Whitewright Sun, Nov. 1958
(PHOTO WITH BETTY BLANTON HOLDING A HOE AND WEARING A SPLIT BONNET)
AUNT BETTY BLANTON - who is Fannin County's oldest citizen is shown in the above as the work she does so well "gardening". She will observe her 100th birthday Tuesday
November 25. This picture was taken about 4 years ago.
"It was a long time getting here," said Aunt Betty Blanton. / She was referring to Nov. 25, which marks her 100th birthday. / Until a year ago Aunt Betty lived at Orangeville. But, Tuesday she will reach her 100th birthday and will become the oldest living citizen in Fannin County.
// She had made her home with a niece, Mrs. Bruce Robinson, 72, until, as Mrs.Robinson, put it, "Aunt Betty got to the point where she couldn't take car of me." When that happened, Aunt Betty moved into Trenton to the Chapman Rest Home where she marks her century of living with a party to be attended by friends from all over Fannin and Grayson Counties. // Until two years ago, Aunt Betty was strictly a gardener and kept up a garden until recent years. // When Aunt Betty left Orangeville after the last store closed there, it marked only the second time she had departed from it since she came to Texas at the aged of 24. Once, she made a trip back to her native Tennessee. // She was born Nov.25, 1858 in McMann County. // "I was just a little girl, but I remember Mr. Lincoln's soldiers camping in our front yard, " she recalled. "I was scared until the colonel in charge assured me they wouldn't hurt us. The colonel even stayed in our house", she said. // But to Aunt Betty, the Civil War is only the "First War." But she admitted she probably knows more about it than the Spanish-American, World Wars I and II and the Korean incident, mainly because she has more or less stayed hidden in the Fannin County community. // She hadn't been in Texas long when she married John Blanton, a 42-year-old widower with three children, 6, 8, and 12 years of age. She raised the children at Orangeville, which at that time was a bustling town with three churches and "at least as many saloons", a cotton gin, a hotel,a grist mill and a school, plus several stores. // Her
husband was a farmer when they married, but later operated a store in Orangeville, which lies two miles north of Trenton and 4 miles southeast of Whitewright. After her husband death in 1923, Aunt Betty continued to live in the family home. // "I never thought much about reaching 100 until I got up past 95," she said. "Then so many people asked me about it until I got to thinking it would be nice. But I'll tell you this, when I get to the point where I can't eat and work I won't have any desire to keep going." // While her work has slowed up, she still has a fine appetite and her eyesight is good enough for her to enjoy
reading the Bible and watching television. But for any special formula best way to reach 100 ? "is to just stay alive!"
Sherman Democrat, Nov. 1958"NOT OLD AND NOT SICK"AUNT BETTY OBSERVES HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY
Trenton, Texas (Sp.) - Aunt Betty Blanton marked her 100th birthday at the Chapman rest home here Tuesday, stoutly maintaining that "I am not old". // "Why do you think I am old?", she inquired. "I am not sick. If I am not sick, I am not old." Aunt Betty had two grandchildren, Randle Taylor, a San Antonio banker and Mrs. John Hardiman) of
Texarkana, plus three nieces present for her anniversary. The nieces include Mrs. __ E. O'Neal and Mrs. Renee Porter of Ector and Mrs. Bruce Robinson of Orangeville. / The Fannin County centenarian resided with Mrs. Robinson until two years ago and then moved to the nearby Chapman home. All day long friends, neighbors of relatives of Aunt Betty dropped by to bring a card or a present. Mrs. Chapman had prepared a large birthday cake and light refreshments were served to guests. // Aunt Betty has lost none of her spirit. When visitors asked her, "Tell them this or" about something that happened years ago, the smiling, wrinkled niece of Aunt Betty would light up and she would reply, "I will tell them what I want." // She reiterated an earlier statement that her advice to those wanting to live to be 100 is just to "stay alive". // Aunt Betty is still active and her eyesight is good although her hearing is fading. // She was wearing an orchid corsage on a
black dress for the party. She was rather excited by the larger turnout of visitors. I am going to have another party when I get to be 101", she said.
(Photo of Betty, wearing a corsage, holding a birthday cake)
Bonham Daily Favorite, Nov. 1959
"FANNIN'S OLDEST CITIZEN is Aunt Betty Blanton who Wednesday marks her 101st birthday at the Chapman Rest Home in Trenton with an open house party from 1 to 5 p.m. She is shown at last year's 100th celebration." 'STAY ALIVE' BEST FORMULA FOR LONG LIFE SAYS TRENTON RESIDENT - Trenton - Fannin County's oldest citizen is looking forward to her 101st birthday party here Wednesday at the Chapman rest Home where she has resided the past three years. // She is Aunt Betty Blanton, who continues to blandly admit, "that it's only when you're sick that you're old and I'm not feeling too old
yet." // The Fannin centenarian admits, "The first 100 years were the hardest. I'm over the hump now, and it's all down hill from her on in." // Aunt Betty still retains her keen sense of humor. If she's disgruntled about anything, it is the fact that they won't let her keep a garden any more. // Until she moved here from Orangeville, 2 miles north of Trenton, she had maintained a small garden all her life. // Aunt Betty is a naive of McMann County, "Tenn., and still recalls the Civil War which she..... (part of story missing) three churches, that many or more saloons, a gin, a grist mill, a hotel that took in
boarding students mostly who attended nearby Grayson College at Whitewright, and a school. // Her husband farmed, then later operated a grocer store in Orangeville, and then he went back to farming. He has been dead since 1923. // She made her home with a niece, Mrs. Bruce Robinson, but when Mrs. Robinson, who is 73, got past 70 and "I couldn't take care of her alone, "they moved into Trenton with Aunt Betty coming to the rest home. // the party Wednesday for Aunt Betty will be from 1 to 5 p.m. and friends and acquaintances re invited to drop by. // As for any special rule for longevity, Aunt betty
only crinkles up her eyes and grins her reply, "Just stay alive. That's what I did!"
Bettie Blanton is buried in Porter's Chapel Cemetery in Fannin County
near the site of Orangeville