The oldest verified living person in the world at the time of her death at age 114 years, 195 days was born today in 1896. Now WE know em

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Eunice Allen Lyons was born July 20, 1896 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Eunice first married Joe Orchin in November of 1913. They had a daughter, Dorothy Orchin, who was born in 1915.

In 1928, her husband Joe Orchin was killed in an accident.

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Eunice then married Wesley Garrett, and in 1937, she moved along with her husband and daughter to Jacksonville, Texas, where she would reside the rest of her life.

Perhaps Eunice’s most widely recognized accomplishment was the construction of the Love’s Lookout Recreation Park. She and husband, Wesley Garrett, built the park in 1937, shortly after they moved to Texas.

Love’s Lookout postcard from 1939

Love’s Lookout postcard from 1939

The site of the Lookout had previously been a peach orchard owned by John Wesley Love.

Wesley and Eunice Garrett purchased 9 acres of land with C. J. Barbier and opened the Lookout in 1937.

Their swimming pool was the first cement pool in East Texas and included underwater lighting.

At the time of its opening, a day-long swim and bathing suit rental were available for ten cents. Portraits of Dagwood and Blondie, Alley Oop and Daisy Mae were painted on the bath house wall.

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The Lookout was closed for four years during World War II.

In 1945, it was re-opened by Eunice’s daughter Dorothy and son-in-law, Ernest Hendrick.

The Hendricks operated the Lookout until Ernest’s death in 1982, at which time Dorothy closed it down.

The view from Love's Lookout, just outside Jacksonvile, Texas

The view from Love’s Lookout, just outside Jacksonvile, Texas

“It had the first concrete swimming pool between Dallas and Shreveport, it was a nice facility, and it was her goal in life to build it.” Cherokee County Historical Commission member Shelley Cleaver

Eunice’s park was a hotspot for fun for decades. It was located near the current Love’s Lookout Visitor Center, and buildings from the recreation park still sat on the original site as late as 2004, when the structures were finally demolished.

 

After Wesley Garrett died, Eunice married Grant Sanborn. He then died in 1979.

Her daughter, Dorothy Orchin Hendrick, died in 2005 at the age of 90.

 

American Supercentenarian (someone who has lived more than 110 years)

Eunice became one of the 50 verified longest lived people in the United States on March 2, 2010.

Eunice Sanborn was thought to be the oldest verified living person in the world upon the death of Eugenie Blanchard November 4, 2010.

On January 27, 2011, Eunice became one of the 40 undisputed oldest people.

 

Eunice Allen Lyons Orchin Garrett Sanborn died January 31, 2011, at the age of 114 years, 195 days, in the same house on Bonner Street in Jacksonville that she had lived in since 1940.

Subsequently, her family claimed that the Census Bureau erroneously recorded her birth year, and that she was actually born July 20, 1895.

Eunice Sanborn has been recognized as the 43rd oldest person in history, and the oldest verified person born in the state of Louisiana.

 

Now WE know em

 

 

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