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BIOGRAPHY

Druse was born in Kahoka, Missouri, USA, on 21 July 1867, to parents Samuel Davalt (1836–1926) and Marium Coffeen (1842–1928). She had two brothers and three sisters. In 1876, at the age of 8, she attended the Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, along with her family. She attended a one-room schoolhouse that also served as a church, where she would regularly attend every Sunday.

As a young woman, she moved to Chicago, where she would work as a dress designer in a fashionable salon. In 1903, she married Warren Druse (1869–1924). The couple had one daughter, Lucille Eunice Mariah Lura (1908–1990), but she also raised her husband’s four children from a previous marriage. Her husband was a mechanic, handyman, and inventor. In 1905 and 1906, the couple went to Oklahoma Territory and established a photography business. After a year or two, they relocated to Stronghurst, Illinois, where they launched a new photography business. Her husband registered the first U.S. patent for recapping tires and for first circular mold to produce tire treads.

In 1922, the family moved from Missouri to Oskaloosa, Iowa. Around that time, her husband suffered a severe injury to his ribs and lungs while employed as head carpenter in the railroad yards in Oskaloosa. He would die just two years later. Earlier, both had worked as photographers, a hobby she enjoyed along with painting and crocheting until her eyesight began to decline around the age of 104. At the age of 75, she fractured a hip, but it wasn’t until she broke a knee at 97 that she moved into a nursing home.

Druse passed away in Zearing, Iowa, USA, on 22 January 1978, at the age of 110 years, 185 days. The inscription on her gravestone reads, “The World’s Oldest Methodist” and “Iowa’s Oldest Resident.”

RECOGNITION

Her age was verified by Nick Eriksson, Anson Davis, Daniel Gonik, and Jimmy Lindberg, and validated by LongeviQuest on 13 October 2023.

Her age was verified by Nick Eriksson, Anson Davis, Daniel Gonik, and Jimmy Lindberg, and validated by LongeviQuest on 13 October 2023.

ATTRIBUTION

* “Minnie Ellis Davalt Druse” – Find A Grave

* “Plan open house to honor 100-year-old Nevada woman” – Ames Daily Tribune, 3 January 1967

* “Iowan, 108, recalls U.S. centennial” – The Des Moines Register, 19 July 1976

* “Iowa’s oldest resident, 110, dies” – The Des Moines Register, 24 January 1978

GALLERY

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