Julia Jackson

Oldest member of Greene County 4-H

Transcribed by : Tina Easley

From Feb. 2002 Tribune


A film crew from Little Rock , Ar. arrived at the home of Julia Walters Jackson , who is 98 years old come this July . Shareese Kondoo of the Little Rock Cooperative Extension interviewed Mrs. Jackson for a video that will mark the centennial of the 4-H club and wil be distributed to various television channels .

Jackson , who was born in Paducah , Ky. , in 1908 , to Jessie and Lottie Walters , may just be the oldest living 4-her in the United States.

In 1911 , Mrs. Jackson moved with her family to Paragould , where her father worked for Howell's Dairy on Wirt Street.

Back when she joined the first charter 4-H group in Greene County in 1917 , Jackson would travel to the meetings at Merriweather's Hardware in a horse and buggy with her three sisters , Willie May , Pansy and Flora .

4- H activities back then included raising pigs and chickens and sewing . Mrs. Reynolds claim that some of the ducks at Reynold's Park are ancestors of the ducks she originally raised.

Jackson had volunteered for 52 years at the gift shop and the critical care unit of Arkansas Methodist Hospital. She works at the desk and gives information out to families and visitors , as well as answering the phone and taking messages.

She said she prctially knows everyone in town and watched them all grow up. She made her first dress when she was ten years old . It was pink .

She survived polio in 1939 while others around her died.

She was Greene County Queen in 1917 and 1918 .

For 25 years she has made flowers and donated them to the hospital .

She got married in 1922 to Charles E. Jackson who worked for General Motors . On her wedding day she helped deliver a baby at the hospital at noon because the doctor was sick. That evening Charles Jackson who was the president of the Paragould Band , played a concert . They married 10 minutes til midnight , and they were man and wife for 67 years .

"Charlie was my rival at Mt. Carmel and later at Paragould school. He always tried to beat me at math and spelling . He was three years older than me and he always beat me at math. He also had the prettiest handwriting I ever saw. , recalls Jackson.

Charlie Jackson died of heart attack in 1989 . Her son Robert the next year at 48 years old .

Jackson recalls when Paragould had no paved streets and all the sidewalks were made of wood . She regrets that they tore down Union Station . She still speaks fondly of the opera house that once stood across from First National Bank where a filling station now stands .