Thursday, May 28, 2020

Aunt Hester


Mrs. Hester Cordrey, Of Delmar, Is 113 Years Old.


"Aunt Hester" Has Never Seen A Trolley Car Or Steamboat Aviation A Mystery To Her.

Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.

 Delmar, Md.,Feb. 12. One hundred and thirteen years old today, according to her statement, Mrs. Hester Cordrey, of Delmar, celebrated her birthday at her home, in which she lives alone.

Mrs. Cordrey, or "Aunt Hester" as she is more familiarly known in the neighborhood, Is remarkably well preserved. Her health is good and her eyesight not Impaired. Born February 12, 1797, nine miles east of her present home, "Aunt Hester" was one of 13 children, and is the mother of only one, but that child is the mother of 15 children.

In all her recollection the aged woman believes the most severe pain she  has endured was a toothache.

She was married twice. Her first husband, Levin Moore, died after three years. The second, Elisha Cordrey, father of her only child, died in 1864. She then built the home in which she resides and has made few trips away from Delmar.

"Work, and work hard," is her maxim, and with this ever in her mind she has overcome all affliction and trouble.

"When I was a little girl. I used to go out and work on the farm like a man," she relates. "Many days I have plowed In the field all day, and then done my chores and milked seven cows, and in those days girls did not think it a disgrace to work to save hiring extra labor.”

"If girls of these years would do more work and think less of their parlor they would live longer" is the opinion of "Aunt" Hester Cordrey. Mrs. Cordrey's memory is wonderful. Events long ago forgotten by many are as fresh to her as on the day they happened. 

The modern inventions are to her a source of amusement. Airships, aeroplanes and aviation in general do not seem possible.

"I am glad, though, they discovered the North Pole before I died," she said. "The pace at present is too fast for a long life. All the energy is expended wastefully in early life instead of keeping a reserve for the winter of existence."

Mrs. Cordrey has never seen a trolley car or a steamboat.

Above from The Baltimore Sun 13 Feb 1910


Mrs. Hester Cordrey of Delmar Had Reached Her 113th Year.

Special to "The Morning News."

DELMAR, Del., June 23. Mrs. Hester Cordrey, better known as "Aunt Hester," died at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. Ulysses G. Melson yesterday afternoon after an illness of about four weeks.

Aunt Hester, who was 113 years of age, was the oldest woman on the peninsula and, no doubt, the oldest in the eastern part of this country. She was born February 12, 1797, on a farm about nine miles from this town, and was a daughter of the late Hamilton Neal, a wealthy farmer. She was of a family of 15 children and, losing her mother when only 14 years of age, had a great responsibility placed on her, as her sisters were all married and her two brothers were in the War of 1812 leaving her and her father to run the farm. There was no help available then, and she used to go into the fields and assist her father to gather crops and do other farm work in addition to her household duties.

Aunt Hester was twice married. Her first husband. Levin Moore, lived only three years. Later she married Elijah Cordrey, wno died in 1864. Her only child was born to Mr. Cordrey and married a Mr. Carmine. To them 15 children were born.

After the death of Mrs. Cordrey's last husband she purchased a lot in this town for $75 which is now valued at over $1,000, upon Which she built a home. In this house she lived alone for 44 years, and. although besought by her relatives to live with them, she persistently declined. She had a fine garden which she worked alone and also raised chickens.

A few weeks ago she was taken ill, although not seriously. She was willing to go to the home of her granddaughter and up until last week was slowly improving, when she was paralyzed which resulted in her death.

Mrs. Cordrey always attributed her long life to outdoor work and several times said if the young girls of these years would do more laborious work and think less of society they would live longer.

She is survived by four grandchildren Mrs. Ulysses G. Melson, of Delmar, Del.; Mrs. Alice Davis, wife of the Rev. F. G. Davis, of Emporia, Va.; Lavin Carmine, of Rehoboth, Del., and James Carmine, of Preston, Md. and ten great-grandchildren.

Above from the Wilmington Morning News 24 June 1910

These type of articles about people living over one hundred years of age have a certain amount of flights of imagination by the newspaper editors.  Hester Cordry (Cordy) is found in the 1880 census for Delmar Maryland but at that time she gave her age as 60 years old .  Her daughter, also named Hester or Kessiah some confusion, married Benjamin Ward Carmine (Carmine in record books is spelled everyway you can imagine it).  By 1880 Benjamin is listed as  a widow.  In the 1880 census Delmar Maryland a few houses away from Hester Cordry is the in-laws of her daughter; Joseph and Rachel Carmean included in the Carmen household are the grandchildren; Eliz, Levin, James and Alice.  The man Eliz Carmean would marry Ulysses G Melson is living with his parents also a few houses away. There is a marriage record of Elisha Cordray marrying on 7 Aug 1856 Hester Moore in New Castle Delaware, married by Rev J Hargis.  In 1900 she (cordrey) gave her age as 85 and she also gave as an occupation that of nurse. In the 1860 census she gives her age as 33.  there is also a daughter named kissiah a Moore born 1848,  

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