At the age of 89, Lucy was in good health and incredibly active. She was an expert at making quilts and rugs taking first prize where ever they were exhibited and as needlewoman, she was second to none.
When she was 90, she was buying Liberty bonds to support the (World War I.) war effort. She had lived through four wars-Mexican, Spanish-American, Civil War, and World War I. In her spare time, she knitted socks for the soldiers.
In 1923, when she was 95 years and 8 months old, the Lawrence Savings and Trust Company awarded her with a loving cup, with her name engraved, for being the oldest person at the county fair. They took her photograph with the cup. The photo is shown here on the left. She seemed to enjoy the experience very much, her only fear was that one or two wrinkles might show in the photo.
She came by her robust old age naturally as her father lived to be over 98 years old. Her doctor told her that she ought to live to be well over 100. At nearly 96, she did her own cooking and housework, put up 40 quarts of peaches and made comforters and could read the newspaper without the aid of glasses, although she sometimes found it hard to hear what people were saying.
On the day of her 99th birthday, she rose at 5 a.m. and cooked pancakes, toast, and broiled mackeral for herself and her 5 family members visiting at her house. She was still able to read her Bible and newspaper without glasses. She went about her daily duties as sprightly as some do at 40. She was still knitting rugs, quilting quilts, and doing other homey duties.
Lucy prepared for her 100th birthday by making herself a pretty silk dress for the party and baking pies and cakes. Her daughter, Alice McClutcheon came home several days early to make a dress for her mother’s birthday party but Lucy had already made it cutting and sewing every piece by hand.
As evidence of her handiwork during the past year, she made at least 50 dust caps and over 40 sunbonnets. Almost completed and expected to be done by her birthday was a beautiful woven rug for her son, James, who was coming home from Oklahoma. All of her handiwork, she did by hand and without the aid of glasses. More spry than one would imagine for a woman of 100, she bounced up and down around the room displaying her handiwork and the shawl that her grandson who lived in Florida had sent. People would think she wasn’t a bit over 70 or 75 and did not look as old as a woman of 100 should look.
She was one who always wants to do things herself. When she was 99, her ambition put her in bed during the fall when she helped cut up a 230 lb. hog, cut the sausage, fried and canned it, rendered the lard, and pickled the feet. Also, she put up 100 cans of fruit and pickles followed by three loads of laundry on the washboard just to prove that she was not dependent.
When she turned 100, she was the mother of 11 children, 7 living, 25 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and 5 great, great grandchildren.
Lucy was pleased that her birthday fell during the same month as Charles Lindbergh’s, but when asked if she’d like to go up in an airplane, she replied that automobiles were good enough for her. She thought the present generation was moving too swiftly. Modern improvements were nice, especially compared to her childhood. At age 13, she baked bread, washed, ironed, churned butter and more. They had no washing machines or washboards. Clothes had to be cleaned by rubbing them between their knuckles.
When asked about her party dress, if it was knee-length, she said, with emphasis, “No sir, ankle-length. I don’t like short dresses and bobbed hair.” When asked what she thought of the ways of the present generation, Lucy said that she did not like short skirts or bobbed hair nor could she countenance dancing of any kind. She said that she had never danced. She said that the short skirts might be better than long, dragging trains but they wore them too short these days. She thought that the hoop skirts and bustles that they used to wear were more modest, if not more convenient.
Lucy Ann Zeller Morrison was born on February 8, 1828 to immigrant parents. Her father, Johannes (John) Zeller came from Switzerland and her mother, Caterina (Catherine) Keesler was from Germany. John Zeller came from Switzerland in a boat on the ocean for 22 months. For 4 of those months, the ocean was so calm, the boat did not move a bit. John and Catherine raised their family near Shippensville, Clarion County, Pennsylvania where Lucy grew up and married Joseph Morrison.
Shortly after their wedding, Lucy and Joseph traveled in a sled drawn by two teams of horses during the winter months to their new home near North Liberty, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Later, they moved to the neighborhood of Princeton, Lawrence County where she lived for the remaining 64 years of her life.
She remembered a time when she and her brother were sent out to chase the deer out of her father’s wheat field. They found seven deer grazing on the wheat and got so close that they could count the deer’s eyebrows before her brother threw a stone that frightened the deer and scared them away.
When she was a child, the nearest neighbors lived 3 or 4 miles away. There weren’t enough children to form a school so her school life amounted to only about six weeks but she was taught the three “R’s” by her older brothers and sisters. Every week, she walked 5 ½ miles to Sunday school.
In those days, they had to cook over an open fireplace and baked the most delicious biscuits in a Dutch oven, which is a large, heavy iron pot with a cover in which the bread was baked by piling red-hot coals around and over it. She said, though, that their regular baking was in an outside oven made of brick and mortar. The large loaves of dough were poured out of a bucket upon a large board and shoved into the large oven. Lucy said that she could still manipulate the operation even as she did at the age of 13.
She related how her father used to walk from Clarion County to Pittsburgh and other points to purchase the year’s grocery supplies. Often a pound of white sugar and a pound of coffee would have to do them for a year. The rest of the time, they used maple sugar and wheat coffee made from wheat or rye made in their own home.
Four weeks before her death, Lucy had attended all of her household duties, kept a little garden, grew plenty of flowers, and took care of a flock of chickens. Her day started at 6 a.m. when she prepared breakfast for herself and her son who lived with her.
A pale of gloom overspread the village of Princeton on September 18, 1930, when their oldest and most loved resident was called to the Great Beyond after being permitted to remain on this earth until the unusual age of 102.
Lucy was the last of a family of 11 children. Her longevity was hereditary with her father living to be nearly 100. In 1845, she married Joseph Morrison and to their union was born 11 children, 6 still living when she left this world. Her husband preceding her in death some years ago, on March 28, 1891.
Lucy Morrison was an outstanding figure in the life of Princeton, being well known to every man, woman, and child in the vicinity. She took an active interest in all school and church work, being a charter member of the Princeton Presbyterian Church and her sweet smile under the little lace caps she always wore as she sat on her porch and greeted passers by, most of whom stopped to chat with her as her mind was ever alert and she kept abreast of the topics of the day.
The Princeton Presbyterian Church could not hold all of the friends and relatives who wished to pay their last respects to one they had held dear through her long life when funeral services were held for Lucy Morrison, aged 102. School was closed that day so that the students could attend. Lucy was laid to rest by her beloved, Joseph.
Her longevity brought her local fame and attention that has been preserved forever by the newspaper in her hometown. Yes, there is something to say for longevity.