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Carrie Black King

 

 

 The Parkersburg News                                                                   Sunday, November 11, 1984

Parkkview Resident Celebrates 106th

By Harold Hawk of the News Staff

There aren't many people around today who can tell you they were born in 1876, but Carrie Black King, a resident at Parkview Healthcare Center, Parkersburg, claims that distinction, having celebrated her 106th birthday Oct. 26.

Members of the staff at Parkview believe she is the oldest resident in Wood County, and at least one of the oldest in West Virginia.

And, Mrs King can't believe she's really lived that long.  "It just doesn't seem that I'm that old - the Lord has been good to me to letting me live this long," the senior resident of Parkview said.

According to the record of her birth, she was born on a farm near New Martinsville in 1878.  She was the oldest of five children in her family and has outlived them all.

She was 42 years old before women were granted the right to vote and although she has lived through 26 presidential terms from Rutherford B. Hayes to Ronald Reagan, she has never voted.  She said she had no idea how to vote, and was told that no one was allowed to help her - "so I  just never did," the veteran senior citizen said.  For that reason she has had no real interest in politics.  But since reaching the century mark, she has received birthday greetings from presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.  This year she received a birthday card from President Reagan, a certificate from Gov. Jay Rockefeller declaring her a Distinguished Citizen of West Virginia, a dozen red roses from the staff of ARA Living Centers, Eastern Division, Carmel Ind., with which Parkview is affiliated, and was feted with two birthday parties at the center. 

When she was 21 she married Thomas King, also of the New Martinsville area, and they bought a farm there where they reared seven children and lived until the oil boom hit.  She said after they started drilling and placing oil derricks on their property, they decided to move to Hannibal, Ohio.  But a few years later when their land was acquired for industrial plants, the Kings returned to the West Virginia side of the river to build a home in New Martinsville.

Although she was widowed many years ago, she continued to live there until an accident several years ago forced her to seek nursing home care.

Carrie came into the world about the same time as the telephone, but her family never had a phone when she was growing up.  There were no automobiles or roads to accommodate them, with road wagons and horses the main source of transportation.  Creeks usually had to be forded since there were few bridges over small streams in the rural areas.  Carrie was married and raised her family before Henry Ford built his first Model T Ford in 1908, and she can't remember just when her family got its first car.

Five of her seven children are still living and she has 14 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and a number of great-great grandchildren.

She has been a resident at Parkview since 1979.  She still gets around in her wheelchair and is in good health, is alert and takes an active part in everyday life at the center.  Although her eyesight is failing, she is and has been a television buff and especially likes Lawrence Welk's Champagne Music.  She is still a member of  her home church in New Martinsville and members of the congregation keep in touch with her via mail.

Evelyn Connolly, social services director for the center, said, "It's remarkable how she still relates to the world around her, and except for her failing hearing and eyesight, she is in good health and enjoys living."

Posted in the WCGS Newsletter Feb 2008