Edie Dennis Has





NOVEMBER 10, 1900.)

Quite a remarkable case of longevity is had in the person of Edie

Dennis, a colored woman of Columbus, who has reached the unusual

age of 109 years of age and is still in a state of fair health.

Aunt Edie lives with two of her daughters at No. 1612 Third Avenue,

in this city. She has lived in three centuries, is a great-great

grandmother and has children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren

and great-great-grandchildren, aggregating in all over a hundred

persons. She lives with one of her "young" daughters, sixty-six.

Edie Dennis is no doubt one of the oldest persons living in the

United States. Cases are occasionally reported where 105 years is

reached, but 109 years is an age very seldom attained. A wonderful

feature of this case is that this old woman is the younger sister

of another person now living. Aunt Edie has a brother living at

Americus, Georgia, who is 111 years old.

Notwithstanding her great age, Aunt Edie is in fairly good health.

She is naturally feeble and her movements are limited. Even in her

little home, from which she never stirs. Although she is feeble,

her faculties seem clear and undimmed and she talked interestingly

and intelligently to a Constitution reporter who called upon her


Aunt Edie was born in 1791, just eight years before the death of

George Washington occurred. She was a mother when the war of 1812

took place. The establishment of Columbus as a city was an event of

her mature womanhood. The Indian War of the thirties she recalls

very distinctly. She was getting old when the Mexican War took

place. She was an old woman when the great conflict between the

states raged. She was seventy-five years of age when she became


It is quite needless to say that Aunt Edie was a slave all her life

up to the year 1866. She was born in Hancock County, Georgia,

between Milledgeville and Sparta. She was the property of Thomas

Schlatter. She came to Columbus just after the town had been laid

off, when she was a comparatively young woman. She became the

property of the family of Judge Hines Holt, the distinguished

Columbus lawyer. She says that when she first came here there was

only a small collection of houses. Where her present home was

located was then nothing but swamp land. The present location of

the court house was covered with a dense woods. No event in those

early years impressed itself more vividly upon Aunt Edie's mind

than the Indian War, in the thirties. She was at the home of one of

the Indians when she first heard of the uprising against the

whites, and she frankly says that she was frightened almost to

death when she listened to the cold-blooded plots to exterminate

the white people. Not much attention was paid to her on account of

her being a Negro. Those were very thrilling times and Aunt Edie

confesses that she was exceedingly glad when the troubles with the

red men were over. Another happening of the thirties which Aunt

Edie recalls quite distinctly is the falling of the stars. She says

quaintly that there was more religion that year in Georgia than

there ever was before or has been since. The wonderful manner in

which the stars shot across the heavens by the thousands, when

every sign seemed to point to the destruction of the earth, left a

lasting impression upon her brain.

Aunt Edie says that she was kindly treated by her masters. She says

that they took interest in the spiritual welfare of their slaves

and that they were called in for prayer meeting regularly. Aunt

Edie was such an old woman when she was freed that the new

condition meant very little change in life for her, as she had

about stopped work, with the exception of light tasks about the


There seems to be no doubt that Aunt Edie is 109 years old. She

talks intelligently about things that occurred 100 years ago. All

her children, grandchildren, etc., asserts that her age is exactly

as stated. Indeed, they have been the custodians of her age, so to

speak, for nearly half a century. It was a matter of great interest

to her family when she passed the 100 mark.

Aunt Edie is religious and she delights in discussing scriptural

matters. She has practical notions, however, and while she is

morally sure she will go to a better world when she dies, she

remarks, "That we know something about this world, but nothing

about the next."

Perhaps this is one reason why Aunt Edie has stayed here 109 years.

* * * * *

NOTE: Mary Gladdy (806-1/2 - Sixth Avenue, Columbus, Georgia). A

grand-daughter of Edie Dennis, states that her grandmother died in

1901, aged 110.

Edgar And Minerva Bendy Edmond Jones facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail