Mary Jane Johns Will Be 100 Friday

From Mcleansboro Times-Leader

Thursday March 22, 1951

Mary Jane Johns Will Be 100 Friday

First Co. Resident To Reach Mark

  Mrs. Mary Jane Johns, known As “Aunt Jane” will be 100 years Old Friday, March 23. As far as can be determined she will be the first Hamilton County resident that lived to reach the century mark. She is also one of the very few Civil War widows still living in Southern Illinois.

   An open house will be held to commemorate the occasion. Actually two open houses will be held. It was first thought that the one on Sunday would be enough but so many friends and neighbors wanted to shake “Aunt Jane’s” hand on her 100th birthday that it was decided to hold one on Friday and another on Sunday. The time is from 1:00 to 4:00.

   “Aunt Jane” lives four miles northwest of Broughton near Hickory Hill church with her son, Samuel L. Johns. She has lived there for the past 74 years.

   She came to Hamilton County from Nashville, Tenn. When she was 10 years old and settled with her family in what is now Knight’s Prairie township. Her father was Frank Hefner. They later moved near Broughton probably just over the Saline county Line.

   She moved to her present home when she married George A. Logsdon. He was a veteran of the Civil War having served with a Regiment from Shawneetown. “Aunt Jane” still draws a $48 monthly Civil War pension.

   Following Logsdon‘s death, she married George W. Johns, who has now been dead for 32 years.

   Mrs. Johns can remember her trip North and how she and her family traveled in wagons. She also recalls seeing slave auction markets in her native Tennessee.

   Her health is remarkable for her advanced age. She read newspapers without glasses up until about six months ago and her hearing is still normal. She can get around the house by herself without the aid of a cane or walking stick.

   She still has 17 of her original teeth and is able to eat “almost everything.” However, her son and his wife are careful to guard her diet.

   “Aunt Jane” has been a member of the Missionary Baptist church for the past 90 years. She is also a lifelong Republican.

   She claimed her extreme advanced age is due to her being considerate and letting the Lord have his way.” Her son on the other hand says she never was a hand to worry and that with a daily bowl of oatmeal that she has enjoyed for the past 40 years is the chief reason.

   Actually it isn’t too amazing when one looks at other members of the family. Her mother died at the age of 97 and a sister live until her late 80”s.

   Sammy says his mother has not had a dose of medicine for the past 40 years and that until she fell and cracked some ribs about five or six years ago she was never known to have been to a doctor.

   In addition to Sam, there is another son, Lowell Logsdon who also lives near Broughton. Another son, Charles Johns, is deceased.

   A few years ago Mrs. Johns won the “Times-Leader” contest by being the oldest person in Hamilton County.