Published unknown newspaper : Sunday June 9, 1940
Hard Work Is Secret of
Longevity, Man, 93, Says
Calvin Reavis, whose time is taken up these days with keeping his large potato
plantings clean of weeds -- and who will celebrate his ninety-fourth birthday Aug.15
--says he isn't ready to "die of old age yet," although he declared he wouldn’t
like to live another life span of the length to which he has stretched his years.
Mr. Reavis, whose oldest son James Reavis, a cobbler in Burlington Junction,
is seventy-two years, was
was twenty-two years old,
when he moved to
fifty-one years ago, getting off the train at Quitman.
With the century mark apparently within easy reach, Mr. Reavis is continuing his
doctrine of “hard work” for longevity by tending the garden plot of his home in
Burlington Junction, and, in addition,has planted a whole city lot of potatoes on a lot
he owns across the street. The lot formerly had a house on it, but since that has
burned down, Mr. Reavis has had the ground in potatoes—all cleanly hoed.
To Town in February
Since his wife died, eight years ago, he has lived part of the time with some of
his children. At present, he is "batching" at the town house rather than live a mile
off a mail route with a daughter. He moved into town last February.
Mr. Reavis likes to tell a little joke on himself, illustrating the use to which
he puts his spectacles, which he uses only for reading. Last week, he said, he
discovered that he had lost the glasses, and spent a whole day retracing his
steps, unavailingly, in search of the lost pair. Despairing of finding them, he went
down town and purchased another pair. The next day he was down in the cave
sprouting potatoes, and there he found the glasses he had lost two days before.
Aside from a slight defect of his right ear, his hearing also is excellent. He had
a "gathering" in his right ear some years ago, he said, and since that time the
hearing of the ear has been affected to such an extent that when his left ear on a
pillow he "can't hear a clock tick across the room."
Is "Rebel" Veteran
Mr. Reavis, so far as he knows, is the only surviving “rebel” veteran left in
about fifteen or twenty Union men with John Hagey, Bill Smith, and himself
representing the South. During the Civil War he served the Confederacy as a
member of the 1st
as a guard at a prison camp. After a tour in a hospital, he was on furlough
when his command surrendered.
farms in the vicinity of Burlington Junction, Skidmore, and Quitman, and raised
nine of a family of eleven children. The oldest child is James Reavis; next is
Mrs. Minnie Kaufman, Skidmore; Mrs. Nettie Dunkle, Quitman, and Phil
Mr. Reavis also related the beginning of his family tree. The name Reavis,
he said, is as new as
who came to
Ashley changed his name to Reavis, “getting a new name for a new country.”