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Richmond Times Dispatch
Richmond Times Dispatch
Contributed by Susan

Description: Dickenson County, Va., Beats the Record for People Who Have Lived Allotted Time Minding Her Own Business One Lady Gives as Reason for Ripe Old Age Simple But Happy Lives

Date: February 7 1904

Newspaper published in: Richmond, VA

Page/Column: 6

Dickenson County, Va., Beats the Record for People Who Have Lived Allotted Time Minding Her Own Business One Lady Gives as Reason for Ripe Old Age Simple But Happy Lives

Freeling, Va., Feb. 6. According to population, as compared to that of others, Dickenson County has its full quota of octogenarians, ten of whose pictures are here with presented. These ten are living in the extreme west end of the county, next to the Kentucky border, and are all nestled in a small scope of country, the remotest not living more than five miles apart, while some of those intermediate are almost within a stone's throw of each other. So far as can be learned, there is only one other who has reached this age living the county, and that is William Counts, who lives in the east end.

These aged people are fairly well preserved, and seem to be passing their last days in a quiet and reasonably happy manner. In response to the enquiry made of each one as to what he attributes his long life, only one gave any definite answer, that one being Mr. Margaret Elam, who quickly replied: "To minding my own business, sir."

The first two on the list are Mr. and Mrs. John C. Branham on Pound River, near Osborn's Gap. Mr. Branham has passed about ninety milestones on the road of life, while his wife, Mahala, is close behind him. "Uncle Johnny," as he is familiarly called, was reared in Scott County, Va., came to this section wile a young man; has lived here and in Kentucky since. He served in the Confederate army, and was in several important battles. Mrs. Branham's maiden name was Moseley. She was reared in Floyd County, Kentucky.

Mrs. Margaret Elam, whose maiden name was Bond, lives on Pound River with one of her grandsons, her husband having died many years ago. She is 80 and came from Scott County, Va., about 25 years since.

Mrs. Susan Haynes, widow of Robert Y. Haynes, is nearing ninety; she was reared in Grayson County, Va. Her maiden name was Phipps.

Marsha Mullins, 83, was reared in this section; has been a widower only a few months, his wife, whose age was near his own, having died last summer.

William Kelly, 80, was reared in Pike County, Ky., but has lived here for many years; was a soldier in the Union army during the Civil War. He is passing his last days at the house of one of his sons.

William Vanover was born in North Carolina 80 years ago, but came to this section back in the '40s, and has since resided here. His first wife died in 1889, and he has remarried. He has held several important official positions in this county.

Henry Vanover, brother to William Vanover, is 83. His wife, Rhoda, is 81. Mr. Vanover was born in North Carolina and married in Grayson County, Va. His wife's maiden name was Long.

Audley Maxwell celebrated his 80th birthday last October; is a widower; was reared in Mercer County, W. Va.; served under General Joe Wheeler in the Civil War.

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Submitted: 01/17/15

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