Two accounts of the 1970 "80 and Over" Day event are provided below. The first is from the Springfield paper; the second is from The Index.



[Found in the Hickory County Historical Society archives by Ginger Donohue; handwritten date=11/23/70]


over the OZARKS with our historians, writers and poets                  edited by Jean Davies



                This “80 and Over” Day was another grand success! Forty-four people above the age of 80 gathered at the Baptist Church in Wheatland to enjoy the fellowship, the program, gifts and refreshments for some 130 people. Several of our members were 80 this year, or soon would be, so they were honorees, too.

                The day was perfect, just a little warm, and the audience was appreciative. Irvin Allen was our MC again and did a fine job.

                One of our members was John Erwin, Sr., who was 100 years old July 11. He came early, thinking the event lasted all day, so he was present for Sunday School and Church. He won’t be with us next year, as he fell Oct. 4 when he returned from church. He had forgotten his key and climbed to a second story window in an effort to get into his house. He broke his hip and leg and lived only 13 days, succumbing at Cox Medical Center Oct. 17.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Mrs. Alice Butler, of Kingsville, has had her 97th birthday since our day. She was present for the 17th time in a row and received several gifts for the oldest woman traveling the longest distance and perfect attendance. She had several relatives present, including her only brother, Sammy Tipton and wife, with whom she now makes her home. She sold her home in 1968 and had a public sale of her antiques. She had many items and rare articles of 75, 80 or 100 years old.

                Mrs. May Vanderford is 91 and walks to town for her mail and part of her groceries. Her daughter, Wynona and husband, brought her this year, but she could have walked if necessary. She lives in her own home, with close neighbors to help if she needs them. Her son, Jesse and his wife, Eltha, live in the Pomme de Terre area and they also help see to her needs.

                Mrs. Zilla Jones, 89, has a home here but lives in Clinton most of the time, near her daughter, Mrs. Zenith Newell. Mrs. Jones lost her husband during the past year. They have been faithful to attend when they could. We can tell when Mrs. Jones gets home . . . the yard gets mowed, the weeds pulled, and other cleaning up chores done. She will be having her 90th birthday January 21.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                J. E. Ellis, 88, is still with us and maintains he has a date at a church in Henry County on his 100th birthday. He has been doing very well with his preaching. He is pastor of the Methodist Church at Bear Creek in St. Clair County and performed a wedding there this summer. He doesn’t drive anymore, but his wife, Amy, does and she takes him to his appointments. He made a nice talk for us and is also a good singer. He certainly is a busy man!

                Pat Chancellor, 84 in June, gave a fitting invocation. He has made another 5000 mile trip since last year. His daughter, Floy and husband, Harry Christy, of California, came to visit him and took him home with them.

                Mrs. Mary Robinett, his sister, is 86 and a petite little lady, always trim and neat. She comes with Pat to our special day and they enjoy it together. She lives in her home at Weaubleau, but visits her children in the city a lot.

                Mrs. Clara Monroe, 85, of Weaubleau, read a poem which her friend, the late Mary Sue Goans, read at the event in 1963. She read with poise and elocution taught in the “Old School.” Her daughter, Mrs. Marjorie Blackwell, of Preston, brought her this year.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Mr. and Mrs. John Box were here this year. Mr. Box was 88 Feb. 10 and she was 85 Feb. 3. They have been married 70 years and were our longest married couple.

                Albert and Zola (Crooks) Jenkins were among the honorees again. He was 83 Oct. 22 and they were married 61 years in February. They live on their farm, have their cattle and chickens. Albert was one of the drivers over 80.

                Mr. Albert Zietz, who was 88 Sept. 3, was with us. He lives on his farm alone, but tenants live in a house nearby and see to him. His only daughter, Mabel (Mrs. Ross) Parker and Ross brought him this year.

                Frontz Glazebrook had his 85th birthday July 1. He still drives his pick-up. His son, Freddie Bill and wife see to his needs. He attends church fairly regularly with them. He is a retired farmer and has been lonely since the death of his wife, Atha. She was a wonderful helpmate and they had a lovely farm home.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Irl R. Chrisope, 81, and his wife, Elsie have been married 58 years. He is quite a gardener and fruit grower. He is also a lawyer and still practices some in Hermitage and is busy at something all the time. They have five children, three boys and two girls.

                C. O. and Verdie Little of Cross Timbers attended this year after an absence of five years. They have been married 55 years. They retired some time ago and their son, W. C. and wife, have taken over their business. Verdie’s family was among the early settlers around Cross Timbers. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Walthal came with them. They are in the 70’s group but Mr. W. will have his 80th birthday in January.

                Mrs. Fronia Crain, 82, of Goodson, was as pretty as ever. She and her husband, Orval, live in town now. Their daughter, Mrs. Eddie Matthews, of Springfield, brought her and her own mother-in-law, Emma Matthews. Mr. Crain wasn’t well enough to attend. They reared six sons and 2 daughters and have 30 teachers in the family.

                Mrs. Zilpha Murphy, 85, is quite alert and types a full page letter every Monday to her children. She cooks for her son, Fisher, who keeps up with all the historical events connected to our part of the county. Mrs. Ida Carpenter, 87, pretty as ever, came with her daughter, Mrs. Icel Nance. Ida grows beautiful flowers and is a faithful member of the Methodist Church and the historical society. Her family, of German descent, came here from Illinois many years ago.

(To be continued)

--MRS. NANNIE JINKENS,               







                Fannie (Hostetler) Allen, 86, is still going strong. She lives in Weaubleau and is one of the old time weavers. She still owns a loom and has turned out many a yard. Her family was among the early settlers of the Butcher community, west of town. Her husband died in April of 1967. [N.B.-printed as 1969, 9 crossed out and 7 handwritten] They lived in the Butcher community until they retired and bought a home in Weaubleau. They had three sons and one daughter.

                Clarence Blackwell, 81, and his wife, Grace, 82, are quite a pair . . . faithful to the Baptist Church, and almost the champion gardeners of the town. They grow and sell most everything, including strawberries.

                Mrs. Lena Foltz, 81, was present for the first time. She lives on her farm and her son Chester and wife Rosalie stay with her at night. Rosalie brought her to our event. She has a daughter and family who live in Independence and visit her frequently. Lena’s family, the Blackwells, were early settlers of the Hermitage neighborhood.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Earl Sands of Weaubleau has been observing us for several years and this June brought him his 80th birthday. He sang a lovely song for us. He and his wife live on a farm south of Weaubleau. He still cares for his stock.

                L. B. West, 81, was another driver over 80. He and his wife live comfortably on a farm southeast of town. He rents his land out. He and his wife, Almedia, grow a good garden each year and can and preserve for winter use. They’ve been attending for several years now.

                Hugh Owsley, 81, still lives in town and is able to drive his car. He visits his children who live nearby and his sister in Buffalo.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Warder Maberry, 86, still lives alone on his farm a few miles from town. He has eight children, several of whom live nearby.

                John and Myrtle (Smith) Green were both honorees this year. She read a poem, “I’m Fine For The Shape I’m In.” John is 83 and Myrtle, 80. They have been married 63 years.

                Ernest and Eunice (Blue) Beem were both present this year. He was 82 and she will be 77 Christmas Day. They have been together 59 years. Ernest helps his son, Garland, with their farm work and stock. The Beems moved here from the Bolivar area. Mrs. Beem gave the “In Memoriam” this year. She read some scripture along with her remarks.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Those who have gone to their rewards include: Mrs. Nancy Emory, 90, Polk; J. E. Jones, 91, Rosa Romesburg, 81, Lula Chaney, 88, Max Friedley, 86, all of Wheatland; Grover Gladden, 84, Goodson; Bert Mahaffey, 83, Bolivar; Nancy Copening, 82, Springfield; J. E. (Tode) Button, 78, Lincoln; Ruth Harris, 78, Cross Timbers; Laura Brown, 75, Weaubleau; J. F. Breshears, 81, Warrensburg; Edith (Carpenter) Beem, 85, Long Beach, Calif., who was a gracious donor to our “80 And Over” Day.

                Mrs. Bertha Young, 82, lives here in town and still grows a garden and cultivates many flowers. She has a mass of color from early spring until late fall. She formerly lived near Quincy in Hickory County and carries many memories of early days of Judy’s Gap, the Slicker War and the Butterfield Overland Mail. These have recently been revived through inquiries of families who were involved in them.

                Mrs. May Johnson, 90, of Humansville, showed up with her daughter, Ruth, as driver of their new little red station wagon. She stood in her walker, holding her songbook, and sang, “In my Heart There Rings a Melody.” She received a prize for being the oldest lady who worked in her garden. They live on a farm with plenty of things around to keep them busy.

                Mrs. Charles (Lou Mitchell) Parker, 82, of Gerster, came with her daughter, Mrs. Warden Leiber. Mr. Parker is in a rest home in Springfield. They have nine living children. One son has a store next door to them, so Mrs. Parker keeps store for him occasionally. Her son, Ross, was also present.

                Mrs. Carrie (Acker) Mabry was 80 in April. She has attended several times and brought her neighbor, Miss Cora Selvidge. She still drives her car and attended the Acker reunion at Windsor where she received the prize as the oldest one present. She has one son, Lawrence, who lives in Poplar Bluff.

                Earl and Bessie (Vincent) Saye, of Aldrich, were here again this year. He was one of the several men over 80 still driving their car. They have been married 59 years and we were glad to have them with us.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Mrs. Anna Wilson had her 80th birthday Oct. 8. She is a retired schoolteacher and still has friends who remember and stop to visit her. She has been an avid reader and loves history.

                Mrs. Jessie Hyatt, of Preston, had her 80th birthday Aug. 18. She came with her neighbors, John and Myrtle Green, as she was unable to drive after having surgery.

                Mrs. Wave Allen was 81 Oct. 12. She has been a widow for several years and makes trips to California to visit her daughter and granddaughter. Her family came to Hickory County in a covered wagon.

                Mrs. Ollie (Ketchum) Arnold, 81, was brought by her nephew, Dillon Tipton. She is still a dear cultured lady and keeps herself dressed up ready for a party anytime. She loves to visit Wheatland where she has spent many happy days.

                Cyrus and Ethel Myers, in their late 70’s, have been married 54 years. Her mother, Mrs. Venia Breshears, 92, is one of our 90’s, but was unable to attend this year.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Mrs. May Johnson, 82, of Hermitage, was present with the ladies from her home town. She is a bit crippled up and has been hospitalized a few times but comes out mended and ready to go again. She enjoys her telephone as do so many of these older ones.

                Miss Cora Selvidge, 80 on August 16, had been with us before several years ago. She lives on her farm and keeps busy with her livestock. She cared for her parents until their deaths and helped rear her sister’s children after her sister died.

                Mrs. Atha (Coffey) Durnell turned 80 this summer and came with her piece to speak. She did well, too. Her daughter, Mrs. Virgil Pitts, and son, Harry, brought her.

                Earl and Pearlie (Pitts) Brenner, of Bolivar, have been with us for four years now. They had their 50th wedding anniversary July 10. They brought Mrs. Ina (Allen) Davison, 83, of Bolivar.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Jim and Ura (Durnell) Bullington are another golden wedding couple who celebrated their anniversary last year at Durnell Chapel Baptist church with a big crowd. They are gradually retiring from farming having sold their cattle, but are still in the hog business.

                Mrs. Dosha Donovan will have her 80th birthday December 20. She lives in Camdenton near her daughter, Ruby Chaney. Mrs. Donovan appeared on the program with “Beautitudes for the Aged” [sic] sent by her brother, Paul Graves of Omaha, Neb.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

                Every year we have so many volunteer helpers, it is impossible to name them all. They make the day a success and a happy memory for so many people. It is an event that our elderly people look forward to each year. So Thanks to all, and this is our report for 1970.

NANNIE JINKENS             


Posted 18 Nov 2006 by Ginny Sharp

Return to 80 and Over Club page

[Typed from newspaper article provided by Harold John.]

THE INDEX, September 10, 1970


44 Oldsters Honored At Annual

80 and Over Day at Wheatland


                Another great event for the oldsters of this area took place at Wheatland Baptist Church Sunday afternoon. This was the annual 80 and Over Day which attracted 128 people. Of this number 44 were in the honored groups of 80 to 100 years of age. There were 10 couples who had been married 50 years or longer.

                Irvin E. Allen, the congenial emcee for several years, was on duty and interviewed each of the honorees.

                Volunteer numbers were given along with a prearranged program. Pat Chancellor gave the invocation. Mrs. Dosha Donovan read a poem sent by her brother in Omaha to read at this time. A poem, "The End of a Perfect Day", was read by Mrs. Clara Monroe. Mesdames Myrtle Green, Zilpha Murphy and Atha Durnell each read poems. Rev. J. E. Ellis made a talk concerning his service to mankind.

                Earl Sands sang a cappella, "My Mother's Picture on the Wall", and Mrs. May Johnson (Humansville) stood with the aid of a walker and sang, "In My Heart There Rings a Melody". Mrs. Alice Butler and Mrs. Bessie Kirk sang "What a Friend", with the audience joining them on the last verse.

                A tribute to those deceased during the year was given by Mrs. Eunice Beem. The deceased: Grover Gladden, Lula Chaney, Ida Copening, Nancy Emory, J. E. Jones, Bert Mahaffey, Rosa Romesburg, Max Friedley, Minnie Stuart, J. E. Button, Laura Brown, Ruth Harris, Edith Carpenter Beem.

                Refreshments of ice cream, homemade cookies and punch were served to the crowd at the close of the program. All were enthusiastic for another like event next year.

                Winning prizes were: John Erwin, oldest man and oldest driving car; Mrs. Alice Butler, oldest lady; John and Mary Box, married longest; Warder Mabary, father of most children; Mrs. Almedia West, mother of most children; Mrs. Carrie Mabry, oldest woman driver; Mrs. Alice Butler, coming the longest distance; Ernest Beem and Mrs. Zilpha Murphy, walked farthest; C. O. Little, most living brothers and sisters; Mrs. May Johnson and Mr. Ervin, oldest who worked in garden; Mr. Maberry, Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Grace Blackwell, oldest who had never been in hospital; Mrs. Butler, perfect attendance of 17 years.

·     ·     ·

                Those registering in the various age groups: 80—Myrtle Green, Jessie Hyatt, Anna Wilson (in Oct.), Earl Sands, Dosha Donovan (in Dec.), Carrie Acker Mabry, Cora Selvidge, Atha Durnell; 81—Earl Brenner, Bertha Young, Fronia Crain, Lena Foltz, Ollie Arnold, Clarence Blackwell, Hugh Owsley, Wave Allen, Earl Saye, Bessie Saye.

                82—Miss May Johnson (Hermitage), L. H. West, Grace Blackwell, Ernest Beem, Lou Parker; 83—John Green, Ina Allen Davison, Irl R. Chrisope, Albert Jenkins; 84—Pat Chancellor; 85—Frontz Glazebrook, Clara Monroe, Mary Box, Zilpha Murphy; 86—Mary Robinett, Warder Maberry, Fannie Allen.

                87—Ida Carpenter; 88—Albert Dietz, J. E. Ellis, John Box; 89—Zilla Jones; 90—Mrs. May Johnson (Humansville); 91—Alice Butler; 100—John Erwin.

                The ten couples who had celebrated their golden weddings or have been married for longer periods included Ernest and Eunice Beem, 59 years; John and Mary Box, 69; Albert and Zola Jenkins, 61; C. O. and Verdie Little, 55; John and Myrtle Green, 63; Irl and Elsie Chrisope, 58; Earl and Bessie Saye, 59; Earl and Pearlie Brenner, 50; Cyrus and Ethel Myers, 54; Jim and Ura Bullington, 51.

Posted 22 Dec 2006 by Ginny Sharp

Return to 80 and Over Club page