Frances Chapman celebrated her 100th birthday on May 25 with several friends and family members. Chapman said that her 100th birthday was great, and she loved being surrounded by her family and friends. Chapman said her 100th birthday was the same as any other birthday she had.
“It felt no different than it did when I turned 99,” said Chapman.
Chapman was born on May 25, 1919. She grew up in the town of Taylorsville, North Carolina. Taylorsville is nestled in the foothills of the Brushy Mountains in Western North Carolina and is located north of Charlotte. She went to Taylorsville High School.
Chapman started school in the first grade, and she graduated after the eleventh grade. She had five sister and one brother. One of her sisters is still living, and that sister is 97 years old. Chapman got married when she was 16 years old. She and her husband moved to Baltimore because he got a job in the shipyard. Then they moved to Florida, and after a while they decided to more back home to North Carolina.
They moved back home and built their dream house. Chapman moved to Scottsboro after her husband passed away, and she now lives with her daughter, June Corren. She attends the First United Methodist Church on Broad Street, and she said that her faith is one of the most important things in her life.
Family is also one of the most important things in Chapman’s life. She said that her greatest memories are being at her momma’s house on Sundays with all of her sisters. She said those were her happiest days. She has several nieces and nephews who call her regularly to check up on her and just to chat. Several of them came to her birthday celebration.
Chapman said that times have changed dramatically in the last 100 years.
“Times have changed,” said Chapman. “I don’t think they could change much more.”
She said that she remembers when gas was fifteen cents per gallon, and the store owner would pump the gas for her. She has many memories of famous events that happened in American history.
She lived through the Great Depression, which she says was one of the worst times she can remember. She was alive for the Stock Market crash in 1929 and lived through the Great Depression. She was 22 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, launching the United States into World War II, and she saw the end of WWII four years later. She was 44 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.
Six years later, she witnessed Neil Armstrong become the first man to walk on the moon. Woods lived through the Watergate Scandal in the early 1970s, and the terrorist attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Chapman has witnessed many events that have influenced life in America, and she hopes to witness many more.