I apologize for my long absence from writing for this blog, but I intend to dive back in this week and be less erratic in my posts in the future.
This week I want to write about an “ordinary” Laurel County woman whose only claim to fame–as far as I can tell– is the fact that she lived to the age of 100 years, 7 months and 13 days, which is an extraordinary achievement in itself and I thought it should be recognized.
The woman’s name was Mina Ott Jones Hauselman, but was known to most people as “Aunt Minnie.”
She was born on March 29, 1895 in Bernstadt, Laurel County, Kentucky, a daughter of Reinhardt and Elyza (Elsie) Geiser Ott.
Her parents were born in Switzerland and came to Laurel County to settle in the Swiss Colony at Bernstadt.
Mina attended school and completed the fifth grade.
She first married Calvin Uthank “Thank” Jones in 1910 and the couple had two sons and a daughter: Rexford G. Jones, Walter Leander Jones (who died in infancy), and Daisy Jones.
Thank Jones died in 1928, and Mina was left to raise two young children on her own, so she went to work to support her family.
The 1930 census lists Mina’s occupation as a general merchant working in the retail industry. Under the heading “class of worker” is listed “working on own account.”
Did that mean she was a door-to-door salesperson? That she owned her own retail business? Her parents owned a store in Bernstadt, so perhaps she worked for them on commission. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find out specifically what she did for a living during my brief research into her life.
By 1940, Mina was married to Paul Hauselman. Her obituary did not list any children for this marriage, and her obituary says she was preceded in death by three children and both her husbands, so I presume she and Paul never had children of their own.
Paul had children from a previous marriage, though, two of whom survived Mina. She was also survived by five nieces and one nephew.
Mina was a member of the Swiss Colony Baptist Church and the Swiss Descendants Club.
Some items from her life are at the Laurel County History Museum and Genealogy Center, Inc. if you’d like to stop by and see them. The photos in this blog are courtesy of the Museum, also.
After a long life, Mina died on November 11, 1995 and was buried in the Swiss Colony Cemetery.
Although “Aunt Minnie” never achieved fame for deeds like running for public office or being an architectural genius, in her 100-plus years in Laurel County she must have touched many, many lives and made an impact on the people who knew and loved her.
What more could be said of any human being?
Rest in peace, Aunt Minnie. I know you are missed.
Danna C. Estridge,