Walden to celebrate 100th birthday

Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Lifelong Carroll County resident Mabel Walden was born on Sept. 14, 1921. She will celebrate her 100th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 19, in Eureka Springs.
Submitted photo

After 100 years, Carroll County resident Mabel Walden is still going strong.

“She’s doing pretty good for 100,” said daughter Juathina Claspill. “She’s going to outlive us all.”

Mabel’s family will host a birthday party for family and friends from 2 p.m. through 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19, at the Best Western Convention Center in Eureka Springs. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by email at juathinac@gmail.com.

Mabel, the daughter of Tom and Myrtle [Scroggins] Weston, was born Sept. 14, 1921, in the woods down the hill from Panorama Point — “miles from civilization, where the rattlesnakes thrived,” Claspill said.

Mabel was the youngest of three children and grew up with her older brothers, LeRoy and Leon.

“Times were hard then and today’s generation would not survive very long,” Claspill said.

Two days after she turned 18, Mabel married Smead Walden on Sept. 16, 1939. When the newlyweds arrived home to tell her parents, they found LeRoy there sharing similar news.

He’d arrived home two hours earlier to share the news that he had gotten married as well, at the same place as his little sister.

A year later, Mabel and Smead welcomed their first child, Juathina, into the world, and in 1947, they had another child, a boy this time. They named him Roger.

A lifelong Carroll County resident, Mabel has spent most of her life within a 5-mile radius of her birthplace and worked at Hunts Log Cabin, Farmers Exchange in Seligman and as postmaster for 22 years at Busch.

The Waldens owned the Busch store for 20 years, a job Claspill said saw them serving customers up to 18 hours per day.

“People would knock on the back door after closing to buy grocery items,” Claspill said.

In addition to running the local store, Mabel also served as homeroom mother for Claspill’s class for many years.

Described as a caretaker, Mabel took care of her mother-in-law, Minnie Walden, for 13 years, looked after her mother and father, and spent a year in Tulsa taking care of her brother, LeRoy. She also made several visits to Mississippi to care for Leon and his wife, Viola.

“She was a caretaker for all loved ones and God has blessed her with a good life,” Claspill said.

In addition to her two children, Mabel has four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

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