The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, March l, l900

Friday, Feb. 9, l900, being G.D. VAN BEEK's 85th birthday, his Comrades and the ladies of W.R.C. concluded it would be a good time to pay our respects to him for we all know he enjoys these gatherings of his old Comrades and friends. So we plotted against the peace of all the VAN BEEK family by not giving them the least hint of what was going on until about l0 a.m. when the ladies began to arrive with well filled baskets, then the excitement began. Comrade VAN BEEK said it made him feel as young as a boy of sixteen, and it made us feel glad to see him enjoy himself, for not many men live to be as old as Comrade VAN BEEK and carry thimselves as upright and spry as he does, always glad to see his friends, and enjoy their society.

About l2:30 dinner was announced and the Comrades and a few of the ladies surrounded the table. A few remarks by one of the Comrades congratulating Comrade VAN BEEK on his honorable life and service to his country. He and his wife replied thanking the ladies and friends for their kindness. Invocation by Comrade VAN BEEK, and then we went to work on the good things before us, under the load of which the table fairly groaned. The ladies of the W.R.C. are good cooks as well as loyal women, and the way J.M. SYLVESTER and S.L. WOOD got out side that grub would cause Commissioner EVANS, if he knew it, to reduce their pension to about $2. per month.

After dinner, roll was called and a list of names and the ages of those present were obtained:

Comrades G.D. VAN BEEK, 85.
W.C. WHEELER, 72.
S.H. RADNICH, 7l.
J. MCCARTNEY, 68.
J.W. VALENTINE, 62.
S.L. WOOD, 62.
J.M. SYLVESTER, 60.
T.E.S. DOSS, 59.

Ladies of W.R.C. were:

Mesdames RHODA HAWKINS, 8l.
MARY VAN BEEK, 57.
MARY PRUYN, 57.
MARY WOOD, 54.
SUSAN VALENTINE, 54.
MARY WHEELER, 53.
MAGGIE SYLVESTER, 5l.
MATTIE ROBINSON, 48.
JENNIE SEVERE, 37.
CHRISTINE TEALE, 33.
GERTRUDE GRIMES, 25.
MISSES OLA FENT, 22.
MARY FREEMAN, 2l.
EMMA VAN BEEK, 20.
CORA SYLVESTER, l5.

The aggregate ages of the eight Comrades was 539, average age, sixty-seven and three-eighths; aggregate age of the fifteen ladies present was 608, average age, forty and eight-fifteenths.

-- ONE WHO WAS THERE.

Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
October l6, 2003