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Calvin Reavis


Published unknown newspaper :   Sunday June 9, 1940


Hard Work Is Secret of

    Longevity, Man, 93, Says



BURLINGTON JUNCTION, Mo.June 8.---(Special)---

    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 born in Yadkinville, N.C., in 1846 and lived there until he

was twenty-two years old, when he moved to Indiana. He came to Nodaway County

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

northwest Missouri. When he came to Burlington Junction, he said, there were

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 North Carolina battalion of junior reserves. He first went to

Camp Vance and later was sent to Salisbury, N.C., where he was stationed

as a guard at a prison camp. After a tour in a hospital, he was on furlough

when his command surrendered.


   Since coming to Nodaway County, Mr. Reavis has spent most of his time on

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

Marshal U.S. Reavis, Burlington Junction; Mrs. Lulu Hull, Quitman; Mrs. Betty

J. Gordan, Mincoe,Okla.; G.H. Reavis, Cinncinnati; Frank Reavis , St. Joseph;

Mrs. Minnie Kaufman, Skidmore; Mrs. Nettie Dunkle, Quitman, and Phil

Reavis, Casper, Wyo.


   Mr. Reavis also related the beginning of his family tree.  The name Reavis,

he said, is as new as America, having been adopted by and Edward Ashley,

who came to America from England with Ashley Cooper about 1650, and landed

at about Charleston, S.C., and later went to Virginia. In Virginia, Mr. Reavis said,

Ashley changed his name to Reavis, “getting a new name for a new country.”