Born in the 1800s

Last weekend we watched a classic movie that we have seen several times before. Driving Miss Daisy is one of those moves that you can watch over and over. Great cast, great acting, and a great story. It is set in the late 1940s and we calculated from things said in the movie that Miss Daisy was born about 1876. That just sounds like such a long time ago.

It was. It was the century before last.

Just this past week I read that the world’s oldest person, the last person known to be born in the 1800s died. Emma Morano was 117 and she died 15 April 2017 at her home in Italy. She was born 29 November 1899 and her life spanned three centuries! Just last year a 116-year old New York City woman died. [1] It is believed these were the last remaining people born in the 1800s.

That is just amazing to think about. If you were born at the very end of a century and have the right genes, you might see three centuries. My grandma Schumm almost did. She fell short by just three years.

I was born in the mid-1900s and knew people who were who were born in three different centuries. Many of you can probably say the same thing.

So I started a list of relatives I knew and remember who were born in the 1800s.

All four of my grandparents:
Carl Miller (1896-1973)
Gertrude (Brewster) Miller (1896-1973
Cornelius Schumm (1896-1986)
Hilda (Scaer) Schumm (1895-1997)

Carl & Gertrude (Brewster) Miller

Hilda (Scaer) & Cornelius Schumm

A paternal great-grandmother:
Pearl (Reid) Brewster (1880-1962)

Pearl (Reid) Brewster

Two of my grandpa Miller’s sisters:
Caroline (Miller) Caffee (1893-1988)
Clara (Miller) Reef (1899-1997)

Caroline (Miller) Caffee

Clara (Miller) Reef

Grandma Miller’s sister:
Alpha (Brewster) Derrickson (1898-1968)

Grandma Schumm’s sister and her husband:
Edna (Scaer) Schumm (1899-1985)
Emmanuel Schumm (1892-1973)

When you make a list you often forget someone and I probably did just that. There are probably some others who I met when I was a child but those mentioned are my closest relatives who I actually remember.

I also remember some of Zion Chatt’s members who were born in the 1800s:
Anna (Huffman) Bollenbacher (1879-1986)
Leah (Hartzog) Kessler (1895-1980)
Teddy Leininger (1895-1992)
Hulda (Betzel) Fisher (1896-1983)
Ercie (Butler) Ripley Reinking (1896-1994)
Homer Carr (1896-1990)
Forrest Ripley (1896-1969)
Rudy Strabel, 1897-1984)
Carrie (Becher) Leininger (1898-1988)
Carl Schroeder (1898-1987)

Years from now our descendants will probably talk about knowing people born way back in the 20th century.


[1] World’s oldest person, last to be born in 1800s, dies, USA Today on-line, 15 Apr 2017.


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    • Martha Lawler on April 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks Karen for bringing many names that I remember from Zion including my grandmother. I really enjoy all the items you find to write about. Keep up the good work.
    Martha Fisher Lawler

    1. Thanks, Martha. Seeing those names does bring back good memories. Thanks for writing.

    • Jane Suzuki on April 21, 2017 at 8:26 pm
    • Reply

    My Grandma, Alma Bollenbacher Stephenson Now lived in 3 centuries. She was 107 when she died.

    1. That is amazing that she also lived in 3 centuries. What a long life! I worked with a woman who is related to the Now family. You two may be related! Thanks for writing.

    • Jane Suzuki on April 22, 2017 at 5:17 pm
    • Reply

    I bought a teachers desk form Clara Reefs sale. Thye said it came out of the Duck Creek School . I refinished it ,, so beautiful, then Kirby Stetler talked me into selling it to him, so he has it now!

    1. It sounds beautiful! I would love to see a photo of it, or maybe I should visit Kirby to see it in person. I believe Fern attended Duck Creek School?

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