MRS. MARY DEAN CHICKERING, of Norwood 100 years old last Monday.


Mrs. Mary Dean Chickering Completes a Century of Existence.

Monday, June 14, 1807, the one-hundredth birthday of the oldest woman in the healthful and beautiful town of Norwood, was ushered in with clouds and threatening weather, followed by clearing skies and a bright and sunshiny afternoon. About 125 people gathered at the Chickering homestead on Walpole Street to pay their respects to the centenarian, Mrs. Mary D. Chickering. The visitors came in small companies, from 3 o’clock till somewhat after 5 o’clock.

Mrs. Chickering wore a light summer gown and seemed more youthful in manner and appearance than many people who have not passed the age of three score and ten. She recognized people whom she had met before, and shook hands with all visitors. She seemed, in fact, to greatly enjoy the reception, and did not show any weariness at the ordeal, which was kept up a little longer than had been announced. Mrs. Chickering’s granddaughters, Mrs. Elmer Baker, and Miss Ida Chickering, assisted in receiving. The ushers were the grandson, Walter D. Chickering, and a great-grandson, Carl Baker. Refreshments were served by the two great-granddaughters, Nina and Elsie Baker.

Presents were numerous and boxes of candy were the most numerous among them. There were several boxes containing a hundred peppermints each, a bouquet of rare flowers from the Norwood Congregational church, a large and elegant bouquet of rhododendrons and other flowers from Elmer P, Morse of Dedham, flowers from Rev. C. F. Weeden, a bunch of pinks from the Congregational Y. P. S. C. E. (edit: Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavour), articles of china from lady friends, and other gifts. Mrs. Nancy Page sent a Spanish silver dollar of the year 1797, and some friend furnished a birthday cake with the figures, “1797—1897.”

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Among the guests were not a few of Norwood’s oldest people, as well as many prominent persons from Norwood and adjoining towns. Young people and children were also pretty numerous. Mrs. Chickering is very fond of music, and Miss Ellen A. Pond gave piano selections during the afternoon.

It was the general opinion of relatives that Mrs. Chickering was much better in health and seemed brighter and quicker in her intellectual faculties than she did on her birthday a year ago.

The large public reception of Monday succeeded a smaller and more informal gathering Sunday afternoon when the pastor and members of the Congregational church made a call. There was music by Mrs. F. A. Morrill, Mrs. E. P. Moreland, and Mr. Herbert Chickering. Among the callers were Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Pulsifer of Needham. Mrs. Pulsifer, who is over eighty years of age, is Mrs. Chickering’s stepdaughter.

Mrs. Chickering is the oldest member of the Norwood Congregational church, having joined it when quite young. She was a teacher in the Sunday school for many years. She remembers riding on horseback to church behind her mother when only three or four years of age.

She says that to her knowledge Mrs. D. B. Farrington of George Street, is the only one of her former pupils now living. The late Hon. F. W. Bird of East Walpole and the late Ellis Hartshorn were among her pupils.

A sketch of Mrs. Chickéring’s life was given in the Advertiser of last week, and we will only add that her one hundred years appear to have been one grand sweet harmony, partly solo, partly duet.

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(All articles were originally published in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)

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