Iowa Centenarians

Lucy Sikes Coland

Was 103 Years Old.

Ottumwa, April 17 - Mrs. Lucy Sikes Coland, colored, died today. She was born in Bowling Green, Va., 1792, and was a servant in the family of Thomas Jefferson.

[Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, IA, published Thursday, April 18, 1895; submitted by cddd]


Lydia Herald Sharpless

Society of Friends Centenarian

(Migration, Ohio>Iowa>California)

We recently published an account of Mary Goddard in The Friend. A footnote explained that one of two other centenarians to whom we referred in that article had died after it had been put in type. This referred to Lydia Heald Sharpless. We adapt the following from the American Friend.

On Third Month 9th at Whittier, California, a great many people met to honor the memory of "Grandmother" Sharpless, a life-long member of the Society of Friends, who passed away Third Month 5, at the age of more than one hundred and six years.

Born in Middletown, Ohio, Eighth Month 22, 1810, Lydia Heald Sharpless had lived through all four of the wars in which the United States has engaged during its national history, and could vividly recall first reports of the battle of Waterloo. Her father, who lived to be one hundred and one years old, cast his first vote in a Presidential election for George Washington. His daughter, at the age of one hundred and six, was the first woman to register and cast a vote in California in 1916, when she, her son, granddaughter and great-grandson all cast their votes in favor of prohibition.

She was married in Middletown in 1836, according to the custom of Friends, to Albert F. Sharpless, with whom she celebrated the sixty-third anniversary of their marriage before his death fifteen years ago. Of their four children, three survive her, Benjamin Sharpless and Sarah Hiatt, of Whittier, and William Sharpless, of Los Angeles. There are thirteen grandchildren and twenty-three great-grandchildren.

With her husband and family, Lydia Sharpless moved from Middletown to Morro County, one hundred and fifty miles by wagon, on to Iowa in 1866, where they lived for twenty years, and in 1884 to California, where she lived a simple, industrious and happy life until her death. After reaching the century mark, she pieced twenty-five quilts for her numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had read her Bible through many times and, until the past two years, had attended meeting faithfully. Earlier in life she had held the position of an elder for many years, and had twice served as clerk of her Monthly Meeting. She was a great reader, especially interested in religious writings and in biographical and historical works.

The Friend, Fourth Month 12, 1907
Submitted by Cathy Danielson


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