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Clara Agnes BARNHART SWIHART turns 103 -- 2023


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 3/26/2023 at 15:12:01

"Southeast Iowa Union / Fairfield Ledger"
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Page 5, Column 5

SWIHART celebrates 103rd birthday

The family of Batavia resident Clara Agnes (BARNHART) SWIHART celebrated her 103rd birthday Sunday Feb. 19. Many families, friends and people who learned about her birthday sent cards or wrote birthday greetings on Facebook. She was extremely surprised to learn that she had received around 75 cards.

Many thanks to all the thoughtful people who sent her birthday greetings and cards. Daughter Teena ROUSH gave a large bouquet of many-colored roses. Decorated birthday chocolate cupcakes were enjoyed by all.

Those present at the celebration were her son William SHIELDS, daughter Teena ROUSH and partner John, niece Elaine BARNHART and husband Mark. Nieces Sandy WHITE and daughter Beckey visited Agnes the day before and gave her beautiful flowers and mini cupcakes.

Agnes was born south of Mount Ayr, Iowa, to Charles Edward and Winnie BARNHART the year women were granted the right to vote in 1920. In 1929, the family lost all of their farms/farmland but one home. In 1935, Agnes worked in Mount Ayr at a WPA (Works Progress Administration) factory with her mother where they made mattresses.

For four years, during WWII, Agnes worked as a grease monkey at Solar Aircraft in Des Moines, Iowa (later known as Des Moines Tech) where they made manifolds for US military aircraft engines. Another source described Solar Aircraft as one of the governments subsidized plants that manufactured gas turbine starter cards and air tubrines for Rocketdynes and airframe parts for the jet bombers of the new age.

Agnes married and she had 8 children, but sadly six have passed. She has approximately 27 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren, and 64 great-great-grandchildren.

When asked how does one live to be her age, Agnes remarked, "If troubled times or bad things occur, I just let them slip right off my back."

*Copied with permission from The Fairfield Ledger, Inc. IAGenWeb Bylaws PROHIBIT the COPYING AND RE-POSTING OF THIS MATERIAL IN ANY PUBLIC VENUE such as Ancestry or Find A Grave without WRITTEN permission from the submitter ~ copyright restrictions apply.
*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I have no relation to the person(s) mentioned.


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