The Davenport (Iowa) Daily Gazette. Sunday Morning November 30, 1884
ONE HUNDRED AND NINE Mrs. Anastasia McGuire, the oldest woman in Iowa dies of old age at Mercy Hospital
Yesterday afternoon there occurred from St. Margarette’schurch the funeral of Mrs. Anastasia McGuire, relict of Patrick McGuire, who without a doubt was the oldest woman in this state. She died of old age on Friday (Nov.28) afternoon at 2 o’clock at Mercy Hospital where she been nearly four years in the care of the Sisters of Mercy. She retained her faculties to a remarkable degree up to within four months of her death, being able to remember events of nearly a century ago with great clearness even as to detail. Her eyesight and hearing were only slightly impaired and she was able to walk about her room at the hospital until less than a year ago. About four months ago she was taken sick and never recovered from its effects. Her memory seemed shattered and she was not able to recognize the old friends who called to see her. From that time her strength began to fail and it gradually wasted away until the last summons came Friday afternoon. Mrs. McGuire was born in Ireland in 1775. She was married at Kilkenny to Patrick McGuire and early in this century came to Nova Scotia and settled at Prince Edward’s Island and lived there many years. Late in the forties the family moved to Davenport, which was then a small village. Mr. McGuire worked hard and managed after many years to buy a home on the corner ofNinth and Perry Sts. He resided until his death about sixteen years ago. He also attained an age beyond that ordinarily allotted to man, being over 90 years old at his death. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McGuire. The oldest, Hanora is a resident of Prince Edward’s Island, where she married before the rest of the family moved to this city.The next was Mrs. Mary McGuire Webster who moved to Pella, Iowa after her marriage and then moved further west a number of years ago, after which nothing was ever heard from her. Son Richard moved south and joined the rebel army. He was captured and brought to Rock Island as a Prisoner of War.(Rock Island Arsenal, the notorious Civil War prison was just opposite Davenport across the Mississippi) He steadfastly refused to take the oath of allegiance notwithstanding the entreaties of his friends and parents and remained there until the close of the war, when he was released.He then went to Colorado and was lost to sight. The other son - Patrick McGuire Jr., lived in this county up until the time of his death, fourteen years ago. He owned a farm out near the Wapsie. (Wapsipinicon River) After his death, his wife and children moved out west - nobody knows where. Mrs. McGuire, on the death of her husband was left with no means of support, and so the little house and lot was soon almost eaten up with debts. Then Mrs. McGuire moved up near St. Margarette’s into a little hut with only but one room. For a long time before she was removed to Mercy Hospital she was dependent on neighbors and kind friends for her daily substance. This was kept up until she became so old that the Lady’s Catholic Union which had taken hold of the case thought she had better be removed for fear of her death without attendance. She was then taken to the Hospital. There she won the hearts of all by her quiet cheerful disposition. She was a member of St. Margarette’s Catholic church and highly respected by all who knew her. The burial was at St. Margarette’s cemetery, six of her fellow-worshipers acting as pall-bearers.