104 Candles - One to Grow On.
You sit there in front of this little white-haired woman. She cups her ear occasionally to hear, and always answers with a strong, sharp voice. And you wonder. How is it possible - at the age of 103?
"Granny Mounger," you ask, "Why do you figure you've lived so long and kept such good health?"
She slaps you on the knee and breaks out in a broad smile. "Honey,|" she says, "in th' first place, I never been run over."
You laugh with her. Then get down to the business of her 103rd birthday, just celebrated at Colonial Manor in McKinney.
People came from the forks of the creek to honor Mrs. Exie Virginia (Granny) Mounger this week. And the lively little Collin County pioneer didn't tolerate any soft soap scraping and bowing just because she's started her 104th year.
"When they brought th' cake and presents, I didn't carry on with all that stuff about you shouldn't a-done that, and so on," she explained. "I told 'em I deserved it. I've worked hard all my life, so bring on th' presents and cake, too!"
A Baptist delegation (she's Methodist) from Allen headed by Rev. Leon Chumley came in with cake and candles. Mrs. Lester Blue did the baking and Mrs. F. William topped it with 104 candles because "Granny wanted one to grow on."
She was born in Big Creek (Calhoun Co.), Miss, June 11, 1856. Hard work and religion, she says, have given her longevous pleasure. ""i was settin' back toward the window at Chapel Hill church in Calhoun County - to keep th' baby cool' an' took a notion to join the church all of a sudden. First thing I knowed, I was up there huggin' Brother Lawrence Kilgore, by my mind was on th' Lord")
Granny established residence at the McKinney home six years ago. She has lived in the Farmersville area since coming to Texas in 1892. Her husband died five years later.
Two sons, Joe of Farmersville, and Willie of California, have been sharing her celebration this week.
But she's glad to be back in her active stride again, "baby-sitting" with Doris and Mack Mannewite's children and joshing with some of the other 40 residents of Colonial Manor.
Granny believes that rigid vegetable diet has also helped her long life. "I've always been interested in other people, too. Helped take care of th' sick nigh onto 30 years." she adds. This this: "Don't forget t' say this is my 90th year dipping' snuff."
She gets around well with the aid of a wheeled walker, and although she shrugged in disgust at mention of hot toddy, her eyes gleamed and she quipped, "Oh, I like my dram all right... Wish you'd brought one."
State's Oldest Confederate Widow, 106, Lives in McKinney
McKinney - "Why, I've got this might near as old as I am." the state's oldest Confederate veteran's widow remarked, a twinkle in her pale blue years.
"Granny" Exetor Mounger even at 106 hasn't lost her sense of humor and the zest for life that have endorsed her to the staff of a rest home here where she lives.
While posing for her pictures, Granny, now bed-ridden, was excited as any school girl. "I bet I have had my picture taken in this room at least 40 times. And I still enjoy it." she said.
Mrs. Mounger came to the rest home from Farmersville about 10 years ago.
Of her children she said, "Let me see. There were nine of them. Four girls and five body." Only one of them William Mounger of Long Beach, Calif, has outlived Mrs. Mounger.
She said her husband was a "cowboy" soldier (cavalryman) for the South and fought in many battles. Her own father was killed during the War Between the States.
Granny was born in Big Creek, Miss., June 11, 1856, and her maiden name was Wallace. At 15 she married the ex-Confederate soldier, 11 years her senior, in 1871. They moved to Texas that same year.
The couple lived in Sherman for a few years in the 1890s "I bet that's why the Sherman Democrat is doing a story on me. They still remember me over there."
Mrs. Mounger;s husband, who had turned to farming after the Civil War, died in 1898 at the age of 53. Shortly after his death Granny moved in with her son Joe in Farmersville. She lived there 53 years before going to the McKinney home.
Although Joe is now dead, her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Joe Mounger of Farmersivlle, is still one of Granny's regular visitors.
Mrs. Mounger is one of 78 Confederate widows in Texas drawing state pensions. The last of the Confederate veterans died several years ago.
[Granny Mounger died in February of 1964 at the age of 107 and is buried in the Verona Cemetery. Services were held at the First Methodist Church of Farmersville.]