Out of The Carroll Co. Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. XXI, Autumn, 1976 No. 3
The following news items regarding 1905 senior citizens were extracted verbatim from the North Arkansas Star, Berryville's weekly newspaper by Larry Gage, Houston, Texas.
"Uncle Eli Dunlap, who will be 90 years old this month, read the New Testament through three or four times last winter, without glasses. He has a second eyesight. Cassville (Mo.) Democrat, March 1905
Mr. Dunlap is an uncle of A. J. Meek and Mrs. J. W. Freeman of Berryville and has many other relatives in Carroll County." March 11, 1905
A. J. Meek of Berryville claims the distinction of being the oldest native-born citizen in Carroll County. He was born near Carrollton on Jan. 6, 1838 - 67 years ago." June 3, 1905
"Aunt Lucretia Gage the lady who took the premium two years ago at the N.A. Fair as the oldest lady on the grounds, is visiting with relatives and friends on Piney." Omega News, June 17, 1905
"Mrs. Caroline Thorn, mother of W. H. Gibson and sister of A. J. Meek of Berryville, died at the home of her daughter Mrs. J. P. Clark at Oakland, Cal., on the 10th inst. She was 80 years and 5 days of age and her death was not unexpected. She had been making her home in California for the last six or eight years. She had resided at Berryville for many years before going to California, having moved here with her husband, Emerson Gibson, before the Civil War. Mr. Gibson was killed during the war leaving her with a large family of children. She was afterwards married to Michael Thorn who died at Berryville a few years later. She was a noble Christian woman and her memory will ever be cherished by the living who know her, for her many virtues." June 24. 1905
"John S. Baker, a quiet old farmer, living four miles west of Berryville can probably claim the distinction of the longest continuous residence in Carroll County of any other person. Mr. Baker was born in Cape Girardeau Co., Mo., in 1828 and moved here with his parents in 1833, three years before the State was admitted to the Union, making his residence here 72 years. Since then he has resided here continuously with the exception of a short time that he was away in 1857 when he and his family, consisting of his wife and two children, started to the gold fields of California with a few other emigrants. They traveled over land with their little train till they reached the border of Colorado where they were attacked by Indians three days after the Mountain Meadows Massacre which emigrant train they were trying to overtake. Several of his party were wounded and nearly all their belongings taken away from them. Among the wounded was a sister-in-law, a Miss Sarah Weaver who is now Mrs. T. B. Hall who lives near Berryville. She received two wounds from the Indian's bullets. As soon as the wounded were able to travel they turned their faces towards Carroll County." July 15, 1905
The Death of Jeptha Albert Purselley Jeptha Albert Purselley, age 30 was crushed to death in a construction accident at Harrison, Boone County, on March 23, 1905. He was born near Carrollton on Oct. 31, 1874, son of William Sherwood Purselley, a farmer and United Baptist preacher, and Sarah Emily Meek Purselley. His parents moved to Texas in 1899, but J.A., who had married Daisy Casey, remained in Carroll County. At his death, he had three children. His widow later remarried and lived in OK. His two surviving children are Dorothy Pursellery Cole of Riverside, CA., and Audie C. Purselley of Tahlequah, OK. J.A. was buried at Carrollton Cemetery. (It is followed by the graphic account of the accident appeared in the North Arkansas Star, Berryville, April 1, 1905.
"While engaged in moving the heavy building stone at the sheds near the Government building Thursday afternoon. J.A. Purselley one of the workmen, was caught beneath a pile which toppled over and literally crushed to death. His ribs were broken in the region of the heart, and other injuries sustained from which he died within half an hour after the accident, never regaining consciousness.
"His wife was summoned at once, but did not reach him until he was dead; her grief at the shocking calamity was most touching.
" Deceased was an upright industrious man, and is spoken of highly by all of his fellow workmen. Besides a widow he leaves three children, and , as would be the case with most workingmen, his family is but poorly provided for. They deserve and need the sympathy of all our people.
"it has been the custom to stack the stones from the planner as they were in this instance, and it seems that the accident was one free from criminal carelessness or blame on all sides. Harrison Times.