Note that there are two different accounts of the 1978 event.


[Found in the Hickory County Historical Society archives by Ginger Donohue]

This article appears to be from The Index and bears the handwritten notation “1978.”


’80 and over’ marks 25-years


Staff Writer


                WHEATLAND — Twenty-five years ago in August, Nannie Jinkens and a few friends put on a little program for a retired school teacher on the square in Wheatland.

                And as the group left, Mrs. Jinkens passed by three old men sitting on one corner of the square — they had been watching the goings on.

                “Would you like us to have a party for you?” she asked them.

                “Well, I don’t know,” one of the gentlemen said, leaving her with the impression that something like that might not be such a bad idea.

                It got her to thinking, then to planning and on Oct. 4, she put on a program in the park for folks 80 years old and over.

                The event became known as 80 and Over Day and 25 years later, on Sunday, Sept. 3, 1978, about 170 folks turned out to celebrate the 25th annual 80 and Over Day.

                As usual, Mrs. Jinkens was there, bustling about as she tried to keep the program running smoothly.

                For the past 21 years, 80 and Over Day has been held in Wheatland’s First Baptist Church.

                As Mrs. Jinkens explained, it became quite a job to get things set up in the park — the men carried in blocks of wood and lumber to the park for makeshift benches and then had to take them apart.

                Besides, too many people were having to miss church services Sunday morning as they prepared for the event, Mrs. Jinkens said. So after four years, it was decided that the gathering would be moved to the church.

                Sunday, as he has in the past three years, 92-year-old Patrick Chancellor, Wheatland, offered the prayer. The group sang Amazing Grace and then settled down for a short program of readings.

                Grace Jordan, 85, shared with the group a few words her mother had written about “What a Woman Can Do.” Mrs. Jordan said her mother had recited it at the old Pleasant Hill school house east of Wheatland when Grace was five years old.

                A few of those observations about a woman’s special abilities included the following:

                “She can come to a conclusion without the slightest trouble of reasoning on it, and no sane man can do that.”

                “She can appreciate a kiss from her husband 70 years after the ceremony’s performed.”

                “She can drive a man crazy in 24 hours and bring him to paradise in three seconds by simply tickling him under the chin — and there does not live that son of Adam’s misery who can do that.”

                Following readings of prose and poetry and a tribute to those who had died since their last meeting, emcee J. T. Wright, of Pittsburg, introduced those in their 80s and 90s, going from pew to pew to visit with those whose age brackets were designated by the color of their name tags.

                Then came that part of the program where folks were recognized for various records. Lawrence and Lulu Burton, Cross Timbers, for example, received a gift for being married the longest — 62 years.


                Grace Jordon and Stella Morton, both of Wheatland, were recognized as “exact twins.” Both were born Feb. 12, 1893, about six miles apart, but they’re not related.

                Others received small gifts for being the oldest man and woman who had lived longest in Wheatland, the woman with the longest hair, the person who traveled the greatest distance to get to the reunion, the person who had the oldest grandchild.

                Afterwards, ladies of the church treated the group to ice cream, cookies and punch.

                The gifts and some of the party fare are paid for by offering from the participants themselves. Church ladies made the cookies and punch and merchants and other folks also contributed.


                Why does Grace Jordon try to come back year after year?         

                “I feel like I was part of them and they are part of me,: she explained.

                She sat next to Stella Morton, her “exact twin.” It’s obvious they are not identical twins, and they confirm, they’re not sisters.

                “Just Wheatland’s twins,” Mrs. Jordon explains.

                Patrick Chancellor says he’s 92 years old, but he doesn’t look a day over 65.

                “I told him, ‘You don’t have any use for me,’ “ Chancellor recalled. The insurance man said he didn’t insure anyone over 70 years old, but he would insure Chancellor.

                Chancellor said he didn’t buy any insurance anyway.

                Chancellor worked as a farmer and when he turned 65 he said his son suggested he just take it easy and rest.

                His reply, “You want to bury me, don’t you?”

                He worked until he was 80, mowing lawns for widow ladies and other odd jobs.

                Chancellor still can’t seem to settle down. He walks 10 blocks roundtrip to the post office every day to pick up his mail as well as mail for about five others and then delivers it on the way back.


                Bertha Young of Wheatland will be 90 on June 21. She’s a green thumb, several people have said.

                She smiles and blushes, but humbly says the flowers haven’t done so well this year. It rained too much this spring and it’s been so dry lately.

                “I don’t want to think of myself as being old,” she volunteers. “If I just sit down and hold my hands, well, I would be old.”

                That’s why she has the flower gardens and keeps her hands busy.

                Her secret for staying young at heart?

                Although health has a great deal to do with it, she admits, “Always keep your mind occupied with something.”

                She had 16 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren and is thankful for them.

                “It’s a lot of help to a person to have these children,” she said.

                Still, she says she can’t help but wonder sometimes “Why the good Lord’s keeping me here.”


                Hugh Owsley of Preston is 89 and getting along fine with an artificial foot he got this year after losing his own.

                “I put it down every other time,” he says jokingly. “This new one doesn’t smell and get cold.”

                He’s lived to see seven children go through high school —brought them through the Depression.

                “I’m no complaining,” he said. “But it took a lot of courage sometimes. We made it, though.”

                Owsley has a positive outlook on life and he shares a philosophical thought or two.

                “I know I’m getting down to the wire,” he said. “But I’m not going to pull the plug. I’ve got the will to live.”

                He talked about his days as a farmer and expressed sympathy for today’s farmer who has to fight the high price of land and equipment.

                Farmers are doing too much complaining, though, he said. “They’ve always complained too much.”

                Apologizing for bending his listener’s ear, he put on his hat and said as he walked towards an acquaintance, “Windjammers don’t die, they just blow away.”



[Found in the Hickory County Historical Society archives by Ginger Donohue.]

Springfield Daily News, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 1978 [page 3B]


Over the Ozarks





                The 25th annual "80 and Over" day held at the Wheatland Baptist Church Sept. 3 was another successful event, with some 110 attending.

                Our faithful MC of 16 years, Irvin Allen, suffered a heart attack July 15 and though slowly recovering, was unable to be with us, and my nephew J. T. Wright, consented to act in his place.

                Pat Chancellor, 92, gave the invocation. He is a Christian gentleman who says he has had a pretty rough life, but good, after all. He lives in the new housing area and delivers the mail to several of his neighbors. Pat carries his groceries from town, and has made several flights to the West Coast to see his children.

                Our 95-year-old lady, Mrs. Lillie Miller, was celebrating her birthday that Sunday and was unable to be with us.

                Grace Jordan, 85, read a poem her mother, Mrs. Mollie La Rose, had written many years ago, entitled "What a Woman Can Do." She had many requests for copies of it. Grace also writes and her most recent article was about a trip to Indian Territory she made with her parents some 80 years ago.

                Minnie (Graham) Glazebrook, 98, came from Clinton this year, having moved from Kansas City. She was able to get around and looked very well, is able to write letters and visit. Her daughter, June Patterson, and two granddaughters, brought her. The photographer took her picture with her friend, Margaret (Capehart) Nowell, who is 11 days younger.

                Mrs. Nowell came to Missouri from Wilson County, Tenn. at the age of two. The trip was made in a covered wagon and took 17 days. She got up and spoke her piece, a surprise to her daughter, Kathryn Gilbert, who brought her, as it was not the one she had rehearsed. Both Mrs. Glazebrook and Mrs. Nowell were applauded at the conclusion of their pictures.

                Mrs. Fannie (Hostetler) Allen, 95 July 18, put in a surprise appearance, as she had been taken to the Care Center at Lowry City. Her son, Dr. Harold Allen of Lathrop brought her, and his sister and brother-in-law, Eunice and Delbert Wheeler. Mrs. Allen is alert and has a wonderful memory. Hr sister, Adah Allen, our former MC's mother, did not get to be with us, as she had company.

                Warder Maberry, 94, was our oldest man. His daughter, Kathryn Benedict, and Nancy Brown brought him from Hermitage. He was the last man in our community to drive a team and wagon, has never owned or driven a car. Warder has nine children and 103 "grands and great-grands."

                Grace (Feltman) Blackwell was 90 May 15 and lives in the housing area, having sold her home after the death of her husband, Clarence, two years ago. Grace was a good gardener and herbalist and still keeps leaves, herbs and seeds for medicines and teas. Grace lives adjacent to Mae Whelchel, also 90.

                Laura (Cox) Lubke was 90 July 15 and her neighbors had a party for her. Se was born in Arkansas, but moved to Missouri in 1971, and now lives in a trailer near her son, Austin Windham, and wife Beva, who sees to her needs. She was in the Sac-Osage Hospital at Osceola for a week, but is at home now and enjoys mail.

                Mrs. Mae (Dent) Whelchel is a native of Wheatland and has never lived anywhere else. Her parents, W. P. and Sarah (Sutt) Dent, were natives, too. Her birthday is June 23, just a day away from Mrs. Bertha Young. They also had their picture made together. After being ill last winter, she is now in the housing complex in Wheatland. She has three daughters who live nearby and see to her. Her only son was killed in a logging accident several years ago.

                Mrs. Bertha (Thomas) Young was 90 June 21. She is a native of Urbana but she and her husband Oliver lived at Quincy for about 41 years. She moved to our town 16 years ago, after her husband died. She grows lovely flowers and roses. She sits in a chair and uses a long-handled hoe to keep her garden clean. Mrs. Young is a neat seamstress and pieces beautiful quilts for her grandchildren.

                Hugh Owsley, 89, lived on a farm south of Wheatland, 38 years, moving to town 16 years ago. He and his late wife, Eva (Hartnett) reared two sons and five daughters. He has been with his son, Hoyt and wife, at Preston for a few years now. He is quite witty, has a positive outlook on life and enjoys it in the fullest. He has not missed our event for many years and received the prize for the oldest gentleman driver.

                Fred Tillery, 89, and wife, Eva (Reser), 85, Humansville, were with us for the first time. They have been married 62 years. He was a farmer and mule buyer in his early days. Their daughter, Ann Dorman, brought them. We were so glad to have them and look for them again next year.

                Earl Sands, 88, a native of S. D., came to Missouri by train with his family in 1900. He owned a farm at Weaubleau for about 38 years, but now lives near his son at Lockwood. Freddie B. Glazebrook brought him in time for Sunday School and church service. Earl said he enjoyed the day, as well as his driver.

                Alta (Nance) Hodges, 88, Cross Timbers, received the prize for the oldest lady driver. She was also on the program and read two short poems. We could hear her very well and she did a good job. She was post master at Fristoe where she and her husband lived on a farm. She is a sister to John Nance, was born in Benton County, then moved to Hickory County after her husband's death.

      NANNIE (BANDEL) JINKENS         



[Thursday, Oct.. 5, 1978]


(Part II)


                Carrie (Acker) Mabry, 88, was present this year and is doing well in her trailer after losing her home by fire in December, 1975. Carried attended the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904 with her father, Lawrence Acker, a German naturalized citizen. She has one son, Lawrence, who lives at Poplar Bluff. Her cousins, Annabelle and Kenneth Rufenacht, brought her.

                Mrs. Stella Morton, 85, lives in north Wheatland. She and Grace Jordan have the same birthday, Feb. 12, and also had their picture made together. Stella is quite active, attends church regularly, and has mower her yard most of the summer. She and her neighbor, Josie Paxton, share a garden and always have an abundance of produce to can and freeze. Stella is a member of the Israel Boone family. Her sister, Alice, of Springfield, published a book in 1969, "Descendants of Israel Boone Family." Her older sister, Anna, died last fall.

                Eunice (Blue) Beem, 84, was born on Christmas Day near Huron, and is a member of an old family that came from Kentucky. She and part of her family moved to Hermitage in 1948, then to Wheatland in 1959. She lives alone now but entertains lots of company and enjoys having friends around. She attends the Hermitage Baptist Church regularly with Mrs. Lorraine Palmer.


Arthur Breshears, 83, Fristoe, came for the first time with his daughter, Alma Avery, who lost her husband this year. He uses a cane, but is independent and still manages his cattle. His wife died several years ago and he lives alone, but near Alma. He was born in the historic Breshears Valley in the Avery neighborhood and enjoyed visiting with old acquaintances.

Virgil M. Hanshaw, 83, Springfield, drove to the event alone. He always has a good time but leaves early, due to the drive back. He was a former high school teacher at Preston and has been with us the past three years.

Tom Pearson, 83, has lived in Wheatland since 1951, coming from St. Joseph. He lost his wife and daughter since moving here, so is now living in the new housing at Hermitage. He drove his car to the event and enjoyed seeing his old friends. His birthday is July 4, so he is a true patriot. Tom is very congenial and makes friends easily.


Oliver Marsh, 82, Buffalo, was another elderly driver, but he gets around safely and has been here several times. His family lived in this area for 58 years. After his wife died, he moved to Buffalo. His parents, John and Lulu (Babbitt), are buried at Old Bethel Camp Ground in Benton County. Oliver has made two trips with us ladies to the cemetery to record the graves, and we were grateful for his help, as he knew many of the names and family histories.

John Nance, 82, Cross Timbers, brother of Alta Hodges, has lived his entire life in Hickory and Benton Counties. Mrs. Nance died a few years ago. They had one daughter. John is a faithful member of the New Home Baptist Church. He looks well, does his own driving, and lives in a comfortable home in Cross Timbers.

Pearl (Hammond) Sherman, 82, is an industrious lady, has a garden, lots of flowers and entertains her family often. She invited me to go to the Quincy reunion where I saw a number of people I had not seen in years. Mrs. Emma Morton came home with us to remain until after the "80 and Over" day. She enjoyed Mrs. Sherman's kind hospitality.

Fratie (Bernard) Mitchell, 82 in August, lives at Weaubleau in the housing unit. Her husband, Floyd, was with her, but she could not care for him so he was taken to the nursing home at Lowry City. She visits him frequently. Fratie comes from the old Barnard family in the Quincy area. They were early settlers.

Addie (Frieze) McCracken, 82, Humansville, was born mid-way between Dunnegan and Fairplay. This was her first time with us, but we soon became acquainted. She lives across the street from the Tillerys, who brought her to our day. We hope she enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having her.


Lawrence O. and Lulu (Bennett) Burton, 82 and 78, Cross Timbers, were our longest married couple, celebrating 62 years last March. He is our only member with a Feb. 29 birthday. He still drives their car. They live on a farm east of Cross Timbers and keep a lovely home.

Harry and Susie (Brown) Hutton were with us after missing last year. He is 82, she is 74. They were married at Harrisonville Oct. 10, 1922, and have a farm between Wheatland and Weaubleau on the old road we used to travel in the horse and buggy days. Mrs. Hutton has not been well, but is better and they enjoyed the day.

Roy and Roxie (Emery) Rush, Boliver, were new members and honorees, having been married 59 years in March. Roy is 82 and Roxie, 79, but neither look their age. They used to bring her mother, Mrs. Nancy Emery, who lived to be 91. The Rushes are enjoying their retirement after years of farming and operating a realtor's office at their home near Urbana.

Roy and Nellie (Stephenson) Reed, Flemington, were a 60 year wedding couple. He moved into the 80 column in July. They had a nice event for their anniversary at the Baptist Church in Elkton where they are members. Their son and daughter were both able to be present for the special occasion.

Tommy and Eathel (Lopp) Moore celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary Feb. 12, and she was 80 Sept. 4. Tommy recently flew to Portland, Ore. to visit their daughter, Zilpha, who is a realtor there. Both went with another daughter, Ina May and family, to Springfield for the Sept. 2 wedding of their grandson. They have one son and four daughters who are all near enough to visit frequently.

      NANNIE (BANDEL) JINKENS         



[Friday, Oct.. 6, 1978]


(Part III)


                Editor's Note: This concludes Mrs. Jinkens report of the annual "80 and Over" Day held at Wheatland Baptist Church Sept. 3.

                Jesse and Eltha (Kelly) Vanderford are one of our local couples who have been married 57 years. Both are 78 years old. They were former residents of the Pomme de Terre Lake area, finally had to give up their farm and Jesse, a fox hunter, had to give up his dogs. They have a trailer here in town now. Jesse is a good singer, an asset to any choir. They attend church at Elkton.

                Loren and Neva (Crawford) Penny, though not in the older age bracket, were married 51 years in July. They live near Weaubleau and he is a chiropractor. They have two daughters. Loren has been on the county board of education since it was formed. Mrs. Penny is a housewife who enjoys her home.

                Mrs. Edith Roberts, 80, is a native of Stockton but now lives at Urbana. She is another school teacher, retiring 14 years ago. She has many former students who thank her for her teaching ability and her patience. This is her first year as an honoree.

                Lloyd and Dovie Reser, who have a farm west of Elkton, will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary Oct. 21. They entertain a lot and are faithful members of the Christian Church. Dovie always reminds me to send Earl Brenner of Bolivar one of our books. He enjoys them, but has not been with us since his wife, Pearlie, died.

                George and Etta (Mears) Yocham were married Sept. 25, 1921, at Flippen, Ark., by Bro. J. W. Black, who came by train from Cotter, Ark., to perform the ceremony. They had nine children, three boys and six girls. They moved to Wheatland during a snowstorm in January, 1958, when Bull Shoals Lake took their former home in Arkansas. He will be 83 Oct. 23, and she is 76.

                Bro. J. L. and Lena (Breshears) Wright of Wheatland will also have their 57th wedding anniversary Sept. 25. He will be 82 Dec. 27 and she will be 75 Oct. 8. They plan a trip to California to visit their daughter, Gwen, and her family. Bro. Wright was pastor of our church for 37 years. They are loved and respected members of our community.

                Anthus (Bandel) Wright, 80, came into the honor group this year. She has always been shy and came in the back door, but a name tag was ready for her. Her son, J. T. Wright, our MC, knew how old she was. She and her husband had five children.

                Mrs. Roscoe (Sada) Edde, 79, was on our program and gave a Civil War poem. This was her first time to attend. Her husband of 60 years died March 3, and she remarked how much they had missed by not attending earlier. Miss Mildred Wilson brought her.

                Tom B. Bird and wife Florence (Laws), Warrensburg, were with us again. He is 83, his wife, 79. They married Jan. 10, 1917, in Colorado, where they lived in a sod house. They came to Missouri in a covered wagon, traded horses along the way, and got here with an extra horse or two and some money. He drove his car the 80 miles from Warrensburg.

                Emma Shelton Reno, 83, Wheatland, lives alone near her daughter, Myrtle. Mrs. Reno's sister and brother-in-law, Elva and Don Strahan, both died this year. Another sister, Nola Cauthon, who lives near Gerster, did not have a way to be with us as the Strahans always brought her. Mrs. Reno is a good cook, likes to entertain, and does beautiful floral arrangements. Everybody loves "Granny."

                Mrs. Sadie E. (Murray) Beach and Mrs. Delia Fields, who share a place here in town, had to miss our event, as all their rides failed. They told me in a telephone visit how disappointed they were. Mrs. Beach was 90 Sept. 18 and Delia will be 81 this month.

                Our last number on the program was given by Mrs. Amy Ellis in memory of our departed ones.

                The 90's were: Nora (Lindsey) Brown, 94, Springfield; Fred W. Kent, 92, Cross Timbers; Fannie (Brown) Hutton, 95, Wheatland; Tina (Crates) Kleck, 92, Wheatland; Ellen (Fisher) Morgan, 93, Preston; Mae (Stroud) Wilson, 99, Hermitage.

                The 80's were: James J. Brown, 84, Clinton; Nannie (Riddle) Canon, 88, Lone Jack; Elsie (Hartnett) Chrisope, 85, Hermitage; Myrtle (Smith) Green, 87, Preston; Sylvia Opal Hunt, 84, Elkton; Jessie (Dickenson) Hyatt, 84, Preston; Annie (Feltman) Mitchell, 86, Preston; Cyril Moore, 85, Independence; Elsie (Breshears) Tipton, 81, Raytown; Anna (Boone) Wilson, 86, Hermitage.

                The 70's were: Margaret (Watson) Bannister, 78, Hermitage; Winona (Vanderford) McGee, 71, Weaubleau; Ora (Foltz) Mitchener, 70, Wheatland; Don Strahan, 77, Weaubleau; Elva (Shelten) Strahan, 77, Weaubleau.

                I want to thank everyone who contributed in any way to make our day the success it was. I especially want to thank Everett and Ellen Thompson, Redlands, Calif., who planned their vacation so they would be here. Ellen, her twin sister, Hellen Parson, and their other sister, Mabel Smith, helped serve the ice cream, punch and homemade cookies, plus doing kitchen chores.

                We know our VIPs enjoyed it! We hope you enjoyed our report.



Posted 18 Nov 2006 by Ginny Sharp

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