In 1961, Mrs. Lucretia (Hayter) Hancock celebrated her 100th birthday. She had long looked forward to that day and told her story to the Mexia Daily News. Although the news story gave her father's name as "W. B. Hayter", he was know as B. Z. Hayter. Hayter marched off to war in 1861 and returned in 1865.
MEXIA DAILY NEWS, Limestone Co., TX, April 1961
Coolidge Woman Will Celebrate 100th Birthday This Thursday
COOLIDGE - A Coolidge woman who remembers seeing her father return from the Civil War in his Confederate uniform will celebrate her 100th birthday this Thursday.
Mrs. S.W. (Lucretia) Hancock was born at Cedar Island in Limestone County, April 20, 1861, eight days after the firing on Fort Sumpter erupted into the war between the states.
Mrs. Hancock still has vivid recollections about her early childhood at Cedar Island. "I can still see those droves of people coming to Cedar Island for a big church meeting," Mrs. Hancock said. "In those days people traveled by horse, buggy or just walked...they would converge on our community to stay a week at a time for a big revival...and several denominations would meet together too."
The Coolidge woman's father was W.B. Hayter. While he was fighting in the Civil War, her mother "farmed and raised sheep," according to Mrs. Hancock. "She raised and took care of us all while Pa was fighting." Mrs. Hancock had three sisters and two brothers, all of whom are now dead.
She still recalls the crackling of wood burning in the fireplace in the old home at Cedar Island. "My mother used to sit there and read letters which my father wrote from the Civil War battlegrounds," the alert Coolidge woman said.
Though bedridden since she fell and broke her hip in March 1940, Mrs. Hancock still admires beauty which surrounds her. "I look out the window and the front door all the time just watching people pass and admiring the pretty grass and everything," she smiled.
Mrs. Hancock lives in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Lora Herring, who is quite active at age 82. Mrs. Herring is the only surviving child of Mrs. Hancock. A son recently died at the age of 79.
Mrs. Hancock lived all her life in Cedar Island until 27 years ago when she moved to Coolidge. She has been unable to walk since she broke a hip, but has only been bedridden for the past seven months.
She talked about her husband, who died when he was 81, "My husband lived for the farm," Mrs. Hancock said. "I couldn't get him off the farm no matter how hard I might try," she chuckled. He finally went to work for the old Blue Hancock Hardware store in Mexia. He worked there two years.
Mrs. Hancock had nothing but fond memories of her early life at Cedar. "I cooked for all the preachers when they would come to Cedar Island," she began. "I was married then and our family sort of took care of the ministers...and we would always enjoy the big revivals they would hold there...every body had a good time and enjoyed the preaching."
Mrs. Hancock's favorite hobby was crocheting until "my health sort of failed me." She hardly ever missed church while she was "up and about" The Coolidge woman is a member of the First Methodist Church at Coolidge.
Mrs. Hancock is really looking forward to her birthday celebration Thursday. Her daughter, Mrs. Herring, says "Mamma has been talking about her 100th birthday for a long time."
A kindly woman who has given most of her life in helping others, Mrs. Hancock has many friends and can rest assured they all wish her very best wishes as she turns the century mark.
Mrs. Lucretia Hayter Hancock was the daughter of B.Z. HAYTER , b.: May 4, 1824, TN d.: Aft. 1874, Limestone Co., TX and Letha J. BENNETT (sister of Elson G. BENNETT, my grt-grt-gf) b.: Dec.24, 1835, AL d.: Feb. 1882, Limestone Co.,TX. Lucretia was the wife of Soloman Warren HANCOCK, b.: Jan.27, 1855, Limestone Co., TX d.: May 3, 1936, Limestone Co., TX. Lucretia and Soloman were married April 24, 1878, in Limestone Co., TX, and had children: Arthur HANCOCK, Lora HANCOCK (Mrs. Foster HERRING) and Guy HANCOCK.