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Mount Ayr Record News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa, 1980

Fannie Seaton to be 100 Friday

At age 100, Fannie SEATON of Clearview Home in Mount Ayr is an alert, active person who keeps busy doing handwork, writing letters and reading. Marking the advent of her 100th birthday anniversary Friday, Jan. 4 [1980], will be an open house to be held at the home from 2 to 4 p.m.

Many of her family and friends have had a part in preparations for the special party. Mints have been made by her son, Paul and his wife, Audrey (SEFRIT) of Bella Vista, Ark. Paul will be unable to attend because at 75, just last week he suffered a stroke.

Ankeny Baptist Church, where Fannie SEATON was prominent when she lived in Ankeny a few years ago to be close to her son, Paul and his family, has sent a centerpiece for the buffet table and a corsage for Mrs. SEATON to wear on that occasion.

There will be a program including the singing of a favorite Christmas carol of the honoree by her granddaughter.

One of the enjoyable things about the 100th anniversary has been the many cards that Mrs. SEATON has been receiving from friends and relatives from all over the United States. One was from a former Sunday school pupil who thanked her for giving him a good start in his Christian life. These probably came as a result of her dedicated letterwriting through the years.


Ben and Fannie SEATON had observed a 59th wedding anniversary before Ben died 22 years ago. They were going to have a special observance on their golden wedding anniversary but their other son, Orr, was ill and died about that time, so they decided to wait until the 60th.

Other family members are two grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and two (sic, should be 4) great-great-grandchildren.

One of the interesting photographs in the collage in Mrs. SEATON'S room at Clearview is a group picture of five generations. Included were Fannie, son Paul, his daughter Jean FISH of Ankeny, her son David FISH and his son Adam.


A picture of Mrs. SEATON'S granddaughter holding a quilt made by her grandmother in 1974 especially for her when she graduated from high school testifies to Mrs. SEATON'S embroidering ability an dher good eyes which require only the help of glasses.

Fannie each year diligently makes things for sale at the Delphos Baptist church bazaar. This year it was four embroidered pillowcases. One the wall of her room are other embroidered and needlepoint plaques.

In addition to her hobbies, handling her own legal, financial and personal affairs have helped Mrs. SEATON keep her mind keen and her memory good. She has continued her hobbies since moving to Clearview Home on June 23, 1983.

Early Years

Mrs. SEATON was born on a farm south of Delphos in Ringgold county. She lived there with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sam STEDMAN, until 1897. She received her elementary education in a country school at Rose Valley, a mile and one-half from their home.

At the age of 17 she was taken out of school to handle the general store in Delphos which her father had purchased. Her father had to sell the farm and secure a house in Delphos for the family, which included five daughters and one son, the youngest, so Fannie lived with an uncle and aunt, the Charlie STEDMANS, for a while.

The store was purchased from a Mr. BAKER who had in his employ a "huckster wagon" operator, Ben SEATON. It was not uncommon in early days for a store manager to send out a covered wagon containing his merchandise to sell and in turn the store purchased any produce the farmer had to sell. This was what Ben did.

On one occasion, Fannie's mother had given her money to buy material for a shirt-waist dress, pink with narrow white stripe, and when Ben came selling his wares she purchased the material.

The next time she met Ben, she was visiting a girl friend who lived about a mile and one-half from her home. A big rain cloud came up. The mother of her friend knew the huckster wagon would be along so she ran out and asked if Fannie could ride with him. Fannie was 13 and barefoot. They got to her place before the rain but he didn't make it into Delphos before the downpour.

Ben continued working for Fannie's father after he bought the store from BAKER. Fannie was 19 when Ben and she were married. The two took over the store after the death of her father and mother.

Mrs. SEATON served as postmistess (sic) of Delphos until the death of her husband. Now the post office is handled by a nephew of her husband's, Joe SEATON, in his store across the street.

Fannie has been a strong worker in the Baptis church. The First Baptist church in Delphos, she said, was moved there from Goshen, north of Delphos. The present Baptist curch was built after fire destroyed the old one.

Hard Work

Fannie says she has always worked hard and her biggest problem now is that she can't do as much as she once did. However, with the ability to see, hear fairly well, use her own teeth, walk with a walker and her desire to become involved, it sounds as if she will have many ingredients that will help her enjoy her 100th birthday anniversary party Friday.

NOTES: Fannie Elizabeth, the daughter of John S. and Delia (WILLEY) STEDMAN, was born in Ringgold County, Iowa, on January 4, 1880. She married at age 19 in 1899 to Benjamin Franklin SEATON. Ben was born in Pennsylvania in 1873, the son of Franklin and Adaline (HARTLEY) SEATON, and died at the age of 86 years on December 7, 1959.

Paul Samuel, the son of Fannie and Ben SEATON, was born on August 25, 1904 at Delphos, Iowa, and died at the age of 86 years on June 3, 1991, Des Moines, Iowa. Paul's wife, Audrey Fern SEFRIT, was born at Delphos on April 2, 1905, and died at Ankeny, Iowa, on June 7, 2007, aged 102 years. Audrey was the daughter of George Washington and Mary Eldora (HENDRICKS) SEFRIT.

Fannie Elizabeth (STEDMAN) SEATON died at the age of 101 years on December 17, 1981, Ringgold County, Iowa. She was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.

Transcription and notes by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2012

~ ~ ~ ~

Mount Ayr Record News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa


I am writing for the edition of the Record-News with the nice article about Fannie SEATON'S 100th birthday.

Before I write more, I will introduce myself. I was Emma CROPPER, born May 10, 1893, to Frank and Fannie CROPPER in Delphos, Iowa; I lived there till I left in a Model T Ford on June 27, 1915, with a sick husband, Roy A. BLAUER. We were married in October, 1913 at my parents' home in Delphos. Roy was the only child of Edd and Coebedia BLAUER, born March 30, 1892 and reared about 3 1/2 miles northeast of Delphos. He nor I ever lived any place else until we went to Colorado for his health.

I must tell you I wrote the Delphos news for the MOunt Ayr Record-News for some time in my growing up years. My pay was the paper every week and the highlight of the position, two tickets to the Redpat-Vawter Chautauqua in late July or early August. I always spent the week with John and Ollie ROBINSON a short distance northeast of Mount Ayr.

Mrs. Emma Ray
495 Laurel Hill Rd., Apt. 15C
Norwich, Conn. 096360

Submission by Ann Wyer, July of 2012

To submit your Ringgold County news items, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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