"Grandma" Mary Shearer Dies 1837-1938

The Newton Dailey News, Friday Afternoon, July, 22,1938

Dies at Home in Prairie City, IA. Thursday Evening at 6: 20

Prairie City -- Jasper Couty's oldest resident and lone centenarain died last evening at 6;20 pm at the age of 100, seven months and four days.

She was Mrs. Mary Shearer, more familiary known to the hundreds of Prairie City neighbors and friends throughout Jasper County as "GRANDMA" SHEARER.

The first Jasper county person to reach the 100 year mark for many years. Mrs Shearer has been enjoying "fairly good" health during the past several weeks. She had sat up in her chair
yesterday. The end came Thursday evening, quietly and quickly.

Funeral Service
Funeral services will be at 2 PM Sunday at the Prairie City Methodist church with the Rev. J.H. Findley, the pastor in charge.

Born on 17 Dec 1837, in Pittsburg, PA. Mrs Shearer celebrated her 100th anniversary last winter with a day of many events. She was honored with special birthday cakes, with all of the members of her immediate family and with many messages and postcards and flowers from friends and neighbors. She was up all that day to greet the many callers who came to the home
in the part of Prairie City, and she seemed to survive the day well.

"Grandma Shearer" came to Jasper county when a girl in 1857. She was the daughter of Margaret (Logan) and John Thompson, a sawmill operator, who came west in the early fifties and helped to build Vandalia, in those days quite a town in the rapidly growing Iowa prairie.

The family came down the Ohio river and the Mississippi Keokuk and then drove up from Keokuk by wagons. Prairie City was just a little town when Mrs. Shearer came through. The
rural road had not been built up from the southeast yet. Mrs. Shearer married Daniel Shearer, son of Henry Shearer, one of the founders of Vandalia and brother- in- law of John Quincy Deakin the first white man to ride into the vicinity now occupied by Vandalia. For a time the couple lived outside of Iowa. but subsequently they moved back into the state, where Mrs. Shearer has resided ever since.

Mrs. Shearer's husband was in the Civil War, he having enlisted and camped where part of Paririe City is now located. It was just a new village then. He went from the training camp to Fort Donnelson to take part in the Civil War.

Mrs. Shearer has seen many changes during the years she has spent in thei community. But she said on various occasions during the past few years as she reflects uopn the history of this community that they have been for the better. Right up until the last days of her life, Mrs. Shearer was able to recall events of her earlier life -- when this part of the state was still pretty wild and undeveloped. She never talked much about them, however, as she was not to make much of her deeds. She lived well past the 100-year mark, but that was taken by her as just part of her normal life. She was glad to have lived so long, but she didn't make any particular fuss about it. She was only to happy to greet her many friends on the occasion her 100th anniversary.

She was a member of the Methodist church, the Women's Relief corps, and the Daily News Three Quarter Century Club. She is survived by one son, Harry Taylor Shearer of The Dalles, OR. who has been visiting here for the past two weeks. Her other son Frank, who served as postmaster of Prairie City for many years, died last October.

PS. A copy of this news article can be found in the back of Mabel Shearer Ohlegschlager (McFarland) huge scrapbook

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