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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/105

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THE PROLONGATION OF HUMAN LIFE.

Occupations.—One of the most significant facts gathered in this canvass is that regarding occupations. Out of 1,000 men, throughout life 461 have been farmers; 92 have been carpenters; 70, merchants; 61, mariners; 49, laborers; 42, shoemakers; 41, manufacturers; 23, clergymen; 23, masons; 16, blacksmiths; 16, bankers; 12 each, iron-workers, mill-hands, physicians, and lawyers; and the rest are divided among nearly all the other trades and professions. The list includes only one each of the following: Hermit, hunter, chemist, professor, soldier, broker, auctioneer, jockey, contractor. Nearly all, however, began life upon the farm.

Eight hundred out of twelve hundred women have been farmers' wives, and all but about fifty of the remainder have been housewives. Four women only, all unmarried, have supported themselves through life by inherited wealth, and are now aged respectively eighty-two, eighty-three, eighty-six, and ninety. Three other unmarried women have been milliners, and six, one unmarried, have been dress-makers. Seven, two unmarried, have been nurses. Six, two unmarried, have been school-teachers.

Among the hundreds of remarkable instances which illustrate constancy of occupation cited by the correspondents are a few that I can not refrain from giving, because I believe that they point to a very important fact, and at the same time make most interesting reading:

Elijah Tolman, of Brockton, Mass., is eighty-five, and was a stage-driver for thirty years. For the past seven years he has worked in charge of a coal-office, and has been but one day from his duties in that time.

Andrew Stetson, of Duxbury, Mass., is ninety-five, and was constantly employed all his life making shoes until one year ago.

Aaron Farnham, of Cambridge, Mass., aged eighty-seven, sold Bibles in Vermont for seventy years.

Daniel Bigelow, of Athol, Mass., now eighty-seven, has worked as a farmer for seventy-seven years, and mowed grass with a scythe for seven tons of hay the past summer.

William E. Cook, of Portsmouth, R. I., is eighty-nine, a blacksmith, and still works in his shop six days each week.

Ira Chamberlain, of Bangor, Me., aged ninety-five, worked at the tailor's trade until his last birthday.

Thaddeus Rising, of Hatfield, Mass., is eighty, and works daily, as he has for the past sixty years, at his trade of whip-maker.

Mrs. Jane Huntress, of Augusta, Me., ninety-two years of age, still does her own cooking, washing, ironing, and garden-work. Since she was fifty-five she has earned the money for and built a fine house, going herself to the mill and selecting the lumber, and superintending the building operations. She is one of twelve children, all born without the aid of a physician.