1900's Centenarians Reflect on 1800s

Mrs. Sylvia Dunham, who lives near Southington, Conn., I was informed yesterday by relatives, is looking forward with much enthusiasm to the coming of the twentieth century. She was 100 years old last July.

Patrick Maloney, the veteran switchman of Jersey City, abides in the faith that the signals are set for the next century so far as he is concerned. He is 101 years old. Mr. Maloney was born in Clare, Ireland.

March Lamb, a mild-mannered Afro-American, lives at Vineland, N.J. He is more than 100 years old. He served in the War of 1812 as a sailor.

Miss Louisa Shaller, descendant of one of the founders of Haddam, lives near Middletown, Conn. She was born on Sept. 21, 1800.

Mrs. Elizabeth Sorden, born in Elizabeth, N.J., in 1799, lives in Bridesburg, Pa.

Jonathan McGee, who is now 112 years old, says that he has lived so long because he has subsisted upon a diet of uncooked food. “The sun,” said he a year or so ago, “does all the cooking that I need.”

Mr. McGee lives in the country near Ypsilanti, Mich. He concluded in 1898 that it was not good for man to be alone and took a young woman to wife. He describes his ancestry as half Indian, one-quarter Irish and one-quarter Scotch. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and draws a pension. He is an expert rifle shot and he still tramps through the woods in search of game.

Recalls January 1, 1801

Mrs. Elinda Bonner Hunt, a colored woman residing at 84 Marion Street, Ravenswood, Long Island City [in New York City], is as much is as much interested as any one in the birth of the new century. Mrs. Hunt was born in Prince George, Dunwoodie County, Va., on May 3, 1793, and if she lives until New Year’s Day she will have lived in three centuries. Despite her great age Mrs. Hunt takes deep interest in passing events, and will remain awake Monday night to welcome the new year and the new century.

Mrs. Hunt was a little child when the nineteenth century was born, but she has some recollections of the event. She says that she was living in Virginia at the time, and that the people held celebrations and festivals and made much of the occurrence. She hopes to be able to attend the watch night services in the Ravenswood Presbyterian Church, of which she is a member, and on New Year’s Day will receive calls from relatives and friends.

Mrs. Hunt never saw General George Washington, but clearly remembers a visit paid to the Virginia town by General Lafayette. She says that every one welcomed the distinguished visitor and every house was thrown open to him.

About 75 years ago the family moved to Ohio, and from there Mrs. Hunt returned to the South several years later, and then came North again, and lived in New York and then in Brooklyn. She moved to Ravenswood several years ago, and is surrounded by relatives. She says her mother was a white woman and her father a slave, who, after being given his freedom by his master, Henry Bonner, was employed by the latter for years. Mrs. Hunt was the mother of five children, two girls and three boys. Her oldest son went away 30 years ago and has never been heard of since. If he is alive he is now 85 years old. She is living at present with another son, James Bonner, who is 61 years old.

Keeps Candy Store at 107

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