VAN WERT — Esther Fox will be 100 years old on Jan. 15, 2014. There will be a celebration reception for her on Sunday, Jan. 12 at her church, Pleasant Chapel, on old Route 30, at 11 a.m. after the Sunday morning worship. There will also be an open house at Esther’s home on Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. All are welcome to stop by to see her at 308 N. Walnut St., Van Wert. Also, please consider sending her a birthday card.
Esther was born to Emerson and Ida Haines on Jan. 15, 1914. The family of six resided on an 80-acre farm in Williams County, 10 miles west of Montpelier, Ohio. Emerson was a farmer and Ida was a homemaker and 4-H leader. Together they raised cows, pigs, and chickens with many types of crops, fruits and vegetables. The crops and eggs, if not used to feed the animals were sold. They farmed with four work horses. They never owned a tractor.
Esther, who was salutitorian of her high school senior class at the age of 15, went to Bowling Green State University where she received her associates degree in elementary education. She then taught for a few years in a one-room school house.
She married Harmon Fox in 1935. They eventually moved to Van Wert County with their four children: Gloria (Larry) Wendel, Danny (Karen) Fox, David (Carol) Fox, and Jeanne (Jim) Rosendahl.
Esther and Harmon lived on Richey Road for 40 years, after which they moved to Walnut Street in Van Wert. Esther then taught at Union School, part of the Convoy-Union and now Crestview school district. Harmon worked for the Farm Bureau in Van Wert, and later Harthorne-Seving company which sold grain elevator machinery. In addition he was a partner in the Bryan elevator and Elevator Services in Beaverdam. Harmon passed away in 1998. Esther is still living at home with her caregivers.
Esther is of that generation who has seen more changes in the world than any other time in the history of mankind. As a child, she rode in a buggy and bobsled pulled by horses, to church, walked to a one-room school house, lived on a farm that used a windmill and outdoor hand pump for water, and her dad farmed with horses. Her family made their own clothes, quilts, butter, separated their own cream, canned their own fruits, vegetables, and meats, used a wood-cooking stove, a black telephone on the wall, and listened to the Lone Ranger on their radio.
She has progressed with society to cars, planes, rockets, computers, cell phone, and drones. What she has seen, no generation before her has seen.
Finally, Esther has been blessed to have been raised in a Christian family and has passed her strong faith down to her four children, 13 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren.