Niagara woman turns 101 years old


Staff Writer

NIAGARA, Wis. – Dorothy Watson turned 101 years old on Thursday.

She credits her father for her longevity. He lived to be 100 years old himself and had two first cousins who were also centenarians.

Now a resident of Niagara, she was born Dorothy Hess on Aug. 15, 1912, in Adrian, Mich., the oldest of five siblings. She and her younger sister, who is a youthful 94, are the only two still living.

Dorothy and her family moved to South Dakota soon after she was born and she grew up there.

“I was raised out on the prairie,” Watson said. “I worked on the family farm cultivating corn, making hay and herding cattle.”

Watson finished high school and moved back to Lower Michigan, where she worked on another farm. She also worked cleaning houses through the years.

She married Orlo Watson in 1932 in Arkansas. Together they had two sons, Richard and Robert. Orlo died about 10 years ago.

When asked how she made it to 101, Dorothy said it really was just good living.

She never smoked or drank, and never drinks any caffeine. To keep her mind sharp, she still reads voraciously.

“She’s a great reader,” said friend and neighbor Jeri Morrow. “And she still knits every day. That’s how she stays so sharp.”

She also still walks with her neighbors every day. Sixteen laps up and down the hallway in the apartment building where she lives equals one mile.

Dorothy’s favorite treat is an icecream bar – furnished by Jeri.

Chris Tomsssucci’s e-mail address is