The six living children of Beldon & Betsy Crim. Left to right - Halbert Crim, Ruby Crim Jacobson (the honored guest), Severt Crim, Lola Crim, Helen Crim Bergman, Charles Crim.
by Audrienne Swedlund
Reprinted from The Stratford Courier, Wednesday, August 18, 1999
We keep reading and hearing the same question over and over. Are you ready for Y2K? 1 think --- no I'm quite sure --- I know one person who is ready for the next century! Her name is Ruby Crim Jacobson.
Last Sunday, August 15, 1999, some 80+ relatives gathered at the former home of Ruby Crim and her husband Victor Jacobson. Victor has been gone for 30 years. But that hasn't stopped Ruby. She continued to live on at the big white farmhouse southeast of Stanhope, using a riding mower to care for her large yard, and keeping her flowerbeds neat and tidy. A few years back she moved in with her sister, Lola Crim, of Boone. Then, a couple of years ago, Ruby made one more move - to the Stratford Care Center. That's not many moves for a woman who will celebrate her birthday in the early days of the new century. On January 18, 2000, Ruby Crim Jacobson will celebrate a century of life - 100 years!!
The 'pre-birthday party' her daughters organized was a preliminary to the big day. Is she looking forward to that next milestone? "I feel pretty good. I don't have any pain. I eat what I should. I sleep good at night. I'll make it to my 100th birthday."
This philosophy of Ruby surely must touch her family. After all, she is the eldest now, and she is in charge! Ruby Crim was the second child of Beldon and Betsy Mathre Crim She had an older brother, Floyd, who died several years ago. "Floyd got run over when he was about four years old. The doctor came, and said if he lived until 11 o'clock, he'd make it. My dad thought Floyd would never be able to farm, so he saved some money for school." Floyd never did farm, but he became the manager of the Stanhope Co-op Elevator.
Next came Ruby - but let's go on to the rest of the 9 children.
Brother Edgar was a farmer, was an avid basketball fan, and still loved to go dancing before his death. He died in 1997, at the age of 95.
Lola, 96, has never married. She lives in her own home in Boone and cares for herself. One of Ruby's brothers confided Lola still has her own teeth, and her mind is extremely sharp!
Genevieve wasn't 70 years old when she died. She was a nurse and her husband was a doctor. They lived in Minot, ND.
Severt, now 92, was quite a ball player in his early days. He and his wife, Margaret, have retired from their farm and now live in Stratford.
Charles was 90 his last birthday. He has always had a great love of dogs. He and wife Mildred have retired from their farm and now live in Boone.
Halbert served in WW II in the Artillery section for about 4 years, ending up in the South Pacific. Halbert and his wife, Patti, are retired from farming, and live on their farm southwest of Stanhope.
Helen Crim Bergman, at 86 years, is the baby of the family. She was a rural school teacher before her marriage to Leonard Bergman, who operated Bergman's Grocery in Stratford.
Let's get back to the 'birthday girl'. Ruby's two daughters) and sons-in-law were in charge of the day. Marjorie Pederson and her husband, Harvey, live at Thompson, IA. They are the parents of four children, and one of their sons, Carl, lives in the old family home. The loving care he had given to the farmyard was not lost to his grandmother. Daughter Ilene Kunin and her husband, Calvin, came from Columbus, OH for the occasion. Ilene brought the huge gold banner that was staked out in the yard. In red letters it read, "Ruby's 100th celebration". The red' and gold were appropriate colors. Ruby, you see, attended Iowa State for two years and was a country school teacher for over four years.
When we drove into the yard someone directed us where to park our car. A long table with lemonade and other cold drinks was set out in the yard. People were seated in chairs placed in the shade. Besides the visiting, many were taking pictures of the honored guest and pictures of cousins, aunts and uncles.
There was also activity to the south of the back door. A ramp, placed out from the front door for the use of wheel chairs, had been taken over by some twenty or more smaller children. It was a child's dream for coasting out into the yard!!
Back some years, no one could tell me just when, it became a custom for the Crim families to gather at Ruby's and Victor's home each August. "We had a lot of August' birthdays to celebrate" was the information given by Polly Crim Rinehart, a great niece of, thehonored guest. Ruby explained that they didn't just come in August. Many years "everyone would gather between Christmas and New Years. That way, everyone could celebrate with their own family on the holiday."
The guests were not all just 'Crims'! Ruby and her brothers' and sisters' mother' was Betsy Mathre. Through the years, the annual gatherings had · grown to include the Mathre cousins.
"We didn't usually have a meal together. We'd get together, and in the summertime sometimes we'd have watermelon. Unless it was raining, everybody stayed outside."
It was truly a day to enjoy –the
outdoors, the love and closeness of family. A day to share memories. It
was a special day - an early celebration of Ruby's 100th !! That way, we
know she will be ready for Y2K!!
Ruby was truly the honored guest at the family gathering.
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