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Ann Kelly - Oldest Minonk Person

Ann Kelly was the oldest person to live in Minonk. She died at the age of 110 on January 15, 1943. Below is her obituary from the Minonk News-Dispatch issue of Janaury 21, 1943.

A gradual weakening brought on by the weight of more than a cen­tury of living culminated friday afternoon at 3:40 o'clock in the death of Mrs. Ann Mccaffery kel­ly, 110, the daughter of Irish emi­grants, who lived to be the oldest woman in illinois. Funeral services were held on monday morning from St. Patrick's church with the Rev. Fr. Osmond Braun, o. f. m., officiating, and bur­ial was in the church cemetery. Commonly known to local residents as "Aunt Ann" , Mrs. Kelly was born in Ireland on june 24, 1832, and came to the United States with her parents at an early age. The family settled in Marshall county, near Lacon, and it was there that she married Bernard Kelly on May 9, 1864. True re­cords of her birth have never been uncovered other than the marriage license still on file at Lacon. This lists her date of birth as June 24, 1832, and gave her age as 32 years at the time of application.>

Following her marriage the fam­ily went to housekeeping near this city, however, in 1887, Mr. Kelly was badly injured in an accident and after recovering they moved to the Trowbridge addition of Minonk where they purchased a home.

Mr. Kelly died in August of 1893, and Mrs. Kelly continued to live in the family home until 1937, when she was taken into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter McKeon. Resting on her mattress of corn husks, and covered with a feather blanket, it was there she died January 15, at the age of 110 years, six months and 22 days.

Death came after a gradual de­cline during the past five weeks during which she frequently told Mrs. McKeon, "I feel no pain, but I'm very tired." Until five weeks ago it was her habit to rise at about nine o'clock each morning and eat a good breakfast at the table placed in her room. Follow­ing the morning meal she walked about the McKeon home for a short while before again returning to her bed. The weight of her many years made her stooped, but she was nonetheless able to walk about without assistance. During the day she took a bare minimum of food, and it was customary to find her asleep by eight o'clock each evening. She insisted that her mattress be of corn husks and her only cover a feather blanket. Until the end her hearing remained good, but time had dimmed her sight and it was impossible for her to distinguish objects at a distance of more than six feet. Of late she had displayed no in­terest in outside affairs, and it be­came increasingly difficult for her mind to function with clarity.

Aside from members of the McKeon family, she welcomed no vis­itors other than the Rev. Fr. Os­mond Braun, O. F. M., the local parish priest, who administered to her religious needs. Her lifetime had been spent as a devout Catholic, although her age made it impossible for her to attend services in recent years.

Three nieces and one nephew survive. Two sons died in infan­cy.