EATON — Preble County resident Genevieve (Ott) Trump turned 100 years old on Monday, Oct. 9. While Trump is a current resident at Vancrest Health Care Center, she got her start in Lewisburg, where she attended Monroe Township Schools.
Trump was born on Oct. 9, 1917 on Central Road in Washington Township. “I was born at home,” she said. “I liked growing up in the area, a lot more than I like now. The dope that [kids] are on is awful. We didn’t have anything like that when I was growing up. The only thing we had much of was swimming in the gravel pit.
“We had to make our own games and play. Maybe only with our own family. I had four neighbors that had boys and girls and we would all get together and play. Then, a lot of times, when it was real cold we would go and make taffy. We used to pull taffy when it was cold. That was fun and it was good too.”
She attended and graduated from Monroe Central High School. It was at school where she met her husband, who she would soon have three children with.
“I met him at high school,” she said. “They had a big auditorium and they had seats like two together or three together. There were some boys who had a choice, either New Madison schools, Arcanum, or Monroe. These boys came in, there must have been 12 of them. They were late, so all of us had a separate seat.
“So, when they came in they had to go to the back and get a seat. That is how he came and he sat beside me. That is the first I ever knew him, but from then on that was it. We busted up once in awhile. We went together for about five years.”
Trump was actually the first-ever May Day Queen. She was chosen by the entire student body of the high school.
“We never had that before. They all gathered in an assembly and then they voted. Well, they had so many that they already had four or five nominees. Then the class had to vote,” she said. “They all voted and some of the girls thought they were going to get it. When they came out and named me, everybody about died.
“Well, I wasn’t as popular as some of the girls, so they couldn’t believe it. When I went out my superintendent said, ‘Well hello, Queenie.’ That was a big day. That was the last day of school.”
She got married in 1938 and had her first child in 1940. She ended up having three children: two boys and one girl. After she graduated she stayed at home and worked — both at the farm and with her three children.
“I lived on a farm and did a lot of work, like doing the milking and getting the cows and stuff like that,” she said. “A lot of the times when my son was little we had to go way back in the woods to get the cows. A lot of times if I wanted to go get them, I’d go about 3:30-4 a.m., take my buggy and my son and go back to get the cows.
“I think I balanced being a mother and working on the farm alright. I think I was happy to do both.”
In 1937 she started working at Frigidaire in Dayton during the winter. “I went in November or December, but I didn’t like city life, so I went back home in the spring,” she added. “Some of my friends would take me to work, but a lot of times I would take the trolley car in Eaton.
“Then I didn’t think anything about it. I’d get on usually and I would work till Friday at 3 p.m.Then I would go to the arcade, which was a big market place. I would get something, like lettuce or strawberries — something out of season — and I would take it home so we could have something to eat on Friday night.”
Trump added, after she worked at Frigidaire she went home and “raised chickens.”
She would kill a chicken, clean it, cut it up, and then cook it. “It never bothered me,” she said.
As for turning 100, Trump said, “I cannot believe it, really, I can’t. It seems like time has really went fast. Even since I’ve been [at Vancrest]. I’ve been here almost four years. I don’t know where those years went, I really don’t.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 at KKimbler_RH