Shelby  County,  Indiana

Minerva  Thompson

The  Indianapolis  Star

May 18, 1920
Mrs. Minerva Thompson of Waldron
Active and Happy on 100th Birthday.
(Special to the Indianapolis Star.)
          SHELBYVILLE,  Ind., May 17 -- One of the passing events of historical interest and importance to Shelby county will be the celebration of the one hundredth birthday of  Mrs. Minerva Thompson, which will be observed to morrow at her home in Waldron, where she has resided continuously for the last thirty-five years.  A century has not deprived Mrs. Thompson of the activity which has marked her long and useful life and the reception which has been arranged will be enjoyed by her as much as by any of the hundreds who have planned to visit her.
          Arrangements for the celebration include a dinner at the noon hour, at which all her relatives and many friends will be present, and an open house during the afternoon at the home, which is now a bevy of flowers, the gifts of friends and acquaintances throughout the county and state.  A huge floral piece from the residents of the town of Waldron was among the many beautiful remembrances.
          Despite her advance years, Mrs. Thompson is wonderfully well preserved, and possesses a memory that is remarkable.  She is also able to superintend her household and take an interest in passing events.  Coming of a family that was long lived, it is not so uncommon to her that today she reached the age of 100 years.
Born  in  Kentucky.
          She is the daughter of the late  James and Drucilla Burns,  and was born on the farm of her father in Lewis county, Kentucky on Mary 18, 1820.  The family was of Virginia origin, where Mr. Burns was born in 1773, and where he spent the years during and following the revolutionary war.  In the war of 1812 he shouldered a musket in defense of his country.  Her father died in 1878 at the age of 100 years.  For the first nine years of her life Mrs. Thompson lived in the "Blue Grass" state, coming with her parents to Indiana in 1829, after her father had established a log cabin home in a forest clearing in Rush county.  Later this home was supplanted with a large brick home, the first in this section.
          The schooling of that day was very crude, says Mrs. Thompson, and the teachers of the "spare the rod and spoil the child" kind, the disposition of one teacher causing him to received punishment from fathers of the pupils on one occasion.
          Her marriage to  Alfred Gregg Thompson  occurred in 1845 and the couple moved to Shelby county near St. Paul in 1851.  Since 1885 Mrs. Thompson has lived in the pretty home which she now occupies in Waldron.  Speaking of the living conditions at the time of her marriage, Mrs. Thompson says that people lived very simply and only few had carpets on the floors of their homes.  One of the first things she can remember doing after her marriage is the making of a rag rug for the floor of her home, which placed her in an enviable position among her neighbors.  Stoves were rarely used and because her parents did not possess one she and her husband also did without this commodity.  Mr. Thompson died in 1890.
Mother  of  Seven  Children.
          Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson.  Three died in infancy and two sons,  Frank  and  James Thompson, passed away several years ago.  Her daughter, Miss Anna Thompson, who is 70 years old, lives with her mother in Waldron and also works in a store there, she appears to be about 40 years old.  Mrs. Andy J. Ensminger  of this city is the other daughter.  Mrs. Thompson also has two sisters,  Mrs. Eliza Cummins, 94 years old, who resides with her at Waldron and, like Mrs. Thompson, is agile and active and a very good conversationalist.  Another sister is  Mrs. Olive B. Smith, 79 years old, and a brother  Henry Burns,  84 years old, both residing near Bluffton.  Other are three grandchildren,  Mrs. Lee Morgan,  Dawes Thompson  and  Mrs. Ezra Morgan  of this county, and two great-grandchildren,  Thompson Morgan  and  Nell Morgan  of Shelbyville.
          Throughout her life, Mrs. Thompson says she has tried to mold her life on the merits of truth and honesty and the she enjoys good, clean pleasure today as mush as she ever did.  When the weather is fair she likes automobiling and it is a delight for her to work among her flowers and garden.  Also very remarkable is the fact the her enjoyment of a hearty meal is one of her boasts in passing the century mark.  She is not so fond of sweets, but must have substantial foods, and has a particular liking for meals of all kinds.
Truly  an  Optimist.
          In talking of her natal event, Mrs. Thompson says it is unbelievable that she has lived 100 years, and attributes her present active condition to her love of work and her active life.  She scorns the person who upon reaching an advanced age sits down and just waits for the end to come, saying that although 100 years old, she finds just living and doing what good she can is really a great pleasure for her.  She is truly an optimist, and laughingly describes the pranks of her girlhood years.
          Mrs. Thompson is a member of the St. Paul Christian Church, she has read the Bible through two times, and the New Testament entirely through twenty-two times.
Contributed by John Ballard

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