Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sarah Ann Hayward Turns 100

The drama of American life for the past century has been an exciting one for Mrs. Sarah Hayward, 550 Fifth Street, Chula Vista, California [an address which does not seem to exist anymore], who celebrated her 100th birthday quietly Friday.

Sarah Ann Cripps Hayward (right) and two of her daughters.

Still vitally interested in passing events, Mrs. Hayward’s eyes shone Friday when a group of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gave her a surprise party.

The huge birthday cake bore only a single candle marking one century.

Born when the picturesque Andrew Jackson was just completing his second term [beginning his first term] in the White House, Mrs. Hayward set sail from England when only 22 years old. The sailing ship took three [actually two] months to cross the Atlantic.

With a party of Mormon emigrants, Mrs. Hayward sailed up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa, where they took the covered wagons for Salt Lake City to join Brigham Young. “It took us nine months [actually less than four] to cross the plains,” she said, “But we experienced no difficulties; as a matter of fact, the first accident we had was near Salt Lake City, in Emigration Canyon, when one of the wagon wheels broke.”

Mrs. Hayward told of the day in Salt Lake City when floods of crickets “that hid the sun” swooped down and destroyed all of the crops. “We asked God for help and He sent hordes of His seagulls from the Great Salt Lake to devour the crickets,” exclaimed the 100-year-old woman. “That was the only time in my life I ever had to get‚ but we all did. We had to eat roots and sego lilies and make our tea from leaves to keep body and soul together.”

Mrs. Hayward smiled as she recalled the “Golden Spike celebration, held at Corrine, [Promontory Summit,] Utah, when the governor of California drove the golden spike that joined the steel rails from the east and west.”

The Chula Vista centenarian has five [eleven] children, 98 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Three of her great-grandchildren are married.

She has seen 20 American Presidents come and go. Three have been assassinated during her lifetime. The nation has engaged in four major wars—Mexican, Civil, Spanish-American and World—during her lifetime.

From a clipping from an unidentified newspaper. No date. Sarah Ann Hayward turned 100 on August 1, 1930, which gives an approximate date, and the papers running in San Diego County that year were Sud-California Deutsche Zeitung (which can probably be ruled out), The Evening Tribune, The Fallbrook Enterprise (unlikely), and The San Diego Sun (the most likely source).

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