By Lindsay Owens
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — A lot has happened in the last 100 years and former Daviess County resident Glada Sims has experienced much of that.
Sims, who will hit the century mark on July 20, grew up in Plainville and worked at the Daviess County Courthouse in her younger days. After she married her husband, Verlin, the couple farmed between Elnora and Odon and raised two daughters, Connie and Janice.
Glada and Verlin attended the Church of Christ in Washington and had been active participants in many bowling leagues.
“They both really enjoyed bowling,” said Connie Manning, one of the Sims’ daughters, who lives in Oklahoma with her husband Herb.
“Mother was very active in the community when she was still living there. Anytime anyone needed anything, mother was always there and was looking for some way to help. Mother has also always enjoyed quilting and she has made numerous quilts. She also enjoys crocheting.”
Glada also loves to receive mail from friends.
In 2001, Glada and Verlin moved to Durant, Okla., and into Sterling House, an assisted living facility, to be near family. The couple still bowled after their move and remained very active. Verlin passed away in 2004 but Glada has continued to make her home at Sterling House and she hasn’t forgotten about her ties to Daviess County.
“She still has many friends in the area and still subscribes to the Times Herald which she is always excited to see in her mailbox,” said Janice Williams, the Sims’ other daughter who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her husband Glen.
Glada has five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren in addition to her two daughters.
She credits hard work on the farm for so many years as her secret to a long life.
A century is quite a long time. To put things in perspective, Glada has lived through many crucial events in history.
Glada remembers a time when rural residents didn’t have many amenities such as running water and electricity that many of us take for granted now.
“Getting electricity on the farm really changed things,” Glada said.
The availability of water and electricity she said she thought had a major impact on the way people lived especially those living in rural areas.
When Glada was 7 years old, women gained the right to vote via the 19th Amendment and more women entered the work force. Prohibition of alcohol came into effect when she was 11. At age 13, she heard about Charles Lindbergh’s solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis on May 20, 1927. The Empire State Building opened to the public when Glada was 16 and when she was 17, the Great Depression started.
Glada has experienced American life before and after Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933 and 1934 that brought a series of economic programs to the forefront and Roosevelt’s “Second New Deal” in 1935 to 1938 that brought about Social Security and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 that put caps on the maximum hours one could work and a minimum wage for workers in many fields.
She’s been a witness to 18 different U.S. Presidents running the country. In 1963, she also experienced a country mourn the loss of its President John F. Kennedy.
She’s known soldiers who have fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other conflicts.
Men have walked on the moon. DNA, penicillin, and AIDS have been discovered and Glada Sims has lived to see it all.
Those wishing to send Glada greetings can do so at 1500 N. 19th St. Apt. 119, Durant, OK, 75701.