Ruth Watson's 105th Birthday

Ruth Watson's 105th Birthday

The Sun (Rutherfordton, N.C.)
Thursday Morning, October 21, 1920


Rutherford Woman Has Unique Distinction - Large Crowd Gather In Honor Of Her 105th Birthday

About 300 people gathered at the home of Mr. Tom I. Watson last Saturday to celebrate his mother’s, Mrs. Ruth Porter Watson’s 105th birthday. She makes her home with her fourth son, three miles east of here. Songs were sung. Short speeches were made by Revs. J.C. Grier, T.C. Jordan, J.F. McKinnon of Westminster and editor R.E. Price. They discussed various phases of Mrs. Watson’s life and lessons to be drawn from it. A bountiful dinner was spread in picnic style. Everybody ate to their heart’s content and much food was left.

Mrs. Watson was able to set up part of the day. She watched the crowd eat from her chair in the sitting room. Her health is failing fast, though she has a good mind and hears well and can see some. She has to be helped to walk. Her mind is unusually good considering her age.

The writer saw the Bible record of her age. She was born Oct. 16, 1815 and was married Sept. 7th, 1840. Her husband died November 19th, 1894. Her youngest child was born in 1858. She has eight living children and one dead, the oldest, dying when an infant of 18 days age. Five of her children were present Saturday. They were: James A. Watson, the oldest, Andrew B., the third son, Tom I., the fourth son, Miss Ruth Amanda Watson, the sixth child, and Geo. F. the youngest son. Samuel Allison Watson, who lives in Texas was at his son’s home in Louisiana. He recently attended the Confederate Reunion at Houston, Texas. John Calvin Watson, the fifth child lives in Tennessee and was unable to attend. (The author confused Samuel Allison, who lived in Tennessee, with John Calvin, who lived in Texas.) Mrs. Hannah Jane Norvell, the seventh child, who lives near was not present on account of sickness.

Three of the sons are Confederate veterans. Two of them have great grand children. Mrs. Watson had grand children present Sautrday (sic) who have grand children of their own. Five generations were represented Saturday. Mrs. Watson’s descendants are: eight children, 29 grand children, about 114 great grand children, and about 25 great great grand children, over 200 in all.

She was born three years after the close of the late war with England. She has witnessed four great wars. She is the only living mother in the entire South who has three living sons that are Confederate veterans. The United Daughters of the Confederacy have searched the South for her equal but only found 38 mothers who had as many as one living son who was a defender of the South during the sixties. The National Chapter of the U.D.C. gave Mrs. Watson a beautiful Confederate Memorial badge last March.

Mrs. Watson has no secrets of “youth” except that she does not smoke a pipe and never dipper snuff or indulged in any habits that were likely to impair her health. Good health and energy run in her family it seems.

Mrs. Watson is a woman of very sweet disposition and has a deep religious conviction. The family Bible shows that she has been a constant reader of its pages.

Rutherford County can congratulate herself on having such a remarkable citizen as Mrs. Watson. She has registered and will have the satisfaction of voting a Democratic ticket next month. Her two daughters will also vote with her. We hope that she can have many more happy birthday celebrations.

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