File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by: Clyde Watson firstname.lastname@example.org November 28, 2008, 8:32 pm
Savannah Morning News February 28, 1913 "PRIG" BEASLEY, 101 YEARS OLD, WAS BORN FEBRUARY 29 Bulloch County Citizen Prepares to Celebrate His Birthday Has Seen Many Changes Take Place
28 February 1913
Statesboro, Ga. Feb. 28: Pridgen "Prig" Beasley, born February 29, 1812, will celebrate his 101st birthday tomorrow st his home near Statesboro. Mr. Beasley is the oldest man in Bulloch county and is probably the oldest man in the state born in a leap year and on the 29th of February, He has a real birthday only once in four years, but the members of his family always observe either February 28th or March 1st as the anniversary of this event. An interesting incident in connection with Mr. Beasley's anniversary is that while he grows another year older he will have to live through three more before he can claim a real birthday. He was born in the upper part of Bulloch county February 29, 1812 and was reared on a fArm in that section and has lived there all his long life. IS GROWING BLIND According to some of the relatives, Mr. Beasley has been in feeble health for the past several weeks and is said to be growing blind. Mr. Beasley was twice married, first to Miss Martha Anderson of this county, by whom three children, Mrs. Elizabeth Bird of Orlando , la., Mrs. M. J. Green of Bulloch county, and Mrs. G. T. Brewton, of McRae, Ga., now service. By his second wife, who was a Miss Roe, and is still living, one son, D. O. Beasley of this county, the only child of the second union, survives. A. B. Green of Statesboro is one of the grandchildren. Just how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren have come from this centenarian would take some calculations according to relatives. The family is one of longevity and the oldest child now in the 60's, is said to look much younger.
FOUGHT the INDIANS Although over 100 years old Mr. Beasley has fought in bust one war, doing service in Florida during the Indian war. When the civil war came on he was beyond the age limit and did not serve in the army. Mr. Beasley now lives inths same place he did 101 years ago. He saw Bulloch county when it was a wilderness with no railroads in this section., all conveyances being made by road carts and horseback, and all trading, what little there was at that time, was done in Savannah, making weekly or monthly trips to that place, picking their way through the narrow paths and requiring weeks and often longer, to make return trips. FAILING IN HEALTH Up to a few weeks aago before Mr. Beasley began to fail in health, he got around his place equal to a man of 50 years his junior. He has followed the pursuits of the farm his entire life and up to a few weeks ago did actual work, and by his energy has made a success of that business. It is interesting to hear Mr. Beasley tell of the old days in this county, when there was nothing here, and make a comparison between that time and this, when his home now has a long distance telephone, his front gate swept by flying automobiles, he reads in the daily papers delivered to him every day before the ink is scarcely dry, of the airships and other wonders of the world, all of which were never dreamed of as possibilities in his boyhood days. Mr. Beasley probably has a record held by no other person in the world, living to be over 100 years old and having but twenty-five actual birthdays. When he reached 100 years relatives and friends gathered from severa counties around until there was an estimated crowd of 1,500 people.