Saturday, November 13, 2010

Centenarian Behind the Wheel

Uriah Bell owned and operated a cigar and soft drink stand on the grounds of the Texas Confederate Home for Men and, apparently, saved a good share of his profits. In 1924 for his hundredth birthday, Bell bought himself an automobile and took driving lessons.

(I don’t know whether to be more concerned for the poor driving instructor who had to share the front seat with a 100-year-old Civil War veteran or for Austin’s pedestrians and drivers who had to dodge the centenarian and his new car.)

Born in Tennessee in 1824, Bell came to Hillsboro, Texas, in 1860. He served in Company K, Eighth Texas Infantry, Walker’s Texas Brigade, and was admitted to the Home on April 1, 1912.

Uriah Bell, 101 years old and reportedly the oldest inmate of the Home at the time, died at the Texas Confederate Home for Men in March 1925 “after a brief illness due to the infirmities of old age.” You can find his headstone in the Texas State Cemetery.

See Dallas Morning News, March 23, 1925

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