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Friday, September 28, 2012

Anna Cox Bolton (1821-1912) An example of how a family story can change over the years.


  • This was transcribed from the Kokomo, Indiana newspaper dated 5 Jun 1907 per Vernard Thompson

    Family Members all live long

  • June 5, 1907 , Kokomo, IN

  • Three sisters and one brother live and each is over one hundred years old---they attract much attention.

    Mrs. Anna Bolton, Alexandria, age 104, is to pay a visit to her son, Hiram Bolton, 323 South Washington Street, this city, tomorrow. She will come unattended and will stay several days. Leaving here she will go to Ford, Kas. to visit her sister, Mrs. Eliza Wilson, 116 years old.
    Hiram Bolton believes that in point of longevity his mother and her sisters have the world's record. There are three sisters and one brother, all past the century mark. They are: Mrs. Eliza Wilson, Ford, Kas, age 116. Mrs. Nancy Ridnhour, Brownsburg, Ind., age 106. Mrs. Anna Bolton, Alexandria, Ind., age 104. James Cox, Quincey, ILL., age 104.
    Mrs. Bolton and Mr. Cox are twins and lay claim to the record as the oldest twins in America.
    Mrs. Bolton is still spry. She travels frequently and she will tolerate no assistance from any younger relative, purchasing her own tickets, superintending the disposal of her baggage and attending to other details in a way that would put many a younger woman to shame. It is in vain that her sons importurne her to allow them to look after her. She insists that she will not be treated "like and old woman."
    With the exception of Mrs Ridenhour, who is an invalid, all of the centenarians are in the best of health and all are not only able to look after themselves, but insist strenuously in doing so. This is true of Mrs. Wilson at the extreme age of 116. Two years ago Mrs. Bolton, then 102, paid Mrs. Wilson a visit. While there Mrs.Bolton became ill, and for several nights her sister, 114 years old, attended her in a manner that a professional nurse might have envied.
    Mrs. Bolton is a Baptist of many years standing and is a regular and faithful attendant at Church. She never misses a Sunday and she walks to and from the services, sometimes accompanied, but just as often alone.

    Elwood Call Leader
    Elwood, Madison County, Indiana
    Wednesday, March 13, 1912

    ANNA BOLTON
    PASSED AWAY
    Former Resident Here Died
    At Ripe Old Age of 109 Years.

    OLDEST WOMAN IN INDIANA

    Monday evening at the home of her son, Andrew Bolton, living near Morgantown, Mrs. Anna  Bolton, until three years ago a resident of the county just north of Elwood died at the age of 109 Years.  She was generally acknowledged to be the oldest woman living in Indiana, until a short time preceding her death she was in splendid health.
    Made Trip to Kansas.
    At the time she left Elwood, Mrs. Bolton  went to Hollowell, Kas., where she made her home with relatives, but having spent all of her long life in Indiana, she soon began to tire of the west, and last November she returned to her native state with a grandson Charles Sosbe who went there for the purpose of accompany her home.
    During the return trip the couple stopped at Chicago where they spent several days, and this being her first experience in a large city, she was deeply interested in the many sights she witnessed there.  They
    also stopped at Indianapolis where she attended a large theatre and witnessed a musical comedy for the first time.  She stood the entire trip remarkably well.
    Arriving at Morganton, she insisted upon walking the entire three miles from that city to the farm of the relative where she was to make her home.  She remained in good health until the later part of the winter when she contracted a severe cold and her death followed within a short time.
    Always Seen With Market Basket
    Mrs. Bolton is well remembered by all the older residents of this city and community and by many of the younger ones.  During the latter years of her residence here, she lived with her sister, Mrs. Sosbe, and never a week passed that she did not visit Elwood on Saturday.  She always went directly to the Leeson store where she did her trading and she often spent almost the entire day there.  She had an unusually wide circle of friends here and all will be grieved to learn of her death.
    Mrs. Bolton was one of a pair of twins, and it is understood that her twin brother is still living.


    I started researching these articles about my 3rd great grandmother Anna Cox Bolton with some skepticism.  Although quite a bit of the info is correct some of it is not. Anna was born in North Carolina to William Cox, Jr. b. 1798 in VA and Mary Polly Cook b. 1786 in North Carolina.  William Cox and Polly Cook married in 1813 Stokes County, NC the bondsman was John Cook.  Anna lived in North Carolina and Tennessee before moving to Indiana.  According to the 1850 - 1880 census data Anna was born between 1820 & 1822, the above articles indicate she was born in 1803.

    The siblings mentioned are all in my research; brother James b. 1820 - 1822, but one article states 1803, sister Nancy Cox Ridenhour b. 1824, according to articles birth year would be 1801, sister Eliza Cox Wilson b. 1830, according to articles birth year would be 1791.  The first article mentions Anna visiting her son Hiram Bolton in Kokomo on Washington St. in 1907 and the 1910 & 1920 census shows her son Hiram living in Kokomo on Washington St!  The obit mentions Anna's grandson Charles Sosbe who is the son of her daughter Rhoda Bolton b.1856 who married Archibald Sosbe in 1876 in Tipton Indiana, the article incorrectly refers to Mrs. Sosbe as her sister. The obit states that she dies at the home of her son Andrew Bolton, which my research shows Anna had a son Andrew b. 1863.  Anna's son lived in Indiana all his life and married his first cousin Elizabeth Ridenhour.  In the 1900 census Nancy Cox Ridenhour is living with Andrew & Lizzie, census states she is a widow and is 92 years old which would have her birth year as 1808 instead of 1801 in the first article.  I was excited about being able to verify the relationships mentioned in the articles but was taken aback by the range of differences in the birth years.  It is common to have birth years 1 - 3 years difference on records that old but I have not seen the differences to this extreme.

    Andrew Bolton is the informant on Anna's death certificate and stated her date of birth as October 9, 1803.  I believe the October 9 part is probably correct because people tend to know the month and day of their relatives' birth and many times have the year incorrect.  Anna's is the only death certificate I have been able to locate.  I found a death record that could be her twin brother's.  It shows that James Cox died in  Tipp County 6 Aug 1889.  I just think that Anna would have known he was dead when the 1907 article was written.  So I am not sure of this date.

    It was exciting to hear about the lives of this family and how well-respected Anna Cox Bolton was in her "unusually wide circle of friends".  I loved reading about how independent she was and how her grandson accompanied her to Chicago and she experienced things for the first time with him.  This has been a rare look at part of my family and I have enjoyed this trip.

    What do you think, is this an example of how a story changes throughout the years?  I believe so, other then the birth years the rest of the information coincides with my research.










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