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Daisy Harris celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 29 at a party held at the Ebenezer Primm Tower’s party room, with family and friends.
Daisy Harris was born on a very cold day in January of 1911 in Louisville, Mo.
Although her mother believed it was Jan. 27, the date on her birth certificate is Jan. 28, 1911. With more than a foot of snow on the ground and her mother in labor, Daisy’s dad went on a horse-drawn buggy to get the county doctor.
Daisy’s parents, James and Cordelia Palmer, lived with their 15 children on the 40-acre farm the Palmers received in 1865 after Lincoln freed the slaves.
In 1929, when Daisy was 17 years old, she joined her older sister America in Evanston. America, an excellent cook, worked for a lady who wanted a teenage girl to care for her kids. Daisy became a nursemaid and was paid $10 per week, a sum unheard of back then.
This was the time of the Great Depression, and Daisy was making more money than anyone could imagine. She said when she received her first $10 bill, she had to look twice to believe it was real. She continued to work as a nursemaid for many of the wealthy families on the North Shore, including one who paid her $15 a week in 1933. Daisy always had a job and worked hard all her life. In 1929, Daisy met some nice ladies who took her to Ebenezer A.M.E. Church where she has been a member for 82 years.
On August 17, 1935, she married King Edward Harris; their son, Jack, was born on July 8, 1936.
Of the 15 Palmer children, only Ms. Harris and her younger sister, Leona Harmon, are living today.
Her niece, Brenda Harris, said, “She has lived through trials, tribulations and sickness, but through it all she is blessed to live so long. She remembers it all and could tell things the history books could not.” Among other things, she has lived through 18 presidents.
“I have never hated. I did not hold grudges. That is the worst thing you could do,” Ms. Harris said.
Daisy Harris is now 100 years old and proud of it. She received congratulations from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Representative Jan Schakowsky, TV personality Willard Scott and President Barack Obama.