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Niles Daily Star, April 15, 1963 Front Page


Buchanan Centenarian, Mrs. Mary Davis 102, Dies


Buchanan - Funeral Services for Mrs. Mary (Josie) Davis, 102, Galien-Buchanan Road, will be conducted at 2 pm Tuesday in the Swern Funeral Home. The Rev. Dale B. Ward, pastor of the First Methodist Church will officiate.  Burial will be in Prospect Hills Cemetery, Prospect Hills Cemetery, Cassopolis.


Buchanan's oldest resident, and perhaps the oldest in Berrien County, Mrs. Davis, died in her sleep at 8:30 am Sunday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clare Davis (no relation) with whom she had resided the past 11 years. Although her eyesight and hearing had begun to fail, she was considered in excellent health and planned to spend Easter with her daughter, Mrs. Bess D. Reinke, route four, Niles.


She was born August 3, 1860 in Alton, Mo. Her father, Dr. Thomas Snell, was killed in the first year of the Civil War while serving with the Confederate Army. She came to Buchanan with her mother in a covered wagon when she was three years old. Following her mothers death when she was seven, she lived with relatives until her marriage to Benjamin F. Davis here Nov. 22, 1885.  He died June 23, 1946.


Other survivors include three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and a great-great-granchild.


Mrs. Davis counted among her memories Civil War events, recalling the day President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth. She often spoke of the day when candles were the only lighting available in homes, and horse-drawn vehicles the only mode of transportation.


A member of the local First Methodist Church for more than 80 years, she often attributed her longevity to living calmly and quietly. A highlight of her life was a congratulatory message from President Kennedy on her 101st birthday in 1961.


Friends are being received at the funeral home.