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Posted By: Irma (email)
Date: 6/28/2009 at 21:16:18

APRIL, 1981


Hattie was born in Kent, Iowa on April 15, 1881, the fourth child of Frank and Rose Joy Pitkin. Her grandparents, James and Mary Jane Mosby Joy had come to Kent, Iowa to make their home in 1871.

The Pitkins, which would later be a family of 11, 4 boys and 5 girls, made their home in Kent, where Hattie happily spent her toddler years. She entered school, a one room schoolhouse, where her first teacher was a man, I.F. Wright. A short time later, Flora Sash came to Kent to teach. Ms. Sash lived in Creston, and would ride the freight train to Kent each week, returning to Creston on Friday, to spend the weekend. Hattie enjoyed spending many weekends with Ms. Sash, and thus had the opportunity to ride the freight train several times.

The Pitkin family moved to Shannon City when Hattie was about 7 years old. The move was made in horse and wagon, and they lived in the first house east of Shannon, now the home of Dean Hoffman. Frank Pitkin was a cattle dealer and would need to ride his horse to work each day. The childen would all watch for Dad to come riding home from work, and would race to him. The first child to reach him would get the reward.

She graduated from Shannon City High School with the class of 1899. There were two in the class, the other member being Roy Miller. Hattie stayed at home for a few years, and then decided to go into the teaching profession. Her first duties were at the Lone Ridge School in Pleasant township.

She remembers some of her best friends to have been Beulah, daughter of the Fishers, who ran the store, and Victoria, daughter of Dr. Loomis. While in Kent the family had attended the only church in town, a Baptist, and when they moved to Shannon City they started attending the Methodist church.

Across from the Pitkin home was the Grimes Timber, where many picnics, parties, meetings and good times were held by the people in the community. At one of the Woodsmen picnics, "Dad" gave Hattie 25 cents to spend, but advised, "Don't spend it all". Hattie carefully made her purchases of candy and gum, and perhaps a ride on the merry-go-round, but was so proud that she still had 10 cents, left, that she could hardly wait to get home and return it to "Dad".

Hattie has ridden on horses, buggies, wagons, automobiles of all vintages, buses and trains. However, until they make an airplane in which she can drag one foot on the ground, she'll pass that experience.


JUNE, 1983


Hattie Pitkin, honored at the Governor's Conference on Aging, and Lois Houston, Director, Area XIV on Aging.

Hattie Pitkin, 102 years old, of Afton, Iowa, was one of eighteen centenarians honored May 25, 1983, at the Governor's Conference on Aging in Des Moines, Iowa. A framed certificate of achievement signed by Governor Branstad was presented to Hattie by Karen Tynes, the executive Director of the Iowa Commission on the Aging.

Hattie was born in Kent, Iowa, April 15, 1881, to Frank and Rose Joy Pitkin. She graduated from Shannon City High School in 1899. A few years later she began her thirty-one year of teaching career which included schools in Nevinville, Arispe, and Coin, Iowa. She moved into the Afton Care Center a year ago where she continues to correspond with friends and enjoys doing embroidery work. Hattie serves as a model for many people because of her dedication to creative aging.


APRIL 17,, 1986

Hattie Pitkin celebrated her 105th birthday Tuesday, April 15th, with family and friends at the Afton Care Center. The family came for a special lunch with Hattie, which was highlighted with a beautiful birthday cake. They then admired the many flowers and almost 75 cards she had received, many of them from her former students.

Hattie is in good health and enjoys embroidery work, corresponding with friends and visiting. She gets around the Center by herself, with the aid of a walker.


This story was accompanied with a photo of Hattie.

[Transcriber's Note: Hattie Pitkin died in 1986, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery, near Shannon City, beside her older brother, Bryan D., who had died in 1975. Bryan and Hattie had made their home together, southeast of Arispe, for many years.]


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