Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Oldest Subscriber. Good Old Friend. Aged Servant of God.

My paternal 3rd great grandfather Alpheus J. Baker (1824-1917) lived to be 93 years old.

Alpheus J. Baker (1824-1917)

Newspapers are one of my favorite sources for information to discover stories. 
This article found in the September 1897 issue of The Southron and Watchman gives a shout out to their "Oldest Subscriber".  The fact Alpheus went on to live 20 more years after this clipping says he was "getting along in years" makes me chuckle. 

Alpheus Baker-Old Subscriber
Watchman and Southron (Sumter, South Carolina)
September 1897,  pg. 3
Alpheus was the subject again in 1905 after a visit to the newspaper office. He was 81 years old. This time they not only reported on his being a long time subscriber but on his memories of the area and his family.

Alpheus Baker-A Pleasant Call
Watchman and Southron (SC)
25 Oct. 1905 pg. 6

Whether it was due to his longevity or standing in the community, the paper felt the need to run a long article letting readers know about Alpheus being seriously ill on 26 December 1917. Unfortunately, this article although well intended ran two days after his death.

Alpheus Baker-Illness of a Veteran
Watchman and Southron (Sumter, SC)
26 Dec. 1917 pg.3

Word was received of his death and a lengthy obituary was published on the 29th.

Alpheus Baker-Death
Watchman and Southron (Sumter, South  Carolina)
29 December 1917 pg.3

Dates on a tombstone show a man who lived to be 93 years old.

Oldest Subscriber. Good Old Friend. Aged Servant of God. 
Stories surviving through newspapers help to fill in the story of his life.

Do you have ancestors who live a long life? Share their story in the comments below.
Longevity is the topic for #52Ancestors this week. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,


  1. Cheri, those newspaper clippings tell a wonderful tale. Sounds like he was a wonderful man. I love it when newspapers tell us more about our family; more than just names and dates. Great research!

    1. It's so much fun finding those little tidbits! Thanks Colleen!

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