[Typed from typewritten manuscript found in file at Hickory County Historical Society]




                The sixth annual "80 and Over" Day was another grand success at Wheatland, Missouri Sunday Sept 6. There were 163 registered for the event and of that number four new nonagenarians and twenty-seven octogenarians, and several septuagenarians, and twelve Golden Wedding couples were present.

                The event was held in the Baptist church this year, due to a carnival being in the park and it was inconvenient to seat the crowd.

                Those of the 90 group included John Crates, who celebrated his 94th birthday Sept. 13; Olive Coberley, 91, with a birthday coming on Oct. 24; they were both of Wheatland. Tom Wilson, 91, of Quincy, and W. T. Palmer, 91, of Weaubleau with a 92nd birthday Nov. 28. Mr. Wilson said he had seen as many summers as Mr. Palmer, but not as many winters.

                The members of the eighty group listed the following people: Franklin, Bartshe, 86, was 87 Sept. 8th; J. H. Bartshe, 82; Harry Bennett, 80; Martha Ann Breshears, 89; Venia Breshears, 81; Alice Butler, 85; Vella Donovan, 81; Cora Goodman, 87, was 88, Sept. 22; Della Kelly, 81; J. E. Jones, 81; Thos. Largent, 86; Edna Largent, 81; Mollie Paul, 81; Eva Sherman, 89, will be 90 Nov. 1; May Vanderford, 80; all of Wheatland; Nannie Brookshire, 85; Nan Carpenter, 82; Wes Carpenter, 86; Lou Cox, 81; Jim Gardner, 87; Mary Sue Goans, 86; Ed Moore, 80; Annie Palmer, 88, all of Weaubleau; Mollie Paxton, 84, Elkton; John P. McCaslin, 80, El Dorado Springs; Stella Bryan, 82, and Willie Dorman, 82, both of Hermitage.

                The Golden Wedding couples who were present were: John and Bertha (Paxton) Bartshe, 60 years; Harry and Cleo (Wente) Bennett, 50; Wes and Nan (Campbell) Carpenter, 64; Dan and May (Sutt) Huffman, 54 years from Jasper, Mo.; Thos. and Edna (Jordan) Largent, 57; L. V. and Etta (Fleming) Ihrig, 50; John and Emma (Hobson) McCaslin, 50; Ed and Etha (Brent) Moore, 53; Ira and Lou (Roth) Moore, 51; Will and Annie (Vaughn) Palmer, 68; Will and Bertha (Ketchum) Tipton, 59 years.

                Rev. J. L Wright, pastor of the Baptist church, acted as MC in the absence of Frank Herbert who had to be away.

                The congregation sang, "Where We'll Never Grow Old." Bro. J. E. Jones gave a fitting invocation. The honorees and Golden Wedding couples then were introduced. Mrs. Olive Coberley, 91, sang the "Nine Blessings of Mary," from memory as she is blind and almost deaf. Bro. C. H. Evers, pastor of the Congregational Christian church at Weaubleau, gave an appropriate talk and distributed his booklets, "Moments With God" to the honored guests. Mrs. Alice Butler and Mrs. Eva Sherman sang a duet, "Face to Face", each carrying her part; Mrs. Mary Sue Goans read, "I Ain't Dead Yet." Harry Bennett rendered three old-time favorites very well on his violin. Mrs. Annie Palmer gave a resume of her teaching Sunday School classes most of the 72 years of her Christian life. She still teaches a class of elderly ladies in her church. Mrs. Stella Bryan gave a talk and readings, "September," and "What I Live For." Mrs. Brookshire and Mrs. Goans sang a duet, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," tune to "Silver Threads Among the Gold." Mrs. Edna Largent gave an entertaining reading, "It Got Up and Went." Mrs. Brookshire sang, "Doan Yo' Cry My Honey." Mrs. Pauline Holloway gave a lovely tribute to the deceased members who had passed on the past year. Mrs. Virginia Nance, 92, passed away Aug. 25, '59; Mrs. Kate Hollingsworth, 85, July 17; Alfred Heard, 86, May 18; A. J. (Andy) Cox, 92, Dec. 23, '58; A. N. Tankesley, 85, Feb. 24, '59.

                Gifts were distributed and refreshments served. John Crates received a bill fold for the oldest man; Mrs. Coberley received a breast pin as the oldest lady; the gift for the oldest person who had reared the largest family went to Franklin Bartshe, who has eight living children; the oldest man who drove his car went to Tom Wilson, who drove about 15 miles. Gifts for the oldest person who came the longest distance went to W. T. Palmer of Weaubleau and John P. McCaslin of El Dorado Springs.

                Max Hunter of Springfield was present and recorded most of the program. This was his first time to attend. He has made trips here to record several of the old songs Mrs. Coberley remembers from her early days. They have become fast friends. She has a number of songs awaiting his next trip. The song she chose to sing this year, (Max told us), was perhaps 8 or 900 years old.

                A silver offering was taken and amounted to $31.36. Our expenses for this year were $27.29. Refreshments for every one consisted of cookies, ice cream, and punch. A visiting hour followed and every one seemed to enjoy the occasion. It was almost 4:00 p. m. when the program ended. There is hardly time to dash in all the numbers of those who wish to appear on the program. It is a pleasure to see and hear these active older people perform, sing, read, talk, pray, and enjoy themselves on their day.

                Tom Wilson mounted a horse in a nearby town recently and rode as gallantly as in his younger days. He lives alone, on his farm, eats his Sunday dinner with his son, Glover and wife. He does not wear glasses, is quite active, and enjoys life.

                John Bartshe rode the same horse after Mr. Wilson dismounted and shoed his ability to ride and his love for horse flesh. Mr. and Mrs. Bartshe celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary June 7th at the home of their daughter, Leslie T. and Pearl Wilson.

                Franklin Bartshe was quite ill and underwent an operation this spring, but is better and able to be out and around now. His daughter, Frankie, lives with him and cares for him on their farm in the Williams' Bend, northeast of Wheatland.

                The Palmers celebrated their 68th anniversary January 1, 1959 by having their children with them. They still maintain their home, attend church regularly, entertain their children, grandchildren and friends. They grow a garden and share their products with their neighbors and friends. They received a gold key chain with the Ten Commandments on the charms for the longest married couple.

                Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter have a cozy little home in Weaubleau not far from their son and daughter. The foursome of the Carpenters and Coxes was broken by death during the past year when Mr. Cox passed away. The son, Claude Carpenter and wife, brought his parents, and Dona's mother, Mrs. Lou Cox, who now lives alone since the passing of our county's top fiddler. Mrs. Cox made a trip to California during the year to visit a son who is poorly.

                Bro. and Mrs. Jones live in their home in Wheatland and have reared six children. They have the distinction of having five preachers in their family, the father, two sons, Z. Glen Jones and Wayne Jones, and two grandsons. The Jones are active workers in the Methodist church. They enjoy their home, family, friends, and flowers.

                Dan and May Huffman of Jasper have made the trek back to Wheatland, their former home for the past four years for this event. Their daughter, Faye, and husband, Everett Testerman, seem to enjoy it, too, as they have the excuse to bring them and see some of her former school mates.

                Harry and Cleo Bennett have traveled many miles in the past few years to see their four children and other relatives. They have accompanied their daughters on some of their vacations. They have a comfortable farm home and celebrated their Golden Wedding April 19, 1959. Their latch string is always on the outside.

                The two Moore couples are more home bodies but welcome their visitors warmly and live in comfortable homes. The Ira Moores live at Hermitage and Ed Moores live near Butcher store about five miles west of Wheatland, operated by their daughter, Trace and Margaret Jennings. Each of the Moore couples had public events when they celebrated their Golden Weddings.

                Will and Bertha Tipton will celebrate their 60th anniversary in December. They are not in very good health, although they are able to get out some and enjoy their visitors. They have reared eight children and have fifteen grandchildren, all living, so they need never be lonely or blue.

                The Largent family has lived in this community for 77 years. Mr. and Mrs. Largent will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in February. He is quite frail but looks forward to these events each year and enjoys them. Mrs. Largent is a good reader and has entertained many audiences during her time with both humorous and sentimental pieces. They have one daughter, Ina Faye Breshears, who lives near by. Mr. Largent has been an abundant gardener during his retiring years but is confined inside most of the time now. He is able to be up and enjoy visitors.

                Mr. and Mrs. L. V. Ihrig celebrated their Golden Wedding this spring making them eligible for the honoree pew. The Ihrig name has long been linked with the history of Avery. His wife is a sister of Dr. L. Avery Fleming, professor of sociology at CMSC at Warrensburg. The Ihrigs live comfortably on a farm between Wheatland and Avery.

                Mr. and Mrs. John McCaslin attended the "80 and Over" in 1958 and planned to return this year after they had celebrated their Golden Wedding and his 80th birthday. They were there with bells on. They were former residents of the county and were happy to meet many old friends.

                Mrs. Mollie Paxton, twin daughter of Matthew N. and Minerva (Hastain) Brown, lives alone at her home in Elkton. She is quite a historian and has been a very neat seamstress and quite adept with a crochet hook. She treasures many articles of clothing, baby caps, dresses, jackets, etc., made some 60 or 70 years ago. She could count 15 baby caps at a picnic once that she had crocheted. She crocheted to help pay for her daughter, Dot's music lessons. The Breazeale children in Springfield are her great-grandchildren.

                John Crates, 94, has had a birthday since our "Day." Mr. Crates gets around and enjoys visiting with people. He does not wear glasses, but does not hear very well. He can remember being a witness in a murder case in the old Court House in Hermitage in 1874 when he was 9 years old. Mr. Crates recalls many incidents of early days. He lives in the home of his son, Buel, who operates a Standard Station on Highway 54.

                Mrs. Cora Goodman has had her 88th birthday since our special day. She has been staying in the home of her granddaughter in Kansas City and taking care of the children, but they are in school and she is free to be at her home here, or with her two daughters, Mrs. B. B. Ihrig at Smithton, and Mrs. Woodson Heard, Moran, Kansas. Mrs. Goodman has had a full and active life, boarded the school teachers, has kept a store of history in her memory and has related much of it to those who are interested.

                Mrs. Martha Breshears, 89, has traveled some 15,000 miles during her 80's and is now living in a trailer in the yard of her daughter, Mrs. Retta McKinzie in Wheatland. She is always ready when someone mentions "go" and enjoys herself. She never complains of an ache or a pain. Mrs. Breshears has a remarkable memory and married into the Avery, Breshears Valley, Bone Hole, Big Snake, neighborhood. She has five daughters and one son scattered from Indiana to California.

                Mrs. Eva Sherman, 89, is quite a gardener. She grows roasting ears and sweet potatoes, and sold more than 300 roasting ears, and has been digging her Oklahoma Gold. She likes to sing and still carries the alto part and remembers music from the old school. She lives alone and has hoped to live to be 90, which will be in Nov. Her daughter, Nina, passed away in 1919 and the granddaughter has helped to fill that vacancy. Her son, Harrell, lives a few miles away. They see about her, too. Although she does not hear very well, she attends church regular, entertains the minister, and enjoys chatting with friends, as well as keeping her house.

                Mrs. Alice Butler, 85 is a pretty good walker. She gets about on foot, walks to church, post office, to the store, and visits the neighbors. She sings in the church choir every Sunday unless she is away from home. She sits in a special place in the church and a particular place in the choir. She has a garden, lovely flowers, a strawberry patch, and needs four bales of straw for mulch. Mrs. Butler entertains much company, does her own baking, canning, and even cuts brush.

                Mrs. Delly Kelly, 81, lives alone but is crippled with rheumatism some. She is able to get around and enjoys her church, family, and friends. Her daughters, Mrs. Eltha Vanderford and Mrs. Violet Pearson, live several miles from her but they visit her frequently. Her sons from California visited her this summer, during their vacations.

                Mrs. May Vanderford, 80, lives on her little farm in the Dooly Bend neighborhood southeast of Wheatland. She merged into the 80 group this year by having a birthday May 22. Her son, Jess, Mrs. Kelly's son-in-law, lives a mile or so by the way the crow flies from her. Her daughter, Mrs. Winona McGee, lives several miles away. Mrs. Vanderford pieces quilts, quilts them, tacks carpet rags and has a garden during the summer.

                Mrs. Mollie Paul, 81, shares her home with her only daughter, Grace Jordan. She is an active member of the Wheatland Rainbow Flower club and enjoys working the family flower garden. She visits her grandchildren in Kansas City and came home from a trip to be present for this special day. She attends church when she can, helps entertain the minister, pieces quilts, and helped her daughter tack 24 comforts last winter. She is one of the early mid-wives and helped with 40 births, has been at the bed side or soon after for 57 deaths and helped "lay out" the corpses before we had undertakers.

                Mrs. Vella Donovan, 81, is active, attends Sunday school and church every Sunday. She and Mrs. Coberley share the same home. She is quite "fixy" and enjoys people. Her only son, Capt. Junior (Eric) Johnson and his family, are in the Far East. He is making a career of his service in the air force.

                Mrs. Venia Breshears, 81, lives alone, and gets along very well for one of her age and experience. She and her husband, Joe Dell, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary March 13, 1955. They were present for the "80 and Over" in '55 and nine days later, he passed on. One of her daughters married the son of John Crates, a nonagenarian. Her other daughter, Ethel Myers, lives in Wheatland and sees after her mother.

                Mrs. Stella Bryan, 82, is a very active person in community affairs and is especially interested in 4-H work and in youngsters in general. She is a great lover of poetry and has a story for any occasion. Mrs. Bryan is a good reader and has had much experience in church, club, and community projects. She lives alone in her own home, crochets, reads, sews, and cultivates a wide variety of flowers, and cans many vegetables. One of her daughters is a teacher and one is a writer.

                Willie Dorman, 82, of Hermitage sings in the church choir, was director of the Hermitage Band for 35 years and could play every instrument in the band. He is quite a starchy gentleman, and is especially fond of music. He remodeled an old organ in a walnut case several years ago and has it in shape to use when he proposes to do so. His wife, Dora (Stroud), is rather frail but they have been able to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary.

                Jim Palmer, 87, was born in Cherokee County, Iowa, near Storm Lake. His parents came to America from England and his mother lived to be 94. Mr. Gardner came with his parents to Polk County when he was about nine years of age. He went west in '89 and joined the Rangers on the border of the Rio Grande River and served for three years. Later he took up a claim in the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma. He and his wife live east of Weaubleau. He is quite active, cuts brush, does gardening, reads the daily paper, and is quite well for his years.

                Mrs. Brookshire and Mrs. Goans make a good team from Weaubleau. They sing well together, Mrs. Brookshire carries the alto. She lives in her own home adjacent to her daughter, Mrs. Faye Swicegood. She attends church, club activities, and affairs in the community. She enjoys life and keeps up with the times. She keeps her own home, remembers and can sing a number of the old songs of early day. Her solo on the program proved her ability to sing from memory and unaccompanied. Mrs. Brookshire has lived in the same house for 59 years.

                Mrs. Goans lives in an apartment in her home, reads, sings, attends church regularly, is a great flower lover and has a number of rare blossoms in her flower beds. She has been a member of the Baptist church in Weaubleau longer than any other person, joined in '89. Mrs. Goans is a member of the Weaubleau Flower club along with four other clubs and never misses a meeting.

                There were a few others of our "80 and Over" who are members but were unable to be with us this year. Mrs. Stella Blair, who is at the Craig Home for Retired People in Bolivar, will celebrate her 90th birthday November 16; Mrs. Clara Erickson, 87, who is at the home of her son, Oscar, at Camdenton, was quite ill Sept. 7, but is better now and able to be up in a chair; Mrs. Margaret Breshears celebrated her 92nd birthday March 16th; Mrs. Mary Foster of Lowry City will reach her 94th birthday November 9th.

                Everyone seems to enjoy these occasions and look forward each year to the next one. The oldsters make new acquaintances and renew old ones. Every one is welcome, so make an effort to come and celebrate with us in 1960.

                                                                                                                                                Mrs. Nannie Jenkins

                                                                                                                                                Wheatland, Missouri


Posted 6 Nov 2006 by Ginny Sharp

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