Friday, October 13, 2006

A Lady Never Tells Her Age

From The Lima (Ohio) Times Democrat of Oct. 25, 1902:

The mystery of the age of Miss Harriet Blaine Cole of Cranbury, a cousin of the late James G. Blaine, was solved the other day, says a Trenton (N.J.) dispatch, when her effects were sold at auction. The eccentric woman would never tell her age and had cut the date of her birth from the family Bible in the house.

She died recently, leaving a fine collection of old books and bric-a-brac, which was sold at auction. Among the books sold was a small Bible which contained her name and the date of her birth, establishing her age as ninety-five years. Her boast that no one would ever know her age while she lived was correct, but her assertion that even when she was dead it was not to be learned proved incorrect.
As part of her disinformation campaign, Harriet told the census taker in 1880 that she was 67, but in 1900 said she was born in June of 1810.

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