100 years old and still going strong
Walter Horton has seen some really good times and has seen some really bad times, but he has always maintained a good, positive attitude. Maybe that’s why he is celebrating his 100th birthday today.
Horton was born Oct. 13, 1919, and grew up on a farm near Chattanooga, where he moved from Lewisville, Texas, where he was born. He also spent time near Walters and graduated from Apeatone School.
“I picked cotton and worked for some other farmers in that area,” Horton said. “We worked hard and were survivors of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl era. I remember one time, it got so dark in the middle of the day because of a dust storm that the chickens thought it was time to roost, and they all went to bed.”
Horton went on to say that the family grew up poor, but so did everyone else.
“We had a big garden and ate lots of rabbits and squirrels,” he said. “We also had a meat locker in town that we kept our butchered cows, pigs, chickens and our herd of turkeys. My mom always made sure that all of the seven kids had a piece of meat in their lunchbox.”
He recalls when he learned how to kill and cook chicken with the help of his sister.
“When I was 11-years-old, the whole family, with the exception of myself and my sister, came down with smallpox,” he said. “My mother gave us step-by-step instructions on how to kill and prepare the chickens. We did what she told us and the family ate for awhile without them having to get out of bed. They were all so sick and we took care of them and helped where we could. I was glad that everyone survived and eventually got well.”