Winnie Harmon

Submited Peggy Gilkey

While indexing Indiana books for the DAR, I received the following newspaper article.
I have tried to imagine the odds of me being from Caldwell Co., KY moving to Newburgh, IN which is very
close to Rockport, In. also being a Calvert/Morse descendant and getting this record to index.

Rockport Democrat, Rockport, Indiana, 21 July 1893

“Winnie Harmon, a colored woman, who claims to be 118 years old, living right here in Rockport.

Living with her great, great grandson, Jim Pigram, in the upper end of town is an old colored lady, Winnie Harmon, who claims to be 118 years old, and her history as she gives it herself, is quite interesting. She says she was born in South Caroline in 1775 on the E & V River near Mussel Shoals.

She has out lived five generations. Her first owner was named Moss, at whose death she fell heir to his son, afterwards to his grandson. She next belonged to a man named Calvert, at whose death she fell heir to his daughter, who married a man named Harmon, and from this family took her name. All of her children died very old, the last one dying about two months ago and who looked much older than the old lady herself. After being set free she went to Paducah, Kentucky, and staid two years with a son, going from there to Louisville.

When the property of Calvert she cooked in one hotel in Princeton, Kentucky, for over forty years.

The old lady remembers all about the late war and the Mexican War and tells many interesting stories about what she saw in those days. She remembers about going over the Blue Mountains on her way to Virginia when all four wheels of the wagons had to be locked with hickory wisps, the wagons almost running over the horses.

When she was about 68 years old she went totally blind, but in about a year her second sight came to her and she can now thread a fine needle without the aid of glasses. About 18 years ago she lost her finger and toe nails, but which soon grew out again. The old lady tells how one time in her life it rained soot and at another sulphur and says she picked great handfuls off the water. To be as old as she is, 118 years .. her health is remarkably good and without something unforeseen occurs bids fair to remain with us several years yet”.

Side Note:
William Phelps Harmon b. 23 Aug 1827 married 08 Mar 1849 in Caldwell Co., KY to Elizabeth Ann Calvert b. 08 Mar 1830. Her father was Elias A. Calvert 1791-1851 who married 25 Sept. 1815 Caldwell Co., KY to Eleanor Morse (Moss) b. 03 Sept. 1794 Va. her father was Travis Morse and his parents were Ebenezer & Agnes Morse who came to Caldwell Co., KY from South Carolina. All of this backs up Winnie's story.