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Death of Mrs. Mary Curless Vickers, an Oxford Centenarian.


Remarkable Career of the Old Indian woman.

OXFORD, Jan. 15 -- Mrs. Mary Curless Vickers, died at 5:30 o'clock this morning from troubles incident to old age. She was 100 years, 5 months and 9 days old.

Mrs. Vickers was of Indian blood, almost a lineal descendant of the Narragansetts. She was born in Smithfield, RI., Aug. 15, 1797. Her home was with one of her sons, Monroe Vickers, and it was there that place that she closed her eyes for her last long sleep after surpassing more than 100 years of life.

Up to within a few days of her death, Mrs. Vickers was able to read occasionally, and her hearing was perfect. Her failure in strength was slow and gradual. She was conscious until an early hour last night. The last words she said were "I know I am going to die, and I am willing. I have lived long enough."

When she was 100 years old, the people in Oxford gathered for a celebration, especially those connected with the Methodist church, for she was a devout Methodist. Many of her relatives, some of whom live in Worcester, were present, the list including children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and greatgreatgrandchildren. Since her birthday party, she has failed in strength. Her sight, which up to that time was good, was affected, although she was at times able to read out of a treasured family Bible, which during her life she read through many times. She walked by aid of a cane, though her form was almost as straight as an arrow. Her death came peacefully, and not unexpectedly. Mrs. Vickers was known all over the state. A number of her relatives were at her bedside when she died.

The father of Mrs. Vickers was Christopher Curless, a sturdy Rhode Island farmer of early days, and her mother was Annie Pollack. Both her father and mother were of Indian descent. Her father lived to be nearly 101 years of age.

Mrs. Vickers was born on a little farm. Her father was of small stature, but powerful. He was prosperous as a farmer.

When she was only a few years old, Mrs. Vickers' parents moved away from Smithfield, and in the next dozen years lived in several different places in New England. Mrs. Vickers lived in Oxford for two or three years many years previous to 1858, when she came to live permanently. She also lived in Thompson, Ct. several years.

While in Thompson she married Samuel Vickers. The ceremony was performed in 1814 by Elder Crosby, pastor of the "Closs-communion Baptist church" on Brandes hill between Thompson, Ct. and Webster. Mrs. Vickers was 17 years old then. Last summer, on her 100th birthday anniversary, she told of the quaint manner in which the marriage was performed. The husband lived to a comparatively old age, and died many years ago.

Mrs. Vickers' husband was of Indian blood, like herself, and was born in Thompson in 1793. He was a farmer nearly all his life. Several years he worked as a chairmaker.

They had 11 children and four survive. The children were James, born June 4, 1816; Sally, Jan. 22, 1819; Chandler, Jan. 28, 1820; Mary A., July 10, 1822; Rufus, July 3, 1824; Cordelia, Jan. 29, 1827; Almon, March 5, 1829; Christopher, June 11, 1831; Betsey Jane, Sept. 26, 1833; Monroe, March (?)1, 1835; and Esther Jane, Aug. 31, 1841. Of these, Chandler, Almon, Monroe, and Esther Jane Vickers are living. Chandler, who is now 78 years of age, is a resident of Oxford, and has been employed in the Shoe Shop of A.L. Joslin & Co., for over 20 years. He works every day and is seldom sick. Almon is also a resident of Oxford and has been employed by the firm of A.L. Joslin many years. Monroe Vickers has worked steadily in the shoe shop over 20 years and a sick day is almost unknown to him. Esther, the other surviving child, lives in Worcester. She is Mrs. J. Augustus Toney(?)

Rufus and Christopher were in the civil war and died in Libby prison.

Mrs. Vickers was the mother of 11 children, had 150 grandchildren, was the gread grandmother of 175, and a great great grandmother of 50 children.

All her children were healthy, with the exception of Cordelia, who died of consumption. All the near relatives of Mrs. Vickers now living are residents of Massachusetts, within 50 miles of Oxford.

On the memorable day in August, 1897, when she celebrated the 100th anniversary of her birth, Mrs. Vickers was as straight as a young woman of 20. Her features then indicated that she was about 70 years old. Her hearing at 100 was perfect and her eyesight so good that she could read from the family Bible.

Some of the remarkable features of the woman's life are that she was an orphan 95 years, a Christian 86 years, a widow 50 years, and a wife at 17, a mother at 19 and was able to take care of herself until after she

Reached the age of 100 years.

The funeral will be from the Methodist church at 1:00 o'clock, Friday. Rev. F. A. Everett will officiate, and interment will be in North Cemetery. The funeral will be public.