Maude Cleveland at 103 Yrs. of Age

1887 - 1991

POSTED BY TINA EASLEY

tina@grnco.net

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ar/county/greene/

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DONATED BY : DRENE EMBREE

DrenaBaker@aol.com

THANK YOU !

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AT 103 , WOMAN RECALLS INDIANS BEARS , SAWMILLS

SHE DOESN'T LOOK A DAY OVER 90 TOPS.

BY FRED MILLER

WHILE TALKING TO MAUDE CLEVELAND WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON , ITS HARD TO BELIEVE SHE'S CELEBRATING HER 103RD BIRTHDAY.

SHE'S SHARP , WITH CLEAR EYES AND A CLEAR MIND . SHE LISTENS INTENTLY TO GUESTS IN HER HOME IN FINCH, AND SPEAKS HER MIND WHEN IT'S HER TURN.

AND SHE'S JUST FEISTY ENOUGH TO ADD AN EDGE TO HER CHARM. WHEN ASKED WHAT SHE DOES WITH HER TIME , SHE LOOKS ONE SQUARE IN THE EYE AND RESPONDS SHARPLY , NOTHIN ! SHE SHAKES HER HEAD A LITTLE FOR EMPHASIS . WHEN YOU CAN'T WALK AND CAN'T DO NOTHING , YOU JUST SIT , SHE SAYS .

I GET ON THE COUCH , AND MAYBE I CAN SLEEP SOME. NOW, THAT'S NOT STRICTLY THE TRUTH , AND SHE'LL ADMIT IT WHEN THE POINT IS PRESSED. FRIENDS AND RELATIVES , JOINING IN HER BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION , SAY SHE WATCHES TELEVISION AND READS THE DAILY PRESS . SHE SAYS THE FIRST THING SHE LOOKS FOR IN EACH DAYS PAPER IS TO SEE IF SOMEONE I KNOW DIED. SOME I DO AND SOME I DON'T .

AND WHILE SHE NEEDS A LITTLE HELP GETTING UP ON HER FEET , SHE CAN GET AROUND PRETTY WELL AS LONG AS THERE'S A TABLE , A WALKER OR AN ARM TO LEAN ON. SHE ALSO DIPS SNUFF. BEEN DOING IT A LONG TIME . SHE SAYS LEANING OVER THE ARMREST OF HER CHAIR AND POINTING AN EMPHATIC FINGER , SHE ADDS , I AIN'T DEAD YET ! SHE HELD UP A SMALL METAL CAN . THAT'S WHAT I DIP SNUFF OUT OF. BUT YOU CAN'T HARDLY FIND IT NO MORE.

AS CLEVELAND RECALLS DETAILS OF HER LIFE , HER RELATIVES OCCASIONALLY CORRECT HER MEMORY . SHE GIVES THEM A KNOWING LOOK , THEN PROCEEDS WITH HER STORY. SHE POINTS ACROSS THE ROOM TO MATHEL TATE. THAT'S MY DAUGHTER OVER THERE . SHE 70. WHEN TATE POINTS OUT SHE'S 75 YEARS OLD , CLEVELAND SMILES A LITTLE . I THOUGHT 70 WAS ABOUT ENOUGH .

THEY LIKE TO TEASE ME SHE SAYS OF HER RELATIVES .

BUT SHE KNOWS HOW TO GIVE AS WELL AS TAKE . THEY DON'T GET AHEAD OF ME TOO MUCH , SHE SAYS WITH A LITTLE SMILE .

SHE HAS ENOUGH FAMILY TO START HER OWN COMMUNITY , IF THEY WERE ALL IN ONE PLACE. THERE ARE FIVE CHILDREN , 14 GRANDCHILDREN AND AT LAST COUNT , 12 GREAT GRANDCHILDREN .

SHE MENTIONS THAT TWO OF HER SISTERS LIVE IN CALIFORNIA . THEY LIKE BEING THERE MORE THAN ARKANSAS.

SHE ON THE OTHER HAND HAS NEVER LIVED MORE THAN TWO MILES FROM THE HOUSE IN WHICH SHE WAS BORN. IN FACT THAT OLD HOME PLACE IS JUST UP THE CREEK FROM HER PRESENT HOME.

SHE AND HER HUSBAND LIVED IN A SHACK FOR A YEAR WHEN THEY FIRST CAME TO THIS PART OF THE FINCH COMMUNITY TO BUILD A HOME.

WE DIDN'T HAVE NO ROAD SHE SAYS , JUST A PIG PATH. THEY CLEARED THE LAND OF TREES AND BRUSH SO THERE WOULD BE ROOM TO FARM . THEN HAD THE TIMBER CUT AT A NEARBY SAWMILL TO BUILD THEIR HOUSE. WE BOXED IT UP , CLEVELAND SAYS , WAVING HER HAND IN A SWEEPING MOTION TO SHOW THE WALLS GOING UP.

THE AREA WAS DIFFERENT BACK THEN . WE USED TO HAVE LOTS OF DEER , SHE SAYS THAT WASN'T ALL. WE USED TO HAVE BEARS COME THROUGH , SHE ADDS . SHE LOOKS OUT THROUGH THE SCREEN DOOR ACROSS A FIELD TO A LOW HILL COVERED IN TREES. THERE'S AND INDIAN GRAVE YARD UP ON THAT HILL . NOW IT'S ALL GROWED UP I RECKON .

SPEAKING OF INDIANS , CLEVELAND RECALLS SEVERAL OF THE NATIVE AMERICANS USED TO LIVE IN THE AREA .

SHE SAYS SEVERAL INDIANS USED TO COME OUT ON THE HILL OFTEN TO DANCE WHEN SHE AND HER HUSBAND FIRST MOVED TO THIS SPOT.

USED TO HEAR' EM DANCIN AND A HOLLERIN , SHE SAYS .

SHE GAZES TOWARD THAT HILL AND SHAKES HER HEAD . THERE'D BE A BUNCH OF THEM WOULD COME UP THERE AND PLAY A LONG TIME .

THE AREA HAS CHANGED QUITE A BIT SINCE THOSE DAYS . THERE AREN'T SO MANY DEER ANYMORE . THE BEARS ARE GONE AND THE INDIANS HAVE MOVED ON. TRAFFIC ON HWY . 358 CAN BE HEARD FROM HER PORCH.

WELL , I;VE LIVED HERE QUITE A WHILE , SHE SAYS .

SHE LIVED ALONE UNTIL SHE WAS 100 YEARS OLD . THEN ONE OF HER DAUGHTERS , IMA LENDERMAN , LEFT HER HOME IN CALIFORNIA TO COME LIVE WITH HER. LENDERMAN RECALLS HOW HER MOTHER TOOK CARE OF HER AND HER SIBLINGS WHEN THEY WERE CHILDREN AND SAYS NOWITS TIME TO RETURN THE FAVOR.

CLEVELAND SAYS SHE'D PROBABLY BE IN A NURSING HOME NOW IF HER DAUGHTER HADN'T COME TO HELP HER OUT.

AND SHE HAS PLENTY OF OTHER FRIENDS AND RELATIVES TO HELP KEEP HER COMPANY.

RUBY REAGAN , A SENIOR BEES VOLUNTEER WHO CALLS ON CLEVELAND EVERY DAY , ARRIVE LATE IN THE AFTERNOON WITH BIRTHDAY CAKE . REAGAN TELLS THE BIRTHDAY GIRL SHE LOOKS PRETTY.

I KNOW I DO , CLEVELAND ANSWERS . AFTER A PAUSE FOR EFFECT SHE ADDS, YOU LOOK PRETTY , TOO.

ON THE CAKE REAGAN BROUGHT THE INSCRIPTION READ . HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAUDE YOU KID , YOU.

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NOT MANY PEOPLE LIVE IN ONE PLACE FOR 72 YEARS , BUT MAUDE WILCOXSON CLEVELAND HAS DONE JUST THAT AT HER HOMESTEAD OF FINCH ROAD . CLEVLAND NOT ONLY HAS LIVED IN THE SAME HOUSE FOR 72 YEARS SHE MOVED THERE WITH HER HUSBAND JAMES VANDER CLEVELAND IN 1907 , BUT SHE HAS LIVED IN THE SAME AREA FOR 94 YEARS AND THURSDAY CELEBRATED HER BIRTHDAY OF THE SAME NUMBER .

BEFORE SHE AND HER HUSBAND MOVED TO THE HOUSE SHE NOW LIVES IN , CLEVELAND SPENT 22 YEARS AT HER BIRTHPLACE , WHICH SHE CALLS THE WILCOXSON PLACE. IN RELATION TO HER PRESENT ADDRESS IT IS ABOUT A MILE AROUND THE ROAD SHORTER THROUGH THE WOODS.

THURSDAY , FAMILY MEMBERS GATHERED FROM AS FAR AWAY AS CALIFORNIA TO HELP HER CELEBRATE . THAT MADE HER BIRTHDAY SHE SAID , BECAUSE LAST YEAR I SPENT MY 93RD BIRTHDAY ALONE. BEING A BIT NIMBLER THAN MOST 94 YEARS OLD , CLEVELAND HAS A GARDEN SHE WORKS TO MAKE CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF HER TIME. LAST YEAR'S ATTACK OF ARTHRITIS HAS SLOWED THE ARTICULATE WOMAN , I MAKE IT VERY WELL BY TRYING TO STAY ACTIVE , SHE SAID . BUT MY ARTHRITIS KEEPS ME FROM BEING ABLE TO STOOP VERY MUCH.

PIECING QUILTS IS ANOTHER PASTIME CLEVELAND ENJOYS . I WATCH SOME TELEVISION AT NIGHT A FEW SHOWS . SHE SAID BUT THEY HAVE TAKEN MOST OF THE GOOD SHOWS OFF THE AIR.

SHE HAS ALWAYS WORKED WITH THE SOIL , AS A DAUGHTER HELPING HER FARMING PARENTS AND AS A FARMER'S WIFE HELPING HER HUSBAND. WE USED TO FARM WITH A PLOW AND TEAM , AND WE RAISED OUR OWN MEATS AND VEGETABLES . BUT TODAY EVERYTHING IS DONE BY MACHINERY AND THAT'S THE ONLY WAY A FARMER CAN MAKE IT THESE DAYS , SHE SAID.

CLEVELAND'S HUSBAND DIED IN 1942 , LEAVING HER WITH A TEAM OF HORSES AND A FARM TO RUN ALONE. NOT BEING A LADY WHO ENJOYS WRESTLING HORSES , SHE SOLD THE TEAM AND ACQUIRED HELP IN FARMING THE LAND LEFT HER.

SHE AND JAMES CLEVELAND BORE SIX CHILDREN WHO RETURNED THE FAVOR WITH 18 GRANDCHILDREN , MOST OF WHOM ARE SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES . ONE DAUGHTER IN CALIFORNIA RECEIVED CLEVELAND'S UNDIVIDED ATTENTION FROM NOVEMBER 1978 UNTIL MARCH OF 1979 , WHEN CLLEVELAND WENT TO STAY WITH HER DURING THAT DAUGHTER'S EYE TRANSPLANT SURGERY.

THE PROCESS , WHICH RESTORED HE DAUGHTER'S SIGHT , AWED CLEVELAND . WHO COMMENTED . IT'S REALLY AMAZING THE THINGS DOCTORS CAN ACCOMPLISH THESE DAYS.

BY MARK LASHLEY.

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LIFELONG FINCH RESIDENT DIES AT AGE 104

DECEMBER 12, 1991

MAUDE MAE CLEVELAND , A SHARP-WITTED CENTENARIAN FROM THE FINCH COMMUNITY , DIED TUESDAY AT ARKANSAS METHODIST HOSPITAL . SHE WAS 104 .

CLEVELAND HAD THE CAPACITY TO ENTHRALL VISITORS WITH TALES OF BEARS , INDIANS AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY LIFE IN GREENE COUNTY. SHE HAD A CAPTIVATING CHARM WITH A FEISTY EDGE THAT ENDEARED HER TO FRIENDS AS WELL AS HER LARGE FAMILY .

SHE WAS BORN MAY 10 , 1887 , AT FINCH AND LIVED HER WHOLE LIFE WITHIN TWO MILES OF HER BIRTHPLACE . IN FACT SHE LIVED MORE THAN 80 YEARS IN THE SAME HOUSE SHE AND HER HUSBAND J.V. BUILT BESIDE A ROUTE SHE DESCRIBED AS JUST A PIG PATH .

SHE WAS A HOMEMAKER AND ATTENDED WOOD'S CHAPEL METHODIST CHURCH .

SURVIVORS INCLUDE TWO SONS, RALPH CLEVELAND AND TELFER CLEVELAND , BOTH OF PARAGOULD , THREE DAUGHTERS , IMA LENDERMAN OF CORCORAN , CALIF. , LOLA WELLS OF LINDSAY , CALIF. AND MATHEL TATE OF PARAGOULD , TWO SISTERS , LUCILLE TAYLOR OF PARAGOULD AND EFFIE MACHANDER OF SANTA ANA , CALIF. 13 GRANDCHILDREN , 23 GREAT- GRANDCHILDREN AND 27 GREAT - GREAT GRANDCHILDREN. THE FUNERAL WILL BE THURSDAY AT 2 P.M. AT MITCHELL FUNERAL HOME . JUNIOR VESTER WILL OFFICIATE .

VISITATION WILL BE FROM 6 TO 9 TONIGHT AT MITCHELL FUNERAL HOME.

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