Today’s find is again from the notebook of Briles/Rush clippings and assorted information given to me by Mrs. Mildred Barby. Mildred was a descendant of Branson Briles who is buried in Wilson County, Kansas. Mildred was an avid researcher of anything / everything related to the BRILES or RUSH families of Randolph County, North Carolina. Thus, today’s clipping is likely from a newspaper in the Randolph county, area.
Thursday, January 8, 1953 (newspaper unknown)
No Party Planned!
Mrs. J. L. (Roxanna) Briles will be 97 Years Old on Saturday
Randolph county’s oldest living citizen will celebrate her 97th birthday on Saturday from her bed in Griffin clinic where she has been a patient now for more than 12 years.
Her name is Mrs. J. L. Briles and she comes from a long line of folkes that has lived well beyond the celebrated three score and ten years.
A native of Randolph county, Mrs. Briles is a daughter of the late Michael and Anne Jane Spencer. She has three living sisters, all well past 70 years of age. They are Mrs. Louzenia Rush, 94, of Lawrence, Kansas, who still walks to church every Sunday morning; Mrs. Dora Lassiter, 76, of Washington, D. C., and Mrs. Robert Harris, 78, of Fayetteville.
When Mrs. Briles was a young girl of 18 she traveled to Fairmont, Indiana with her older sister and an uncle in a wagon. After taking a look at the Hoosier state, she wanted to stay and got herself a job as nurse to an elderly couple at the fabulous salary of $1.50 per week plus room and board. She held this job for about 18 months until her older sister became ill with a fever and died. At this time her parents wanted her to return to North Carolina. She came back and in 1876 was married to the late J. L. Briles.
A strong robust woman in her younger years, Mrs. Briles could handle farm chores as well as her husband and often aided him in the production of their crops. In addition to this, she also sheared her own sheep; carded and spun her own yarn and made clothes for her family of nine children.
She became a member of Marlboro Friends church in childhood but later moved her membership to Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church with her husband and children.
Five of her nine children are still living and are scattered from Asheboro to Hollywood, California. They are Mrs. C. R. Crotts and Roland A. Briles of Asheboro, Mrs. G. W. Crotts of Hollywood, Calif. Ernest M. Briles of Archdale and Mrs. T. L. Parker of Mayesville, N.C.
Mrs. Briles entered Griffin clinic on May 9, 1941 because of declining health but she still sits up a little during the day. Doctors who examined her at the time were amazed at her excellent physical condition although she had difficulty in getting around.
During the more than 12 years she has been in the clinic, Mrs. Briles has made many friends and is known among members of the staff as “Grandma Briles.” Several of the nurses say that she is a model patient with one of them remarking, “I wish I thought I could have such a sunny disposition if I should live to be her age.”
Mrs. Briles was born on a farm near Hoover Hill gold mine west of town, next to the oldest of 12 children.
Nothing special has been planned for her birthday on Saturday but she will be looking forward to seeing many of her relatives.