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Mary A. (Pease) Flenniken

FLENNIKEN, PEASE, ECKHART, CRAIG, CRAGIN, MILLER, PRESCOTT

Posted By: Clayton co. coordinator
Date: 5/25/2008 at 04:07:14

Mrs. Mary A. Flenniken will celebrate her ninetieth birthday tomorrow at a family gathering being held south of Sarcoxie at the home of her great niece, Mrs. Martin Eckhart, formerly Miss Betty Craig of Joplin.

Mrs. Flenniken, who makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Miller, 1602 Connor avenue, is an aunt of Harold Craigin of Stella, formerly of Joplin, and a great aunt of Mrs Dana Prescott of Teheran, Iran, and John Marshall Cragin, now in the army stationed at Fort Meade, Md., both formerly of Joplin. She is a sister of the late Mrs. John Cragin of Joplin.

Mrs. Flenniken was born November 27, 1860, in Dubuque, Ia. When she was only a year old, her family moved to Strawberry Point, Ia., where she lived until she came to Joplin three years ago. She was married to John Calvin Flenniken on October 1, 1890. Her husband died in 1940.

Mrs. Flenniken still is active and busy as her ninethieth birthday nears. When a Joplin Globe-News Herald reporter called on her yesterday she was busy knitting sox for her nephew. She has spent much of her long life quilting and knitting, and did much work for the Red Cross during both world wars.

Mrs. Flenniken does not remember ever having a headache or toothache. She never had a tooth extracted until a year ago. Her hair has yet to turn white. She uses glasses only for reading and sewing, and, although she twice suffered a broken hip, she still carries on her interests and activities with seemingly undiminished energy. She reads a great deal and keeps up with current events through the newspapers and radio, but her chief activity is found in a unique hobby which she took up about 40 years ago. During that time she has been clipping from newspapers th enames of people which also are the names of something else, until today she has more than 1,000 names pasted in her scrap book.

Mrs. Flenniken has carefully catalogued these names into such categories as animals, garden plants, clothing, home and furnishings, names of only two or three letters, the menu and the human body.

An example of the results of her ainstaking work with this hobby may be seen in the following list, which is but a few of the names she has listed under the human body: Lawrence Human, Robert J. Body, Franklin Head, John Face, C.R. Chinn, Charles Neck, R.J. Arms, W.B. Thumb, S.A. Finger, Jacob Belly, W.L. Legg, George Knee, G.L. Shinn and T.A. Foot. Mrs. Flenniken said that every such name she discovers "gives a thrill" as thought she had just received a sum of money.

A sidelight to her hobby is the collection of names and initials of which spell a word. For instance, Mrs. Flenniken, a staunch republican who still takes a great interest in politics, since her husband served two terms in the Iowa state legislature, points out that the initials of the recently re-elected Ohio senator, Robert A. Taft, spell 'rat'. She also points out tha ther own maiden name, Mary Pease, could be 'merry peas' and that her initials spell 'map.'

Mrs. Flenniken has still another hobby. She has collected 90 pennies issued in each of the ninety years of her life, from 1860 through 1950.

Mrs. Flenniken laughingly pointed out in a recent interview that longevity is so common in her family that "even a dog belonging to my nephew and a cat belonging to my great niece are each 13 years old". Mrs. Flenniken, herself, would like very much to find another nonagenarian in Joplin with whom she could correspond. Looking back, she "wouldn't mind living her life over again, since there has been more sunshine than shadow."

~Joplin Globe-News Herald, Nov 26, 1950


 

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