Source: Hutchinson Leader, 1901
Hutchinson's Oldest Inhabitant, Elizabeth Ann Wilson a lady nearly a century old, Who is a Great Great Grandmother and a Pensioner of the war of 1812 was connected by marriage with Daniel Boone-- is yet in full possession of her faculties and in remarkably good health.
We frequently read in the public press of the "oldest living inhabitant," of someone who, with wonderful vitality, hass passed the alotted "three score years and 10" and has seen 10, 20 or even 30 additional years pass by, whose generation has passed and who rounds out a life full of years and honor, which spans a century. A century in the history of the world is but a short while, but the one who has lived all through the past century, has seen greater progress in the affairs of men than ever was achieved in a like period since time began. He is indeed a daring optimist who will say that the coming century will witness an equal advancement. There are doubtless many who know a lady living in this community who has reached the ripe old age of 91 years, but few may know of other more interesting facts in regard to her than her age, which is remarkable. "Grandma" Canine lives with her daughter, Mrs. Abner JARRETT in this city. She is 91 years of age, is a pensioner of the War of 1812 and is a great great grandmother, Mrs. Abner Jarret, great grandmother; Mrs. LN Snell (Amy Jarrett) of Miami, Florida, Grandmother; Mrs. Allan Chandler (Maude Snell), Kissimee, Florida, mother, Mrs. Grace Chandler, daughter. A "Leader" representative called on Mrs. Canine recently and found the bright old lady busily engaged in knitting. SHe is sprightly in full possession of her faculties and her memory is as clear as a bell, a slight deafness being her only perceptible failing. She engaged readily in conversation and kindly related to the writer many interesting facts connected with the history of her life. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Ann WILSON and she first saw the light of day in a little log cabin near the banks of the Ohio River, about four miles from the little hamlet of Browerville, Oldham County in the "Blue Grass State," Feb 26, 1810. Her parents came from good old English stock, both having emigrated from the mother country. Elizabeth Ann was the second child in a family of six. "People in Kentucky, those days, had to work," remarked Mrs. Canine. "As soon as I could sit on a horse I used to go to Louisville with the linen. We used to make our linen those days and sell it. Father had an old white horse named Mike that I used to ride and it was a journey a girl nowadays would not be tempted to try for the world. The Indians were very numerous and I had to cross streams where there were no bridges and old Mike had to swim across with me. " In the fall of 1826 the Wilsons moved to Crawfordsville, Indiana where they again settled on a farm and here it was that Miss Elizabeth met the man of her choice, William VanCleave, himself of a family of no little interest, William VanCleave, Sr's sister being the wife of the famous scout and hunter Daniel Boone, the hero of every young American. Mrs. Canine's uncle had also been with Boone on several of his scouting trips and was captured with Boone at one time by Indians. Mr. and Mrs. VanCleave, soon after their marriage in 1828, began farming on a little tract of land near Crawfordsville, without any such modern luxuries as a wedding trip or a honeymoon. "We didn't think of honeymoons those times," said Mrs. Canine. "It was all one could do to keep enough in the house to eat. Everyone took his corn to the mill to be hulled, as hominy was the staff of life in Indiana in those days." FOur children were born to them 3 boys and one girl. Mr. VanCleave died in 1841, leaving hte care of the farm and children to his wife, but she bore the task bravely and succeeded in keeping the wolf from the door until the children were able to run the farm. In the summer of 1867, Mrs. VanCleave married Ralph Canine, also a native of Ky. and a veteran of the War of 1812. He was 20 years older than than his bride, she being 57 and he 77. "He was an old man living on the farm adjoining ours and was getting pretty feeble and I was then, it seems to me now, quite young," remarked the old lady with a twinkle in her eye, "and so we were married." "He was in good circumstances and I could enjoy myself. My children were all married and lived near, so Mr. Canine and I occupied the time dring, "round the coutnry visiting our children when we felt so disposed. Mr. Canine owned a buggy which was considered a great luxury then, and it was different riding t o church that way than Mr. VanCleave and I used to do long before two of us on horseback. We used to have an old stump in front of the house, and, as we only had one horse (Those who had two were considered very well off) I would get on the stump and when he would ripe up, I would mount behind him and we were off. Mr. Canine served a little over a year in the war of 1812 and was engaged in sevearl battles, but came out without any injuries except rheumatism. He would sit and talk about the battles by the hour but I don't remember them now." Mr. and Mrs. Canine came to Minnesota in 1878 to visit Mrs. Canine's child, Mrs. Abner Jarrett, who then lived near Eagle Lake southwest of this city. IN a short time after their return, Mr Canine died and his wife cam to live with her daughter. The writer was surprised to find Mrs. Canine so active and sound in mind and body. Expecting to meet a feeble, childish old person, I was greeted by as bright and entertaining a lady as one of only 50 years instead of nearly twice that age. That Mrs. Canine had sewed over 100 pounds of carpet rags all alone during last fall did not seem to be considered by her much of an achievement, but many a miss in her teens would grumble at the task. Nothing delighted the good old lady more than to talk over the varied and interesting scened of her childhood and younger years. Your reporter spent a very pleasant half hour in conversation with her and graetly enjoyed her reminiscent remarks of the days of long agi, as certainly the readers of "Leader" will as well.