Centenarians, the New Generation

By Belle Boone Beard; Albert J. E. Wilson III | Go to book overview

syndicates, purchasing and improving large tracts of land in Buffalo and vicinity. In 1895 he organized the Buffalo Traction Company, of which he was later vice-president and general manager.

Mayer organized the Lima [Ohio] Railway Company, the Lima Electric Light and Heat Company, the Louisville [Kentucky] Lighting Company, and the Fort Wayne [Indiana] Lighting Company. He was associated with the Widener-Elkins Philadelphia Syndicate in the consolidation of 600 miles of Ohio street railways; he was a prime mover in the creation of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Traction Company and organized and financed the Buffalo and Lake Erie Traction Company. He also established the Erie Lighting Company and supervised the erection of high-tension transmission lines in western New York and northern Pennsylvania, using power from Niagara Falls.

Among the other posts he held were those of leadership as president of the Olean Electric Light and Power Company, vicepresident of the Bradford Electric Company, and director of the Olean, Bradford & Salamanca Railroad Company. On his 99th birthday in 1947, Mayer was asked how it felt to reach that age. He answered, "There's nothing wonderful about it. I'm just an old man." He also quoted his favorite motto: "All things come to him who waits and hustles while he waits."

Two centenarians witnessed the momentous ceremony on Promontory Summit in Elder County, Utah, when the golden spike was driven to unite the great railroads of the east with those of the west. One was a little eight-year-old girl. Mrs. Sarah L. Jacobson ( 1861-1964) of St. George, Uta h, at age 103, still vividly remembered being taken by her father to the spot near her home for this famous event. Billy Moose ( 1839-1951) of Elko, Nevada, boasted of seeing the first stagecoach on the Overland Trail and of being present for the driving of the golden spike.


SUMMARY

From the 1840s to the mid-twentieth century, as these centenarians were growing, becoming, and maturing, so was the nation. The perils and romances, the songs and legends, and the adventures along with hard work helped centenarians remember what an important role they played in history. This chapter points to the importance of enterprising individuals who pursue dreams, who work to bring ideas to fruition, and who live by a few hardnosed but socially beneficial principles.

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Centenarians, the New Generation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • A Note About the Author vii
  • Notes xi
  • Preface xiii
  • About the Book xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • PART I INTRODUCTION 1
  • Chapter 1 Centenarians: the New Generation 3
  • Note 14
  • PART II PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CENTENARIANS 15
  • Chapter 2: Centenarians Think Health 17
  • Chapter 3 37
  • Notes 47
  • Chapter 4: Keeping Active 49
  • Chapter 5 Learning and Memory 73
  • Notes 91
  • Chapter 6 Artists and Artisans 93
  • Notes 114
  • Chapter 7 Faith and Philosophy 126
  • Chapter 8 Personal Characteristics Summary 129
  • PART III WORK, FAMILY, COMMUNITY 131
  • Chapter 10 Romance, Marriage, and Fertility 151
  • Note 162
  • Note 163
  • Note 184
  • PART IV PERSONAL AND NATIONAL HISTORY 185
  • Chapter 12 Roots 187
  • Notes 206
  • Chapter 13 War and Longevity 219
  • Chapter 14 As the Nation Grew 236
  • Chapter 15 Centenarians' Life History Summary 237
  • PART V THE STUDY FINDINGS AND RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS 241
  • Chapter 16 Findings and Implications 243
  • Appendix A Centenarians' Special Stories 251
  • Appendix B Communication Form 269
  • Selected Bibliography 271
  • Index 279
  • About the Editors 281
  • Recent Titles in Contributions to the Study of Aging 282
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