Hattie (Walcott) Brownlee Gardner 1792--1898

The remarkable story of a little girl who worked in the household of General George Washington.


Hattie (Walcott) Brownlee Gardner, Obituary fom THE DECATUR REVIEW, Tuesday 15th November, 1898 page 5 column 2.

SHE WAS 106 YEARS OLD - Mrs. Hattie Gardner died Sunday morning - kept memory to the last - Until recently could walk to church unassisted.

Mrs. Hattie Gardner, who had reached the remarkable age of 106 years and 1 month died at 2:10 Sunday morning at the home of her son, Henry Brownlee, 72 Railroad avenue. 

Mrs. Gardner’s maiden name was Hattie Walcott, and her father, John Wolcott, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Gardner claimed when a girl she was employed in the household of General George Washington. She could tell many interesting things connected with colonial times. Her memory was remarkable good.

She was born in Bourbon County O.,* in October 1792. She married William Brownlee in Kentucky, and with her husband moved to Indiana. At that time the Indians were very troublesome in Indiana, and a great portion of her life in that state was filled with hardships. They came to Illinois thirty-five years ago. Mr. Brownlee died in 1854. Some time later she married Lemuel Gardner, who also died many years ago.

Mrs. Gardner has many descendants living in Illinois. She was the mother of twelve children. Those who are alive are Wyatt Brownlee, Mrs. James Burton, Mrs. Ann Schrantz, Henry Brownlee, James, Elizabeth and John Brownlee. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren number 300. On the occasion of the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of her birth she ate at a table at which sat five generations of her family.

She was extraordinarily well preserved, and apparently enjoyed the best of health until within the past year or two, when she failed fast. She was a member of the First M.E. Church, and until recent years was able to attend regularly, walking to the church.  She retained her mental faculties to the last. She knew that she had to die, and she called her children around her and told them goodbye.

The funeral will be held at 2 o’clock this afternoon. The services will be conducted by Rev. FINLEY. The internment will be at Greenwood.

From MACON COUNTY, IL DEATH RECORDS, Reg. 2 page 121, #4677

Hattie Gardner; female; white, age 105 yr 18 das; housewife; died Nov. 13, 1898; 2:10 p.m.; widow; American; born Ohio; resident of IL 44 years; Cause - Paralytic Dementia; ill several weeks; Undertaker - Peter Perl of Decatur; Physician - W.H. Bell M.D. of Decatur.

*There is no Bourbon Co. Ohio. Bourbon Co. KY created in 1785. Article about her 100th birthday on page 109 says near where Columbus is now situated.

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