The Unity Lutheran School Limberlost Girl Scout Troop 720 held a 100th birthday party for Josie Dull Manter at the Villa of the Woods on February 13th. After the residents and Girl Scouts made a craft, and played two valentine games, they had cake and punch. The girls presented Josie with an extra large birthday card that they had made, a CD of the music from the last 100 years and sang her happy birthday. Several of Josie’s relatives also attended the party.
Josie shared information about her life with the girls. She was born in 1908 in Rockford, Ohio, attended a one-room schoolhouse at the age of six with a teacher dressed in a long dress and high top shoes. The teacher taught all eight grades together with an average of 16 students. A wood stove heated the school and the older boys cut the wood. The light for the school was provided by lamps on the wall. The students used slates to write on since they had no notebook paper or pens, just ink wells. She lost her mother at age 7 and was placed in an orphanage. A Canadian woman kidnapped her while she was at the orphanage and took her to Canada and forced her to work on a farm. Josie was able to get information to her father, who contacted the FBI, and with the assistance of the Canadian Mounted Police were able to get her back home. She left school in the 6th grade to help take care of her father’s house. In 1924 she left home at the age of 16 to work as a maid. She met her husband on a blind date and was married in 1925 after a 9 month courtship.
Josie provided an opportunity for the girls to experience history in a way that few of their peers will ever be able to since she lived through the era that they have studied in 20th century history.
It was evident that the girls enjoyed being with the residents and the residents waited with anticipation for the girls next visit. The girls got to know the residents in October as a service project. They had so much fun that the residents invited them back. That is when the Girl Scouts held a Christmas party for the residents in December. While interacting with the residents, they learned about the 100th birthday in February.
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