owner and operator of Center Milk Products Co. in Middlebury Center, which made milk solids from skim milk from nearby Renken Dairy.
Center Milk Products, which he began with his father, expanded to plants in Osceola, Knoxville and Westfield in Pennsylvania, and Addison, Ogdensburg and Frankfurt in New York and then to plants in the Southwest and the Midwest, to where he eventually moved with his wife, Helen.
In the Midwest, he restarted Center Milk Products before he and his wife moved to St. Petersburg Beach in 1974. After his wife died in 1998, he lived with one of his daughter, Krista Whipple, up until the last days of his life.
In all, John and his wife had two daughters, Krista Whipple and Martha Marriott, Mill Valley, Calif.; and three sons, John T. Knudsen and George E. Knudsen, both of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Bill, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. John Knudsen also had seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
According to biographies that Krista Whipple and his daughter-in-law, Monica Knudsen, provided, Jan Augith Knudsen was born May 16, 1904, in Odense, Denmark to Matthias Peder and Krista Borglum Knudsen. The family came to San Francisco, shortly after the 1906 Earthquake.
“In first grade a teacher decided Jan’s name was a bit too exotic for her taste, and said, ‘We’ll just call you John.’ It displeased his mother, but the name stuck” according to the biography provided by Monica Knudsen.
John attended schools in Ohio, Indiana and Kansas, and graduated from Norwood High School near Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1922. He went to college at the University of Cincinnati, but during his third year of college, John’s father received three job offers, in Massachusetts, North Carolina or a third at a creamery in Sayre, PA. When his father chose to be the general manager of the Sayre Creamery, John quit college to learn the dairy business.
As the family history records, he soon found himself working in a Rochester, NY, creamery where his father had half interest. “He remembers selling buttermilk at the restaurant there for 5 cents a glass”, reads the biography.
One of his sons, Bill Knudsen, picks up the story from there. “ He and his father were in Adams Center, NY, when the opportunity came to buy a plant in Middlebury Center,” he said.
He said many people think the name Center Milk Products came from the name of the town Middlebury Center. However, he said his father and grandfather came up with the name from Adams Center, NY where they were at that time.
The business was, according to Krista Whipple, based “on the idea of using the stuff that was being thrown into the creek to make it into animal feed.” Or, as Monica Knudsen’s biography reads: “In those days, there was a high demand for cream. In the manufacturing process, cream rose to the top and was skimmed off to made butter and other products for human consumption… the remaining skim was not a popular consumer item, and was sold as animal feed.
“Still the excess milk was a problem for all creameries. To get rid of it, they dumped it in the nearest river of stream. Eventually this polluted the water and choked the fish.”
“Nobody wanted it,” said Bill Knudsen, “They (Renken) were glad to have somebody come and take it off their hands.”
From the wasted milk, they made a sour milk concentrate. “The skim was heated to 100 degrees in enormous wooden tanks, making a basic plain yogurt,” according to the biography provided by Monica Knudsen. “It went through a condenser to squeeze out the liquid, resulting in a lumpy, curdled product called ‘semi-solid.’
“In that form it had a much longer shelf life and was actually pickled milk. Chicken farmers bought the semi-solid for feed, a good source of calcium and other nutrients.”
She said, “John remembers huge barrels of semi-solid sitting in the hot Pennsylvania sun in fie4lds behind the Middlebury plant.” As a result, she wrote that “not surprisingly, the Knudsen kids willingly drink milk, but don’t care for yogurt or cottage cheese.”
In 1936, John A. Knudsen married Helen Kumm, a teacher at Grant Street Elementary. The couple was married 62 years until Helen’s death in 1998 at the age of 88.
While in Wellsboro, John A. Knudsen served on boards of the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, Tioga County Savings and Trust, Tyoga Country Club and the school board. Also while in Wellsboro, the family lived at 1 Charles Street from 1942 to 1958, a home the local historian Betty Frazier has written about.
“The living room witnessed prom night festivities, gala Christmas parties, impromptu sing-alongs around the grand piano,” said Krista Whipple. “We kids converted the hallway into a bowling alley, the turrets on all three levels were hubs for Monopoly and other board games, the ballroom a place to stage pretend pageants and weddings. It is home in my dreams.”
In 1956, John sold the Middlebury plant to M.H. Renken Dairy, and the family moved to Creston, Iowa, where he operated Center Milk Products until his retirement in 1974, according to the biography provided by Monica Knudsen, George’s wife.
Also, according to both biographies, despite severe macular degeneration and hearing loss, he was in good health until the end of his life. He swam almost every day in the Gulf of Mexico and exercised in the gym up until his mid-90s.
“He could recall most everything from the recent and distant past and was very much interested in world news and events,” wrote Krista Whipple. “He was a true patriarch to the family, spearheading family reunions with the Knudsens and Nicolaisens (sister Arla’s family) over the years.”
In conclusion, she said “his was a life well lived.”
Mansfield Gazette, 22 Mar. 2006 (Picture)
Dorothy Kumm turned 103 on Dec. 21, 2005. She was born the daughter of Leon and Sara Titus. She married Richard Kumm in DuBois in 1927. the couple had one daughter, Marilyn Simpson, who lives in Elkland. Mrs. Kumm has 3 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Celebrates 105th birthday [newspaper
|Dorothy TITUS Kumm, formerly of Elkland and Canisteo, celebrated her
104th birthday Dec. 21 at the Green Home skilled nursing care and rehabilitative
facility in Wellsboro, where she lives. Dorothy celebrated her birthday
with her daughter, Marilynn Simpson, and her granddaughter, Cheryl Bailey,
both of Elkland.
Elmira Star-Gazette, Dec. 31, 2006