Cedar County Republican, August 19, 1909, Page 3, Column 3


On Sunday August 15, 1909 almost 200 relatives and friends of William Brown
better known as "Uncle Billy" Brown gathered with well filled baskets at his
home on his farm 4 miles east of Jerico Springs MO for the purpose of
celebrating his 100th birthday. After having greeted "Uncle Billy" who was
feeling pretty well, the task of the spreading on a hastily constructed
table which was about 40 ft in length one of the best dinners, seemingly,
could be prepared. The table groaning beneath the enormous weight of the
luxuries and toothsome articles that the season could afford represented a
beautiful sight indeed. "Uncle Billy", his six sons and one daughter with
the table were photographed, also a separate photograph was taken of all the
people present or as many of them that could be assembled for that purpose.
When all had gathered around the table, Rev. Matt Crisp was called upon to
return thanks to which he responded in language which was surely appropriate
for the occasion after which fully one hour was consumed in the partaking of
the good old Missouri birthday dinner.

Dinner being over, speeches were delivered by Matt Crisp, J.W. Potts, Jas.
Cox and Jno. O. Welsh, paying tribute to "Uncle Billy" and his family, also
off the advancement that has been made in the last one hundred years in the
mode of traveling, tilling the soil and the way of living.

The history of the past life of Uncle Billy as given to me by himself is as
follows: "I was born in the year of 1809, August 15th in Winchester Monroe
County West Virginia. At the age of 13 years I went to Wheeling, same
state, served as engineer on a steamboat for 19 years on the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers. I then moved to Florence for almost 23 years. In 1862
I enlisted in the Union army as artilleryman under Capt. Hitchcock and was
discharged in 1863.

In 1868 I moved to MO and settled near Greenfield Dade County and engaged in
stock raising. 1871 I came to Cedar County settling near where I now live.
I joined the Christian Church at the age of 50 years. Was married in
Illinois in the year of 1844 to Harriett Drew and had born to us ten
children, six sons and four daughters, two of the daughters are dead. My
sons H.C., Geo. W, J.J.H., Benj. and Lee also one daughter Jennie Achord
live in Cedar County, son Chas. in Dade County, near Greenfield. My
youngest child a daughter Ida Barnes lives in Handley Sasc., Canada. I have
24 grand children and 14 great grand children living. My wife died in
August 1895 and since that time I have made my home with my sons. My
general health during my past life until recent years, has been good. I
feel pretty well today. My eye sight is bad but I can see my way tolerably
well. I can walk to my son Benny's farm 3-4 mile distance. I feel very
grateful for the respect the people has shown me here today in celebrating
my 100th birthday."

After bidding Uncle Billy goodbye and wishing him many more just such
birthdays the people parted for their respective homes. BY ONE PRESENT

Submitted by: Jeannie Miyama

"A Cane Hill Campout"
Story by 'the sage of Cane Hill', Leland Fox

Courtesy of:

Beverly Gibson kgibson @strato.net

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