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 Zilpha Etta “Grandma Ziff” <I>Scott</I> Dockery

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Zilpha Etta “Grandma Ziff” Scott Dockery

Birth
Virginia, USA
Death 14 Jan 1903 (aged 106)
Pattonville, Lamar County, Texas, USA
Burial Pattonville, Lamar County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 103133147 View Source
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Obituary Originally Published in The St. Louis Republic; St. Louis, Missouri) Friday, 16 Jan 1903, page 4

MRS. ZILPHIO DOCKERY DEAD.

Said to Have Been the Oldest Person In Texas.

REPUBLIC SPECIAL.

Fort Worth, Tex., Jan. 15 - Mrs. Zilphio Dockery said to have been the oldest person in Texas, died last night at Patonville, in Lamar County. She was 106 years old at her last birthday. She came to Texas about nine years ago from North Carolina. She was a native of Virginia.

Spouse:
William H Dockery, 1796 - 1846
John Diffy

Children:
Hiram Dockery, 1829 – unknown
John Albert/Alberry Dockery, 1830 – unknown
Samuel Rice Dockray, 1834 – 1908
Ransom Bradley Dockrey, 1834 – 1918
Jane Dockery Gibson, 1837 – 1910
B Calvin Dockery, 1839 – 1906
E Paralee Dockrey Driskell, 1841 – 1918
Mary Marize "Maggie" Dockery Newton, 1841 – 1933

Note: The following two newspaper articles are repetitious in some paragraphs but one contains different information than the other.

GRANDMA DOCKERY - She lived in Three Centuries and Expects to Attend the Confederate Reunion, The Dallas Morning News, January 17, 1902

Special to the News. Paris, Texas, January 12 - A month ago The Dallas News published a brief notice from Paris of Grandma Zilpha Dockery being in town. She enjoys the distinction of being, so far as is known, the oldest living person in North Texas. On the occasion of her visit here she was on the way to the southwest corner of the county to visit a grandson, and had a photograph of herself taken, from which the accompanying cut is reproduced.

From behind the initial milepost planted by old Time to mark her first stride into the twentieth, Grandma Dockery looks serenely across the years of the nineteenth and into the twilight of the eighteenth century, the three cycles in which her heart has pulsed, and of which her memory yet retains distinct impressions. When she was born, Sept. 8, 1796, George Washington had not completed his second term as the first President of the American Republic. George III was on the British throne bemoaning the loss of the colonies as a disaster of yesterday. Napoleon Bonaparte, but recently married to the ill-fated Josephine, was not yet first consul of France, nor had he begun to evolve from the ashes of the Rein of Terror those majestic dreams of empire and conquest which were realized a few years later in the transformation of the map of Europe, the overthrow of ancient dynasties and the erection upon their ruins of new systems of government - all to be involved in turn, in as brief a period, in the mightiest of all history.

Although she has lived in three centuries and hasn't a single acquaintance of her girlhood days left surviving, Grandma Dockery, all things considered, is a remarkably well-preserved old lady. She is free from organic maladies and from most of the devilties common to accumulated years. She is enjoying good general health still, but during the past year or two has rapidly grown more feeble. She walks about without a crutch, but recently has begun to experience what she calls 'drunk and swimming' spells in the head, and when she walks she uses a stick, which she calls her 'horse,' to steady herself and feel her way. Her hearing is nearly perfect, but she is gradually growing blind. Her appetite is good and, as she says, she eats meat and anything else other folks eat. She has never had a stomach trouble, but takes salts now and then to aid digestion. She clings tenaciously to old-fashioned clothes, the styles of seventy-five years ago, and knits her own stockings and gloves, but since her eyesight has begun to fail she experiences trouble in 'picking up' her stitches when she 'drops' them.

Despite her old age, Grandma Dockery is very fond of traveling and spends a good portion of her time visiting her descendants, of whom she has more than a hundred in Lamar County alone, scattered from near Detroit, in Red River County, to Dial, in the edge of Fannin County. Sometimes she travels twenty miles a day in a wagon and stands the trips remarkably well, a little brandy being given her along the road to stimulate and keep up her spirits. Through the kindness and hospitality of C. W. Driskell, her son-in-law, who lives at Roxton, The News correspondent had the privilege last week of enjoying a visit to the remarkable old lady, who is at present visiting Sam Dockery, one of her numerous grandsons, in the southwest corner of the county, in the Union Academy neighborhood. The correspondent found about her no trace of the senility popularly supposed to attend extreme old age. On the contrary, she is strikingly vivacious, talks readily and at times with animation and laughs heartily. She says that she has no desire to die, and thinks that 'anybody with a grain of sense and in their right mind would much rather live.' After an exchange of greetings Grandma Dockery proceeded to give the correspondent a sketch of their life, prompted at intervals by questions.

She was born in Virginia, but does not know in what county. She was the daughter of John Scott, who was a farmer, and moved to Spartanburg district, South Carolina when she was 3 years old. She says that she can remember when the family moved as well as if it had been yesterday. It was her earliest recollection. She had three brothers and seven sisters, all of whom are dead. None of them or either of her parents were long lived. She has never had a serious spell of sickness, never took a dose of morphine in her life, and says that doctors are one class of people she never had any use for. She uses snuff yet, but had to give up smoking a short time ago on account of the 'drunk and swimming spells' in the head which it produced. She cannot yet altogether resist the temptation to smoke, however, and while the correspondent was engaged in conversation with her she reached over and borrowed a cigar from the mouth of her son-in-law, Mr. Driskell, who was smoking, and took half a dozen puffs with manifest satisfaction.

She married at Spartanburg, S. C. when she was 22 years old to William Dockery, with whom she lived many years and had nine children, six sons and three daughters. Two of the sons and three daughters are still living. One of the sons, B. C. Dockery lives at Killeen, Bell County and Samuel R. Dockery, the other son, lives at Nelanvilie, Bell County. The daughters are Mrs. Jane Gibson, who lives at Pattonville, this county, with whom the mother makes her home most of the time; Mrs. C. W. Driskell of Roxton and Mrs. B. Newton, who lives near Gadsden, Ala. Mrs. Driskell and Mrs. Newton are twins.

From Spartanburg district, South Carolina, grandma moved with her husband to Alabama and settled among the Cherokee Indians when there were scarcely any other white persons among them. The Cherokees lived like white folks, some of them being very rich and owning Negroes. Her husband was one of the party hired by the Government to move the Cherokees in wagons from Alabama to Texas and the Indian Territory. They didn't want to leave, and a great many of them committed suicide rather than do so, but the white people wanted their country and they bought and bribed the chiefs into making the treaty to leave. Her husband died from contracting swamp fever on the trip soon after getting back from moving the Cherokees, and some years afterward she married John Diffy, who lived a little over a year. Mr. Diffy was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was a great personal friend of Gen. Hickory [Andrew] Jackson, who made him a present of a walking stick with his name on it. She gave the stick years afterward to his grandson. After her second husband's death she resumed the name of her first husband as that was the name of her children. Long years after the death of her second husband she moved from Alabama with her descendants to this county. They chartered a special coach and filled it. Since then others of her descendants have moved out to Texas, and the connection is perhaps the most extensive in the State.

Asked by the correspondent to mention some of the incidents of her girlhood days, grandma became very animated, and began:
'My people were hard-working people. We worked in the fields with plows drawn by oxen and made crops that way for my father the year before I was married. I never saw a cotton patch till I went to Alabama. In my girlhood days they wore flax cloth dresses, and they were just as pretty as anything they wear nowadays. (At this point she became very animated and gesticulated a great deal while describing how they frailed the flax against the hackies to separate the fiber, and spun and wove it into cloth.) We had a-plenty clothes in them days to wear, and bed clothes, too, piled up to the jists.'

'Grandma, tell me how the young folks used to court,' the correspondent said.
'That reminds me of when I got my first calico dress and my first pair of Sunday shoes. I wore them to church and thought I was the finest lady in the land. I ketched me a beau too. I was only 13 years old then. The shoes were green morocco and the stockings white. Calico was so skeerce and expensive we couldn't afford any frills and trains them days. I got the dress by weaving some flax cloth warp and filling and taking it to Spartanburg and trading it to a merchant yard for yard for the calico. My calico dress was made low 'neck' and short sleeves, narrer, and like a meal sack, the same width from end to end. When I got it on I could hardly bend my knees and couldn't climb a fence at all. Still it was purty - purtier than the new fangled trapping of today. Yes, siree, Columbus!'

'We didn't wear shoes and stockings them days except when we went to church or corn shuckings or logrollings, or weddings or fairs. And we didn't wear them all the way then. We carried our shoes and stockings under our arms until we got near by the church, and then sat down on a log and put them on. After meetin' we stopped on the road and took 'em off again. Made no difference if we had a beau. They had to do that a-way themselves. Them new fangled styles and begotty girls nowadays makes me sick.'
'Grandma, do you reckon it was your new calico dress that caused you to catch a beau that Sunday at church?' the correspondent asked.

'Well, it might have had something to do with it, but I was naturlay purty when I was a girl. And, I tell you, we had to mind our mammies and daddies in them days. We certainly did. Columbus. They didn't allow us to go with just any kind of a rag-tag of a fellow, and I never stayed away from home at night until I was 21 years old.'

'I think you've got enough put down there to tell them folks about me already to make them laugh at me,' she observed as the correspondent was proceeding to make notes of her remarks.

'They didn't have any divorcing when I was young,' she resumed, 'and couldn't get any if they wanted one. They didn't have any marriage licenses either, but when a couple wanted to get married they went to a Justice of the Peace and paid him 50 cents to marry them.'

Grandma was a great cook and used to be engaged by people for miles around to cook for weddings and in fairs. She was a great gingercake baker and made her pin money by selling gingercake and cider. On muster days and at other public gatherings she could cook a good square meal until she was 100 years old. In her early days it was the custom to have cotton pickings, like quiltings, to pick the seed out of cotton before hand gins and regular cotton gins were invented. After picking the seed out of the cloth they spun and wove it into cloth. It was not unusual to see corn shuckings, logrollings, cotton pickings, quiltings and grubbings going on all at the same farm, with everybody, men women and children taking a hand. 'And, my Columbus!' she exclaimed, 'how they did eat! Folks are afraid nowadays when anybody comes to their house they will have to feed them.'
'Grandma, did folks believe in witches when you were young?' she was asked.

'I don't know, but I used to go to mammy's cowpen at night to milk and the next morning it would be full of balls that were not there the night before. Now, do you reckon them fool folks will believe that?' she asked with mock impatience as the correspondent was taking her answer down. Seeing that he continued to write, she continued:
'I know my cows was witched once. They commenced to give bloody milk and it smelled bad. An old lady who lived neighbor to me said if the cows had been witched if I would put milk in a vessel and put it on the fire and get a bundle of willow switches and whip the milk out in the fire while it was boiling, whoever put the spell on the cows would come to the door. I put the children out of the room, and while I was whipping the milk in the fire who do you reckon stepped in the door? Nobody but Bessie Gilbert, my sister-in-law. She stopped in and said: Zilph, what in the devil are you doing there?' I said 'Well the devil has come.'

'Grandma, do you think your sister-in-law bewitched the cows?' the correspondent asked.

'Well anyhow the milk got better,' she replied, evading a direct answer.
'Now ain' t that a purty thing to have folks read way yonder?' she interposed, as the correspondent recorded her remarks. 'You've writ a whole book there that ain't any use under the sun. They'll think that old woman's a fool, but, they'll miss it there. I ain't no fool yet.' Continuing she said:
'My mammy had a witch spell put on her once by her mouth being turned to one side. A neighbor who had two old women living in a house on his place and daddy believed they were the ones who did it. He went to the man who owned the place and cursed them to him. He said if mammy's mouth didn't get straight somebody was going to die. After that mammy's mouth turned tother way and never did get straight.'

She finished her talk about witches with the exclamation that she wouldn't want to talk any more for about a week.

Grandma is a devout member of the Baptist Church and up to a year or two ago was a constant attendant, frequently walking half a mile or more to preaching. Speaking on this subject she said:
'I have no patience with the common run of preachers of these days. In my time they preached the Bible without any put on, and show to plain, sensible people, many of whom attended in their shirtsleeves barefooted, in a log cabins and under trees. The preacher was not too good to preach in his shirtsleeves with a handkerchief around his neck. Next day he tackled the field and plow for a living and didn't charge anything for preaching. It's the almighty dollar with them now, and it is dragging many of them down to torment.

'I've got a plumb contempt for them styles and fashions now,' she remarked, reverting in memory to her first calico dress and first pair of Sunday shoes, 'but I reckon the reason the girls are so foolish is they are uglier than in my day and it takes more fine dressing to make them look purty. If they weren't so biggoty and had more sense they would look a heap purtier. But I'm tired of talking.'

As has been stated, Grandma Dockery belonged to a family of plain, hard working people, and it may he due to the primitive mode of living that her days have been so prolonged. It was a dismally raw, cold and cloudy day when the correspondent visited her. With the wind whistling through the cracks and the door left open, half the time he sat shivering, while she paid not the least attention to the cold. One of her sons in Bell County in a prosperous circumstances offered her a good, comfortable home the rest of her days, but after remaining with him a short while she preferred living in the primitive style to which she had always been accustomed. Mr. Driskell, her son-in-law, expressed the belief that if she was kept in a close room heated by a stove she would catch her death of cold the first time she poked her nose out of the door. Despite all the family can do she insists on going barefooted in the summer, claiming that shoes burn her feet.

One of the most remarkable things about her is that she learned to read after she was a hundred years old. She never went to school a day in her life, and has accomplished the feat of learning to read only within the past four or five years, absolutely without any assistance except to be taught the alphabet. She picked it up as a diversion when she could not work any longer.
Mr. Driskell, who is an ex-confederate, told that correspondent that he expected to take her to the national reunion at Dallas in the spring if conditions were favorable, and it is an event to which she is eagerly looking forward.

GRANDMA DOCKERY - She Has Lived in Three Centuries and Expects to Attend the Confederate Reunion, The Dallas Semi-Weekly News, Friday, January 24, 1902

Special to The News. Paris, Texas, Jan. 13. - A month or two ago the Dallas News published a brief notice from Paris of Grandmas Zilpha Dockery being in town. She enjoys the distinction of being, so far as is known, the oldest living person in North Texas. On the occasion of her visit here she was on the way to the southwest corner of the county to visit a grandson, and had a photograph of herself taken, from which the accompanying cut is reproduced.

From behind the initial milepost planted by old Time to mark her first stride into the twentieth, Grandma Zilpha Dockery looks serenely across the years of the nineteenth and into the twilight of the eighteenth century, the three cycles in which her heart has pulsed, and of which her memory yet retains distinct impressions. When she was born, Sept. 8, 1796, George Washington had not completed his second term as the first President of the American Republic. George III, was on the British throne bemoaning the loss of the colonies as a disaster of yesterday. Napoleon Bonaparte, but recently married to the ill-fated Josephine, was not yet first Consul of France, nor had he begun to evolve from the ashes of the Reign of Terror those majestic dreams of empire and conquest which were realized a few years later in the transformation of the map of Europe, the overthrow of ancient dynasties and the erection upon their ruins of new systems of government--all to be involved in turn, in as brief a period, in the mightiest fall of all history.

Although she has lived in three centuries and hasn't a single acquaintance of her girlhood days left surviving, Grandma Dockery, all things considered, is a remarkably well-preserved old lady. She is free from organic maladies and from most of the debilities common to accumulated years. She is enjoying good general health still, but during the past year or two has rapidly grown more feeble. She walks about without the aid of a crutch, but recently has begun to experience what she calls 'drunk and swimming' spells in the head, and when she walks she used a stick, which she calls her 'horse' to steady herself and feel her way. Her hearing is nearly perfect, but she is gradually growing blind. Her appetite is good and, as she says, she eats meat and anything else other folks eat. She has never had a stomach trouble, but takes salts now and then to aid digestion. She clings tenaciously to old-fashioned clothes, the styles of seventy-five years ago, and knits her own stockings and gloves, but since her eyesight has begun to fail she experiences trouble in 'picking up' her stitches when she 'drops' them.

Despite her old age, Grandma Dockery is very fond of traveling and spends a good portion of her time visiting her descendants, of whom she has more than a hundred in Lamar County alone, scattered from near Detroit, in Red River County to Dial, in the edge of Fannin County. Sometimes she travels twenty miles a day in a wagon and stands the trips remarkable well, a little brandy being given her along the road to stimulate and keep up her spirits. Through the kindness and hospitality of C. W. Driskell, her son-in-law, who lives at Roxton, The News correspondent had the privilege last week of enjoying a visit to the remarkable old lady, who is at present visiting Sam Dockery, one of her numerous grandsons, in the southwest corner of the county, in the Union Academy neighborhood. The correspondent found about her no trace of the senility popularly supposed to attend extreme old age. On the contrary, she is strikingly vivacious, talks readily and at times with animation and laughs heartily. She says that she had no desire to die, and thinks that 'anybody with a grain of sense and in their right mind would much rather live.' After an exchange of greetings Grandma Dockery proceeded to give the correspondent a sketch of her life, prompted at intervals by questions.

She was born in Virginia, but does not know in what county. She was the daughter of John Scott, who was a farmer, and moved to Spartanburg district, South Carolina, when she was 3 years old. She says that she can remember when the family moved as well as if it had been yesterday. It was her earliest recollection. She had three brothers and seven sisters, all of whom are dead. None of them or either of her parents was long lived. She has never had a serious spell of sickness, never took a dose of morphine in her life, and says that doctors are one class of people she never had any use for. She uses snuff yet, but had to give up smoking a short time ago on account of the 'drunk and swimming spells' in the head which it produced. She cannot yet altogether resist the temptation to smoke, however, and while the correspondent was engaged in conversation with her she reached over and borrowed a cigar from the mouth of her son-in-law, Mr. Driskell, who was smoking, and took half a dozen puffs with manifest satisfaction.

She was married at Spartanburg, S. C., when she was 22 years old to William Dockery, with whom she lived many years and had nine children, six sons and three daughters. Two of the sons and three daughters are still living. One of the sons, B. C. Dockery, lives at Killeen, Bell County, and Samuel R. Dockery, the other son, lives at Nolanville, Bell County. The daughters are Mrs. Jane Gibson, who lives at Pattonville, this county, with whom the makes her home most of the time; Mrs. C. W. Driskell of Roxton and Mrs. B. Newton, who lives near Gadsden, Ala. Mrs. Driskell and Mrs. Newton are twins.

From Spartanburg district, South Carolina, grandma moved with her husband to Alabama and settled among the Cherokee Indians when there were scarcely any other white persons among them. The Cherokees lived like white folks, some of them being very rich and owning Negroes. Her husband was one of the party hired by the Government to move the Cherokees in wagons from Alabama to Texas and the Indian Territory. They didn't want to leave, and a great many of them committed suicide rather than do so, but the white people wanted their country and they bought and bribed the chiefs into making the treaty to leave. Her husband died from contracting swamp fever on the trip soon after getting back from moving the Cherokees, and some years afterward she married John Diffy, who lived a little over a year. Mr. Diffy was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was a great personal friend of Gen. Hickory [Andrew] Jackson, who made him a present of a walking stick with him name cut on it. She gave the stick years afterward to his grandson. After her second husband's death she resumed the name of her first husband, as that was the name of her children. Long years after the death of her second husband she moved from Alabama with her descendants to this county. They chartered a special coach and filled it. Since then others of her descendants have moved out to Texas, and the connection is perhaps the most extensive in the State.

Asked by the correspondent to mention some of the incidents of her girlhood days, mind our mammies and daddies in them days. We certainly did, Columbus. They didn't allow us to go with just any kind of rag-tag of a fellow, and I never stayed away from home at night until I was 21 years old.
'I think you've got enough put down there to tell them folks about me already to make them laugh at me,' she observed as the correspondent was proceeding to make notes of her remarks.

'They didn't have any divorcing when I was young' she resumed, 'and couldn't get any if they wanted one. They didn't have any marriage licenses either, but when a couple wanted to get married they went to a Justice of the Peace and paid him 50 cents to marry them.

Grandma was a great cook and used to be engaged by people for miles around to cook for weddings and in fairs. She was a great gingercake baker and made her pin money by selling gingercake and cider. On muster days and at other public gatherings she could cook a good square meal until she was 100 years old. In her early days it was the custom to have cotton pickings, like quiltings, to pick the seed out of cotton before hand gins and regular cotton gins were invented. After picking the seed out of the cotton they spun and wove it into cloth. It was not unusual to see corn shuckings, logrollings, cotton pickings, quiltings and grubbings going on all at the same time at the same farm, with everybody, men, women and children, taking a hand. 'And, my Columbus!' she exclaimed 'how they did eat! Folks are afraid nowadays when anybody comes to their house they will have to feed him.'

'Grandma, did folks believe in witches when you were young?' she was asked.

'I don't know, but I used to go to mammy's cowpen at night to milk and the next morning it would be a full of balls that were not there the night before. Now, do you reckon them fool folks will believe that?' she asked with mock impatience as the correspondent was taking her answer down. Seeing that he continued to write, she continued:
'I know my cows was witched once. They commenced to give bloody milk and it smelled bad. An old lady who lived neighbor to me said if the cows had been witched if I would put milk in a vessel and put it on the fire and get a bundle of willow switches and whip the milk out of the fire while it was boiling, whoever put the spell on the cows would come to the door? Nobody but Bessie Gilbert, my sister-in-law. She stepped in and said: 'Zilph, what in the devil are you doing there?' I said, 'Well, the devil has come.'

'Grandma, do you think that your sister-in-law bewitched the cows?' the correspondent asked.

'Well, anyhow, the milk got better,' she replied, evading a direct answer.
'Now, ain't that a purty thing to have folks read way yonder.' she interposed, as the correspondent recorded her remarks. 'you've writ a whold book there that ain't any use under the sun. They'll think that old woman's a fool, but they'll miss it there. I ain't no fool yet.' Continuing she said:
'My mammy had a witch spell put on her once by her mouth being turned to one side. A neighbor had two old women living in a house on his place and daddy believed they were the ones who did it. He went to the man who owned the place and cursed them to him. He said if mammy's mouth didn't get straight somebody was going to die. After that mammy's mouth turned tother way and never did get straight.'

She finished her talk about witches with the exclamation that she wouldn't want to talk any more for about a week.

Grandma is a devout member of the Baptist Church and up to a year or two ago was a constant attendant, frequently walking half a mile or more to preaching. Speaking on this subject she said:
'I have no patience with the common run of preachers of these days. In my time they preached the Bible without any put on, and show to plain, sensible people, may of who attended in their shirtsleeves, barefooted, in log cabins and under trees. The preacher was not too good to preach in his shirtsleeves with a handkerchief around his neck. Next day he tackled the field and plow for a living and didn't charge anything for preaching. It's the almighty dollar with them now, and it dragging many of them down to torment.
'I've got a plumb contempt for them styles and fashions now,' she remarked reverting in memory to the vision of her first calico dress and first pair of Sunday shoes. 'But I reckon the reason the girls are so foolish is they are uglier than in my day it takes more fine dressing to make them look purty. If they warn't so bigotty and had more sense they would look a heap purtier. But I'm tired talking.'

As has been stated, Grandma Dockery belonged to a family of plain, hard working people, and it may be due to the primitive mode of living that her days have been so prolonged. It was a dismally raw, cold and cloudy day when the correspondent visited her. With the wind whistling through the cracks and the door left open half the time he sat shivering, while she paid not the least attention to the cold. One of her sons in Bell County in prosperous circumstances offered her a good, comfortable home the rest of her days, but after remaining with him a short while she preferred living in the primitive style to which she had always been accustomed. Mr. Driskell, her son-in-law, expressed the belief that if she was kept in a close room heated by a stove she would catch her death of cold the first time she poked her nose out of the door. Despite all the family can do she insists on going barefooted in the summer, claiming that shoes burn her feet.

One of the most remarkable things about her is that she learned to read after she was a hundred years old. She never went to school a day in her life, and has accomplished the feat of learning to 'read only' within the past four or five years, absolutely without any assistance except to be taught the alphabet. She picked it up as a diversion when she could not work any longer.
Mr. Driskell, who is an ex-Confederate told the correspondent that he expected to take her to the national reunion at Dallas in the spring if conditions were favorable and it is an event to which she is eagerly looking forward.

Milam Co., TX - Newspapers: Rockdale Messenger 1901 (This file contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Lynna Kay Shuffield, August 2002):
'Remarkable Woman
Paris, Tex., Nov. 5 - Grandma Zilpha Dockery, age 106-years, from the southeastern part of the county, was in the city last week shopping with her grand-daughter. She is still in good health and walks a mile frequently to church. She says she can walk 3-miles on a stretch without becoming fatigued.'

Information from Barbara Wirt Clarkson, 516 N. Village Lane, Liberty Lake, WA 99019, email - BARBWIRT@aol.com, on 31 Dec 1997:
Zilpha Dockery is buried in Shady Grove Cemetery in Lamar County, Texas. There is a red rock by the Gibson family graves there, and two of her children said she was buried there. There is no name on it. As I remember it was next to one of her children. Her daughter Jane Dockery married Harred Gibson. Another daughter, Elizabeth Dockery, married C. W. or Columbus Jones Driskell of Roxton.

Grandma Dockery Dead
Oldest Person in Texas Expires at Pattonville, In Lamar County.
The Dallas Morning News, 16 Jan 1903
'Special To The News
Paris, Tex. Jan 15 - Grandma Zilpha Dockery, who enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest person in Texas, died a 8 o'clock last night at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Jane Gibson, near Pattonville, this county. She was taken sick last Saturday. The following day she became unconscious, and remained in that condition up to her death.

A sketch of her life was published in The Dallas Morning News a year ago. She was 106 years old on Sept. 8 last. She was born in Virginia, but moved to Spartanburg, SC, when she was 3 years old. She was famed as a gingercake baker, and used to sell cake and cider on muster days to obtain pin money. Her services were in great demand to cook dinners for weddings. News readers may recall her description of the first calico dress she ever wore, and she wove flax cloth and swapped it to a Spartanburg merchant for the material to make her calico dress. Shoes were so expensive when she was a girl that they couldn't afford to wear them except to church and to parties. They went barefooted until they got nearly to the place and sat down in the road to put them on. After leaving meeting they stopped and pulled their shoes off and carried them home under their arms to save the leather. After Grandma Dockery's first husband died she moved to Alabama, and married John Diffy. John Diffy died shortly after their marriage and Zilpha took her first husband's name back.


Info. from:
Lamar Co. Gen.


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